Pitch Wars 2019 Mentor Wishlist Blog Hop

Dear Future Mentee,

Lately I’ve been obsessed with crime in general, but certainly murder, mayhem, and stealing stuff. In books. I’m quite flexible about the world within which the crime occurs. It could be a magical realm, a gritty urban landscape, a brand new space station, or an abandoned mental hospital. 

While I’ve been interested in crime for a few years, I’ll never let go of my first loves, Science Fiction and Romance. Space adventure with a side of crime and some kissing might be just the novel I need right now. Maybe a heavy dose of Science with kissing? Clickbait written by  the NYT Science section is a never ending idea fountain because that near future or the future is already here stuff is SO AWESOME.

Amara - The Darkness from the show Supernatural

Source: geeky-ps-edits.tumblr.com Amara from Supernatural


My current project is the darkest thing I’ve ever written and it’s taking me deep into my own darkness and the murky world of human monsters. You might have a really cool ghost or monster* story. It doesn’t need to be Halloween for me to be into that so hard. The newest additions to my writing office include a decorated skull and a plague doctor mask. And this quote may or may not be posted over my monitor: “Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster…for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you.” ~Friedrich Nietzsche

One of my strengths is my capacity to be enthusiastic about many things at once. I truly do love ALL genre fiction. I teach it and I read it. The world needs stories emerging from the genre branches of fiction more than ever before. 

Please send me a novel that includes [positive representations, using an asset lens] people from many backgrounds. I especially prefer to see characters from the LGBTQ+ community. I am a human, a mom, and a teacher. I want the people I love and work with every day to see themselves as heroes in stories.  For example, I didn’t know I needed a lesbian, Jewish superhero until a friend introduced me to Batwoman. But to know Kate Kane is to be infatuated with her, am I right?

Poster from the upcoming Batwoman series on the CW

The past two years of mentoring for PitchWars were extraordinary. Despite being a writer, it is impossible to find the perfect words to express the utter joy I found working with my mentees in 2017 and 2018. I am an evangelist for their books. Forever. If you like to work hard at your writing craft, if you like adventure and swooning and shivering and shiny spaceships, if you have a sense of perspective and a sense of humor, I might be the right mentor for you. 


Looking forward to meeting you soon!



P.S. The list of genres (below) is about what I read/write and therefore think I could mentor well, not so much about absolutes or heavy likes and dislikes. *Exceptions – rape of any kind, for any reason


Please send me something delicious from this list:

Young Adult or New Adult

Fantasy – Urban, Paranormal, Historical

Science Fiction – ALL

Romance – Science Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal, Suspense

Horror – either Fantastical or SciFi


Alternate History




Mystery – Traditional, General, Cozy


Pitch Wars 2019 Young Adult Mentors’ Wish Lists

    Return to Blogs Home Page

    10 thoughts on “Pitch Wars 2019 Mentor Wishlist Blog Hop

    1. Your wish list specifically says no rape of any kind for any reason. Is that for rape on the page or does that include if it’s part of a characters back story? Thanks in advance.

      • Hi Karri, thanks for your patience and for posting this question here. Beyond a hard no to sexual assault as a storyline or on the page, I have strong concerns about rape in a character’s backstory being used as the only catalyst launching that individual into the story. I also have concerns about the rape being a constant touchpoint in the character’s mind throughout the story. That being said, I can give you one example where the trauma (main character severely beaten, girlfriend raped) is a part of the constellation making up the grittiness and determination of the character and that’s Joe Ledger in the Jonathan Maberry novels. Those books are for adults, but that’s the only example I can think of where I didn’t immediately stop reading. My preferences as a mentor are in no way about the excellent books of many writers out there who handle the subject of sexual assault. Ultimately, I want you to find the best home for your novel. Please let me know if you need me to clarify further.

    2. Hi Jenna,
      I was SO EXCITED to hear you talk about younger MCs in YA! As a fellow educator, I’m with you on the gap in YA and I want to fill it! I want a mentor to help me do it well! How do you feel about speculative fiction with post-apoc elements? Originally I wasn’t sure about subbing you because although there is a crime it’s centered on friendship and coming-of-age.

      • Hi Mandy, yay *high five* fellow educator! I love speculative fiction with post-apoc elements. (Last year I had a picture from Terminator Dark Fate on my wishlist because I cannot wait for that film!) I think Dystopian and post apocalyptic fiction offers a unique path to exploring our own darkness and the darkness humanity is capable of, collectively. While I am trying to make a move to crime as a writer, I will always love, read, and write speculative fiction. I’m currently reading This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal Al-Mohtar and Max Gladstone. Earlier this year I read The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James, Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, Navigating the Stars by Maria V. Snyder, and The Disasters by M.K. England. Please let me know if you need additional information or clarification.

        • Double high fives! Although I LOVE dystopian, I want to be clear that it’s not dystopian. I think largest oppressive force in my MCs life is her dad, maybe her culture. Are you a synopsis reader? Or only if you like the query? I may have strategically left her age off the query 🤫 but I need to have it somewhere I think. Thanks again! I promise not more questions now.

    3. Hey Mandy, yes, find a way to include the MC’s age in your query. As far as being a synopsis reader, I read everything in my inbox. All the pieces submitted by each potential mentee help me find the best fit. As far as questions go, ask while you can. Publishing is a mysterious business and one of the very best things about Pitch Wars is we try to make the view more transparent. 🙂

    4. Hi Jenna,
      When someone submits their application to you (or I suppose to anyone) would you need to put in any heads up / trigger warning about anything? I think it’s great you’re taking on and writing dark material, so just wanted to ask! I know you mentioned rape, but I wondered about your thoughts on suicide in fiction, or excessive violence. As far as YA or NA is concerned. Thanks a lot!

      • Hi Matt, if you know you have certain potentially triggering content in your MS, I think including a trigger warning as part of the query letter or the synopsis shows thoughtfulness, awareness, and courtesy. I’m just listening to the final chapters of Rot and Ruin (Zombie YA) by Jonathan Maberry and that book, like all Maberry’s books, is chock full of violence. The in-context violence – fighting zombies – doesn’t feel excessive. And somehow, the in-context violence frames and heightens the out-of-context violence – humans against humans, in this case, teens. To me, any type of scene becomes excessive when it doesn’t move the story forward. I’ll call out the first Transformers film which has so, so many robot fights that they blur together. Contrast that with Saving Private Ryan where every fight, big or small, has such intense stakes that the scene is critical for the story to progress.
        In YA or NA, suicide is a tough topic. And generally, suicide as the main focus of a YA or NA novel tends to be found in realistic, contemporary novels.I’m looking to mentor genre fiction this year, so if someone submitted a novel to me with comps like 13 Reasons Why, I’d know I wouldn’t be the best mentor for that book.
        Please let me know if you need additional clarification, Jenna

    5. I totally agree with what you said about excessive violence and suicide. I’ll definitely keep that in mind when in submissions. Thanks a ton!

    Leave a Reply to Mandy Cancel Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Jenna Lincoln