(If you don’t know what Pitch Wars is and you want to learn more, check it out here)
Assuming you are in the right place (and even if you are not!), thanks for stopping by to learn more about Team Unicorn Mojo. This year I’m co-mentoring middle grade with Julie Artz––my critique partner, a professional editor, and an all around awesome human being. You can read our bios and wish list over at her blog.
But wait! Don’t leave just yet––in addition to sharing important information about us that you won’t find elsewhere, we have a very cool GIVEAWAY in store for you at the bottom of this post.
First, we know the wish list over on Julie’s site will play a critical role in helping you decide if we’re the right mentors. But we also know that just as important to your decision process is what we aren’t looking for. So here goes:
We are not looking for:
- Fae/elves/Tolkienesque-type high fantasy
- Historical (unless it’s super fresh and from an #ownvoices author)
- Science Fiction
- Anything (much to Julie’s dismay) involving zombies
- Books in verse
We thought that might be the case!
Team Unicorn Mojo FAQs:
Q: Are you open to working with writers working on their first MS?
A: The fast-paced and intense revisions required in Pitch Wars may be hard for a beginner, or even a long-time writer who hasn’t worked in a critique partner or group setting, to handle. We love the Malcolm Gladwell quote that it takes 10,000 hours of “deliberate practice” to master a skill. If you’ve put in those hours to hone your craft and have experience with feedback, we’re ready to help you, whether it’s your first book or your tenth.
Q: Do you care if my MS is written in first or third person?
Both are fine with us!
Q: Are you open to multiple POVs?
Q: My book is middle grade but my main character is 13 or 14. Should I submit to you?
For sure! We both love upper middle grade and will help you make sure you are nailing that all-important MG voice!
Q: I’m really in love with my story and don’t want to make big changes. Will you help me polish it?
We both have a track record of providing lengthy editorial letters requesting extensive revisions. If you aren’t open to big changes or don’t have the time to tackle them, we probably aren’t your best choice. (Of course we’ll only ask for big revisions if we believe it will truly improve your MS.)
Q: Why should I trust you with my story?
Because we have magical unicorn dust that we’re willing to sprinkle all over it! But seriously––we consider mentoring a great honor and will do our very best to help you and your manuscript reach the next level. We are both avid readers of middle grade as well as writers, so you can be confident that we’ll help you take your writing to the next level.
Q: I am a friend, client, and/or critique partner to one of you––can I submit to your team?
Social media friends are fine, but if you already have access to our feedback, please submit to the many other fantastic Pitch Wars mentors instead of us.
(In the event you still have questions, give us a shout on Twitter on the #askmentor or #PitchWars hashtag)
And finally…the moment you’ve been waiting for…
Remember that giveaway we promised you?
To thank you for taking the time to learn about us, we’re giving away a FREE QUERY AND FIRST PAGE CRITIQUE! (Don’t worry, we’ll turn it around in time for you to polish before the Pitch Wars window goes live—we’re quick like that.)
To enter, leave your Twitter handle and a comment about one of the books on our wish list in the comments section below. We’ll draw a winner at 10pm on July 20th.
Good luck with this and all of your writing endeavors…
With love from #TeamUnicornMojo
p.s. If you’ve read this far and are dying to know more, here are a few links to past critiques, success stories, and a couple more testimonials:
Testimonial: From the start I knew Jessica was a legendary mentor. She’s whip smart, clever, caring, communicative, and above all else she dives into her mentee’s words and analyzes them as closely as she does her own. Jessica loves to talk about unicorn magic, and unicorn magic she does indeed have, in the form of turning around drafts in days, brainstorming on the fly, and editing with the careful precision of a publisher. We went through at least three rounds of edits in a month, a feat that had seemed impossible until it was completed. Jessica pushed me and challenged me to see my work as a professional, and to set very rigid and close deadlines when tackling revisions. As a result, by the time the agent round was upon us, I felt like I could handle anything as a writer. That is where the unicorn magic comes in—through Jessica’s mystical ability to simultaneously challenge and instill boundless confidence in her mentees. I continue to be grateful for her guidance long after Pitch Wars has ended
Testimonial: The absolute best recommendations I can give for Jessica come from two people, my agent and my critique partner. When I was in the midst of revisions, my CP read what I had. Then she read it again after Jessica got a hold of it and ran her amazing, fine-tooth, line edit comb over it. She said something along the lines of, “I don’t know what you did, but it’s so much better. It’s told so much more confidently now.” Then, on the call with my my agent (Elizabeth Harding) she said several times, “The manuscript is really, really polished.” I owe both of those compliments to Jessica. She will make you work and mark up your manuscript with so much virtual red pen you might have a heart attack. And then you’ll get to work and end up with a “confident,” “polished” manuscript.