Pitch Wars Blog Hop!

It’s finally time for Pitch Wars to start! Yippee! I’ve been looking forward to this for months and I know the other mentors have been too. For this contest, I’ll be mentoring Middle Grade books 😀 Below you’ll find the types of MG books I tend to enjoy most. Please feel free to post questions in the comments section or find me on twitter (@julianalbrandt)! I love making new friends and can’t wait to work with you 🙂


MG Wish List

I adore MG because it’s often extraordinarily clever and touches upon tough subjects (“…if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.”-Madeleine L’Engle). If your MS is a story with clever twists, whimsical turns of phrase, solid world building, and well developed relationships between characters, then I’m your mentor! [think HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE, CRESTOMANCI, & THE PECULIAR]

For more specifics:

-Genre wise, I’m most attracted to fantasy, sci-fi, and adventure stories.

-I’m a massive fan of mythology, whether it’s a retelling or it’s incorporated into the story (WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON, WATERSHIP DOWN)

-I love journey stories where MCs are set on a physical quest (LIESL & PO, THE SPINDLERS, PETER & THE STARCHASERS)

-And tales that use magic to help explain/tackle a serious subject (A MONSTER CALLS)

-I also prefer stories in which magic is already ingrained into the world (along the lines of magical realism) rather than stories where the MC “discovers” magic or comes to realize they have magical abilities (“chosen one” stories)

-Lastly, I adore a good adventure story. I still daydream about DOWN RIVER by Will Hobbs (which I think is technically YA, but I read it in early middle school and so have stuck it firmly in the MG category 😛 ) In general though, I might not the best fit for contemporary MG. I typically don’t enjoy contemp unless it’s full of heart–think WALK TWO MOONS or OKAY FOR NOW, or if it’s an adventure.

All of the above are merely stories I’ve loved in the past, which is just to say that I have no idea what I’ll love in the future. If your MS is a humorous, character-driven story, with an MC who goes on a physical journey that parallels their internal one, then I’m the mentor for you 😀


Why You Should Choose Me!

-My writing is represented by the fiercely wonderful agent Emmanuelle Morgen of the Stonesong Literary Agency. While I mostly spend my time writing YA, I started out with MG and I always come back to it–it’s at the heart of my writing soul. I’ve written 8 books (whew) and am amazed at how much I’ve learned with each one. I can’t wait to share some of that with you.

-I love editing and critiquing! It’s one of my favorite parts of writing.

-I’ve had a lot of practice honing queries. In fact, I often do giveaways on twitter for them. It’s something I genuinely enjoy. Also, I know the query game. I know what it’s like to be in the trenches. We’ll make yours sparkle.

-I’m passionate about writing in all forms and will work so, so hard for you, if you’re willing to do the same.

-On a not-writing note, I’m currently in school for my Masters of Elementary Education, and I work full-time as a secretary. I spend the majority of my free-time in the mountains–rock climbing, hiking, running…pretty much anything that gets me outdoors.

Girls wanna have fun

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14 thoughts about "Pitch Wars Blog Hop!"

  • Erica says:

    Dude. You love MG fantasy/adventure AND you rock climb? We might be amazing together! *makes furious notes on her possible mentor list*

  • […] Stephanie Scott27. Erica Chapman28. Lori Goldstein29. Sarah Guillory30. Marieke Nijkamp31. Juliana Brandt32. Michelle Hauck33. Ben Brooks34. Sarah Nicolas35. Ricki Schultz36. Rachel Lynn Solomon 37. Naomi […]

  • Sarah Hipple says:

    I’m FINALLY reading Howl’s Moving Castle. I have no idea how I missed it during childhood, but child-aged me is very sad to have missed out.

    I’ll have to keep an eye out for your query critiques. I keep refining mine and keep wondering whether I’ve gone completely off track. My CPs say no, but a complete outsider’s perspective is so valuable with that sort of thing.

    As for hiking: I’ve been spending a few weekends this summer exploring my state’s parks. I was quite sad when most of the wildflowers went away after spring ended.

    • Juliana says:

      Ahh, isn’t Howl’s the best?? I actually only read it a few years ago and it BLEW me away. I wish I’d read it years ago too 🙂

      • Sarah Hipple says:

        Definitely! I kept hearing about it and hearing about it and finally just went ahead and bought it. I’m only a few chapters from the end. I love that Howl is a “slitherouter.” It’s such an evocative idea. I mean, in addition to a MOVING castle!

  • JEN Garrett says:

    I started to get excited because I’ve got a fantasy MG, but I’m worried mine is indeed too much a “chosen one” story. So, well, this is soooo hard.

    • Juliana says:

      Hmm, it’s really difficult to say without knowing the book, but I think stories always come down to voice and execution. Yours might very well be a perfect fit.

      • JEN Garrett says:

        I’m trying not to get too specific so I don’t break any rules. Um, I write plot driven books with plenty of voice and need help fleshing out the internal conflicts that I know are there but don’t always put on the page. My manuscript is a contemporary fantasy – I think it’s technically urban fantasy, but I’m so small-town rural, I can’t bring myself to call it that. If you’re open to middle grade books about kids with superpowers, then it might be a good fit after all.

  • […] Stephanie Scott27. Erica Chapman28. Lori Goldstein29. Sarah Guillory30. Marieke Nijkamp31. Juliana Brandt32. Michelle Hauck33. Ben Brooks34. Sarah Nicolas35. Ricki Schultz36. Rachel Lynn Solomon 37. Naomi […]

  • Caryn Swark says:

    I have literally read Howl’s Moving Castle more than any other book (and considering how many times I’ve read certain books, that’s saying something). I picked it up in an airport in Tokyo because it was one of only five English books and it had a pretty cover. My travelling companion was then furious with me after I spent our first day in Singapore devouring it in a hotel room…

  • Erika W - The Jersey Farm Scribe says:

    Quick Question: Do you consider chapter books to be MG, and would you consider mentoring them? I get a variety of answers on this question, so I like to check up-front. It’s on the older edge of CB. Think humorous adventure story – Magic Treehouse meets Dan Gutman’s School Daze – with just a drizzle of American History.

    Thanks in advance!

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