Hi there potential Pitch Wars mentees, how is it going?
You're probably here because you visited Alex's blog, saw our Pitch Wars wishlist and decided we may be the right mentor for you. Right?
Still no idea what we're talking about?
No problem. Click here and learn all about the amazing writing mentoring program called Pitch Wars and what we (#TeamWordsOnFire) want to see in our inbox.
All caught up now?
Come closer and let us introduce ourselves and tell you all about why you should pick us as your mentors.
Who We Are & What We Have to Offer
We're Alex & Renée, former Pitch Warriors (class '15 & '16), CPs and friends, and writers with big dreams. This year, we’ve been chosen as co-mentors and we couldn't be more honored and excited to be part of a mentoring program that has changed so many lives.
We're also super excited to get to know all of you, and we hope you want to get to know us, too.
I’m a Romanian YA writer who’s currently obsessed with persuading eerie beings hiding in the mountain forests onto my own pages. I’m represented by the fabulous Natascha Morris at BookEnds and have a background in advertising (we’re going to polish that pitch until it sparkles) and scriptwriting (I WILL be reading some of your dialogue out loud and may or may not act it out with my cat).
I was a proud 2015 unofficial mentee and a 2016 mentee (PitchWars’ got me hooked), and I’ve beta-ing and CP-ing since I began writing. I love tension (as a reader, writer, and human), so I’ll make sure each and every single one of our mentee’s scenes has the potential to make the reader lose a night of sleep.
I’m a huge fan of structure and can zero in on a lackluster beat. Don’t know what a beat is? Don’t worry, we’ll learn. Dissecting your characters’ arcs is probably going to make me late for work a day or two, and we’ll work on making your characters seem as real as if they’d jumped off the first page in front of us then and there.
Like my grandmama loves to say, nobody was born knowing everything. I’m a firm believer that writing can be taught and molded, and I’m here to guide you through every step. I’ve had the amazing opportunity to meet and grow as a writer alongside Renee and my 2016 mentor, Marty Mayberry, and I can’t wait to add another member to our PitchWars family.
Random things about me:
I’m a Brazilian YA and Adult writer represented by Tricia Skinner at Fuse Literary. When I’m not working on my manuscripts (#team-revising-over-drafting), I’m working as a lawyer, which means more writing. On my free time, I read, spend time with my family, friends and dog (#dogperson), and watch movies with explosions, dinosaurs and superheroes. Someone should make a movie with all three of those elements. Or maybe I should write a book with them.
I was a 2015 Pitch Wars Mentee, so I know exactly what it means to be on the search for the perfect mentor. My experience as a mentee and my journey is this industry have taught me that publishing is full of highs and lows, but with a “I won’t give up” attitude and the right people by your side, you can accomplish great things.
I’ve done A LOT of critiquing and beta reading. I’ve been part of critique groups and met some AMAZING writers throughout the years, like my co-mentor Alex Reda, who is not only a talented author, but also a fabulous person. You want to meet her, trust me.
I’m your person for dialogue, emotional arcs, character development and tension (romantic or platonic), which are things I’ve also learned while reading TV scripts my father brought home from his job. Writing has always, I mean ALWAYS, been a part of my life. As an avid reader (believe it or not, last year I read 150 books!!!), I’ve learned a lot about what works when it comes to pacing and structure. As a lawyer, my job requires critical thinking and it has taught me how to formulate concise thoughts on paper, a skill I perfected as a critique partner and a beta reader.
You’ll know more about my favorite books by going to Alex's blog and checking our wishlist, but I should also tell you I went through a TV phase that lasted all my teen years and a little more. When I say “TV” phase, I mean I watched so many shows I lived in a constant TV marathon mode.
Adulting required changes, but I still love a good drama (hello, Shonda Rhymes) and even some comedy shows. Some of my favorites are (or were) Greys’s Anatomy, Dexter, The Good Wife, Scandal, The Big Bang Theory, Lost, The Vampire Diaries (the first three seasons. #StelenaIsEpic), The Mentalist, Brothers and Sisters, The Closer, Dawson’s Creek (#TeamPacey), Revenge.
