Yay!! It’s Pitch Wars Time!


Hello talented people interested in Pitch Wars! First off, congratulations! If you’re reading this, you’ve most likely finished a book and are preparing to travel down the crazy road of publishing. Give yourself a pat on the back, because that is one incredible feat, my friend.


For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Jennifer Blackwood. I’m represented by the fabulous Courtney Miller-Callihan of Greenburger Associates. This is my second year I’m participating as a mentor in the amazing contest Brenda Drake has organized! Click here for more information about Pitch Wars. Interested in becoming my mentee? Here are a few facts about me:

I’m a language arts teacher by day and an author by night.

I write Contemporary Romance and NA Contemporary Romance. My first two books, Unethical and Foolproof, are out with Entangled Embrace. I have four books coming out in 2016 (2 Brazen and 2 more NA Romances) plus one novella.

I have years of experience as a CP and beta reader for multiple authors and focus on big picture, as well as small details.

Last year, I was an editorial intern for Entangled. I read submissions for the Embrace and Teen line, so I’ve had experience on the other side of publishing and have a good feel for what publishers are looking for in terms of quality and content.

What to expect if you’re my mentee:

-A lot of hard work. I’m putting in a lot of work by reading you manuscript and critiquing/making suggestions to make your book shine. Expect a lot of one-on-one attention, lots of emails, and a mentor (me) who will stick with you until you find an agent. Depending on the state of the manuscript, there may be a lot of changes that need to be made. I want someone who is willing to put in the effort to make their manuscript shine.

-A positive attitude. A good attitude goes a long way in this business. Since I’ll be working closely with my mentee for a few months, I’d like to be paired with someone who I know I’ll get along with. You can get a good sense of my personalty on Twitter. So let’s interact and get to know each other! And if you have a love for Supernatural, DQ Blizzards, or anything salted caramel, I think we’ll get along just fine.


-An open mind. I like to give feedback. Sometimes this feedback requires you to tweak parts of your manuscript (or take entire sections out). I’ll be looking at your overall plot structure, characterization, and also smaller issues, such as grammar. I’m here to help you get your book into great shape before it’s put in front of editors, so please keep an open mind about any critiques.

Okay, now for the good stuff! This year I am mentoring YA and NA entries.

My wish list: YA: -I am only taking contemporary. Although I love to read YA fantasy, paranormal, dystopian, etc. I do not feel like I’d be the best candidate to help you with your manuscript.

-Romance- I love, love, love YA romance. Anything that makes me swoon, laugh, stay up way past my bedtime is right up my alley. Some YA romance writers I love: Katie McGarry, Sarah Dessen, Miranda Kenneally, Stephanie Perkins.

-Sports- I love books about sports, especially if it has an interesting twist like females kicking ass in a male dominated sport (Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally, anyone?)

-Mystery- I am DYING to read a book similar to Veronica Mars. I have a soft spot for witty/snarky characters, especially when the hero and heroine have a love/hate relationship. If you have something that, please send my way.

-Diversity- Some of my favorite books this year have been Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, Openly Straight, and One Man Guy. Is your book like any of these? SEND THIS TO ME RIGHT NOW. I need this in my life.


What I’d like to see in general: -Parents who are seen as caring and invested in kid’s well-being (I’m tired of seeing parents painted as “the bad guy”). I’d LOVE to see a Rory/Lorelai type relationship.

-Strong heroines that are worried about more than image/social status and appearance. -Nice guys, ones who treat women with respect.

-Smart, purposeful prose that will keep me flipping the page.

NA: For New Adult, I am only taking romance. The above wishlist for YA can also apply to NA as well. I am really enjoying older NA (characters out of college, out in the real world  working their first jobs). If the book is set in college, there needs to be a hook that is fresh.

I AM DYING FOR A STUDY ABROAD NOVEL. Something along the lines of Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, Kristen Rae’s Wish You Were Italian, Lia Riley’s Upside Down, and AJ Pine’s If Only. I asked for this last year, and no one sent me one. So I’m putting a shout out for it again!! If you have something like this, send it my way. I will die of happiness.


