Tag Archives: Pitch Wars

Pitch Wars Webinar with New Leaf Literary Agent Suzie Townsend


Pitch Wars presents a wonderful webinar with literary agent Suzie Townsend called Query and First Page Bootcamp. It’s no secret among writer’s to hook an agent immediately with their first line and first page if they want to snag a literary agent. What can sometimes be frustrating is the “how”. Suzie Townsend will “cover writing the most effective query letter, starting with your strongest first pages, as well as useful tips and resources about the actual querying process.”

About Suzie Townsend…

SUZIE TOWNSEND is an agent at New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc. Prior to joining New Leaf, Suzie graduated film school, earned her Masters of Education, taught high school English, and coached a swim team. In her spare time, she read everything she could, which prompted her move to publishing. She got her start as an intern at FinePrint Literary Management where she was hired as an assistant before making the move to literary agent. She’s been part of the team at New Leaf Literary & Media since its inception in 2012. Suzie loves strong characters and voice-driven stories that break out of the typical tropes of their genres, and she’s always looking for unique new voices in stories.
SUZIE IS LOOKING FOR: Women’s Fiction, Psychological Suspense, Romance, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Young Adult and literary Middle Grade. She’s especially looking for inclusive and diverse stories with new and unique voices in all genres and age groups.

Website | Twitter | Instagram  |  Tumblr

If you want to signup, you’d better hurry because they are only taking the first 50 participants. The cost is $25 (USD) and the webinar will take place Thursday, February 8, 2018 at 8:30pm ET.

Have fun learning!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA Fiction


Brenda Drake’s #Pitmad Is Almost Here!

Nothing soothes the writerly soul than a good twitter pitch party! Thursday, December 7, 2017 is Brenda Drake’s infamous #PitMad between the hours of 8am-8pm (EDT). Common age category and genre hashtags are below.

Age Categories:

#PB = Picture Book
#C = Children’s
#CB = Chapter Book
#CL = Children’s Lit
#MG = Middle Grade
#YA = Young Adult
#NA = New Adult
#A = Adult


#AA = African American
#AD = Adventure
#CF = Christian Fiction
#CON = Contemporary
#CR = Contemporary Romance
#DIS = Disabilities
#DV = Diversity
#E = Erotica
#ER = Erotic Romance
#ES = Erotica Suspense
#F = Fantasy
#H = Horror
#HA = Humor
#HF = Historical Fiction
#HR = Historical Romance
#INSP = Inspirational
#IRMC = Interracial/Multicultural
#MR = Magical Realism
#M = Mystery
#Mem = Memoir
#LF = Literary Fiction
#NF = Non-fiction
#R = Romance
#P = Paranormal
#PR = Paranormal Romance
#RS = Romantic Suspense
#S = Suspense
#SF = SciFi
#SPF = Speculative Fiction
#T = Thriller
#UF = Urban Fantasy
#W = Westerns
#WF = Woman’s Fiction

The rules clearly state to only pitch THREE times per manuscript during the contest. Don’t break the rules and clog the feed! Also, please remember anyone can stalk the feed. So, do your research before submitting your manuscript!

As always, good luck!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA Fiction.

Pitch Wars Submissions Are Open!

This is a quick reminder that Brenda Drake’s Pitch Wars submissions opened yesterday and will close August 6 at 10pm EDT (New York time). Go here for the guidelines and here  to submit. There are two other ways to get into the contest, a scavenger hunt  (scroll to find the info) to get a free pass into Pitch Wars and if you donate at least $20 you can pick two extra mentors. Woot! Note the participating menotrs are on the post with the scavenger hunt information. Lastly, be sure and stop by twitter to watch the #PitchWars feed because they are giving extra mentor prizes away.


A Query Workshop with Agent Jim McCarthy


Pitch Wars Webinars presents a query workshop with agent Jim McCarthy, Vice President of Dystel, Goderich, & Bourret Literary Agency.

Per Brenda Drake’s website: Jim McCarthy invites you to peek behind the curtain and watch exactly what happens when an agent considers your query. Working from your pre-submitted queries,  participants will have the chance to read along with him as he decides whether to stop reading or carry on. You’ll see the exact moment in query letters that he perks up or passes.

