Awesome! Before we get down to the wish list, I want to take a teeny tiny moment to brag about my amazing co-mentor, JC, since she's too humble to talk about herself. Not only is she an incredibly fun and delightful and selfless human being, her writing will blow you away. Her debut novel, CHEESUS WAS HERE, is hilarious and heart-wrenching and absolutely dripping with voice. Put it on your TBRs immediately. And her critiques are life changing. I'm not exaggerating. My writing has improved 1000% since we started working together. She has totally become the voice inside my head, and if you sub to us, she can become the voice inside your head too! Trust me, you want this!
Now, on to...
Our Wish List
We love books in general. All books. We eat, sleep and breathe books. Basically, we want all the words and all the subs. But there are a few things that will especially thrill us!
- Mysteries are awesome.
- Creepy ghosts and spooky happenings make us shiver with happiness.
- Distinctive voice will win us over every time.
- We would LOVE to get a hilarious contemporary that makes us laugh out loud with characters who leap off the page and feel like our best friends.
- We both have a soft spot for historical middle grade (think Paper Wishes, The Devil's Arithmetic, Island of the Blue Dolphins, Echo) as well as historical fantasy.
- Magical realism or strange/unexpected magic in the real world would be dreamy!
- Anything whimsical/odd/creepy.
- We'd especially love diverse, multicultural stories that take us to a new place or drop us in the middle of a new culture, whether it's contemporary or fantasy. Take us somewhere exotic and underrepresented like the crowded streets of Mumbai, or a mountain village in Peru, or backpacking through Yellowstone, or a tantalizing world of your own creation.
- You will basically make our year if you give us a book about a young sherpa in Nepal. Random, I know, but there must be one out there!
Some of our favorite MG books: The League of Beastly Dreadfuls by Holly Grant, Counting Thyme by Melanie Conklin, Counting By 7's by Holly Goldberg Sloan, Chasing Secrets by Gennifer Choldenko, anything by Tamora Pierce, The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen, the Harry Potter series, the Percy Jackson series, May Bird & The Ever After by Jodi Lynn Andersson, Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos by R. L. LaFevers, anything written by Diana Wynne Jones (but especially the Chrestomanci series & short stories), Plain Kate by Erin Bow, The Frog Princess by E. D. Baker, the Enola Holmes mysteries by Nancy Springer, The Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolen, the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer, the Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage, The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud, Doll Bones by Holly Black, My Sister Lives on the Mantlepiece by Annabel Pitcher, The Last Dragon Slayer by Jasper Fforde, Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper, The Cabinet of Wonders by Marie Rutkoski, The Dragon's Eye by Kaza Kingsley, The Familiars by Adam Jay Epstein, Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld, The Water Glass by Kai Meyer, Savvy by Ingrid Law, The Goblin Wood by Hilari Bell, The Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black, and Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFluer.
I could honestly keep going for pages and pages, but this should give you a good sense of what appeals to the two of us. There's a little bit of everything as you can see.
What we're NOT looking for:
- Anything other than Middle Grade. While Addie & I both adore YA, NA and Adult, we're not mentoring those categories. If you send us your non-MG manuscript, we can't touch it.
- Books dealing with drug/alcohol abuse.
- Books about eating disorders.
- Books written by our CPs, betas and friends. You've already got a shortcut to our inbox and opinions!
- Anything that is poorly written or with a ton of grammar mistakes. We don't expect your book to be perfect (if it is, you shouldn't be entering PW anyway, go sub that thing to agents!) but we do expect that you've taken the time to make sure it's not riddled with spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes that make us feel like we're reading something Google translate just spit out. This is a deal breaker.
What you can expect if we pick you as our mentee:
We'll provide broad feedback as well as detailed line edits on your manuscript. We'll both be working hard to make your novel as polished and perfect as it can be. Whether the three of us win Pitch Wars or not, your novel will be ready to wow agents and publishers and your query will be poised to win requests.
Our critique style is very thorough. Your novel will bleed red when we hand it back to you, so please don't pitch us if you're not willing to work hard on revisions or if you can't take constructive criticism. We will cheer you on and listen when you need to cry about the evils of grammar, but you'll be working your butt off and so will we. JC will ask a million questions about your novel and she'll tell you bluntly if something isn't working. We both put in a lot of time and energy when we critique a manuscript and we expect the same from you when dealing with revisions. It's gonna be an intense couple of months for all of us!
For submission guidelines, go to:
Thanks for reading all the way to the end! Your reward is BLOOPERS!
And our secret letter for Brenda's quote challenge is:
Follow us on Twitter (@addiethorley and @JCDavisAuthor) and watch the #mentormini hashtag for more "getting to know us" videos! And make sure to check out the other awesome mentors helping out with Pitch Wars this year: