This is just a quick reference for Pitch Wars 2020 writers looking for adult (category) mentors. There are so many great mentors that it can take a lot of time to find those interested in your genre. I put this together for the adult mentors only, while looking for science fiction as a genre; however, I’ve included all genres mentioned by the mentor on their linked mentor pages. If it’s in all-caps or oddly formatted, that’s how it was on the source page (and has no other meaning).
If this is helpful, great, but PLEASE VERIFY EVERYTHING HERE before submitting anything. And if you find this sort of list objectionable for some reason, feel free to pretend it doesn’t exist. Nothing to see here.
UPDDATE (9/15): The people at Pitch Wars kindly put mentors by genre into a searchable spreadsheet here.
- Pitch Wars 2020 Mentors (Adults & NA)
- My Thoughts on Possible Mentors
- RE (3): Ren Hutchings (Twitter)
- RE (6): Anna Kaling (Twitter) – Yes?
- RE (7): Gwynne Jackson (Twitter)
- RE (11): Michael Mammay + AR Lucas (Twitter, Twitter) – Maybe?
- RE (12): Paris Wynters (Twitter)
- RE (13): K.A. Black (Twitter) – Yes?
- RE (15): Hudson Lin (Twitter)
- RE (19): Keena Roberts (Twitter) – Yes?
- RE (20): N.E. Davenport (Twitter) – ???
- RE (24): Kalyn Josephson + Kat Enright (Twitter, Twitter)
- RE (25): Gladys Qin (Twitter) – Yes?
- RE (27): Clay Harmon (Twitter) – Yes?
- RE (28): Jake Nicholls (Twitter) – Yes?
- RE (34): Rob Hart (Web, Twitter)
- RE (36): Maria Heater (Twitter) – Maybe?
- RE (39): Nicole Glover (Twitter)
- RE (45): Stephen Morgan (Twitter) – ???
- RE (47): Roma Panganiban (Twitter) – ???
- Random Q&A
Pitch Wars 2020 Mentors (Adults & NA)
All information here comes from the Pitch Wars 2020 wishlist page and linked mentor pages. Any errors of translation or transmission are mine. Note that I have NOT included any Mentor information on genre specifics, including sub-genres, etc., so you’ll have to read it all anyway (some of it is included if it was hard to break out). If I was confused or unsure on correct genres, this is indicated with an “(*)” and is just due to my poor reading comprehension.
|1||Mia P. Manansala and Kellye Garrett||Adult + NA||Crime fiction|
|2||Rochelle Karina||Adult + NA||Romance, Women’s Fiction, Thrillers/Suspense/Mystery, Horror|
|3||Ren Hutchings||Adult + NA||Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Speculative Fiction|
|4||Mary Ann Marlowe||Adult||Contemporary Romance / Romantic Comedy, Fantasy Romance, LGBT Historical Romance|
|5||Rachel Lynn Solomon||Adult||contemporary romance, romantic comedies, women’s fiction|
|6||Anna Kaling||Adult||Horror, Romance, Women’s fiction, Erotica, Thriller / suspense, Mystery and crime, Sci-fi, Historical, Adventure, General contemporary / mainstream|
|7||Gwynne Jackson||Adult + NA||WOMEN’S FICTION, URBAN FANTASY, SCIENCE FICTION, ROMANCE, RETELLINGS, LITERARY, GOTHIC, CONTEMPORARY FICTION|
|8||Kristen Lepionka and Ernie Chiara||Adult||Not sure (but not sci fi) (*)|
|9||Rachel Howzell Hall||Adult||Crime fiction, mystery|
|10||Lyn Liao Butler||Adult||Contemporary Fiction, Domestic Suspense, Women’s Fiction, Rom-Coms and Contemporary Romance, Memoir|
|11||Michael Mammay and AR Lucas||Adult||Science Fiction, Fantasy|
|12||Paris Wynters||Adult + NA||Sci-fi, romance, horror, thrillers, paranormal, adventure stories like something similar to Tomb Raider or Black Sails, and anything to do with Search and Rescue|
|13||K.A. Black||Adult + NA||Sci-fi, Science-fantasy, New Weird/Weird Fiction, Horror-based sci-fi, Retellings, Fantasy|
|14||Heather Van Fleet and Jessica Calla||Adult + NA||Romance or romantic subplots|
