PITCHWARS MENTOR 2015 (Let’s do this!)




I am so psyched to be a Pitch Wars mentor for the very first time! This is especially poignant for me, because in 2013, my fabulous Mentor, Heather Webb, and I “won” Pitch Wars. Here is our story!

I believe Pitch Wars is the best writing contest out there. It’s a chance to get your work in front of some of the best agents in the business. Along the way, you’ll meet amazing writing people who–if you’re lucky–will end up as some of the best friends you’ll ever have! And remember…this is YOUR chance to introduce your baby to the world!!!


Why pick me, you ask? For 3 GREAT reasons… You see, there is no me. There is only WE

That’s right! I am one-third of a 3-person team of “Sweet 16” mentors!! And all three of us will debut on March 1st, 2016!! 

Heretofore known as #TeamMarch1st, may I present:

Click on Image to visit Kathryn’s PitchWars bio

Co-Mentor, Kathryn Purdie (BURNING GLASS, Harper Collins). I am so excited to read this book, I cannot even express it! And THAT COVER!!! Plus, READ Kathryn’s BIO!! HOLY MOLY, does this girl have the cred to make your great manuscript absolutely incredible!! Plus, she’s just the coolest chick you’ll ever meet!


Click on image to visit Shannon’s PitchWars bio

Co-Mentor, Shannon Parker (THE GIRL WHO FELL, Simon Pulse). Shannon Parker is not only one of the most talented writers I’ve ever, EVER had the pleasure to know (THE GIRL WHO FELL is simply a MUST MUST READ for 2016), she also happens to be the SWEETEST person on the planet. AND…talk about CRED? Shannon has worked for some of the biggest agents in the biz! Doing WHAT you ask? READ HER BIO HERE and see!! 


See Janet’s bio below

and Co-Mentor Numero Tres? Why, that’s little ole’ me…Janet B. Taylor (INTO THE DIM, HMHKids)

We are a three-person team of mentor love. We will love you up, polish you till you’re shiny as a {something clever here} and send you off to that agent round happy and confident!


What we’re looking for?? (YA Only!! See specifics below!)

  • First and foremost, we want a manuscript that takes us away from this world to places we’ve never been. We see enough of this world every single day. We want to disappear into your characters’ lives. To visualize your new world, this different place, through their eyes.
  • CLEAN, SHARP, ENGAGING writing, with a fantastic voice. Everything depends on the writing. If we get a query that makes us go… “Woaw!”  Dude…you are SO in. Just make sure that your pages match the hard, careful work you’ve done on your query! We mentors have ALL experienced that ourselves, in the beginning. And we can tell you from experience…you want to make sure your last chapter is as clean as the first. 
  • As most of the other Mentors have no doubt mentioned…VOICE, VOICE, VOICE! You can teach grammar, structure, plotting, pacing, scene building, etc. Voice is all you. Knock us on our butts with your unique voice. Pull us in and keep us there. That’s what we look for when buying books, don’t you? 
  • Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Historical Fiction, Historical Fantasy, Alternate History (seeing a theme here?) Janet is a MAJOR Anglophile and history nerd.) And um…TIME TRAVEL…hello!! Think: Leigh Bardugo, Sabaa Tahir, Pierce Brown, Michael Buckley, Renee Ahdieh, Kerstin Gier, Rysa Walker, Robin LaFevers. 
  • ***We will only consider VERY specific YA Contemp. Fresh and diverse. Chant with us: Fresh & Diverse, Fresh & Diverse! (One more for good measure: Fresh & Diverse!) Our preference is YA fantasy/SciFi so if you pitch us your Contemp we need the writing & voice to transport us to an evocative setting with the dearest of dear characters. Our dream Contemp. would have a main character who’s all heart. She needs to be fun, cool, well-liked, she may even be popular. She helps people. She is kind and loyal. The fact that she might be overweight has no bearing on the story whatsoever. THAT would catch our interest SO fast. We want a girl who is satisfied with her life just the way SHE IS. We need so much more of that in fiction! For gritty, dark, realistic Contemporary you’d do better to pitch some of the other phenomenal Mentors who are looking for exactly that type of story. 🙂

  • OMG–We LOVE funny! Make us laugh. And if you make us cry, as well? THAT is a gold star for you!
  • Last thought, We promise…Anything set in or around a castle??? We are SO your girls!

Janet’s Bio is below!!

Visit Kathryn’s bio HERE!

Visit Shannon’s bio HERE!

Again now, why would I want to submit to YOU, Janet?

