#TeenPit Mentor Reveal!!

It’s time! Coming April 15th, the entries will open for #TeenPit. Waiting on the sidelines will be a fantastic group of writers waiting to work with our finalists. We are so grateful for the donation of their time and expertise!

Who are these wizards of the writing world? Allow me to introduce you to them!


Sharon Johnston is an author and public relations professional from Queensland, Australia. She writes Young Adult and New Adult fiction across a variety of genres, including Science Fiction, Fantasy and Contemporary. One of her passions is helping other authors, particularly through Pitch Wars and Pitch Madness.


Stacey Trombley is a YA contemporary author who lives in Ohio with her husband, baby boy and the sweetest Rottweiler you’ll ever meet. Her first book NAKED released from Entangled Teen in 2015.

She thinks people are fascinating and any chance she has, she’s off doing or learning something new. She went on her first mission trip to Haiti at age twelve and is still dying to go back. Her “places to travel” list is almost as long as her “books to read” list.

Find her on twitter @trombolii and on facebook.com/StaceyPTrombley


Kendal Snow lives beside the mountains but grew up next to the ocean. She loves both equally. When she isn’t writing, she’s probably wrangling children, reading a book, taking a nap, or trying to keep her garden alive. She loves those equally, too.


Jen Ferguson is a Canadian writer and editor who has worked with college students in the classroom, as a project leader in a volunteer-service program called Katimavik, as summer camp staff for a couple fantastic years, and as a teen, she was a primo pizza-maker-slicer-and-boxer. As such, she believes pineapple belongs on a great slice. She will fight you on this one. You can find her online at www.jennyferguson.ca. Late at night, you’ll find her at the computer writing novels for adults and teens.


Megan K. England is an author and YA librarian living in the mountainy parts of Virginia. When she’s not writing or librarianing, Megan can be found drowning in fandom, rolling dice at the gaming table, going to conventions, climbing on things in the woods, feeding her video game addiction, or improvising truly terrible songs about her dogs. She loves Star Wars with a desperate, heedless passion. It’s best if you never speak of Sherlock Holmes in her presence. You’ll regret it. Her debut YA space opera, THE DISASTERS, will be out in Fall 2018 from Harper Collins Children’s.

www.mkengland.com / The Disasters on Goodreads / Twitter: @Geektasticlib


Kristen Ciccarelli hails from Ontario’s Niagara Peninsula where she grew up on her grandfather’s grape farm. She spent her childhood running wild with her cousins, adventuring in the woods, building forts in the barn, and obsessing over books, dragons, and girls wielding really cool weapons. She wrote THE LAST NAMSARA for the girl she used to be (and sometimes still is). It comes out October 3rd from HarperTeen (US/CAN) and Gollancz (UK).Visit her online at www.kristenciccarelli.com


Sarah Glenn Marsh writes young adult novels and children’s picture books. An avid fantasy reader from the day her dad handed her a copy of The Hobbit and promised it would change her life, she’s been making up words and worlds ever since.

When she’s not writing, Sarah enjoys watercolor painting, ghost hunting, and pursuits of the nerd variety, from video games to tabletop adventures. She’s never met an animal or a doughnut she didn’t like.

Sarah lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and their tiny zoo of four rescued greyhounds, two birds, and many fish. She is the author of Fear the Drowning Deep, the forthcoming Reign of the Fallen duology, and several forthcoming picture books.


Leigh Mar is a marketing and communications professional and a young adult author represented by Elana Roth Parker at Laura Dail Literary Agency. She’s a former Pitch Wars mentee (class ’15) turned mentor. Leigh loves to travel (both in reality and through fiction), has an excellent sense of direction, and only ever gets lost on the internet. Twitter: @LeighMar_


K. Kazul Wolf (most commonly referred to as Bacon) is a fantasy author who spends a lot of her time reading too many books, perfecting her leegndrary typo skills, and being a dragon—though in the latter her interests lean more toward rescuing cats and dogs in distress as opposed to princesses and hoards of gold. She is attempting to conquer the world through culinary and pastry arts, and bouts of obsessive writing. Her endless amount of maniacal tales are represented by Samantha Wekstein of Writers House, and her graphic novel, SACRIFICES OF SHADOW has been released from Villipede Press. You can learn more about her at her website,https://kkazulwolf.com/.


Jamie Manning has wanted to be a writer for as long as long as he can remember (like most writers), but it wasn’t until a few years ago (after reading a tiny, unknown book called TWILIGHT—how’s that for originality, folks) that he gave it a serious go. He had always been told growing up that he had to “get a job” and “earn his keep,” so he pushed his dream to the back of his mind and did what he was “supposed to” do. Fast forward many, many, many years (ahem. Let’s move on.), and here he is, with two published novels under his belt and lots more waiting for their time to shine.

He enjoys reading more than most other things—well, except maybe for writing. Oh, and TV; no way he’s giving up TV—and would rather deal with fictional characters (his or someone else’s) than real-world people any day of the week. He writes YA—paranormal, dystopian, contemp, m/m—but has recently begun delving into the world of Adult fiction. If a story grabs him and won’t let go, his Muse is ready to write it, no matter the genre.