  • Date: Tuesday, July 25
  • Time: 8:30 pm ET
  • Cost: $25 to attend the workshop
  • Note: 30 person limitation

This is an excellent opportunity to know if your query letter is working. But you need to hurry if you’re going to attend. Go here for information on how to enroll. And of course, remember this is a subjective market, so what doesn’t work for Mr. McCarthy, might work for another agent.


#MenteesHelpingMentees has opened early!

Mentees Helping Mentees

For all the Pitch Wars hopefuls this year, the class of 2016 mentees have gotten together to offer critiques to 140 writers on their query and first ten pages at Mentees Helping Mentees. They have created seven different Rafflecopters for writers to enter based on age category and a few sub/genres:

  • Middle Grade
  • Young Adult Contemporary and Historical
  • Young Adult Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Paranormal
  • Adult Science Fiction & Fantasy
  • Adult Romance
  • Adult Mystery & Suspense
  • Adult Other (Historical, Literary, Upmarket, Women’s Fiction)

The giveaway ends on July 2nd, 2017 at 12 am EST. Winners will be notified via Twitter on July 5th. Watch the #menteeshelpingmentees hashtag! Those selected will get their critiques back no later than July 24th (plenty of time to review before Pitch Wars submissions open on August 2nd).

What a fantastic thing for them to do! And remember this is a new thing, so tweet, share, and blog to spread the word. Good luck to all that enter!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.


Pitch Wars Webinar with Michele Rubin of Cornerstones US


The Pitch Wars Webinar will be on Tuesday, May 30, 2017 from 8:30pm-9:30pm EST. The speaker will be the Managing Editor at Cornerstones US, Michele Rubin. She previously had been a Senior Executive Literary Agent with Writer’s House for almost 25 years where she represented everything across the board before joining the literary consultancy team at Cornerstones. Join this webinar and ask Michele all of your burning industry questions—no topic is off limits!

While the cost is free, there is a limited seat of 50. However, if you can’t make the event, the webinar will be prerecorded for access afterwards.

About Michele Rubin . . .

MicheleRubin-140x180Twitter | Cornerstones US | Cornerstones UK

Michele Rubin was a literary agent at Writers House for 25 years, leaving agenting in 2013 to work full-time as a freelance editor, writer, ghostwriter, and conductor of writing workshops. Her areas of expertise and interest are broad; she is open to all genres. Michele is a Cornerstones industry editor.

As for myself, I’m thrilled to say she is my editor at Cornerstones US and I can’t wait to get her feedback! Now, go forth and learn a lot!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.


The Manuscript Academy Scholarship Giveaway


The Pitch Wars community, founded by Brenda Drake, has joined forces with The Manuscript Academy to give away scholarships for upcoming conferences:

Writing Picture Books, Middle Grade, and Young Adult, begins November 5, 2016

How to Get Your Adult Fiction (or Memoir) Published, begins November 26, 2016

THREE writers will be selected based on a brief description of why they want/need this opportunity. Authors should check out The Manuscript Academy and then fill out the form on Brenda’s blog to let the community know why they would like to win. The scholarship giveaway will be open until October 18th!

As always, good luck!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.


Pitch Wars Submissions are Open


This is a quick reminder that Brenda Drake’s Pitch Wars submissions opened yesterday and will close August 6 at 10pm EDT (New York time). Go here for the guidelines and here  to submit. There are two extras this year also, a scavenger hunt  (scroll to find the info) to get a free pass into Pitch Wars and if you donate at least $20 you can pick two extra mentors. Woot! Lastly, be sure and stop by twitter to watch the #PitchWars feed because they are giving extra mentor prizes away.

