PITCHWARS ’16 Wish List

PW 16

Hi! Thanks for stopping by. I’m Marty Mayberry, and I’m repped by Jessica Watterson of the Sandra Dijkstra Agency. I write YA novels in just about every genre, including romance, sci-fi, and fantasy. I also write adult contemporary romance and historical fantasy.

This is my second year with PitchWars.

Last year, I mentored Laura Creedle & Becky Dean to PitchWars success.

Becky received 6 requests in the agent round and went on to sign with Christine Witthohn of Book Cents.

Laura received 18 requests in the agent round and got nine offers of rep. She signed with Jim McCarthy, and her book sold shortly after going on sub to Houghton Miffin.

24 requests through PitchWars!!

Can I take credit for their success? Hard to say. My mentees put innumerable hours and a lifetime of sweat and tears into their manuscripts. But I believe I gave their novels that edge they needed.

What I can take credit for is picking entries agents wanted in PW ’15.

I’m determined to do it again this year.

 

What am I looking for in a potential mentee?

Someone willing to work hard and fast. Becky & Laura spoiled me with their enthusiasm and dedication.

What will I offer the author I choose?

My strengths include: enhancing character development, setting, and deep pov. I’m great at coming up with creative ways to fix show vs tell & filtering. I’m a lean writer, which means I can point out ways to tighten/lower word count (as needed) without losing voice, beauty, or story.

I savor writing that speaks to me. I’ll help a mentee enhance their voice and make it shine.

My critique style (in my opinion) is kind but honest. If you’re looking for a mentor who will be brutal with you, I’m not the right pick. My goal is to be constructive and completely honest, but phrase suggestions in a way that make you eager to dig in and work on your MS, not torch it. 🙂

What I’ll give my mentee:

In ’15, I critiqued each mentee’s manuscript three times during the two month editing period. We worked on their queries and synopses, and did multiple passes to hone their pitches for the agent round to best represent their books while maintaining voice. I was privileged to share in their excitement about offers.

Now, we’re friends who chat about our ongoing publishing journeys and share new writing.

Here’s the deal:

Since I’m willing to take time from my personal life/put my writing on hold to work with a mentee, I expect the same effort from you.

I don’t expect you to ignore your personal obligations. I work full time as a nurse and have three children, a house, an elderly dad who keeps breaking limbs and needs help, etc. Believe me, I get it. Life’s important. I’m flexible. But I expect you to put 100% into this project, because I’ll do the same.

I won’t ask you to do anything I’m not willing to do myself.

What am I looking for?

 

Young Adult

 

I want VOICE & an EXCITING HOOK

Show vs tell, filtering, typos, & grammar can be fixed.

But a voice that pulls me in & won’t let go until I reach THE END?

THIS is what I want to find in my inbox

 

I prefer first person pov (past or present), but I’m open to close third.

 

I’m looking for (in no particular order): YA sci-fi, speculative fiction, something exciting in fantasy, romance, retellings, all varieties of contemporary, time travel, thriller/suspense, gothic, & horror.

I’d love to find a funny, contemporary YA about dating rules or break-ups.

Or a creepy book about ghosts, witches or haunted houses.

Or a softer sci-fi that takes me to another world (space opera?).

Or something unexpected.

Surprise me.

Unsure if we’re a fit?

Ask me about your MS on Twitter (@marty_mayberry).

I’m not your best choice for:

graphic rape (it can be eluded to/part of someone’s past), abusive parents, murdered children or pets (unless it’s vital to the plotline), paranormal (unless it’s new & different), or memoirs.

 

Diversity reflects life—SEND ME your diverse entries!

