Meet the TeenPit Class of 2019 Mentees!

Mentor, Kerbie Addis: Sidra is a high school sophomore in Boston. Reading has been her favorite pastime since she could barely interpret picture books, and she hopes to draw others into the obsession by putting both her wild ideas and concrete beliefs onto paper. Reading and writing aside, Sidra loves acting, singing, playing piano, and making grandiloquent future plans not within the realm of reason.

Mentor, Lisa Schuneman: When Sonia., 17, was young enough to have spent her idle time pointing at objects and calling out their shapes – rectangle! – her mom fed her… books. Not the typical pre-elementary school diet, she knows. But, she was gobbling these things down faster than she would a dozen donuts. And she loves donuts.

Sonia has been seduced by stories, many a time again, in all formats: books, movies, video games. The more places she visited, the more she realized she has a place to take people, too. And, in her head, she started piecing together her own adventure. And then, another.

In short, Sonia is a writer because she reads and engages in other people’s stories, and Sonia is a writer because she engages in her own stories. The idea for THRESHOLD CROSSER was conceived when Sonia was fifteen-years-old. And, it has continued to flourish to this day.

Mentor, Deborah Maroulis: Lucy is a 15 year old aspiring artist interested in writing, theatre, music, film and visual art. She has been writing since she was 7 years old, starting with her book review blog. She hopes to one day have writing published and to write and direct a film.

Mentor, Tracy Gold: Tas is a college freshman with an equal love for words and numbers. They wrote their first poem at four which their mother still has framed on her wall. They finished their first novel at seventeen, and Raindrops on the Riverbed is their seventh manuscript, please don’t ask how that happened. They can be found reading 24/7 and reviewing books on their blog. When they’re not helping fictional teenagers save their lives, they help real teenagers save their grades by working as a math tutor.

Mentor, Becky Dean and Julie Artz: Samia is a Muslim amateur writer who has homeschooled most of her life. She is currently finishing up her senior year of high school while attending classes at community college. She started writing various incarnations of her novel at eleven, but never finished any of them until she completed NaNoWriMo in 2018. She plans to enter Pitch Wars in the fall and hopes to get an agent sometime in the future.

Mentor, Kaitlin Hundscheid and Tary Turley Creel: Wyatt, 14, has been drawing, writing, and reading as long as he can remember. He started working on his first novel when he was seven, and his second included dragons and magic. Those first two novels sparked his next novel, which he’s been working on for four years. He enjoys writing complex plots but winging it as he goes. His favorite part of writing is getting so deep into the characters that the plot lays itself out. When he lets his brain make connections, letting the words flow to the page, it’s like discovering pieces of himself in the pages.

Mentor, Andrew Sass: Dion doesn’t enjoy writing about herself in the third person, but for a love of TeenPit, she will. An avid reader, she only started writing seriously a few years ago. Aside from her literary pursuits, she loves studying animation techniques, participating in her high school’s nationally acclaimed theatre department, and raiding the dollar store with her three spectacular younger siblings. She hopes to someday become a literary agent or an in-house editor.

Mentors, Kim Smejkal and Jade Loren: Morgan is an 18-year-old Australian fresh out of school. She is on a gap year, making plans to travel Europe in a few months, before starting her Bachelor of Science degree in 2020. Morgan works in her local bakery, constantly surrounded by warm ovens and fresh bread, but her real passion comes from writing fantasy. It’s a life that she can’t live anywhere else. Morgan has been writing since she was 13 but started the book she’s entered TeenPit with when she was 15. Her goal is to receive a publishing deal for her book series A KING’S DECEIT and make others feel the way she feels whenever her nose is stuffed inside the pages of a book (which is always).

Mentor, KC Karr: Vontae is a tenacious, nineteen-year-old Detroit native and returning #TeenPit mentee. He began his career as an author at fourteen-years-old and has since written two manuscripts and is currently working on his third.  He’s committed to the art of storytelling and won’t let anything stand in his way of becoming an NYT Bestselling author. In his spare time, he enjoys playing MWR, putting off homework until the last minute, and binge-watching YouTube videos.

Mentor, Erin T. Gunti: Camille discovered her love of writing with her friends while talking about Percy Jackson fanfiction. Years, later, she still enjoys it and the ability to create her own worlds. It wasn’t until she discovered NaNoWriMo did she think of it as a dream job. Nowadays if she isn’t writing, you can find her reading, playing with her foster kittens, practicing her two instruments, or volunteering at her local book festival. Camille is currently a high school senior who plans to attend the University of Toronto in the fall. DIE FOR ME is her second manuscript.

Mentor, Jennifer Camiccia: Ananya is a seventeen-year-old high school senior who found her unwavering passion for writing the old fashioned way– she didn’t see herself or the story she wanted to read on the shelves, so she wrote it instead. Her love for language quickly made its way to Wattpad, where she continues to grow her audience as a Featured Author and Watty Longlister. When she isn’t writing, she can be found debating politics at City Hall, watching yet another Bollywood movie, or fangirling about her recent commitment to the University of California, Irvine as a Biological Sciences Major. 

Mentor, Rick Wheeler and Mary Baader Kaley: Penelope is a sixteen year old high school sophomore who’s been reading for her whole life, and writing for almost as long as she can remember. She’s always loved to come up with story ideas, and despite being an avid fantasy fan as a kid, she’s currently interested in reading and writing contemporary YA. Most of her stories are character-based with a focus on how they learn from each other. Both during and outside of writing, she loves listening to music — music that’s probably up a little too loud — of all different genres. She absolutely loves to draw and create all different kinds of art, especially based on her writing projects, and she combines her love of writing and art as the layout editor for her school’s student-run newspaper. Aside from hoping to publish a book some day, she hopes to go to college for a design or art related major.

Mentor, Nova McBee: Jerica is an 18-year-old Filipina who writes during her almost nonexistent free time. She dabbles in different genres but mostly sticks to writing YA or MG Fantasy. She loves dogs, and geeks about shōnen mangas and MCU. Her current goal is to write a novel that is inspired by the Philippines, her mother country.

Mentor, Mary Baader Kaley: Tobe lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his parents and younger brother and sister. He enjoys math and writing, and you will most likely find him in intense discussions with friends about Marvel movies, reading comics, traveling or playing video games, whether alone or with friends. He’s been writing for almost a year, and in the future…he honestly doesn’t know what it holds or what he wants to do.