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Pitch Wars Team Interviews with Anita Kelly and Their Mentors, Meryl Wilsner & Rosie Danan

Wednesday, 22 January 2020  |  Posted by Annette Christie


Our mentors are editing, 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 5, 2020, we hope you’ll take a moment during your writing breaks and get to know our 2019 Pitch Wars Mentor and Mentee Teams.

Next up, we have . . .

Anita Kelly – Mentee

Website | Twitter

Meryl Wilsner – Mentor

Website | Twitter

Rosie Danan – Mentor

Website | Twitter

Meryl and Rosie, why did you choose Anita?

Meryl: Anita’s book fit our wishlist to a T—f/nb romance with a reality cooking competition? Yes, please! Rosie actually saw the submission first and was so excited for me to look at it. That first chapter especially just blew us out of the water. Their book felt like sitting by a nice fire after a long cold day—warm and safe and comforting. Plus, we had a clear plan for revisions, and we knew from the strength of Anita’s writing that she’d be able to pull it off.

Rosie: I knew like you know about a good melon. Just kidding. But not really. Anita’s storytelling is so strong that both Meryl and I were immediately drawn to her submission. I personally, teared up over the way they described cutting onions as being therapeutic on their first page. It spoke to me on a deep level—that single insight and detail—and the way they painted a memory with their details. Their whole book is full of perfect moments like that and then the huge bonus is they’re the loveliest, kindest, best person in the world. We’re so lucky to work with Anita.

Anita, why did you choose to submit to Meryl and Rosie?

Meryl and Rosie were always my number one. I had actually been on the fence about whether I should try for Pitch Wars, and then I read their mentor wishlist and they were looking for so many things that clicked right with my manuscript, and I was like, welp, THESE ARE MY PEOPLE, guess I have to apply to this thing now! It still feels very surreal that they actually picked me. They have been so wonderful, and I am SO excited for both of their debuts in 2020.

Meryl and Rosie, summarize Anita’s book in 3 words.

Meryl: Queer tender fun

Rosie: Queer comfort food

Anita, summarize your book in 3 words.

Food, identity, love

Meryl and Rosie, tell us about yourself. Something we may not already know.

Meryl: I’m a nonbinary author writing queer romance, and in everything I write, I do my best to put references to my favorite movie—Imagine Me & You.

Rosie: I recently moved to London and now I’m obsessed with electric kettles.

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

I have already gained so much more than I ever expected. Just the experience of having other people take your work seriously is literally life changing. And while Meryl and Rosie have helped me so much with this specific manuscript, everything they’ve taught me will also help immensely with future writing projects. I’m already reworking in my head other manuscripts I’ve been kicking around. Plus, I’ve gained a whole community of other writers with our mentee group, who are so smart and diverse and encouraging, which I had been feeling really desperate for recently. I will be forever grateful.

Anita, tell us about yourself! What makes you and your manuscript unique?

I am a queer writer who is obsessed with romance and food, and it was really fun getting to wrap those two loves together in Dahlia and London’s story, which takes place on a cooking competition show called Chef Special. Dahlia is a bit of a hot mess, recently divorced after marrying too young and realizing she doesn’t want kids. London is non-binary and dealing with the fallout of being out on national TV, including rejection from their father. While most people try out for these types of cooking shows to further their culinary careers, Dahlia and London are both pursuing their own kind of personal redemption–for Dahlia, to prove that she can stand on her own two feet again, and for London, to use their visibility and financial privilege to help LGBTQ+ kids back home in Tennessee.

As a writer, I’m always thinking about characters I would want to read about that I don’t see enough of in the books I’ve read. And as someone who works with queer youth, I’m thinking about what the next generation will want to read, too, and the future is definitely non-binary. (Although, current students–dear god, please don’t read this book.) Messy and gender non-conforming people deserve happy endings, too.

Check out Meryl’s upcoming release, SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT, and Rosie’s upcoming release, THE ROOMMATE.

Hollywood powerhouse Jo is photographed making her assistant Emma laugh on the red carpet, and just like that, the tabloids declare them a couple. The so-called scandal couldn’t come at a worse time—threatening Emma’s promotion and Jo’s new movie.

As the gossip spreads, it starts to affect all areas of their lives. Paparazzi are following them outside the office, coworkers are treating them differently, and a “source” is feeding information to the media. But their only comment is “no comment”.

With the launch of Jo’s film project fast approaching, the two women begin to spend even more time together, getting along famously. Emma seems to have a sixth sense for knowing what Jo needs. And Jo, known for being aloof and outwardly cold, opens up to Emma in a way neither of them expects. They begin to realize the rumor might not be so off base after all…but is acting on the spark between them worth fanning the gossip flames?

Add on Goodreads

Rosie Danan’s THE ROOMMATE (previously Never Have I Ever), in which an awkward socialite gets more than she bargained for in her new roommate and the sparks that fly between them, risking their hearts and the wrath of a porn empire after they launch a website focused on women’s pleasure.

Add on Goodreads





Thank you for supporting our Pitch Wars Teams! The Agent Showcase is February 5 – 10, 2020, and our next Twitter Pitch Party on #PitMad is March 5, 2020! Want to know more about #PitMad? Go here

Filed: Interviews

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