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Pitch Wars Team Interview with Malcolm Schmitz and mentor, Kim Long and Jennifer L. Brown

Saturday, 30 January 2021  |  Posted by Brenda Drake


Our mentors are mentoring, our mentees are revising, and we hope you’re making progress on your own manuscript! While we’re all working toward the Agent Showcase starting on February 10, 2021, we hope you’ll take a moment during your writing breaks and get to know our 2020 Pitch Wars Mentor and Mentee Teams.

Next up, we have . . .

Malcolm Schmitz – Mentee

Website | Twitter


Kim Long

Kim Long – Mentor

Website | Twitter


Jennifer L. Brown – Mentor

Website | Twitter

Kim and Jennifer, why did you choose Malcolm?

We loved the concept of a middle grade heist with a bunch of misfit kids in the vein of Six of Crows, and Malcolm’s voice leapt off the page! We also loved how Malcolm brought his own experience to this fantasy setting, subverting tropes and expectations in such a fun, unexpected way.

Oh, I love heist books and Six of Crows. Sounds exciting! And Malcolm, why did you choose to submit to Kim and Jennifer?

Kim and Jennifer seemed like really fun, positive people! I liked their vibes and their comp titles were things I’ve wanted to read for a while now.

They do give off great vibes! So Kim and Jennifer, can you summarize Malcolm’s book in 3 words?

magic crown heist

Malcolm, please summarize your book in 3 words.

Clockpunk glider heists.

It just keeps getting better. Clockpunk? I’m intrigued! Kim and Jennifer, tell us about yourselves. Something we may not already know.

Jen has a sister named Kim, and when telling stories to friends, she must specify sister-Kim or co-mentor Kim. Kim does not have a sister named Jen, so she does not have to traverse these same verbal hoops. In fact, Kim’s sister is called Kelly. So much for parallelism. Kim also has a brother, Kyle, which made for interesting times growing up, as their parents would often summon the wrong “K” kid, much to their children’s amusement.

Ha! You two crack me up! And Malcolm, what do you hope to get out of the Pitch Wars experience?

I mean, an agent would be lovely! But right now, I want to make friends and make my book the best it can be.

Making writerly friends is the best part in my opinion. I hope you make many! So Malcolm, tell us about yourself. What makes you and your manuscript unique?

I’m an autistic trans man. When I was a kid, I didn’t have many books about kids like me. Now that I’m an adult, I write books for the kid I used to be! When I’m not writing, I’m fixing up old dolls, thrift shopping, or kicking back with some video games. My book is unique because- well, in the words of my lovely mentors, it’s middle grade Six of Crows! You don’t see heist novels aimed at middle schoolers too often!

And as I said, I love heist books! And you’re right we need more of them and better representation in middle grade. Thank you Kim, Jennifer, and Malcolm for the interview!


Lexi Magill book coverFor fans of The Amazing Race, Lexi Magill and the Teleportation Tournament is the perfect adventure for middle grade readers who like scavenger hunts and puzzle-solving.

Twelve-year-old physics whiz Lexi Magill won’t let anything stop her from winning Wisconsin’s Teleportation Tournament–the annual competition where teams teleport around the world to solve science-based puzzles. She needs the prize money if she wants to re-enroll in the science academy her parents can no longer afford. Added bonus: she’ll be able to reconnect with her best friend Haley.

But Lexi’s two teammates put a wrench in her plans. When one misreads a clue that lands the team in a castle in Germany, and the other loses her teleportation medallion in Poland, Lexi wonders what she’s gotten herself into. Struggling to keep her team under control as the race rages on, Lexi not only has to figure out how to get back on course (literally), but she must decide how far she’s willing to go to win, and who her real friends are. With riddles to solve and messages to decode, this interactive read won’t disappoint!

Thank you for supporting our Pitch Wars Teams! The Agent Showcase is February 10-15, 2021. Make sure to stop by then and check out all our mentees’ entries when it opens.


Filed: Interviews

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