• aliedow

Mel + Alechia’s Pitch Wars Wishlist

Category: YA

Genres: Sci-fi, Fantasy, bonus if foodie!

Who we are: Hey, we’re Mel and Alechia! Between the two of us we have: twenty-two years writing experience, five college degrees, fourteen novels, over a dozen short stories (that’s all Mel, she’s a genius—no seriously, she even learned Ancient Greek to read The New Testament), have published food articles (that’s Alechia, food writing is her thing), two agents, and one BIG, shared dream of getting our books into the world.

Why you should submit to us: Um, because we’re awesome? Lol. No, you should go with us because we are driven, dedicated, and determined writers. We plan on using those traits as mentors for you. We’ll champion your work and help you through this long, emotional, daunting process from query to offer. We will challenge you, but we’ll do it with love, excitement, and hope.

What we’re looking for:

We are open to everyone as long as their work is inclusive!! So let’s begin!

We’re rooting for everybody Black (and all other marginalizations too—see below). Give us your Black: witches, vampires, elves, folks in space, chosen ones, dystopian, #BlackBoyJoy, #BlackGirlMagic, and—do we dare to make up a new hashtag? We dare!—#BlackFolksLaughing. Worried your story is *too* Black? We want to see it.

Not a Black book? No worries! PLEASE GIVE US the immigrant, LGBTQIAP+ (particularly ace spectrum), mental illness, disabilities, fat positivity, multiracial, cultural/multicultural (any and all) experience with all the intersections in between.

Give us characters that pull at our heartstrings, who either want to save or destroy the world or maybe just navigate it enough to leave their mark. Give us music, friendships, unreliable narrators, MCs that have weird, odd interests and hobbies. You can make us laugh—we LOVE that, or you can make us cry, we dig that too. Give us the whole range of Titus reacting…

We like our stories dark or happy, magical and/or suspenseful. We enjoy basically all sub-genres like adventure, thriller, comedy, and a touch of romance. Are you getting that we like basically everything yet? Because we’re here for urban fantasy, high fantasy, paranormal, magical realism, sci-fi set in the here and now, in the future, or in space.

We just want your beautiful words!

We’re both classically-trained professional chefs so please give us your food stories. We have a particular soft spot for pastries and food traditions. Immerse us into the tastes and textures that mean something to the world you created and the characters who live within them.

We’re into innovative formats. Have something new and dope? Something you think hasn’t been done before or done often? We want it. We’re pretty much into any format from first person to third person, multiple point of views, epistolary, etc.

**A note about historical fantasy—we are interested, but it must be well-researched, okay? We want to spend our time helping you shape story to make it the best it can be, not necessarily scouring sources to see what they wore in 1700s Scotland in the Highlands. You know what we mean?

What we’re NOT looking for: Any sexual assault/rape, suicide, domestic abuse, brutalization of the disabled, or fat hate. No military scifi or sports stories as significant themes (unless it’s a made-up magical sport). No straight up contemporary—there are plenty of amazing mentors taking that, and sadly, we just aren’t a great fit for it.

Communication: In regards to communication, we’re both pretty open. We have a Google Hangout account where we can chat “face to face” and also have a joint email where we can be contacted. A group Twitter DM is also an option. We will talk communication styles with our mentee and choose what’s good for everyone. We’re both in different countries, so it will also probably depend on where you are located as well.

Here’s what you’ll get with us: Two Black aunties who’ll cheer you on and help you feel confident in yourself and your story!

We’ll be with you in the margins and on every step of the journey. Yes, we’ll send you an edit letter, but we’ll also dive into your book with your permission—track changes of typos (we will not rewrite your book), and comments/thoughts throughout. Mel loves editing/development, Alechia is big picture and pacing. We have different strengths that’ll work together to round out your story. The ultimate goal is to help you access the tools within yourself that will prepare you for a future of writing!


Our team name is very near and dear to us. We’ve been there for each other since we both got agents. Trying to get a book published is hard and it’s even harder doing so as Black women. When one of us feels down or defeated the other says, “You gotta stay hustlin’.” Because that’s what we both feel we’ve done our whole lives to try to make it in every space we’re in. We gotta keep going and dreaming or this world will swallow us whole. There are generations behind us waiting to see themselves in stories. They need to see faces like theirs, like US. They need to see YOU. So we present:

Thanks for reading, and we look forward to your submissions!

2018 Pitch Wars Schedule

July 15, 2018: Mentors Announced

August 14 – 27, 2018: Pitch Wars Mentor Blog Hop

August 27, 2018 (midnight EDT): Mentee Submission Window Opens

August 29, 2018 (10PM EDT): Mentee Submission Window Closes

October 12, 2018: Pitch Wars Mentees Announced

February 6 – 11, 2019: Agent Showcase

February 6: Adult entries are live on the Pitch Wars site

February 7: MG entries are live on the Pitch Wars site

February 8: YA entries are live on the Pitch Wars site


Designed and illustrated by Danika Corrall