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Pitch Wars Mentor Bio (or in other words – WHY YOU SHOULD PICK ME!)


I’m so excited to be a mentor this year for Pitch Wars!

First, I just wanted to say that I know exactly how you all feel. I applied to be a Pitch Wars mentee in 2013 and 2014, but didn’t make the cut. You’ve all been working hard on your queries and manuscripts and hoping that Pitch Wars might be your path to an agent and a publishing contract. Even if you aren’t chosen, don’t be discouraged. This is a very subjective business and you just need to keep going until you find the person who will fall in love with your story! Remember – if you don’t keep querying, that person will never have the chance to say “yes”!

So, What Am I Looking For?

Beautiful, Emotional Contemporary YA – I love beautiful writing, complex relationships, swoon-worthy romance, flawed characters, family drama, secrets, mystery, twists or something that makes me cry. I love books set over a summer or in a small town. I’m also drawn to books dealing with mental health issues. I’m definitely interested in books that tackle tough issues, but I’m not drawn to super gritty/dark stories or to the cute/fluffy stories on the opposite end of the spectrum. If your MC’s passion is fashion, make-up, or the entertainment world, I’m probably also not the best person to submit to.

I’d consider a story with magical realism elements (I love ghost stories or stories with other unexplained phenomena), but I’m not the best person for science fiction, dystopian, fantasy or shape shifters/witches/werewolves/vampires.

While I could fall in love with the right non-contemporary story, I know you can only choose four mentors. So to give yourself the best chance of success, I recommend only submitting to me if your story falls within my main interests.

What can you expect?

I’m detail oriented and a strong line editor when needed. I also love to brainstorm bigger picture issues like character development, conflict, POV and plot. WARNING - I’m a pantser. So, if you’re looking for someone who can relate to detailed story outlines, beats, acts, etc., I’m not your girl.

I believe in identifying issues, but letting the writer decide how to address them. So while I’m not going to tell you how to change your story, I’m looking to work with someone who is open to hearing where there may be issues.

I’m also a pretty direct person. So, if you need someone with a gentle approach, we may not be a great fit. I see writing as a professional career and that’s how I approach my critiquing.

This is my first time mentoring for Pitch Wars, although I’ve mentored several times through the Young Adult chapter of RWA. So, while I have a plan of how to approach Pitch Wars, it is subject to change:) I generally work in track changes in Word and also provide overall commentary. While I will aim for two rounds of revisions, I also anticipate more back and forth may be required to be ready for the agent round. I’m prepared for this to me a significant investment of my time and am looking to mentor someone who is also willing to put in the work required to make the most of this opportunity. I’m also a tad competitive, so I’d really love my mentee to clean up during the agent round!

A Few Facts About Me

  • I’m originally from Canada, but live in the Caribbean!

  • I love to travel and post pics on IG. You can find me here.

  • I wrote my first book in 2003, but wasn’t published until 2016. So I know all about the perseverance required to get that first contract:) You can read more about my publishing journey in this Writer's Digest article.

  • I’m represented by Carrie Pestritto at Prospect Agency and my debut novel, THE SECRET TO LETTING GO, was published by Entangled Teen.

  • I love action movies and am addicted to Netflix. I obsessively watch Outlander, Gilmore Girls, Riverdale, The OA, Stranger Things, The Walking Dead and Sense8. My guilty pleasures are Say Yes to the Dress and breakfast at McDonalds. I’m also in love with Earl Grey tea and cake!!!

  • I have a hubby and three kids (two teenagers), and they are all obsessed with Star Wars.

  • Some of my favorite YA books include: Eleanor &Park, If I Stay, When We Collided, Hate List, Anna & The French Kiss, Paint My Body Red, and My Life Next Door.

Submitting to Me

If you submit to me, please share any feedback you’ve already received from agents or any problem areas you believe your manuscript might have. It’s also okay if you are just feeling stumped on how to bring it to the next level. That’s what Pitch Wars is for! Please be candid, so I can figure out how best I’d be able to help. If you have any questions about my MSWL, just tweet at me and I’ll be sure to get back to you!

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