You can find him on Goodreads, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, so feel free to reach out and say Hi!


Tracy Gold is an editor, writer, and professor living in Baltimore, Maryland. She writes young adult novels, and short stories and poems for all ages. Her writing has been published in magazines including YARNYouth Imaginationand The Stoneslide Corrective. Tracy gets an insider’s view of an agent’s inbox and the publishing process via her internship for Carrie Pestritto of Prospect Agency. Tracy cofounded Sounding Sea Writers’ Workshop, which provides tutoring, editing, and writing classes, and teaches composition at the University of Baltimore, where she earned her M.F.A. in Fiction. Tracy earned her B.A. in English from Duke University. When Tracy’s not working or writing, she’s hanging out with her rescue dog and horse. You can find out more about Tracy at tracycgold.com on by following her on Twitter @tracycgold.


Julie Artz writes stories for children that feature the natural world, folklore, mythology, history, and all that is magical about those things. Since her first work-study job editing papers and resumes at DePauw University, she’s made her living writing. She works as a book coach for Author Accelerator, contributes regularly to bookish blogs From the Mixed-Up Files of Middle-Grade Authors and The Winged Pen, and is a Pitch Wars and Teen Pit mentor. Julie lives in the woods outside Redmond, Washington, with her husband, two children, and two rascally kittens. Connect with her on Twitter (@JulieArtz) or online at julieartz.com.


Judi Lauren is a copy editor and editorial assistant to Lydia Sharp at Entangled Publishing, and a Pitch Wars mentor. She also works as a freelance editor and proofreader. Even though she became an official “adult” five years ago, she’s still drawn to writing realistic books for teens that explore a darker side to the teenage years.She has an unnatural obsession with Chicago, Dean Winchester, and Friends (the TV show).You can connect with her on Twitter, @Judi__Lauren or at her website www.judlauren.com.


Carrie Callaghan is a historical fiction writer living in Maryland with her family.  Her short stories have been published in multiple literary journals around the country, and she is a senior editor with the Washington Independent Review of Books. She loves seasons of all kinds, history, and tea.  She would be tempted by any offers to become a full-time novel reader, particularly if those novels were historical fiction, fantasy, and literary fiction. She is on Twitter @carriecallaghan and blogs atwww.carriecallaghan.com/blog. She’s represented by Shannon Hassan of MarsalLyon.


McKelle George is a reader, writer of clumsy rebels, perpetual doodler, and associate librarian at the best library in the world. She mentors with Salt Lake Teen Writes and plays judge for the Poetry Out Loud teen competitions (but has no poetic talent herself). Her debut young adult novel Speak Easy, Speak Love comes out from Greenwillow/HarperCollins in 2017, and she currently lives in Salt Lake City with an enormous white German shepherd and way, way too many books.


Kristen Lepionkais the author of mystery novel THE LAST PLACE YOU LOOK, forthcoming in June 2017 from Minotaur Books. She’s been making up stories since she learned how to string words together and is obsessed with getting the details right in her work, which has led her to multiple police ride-alongs, shooting ranges, lock-picking lessons, and inside an Icelandic volcano. Her writing has been selected for McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Grift, Shotgun Honey,and Black Elephant. A graphic designer by day, Kristen is also a Pitch Wars mentor and lives in Columbus, Ohio with her partner, two cats, and a very tall to-be-read pile.

Website: kristenlepionka.com

Twitter: twitter.com/kmlwrites


Lyndsay Ely is a native New Englander who currently calls Boston home. A love of comic books as a teenager led her to study art and design in college, where she discovered she’d never get the drawing part down. When she’s not writing, she can be found at her day job as a graphic designer at a publishing house. (No, she does not design book covers.) She also enjoys all things geeky (Star Wars > Star Trek), and has never met an antique shop or thrift store she didn’t like. Her favorite book is The Count of Monte Cristo. GUNSLINGER GIRL, her debut YA novel, comes out in January 2018 from Jimmy Patterson/Little, Brown.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32797615-gunslinger-girl

Twitter: @lyndsayely

Facebook: /lyndsayely


Lisa Schunemann can’t remember a time as a child when she didn’t have a book within arm’s reach. She grew up reading fantasy and books of all sorts while fighting her brother for control of the Final Fantasy video games. Lisa was and still is a huge anime fan (Sailor Moon forever), and watches it as much as she can. When she’s not working in real estate, drafting her fantasy novels or reading, she’s hanging out in Columbus, OH and enjoying life as a Buckeye. Lisa was a 2015 Pitch Wars mentee and to date has finished three manuscripts, and is working on her fourth.


Becky Dean writes science fiction and contemporary novels for young adults. Originally a Southern California girl, she now lives with her husband in Austin, Texas, where she misses the beach but enjoys the BBQ. When she’s not buried in a book or watching science fiction shows on TV, she loves to travel and enjoys planning trips and adventures for herself and for her characters. Becky was a finalist in Pitch Wars in 2015 and is represented by Christine Witthohn at Book Cents Literary Agency.


