Rebecca Yarros – Pitch Wars Mentor

RebeccaUncategorized42 Comments

Why hello there!

I’m Rebecca Yarros, and I’m accepting Young Adult and New Adult submissions for the most awesome agent-seeking competition there is… PITCH WARS!!!

So who am I?

Yeah, that’s me professionally. Personally? Take a peek around this blog, you’ll get a good idea.

I’m an author (betcha figured that out already, eh?) and I write what? Young Adult and New Adult fiction.

Ready for the super-stiff info? I have a degree from Troy University in History and English so I’ve got a pretty good grip on the grammar stuff.

And on the author front? I was actually a Pitch Wars alternate back in 2013, which gave me one of my best friends, Molly Lee. Now, I’m rep’d by Jamie Bodnar Drowley of Inklings Literary, whom I love enough to give the last brownie to. Seriously. My debut novel, FULL MEASURES, came out in February from Entangled and I was super blessed to see it become an Amazon Best Seller, #1 in Series Romance. I also just turned in the first book in a new three book deal with Entangled, so YAAAAY!

On a personal level? I’ve been married 12 years to my amazing army-aviator husband, which means I’m a Colorado Girl in a New York world for the next few months until we PCS (move) again. We have six kids (yes, you read that right), to include our youngest daughter, whom we’re fostering. We have an English Bulldog named Diesel, and a Bunny named General Fluffy Pants (I can’t make this stuff up, folks.), who seriously sat on our dining room table Easter Morning because one of our sons declared him the “Easter Bunny.” Yup.  I have four little boys, (my little avengers), who keep me running around and tying hockey skates. ALL THE TIME. Oh, and I write this little blog you’re on right now, which is one of the top military spouse blogs in the country… Sigh, it’s been so neglected because of this last deadline…  If you catch me watching TV (Which doesn’t happen often), it’s usually True Blood, Game of Thrones, Scandal, TVD (can’t help it, guilty pleasure), or my favorite…. ARROW. Here’s a .GIF of Stephen Amell (aka, ARROW). You’re welcome.
So anyway, can I stop talking about myself yet?
Okay, so let’s get down to the Pitch Wars fun!  
What am I looking for? 
In Young Adult – Contemp, UF, Paranormal, Fantasy. I love strong female characters, well, strong male characters too. Let’s just say strong characters in general. I’m a huge fan of urban fantasy, but I’ve got a soft spot for contemporary too, and given the right elements, I could be sold on some Sci-fi. Give me great characters, a strong, well-paced plot, a fantastic hook in your first chapter, authentic voice, and at least a little bit of romantic sub-plot, and I’m yours. 
In New Adult: – I want to see something that hasn’t been done before. I love the angst, the romance, the …um… yummy scenes, but I’m really looking for the new. What am I looking for in particular? Fun locations, atypical plots, strong emotions. Paranormal, contemp, UF, it’s all good.

 I love epic love stories, so give me the stakes, and I’m ready to chase you down.
 What am I not looking for? – Horror is always a no-go for me. That’s just a personal preference, other than that? The overdone. In NA, for me that means recovering abuse, teacher/student, and billionaire boyfriends.
So why should you choose me? Hmm…. Let’s see.  
I’m super fun.
I’ve got a great grip on what works in a manuscript, I beta for some already PHENOMENAL authors, I’ve read for my agency, and I find it ridiculously hard to talk about myself as a commodity. Seriously. Pick me because I’m a good author, a great beta, and I’ve got enough real-world experience to shine the heck out of your manuscript. 
 Seriously, I want to help you, yes YOU, because 18 months ago, I WAS you. So basically –
What can you expect if you choose me? Work. Yup. Does your manuscript have problems? Well then…
I’m going to rip your manuscript apart (and you’re going to like it). I’m going to tell you exactly why it’s awesome, and what you need to do to make it sparkle. We’re going to take your query and even when you think it’s amazing? We’re going to look at it and say – 
When you’re confused? We’ll set up a Skype session and chat it out. I’m going to expect you to work just as hard as I do, so at the end of this process, you might be like: 
But I’m hoping we’ll snag you some awesome requests that are going to lead to representation. 
So basically – Choose me.
And even if you don’t, let me just say, good luck in Pitch Wars, because it’s an unbelievable competition. Make friends with the other Pitch Warriors, and scout out some new CP’s. This is such an amazing opportunity!  
Thanks for taking a peek, and hopefully I get to choose your manuscript!!!  
And don’t forget, as mentors, we all know how hard this is to put yourself out there, to take the chance and send the query. We respect every single one of you, and your work. So congrats on even thinking about Pitch Wars, and major props to those of you who enter!
Now go polish up that query and those first pages!!! And then… Give them to me. πŸ˜‰
Good luck!

