PITCHWARS

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Marty Mayberry & Léonie Kelsall are co-mentoring ADULT this year!

Léonie’s repped by Amanda Ayers Barnett of Donaghy Literary Group, and writes adult romantic suspense and erotic romance, and YA contemporary and historical. She lives in Australia. Léonie recently finaled in the contemporary category in the YARWA’s Rosemary Award.

Marty’s repped by Jessica Watterson of the Sandra Dijkstra Agency. While she writes both adult and YA, in adult, she writes Contemporary, Romantic Suspense, and light fantasy. She lives in New England. Marty recently finaled in the new adult category in the YARWA’s Rosemary Award.

In the past 2 PW years, Marty has mentored four authors: Becky Dean, Laura Creedle, Lana Pattinson, & Alex Reda (formerly Amelia Creed). Three signed with agents for their PW books, and it’s just a matter of time for the fourth mentee (because her stories are fantastic!). Laura’s book, THE LOVE LETTERS OF ABELARD & LILY will be out with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt late this year. This book is awesome. You should add it to your TBR list! https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33413929-the-love-letters-of-abelard-and-lily?ac=1&from_search=true

What are we looking for in a mentee? Someone who wants to work hard and fast, who’s able to take constructive criticism, and who wants to take their manuscript to the next level. Our mentee must also be prepared to stand up for what they love most about their manuscript. No god complex over here, we’re not pretending we ‘know it all’. While we’re prepared to make every effort to help, and will tell you straight up how we think your manuscript should go, you need to love your characters enough to fight for some points.

Oh. And our mentee must have a sense of humor. Because Léonie likes to think she’s pretty funny. Marty doesn’t necessarily agree.

What will we offer? Character development, enhancing setting, deep pov, fix show/tell, and tighten/lower word count as needed. We’re kind but honest. As above, we don’t expect you to automatically adopt all our suggestions. This is a partnership; we just ask that you think about them objectively and talk it through. The bonus in having two mentors is that, though we love each other’s work, we don’t always agree, so you benefit from an additional, subjective opinion – if you’ve received even one rejection, you’ll know how important this balance is!

We’ll provide initial edits, and if there’s time, read the MS through a second or third time. We’ll help with your query, synopsis, and agent round pitch. We’ll stick with you long after Pitchwars ’17 is over, offering advice on offers/being on sub/etc.

 

WE’RE ONLY MENTORING ADULT

Contemporary Romance

Romantic Suspense

Fantasy Romance

Sci-fi Romance

Historical Romance

Erotic Romance (we need story, not just sex) *no plain erotica*

Romantic Comedy

Historical Light Fantasy/Urban Fantasy

Women’s Fiction

Select Retellings

 

Do you sense a theme here?

We Want YOUR stories

But we also want MSs with some Romance

 

OPEN-DOOR BEDROOM SCENES PREFERRED

(but we’re open to sweeter stories that have some heat)


Alpha or Beta heroes

Heroines with agency

First or Close Third. Dual or single pov

There must be CONSENT 

If you’re calling it your MS a Romance, it must have a Happily Ever After

or a Happy For Now

Diversity & LGBT is 100% ALWAYS welcome

 

Please don’t send: Paranormal, Crime/heavy procedural, Inspirational, memoirs, non-fiction, novellas

Favorite tropes: friends-to-lovers, secret babies, second chance romance, older brother’s BF, military, blue/white collar, sports, romance in foreign settings

In fantasy, we’d love something like Marie Rutkoski’s YA series – heat it up and send it to US! Or Roshani Chokshi. Think a rich world like GOT, but with romance and a happy ending.

In suspense: Give us twists, hard-core bad guys, relationship conflict—don’t get them together too fast. Make our hearts race. Think Kat Martin, Diana Gardin, Katie Ruggle, Scarlett Cole.

In contemporary: Read up on Jennifer Blackwood, Maisey Yates, Heather van Fleet, Kelly Siskind, Jill Shalvis. We’d kill for something like The Hating Game, by Sally Thorne.

In historical, we like Highlanders & unusual Regency. Tricia O’Malley, Karen Moning, Suzanne Enoch, Joanna Shupe, Jess Michaels, Julianne Donaldson, Elizabeth Holt

In Sci-fi, we’re prefer less tech, more like a space opera. Think Star Wars with extra romance, These Broken Stars (which is YA, but you get the idea: spice it up!)

Unsure if we’re a fit?

Ask us on Twitter @marty_mayberry @leehotline

Opposite sides of the world, there’s always one of us awake!

Thoughts from Marty’s ’16 mentees:

Alex Reda (formerly Amelia Creed): Marty’s been my constant mentor, supporter, and friend ever since she sent me the Pitch Wars e-mail of my dreams. When I squealed and did my happy dance at being accepted into the competition, I had no idea how much time and effort she would dedicate to not only making my MS stronger, but helping me become a better writer. For as long as words will flow from my keyboard, I’ll know that I could’ve never done it without her.

Lana Pattinson:  Reads faster than an ARC display disappears at BookCon, more powerful romance arc ideas than a Nora Roberts novel, able to see your book’s Big Picture in a single bound. (LOL!) Marty is the Woman of Steel: You-er (blue) A SuperMentor!

Check out the other Mentors here:

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