|15||Hudson Lin||Adult + NA||Romance, Science fiction, Memoirs, Narrative Non-fiction, Literary Fiction & Historical Fiction|
|16||Sonia Hartl and Annette Christie||Adult + NA||Romance, Women’s Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Historical Fiction (from 1920’s and up), Gothic|
|17||Taj McCoy||Adult + NA||Rom-Coms, “Chick Lit”, Contemporary Romance, Funny Contemporary Fiction, Women’s Fiction|
|18||Ian Barnes||Adult + NA||Fantasy|
|19||Keena Roberts||Adult + NA||Science Fiction, Fantasy|
|20||N.E. Davenport||Adult + NA||Science Fiction, Fantasy|
|21||Elizabeth Little||Adult||Crime Fiction, Mystery|
|22||Anne Raven and Janet Walden-West||Adult + NA||Romance, Fantasy|
|23||Charish Reid and Denise Williams||Adult||CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE|
|24||Kalyn Josephson and Kat Enright||Adult + NA||Fantasy, Sci-fi, Horror, Gothic, Romance|
|25||Gladys Qin||Adult + NA||Science Fiction, Fantasy, Suspense, Gothic, Adventure, Contemporary|
|26||Tanen Jones||Adult + NA||Contemporary—Dark, Thriller/Suspense, Literary, Retellings|
|27||Clay Harmon||Adult + NA||Genre fiction with an emphasis on science fiction, fantasy. Also thriller, horror, steampunk, alternate history, historical, contemporary, mystery|
|28||Jake Nicholls||Adult + NA||Science Fiction, Fantasy|
|29||Layne Fargo and Halley Sutton||Adult||Thriller/Suspense, Mystery, Dark contemporary|
|30||Denny S. Bryce and L. Penelope||Adult||Fantasy, Historical, Romance
(Note that some genres are sub-genres flipped or blended, like Sci-Fi Romance, which is cool, but read carefully)
|31||Roselle Lim and Farah Heron||Adult + NA||Romantic Comedies, Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction|
|32||Morgan Rogers||Adult + NA||Many, including contemporary, magical realism, fantasy, etc., but not sci-fi (*)|
|33||Samantha Rajaram||Adult||Contemporary, historical fiction|
|34||Rob Hart||Adult||Not sure, mixed genres, but possibly science fiction (*)|
|35||Damyanti Biswas||Adult + NA||Crime Fiction, Mystery|
|36||Maria Heater||Adult||SFF, Historical, Contemporary|
|37||Cynthia Pelayo||Adult + NA||Horror, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense|
|38||Gia de Cadenet||Adult||Romance – Hot and sexy Contemporary or Suspense, Mainstream Fiction with Romantic Elements|
|39||Nicole Glover||Adult + NA||Historical Fantasy, Steampunk, Alternative History, Fantasy, Paranormal; Contemporary (aka Urban) or Lighthearted Fantasy, Space Opera, “Soft” Science Fiction, Science Fiction with a touch of romance, Retellings, General Mystery, Cozy Mystery, Contemporary Romance|
|40||Rosie Danan and Ruby Barrett||Adult + NA||Romance, Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal, Erotic, Women’s Fiction (w/ central romantic arc)|
|41||Cole Nagamatsu and Sequoia Nagamatsu||Adult||Fabulism/magical realism, Literary speculative fiction, Fairy Tales + Retellings|
|42||Carly Bloom and Sam Tschida||Adult||Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance, Western Romance, Rom-Com, Chick Lit, Cozy Mysteries, Women’s Fiction|
|43||P.J. Vernon and Kelly J. Ford||Adult + NA||Suspense, Thrillers, Gothic, General Fiction with a criminal bent|
|44||Matthew Quinn Martin||Adult + NA||Fantasy (Urban or Magical Realism), Horror, Retellings, Gothic, Other|
|45||Stephen Morgan||Adult + NA||Many mash-ups inc. Sci-Fi (*)|
|46||Alex Segura and M. J. Soni||Adult||Crime Fiction, Mystery|
|47||Roma Panganiban||Adult + NA||Literary fiction, speculative fiction, women’s fiction, fantasy, historical, mystery, sci-fi, memoir|
|48||Tricia Lynne||Adult + NA||Romance, Women’s Fiction|
I hope that helps. If you see an errors here, please let me know. I’ll be glad to correct any bad data with good, happy data.
