Kerbie Addis (@kerbieaddis) is a literary agent intern, Pitch Wars mentor, and YA sci fi/fantasy writer represented by Bridget Smith of Dunham Literary. She specializes in science fiction, fantasy, and horror, particularly YA and MG. She’s finishing up her MLS and lives with her husband and a dog too fluffy for her own good.
Kaitlin Hundscheid is a Latin teacher turned middle grade writer in Birmingham, Alabama. When not writing during her toddler’s naps, she spends far too much time keeping her bossy corgi happy. Kaitlin grew up longing for Narnia and still loves to write and read stories with a dash of magic. She is an alumna of Pitch Wars 2016 and is represented by Catherine Drayton of InkWell Management.
Jennifer has lived in the wilds of Los Angeles where she wrote her first book at the tender age of five, Iran where she developed a fear of camels and a fondness for pistachios, Hawaii with its balmy breezes and memories of learning to swim, and the San Francisco Bay area where she now lives with her children and husband.
Visit her online at jencamiccia.com, on twitter @jencamiccia, or Instagram @jencamicciawrites
Dave is a writer of middle grade science-fiction and fantasy. He is an SCBWI member and founder of the South Jersey critique group, which accepts writers of picture books, MG, and YA. He has over has over 20 years teaching experience. In his free time, he likes to… just kidding, Dave has no free time. When he’s not shuttling his kids to sports practice, birthday parties, sleep-overs or other social functions, he tries to squeeze in a little writing or sleep.
Lana Pattinson is a marketing professional and holds an MBA from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. She writes Young Adult across a variety genres – Historical, Sci-Fi and Contemporary.
Her current favorite books include the Truthwitch series by Susan Dennard, The Cruel Prince series from Holly Black, and anything by Kiersten White or Victoria (VE) Schwab.
A two-time Pitch Wars mentee and RWA Golden Heart finalist, she’s excited to work with a talented teen writer!
You can find Lana on Twitter at @lana_pattinson
Kylie Schachte works as a tutor and mentor to high school students, teaching everything from creative writing to archaeology. She somehow managed to write a mystery novel despite knowing literally nothing about the style, and that book was selected for Pitch Wars 2017. During PW, Kylie truly fell in love with the writing community and the incredible support and warmth she found there.
As a YA author, Kylie reads just about every genre under the sun, although her special loves are fantasy and contemporary of all stripes. A few of the things she loves in a book are big, loud voices, world-building you can practically touch and taste, chosen families, and love stories that keep you turning page after page waiting for the big moment.
When she’s not writing, Kylie loves going to concerts, hiking around the Pacific Northwest, and refereeing between her tiny cat, Matilda, and giant dog, Clementine (the cat always wins).
Ashley D. MacKenzie
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.
Ashley is represented by Laura Zats at Red Sofa Literary, and is the volunteer in charge of the pitch/blue pencil room at the Surrey International Writers’ Conference.
Kim Smejkal lives with her family on muse-satiating Vancouver Island, which means she’s often lost in the woods or wandering a beach. She writes dark fantasy for young adults and not-so-young adults, always with a touch of magic. Her debut novel, INK IN THE BLOOD, will release from HMH on February 11, 2020, with a sequel to follow in 2021.
Tracy Gold is an editor, writer, and teacher who loves helping authors realize their visions for their stories. She edits children’s books, literary and genre fiction, and memoir. Some of her clients self-publish, and others have gone on to find literary representation and land book deals. She has worked on books published by imprints including Simon Pulse, Bloomsbury Spark, and Delacorte. Tracy teaches composition at the University of Baltimore. Her short stories, essays, and poems have been published in various magazines, and she’s written many novels, but hasn’t published one yet. She earned her Masters of Fine Arts in Fiction at the University of Baltimore, and also learned a lot about publishing from interning for literary agent Carrie Pestritto. You can find out more about Tracy at tracycgold.com, or @tracycgold on Instagram or Twitter.
K.C. Karr writes about brave teenagers and unfortunate situations. She’s an editor with Author Accelerator, a proud YA mentor in #TeenPit and #WriteMentor, and a longtime member of the critique group Flint Area Writers and SCBWI.
A Flint native residing in metro Detroit, K.C. hopes to one day live on a houseboat off the coast of a tiny island. She’s a sonographer by day, coffee junkie, and a 24/7 cat lover. When she’s not writing or devouring books, K.C. enjoys camping, travel, and spending time with her husband and son.
