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Pitch Wars Team Interview with Sari Coritz and mentors, Anne Raven and Janet Walden-West

Monday, 1 February 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 . . .

Sari Coritz – Mentee



Anne Raven – Mentor

Website | Twitter


Janet Walden-West – Mentor

Website | Twitter

Anne and Janet, why did you choose Sari?

We fell in love with her premise, characters (Janet—#TeamRabbiK, Anne—#TeamGolem), the bond between her heroine and Rivka’s girl squad, and amazing world-building immediately. Her story was one of the first on our short list. We also couldn’t get enough of how she seamlessly flipped contemporary fantasy tropes and infused them with her #ownvoices background and mythology.

After sending multiple rounds of increasingly hard-core questions, we also fell in love with her responses and her willingness to revise. She was the definition of flexible and eager. She was also all in on assigned reading and homework, and her interactive brainstorming style meshed perfectly with ours. She took even preliminary what-if scenarios in new directions and made them hers.

Also, What We Do in the Shadows love and Sonoran dogs.

I’m glad you all matched up! And Sari, why did you choose to submit to Anne and Janet?

They immediately sucked me in with their gif game.

I loved all the shows they featured and just the general woman power feeling, but it was their energy that really got me. They sounded so enthusiastic and supportive, talking about compliment sandwiches and saying how they’d be there for me through the whole process, and I really wanted that. I wanted someone who would love my story right along with me, and I thought they’d be a great fit for that.

Turns out, I was right!

They do play a mean gif game! So Anne and Janet, can you summarize Sari’s book in 3 words?


Sari, summarize your book in 3 words.

Jewish, desert, curses.

Intriguing words. I love deserts and curses! Anne and Janet, tell us about yourself. Something we may not already know.

Anne—My one-hundred-fifty pound dog sometimes wears PJs when outdoors. She has pollen allergies—don’t judge.

Janet—I’ve written a dozen-ish manuscripts and books and still don’t know how to type. It’s my secret shame.

I so want to see this dog in her pjs! And I’m not sure how you got them all done without typing, Janet. Your pecking skills have to be amazing. Now Sari, what do you hope to get out of the Pitch Wars experience?

I went in with this with a story I knew wasn’t ready for querying, but I had no idea how to fix it. I’m already learning so much about how to effectively rewrite and properly structure this novel, and I hope to get out of this not only a publishable piece of fiction, but the ability to write more novels and better ones.

It is such great learning experience! Sari, tell us about yourself. What makes you and your manuscript unique?

My earliest memory of writing is when I was seven years old, on my dad’s computer, typing out a poem about fish. No idea what it was about, but I’ve always been writing, coming up with stories and seeking out new worlds (also watching a fair amount of Star Trek). My Jewish background has always been my strongest influence, and that’s what I really wanted to bring to the forefront of my novel. Jewish fantasy is always something I wanted to see more of, along with more stories set in Arizona that weren’t Westerns or retellings of the Tombstone shootout. I like to think of this story as a Jewish love letter to my hometown.

That’s great! We definitely need more stories like yours in the world. Thank you Anne, Janet, and Sari for the interview!

Check out Janet’s latest release, SALT + STILETTOS …

Brett Fontaine learned early that appearance matters and not to count on anyone but yourself. Trading her red-dirt roots for the title of Miami’s go-to image consultant, she refuses to let anything jeopardize her new life.

Not an influential client-turned-stalker who’s up for parole.
Not post-kidnapping panic attacks.
Certainly not the stubborn, attention-phobic chef she’s challenged to transform into a celeb in ninety days.

Will Te’o can almost taste the dream he sacrificed American Samoa, culture, and cherished family ties for—opening a four star restaurant in the most cut-throat culinary location in North America. Unfortunately, that requires navigating it’s equally cut-throat social scene. When his first public performance ends in a social media spectacle, his only option is turning to the stiletto-wearing nemesis who’s invaded his kitchen.

Neither expected to share anything but barbs, yet somewhere between accidentally bonding over comfort food and office-wrecking sex, they’re named South Beach’s hottest pairing. Until Brett’s stalker engineers a reputation-shattering reveal. She may be going down, but she’s not taking Will’s dreams with her. Now Will’s pulling out all his new skills and cooking up a last-ditch event. He’ll prove to Brett that relying on the right person makes for the perfect recipe—or be left heartbroken in the spotlight.

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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