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Pitch Wars Team Interviews with Laura Young and her mentor, Carolyne Topdjian

Monday, 2 December 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 . . .

Laura Young – Mentee



Carolyne Topdjian – Mentor

Website | Twitter

Carolyne, why did you choose Laura?

Laura’s bleak and gritty dystopian world in THE BUTCHER caught my attention. Her minimalist style and her comps were also great (Black Mirror x True Grit x Revenant), so I dove into the pages. It wasn’t long before I fell in love with her vulnerable, underdog main character, Lady Mae. The novel’s timely exploration of feminist themes of survival and revenge stayed with me long after reading. I couldn’t not pick it.

Laura, why did you choose to submit to Carolyne?

I chose to submit to my mentor because of her aesthetic board, her interest in cross-genre work, and because I was pretty sure that most of the things on her checklist were in my manuscript! Thank garland I found someone who likes dark, weird stuff.

Carolyne, summarizeLaura’s book in 3 words.

Heartbreaking human vice

Laura, summarize your book in 3 words.

Dark AF. Is that three?

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

I was conceived during a cease fire in the Lebanese Civil War.

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

I hope to get a revision I’m really proud of and excited about. I’m also hoping to put this bad baby to bed. I also hope to refine my writing–I’m kind of treating this like an MFA since I don’t have one (and at the rate of my current life shall never have one)…doing lots of reading, interacting with other writers, etc.

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

I think what makes my manuscript unique is that I’ve never heard of anything like it before…previous things I’ve written always seemed to feel too familiar, but with this one, there is originality. Yay! I also think that my depiction of both a mother-daughter relationship AND a schoolgirl crush turned love of all time are both super positive (which is ironic in such a dark work). They live in a world unmitigated by men, which is not to say there isn’t a love story because there is, it’s just that that’s not what the story is about.

I think what makes me stand out as a writer is my worldbuilding and my ability to use dark material to provide hope….my dystopias are bleak, that is for sure, but at their core they illustrate that being true to oneself is the most important thing. And that if you just listen to yourself, things will turn out ok in the end. That’s not to say that some really terrible things happen–because they do–it’s just that that’s not the end.

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


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