Born and raised in a small town in Northern California, Deborah Maroulis is lucky enough to surround herself with the things and people she loves. She teaches English and mythology at her local community college, studies myth and depth psychology in her Ph.D. program, and writes contemporary Young Adult novels. She lives in a slightly bigger town than the one she grew up in with her husband, newly-adult children, and her daughter’s very spoiled, semi-retired service dog. You can find her on Twitter as @yaddathree or through her website, deborahmaroulis.com.
Tara Creel is a Utah native and mother of four boys. She is an editor at Month9Books and WriteOnEditing, reviews books for The Deseret News, and is a PitchWars mentor. She writes books for children, always including a bit of magic, and is represented by Samantha Bagood.
Emily Colin has been writing as long as she can remember. She recently unearthed a black-and-white composition notebook with her very first illustrated story, penned at age 6 and entitled (unfortunately) “Bloddy Monster: The Brave Monster Who Ate the World.” Today, she is the New York Times bestselling author of The Memory Thief, selected as a Target Emerging Authors Pick, and The Dream Keeper’s Daughter (Ballantine Books). Emily is also the editor of the young adult anthologyWicked South and the author of the upcoming Seven Sins YA trilogy, both from Goldenjay Books. A former independent bookseller, Emily has served as an editor for both magazines and small presses. She is the community engagement specialist for a performing arts center in southeastern North Carolina and the former associate director of DREAMS of Wilmington, a nationally award-winning nonprofit dedicated to serving youth in need through the arts. When she’s not writing, you can find her reading YA, urban fantasy and anything with a good love story; traveling; being dragged to the park by her dog; listening to podcasts; drinking too much coffee; and hanging out with her son, whose hair changes color as regularly as his moods.
Mary Baader Kaley
Mary Baader Kaley writes stories for middle graders and young adults with quirky characters whose huge hopes and dreams drive them into impossible situations. She loves the sound of spring crickets, the colors of the fall, and shady porches in between. She spends summers healing her soul over a small Midwestern lake upon a rickety pontoon, while smiling into the sun. On any given day, you’ll find her laughing with family and friends, binge-watching shows, reading while sneaking bites of chocolate, or warming her bones by a campfire. Her reading tastes vary widely, and she can go for heartfelt, funny, fantasy, realistic, magic realism, or even science fiction in either young adult or middle grade.
Laurie Dennison is a YA writer, an active member of the EFA and SCBWI, and a founding editor and web coordinator at The Editor Garden. Also a former English teacher, Laurie enjoys combining her passion for writing and teaching by offering teen writing workshops and through mentoring programs; she was a YA Pitch Wars Mentor in 2017 and 2018. Laurie lives in Florida with her family, and she loves character-driven stories, alternative music, and traveling. Her work is represented by Danielle Burby at Nelson Literary Agency.
The Editor Garden: https://editorgarden.com
Jade Loren is a UK author of adult and YA sci-fi and fantasy, with a focus on bringing queer characters into the spotlight. She provides a freelance editing and proofreading service with Cover to Cover Edits, volunteered with WriteOnCon and is a proud alumni of PitchWars 2017. Rarely without an idea on paper or in her head, she spends her days scribbling out words and filling her house with more notebooks than humanly possible.
Some of her favourite books include This Savage Song, Illuminae, and Six of Crows, and she loves character-driven books that exude personality. Follow Jade on Twitter:
Sarah Clayville writes short fiction and poetry for both young adults and adults but her passion is children’s literature. She is a Creative Writing teacher and writing mentor in Central Pennsylvania, as well as an editor for Mothers Always Write and Identity Theory. Her primary interests are literary fiction and magical realism as well as coming of age stories with a twist, but she would never turn down a story with dragons. Read Sarah’s work and blog at SarahSaysWrite.com and connect with her on Twitter @SarahSaysWrite.
Becky Dean writes contemporary and speculative fiction for young adults. She has served as a contest judge and a mentor for Teen Pitch and was a Pitch Wars finalist in 2015. Her short fiction has been published in SPARK and HAVOK magazines. When she’s not busy traveling, drinking tea, or watching sci-fi shows on TV, she enjoys planning adventures for herself and her characters. She is represented by Eva Scalzo at Speilburg Literary.
