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Pitch Wars Team Interviews with Stephanie Dodson and Her Mentor, Hoda Agharazi

Friday, 6 December 2019  |  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 . . .

Stephanie Dodson – Mentee


Hoda Agharazi – Mentor

Website | Twitter

Hoda, why did you choose Stephanie?

Stephanie’s book had me hooked from the start. I adored the concept of the novel: rivals who form a reluctant alliance – for their own purposes – and start a promposal business. I’m a sucker for the enemies-to-lovers trope. Also, the characters are so relatable. In addition to the humor and romance, I loved that the novel touches on other important themes, such as dealing with anxiety and complicated family relationships.

Stephanie, why did you choose to submit to Hoda?

Hoda’s “Pitch Wars Wishlist” felt tailor-made to my submission. She was seeking contemporary, including light and funny stories with a dash of romance and was a fan of the “enemies to lovers trope.” Plus, her credentials as an editorial assistant and a previous mentee were impressive. I thought she would be the ideal mentor to help me improve my manuscript and craft.

What stood out most was her mentoring style. She wrote that she was always honest in her feedback and that if she noticed something wasn’t working, she would offer several possible solutions. It’s helpful to me to bounce ideas around with someone. Plus, I knew I could trust her with my manuscript once I saw her list of favorite TV shows.

Hoda, summarize Stephanie’s book in 3 words.

Rivals. Romance. Healing.

Stephanie, summarize your book in 3 words.

Matchmaking. Promposals. Kissing

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

During an obligatory family skiing trip, I was once responsible for the chairlifts to stop working. I had gotten off too early and ended up being squished underneath my chair. They had to bring the whole thing to a stop so I could be pulled out. Needless to say, I became even less fond of skiing than I already was.

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

My main goal in entering Pitch Wars was to improve my manuscript and to improve my writing skills. I knew something was wrong with my manuscript, but I couldn’t figure out how to fix it. Through this process with Hoda, I hope to have a polished manuscript and be able to identify the places in future manuscripts where things aren’t working and know how to address them. There are so many ideas and future manuscripts in my head I can’t wait to write, and I’m hopeful this experience will help me with editing skills, time management and working with deadlines. Plus, I’m excited to get to know more of the wonderful community.

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

To encourage me to read growing up, my mom said she would buy me a book as long as I would read it. I took her up on her offer and read a ton of books quickly. Soon she introduced me to the library because she said I was going to bankrupt the family with my reading habit. I was obsessed with contemporary YA books. I loved anything that was romantic and funny. If a book didn’t have kissing I wasn’t interested. My favorite books were ones that combined humor and truth; ones that resonated deep within my soul and felt like the author wrote it specifically for me.

My manuscript is a unique twist on the Promposal phenomenon and is a story I would have wanted to read as a teen. My book is filled with humor, romance, and kissing. It also touches on the issues of desiring to be liked, anxiety, and learning how to forgive yourself.

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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