My Thoughts on Possible Mentors
This is just my brain on WordPress. No use to you. Ignore. So many great mentors to choose from…
RE (3): Ren Hutchings (Twitter)
In terms of sci-fi interests:
I love all flavours of sci-fi, from sprawling space opera and galactic intrigue to small, intimate narratives that take place on a single ship. I like alternate universes and parallel worlds, and science-fantasy crossovers that explore the coexistence of technology and magic.
So possible fit, but the two fight scenes might be a bit violent? Not sure yet. Need to do more research.
RE (6): Anna Kaling (Twitter) – Yes?
Another great mentor. Anna’s sci-fi preferences:
I want the science to be vaguely plausible. I’m not one of those people who forgets the “fi” in sci-fi and will present you with equations explaining why your premise is impossible (for a start, I can barely add up using a calculator) but I want some kind of basis behind it. For example, even though Michael Crichton’s JURASSIC PARK couldn’t actually be done with current tech, he gave a good enough explanation for how it happened in the book. That’s all I need.
Seems like a good possible fit, esp. since Jurassic Park involved genetic engineering. But no love for dystopian things. Not sure if my novel is that, but it’s not utopian. Asked this question on Twitter, and Anna seemed fine with Gatacca, so close enough. Also asked about the light animal-related violence in the book, but as Anna like’s Jurassic Park, this shouldn’t be an issue.
RE (7): Gwynne Jackson (Twitter)
Seems like cool possible mentor. Gwynne’s comments on Sci-Fi:
“I’m only interested in soft science fiction. I want to be more (or at least equally) swept away by the story than by the science in it. I don’t necessarily need to know the whys and hows, only that the technology works and makes sense within the scope of the story. I’m a big Star Trek fan and have been all my life, so things on that level, where the focus is less on the precise temperature required to sustain the warp core and more on “seek out new life, new civilizations, boldly go” will appeal to me. Don’t get me wrong–I love it when people geek out about science! I do it myself all the time. But when it gets too technical, I lose interest. I’m also a big fan of fun and light-hearted science fiction where the reader can go along for a fast-paced ride. So…less doom-and-gloom apocalypse, more “Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!”
But in her No categories, G. includes, “No 9/11 stories, tragic pandemic stories, or stories that are politically-based.” My book has strong political elements, so I’m not sure about G. as a mentor.
RE (11): Michael Mammay + AR Lucas (Twitter, Twitter) – Maybe?
M & AR are looking for:
We’re especially excited for Military SF, Space Opera, space travel, and distant future stories. We’re also receptive to Science Fantasy with original concepts. We’re okay with some near future SF, especially if it has exceptionally unique elements or an interesting/original take on artificial intelligence; and some cyber punk. We’re not particularly excited about dystopian, climate SF, Superheroes, or near future SF beyond that mentioned above
Well, hmm. Among the books one or both of them like are: Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky, Martha Wells’s Murderbot, This is How you Lose the Time War, Exhalation by Ted Chiang, Recursion by Blake Crouch–which includes genetic, near-future, and sarcasm…so maybe a good fit? After talking on Twitter (is that really talking), Michael mentioned that, “I think near future with genetics is in our maybe range. Not something I’d jump at, but not something I’d immediately toss either.” Which sounds like I’d be unlikely to be selected. Darn.
RE (12): Paris Wynters (Twitter)
Paris’ comments on sci-fi:
I’m looking for all your sci-fi. I love it. I read it. I devour it. That being said what I would really love to see in my inbox is a story similar to Fringe. To give you a sense of my tastes, here are some sci-fi novels I adore: To Sleep in a Sea of Stars (omg, I was lucky to have read this), Expeditionary Force series, Ghost in the Shell, The Martian (read it 5 times), Annihilation, Planetside, Seveneves and Gideon the 9th.
I like Paris’ taste in books, but I don’t think she writes science fiction at all, so not sure yet.
RE (13): K.A. Black (Twitter) – Yes?
Here are her sci-fi interests:
Sci-fi: Both hard sci-fi and soft sci-fi; Space Operas; Stories featuring robots/AI either as the main character or a very strong secondary/supporting character; Near-future settings; Time travel; Quiet stories with small casts or non-world changing stakes; Environmental/Climate change/Clifi/Biopunk–however you want to call it, I want to see it; Cyberpunk or it’s opposite, hopepunk. I will also include vaporwave inspired stories within these; Sci-fi with romantic subplots, but if it requires a good understanding of Romance genre beats it’s not for me.
