Saturday, August 2, 2014

Pitch Wars Mentor Post!



Totally Professional Pitch Wars Mentor Bio/Wishlist

Hey, Pitch Wars 2014 peeps!

What. Is. Up. I am SO stoked for Pitch Wars this year. Pitch Wars is super close to my heart, mostly because this is the contest that got me my publishing contract for NEVER, NEVER with Spencer Hill Press. It's an amazing contest where you get to meet unbelievably awesome people, become part of a community, and get a real shot at finding an agent or editor. That rocks, right? And you probably already know that, which is why you're here. So let's get this thang started by me pimping myself out and telling you why you want ME to mentor you.

SECTION 1: YO! PICK ME! -or- Hello. My Resume.

So. The bio. I'm from Colorado, where I live with my husband, two little boys, and two awesome hound dogs. I am represented by the fabulous Bree Ogden of D4EO Literary, and my debut novel (did I mention that? Ya know? My Captain Hook POV Peter Pan retelling, NEVER, NEVER that you can coincidentally conveniently find out more about right HERE? Did I? Okay cool) is coming out in September of 2015 from Spencer Hill Press.

I taught writing classes for a couple years, and I'm in the middle of getting a bachelor's degree in Writing, so that's kinda fancy. Plus, I just started freelance editing, and I've been beta-ing and CP-ing for peeps for quite a while.

You want me if you want to get a DETAILED crit. I'm gonna go in-depth into your manuscript, and figure out where it shines (and I'll tell you everything I love. I love to freak out over amazingness in a manuscript), and where it could use work, on a major plot/character/world level as well as in the little things. My specialty is character and relationships, and I'm good at making those suckers deep. I'm also a total grammar freak, and will be going in looking for those things as well. I'm constructive, and I love to make you feel good about the things that are working in your ms, but I'm also a Candor, and I'm gonna tell you what needs to be done on a surface level as well as in-depth to get that MS in SHAPE.

I've been pretty successful in the past with contests; they are my bread and butter. So I'll be able to help you not only to get your ms shining, but also to sharpen that pitch.

Further, EVERYONE who submits to me is gonna get personal feedback. Might be in-depth, might be just a line or two, but you're gonna get feedback for sure.

Cool? Cool. Let's not talk about me anymore. Let's talk about BOOKS.

SECTION 2: WISHLIST, BABY! -or- Things I'd Like to Find in My Inbox

I'm mentoring YA and NA this year. There are a few things that transcend what I want in each genre, things I want to find no matter what:

*Passionate characters: I want characters that care about something, someone, characters with stakes.
*Give me diversity, guys! Of all types. Diversity is awesome and stuff.
*Did I mention characters? I want to care about your character. That's it. Make me care and we're good.

Now, down to the nitty gritty.

Let's talk about genres I want, then we'll break it down into some more specifics in separate category-wants.


*Realistic (And a million sub-genres of this): I'm into Contemp right now, in a major way. So I'm gonna prefer realistic stuff, generally. Within that big genre, I'll probably love a lot of stuff. Thrillers, straight-up contemp, psychological horror (character-driven), geek fic (yeah I just made that up, but I love ALL THINGS GEEKY), survival stories, retellings.

*Fantasy: I'm in a fantasy phase right now--I'm very much into it. But I AM going to be super picky here. I'll do fantasy if it's a retelling, magic realism or a VERY character-driven, close POV fantasy like Game of Thrones, Graceling, Anansi Boys, American Gods, Vicious, the show LOST, or a realistic fantasy/sci-fi like Jurassic Park or Outbreak or, ya know, that kind of stuff.

*Retellings: Hi, I'm Brianna, and I have a retelling problem. I love them hard.


* I love sci-fi. Like LOVE it. But for this particular contest, I'm not looking for it. (Unless it's barely sci-fi, as mentioned above.)
*No hard sci-fi OR fantasy, especially distant POV, dryer-voiced, etc.
*Genre Mystery
*Light NA Contemp Romance
*Cancer stories (Personal issues. Can't do cancer stuff. If your story has a strong cancer A plot or subplot, PLEASE don't sub to me. If I decide to mentor your project, then figure out halfway through someone is dying of cancer or has recently and it's a big thing, I'm gonna be unhappy. And cry. And not in the way you want me to.)

Now, let's break it down further. Specifics by category and books/movies I love/would kill to see. Please remember, I am only mentoring YA and NA. If your ms is MG or Adult, awesome, but sub to one of the amazing MG or Adult mentors! Thanks!


In YA, I love extremely dark to extremely light and everything in between. (I know. So helpful, right?)

In anything, dark to light, I love geek fic, foodie stuff, the arts, and travel/bucket list stories.

--On the Lighter Side--

*Funny, awkward, cringe-worthy, embarrassing stories. YES, PLEASE.
*Romance! Not a MUST in all YA subs, but if your book is light/funny, I, like, 99% need romance.
*Fave stuff like this: Easy A, Mean Girls, How to Love, anything Sarah Dessen, The Beginning of Everything

--Middle of the Road--

*Gray, between dark and light, with HEART.
*Characters I fall in head-over-heels love with
*Fave stuff like this: Eleanor and Park, Jellicoe Road, The Breakfast Club, Friday Night Lights

--The DARK Side--

*Very dark comedies, a la Fargo, Grosse Pointe Blank, Heathers, The Big Lebowski. 
*Dark and twisted antiheroes or flat-out villains. Oh my gosh. I LOVE VILLAINS. Send me ALL the villains. Like Breaking Bad.
*Psychological Thrillers, like Dangerous Girls.
*I don't care if there's romance or not. 
*Less abuse/bullying/sad dark, more crazy WHAT JUST HAPPENED freaky dark


Most of what I want in NA is dark. Like, crazy killer dark rather than abuse, similar to YA. This list is gonna be similar. There is SOME light stuff I'd be VERY interested to see in NA though. 

--The Lighter Side--

*Geeks. Bring on the GEEKS. I play D and D, I cosplay, (you can find photo evidence of this on Twitter ;)) I game, bring me anything geeky and I will LOVE IT OK.
*Foodie Stuff. Especially in NA. Culinary school? UH YES.
*The Arts: Give me something set in film school, a dance company, an orchestra (I'm a musician, and have been in orchestras. I can totes help with this.), anything like that. (But oh man please film school.)

*Lots of repeats from the YA list to come here*
*Psychological horror/survival: Especially, like, something in an abandoned ski lodge or something. Or the wilderness.
*Give me screwed-up, disillusioned characters in dark situations, like True Detective. Freaking Rust Cohle. Freaking True Detective.
*Weird stuff. I want bizarre, dark, weird, awesome stuff.
*Stuff where the setting is crazy, atmospheric. Think Louisiana swamps, Alaska, that kind of thing.
*Very dark comedies, a la Fargo, Grosse Pointe Blank, Heathers, The Big Lebowski. Anything the Coen brother would do, I WANT THAT YESTERDAY.
*Dark and twisted antiheroes or flat-out villains. Oh my gosh. I LOVE VILLAINS. Send me ALL the villains. Breaking Bad kind of stuff? AW YISS.

SO, that's about it! Any questions at all, let me know! Find me on Twitter and @ me (@briannashrum) and I'd totally love to answer any questions you have! 

Let me be your 

Yes. I did just intend to subtly imply that if you pick me, you can become Darth Vader.


(Head here for more info on how to submit!)

And back to your previously scheduled programming. Or, ya know, bloghopping.

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