Our great Class of 2017! You’ve done us proud!
Mentee: Bethany Stevenson
Mentor: Kristen Cicceralli
Title: Six Means Fortune
Genre: YA Fantasy
- When did you start writing? I basically started writing as soon as a I could hold a pencil. I filled notebooks with scribbles or random letters to write stories before I could spell. Mostly at the time, I acted those stories out in my playing. When I turned nine, I wrote my first 100 page, complete story about space princesses and their matchmaking bodyguards fighting a bombing emperor while eating millions of hamburgers. Don’t ask.
After that, I just stacked notebooks full of every story possible that came to mind and spent hours plotting chapters and creating characters. I think I’ve finished somewhere around 40 drafts. Yes I know, I had too much time on my hands. (Shout out to my amazing mom for counting my writing as school, homeschool perks!!) But only last year did I start to become serious at researching technical sides of writing and started looking to query agents or enter pitch contests.
- What inspired your #TeenPit project? A wii sports game and those clubs children make at younger ages with laws and “duties” when they spy on friends or neighbors. I know that probably makes zero sense if you compare those things to my pitch, but everything kinda formed over time from there.
- Who is your favorite author? That’s too hard. There’s too many. But some of my favorites are: Sabaa Tahir, N.D. Wilson, William Joyce (that art though), Shannon Messenger, C.S. Lewis, James Dashner, Eoin Colfer, Orson Scott Card, Ransom Riggs
- What is your favorite book? Lol. This question. Like my authors answer, that’s too hard, haha, so here’s another list in no order:
Maze Runner SeriesEnder’s Game Quartet (yes, all of them <3)Ms. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children SeriesArtemis Fowl SeriesBook ThiefNever-ending Story (NOT the movie. Go read the book. Like. Now.)AirmanAn Ember in the AshesKeeper of the Lost CitiesBoy in the Striped Pajamas
- Is there a piece of advice you’d like to give other teen writers about revising, working with a mentor, entering a contest, etc? Be ready to work. If you are super passionate about writing and want to make it shine, you have to think every mentor comment through and look past the sentimental side of your writing. When we write, we’re putting the worlds and people in our heads on a page to transfer emotions and images to the readers’ heads.
Although they might not notice a specific punctuation placement or the showing not telling, believe me, it reads better and you’ll be sure everyone gets a well-paced, action and emotion packed novel that people adore. There are a lot of writers and a lot of contests, so keep going, have a small ounce of humility, and the willingness to work hard to earn that agent or mentor. That will get you out there.