All of this seems aligned with my novel, though she does say she’s not into sports (my book involves a running competition). On Twitter, says this not an issue. Great that she’s also a sci-fi writer. Possible good fit.
RE (15): Hudson Lin (Twitter)
Not sure of the fit here. I think she’s primarily looking for not me (white cis male) as an author, so I just may not be someone she wants to mentor. Which is fine. My novel also doesn’t necessarily fit in her sweet spot:
Science Fiction (with or without a romance subplot) in a dystopia or space setting. See TV shows Sense8, The 100, 3%, Travelers, Dark Matter, The OA, Altered Carbon. See Marie Lu’s Warcross, Cindy Pon’s Want.
She’s a great contemporary romance author, but that doesn’t match my genre. So, probably not the best fit.
RE (19): Keena Roberts (Twitter) – Yes?
Overall sounds like a good possible fit. Her book on Amazon. More research needed, but personality-wise, I’m leaning toward yes.
Novels aimed at adults that fall into the science fiction and fantasy category. Though I’m a big fan of YA, your novel should be geared towards adults and deal with adult-age topics.
That’s me so far. Her references were also interesting. I liked This is How You Lose the Time War, for instance, and there is similar snark in my book. So…
RE (20): N.E. Davenport (Twitter) – ???
Possible match. Favorite sci-fi books:
My all time favorite Adult SFF books are NEVERNIGHT (Jay Kristoff), THE POPPY WAR (R.F. Kuang), CITY OF BRASS (S.A. Chakraborty), THE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS (N.K. Jemisin), A COURT OF WINGS AND RUIN (Sarah J. Maas), and HOUSE OF BLOOD AND EARTH (Sarah J. Mass’ new Crescent City series book).
Which I’ll have to research more as I haven’t read most of them. In addition, she says she’s a fan of:
I’m a sucker for good warring/ fighting/ stabby scenes, and all of the books above have this too.
Which I’ve got, but:
With that being said, if the romance doesn’t end in a Happily Ever After or Happy For Now, then it isn’t for me.
What if the romance ends in a, “We’ll have to see in the next book?” state? Hmm. So, not sure yet.
RE (24): Kalyn Josephson + Kat Enright (Twitter, Twitter)
In sci-fi, they’re looking for:
In science fiction, we are looking for the softer side of things. We want space opera, near future, cyberpunk. We love tech, but we care less about the nitty gritty of how it works, and more about what the tech says about us as people and as a society. We are not the best fit for hard or military scifi. Recent favorites include: GIDEON THE NINTH, DOCILE, VICIOUS/VENGEFUL.
No sure yet.
RE (25): Gladys Qin (Twitter) – Yes?
In sci-fi, seems open to any sub-genre, with some preferences. These closely match much of what’s in the book I plant to submit:
Feminist/female-led (especially in male-dominated subgenres like cyberpunk and military). Nuanced antiheroes and antagonists on the moral fence—crush the good vs bad dichotomy in SFF. Oh yeah. An internal struggle as big as external ones. Give me a deep dive into the psychology of “normal people”. Avant garde voice/POV/concept. Exploration of the post-human: give me the cyborgs, augments, mutants, AI, aliens, robots, human Transformers??? But not in a war against the humans that ends up making the humans look great because they have a heart etc. Characters with quirky hobbies.
Engineers, so I can live out the life I never did. Rich world building that I can see on the page but doesn’t overload the page. Bonus points for everything that’s shiny in your manuscript. Double if colourful.
But not looking for, “Setups of oppression.” I’m not sure what this means, but my book specifically deals with caste and oppression. I asked question on Twitter by referencing Gatacca, which was received positively, so now a definite maybe.
RE (27): Clay Harmon (Twitter) – Yes?