42 Comments on “Rebecca Yarros – Pitch Wars Mentor”

  1. whimsicallyours

    Hi Rebecca!So glad you're judging Pitch Wars, I would submit to you just because of the Arrow gif and the fact you like some of my favorite shows, but I'm also happy to see you like urban fantasy which is pretty much my favorite genre (I'll be submitting my YA Paranormal Mystery). Looking forward to it!Best,Patrice

  2. Patrick Holloway

    Please pick me apart, please let me barrage you with questions, please let me try things until we not only get it right but get it THE BEST. I like your work ethic. What are your thoughts on anti-religious overtones? I'm kinda hopping blogs and asking because I don't want to send something that's going to turn someone off in 10 pages when the controversial stuff starts.

    1. Rebecca

      LOL! You crack me up!!! I can't say whether or not anti-religious would turn me off until I see just how harsh it is. Honestly. I would think I'd be fine with it (even though I'm personally a religious person), but it would depend just how "offensive?" I'm pretty good at separating my personal opinion from literary critique, because really, what we do is art.

    2. Patrick Holloway

      Well, let me see here:They clone a major religious figure from Christianity — who's the bad guy, there's a group consisting of the Catholics, Jewish, and Islam secretly in control of the world (and it's stated they were the ones responsible for the American revolution, among other things) and the main character kills God…after Jerusalem is completely destroyed. The whole idea is to show a side of religion that might be darker. I've been told by several Chrisitans that it's not overly offensive becuase it doesn't really go deep into things, but I still want to make sure.

    3. Rebecca

      Man, my blog is insane, I've typed this answer 3 times! EEEP! I would love to tell you, "yes," or, "no," but I can't say for certain until I'd see the actual submission. =)

  3. Rebecca Griffin

    Your army life sounds exactly like mine except for I'm stuck in Ft. Lewis, WA, and praying that my husband never comes home and tells me are PCSing to El Paso. Army wife problems……How do you feel about NA Contemporary Fantasy with an Epic Love story? I have one of those books that's hard to classify as one genre ( equal amounts of fantasy, romance, and suspense).

    1. Rebecca

      Go Milspouses!!!!! LOL! Yeah, we're headed home to Colorado in a few months, Good 'ol Fort Carson! And yes, yes, yes. However, are we talking UF? Because juxtaposing contemporary and fantasy like that raises my eyebrows. So are we fantasy? Or Urban Fantasy? Or Contemporary feel? But, yes! Yes to all! LOL!

    2. Rebecca Griffin

      LOL that is the ever present question with this book– what direction should it lean towards….here's my logic.I feel like the best way to describe it is a combination of the novels Nevermore, and the All Souls Trilogy– a fantasy world+ a modern setting+ an epic love storyThe characters are living in a modern world, but the fantasy world is separate (think moving into Narnia through the wardrobe). I've been told to call it Speculative Fiction, but "New Adult Speculative Fiction" sounds even more vague. I stick with Contemporary Fantasy because I feel like it covers a fantasy world which spills over into a real one. Just thinking about this dilemma gives me a headache πŸ™

    3. Rebecca

      New Adult is very much about the transition to adulthood, so as long as you're dealing with that, I think you're safe under N/A, but you might be barking up the Urban Fantasy tree. πŸ˜‰ It sounds intriguing!

    4. Sarah

      A TX station makes my husband say "no thanks, I'm retiring now," thank heavens. Good luck!! I'd love WA if it wasn't so far away.

  4. Jenna and Ashley

    Your .GIFs are cute, but your kids are cuter! It's really cool that you foster. Where do you find the time in the day to do so much?!