Tropes I love:

*Enemies to lovers

*Older brother’s best friend

*Second chance love

*Fake relationships

Not on my wish list:


Science Fiction



Anything involving rape (I can’t handle the subject, and you want someone who will be able to help you out with your MS)

Teen Pregnancy

Slut Shaming

Anything extremely sad (moments of sadness are fine, but if your book makes me cry 90% of the book, I’m not your gal)

And that concludes my wish list for Pitch Wars! I can’t wait to get my hands on your submissions! tumblr_inline_nruliz2vss1rymiaj_500

Go check out the other awesome mentors on the blog hop!

1. Kes Trester (co- mentoring with Jennifer Hawkins) 36. Nikki Roberti 71. Kara Seal
2. Mindy McGinnis (co- mentoring with Kate Karyus Quinn) 37. Emmie Mears 72. Lee Gjertsen Malone
3. N.K. Traver 38. Lori Goldstein (co- mentoring with Chelsea Bobulski) 73. Katie Bucklein
4. Kristin B. Wright 39. Jennifer Hawkins (co- mentoring with Kes Trester) 74. Kevin A Springer
5. Laura Heffernan 40. Elizabeth Briggs 75. Brianna Shrum
6. Mary Ann Marlowe 41. Ron Walters (co- mentoring with Meredith McCardle) 76. Kate Karyus Quinn (co- mentoring with Mindy McGinnis)
7. Joy McCullough- Carranza 42. Fiona McLaren (co- mentoring with Dionne McCulloch) 77. Kim Graff
8. Lisa Lewis- Tyre 43. S.M. Johnston (co- mentoring with Stacey Nash) 78. Emily Martin
9. Jenni L. Walsh (co- mentoring with Trisha Leaver) 44. Max Wirestone 79. Trisha Leaver (co- mentoring with Jenni Walsh)
10. Sarah Glenn Marsh 45. Jaye Robin Brown 80. Kim Long
11. Julie C. Dao 46. Molly Lee 81. Catherine Scully
12. Kellye Garrett 47. Rachel Lynn Solomon 82. Stacey Trombley
13. K.T. Hanna 48. J.C. Nelson 83. Stephanie Scott (co- mentoring with Valerie Cole)
14. Jessie Devine 49. Holly Faur 84. Valerie Cole (co- mentoring with Stephanie Scott)
15. Rosalyn Eves 50. Sonia Hartl 85. Lizzy Charles
16. Jami Nord 51. Natasha Raulerson 86. Dannie Morin (co- mentoring with Alexandra Alessandri)
17. Samantha Joyce 52. Marty Mayberry 87. Kate Foster
18. Helene Dunbar 53. J.C. Davis 88. Elly Takaki
19. Jenna Lehne 54. Rebecca Wells 89. Julie Sondra Decker
20. Linsey Miller 55. Michelle Hauck 90. Lady Lioness
21. Jessica Vitalis 56. Tabitha Martin 91. Susan Gray Foster (co- mentoring with Mó nica Bustamante Wagner_
22. Stacey Graham 57. Rebecca Petruck 92. Kelly Calabrese
23. Dan Koboldt 58. Sarah Henning 93. Sarah Nicolas
24. Brighton Walsh 59. Alex White 94. Kelly Siskind
25. Kate Brauning 60. Jeanmarie Anaya 95. Roselle Kaes
26. Lisa Maxwell 61. Laura Salter 96. Mó nica Bustamante Wagner (co- mentoring with Susan Gray Foster)
27. Wendy Spinale 62. Wade White 97. Renée Ahdieh (co- mentoring with Traci Chee)
28. Sarah Cannon 63. Brooks Benjamin 98. Traci Chee (co- mentoring with Ren�©e Ahdieh)
29. L.L. McKinney 64. Margarita Montimore 99. Janet B. Taylor
30. Juliana Brandt 65. Megan Grimit 100. Jessie Humphries (co- mentoring with Mara Rae)
31. Scarlett Cole 66. Charlie Holmberg 101. Lynnette Labelle
32. Hayley Stone 67. Diana Gallager 102. Erica M. Chapman
33. Jennifer Blackwood 68. Stefanie Wass 103. Summer Spence
34. Kendra Young 69. Tamara Mataya 104. Marieke Nijkamp
35. S.P. McConnell 70. Rebecca Sky 105. Meredith McCardle (co- mentoring with Ron Walters)

Linky Widget expiration: 65 minutes ago.


8 thoughts on “Yay!! It’s Pitch Wars Time!

  1. Pingback: PITCHWARS MENTOR 2015 (Let’s do this!) | Janet B Taylor, Author of INTO THE DIM

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