In sci-fi, he seems more space oriented than my near future plot, but we read all the same books:
I’m accepting all subgenres of science fiction; near-future and space opera especially. I’m a sucker for “grounded” science fiction, which I define as consisting of technology that “could” exist in the next 100 years. After finishing high school, I desperately wanted to become an astrophysicist like Brian Greene, Brian Cox, or Neil DeGrasse Tyson. I was obsessed with space and the regular existential crises that followed. I love thinking about humanity’s place among the stars (i.e. THE EXPANSE series by James S.A. Corey or THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir scratches this itch very well), and that’s because it makes me optimistic about where we as a species might go. If you have a story like this, I’m all for it. I’ll absolutely still accept other subgenres of science fiction, though. RED RISING by Pierce Brown and THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS by Ursula Le Guin are two of my favorite books and they’re far from grounded.
Doesn’t hurt that he’s a “fitness nut.” Possible good fit.
RE (28): Jake Nicholls (Twitter) – Yes?
(They/Them): Sci-fi interests include a lot of space elements (not my sweet spot), but also others:
In the SCIENCE FICTION corner, I’m especially up for THINGS IN SPACE. That could cover space opera, military SF, soft science fiction, hard science fiction… As long as that delicious dose of character is there, I’m all for it. I just really dig stories that take place in space and on spaceships. I’m a sucker for space fighter pilots à la Battlestar Galactica or Brandon Sanderson’s Skyward (not technically in space, but close enough). I also like to sink my teeth into more expansive military sci-fi along the lines of Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee. That’s not to say that I’m not also up for planetside sci-fi. Whether it’s near-future, dystopian, post-apocalyptic, cyberpunk or any other type of -punk, I’m here for it. Again, character is top of the list for me, so I’m not too concerned by the subgenre label. Earth-based SF I’ve enjoyed recently includes: Rosewater by Tade Thompson, Blackfish City by Sam J. Miller and Wanderers by Chuck Wendig. I’m overly enthusiastic for stories featuring ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, robots and especially sentient spaceships. Things like Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie, A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers, Embers of War by Gareth L. Powell, and the Culture novels by Iain M. Banks are all right up my alley, as is the aforementioned Battlestar Galactica and the general concept of Westworld.
The ethical and thematic concepts of Westworld are a possible match. Helps that they like, “humour, wit, snark and sarcasm”and “dubious protagonists and relatable villains.” Seems to like similar tropes. I may be more plot and less character than they like, but not 100% sure on that.
Books on Amazon. Honestly not 100% sure what he’s interested in, but seems mostly interested in crime and suspense? Research needed.
RE (36): Maria Heater (Twitter) – Maybe?
Sci-fi seems lower on the list for Maria, but interests include:
I’m mostly interested in softer SF that uses tech/science to look at human and social issues rather than hard SF or space opera. The more techie/space-oriented it is, the less likely I’ll be able to help. If your story could be a Black Mirror episode or flips the world order on its head like The Power, please send it my way. This includes dystopias and alternate histories.
All of which is a good fit, but more research needed. Seems like a great potential mentor given additional comments on Twitter, but seems to skew toward fantasy. I’m guessing Maria will end up with three fantasy / non-SF selections and maybe one SF. Just not sure I’d make the SF cut, so still not sure.
RE (39): Nicole Glover (Twitter)
Book on Amazon. Sci-fi interests:
Space Opera, “Soft” Science Fiction, and Science Fiction with a touch of romance. I want to explore the universe with a motley crew, see alien planets, and maybe not necessarily get involved in a galactic war. I don’t mind romance thrown into the mix, but it shouldn’t be overwhelming.
Probably more interested in things in space, so, not really sure.
RE (45): Stephen Morgan (Twitter) – ???
Not sure yet. More research needed. Like his experience and tone.
RE (47): Roma Panganiban (Twitter) – ???
Not sure yet (not interested in sports). More research needed. Like Roma’s tone, and she seems to like sarcasm, and I’ve got that…
What the heck is Pitch Wars?
Great question. Go here to find out.
What about YA and Middle-Grade Mentors?
Is this information endorsed by Pitch Wars?
Nope. In fact, when I asked about this on Twitter they cautioned me as follows. So caveat emptor.
Hi Shawn! We see these every year… and every single year they have incorrect information in them. We strongly recommend doing your own research with the wish lists!
— Pitch Wars (@PitchWars) September 12, 2020
So I’m doing my own research, but thought some of ya’ll might find this useful since I was reading it all anyway.
What do I think of Pitch Wars?
Seems pretty awesome. First year doing it, so no real insight. Good luck to everyone!
Why so many caveats and disclaimers?
People got a bit worked up about this post, so I’m trying to couch things more carefully. We’ll see…