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Pitch Wars Team Interviews with Sammi Spizziri and her mentor, Abigail Johnson

Tuesday, 10 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 . . .

Sammi Spirzz= – Mentee

Website | Twitter


Abigail Johnson – Mentor

Website | Twitter

Abigail, why did you choose Sammi?

Sammi’s manuscript stood out immediately to me not only because we write the same kind of books (contemporary stories full of family drama, romance, and hope) but because her voice was so effortless and inviting. I didn’t want to put her book down and the more I read the more ideas I kept coming up with to make this already strong book even stronger. Basically it was an instalove situation for me.

Sammi, why did you choose to submit to Abigail?

Abigail’s Pitch Wars bio caught my attention because I particularly wanted to work with someone who wrote Contemporary YA, like I do. Her favorite authors matched some of my favorites as well: Sarah Dessen, Kasie West, Morgan Matson, Jenny Han. The clincher, though, was when I started reading one of her books, Even If I Fall. I was only a few pages in on the day of submissions, but I was absolutely hooked and fell in love with her writing style, so I picked her. I’m so glad I did because during the waiting period I finished that book and another one of her books, gushing to anyone who would listen about the stories and themes and voice and how much I related to her writing style. She packs so much emotion into every scene but keeps this undercurrent of hope throughout, so I grew more and more confident she’d be the perfect mentor to really make my story shine. For one of the first times sharing my writing with someone, I felt we truly “clicked”, at least in my mind! I was so glad to find she felt the same way! 🙂

Abigail, summarize Sammi’s book in 3 words.

Small-town. Reconciliation. Swoony

Sammi, summarize your book in 3 words.

Uplifting. Podcasts. Sweet.

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

I’m about to branch out into a new genre! I’ve previously had four Contemporary YA books published but I recently sold a YA Thriller that will be coming out in October 2020!

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

I’m hoping for the best book possible with Abigail’s amazing insights and knowledge (like creating emotional resonance and tension on every page), a community of writers to encourage and support each other through writing’s ups and downs (which is already happening!), and (fingers crossed!) an agent.

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

I was born in a small Midwestern town, went to college in a small Midwestern town, and moved to a third small Midwestern town where I’ve lived ever since. I’ve always felt at home in that atmosphere, though I’ve been around plenty of people who wanted to move away or didn’t understand the appeal. I was attending an auction one day, run by a family, and the idea of a girl who grew up in a family like that but hated it struck me. Questions kept coming to mind: Why does she hate it? What happens when she tries to leave but is forced back home? How does everyone she hurt by leaving react when she returns? In the end, I was interested in exploring what it would take for someone to heal relationships and recognize how important the people around her are, even when she thinks she’s better off on her own, chasing the solo dreams she believes will fulfill her.

Check out Abigail Johnson’s upcoming release, EVERY OTHER WEEKEND.

Coming January, 2020

Adam Moynihan’s life used to be awesome. Straight As, close friends and a home life so perfect that it could have been a TV show straight out of the 50s. Then his oldest brother died. Now his fun-loving mom cries constantly, he and his remaining brother can’t talk without fighting, and the father he always admired proved himself a coward by moving out when they needed him most.

Jolene Timber’s life is nothing like the movies she loves—not the happy ones anyway. As an aspiring director, she should know, because she’s been reimagining her life as a film ever since she was a kid. With her divorced parents at each other’s throats and using her as a pawn, no amount of mental reediting will give her the love she’s starving for.

Forced to spend every other weekend in the same apartment building, the boy who thinks forgiveness makes him weak and the girl who thinks love is for fools begin an unlikely friendship. The weekends he dreaded and she endured soon become the best part of their lives. But when one’s life begins to mend while the other’s spirals out of control, they realize that falling in love while surrounded by its demise means nothing is ever guaranteed.

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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