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#Pitchwars Blog Hop - #TeamFireHeart

Hey 2018 #Pitchwars hopefuls, welcome to:

A mentoring dynamic duo in search of a mentee to light a spark to our flame, to capture our hearts, to burn with writerly passion (too many puns?). Here's the important question...



Rebecca and Fallon are both members of Wattpad4 – an online group of writers dedicated to weekly twitter chats and podcasts about writing (craft). They host interviews with some of the biggest names in YA (like Victoria Aveyard, Leigh Bardugo) and have also spoken at conferences like RT, Comic Con, and BOOKCON!

Rebecca is a writer, keynote speaker, presenter, and in her spare time she serializes stories online. Her work has been read over 20million times on, she was featured in the NYTimes, and her debut ARROWHEART was released June 2018 from Hodder Children’s Books (Hodder brought the world VAMPIRE DIARIES & HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON & THE SUMMONER SERIES among other awesome books).

Fallon is deep in the submission trenches with her agent, Jim McCarthy, who she signed with after receiving six offers of rep for her fiery YA Fantasy. She was a top ten finalist in Harlequins’ SO YOU THINK YOU CAN WRITE contest, featured in Cosmo Magazine and twice reviewed by RT book reviews.

Fun Fact: RT Book Reviews rated both our stories Top 3 romances on Wattpad (so, if that doesn't tell you we also like romance, I don't know what will!).

Our Books!

We want all of your Fantasy (including Spec Fic) & Contemporary.

We’re looking for:


Worlds that reflect ours (re: DIVERSITY)!

UNIQUE hooks!

DARK characters! BREATHTAKING worlds!


Bonus if your MS has all the above and is #Ownvoices! (but not a requirement)

We also have direct experience within various communities (spoonie, LGBTQ2+, etc – if you want to know more, feel free to ask!)

We love big concepts, new ideas. Something we haven’t seen before, or if we have—show us a new take. Basically, send us something that excites us. Is your MS High Concept? Can you boil it down to one hooky sentence? We want it!

Including but not limited to…

  • Ensemble girl casts/genderbent retellings (Hello, Oceans8!)

  • Vampires in worlds or settings we haven't seen before! (esp DIVERSE vampires)

  • Important personal and real-world issues (OV only here, please)

Fallon’s fave big hooks:

  • THUG by Angie Thomas (duh!)

  • AND I DARKEN by Kiersten White (genderbent Vlad in the Impaler??? YAS!!)

Rebecca’s fave big hooks:

  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (a demon and angel fall in love! And the MC is the demon! Um yasss!)

  • An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (a spy inside the Empires greatest military academy! Sold!)

We love antihero(ine)s, conflicted characters, deep angst. Show us the wounded and broken, but still redeemable! Show us bad boys and brutal girls behaving badly (for good reasons) while owning their anger and darkness.

But also show us the light at the end of the dark tunnel.

Fallon’s fave antihero(ine)s:

  • Lada from AND I DARKEN by Kiersten White (I mean, it’s literally in the title, lol)

  • Kaz Brekker from SIX OF CROWS by Leigh Bardugo

Rebecca’s antihero(ine)s:

  • Nita from Not Even Bones by Rebecca Schaeffer (Nita dissects monsters and sells their body parts online. And Rebecca was one of my Pitchwars mentees. I’m so freaking proud of her and this book!!!)

  • Snape from Harry Potter by JK Rowling (always…)

We want worlds that we can sink into, places filled with magic, mythical creatures (dragons, griffins and phoenixes – oh my!), incredible architecture, lush and vivid settings we’ve never seen before, we want to taste the food, marvel at the colors and textures. We want to disappear into the pages and never want to leave.

Fallon’s fave worldbuilding: GRRM is a master of his craft.

Rebecca’s fave worldbuilding: Laini Taylor (especially her short story series, Lips Touch Three Times!)

We want voice, emotions, to connect with your heroine/hero from the first page. We’ll be looking at style, tone, atmosphere. We want to feel all the compassion, empathy, comradery, as we read your work.