So, if you can compare your story with any of the shows above, I’m interested.
Other totally random things I like: football and soccer, dinosaurs, all types of dogs doing all types of adorable things, traveling, X-Men, Marvel movies, gifs (in case you couldn’t tell), emojis and chocolate.
To wrap this up, I have to say I believe shipping is an art form and I’m passionate about it.
Alex & Renée
As co-mentors, our goal is to build a relationship based on trust and mutual respect, where our mentee feels comfortable discussing ideas and voicing concerns. We were both raised to believe in honest communication, and we know how important that is when you’re in a mentorship program. We've been in your shoes not too long ago, so we haven't forgotten how exciting, but also frightening and uncertain the whole experience can be. We're here to help you make it as great as you want it.
Also, we're not only offering a partnership that will last the duration of Pitch Wars. We're not going anywhere after the contest is over, and we want our mentee to understand they can count on us for as long as they want.
Here's what CPs have to say about us:
I’ve been friends with Renée for more than five years now, after we met on Absolute Write
Forum, both newbie authors looking for critique partners. We’ve exchanged manuscripts since,
and I can’t speak highly enough about her integrity, honesty, kindness, and ability to see exactly
what a book needs to make it better. I’d be lost without her friendship and critique skills.
I met Alex during PitchWars ’16, when I picked her MS out of the slush pile. Since then, we’ve
exchanged manuscripts, laughed and supported each other through the ups and downs of our
publishing journeys, and we’ve become great friends. Alex it thoughtful, supportive, and she’s a
whiz with brainstorming, pacing, and voice.
You can’t go wrong submitting to Alex and Renee. Whoever they choose to mentor will be a very
—Marty Mayberry, YA/Adult Author, 4-year PitchWars Mentor.
We’re looking forward to Pitch Wars 2018. We can’t wait to see all your amazing stories in our inbox and we hope you’ll consider us as mentors. If you have any question, please leave a comment on this post or contact us on Twitter (our DM’s are open). Even if you don’t, come say hi! We’re friendly and we love meeting new people.
You can find us on Twitter here: @ReneeAPrice and @Alex__Reda (same handle on Instagram)
Thank you for stopping by and come join #TeamWordsOnFire!
Pitch Wars mentors are sharing their successful queries today, so here is the query letter I sent to my amazing agent, Tricia Skinner. I wish I could share the personalized version, but I used a new online sub form at the time and I didn't save a copy.
Anyway...Here it is!
Dear Tricia Skinner,
Aileen Brooks is broke. With her father incapacitated by a mysterious illness and three siblings to feed, she’s juggling more responsibilities than her calloused hands can handle. Things only get worse when she loses her job after facing off against one of Seattle’s richest men—her father’s former boss. Desperate, Aileen puts all her hope in an interview for a full-time position as a pet sitter for three adorable dogs. There’s just one catch. Her potential boss is a mix of hard muscles, empty dark eyes and full lips that have forgotten how to smile. He’s also the son of the soul eating, money worshipping rat who fired her sick dad.
Ian Wilder hates his father for destroying his family. He thought no one would see through the old man’s facade until he met funny, dog loving, too-bright-for-his-dark-world Aileen. The brave woman not only makes him want to smile, but also makes his body remember it’s still alive. She’s a danger to the house of lies he created in order to keep his sanity. He should let her go, but his three rescue dogs are already halfway in love with her. One thing for sure, having Aileen in his house, taking care of his dogs, might be too much for his hardened heart.
For Aileen, her dream job comes with the burden of having to lie to her father and open up her heart to the son of the man she hates. For Ian, having Aileen in his life means exposing the secret he’s spent the past ten years keeping. But the more time Aileen and Ian spend together, the harder it is for them not to fall in love. Soon, they’ll have to choose between holding on to their preconceptions and the ghosts of their pasts, or holding on to each other and a chance at true love.
Complete at 97,000 words, SAY MY NAME is an #ownvoice Adult Contemporary Romance with a half-Brazilian as a leading character. I believe this story will appeal to fans of Colleen Hoover, Leisa Rayven and Kristen Callihan.
Thank you for your time and consideration.