Pitch Wars MSWL: M.K. England and Jamie Pacton (YA)

We are YA co-mentors M.K. England and Jamie Pacton.

jamegan

We’re Pitch Wars 2015 alums turned agented authors, and we’re here for all your YA submissions! We are smart. We are funny. We read all the things. We will make you work, but you will have a better book by the end. JaMegan: two mentors for the price of one.

yay felicia day

Here’s what you should submit to us in 300(…ish) words or less:

Give us: Your absolute best effort. Unstoppable voice, believable characters (who don’t have to be likeable), settings that feel real. We’re best able to provide guidance for high-concept books with tons of heart or a rollicking adventure. We are writers today because when we were kids reading adventure stories made us feel empowered, like we could go out and take on the world. We’d love a manuscript that evokes that same feeling.

Yes Please: Sci-fi, Fantasy, LGBTQ, Contemporary, Mystery, Historicals with a twist (alt history/ historical fantasy). We’d love to hear from #OwnVoices; we want diverse books!

Bonus Points: Funny. Geeky. Quirky. Heists. Girls saving themselves. Badassery.

No Thanks: Horror, literary, heavy issue books, anything super slow-paced and quiet. We’re just not the best people to help shape works like these. We’re not wild about getting dystopian unless it has strong SFF elements. It’s fine if characters have faith as a part of their lives, but Christian Fiction or anything else very faith-focused is also not a good fit for us. (CLARIFICATION: The level of violence found in your typical YA genre book is completely fine with us! We just don’t like really gratuitous horror or violence, or any types of violence found in our Big Nopes below.)

Big Nopes: On-screen incest, rape, abuse. No problem if this is part of backstory, but we aren’t the best mentors for books that dig into these traumas. Bigoted or misogynistic narratives are never okay with us. Also, you don’t have to have LGBTQ+ characters, but we hate reading super heteronormative books where it feels like a queer person could never exist in that world.

Comp Titles We Would Walk Through Volcanos For: Bitch Planet; Rat Queens; Saga; Carry On; Little Brother; Six of Crows; Wolf by Wolf, The Name of the Wind (but with stronger female characters); an updated YA version of Mercedes Lackey’s By the Sword; An Ember in the Ashes; the Temeraire series; Sabriel; Graceling; Eleanor & Park; Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda; Into the Wild Nerd Yonder.

M.K. writes: YA Space Opera, Fantasy, LGBTQ+, and fanfic, because yes.

Jamie writes: YA Fantasy, Alt History, Dark Fairy Tales. And funny MG books.

How We Work: Edit letter for big picture stuff first. Line edit for smaller stuff second. Frequent communication as you prefer. If you’re ready to bust your butt, we’re ready to guide you.

More questions?: @Geektasticlib. @JamiePacton.

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M.K. England is a writer and YA librarian living in the mountainy parts of Virginia. When she’s not writing or librarianing, MK can be found drowning in fandom, going to conventions, running through the woods, feeding her video game addiction, or improvising truly terrible songs about her dogs. She loves Star Wars with a desperate, heedless passion. It’s best if she never speaks of BBC Sherlock. She has it bad. MK is represented by the incomparable Barbara Poelle of the Irene Goodman Literary Agency.

Jamie Pacton is a writer and English teacher living in Wisconsin. In addition to writing Middle Grade and Young Adult fiction, she also writes about autism for Parents magazine. She spends her free moments wandering by Lake Michigan, checking out way too many books from her local library, chasing her children, and watching all the things on Netflix. She’s partial to history, adventure stories, Project Runway, and– of course– the BBC’s Sherlock. Jamie is represented by the wonderful Stefanie Lieberman of Janklow & Nesbit

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Looking for our letter for the scavenger hunt? Gotta visit my co-mentor Jamie Pacton over here. For more YA mentor awesomeness, check out the YA mentor blog hop below:

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4 Comments

  1. hurricanechrissy
    July 20, 2016 at 5:21 am — Reply

    HELLO MAGNIFICENT-MENTOR-DUO! Just wondering if your fantasy MSWL includes Urban Fantasy w/vamps and weres in it? They’re not the main focus, but I know a lot of people are turned off by their inclusion, so wanted to double-check!

    • MK England
      July 20, 2016 at 5:22 pm — Reply

      If the writing/story is awesome, we won’t auto-reject any particular kind of supernatural creature, but it definitely has to feel fresh and different. We’ll certainly take a look and give full consideration, but we probably shouldn’t be first-choice mentors for weres and vamps. Thanks for checking us out!

  2. S.M.Johnston
    July 20, 2016 at 8:11 am — Reply

    Love alums coming into the Pitch Wars Mentor fold. Hope you have amazing applicants and fall in love with ‘the one’….And I’ll arm-wrestle you for awesome SciFi!

  3. Julie Walters
    August 6, 2016 at 6:19 pm — Reply

    Hi MK and Jamie! I just submitted to you and wanted to explain why. My ms is YA contemporary about the emotional struggle involved with overcoming being bullied. It features a f/f romance and strong female friendships allowing the MC to save herself and overcome the scars of emotional abuse from home and school. I hope you enjoy it! Thank you for this opportunity and your consideration. Have a wonderful weekend!

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