That’s a great question. When there are SO many other, more experienced mentors, why submit to me? Well….For one, I’ve sat where you’re sitting right now. I’ve BEEN there, baby. You want it so bad you can taste it, yeah? Well, I felt the very same way.fry-writing-gif

I came up through the ranks. No MFA from an Ivy League Uni here, though I have SO much respect for those folks who battled it out to get those advanced degrees!! Instead, I’m just one of those working girls who stood up one day and said, “I think I’m going to write a book.” And guess what? I did. Now, that one was a terrible, terrible book. But afterward, I began to study. To hone my craft. To study those who know way, WAY more about this than I ever will.  I was also fortunate enough to work with so many amazing authors who taught me a million things. I’ve now worked with many other authors, helping polish and edit their work!

Thanks to Pitch Wars 2013, I signed with my dream agent, rock-star Mollie Glick. (And umm…she’s also an agent-judge sooo… just sayin’).  We worked on (grueling, back-breaking) edits for a good long while. Then–in Oct of 2014–we went out on submission. In a little over two weeks, we went to auction, landing a two-book deal with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for my YA Adventure/Time Travel series!!

Book one–INTO THE DIM–debuts March 1st, 2016. (Pardon me, gotta squee here for JUST a sec…) K..I’m back. 😀  If you want to know more about me, please Follow me on Twitter, Like my page on Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram. If you want to add INTO THE DIM on GoodReads, that would be SO awesome! And if you’re really feeling that “Go For It” thing, you can PRE-Order INTO THE DIM Here!


I am so, so honored to be here. I take this very, very seriously. My writing career truly began through this contest. So if you pick me and I pick you, just know that I will consider your writing to be as precious and valuable as my own.

Im ready for winter


LINKS to my Mentor Partners’s bios!!!!




Allrighty then. I think that about does it for me. I’m so excited for ya’ll I can hardly stand it!! My time as a #PitchWars Mentee was one of the most fun and thrilling times of my entire life, and I am delighted beyond measure that I have a chance to help.

GOOD LUCK!! And remember…We are here for you!  We’re just the dorks, holding your hand and standing by your side…

 YOU GUYS are the true super-stars!! 

Mister Linky’s Magical Widgets — Auto-Linky widget will appear right here!This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.If this widget does not appear, click here to display it.

About Janet

I'm one of those girls who love books so much, I couldn't stand it till I wrote one of my own. I'm dreaming of the day when someone a LOT smarter than me will invent a real time machine. I have a wonderful hubby and two amazing boys, who--over the years--have ruined me forever for sappy chick-flicks. Now, I'm all about the fantasy-action. Thor...mmm... And GoT double mmm! I'm also an author with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt...INTO THE DIM & SPARKS OF LIGHT (coming 8/1/2017). I am repped by the phenomenal Mollie Glick of Creative Artists Agency (CAA).
Posted in Pitch Wars Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

19 Responses to PITCHWARS MENTOR 2015 (Let’s do this!)

  1. Pingback: PitchWars Mentor Bio (aka GIVE ME YOUR YA/NA CONTEMPORARY) | Phil Stamper

  2. Pingback: Pitch Wars 2015 | Elly Blake

  3. Pingback: #PitchWars Middle Grade Mentor Bio – Cat Scully | Catherine Scully

  4. Pingback: Pitch Me This! | Kevin A. Springer

  5. Pingback: #Pitchwars Bio and wishlist- Listening to your voice | Jami Nord- Adventures in Publishing

  6. Pingback: IT HAS BEGUN: Pitch Wars Mentor Blog Hop | pdpabst

  7. Pingback: Pitch Wars: Meet #TeamMarch1st | Sixteen To Read

  8. Pingback: Yay!! It’s Pitch Wars Time! | Jennifer Blackwood

  9. Pingback: #PitchWars Mentor List by Category | aliherringwrites

  10. Michele Marshall says:

    I’m so excited to submit to y’all! I have a contemporary fantasy that’s National Treasure-meets-Now You See Me and I think we may be a good match. 🙂

  11. Pingback: #Pitchwars Special: YA Mentors Junior | Whiskey, Wine, & Writing

  12. Sandra Rice says:

    You three mentors sound awesome! I’ve got a Historical Fiction that will appeal to lovers of high-stakes adventure and powdered, privileged girls with secrets.

  13. Laura Shovan says:

    Hi, Janet! Waving hello (as a fellow 16er and PitchWars alum). I’m excited for all of the new Pitch Warriors. It’s wonderful of you to give your time, helping other authors.

  14. Hannah says:

    I hope you do Pitch Wars next time round Janet! You sound just my girl. Unfortunately my fantasy isn’t ready yet, but I’ll keep my eye on you! 😀

  15. Pingback: Pitch Wars YA Mentor Bio: Stephanie Scott & Valerie Cole | Stephanie Scott

Leave a Reply

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