Pitch Wars is a mentoring program where published/agented authors, editors, or industry interns choose one writer each, read their entire manuscript, and offer suggestions on how to make the manuscript shine for an agent showcase. The mentor also helps edit their mentee’s pitch for the contest and their query letter for submitting to agents.
Genres: Fantasy, Sci-fi, Paranormal, or Horror under 100k words. Bonus if foodie/featuring plus size characters positively!
Who we are:
Hi! We’re Alechia and Sheena!! Alechia is the author of The Sound of Stars from Inkyard/HarperCollins and Sheena is the author of Glitch Kingdom from Macmillan. Both of our books came out in February this year, both feature big girls having an adventure, and both are categorized as spec fic.
Why you should submit to us:
BECAUSE WE’RE FUNNY AND FULL OF LOVE, haha!! Seriously though, you should consider us if you want two marshmallows aunties to champion your work, help you work on your craft and be with you in the margins from the query onward. But you shouldn’t submit to us if you expect an immediate offer or instant success or to make a few tweaks and be done. We are in this for the long haul!
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. No straight up contemporary--there are plenty of amazing mentors taking that, and sadly, we just aren’t a great fit for it. Nothing over 100k please!
What WE ARE looking for:
We are open to everyone as long as their work is inclusive!! But more specifically:
FAT POSITIVE SFF! PLEASE AND THANK YOU.
We both love scifi, from space opera to superheroes. We prefer our scifi to be character heavy, not science heavy, so we aren’t the best fit for hard scifi. We love scifi with humor and/or heart.
We both ADORE fantasy, from epic to contemporary.
**We love well researched Historical Fantasy, but again we lean toward character driven stories with personal stakes (even if it’s the end of the world).
**Contemporary Fantasy with modern timely themes. Quiet magical stories that charm. Haunted woods. Stories that play with myths in a new way. Light and fun escapist fantasy.
**And we love high concept fantasy (and scifi for that matter).
Paranormal that feels like THE FELL OF DARK or UNDEAD GIRL GANG. Also anything you’d call a paranormal rom-com.
We’d love to see more vampires, mermaids, especially if they’re written by BIPOC. In fact we’d love to see anything that anyone has deemed a dead genre, told by someone from a marginalized group.
We love stories that feel like fairy tales, and fairy tales that feel like horror. Also we love horror, especially if it’s campy, or has a sense of humor. Give us all things spooky.
MONSTERS OF ALL KINDS (especially redeemable monsters, or monsters as pets, or cinnamon roll love interests)
We love WEIRD. If your book is kind of hard to categorize, you are calling our names! The Sound of Stars is a scifi road trip love story about books and pop music, and Glitch Kingdom is a YA Fantasy with the worldbuilding of a scifi. We defy categories. If you’re like, “I think my book might be an Alternate History with the feeling of an epic fantasy but there’s not any magic and the characters are diverse”….yup that sounds great, send it here.
We love romance in our stories and are LGTBQIA friendly! (We’d love an Ace platonic love story!)
We love found family
Girls with agency. Stories about empowerment, and female friendships that feel like sisters!
Food in books. Make us hungry!!
We’re not afraid to go dark, but prefer books with a balance of hope. Give us JOY! Throughout genres, we’re looking for something fun and escapist with characters we can adore.
This list is intended to give you a feel for what we want, it’s not a shopping list, so if your story has elements that fit, but include things not listed, don’t hesitate to send it to us! We love to be surprised (so long as it’s SFFH under 100k words)
What we want from a mentee: Someone who will be open/willing to make changes, who can laugh, take criticism without thinking it’s personal (we promise it’s not and we will never be brutal), and who wants to be on our team!
We want someone who has tried and tried to get into this industry, someone on their third or fourth or ninth book and doesn’t know what is barring them from moving forward. There is inequality within the publishing industry, and we want to help you navigate that. We are excited to help authors from marginalized groups, and we want to send a special call out to #ownvoice disabled and neurodivergent authors.
We’re both pretty open. We can Skype, Google Hangout, ZOOM, email, you name it. A group Twitter DM is also an option. We will find a communication style that’s convenient and comfortable for you! We’re both in different countries, but we make it work :)) One of us will always be awake to answer your questions! We want a running line of communication, and frequent check ins. It’s more likely that you will feel overwhelmed by us, than abandoned.
Here’s what you’ll get with us:
Two aunties who’ll always cheer you on! We’ll be with you in the margins and on every step of the journey. We’ll send an edit letter, but we’ll also dive into your book with permission---track changes of grammar/typos (we will not rewrite your book, lol), and comments/thoughts throughout. 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!
WE BELIEVE IN YOU! If you’ve already completed a novel, are researching the process enough to know about Pitch Wars, and are putting yourself out there to try, then YOU HAVE EVERYTHING THIS BUSINESS TAKES. No matter if you get in or not, you can do this. Your dreams are possible and there are so many of us who want to help and welcome you into this business.
YOU ARE AMAZING!
Relax your neck. Breathe in deep. Drink some water, maybe eat a cookie or three. You got this!
And if you have any questions, please ask!!