Fallon’s fave voices:

  • Marie Lu (Young Elites)

  • Sabaa Tahir (Ember in the Ashes)

  • Kristin Ciccarelli (The Last Namsara)

  • Holly Black (The Cruel Prince)

Rebecca’s fave voices:

  • Mindy Mcginnis (The Female Of The Species)

  • Tomi Adeyemi (Children of Blood and Bone)

  • Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus)

  • Lucy Maud Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables)

  • Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me)

Here’s what we don’t want:

We also don’t want:

  • Excessive gore

  • Girl bashing/slut shaming (unless smartly done i.e.: MC is battling against this to dismantle patriarchal views)

  • Rape as a plot device <-- this needs to die a fiery death

  • Harmful representation**

**if you’re writing outside of your lane (white and marginalized authors - because being marginalized doesn’t mean you are not capable of harmful rep/bias, too - then you must be open to sensitivity reads).

Here’s what we have to offer:

We are passionate about helping talented writers make it to the next level! If we pick you it’s because we BELIEVE in you. We’ll be your coaches and fangirls, but that doesn’t mean we’ll go easy on you. So be prepared to WORK hard, because we can guarantee we will be working hard for you.

Not sold yet? Here’s the real reason you should pick us…

If you’re looking for a mentor(s) who will help you through this contest and then disappear from your life forever, we’re not your girls.

We’re pouring our blood, sweat and tears into your MS, (mostly a figure of speech, but some paper cuts could be involved), and we want to see it through to the end. The End for us is whatever your dream is — landing an agent, a publishing deal, media rights sales! There’s a ton of creative ways to share your work nowadays, and we’re all about getting your work out there. We’re not agents, those are invaluable! But sometimes it's nice to have a writer friend, or two, in your corner.

If that hasn’t sold you on TeamFIREHEART then we should probably tell you that Rebecca Sky’s past mentees all landed agents!

Kayla Rivera from 2015 is currently signed with Pande Literary Agency.

Rebecca Schaeffer from 2016 signed with Suzie Townsend from New Leaf after multiple agent offers. Her MS went right on submission (that’s right, no additional edits with her agent), and sold to HMH in a preemptive only a few weeks after the Pitch Wars agent round. She’s kinda a big deal. Read about her in Hollywood Reporter!

Kimberly Vale from 2017 received an offer within hours of agent round closing, and signed with Amelia Appel from Triada US. She's now a mentor for 2018 Pitch Wars!

Common issues we’ll be looking to strengthen if you’re our mentee:

  • Plot/structure issues/holes

  • Hooking the reader from the start

  • Pacing

  • Natural Dialog

  • Character development (We’re both incredibly character driven--foxhounds on the hunt for character development holes. We will find those suckers!)

  • Voice

  • Building conflict and making the most of every plot twist

  • We'll point out some basic writing problems, like crutch words and showing versus telling and places that just need work in general (we all have lazy spots we miss during edits)

Want to win a QUERY & FIRST PAGE CRITIQUE?? Leave a comment below with your twitter handle + genre! A winner will be chosen at random and announced on Twitter.

Some of Rebecca’s favorite authors & shows:

Authors: Lucy Maud Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables), James Thurber (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty), Douglas Adams (The Hitch Hiker’s guide to the Galaxy), Laini Taylor (Lips Touch Three Times and everything else), Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus), Neil Gaiman (American Gods and everything else), Suszanne Collins (Hunger Games), Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys), Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me), Mindy Mcginnis (The Female Of The Species), Joy McCullough (Blood, Water, Paint), Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games).

Shows/Movies: Labyrinth, Princess Bride, The 100 (the early seasons, once Lincoln died I was heartbroken, and then when Lexa died, I was out), American Gods, Scandal, Star Trek, The Bachelor/ette (don’t judge, this is my guilty pleasure), Suits, Ice Fantasy, Jane The Virgin (Jane is a writer!).

Some of Fallon’s favorite authors & shows:

Authors: Leigh Bardugo, Nora Roberts, Iris Johansson, Marie Lu, Kristin Ciccarelli, Zoraida Cordova, Julie Dao, LD Crichton, Elly Blake, George R. R. Martin, Tochi Onyebuchi, Maggie McGinnis, Joy McCullough, JK Rowling, Sally Thorne

Shows/Movies: Sense8, Outlander, Game of Thrones, Sailor Moon, Lipstick Jungle, Cashmere Mafia, Handmaid’s Tale, Suits, Harlots, The Bold Type, Firefly, Orphan Black, Avatar the last Airbender, Penny Dreadful, Legend, The Last Unicorn, LadyHawke, Last Knights, Robin Hood, Braveheart, Legends of the Fall, Interview with a vampire, just about everything Disney, and honestly - the list goes on into eternity LOL

Stalk us on twitter - especially if you love any of the books/shows we do - come fangirl together.

Don’t be shy!


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