As always, good luck!
P.D. Pabst




With folks wanting to hone their pitches, queries, and first chapters before PitchWars submission, I thought I’d help everyone searching for a critique partner. Contests such of these are great for finding people who write in the same category and genre as you. Here are some places and things to do:

  • Put a tweet out requesting to swap material using the contest hashtag. Be specific about the age group & genre you write to be clear to prospective partners.
  • Watch for posts about entrants forming groups on their blogs to give each other feedback.
  • Absolute Write Forums: These forums are for all age groups and genres. Not to mention the research on agents and publishers you can find.
  • CPSeek Forums: There are topics on specific age categories and one just for queries and synopsis’.
  • Agent Query Connect: This is a place to post you’re looking for a crit partner.
  • Sub It Club Facebook Critique Partner Group: This is a private group you have to join, so no worries about what you post.
  • Ladies Who Critique: This is a sight where you can join groups by the genre.
  • Romance Critters: Whoa! A place for romance writers to swoon over each others critique. Awesome!
  • Query Tracker Forum: Not only can you keep track of your queries with this site, you can go to the forums and get feedback!

If you’re a member of a writers guild, you can usually find a place to get feedback on those sites too. I’m sure there are many more places to find help honing your craft, but these are a few places to get you started.

As always, good luck!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction


IT HAS BEGUN: Pitch Wars Mentor Blog Hop

Woo-hoo! It’s that time of year again when mentors select a mentee to help them rework their entire manuscript for the agent round. This year Pitch Wars (hosted by the fabulous Brenda Drake) has 108 mentors to choose from to help make a writer’s story shine! But unlike past years, writers get to choose five mentors to submit instead of four. This is awesome!

Pitch Wars 2015

From today until submissions day (August 17), writers can peruse blogs of the participating mentors to see their wish list for entries and make sure they’d be a good match. Most of the mentors supply links to their twitter accounts too, where they can be stalked observed for social meshing. Also, a few beloved mentors said they don’t mind some questions via twitter or their blog, but be careful as to not be pitching to them. There are some other important dates when questions can be asked, such as #AskMentor on twitter (August 10), so be sure to check out Brenda’s blog. She has important dates and submission guidelines!