 

Examples of my critique style: http://www.brenda-drake.com/2016/06/day-5-part-2-june-setting-workshop-pitch-wars-mentor-marty-mayberry/

http://www.brenda-drake.com/2016/05/day-9-part-2-mays-voice-workshop-pitch-wars-mentor-marty-mayberry/

Quotes from my ’15 mentees:

Marty Mayberry has amazing editorial instincts. She knew just what I needed to do to turn my pretty good novel into a marketable novel. I don’t think I’d be here without her. Laura Creedle

Her entry from ’15 PitchWars: http://PW Laura

Marty is great at helping identify what’s not working in a manuscript, but what I loved best, was she then worked with me to figure out how to fix it. She had insightful suggestions, but ultimately supported my vision for the story. She’s great at suggesting possibilities and helping brainstorm ways to address the problems. She also gave me some great tips in general, not just on my Pitch Wars book, that I’ll keep using in future stories, too.  Becky Dean

Becky’s entry from ’15 PW: http://PW Becky

YA Books I’ve loved (off the top of my head): Scorpio Races, by Maggie Stiefvater, The Winner’s Trilogy, Marie Rutkoski, The Star-Touched Queen, Roshani Chokshi, The Selection Series, Kiera Cass, Into the Dim, Janet B. Taylor, Under a Painted Sky, Stacey Lee, Red Ruby Heart in a Cold Blue Sea, Morgan Callan Rogers, Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card, Thief of Lies, Brenda Drake, Future Shock, Elizabeth Briggs, Wool, Hugh Howey (?YA), HP & everything ever written by Stephen King (enough said).

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Plus books by Sarah J. Maas, Lauren Oliver, Stephanie Perkins, Beth Revis, James Dashner, Rainbow Rowell, Rick Yancey, Jennifer Armentrout, Veronica Rossi, E. Lockhart, Leigh Bardugo, Rysa Walker, Maureen Johnson, Robin Hobb, Amie Kaufman, Elizabeth Peters, among others. I could fill 15+ pages with the names of authors I love.

Submit to me, & let’s get started!

Random facts about me: I love Earl Grey tea and iced coffee (decaf French vanilla). I *shhh* prefer Dunkin’ Donuts over Starbucks. Islesboro, Maine (pictured at the top of my page) is one of my favorite places in the world. I’d love to live in Costa Rica. I could visit Disneyland once a month and never get bored. I’m an older mentor; my kids are grown, which means not much bothers me. I’ve moved beyond moody & have infinite patience. I love to travel and was an exchange student in Braunschweig, Germany for six months. I’m addicted to Smarties and peanut butter M&Ms. I write a large part of my books on paper then put my notes into the doc & flesh them out. This is how I wrote an 84K book in 29 days. My Fitbit goal is 14,000 steps/day. Vegetables are my favorite food group. And cheese. I wish I could lose 20#. I don’t like heights, although I’ve ziplined 3 times (with my eyes closed LOL). I’m a tequila snob. I prefer red wine over white. I love archaeology & exploring ancient ruins. To me, a fun day is mining black tourmaline in So. Paris, Maine. If I could live close to the ocean, my life would be complete.

Why make this complicated?

The letter is:

 Letter N

 

 

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6 thoughts on “PITCHWARS ’16 Wish List

  1. Hi Marty,

    Are you looking for YA pitches only? My MS is a middle grade historical adventure on the Civil War. It has time travel elements as well as some horror/thriller elements. Thanks!

    1. Yes, only YA. We have to stay within our category. MG and NA/Adult pitches sent my way will be deleted before arrival. Thanks for your interest, and good luck!

  2. Marty, I chose to sub to you because you helped my brilliant CP, Laura Creedle! 🙂 (Not to mention you have great taste in YA authors!) Whoever you choose this year is a lucky mentee.

    1. Aww, thank you! I love Laura’s book. I can’t wait for it to come out so I can buy a bunch of copies to give to all my family and friends. And I’m honored you chose me as one of your picks. I look forward to reading your pages!

  3. Marty, I’m minutes from submitting to Pitch Wars. I chose you as a mentor because I like your editing style. Thank you for taking time from what sounds like an incredibly busy life to work with writers and help make their manuscripts sing. My husband’s a nurse, too, so I know how exhausting the job can be. Like you, I’ve got a busy life with kids and work, but I am totally ready, willing, and able to give Pitch Wars everything I’ve got! Julie

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