Tuesday, July 19, 2016

It's Time for Pitch Wars 2016! My Mentor Wishlist

It’s that time again!

AKA my opportunity to give back to the writing community (thanks, Brenda!).

Before going on, please note a change! This year I am mentoring young adult and new adult, not adult. (But there are some boss people taking on the adult submissions!)

So, What am I looking for?

I am a lover of fantasy, especially if it has romance in it. I also like romantic historicals.

For simplicity's sake, here's a list:
  • Romantic fantasy
  • Paranormal romance
  • Epic/high fantasy
  • Dark fantasy
  • Urban fantasy*
  • Magical realism
  • Historical fantasy
  • Historical romance

For *urban fantasy, I need a really unique concept. I’m not a fan of supernatural crime-fighting (and there is a LOT of supernatural crime-fighting out there). I'm also not a good mentor for Tolkien-esque stories (if your book has elves in it, I’m passing) or “cliché creature” stories—dragons, vampires, werewolves, etc. Lastly, please note that I’m not taking on science fiction this year.

More About Me:

I was told to include a picture
on this post. Ta da.
I'm a writer (obviously), a Trekkie, a mom, and a Mormon. I have an unhealthy obsession with eyeglasses. I wrote  The Paper Magician series, Followed by Frost, and Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet. I'm a traditionally published author currently with 47North, which is the speculative fiction imprint of Amazon Publishing. I'm agented by Marlene Stringer and am a member of the RWA.

Why submit to me? (AKA that awkward part of this post where I have to talk about how great I am.):

I'm an Amazon- and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. I actually have a degree in editing. I'm super good with semicolons. I'm also internationally published and don't have a day job (minus taking care of two kids!). ;)

I got my agent through old-fashioned cold-querying and my successes through a lot of luck. I am the epitome of not special, so I know how to work the system if you're not special, either. ;) I'm good with queries and know what works and what doesn't. This year my novel Followed by Frost was a RITA finalist in the young adult category. I also recently sold the rights to The Paper Magician series to Disney, so hopefully I’m doing something right.

Still not sure if I'm the mentor for you? Here are some of my favorite books so you can get a feel for what I like:
  • An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
  • Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier+
  • Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt
  • Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
  • I Am NOT a Serial Killer by Dan Wells
  • The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder+
  • Howl’s Moving Castle by Dianna Wynne Jones
  • Dragonsworn series by Caitlyn McFarland+

+(For reference, I consider these books to fall into the NA category.)

Questions? Don't hesitate to tweet me! @CNHolmberg


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  1. Charlie! You are so awesome. I'm stoked about the competition this year and seriously, if I was looking for a coach, I'd be banging your door it. You rock, woman!

  2. I'm submitting to you for your favorite books list alone. ;) Oh, and the glasses fetish. Seriously, though, congrats on all your great accomplishments! Look forward to pitching to you. :)

  3. Hi Charlie!
    I sent my submission your way last night and wanted to drop you a note. :) I picked you because A) I think my story fits your wish list and B) I'm a SAHM who's decidedly un-special and would love to pick your brain on working the system!
    Thanks for mentoring for pitchwars and considering my work!



  4. Alright Charlie, I sent my Urban Fantasy with ZERO crime fighting to you like you told me to. Mine's the one described as "The Godfather meets Mean Girls in Las Vegas with Magic."
    I love your Paper Magician series and whoever you choose will be lucky to have you as a mentor.


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