WARNING: We have it on good authority that you are trapped in a Matrix-like reality. There is no escape. This has nothing to do with Pitch Wars per se, we just thought you’d like to know.
A little bit about us:
Timanda is a middle school science teacher with a love of animals, coral reefs, and sports, as well as a wicked Broadway obsession. Her greatest achievement (of the last month) is rapping along to “Guns and Ships” without messing up more than five or six times. She grew up and still lives in Maryland just outside Washington, D.C.
Wade is from Nova Scotia (Canada). He’s a stay-at-home dad, teaches part-time when the opportunity arises, and spends ten minutes every day vowing to clean his office and the rest of the day not doing it. His first book, The Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes, a middle grade fantasy and science fiction blend, was a BEA 2016 Middle Grade Buzz Book and an Indies Introduce Summer/Fall 2016 selection. It received a starred listing by The Canadian Children’s Book Centre in their Spring 2017 “Best Books for Kids & Teens” and won the Emerging Author Award from the Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association in July 2017. The sequel, The Adventurer’s Guide to Dragons (and Why They Keep Biting Me), will be released on September 5, 2017.
As it happens, we share the same agent, Elizabeth Kaplan of the Elizabeth Kaplan Literary Agency.
What we’re looking for?
In terms of age range, we’re mentoring Middle Grade.
In terms of genre, we’re primarily looking for fantasy and science fiction. Within that scope, however, we’re open to pretty much anything, from High Fantasy to Gaslamp to Magic Realism on the fantasy side, and from Space Opera to Cyberpunk to Time Travel on the science fiction side. Just don’t send us vampires unless you’re Joss Whedon. And if you are Joss Whedon: 1) Uh…why are you here? and 2) Would you bring back Firefly already?
What we’re not looking for:
Um, anything that isn’t Middle Grade fantasy or science fiction. Really, that about covers it.
What should you expect if we end up working together?
Expect a lot of work.
Here’s the thing: none of us are our own best editor. No matter how polished we feel our book might be, it will always benefit from having a fresh set of eyes on it (or in our case, two fresh sets). We’re going to go over your manuscript with a proverbial fine-toothed comb, so expect a lot of feedback, both on what we feel is working and what we feel isn’t quite there yet.
For the more Zen among you: writing is editing is writing.
Specifically, if we pick you as a mentee, here’s the plan:
We’ll be doing two passes: a “big picture” pass to address any major plot and/or character, and/or world building and/or pacing issues and things of that nature (you’ll have roughly a month or so to complete those edits), and then we’ll do a second, more detailed pass that focuses on narrative flow, word choice, and the like. You’ll receive notes from each of us on both passes (although Wade will probably take point on the first pass, and Timanda on the second, just because of our work schedules).
What do you need to have ready?
- a completed manuscript polished to the best of your ability
- a 1–2 page synopsis (available upon request)
- a query letter
What we read:
Timanda’s fantasy journey began with The Chronicle of Narnia, Lord of the Rings, A Wrinkle in Time, and The Giver, which will always hold a place in her heart. Some of her favorite more current MG fantasy writers include J.K. Rowling, Shannon Hale, Megan Whalen Turner, Tamora Pierce, and Grace Lin. She enjoys wordplay, irony, and clever humor, preferring Monty Python or Douglas Adams over Dumb and Dumber-style comedy. In tv/film, she adores most things Joss Whedon and loves Star Wars (Episodes IV-VII) despite the fact that battles in space would really produce no cool laser sounds.
Wade grew up on Anne of Green Gables. He’s also a big fan of various UK writers (think Douglas Adams, J. K. Rowling, Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, David Gemmell, and Eoin Colfer), but also very much enjoys works by such writers John Scalzi, Elizabeth Bear, and N. K. Jemisin, Leah Bobet, Isaac Asimov, and Nnedi Okorafor. To this list he would add graphic novels such as Ms. Marvel (the new one), Gunnerkrigg Court, Scary Go Round and Bad Machinery, Questionable Content, The Order of the Stick, The Walking Dead, xkcd, El Deafo, and Hellboy. Also, for what it’s worth, he loves Star Trek and Star Wars equally and does not see this as a problem.
Thanks so much for reading. Feel free to ask questions in the comments section on either blog or find us on Twitter at @wadealbertwhite and @adnamit (please though, no requests for critiques or pre-pitches at this time). We wish you all the best in both this contest and your writing goals in general!
To see the bios for the other Middle Grade mentors, check out the links below: