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Your 2021 Pitch Wars Mentors!

Monday, 9 August 2021  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

For months leading up to this announcement, tons of work has gone on behind the scenes to bring you Pitch Wars 2021. We are an organization run solely by volunteers, and we couldn’t put this mentorship program on with out our amazing board and committee members. Everyone involved gives so much of their time to help other writers. We are truly blessed to have each of them.

Pitch Wars has had many successes with mentees making agent matches, snagging publishing deals, and receiving awards. We also couldn’t do this without the generosity of our mentors who dedicate their time and knowledge to our community.

We were amazed at all the talented people who applied to mentor this year. It’s always so difficult to choose our list of mentors each year because of it. Thank you to those of you who did apply. If you weren’t selected, please know that in no way does it mean you weren’t worthy. There are many variables that go into selecting mentors. Category popularity, genres needed, and how many different ones an applicant will consider come into play during the decision process. We want to thank the members of our selection committee for their hard work in putting together our mentor list for 2021. We greatly appreciate your hard work!

First, let me introduce you to Ayana Gray, our Managing Director this year. Ayana has been part of the Pitch Wars family for three years as a mentor and a committee member.

Ayana Gray


Ayana is a young adult fantasy author with a passion for stories steeped in #blackgirlmagic in all its forms. An Atlanta native now living in the Sunshine State, when she’s not reading or writing, you can probably find her portrait sketching, watching a documentary about something dark, or traveling the world with her husband! She is currently represented by Pete Knapp of Park & Fine Literary and Media.

You can find Ayana online:
Website  |  Twitter  |  Instagram

A message from Ayana:

The time has come for a new season of Pitch Wars to kick off! Firstly, I want to thank everyone who applied to be a mentor this year. As always, we received so many fantastic applicants this year and the hardest part is always narrowing it down! If you weren’t invited to mentor this year, we absolutely welcome all of you to apply again next year. To Class of 2021’s new and returning mentors: congratulations and welcome (or welcome back)! Pitch Wars is a 100% volunteer-run program, and it simply couldn’t happen without you. Thank you for offering your time and expertise to this year’s mentees. We appreciate you! Things are just getting started, but I’m so excited for another incredible year!

Don’t know what Pitch Wars is? Peruse our site and learn more about our mentoring program. You could start HERE.

To learn more about each mentor, check out their bios on our site. We also have a twitter list of all the mentors here.

AND COME BACK WEDNESDAY to enter our critique workshop giveaway. Our current and past mentors will be giving away query and first page critique packages for our workshop. I’ll have more details in my post Wednesday.

Mentor wishlists will go live on September 11. Please review the wishlists to help you decide which four mentors you will submit an application to when the entry window opens on September 26.

I’m sure you all are excited to meet the 2021 Pitch Wars mentors, so without further delay, here they are!

Adult Mentors

Mentor Co-Mentor
Alexandria Bellefleur
Alexia Gordon
Alicia Thompson Amy Lea
AM Kvita
Amanda Elliot
Anna Kaling
Ashley Winstead
Brooke Abrams Falon Ballard
Carolyne Topdjian
Charish Reid Denise Williams
Clay Harmon
Cole Nagamatsu Sequoia Nagamatsu
Courtney Kae Jenny L. Howe
Cynthia Pelayo
E.A. Aymar
Farah Heron Namrata Patel
Grace K. Shim Jesse Q. Sutanto
Heather Van Fleet Jessica Calella AKA Jessica Calla
Hudson Lin
Ian Barnes
J.A. Crawford
Jackson Ford
Jake Nicholls
Katherine Lim
Keena Roberts Molly Steen
Kelly Siskind
Laura Elizabeth/Laura Adams Mary Ann Marlowe
LL Montez Nanci Schwartz
Lyn Liao Butler
Marith Zoli Yvette Yun
Mary Keliikoa
Melissa Colasanti
Mia P. Manansala
Michella Domenici
N.E. Davenport
Natalka Burian
Nikki Payne Regina Black
Noreen Stephenie Magister
Paris Wynters
Peggy Rothschild
Preslaysa Williams
Rob Hart
Rochelle Karina
Rosalie M. Lin Sari Coritz
Rosie Danan Ruby Barrett
Saara El-Arifi
Samantha Rajaram
Sarah Mughal Vaishnavi Patel
Sarah Remy
Swati Hegde

Young Adult Mentors

Mentor Co-Mentor
Aaron Cole Tamara Cole
Aashna Avachat
Abigail Johnson
Alex Brown Skyla Arndt
Allison Saft
Amelia Diane Coombs
Angelica Monai Natalie Crown
Anna Sortino Annika J. Cosgrove
Aty S. Behsam Maedeh B. Saaina
Bethany Mangle
Brianna Bourne
Carly Heath
Carlyn Greenwald
Carrie S. Allen Sabrina Lotfi
Charity Alyse Cimone Watson
Dante Medema Liz Lawson
Diana Urban
Em X. Liu Grace D. Li
Emery Lee
Emily Grey Rosiee Thor
Emily Thiede Lauren Blackwood
Fiona McLaren
Gabi Burton
Hannah V. Sawyerr Olivia Liu
Heather M. Herrman
Hoda Agharazi Lyssa Mia Smith
Jamie Howard Meredith Tate
Jamie McHenry
Jennifer Yu
Jenny Perinovic Kyrie McCauley
Jessica Lewis
Joel Brigham
Justine Pucella Winans
Kat Dunn Sarah Underwood
Kiana Krystle
KL Burd
Kylie Schachte
Lane Clarke
Laura Weymouth
Laurie Dennison
M.T. Khan
Margie Fuston
Mary E. Roach
Meg Long Rochelle Hassan
Molly X. Chang Zoulfa Katouh
Sarvenaz Tash
Sonora Reyes
Sunya Mara
Susan Bishop Crispell
TJ Ohler

Middle Grade Mentors

Mentor Co-Mentor
A.J. Sass Nicole Melleby
Adrianna Cuevas Sarah Kapit
Cindy Baldwin Amanda Rawson Hill
Darlene P. Campos
Eric Bell
George Jreije LQ Nguyen
Graci Kim Karah Sutton
Jennifer L. Brown Kim Long
Julie Artz
Rebecca Petruck
Sandra Proudman Shannon A. Thompson
Shakirah Bourne
Sofiya Pasternack
Sylvia Liu
Tracy Badua


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We're thrilled at the different ways those in our Pitch Wars community are giving back—and we encourage them to do so. However, please keep in mind that Pitch Wars is not affiliated with any of these various contests, promotions, etc., including those of our mentors and mentees. Promoting any such opportunities via our social media channels doesn't imply endorsement or affiliation. We encourage you to do your research before participating.

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