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Pitch Wars Team Interview with Rishika Sen and mentor, Aashna Avachat

Wednesday, 8 December 2021  |  Posted by Rochelle Karina


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 9, 2021, we hope you’ll take a moment during your writing breaks and get to know our 2021 Pitch Wars Mentor and Mentee Teams.

Next up, we have . . .

Rishika Sen – Mentee

Website | Twitter


Aashna Avachat – Mentor

Instagram | Twitter

Aashna, why did you choose Rishika?

I knew I was looking for a contemporary YA with lots of heart, and Rishika’s MS, WE’LL ALWAYS HAVE BANGALORE, spoke to me right away. The characters were complex, the story felt ripe for conflict, and by the time I’d finished reading, it all felt so real. I had instant ideas for the MS, Rishika’s goals for the revisions were strong. I knew that it would be such a joy to work with Rishika on her characters and story, and already, it has!

Rishika, why did you choose to submit to Aashna?

When I saw Aashna’s wishlist, it immediately really resonated with me, and I felt like I had to apply! One of the points on her wishlist was that she wanted a book with imperfect characters, and I remembered reading that and going, “oh my god, I have to submit to her!” Aashna also seemed really cool and sweet and I thought she’d be the perfect person to submit to!

Aashna, summarize Rishika’s book in 3 words.

Dance, Growth, Relationships

Rishika, summarize your book in 3 words.

Travel, Dance, Self-Discovery

Aashna, tell us about yourself. Something we may not already know.

I’m a YA author and editorial assistant at a literary agency, and it is my absolute passion and career goal in this industry to support authors of color. Outside of writing and reading, I love to cook, binge TV shows, and foster kittens! I am currently fostering my 17th and 18th fosters! (I hope to foster 100 over my lifetime :-))

Rishika, what do you hope to get out of the Pitch Wars experience?

I want to improve my writing, and my manuscript, and make it the best it can be! I also want to make more friends in the community, and make great connections! Above all, I want to learn the most I can about the writing industry and YA Books, and share my book with the world!

Rishika, tell us about yourself. What makes you and your manuscript unique?

I’m currently in university, studying Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behaviour! Writing is my escape! I love taking a break after a long day of math and biology and writing for hours instead! I wrote WE’ll ALWAYS HAVE BANGALORE just after I’d moved from Bangalore, India, to a new country. I’ve lived in a lot of places over the last few years, and Bangalore is still one of my favorite places to be in, and I wanted my book to make everyone love Bangalore as much as I do. I also love writing complex, imperfect characters, and writing about South Asian characters, and culture!

Check out Aashna’s latest project …

I have had the absolute honor of editing a YA anthology set in college, by amazing Gen Z authors I have admired for ages. You can add it on Goodreads here!

Thank you for supporting our Pitch Wars Teams! The Agent Showcase is February 9-14, 2022. Make sure to stop by then and check out all our mentees’ entries when it opens. 


Filed: Interviews

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