Pitch Wars 2015

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Gather round, Pitch Warriors! It is so amazing and wonderful to see you again! This is my third year as a Pitch Wars mentor in the adult category and I’m ever so happy to be back.

As many of you know, I was a mentee the very first year of Pitch Wars. And not only did  I “win” the adult portion with the most requests, I also received four offers and signed with the amazing Rachel Ekstrom of IGLA.

Pitch Wars success story right here!

Last year, my wonderful mentee, Kellye Garrett, also signed with an agent thanks to the contest—and got offered to in a hotel bar at 10:30 at night…seriously, it’s the BEST story—and I’d love for that to happen to my mentee again this year.

Though I don’t think anyone can guarantee the bar thing.

Even Kellye, who is also an adult mentor this year—and I fully expect to be arm wrestling her over some of the amazingness to hit our inboxes.

What will we be fighting over? Anything with a touch of mystery.

I’ve narrowed down my list further than last year and that list was whittled down from the year before, but I will always keep the same specification: if your story has an undertone of mystery, I want to see it.

Mysteries and thrillers are my wheel house, plain and simple. But I love most contemporary fiction with a grain of the unknown and a plot strong enough to get me there.

I’m also huge on humor and internal strength. This is how Kellye hooked me last year. I like my characters as sassy and sardonic as they are loyal, smart and tough. Your MC doesn’t have to be Lisbeth Salander, but it’s preferable to me that she’s not a Bella-style pushover.

And though my brain is happiest with contemporary works, I do also have a soft spot for interesting historical fiction. But again, I prefer strong women to the kind who can never stand too close to a fainting couch.

Some final hints about me as you narrow down your list of mentors:

1. I’ve been a professional copy editor for 15 years. I don’t expect your manuscript to be perfect, but I do expect to work with writers who can take constructive criticism.

2. I’m a huge sports person. I spent my childhood as a gymnast, currently run ultramarthons, and my newspaper background is in the sport department. I’m a Jayhawk and proud of it.

3. The TV shows I’ve managed to watch since having a baby last year (and believe me, it’s almost impossible to watch anything): Empire, Top Chef, House of Cards, Game of Thrones, Last Week Tonight with Jon Oliver and Girls. The only movie I’ve seen in a theater in more than a year: Mad Max: Fury Road (Mmmm, Tom Hardy!). Do with that information what you will.

Okay, there it is. Feel free to scroll down and see my posts from the last two years (I’m barely on Tumblr—they won’t be hard to find)  if your think it’ll help. You can also find me on Twitter and/or Instagram—both are @shhenning—and ask me a question or just say hi.

Good luck, Pitch Warriors, you’re going to do fantastic!