PitchWars 2018

I’m excited to announce I will continue to  mentor in this fabulous contest! I was a PitchWars mentee in 2015, a mentor in 2017, and I know what a tremendous opportunity this is for writers who want to advance their work to the next level, and land an agent. Over half of the 2015 and 2016 mentees now have agent representation, and many have book deals.

But that's not even the best part. By entering Pitchwars, you open yourself to a community of writers who are supportive, responsive, and incredibly helpful. Even if you are not selected as a mentee, you will gain experience and new friends.

A little about me. I have a varied background, working in the health care industry as a Registered Nurse, case manager, college instructor, and more; ran my own interior design company; wrote several columns for magazines and local publications; all the while bopping around the world with my military husband and raising two great kids. I've written, directed, produced, and (just once) acted in theatrical plays. I've also written a couple of screenplays, which will probably stay in a drawer. 

Now, I devote my time to writing, editing, travel, and grandkids. So I have loads of life experience as well as writing experience. I belong to several in-person writing groups, many on-line groups, and attend as many writing conferences as I can squeeze in. 

I feel my strong points are story structure and dialogue. I have become much more aware of my characters' emotional journey, mostly due to having it drummed into my head by numerous critique partners. Coming from playwriting and screenwriting, this did not come naturally.

I write adult novels, the occasional short story, and have co-authored a cookbook/anthology coming out May 8, Homefront Cooking

Since my philosophy is anything worth doing is worth over-doing, I have two literary agents, one for fiction and the other for non-fiction. 

You can find me on twitter @traceyenerson.

What you can expect from me:
If I choose you for a mentee, you will receive an edit letter, with big picture notes in the first week. Thereafter, we will work together on line by line edits, polishing, or whatever is appropriate for your manuscript at that point. Finally, we will work on your excerpt for the agent round, and query letter.

I will be available after the contest for support and advice, I hope to make a long-term friend and teammate!

My Ideal Mentee:
I would love to find a mentee that is so excited about her* manuscript, that the characters appear in her dreams, and she loses track of the real world when deep in the writing trenches. Someone who knows it's not quite perfect, but is willing to listen to another opinion and try new things.

*Open to both M/F mentees, obv. Why doesn't English have a singular gender-neutral pronoun?

My Wishlist

As far as category, I am open to Adult only. My favorite genres are Women's Fiction, either contemporary or near historical (19th century and forward), Magical Realism, and books with romantic elements, although category romance is not in my wheelhouse. (Want romance that is part of the story, not THE story.)

My taste runs between commercial and literary with my happy place somewhere in-between. This is sometimes referred to as upmarket. Think bookclub type of books, rather than commercial/genre, although  I am not opposed to a quick, fun and funny beach read sort of book.

I am a foodie and love to travel, and enjoy books that relate in some way. I like family saga and stories about family and friendship. I enjoy lots of action, as long as it is real-world based, (although not opposed to science fiction/ utopia/dystopia) but not crime/violence. No paranormal/werewolves/aliens/vampires/zombies/ but I adore  time travel.

Memoirs that read like fiction and touch on my areas of experience are also welcome.

I love humor; my favorite books make me both laugh and cry. I love beautiful, literary language, but must have depth, plot, and character arcs as well. The beautiful words must tell the story, not get in the way. Although having too much description is an easy thing to fix, and wouldn't affect my choice.

My preference is real world settings, (or real world-ish, even if futuristic). All ethnicities, genders are welcome. I don't have a POV preference, it could be the POV of the cat, if it serves the story. I once wrote a short play from the POV of a flea, not that I recommend that for your novel.

Some of my favorite novels:
The Nightingale
The Help
American Wife
The Baker's Daughter
Water For Elephants
The Obituary Writer
Time Traveler's Wife
A Reliable Wife
House of Sand and Fog
To Kill a Mockingbird
The Giving Tree (okay, it's a children's book, but oh my, it makes me sob)

Favorite TV shows
I'm not a huge watcher, but here are my fav's:
Downton Abbey
Grace and Frankie
Call the Midwives
Project Runway
The Crown
Property Brothers, Chopped or any home improvement/real estate/cooking reality show
The Big Bang Theory
Mad Men
This Is Us

What I'm Not Seeking:
There are other mentors who are a better choice for horror, crime, fantasy (except for magical realism) and religious/inspirational. I don't enjoy stories focusing on rape, murder, incest, erotica, or that have a high number of obscenities. Although some of these things occur in my list of favorites above, they are not the focus of the books.

My list is super-specific, so if your manuscript matches my wishlist, you have a better chance of being chosen, and I have a better chance of finding my perfect Pitchwars teammate!

Good luck in your writing journey!

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  1. Hi Tracy, thanks for the detailed wishlist! I've got a "memoir that reads like a fiction" so you are definitely one of my top mentor picks! Can't wait for the submission window!!


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