And here are your mentors…

1. Kes Trester (co- mentoring with Jennifer Hawkins) YA 37. Emmie Mears Adult 73. Katie Bucklein YA & NA
2. Mindy McGinnis (co- mentoring with Kate Karyus Quinn) YA 38. Lori Goldstein (co- mentoring with Chelsea Bobulski) YA 74. Kevin A Springer MG
3. N.K. Traver YA 39. Jennifer Hawkins (co- mentoring with Kes Trester) YA 75. Brianna Shrum YA
4. Kristin B. Wright Adult 40. Elizabeth Briggs YA & NA 76. Kate Karyus Quinn (co- mentoring with Mindy McGinnis) YA
5. Laura Heffernan Adult 41. Ron Walters (co- mentoring with Meredith McCardle) YA 77. Kim Graff YA
6. Mary Ann Marlowe Adult 42. Fiona McLaren (co- mentoring with Dionne McCulloch) MG 78. Emily Martin YA
7. Joy McCullough- Carranza MG 43. S.M. Johnston (co- mentoring with Stacey Nash) YA & NA 79. Trisha Leaver (co- mentoring with Jenni Walsh) YA
8. Lisa Lewis- Tyre MG 44. Max Wirestone Adult 80. Kim Long MG
9. Jenni L. Walsh (co- mentoring with Trisha Leaver) YA 45. Jaye Robin Brown YA 81. Catherine Scully MG
10. Sarah Glenn Marsh YA 46. Molly Lee YA 82. Stacey Trombley YA
11. Julie C. Dao MG 47. Rachel Lynn Solomon YA 83. Stephanie Scott (co- mentoring with Valerie Cole) YA
12. Kellye Garrett Adult 48. J.C. Nelson NA & Adult 84. Valerie Cole (co- mentoring with Stephanie Scott) YA
13. K.T. Hanna Adult 49. Holly Faur Adult 85. Lizzy Charles YA
14. Jessie Devine YA 50. Sonia Hartl Adult 86. Dannie Morin (co- mentoring with Alexandra Alessandri) YA
15. Rosalyn Eves YA 51. Natasha Raulerson Adult 87. Kate Foster MG
16. Jami Nord Adult 52. Marty Mayberry YA 88. Elly Blake MG
17. Samantha Joyce YA & NA 53. J.C. Davis MG 89. Julie Sondra Decker YA & NA
18. Helene Dunbar YA 54. Rebecca Wells MG 90. Lady Lioness NA & Adult
19. Jenna Lehne MG 55. Michelle Hauck Adult 91. Susan Gray Foster (co- mentoring with Monica Bustamante Wagner_ YA & NA
20. Linsey Miller YA 56. Tabitha Martin YA 92. Kelly Calabrese YA
21. Jessica Vitalis MG 57. Rebecca Petruck MG 93. Sarah Nicolas YA
22. Stacey Graham MG 58. Sarah Henning Adult 94. Kelly Siskind NA & Adult
23. Dan Koboldt Adult 59. Alex White Adult 95. Roselle Kaes Adult
24. Brighton Walsh NA & Adult 60. Jeanmarie Anaya YA 96. Monica Bustamante Wagner (co- mentoring with Susan Gray Foster) YA
25. Kate Brauning YA & NA 61. Laura Salters YA 97. Renee Ahdieh (co- mentoring with Traci Chee) YA
26. Lisa Maxwell YA 62. Wade Albert White MG 98. Traci Chee (co- mentoring with Renee Ahdieh) YA
27. Wendy Spinale YA 63. Brooks Benjamin MG 99. Janet B. Taylor (co- mentoring with Kathryn Purdie & Shannon Parker YA
28. Sarah Cannon MG 64. Margarita Montimore Adult 100. Jessie Humphries (co- mentoring with Mara Rae) YA
29. L.L. McKinney YA 65. Megan Grimit YA 101. Lynnette Labelle Adult
30. Juliana Brandt MG 66. Charlie Holmberg NA & Adult 102. Erica M. Chapman YA
31. Scarlett Cole Adult 67. Diana Gallager YA & NA 103. Summer Spence YA
32. Hayley Stone Adult 68. Stefanie Wass MG 104. Marieke Nijkamp YA
33. Jennifer Blackwood YA & NA 69. Tamara Mataya Adult 105. Meredith McCardle (co- mentoring with Ron Walters) YA
34. Kendra Young MG 70. Rebecca Sky YA & NA 106. Thomas Torre MG
35. S.P. McConnell NA & Adult 71. Kara Seal MG 107. Phil Stamper YA
36. Nikki Roberti YA 72. Lee Gjertsen Malone MG 108. J.A. Souders YA

While I helped by stating the age category each mentor is requesting, READ THEIR BIO’s to make sure they rep your genre! And before I let you go, here is a peak of some of the participating agents this year! (And Brenda has said more will be coming!)

  • Louise Fury – The Bent Agency
  • Melissa Edwards – Aaron Priest Agency
  • Alexandra Machinist – ICM Partners
  • Saba Sulaiman – Talcott Notch
  • Laura Biagi – Jean V. Naggar
  • Claire Anderson Wheeler – Regal Literary
  • Stefanie Lieberman – Janklow & Nesbit Associates
  • Carrie Prestritto – Prospect Agency
  • Melissa Nasson – Ruben Pfeffer Content
  • Uwe Stender/ Brent Taylor – TriadaUS
  • The New Leaf Literary Agents – Suzie Townsend, Pete Knapp
  • Molly Glick – Foundry Literary
  • Kitty Walker – Eve White Literary Group
  • Moe Ferrera – Booksends
  • Margaret Bail – Inklings Literary Agency
  • Julia Weber – J.A. Weber Literaturagentur GmbH
  • Rachel Brooks – L. Perkins Agency
  • Leon Husock – L. Perkins Agency
  • Christa Heschke – McIntosh & Otis
  • Stacey Donaghy – Donaghy Literary Group
  • Taylor Haggerty – Waxman Leavell Literary Agency
  • Emmanuelle Morgen – Stonesong
  • Amy Cloughley – Kimberley Cameron & Association
  • Brianne Johnson – Writers House
  • And more to come!

As always, good luck!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and Writer of MG/YA fiction