Brandy Woods Snow
Brandy Woods Snow is an author and journalist born, raised and currently living in beautiful Upstate South Carolina. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a minor in Writing from Clemson University. While creative writing has always been her first love, the media has been her home for more than 18 years, during which time she has built a strong platform that includes articles in Delta Sky, Greenville Business Magazine, Columbia Business Monthly, and Home Design & Décor magazine (Charlotte, Raleigh). She has also worked in corporate communications, public relations and business development for international and regional companies. Her first novel Meant To Be Broken, a YA contemporary romance, was published by Filles Vertes Publishing in July 2018.
When Brandy’s not writing, reading, spending time with her military husband or driving carpool for her three kids, she enjoys kayaking, family hikes, yelling “Go Tigers!” as loud as she can, playing the piano and taking Jeep Wrangler cruises on twisty, country roads.
Website: brandywsnow.com, twitter: @brandy_snow, instagram: @snowbrandy
Lisa’s writing stemmed from her love of books and anime, so it’s no surprise her first written words were Sailor Moon and Inuyasha fanfiction. Lisa was a Pitch Wars 2015 mentee and loves to be involved in the writing community. She’s a complete fan of fantasy, young adult and adult, with a little bit of science fiction thrown in. She’s a sucker for bold magic systems, complicated plots, big reveals, and completely unlikable female characters. To date she’s written four manuscripts and is drafting her next project, a dark YA fantasy inspired by Kipling’s poem COLD IRON and the history of the Romanovs.
After nearly two decades of writing and editing corporate and non-profit materials, I’m turning my skills and experience toward the creative realm. In addition to my work as a Pitch Wars & Teen Pit mentor and book coach with Author Accelerator, I now offer freelance editing and coaching services to those writing for middle grade and young adult audiences. I talk about writing and books on The Winged Pen and MG @ Heart, but you can also connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.
Rick Wheeler writes middle grade fiction. He lives in Northern California where he recently retired from a 27-year career in law enforcement. Tired of writing reports for judges and lawyers, he turned to writing fiction, which he enjoys writing much more than “just the facts.”
Rick has been married to his wife, Angela, for 27 years. Together they have three adult children and his redheaded wonderkid granddaughter. He hopes someday his grandchildren will write a school book report on one of his books. He is absolutely willing to help them cheat.
Rick is represented by Lauren Galit from LKG Agency.
Andrew “A.J.” Sass is a fiction-writing figure skater, inclined toward adventures of a traveling nature. He is autistic, Jewish, and non-binary, and keen on exploring how gender identity and neurodiversity impact character narratives.
A.J. grew up in the Midwestern US, came of age in the South, and currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his boyfriend and two cats who act like dogs. His debut middle grade novel featuring a non-binary ice skater, ANA ON THE EDGE, will be published by Little, Brown in 2020. He is represented by Jordan Hamessley at New Leaf Literary & Media. A.J. loves working with other writers and will be a #WriteMentor mentor during summer 2019. For more information about A.J., his mentoring style, and the types of novels that make him smile, check out this blog post. Follow Andrew on Twitter:
Erin T. Gunti
Erin Gunti is the author of A PLACE TO STAY: A SHELTER STORY (September ’19/Barefoot Books). She is a firm believer in “write, rinse, repeat,” and is one of those people who finds editing therapeutic. She loves YA, especially magical realism, fantasy, and dystopian. She lives in Buford, GA with a Cub Master, Boy Scout, and Cub Scout. You can follow her on Twitter @ErinTGunti.
Nova McBee is a Seattle native who has also lived in seven countries and traveled to countless more. She writes fast-paced mission-impossible-type YA contemporary and fantasy with deep themes and hearty characters. She loves complex plots, coffee, people and languages. She is represented by Amy Jameson of A+B Works Literary and her upcoming debut, Calculated, was just optioned for film by One Door Studios.
Kelly Ann Hopkins
Kelly Ann Hopkins is the founder of the TeenPit contest and a young adult contemporary and spec fiction writer. She spends her days as a high school librarian and creative writing teacher where she challenges her students to read with abandon. She is also a professional editor for self-published clients, query letter master, and a Pitch Wars mentor. When not writing, Kelly takes longs walks with her dog, Auggie, and dreams of her next trip to the Gulf coast.
Kelly lives in Factoryville, Pennsylvania (no factories but a lot of horses!) with her husband, two children, and a menagerie of rescued critters.