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 . . .
Stella Wren – Mentee
ST Sterlings – Mentor
Steph, why did you choose Stella?
I was absolutely blown away by Stella’s writing as well as the world she created. The setting is wonderfully unique and the characters are super dynamic. From the first word to the last, I was hooked! In addition, Stella is a great mentee to work with, very openminded and highly motivated!
It’s great when you get hooked right off like that! And Stella, why did you choose to submit to Steph?
I made a spreadsheet of all the mentors, and next to Steph’s name I have written “Likes everything I like.” That’s all I needed to say! When I read her wishlist and found Edgar Allen Poe, The Picture of Dorian Gray, horror movies, paranormal fantasy, romance, and American Horror Story, I knew we were of the same coven. Steph described her style as kind, constructive, and down to fangirl, which sounded like the perfect match for my horror-fantasy-romance. But there were quite a few mentors looking for dark fantasy this year, so what really made my choice clear was that Steph asked for sex-positive stories. My book is a clap-back at the purity complex and a love letter to self-acceptance, so Steph went immediately to the top of my list.
Love that your story is about self-acceptance. So Steph, summarize Stella’s book in 3 words.
Amazing, Unique, & Powerful
Stella, summarize your book in 3 words.
Rot. Romance. Redemption.
Oh, the three ‘r’s. Though I’m not sure how rot fits in, I’m intrigued. Okay Steph, tell us about yourself. Something we may not already know.
I go to prison 2-5 times out of the week… I’m a prison librarian!
That’s really interesting. I bet you have some stories to tell. Stella, what do you hope to get out of the Pitch Wars experience?
I think there’s something uniquely valuable about Pitch Wars because the goal is not only to match with a mentor who is experienced in the universal foundations of storytelling, but who is also passionate about the particular subject matter and style of your book. I’m so excited to bring my story to the best version of itself with someone who’s all about that emo energy! I love being able to set checkpoints with Steph, ask all my questions, and text her my progress (even if it’s just a Mushu GIF to tell her I’m still alive). There’s a lot of uncertainty on the path to publication. But having a mentor and class of mentees all working toward the same goal emanates this magical force of momentum and community that I hope will last far beyond the showcase.
I think there is something uniquely valuable too. I’m so glad you feel the same way! And Stella, tell us about yourself. What makes you and your manuscript unique?
In middle school I was so obsessed with My Chemical Romance that for my thirteenth birthday, my parents threw a My Chem-themed party, complete with black balloons and everything. My love of the macabre was apparently not a phase because my book is about a girl who can decay anything with her touch—the only way to kill two immortal witches who have imprisoned half the land in eternal day, and the other half in eternal night. Then there’s the fact that my soul runs on romance and angst. So of course my main character has to seduce a male courtesan into revealing his worst secret before she can vanquish the witches and free her town.
My background is in graphic design and art direction, which means I’m constantly getting sucked into aesthetics. I love anything with creepy fields of whispering grass, magic that is not your friend, and ruthless girls with hell to pay.
Ah, and now I get the rot part. This premise sounds awesome! Thank you Steph and Stella for the interview.
And thank you, everyone, 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.