Emily Ungar is a writer of both middle grade and women’s fiction and am represented by Kerry Sparks of Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary Agency. She had the amazing opportunity to be chosen as a middle grade mentee in the 2015 PitchWars round and is super grateful to her mentor Stefanie Wass for shaping her craft and cheering her on. She loves keeping up with her PitchWars writing tribe and traveling with them on their journeys to amazing accomplishments. She started writing stories in elementary school and as she rolled through adolescence she realized she not only loved writing–sheneededit in her life. She was, and still is, that quiet girl in the corner scribbling furiously in her notebook. She likes lighthearted writing with a dark edge but also loves when writers tackle tough issues with a dose of humor.


Kim Long writes MG contemporary fantasy sprinkled with science. When not managing her fantasy baseball and football teams, she can be found biking, watching Star Wars for the zillionth time, or teaching her nieces about the importance of choosing the correct racer (Toad) and vehicle (standard bike) to obtain success in Mario Kart. She has also served as a judge/mentor in Query Kombat, Nightmare on Query Street, and Pitch Wars. In her downtime, she works an attorney in the Chicagoland area, where she spends her days expressing her clients’ (always true) stories to judges and juries.


Sheena Boekweg has a background in theatre and education, and her love for characters and the teenagers who need them led her straight to YA. She has written nine novels and is represented by Jessica Sinsheimer of Sarah Jane Freymann. She loves stories with weird concepts, broken characters, magic, break ups, and happy ever afters.

Her first published novel Funny Tragic Crazy Magic has sold more than 15,000 digital copies. Her second novel Alchemy (Cowritten with Melanie Crouse and Sabrina West) made Amazon top 100 Hot New Releases, and was voted # 42 (Don’t Panic!) of Indie Authorland’s top one hundred Self-Published books worth reading.

She lives in Utah with her husband, three children, two guinea pigs, a hamster that bites, and a brand new puppy.


Ashley D. MacKenzie is a YA writer and avid traveler. When she isn’t exploring the world, she teaches high school English and French near Vancouver, Canada.

A two-time Pitch Wars mentee, Ashley knows the value of critique and would pick revising over drafting any day. With Ashley as mentor, expect the honest feedback that comes from living in the query trenches, combined with the optimism and resilience that make every step and stumble feel like an adventure.

In addition to writing fiction, Ashley has been an education and lifestyle blogger for the Huffington Post, and is the volunteer in charge of the pitch/blue pencil room at the Surrey International Writers’ Conference.


J.R. Yates writes contemporary romance with a slice of heartbreak and a twist of suspense. When she’s not writing, she works as a speech-language pathologist with the pediatric population and is also a Pitchwars mentor. She is represented by Stacey Donaghy of Donaghy Literary Group.


Kerbie Addis — Yes, her name really is Kerbie 😛

She’s currently a literary agent intern and she’s in the master’s program at Texas Woman’s University to become a librarian. She’s a supporter of #WeNeedDiverseBooks and hopes to help bring diverse books to the shelves of libraries, not just bookstores.

She’s worked in libraries for the past ten years, but has also worked as an English tutor, freelance editor, and contest mentor. She loves helping other writers both as a shoulder to cry on and someone to tear their writing to pieces (She helps them tape it back together, it’s fine).

When she’s not writing or reading (read: avoiding work), she plays video games, window shops for more Korean skincare (her bathroom shelves are full; she has a problem), or she visits the local park to jog and shriek about how cute ducks are.


Gracie West is a card-carrying member of team INFJ. From her home in the shadow of the Canadian Rockies, she teaches high school mathematics by day and writes YA Contemporary by night. Unencumbered, cadence, and shiver are among her favorite words. A proud PitchWars 2015 alumni, she’s currently drafting her third novel.


Timanda Wertz is a middle school science teacher with a love of animals, marine science (especially coral reef ecosystems), and sports, as well as a wicked Broadway obsession. She always has at least one song running through her head—sometimes two or three battling it out. Her greatest achievement (of the past year) 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 of Washington, D.C. Primarily, she reads fantasy and science-fiction, which is also the genre in which she writes. Find her on Twitter @Adnamit .

_____________________________________________________________And…our WILDCARD MENTOR….Heather Cashman!


With a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry, Heather’s lab reports always lacked the fantastical elements her imagination craved. Hypotheses turned into taglines and novels that range from Epic Fantasy to Contemporary, Speculative Fiction. Heather’s love of literature and writing developed into a publishing industry career when she became Assistant to Author Brenda Drake and then Managing Director of Pitch Wars, #PitMad, and Pitch Madness. She’s also an agent intern, a member of SCBWI, and was previously an Editor/Ambassador for Cornerstones Literary Consultancy US/UK. Now Heather freelance edits MG, YA, and select Adult manuscripts. You can find her on Twitter, at her Way-Word Writer blog, or on Instagram.





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