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Pitch Wars Team Interviews with Grace Shim and her mentor, Jesse Q Sutanto

Friday, 15 November 2019  |  Posted by Rochelle Karina


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 . . .

Grace Shim – Mentee



Jesse Q Sutanto – Mentor

Website | Twitter

Jesse, why did you choose Grace?

This is a no brainer! The moment I came across Grace’s sub, I squealed to my CPs about finding a diamond. It immediately stood out to me because her MC Riley’s voice is so funny and so heartfelt. Once I read the MS, I knew I had to have it. *grabby hands* Seriously, you can’t not fall in love with Riley. She is the BEST. I’m dying to share this with the world, which I think is a great sign that I’ve made the right pick! Also, Grace has been amazing to work with. She’s made me LOL waaay too many times, and she’s super thorough and fast in addition to being obviously brilliant, so honestly I feel like I’ve majorly lucked out here.

Grace, why did you choose to submit to Jesse?

Aside from my manuscript and personal tastes being aligned with Jesse’s wishlist, Jesse’s personality just really shined on her bio page. She has a genuine desire to help other PoC writers and is also a child of immigrant parents, which is what I felt would be crucial to understanding my manuscript and its needs. She also is HELLA funny and according to my critique partner, we would make the best IG photo opps together, which of course is THE quintessential selling point of ANY mentor out there! All kidding aside, Jesse seemed approachable, accessible, genuine, humble, and super knowledgeable which made me think she would be a perfect match for me (for anyone really! — I’m SO lucky!!).

Jesse, summarize Grace’s book in 3 words.

Fighting for Your Place

Grace, summarize your book in 3 words.

Finding Your Voice

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

I may or may not have an over dependency on emojis. 😅 I may or may not have tried to communicate with Grace via emoji alone. 🤪

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

Of course I wanted some help with the big (and small) picture of my manuscript having come so close in the past but never reaching the finish line (the finish line being a query-able manuscript). But beyond that, I entered Pitch Wars for the amazing relationships I have seen form over the years. Writing can be so solitary and finding a community is so important. And it’s been a wild ride so far!

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

As an #ownvoices piece, my manuscript feels unique in the sense that it is very much based on some of my own life experiences. Like my main character, I moved from rural, middle-America to boarding school in the outskirts of Los Angeles which was a complete culture shock to me. I was confronted with racial identity and the internal racism from the result of the subtle (and quite honestly, not so subtle) racism from my upbringing in a predominantly white area. It never occurred to me until recently that this is the type of story that anyone would want to read, let alone publish.

Check out Jesse’s upcoming release, THE OBSESSION.

Pitched as a YA version of You meets Enough, the novel follows the classic story of boy meets girl, boy stalks girl, girl gets her revenge. Publication is scheduled for spring 2021.


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 December 5, 2019! Want to know more about #PitMad? Go here


Filed: Interviews

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