  5. Taylor Kowalski

    Your kids are WAY too sweet. <3 I'm not a military wife by any stretch of the imagination, but I am long distance from my fiance for college at the moment, and it's hard to go two months without seeing each other, let alone a year or three. I couldn't imagine making it through what you ladies do. All my props.Also, you like paranormal elements in YA? πŸ˜€ Does a YA magical realism about the coming of age story of an autistic werewolf boy sound like something you'd be interested in? πŸ˜‰

    1. Rebecca

      Awh, thank you! I like them. πŸ˜‰ And yeah, deployments bite. I love paranormal elements in YA! I have to say that a werewolf isn't as much magical realism as it is paranormal. =) I can't say for certain without seeing the actual submission. =)

  6. Garrett Vander Leun

    You got my attention with ARROW (although I tend salivate over my love of DC heroes more than I do all the hunkery) and you got one of my four submissions because of your love of urban fantasy, strong characters and a big-time hook… My one question is this: how do you feel about language in YA? It varies according to who my MC is talking to, but my friends and I had some very colorful language when we were in high school.

    1. Rebecca

      LOL! Yes to DC, but my fave will always be tied between Arrow and Batman. πŸ˜‰ Well, thank you, and language doesn't bother me as long as it's character-driven and not just for the fun of it. πŸ˜‰

  7. Jamie Krakover

    You aren't mentoring my genre, but just wanted to pop in to SQUEE about Arrow! Such an awesome show. Amell abs… yum! So thank you for that gif. πŸ™‚

    1. Rebecca

      Um, yes… SQUEEEEEE! I would watch Stephen Amell read a phone book! πŸ˜‰ Good luck in Pitch Wars!

  8. Ron Walters

    Hi Rebecca,First off, thanks for being a mentor! Have you ever been stationed overseas? My wife and I have been in Germany for nearly 12 years–she's a DOD teacher, I'm a stay-at-home down. We're currently stationed at Bitburg, near Spangdahlem Air Base.I've got a question about the difference between urban and contemporary fantasy, if there is one. My book is set in modern-day Prague, and involves a 17yo kid named Aaron who finds a pocket watch with links to WWII. The watch, among other things, dumps someone else's memories into Aaron's mind. So that's the fantastical part of the story, whereas the setting, the spies, the mercenaries, and the growing romance between Aaorn and his friend Zelda make up some of the "real world" elements. So, urban? Contemporary? Something else entirely?!

    1. Rebecca

      Hi there! Very cool! I lived in Europe 3 years as a kid in Pirmasens when my parents were active duty, and 20 months with my husband in Grafenwoehr. =) If that's the only odd element, you might be looking at more magical realism, but ONLY if that's the ONLY odd element. Anything other than that, and you're stepping into urban fantasy. =) Hope this answers it!

  9. Mary

    Hi Rebecca,If a writer has no previous writing credits, how do you prefer they handle the bio paragraph of a query? Skip it? Share something personal like their job or hobbies? I asked on Twitter but received conflicting answers, so now I am taking the question to the mentors I am considering.

    1. Rebecca

      Hi there! In my opinion, that really depends on if your "day job" gives you credit toward your writing or not. A hobby is fine, especially if it's a quirk or your desired agent shares the same one. πŸ˜‰ Don't sell yourself short, even if you don't have a college degree, or any writing credits. Your agent isn't just rep'ing your manuscript, they're rep'ing YOU. So yes, something brief, and personal enough to give them a sense of who you are. State that this is your debut novel, and when not writing you _________ fill in the blank with anything not over-the-top-scare-an-agent insane. πŸ˜‰ Good luck!!!

  10. Jodie Andrefski

    Okay, Arrow and Supernatural. You're my kind of gal. =) I was wondering how you feel about a flawed MC…mine definitely has her issues, and a big focus is her desire for revenge against a classmate who also heads up their private high school's secret society. The MC is very techy, and she infiltrates the society and actually gets others to do her revenge work with them thinking they've been tapped to pledge. So the "initiates" think the tasks are part of Hell Week, because each of the three only see their part of the big picture. Except it all goes bad…way bad. I do have a romantic sub-plot, but its not the main focus. MC is a bit manic, and her less than healthy mental state affects many of her decisions until she comes to grips with what is really important.

    1. Rebecca

      Dude, all about the Flaws in an MC. Without flaws, they're super boring. As for the rest, I can't say yay or nay until I get the actual sub! =)

  11. Rebecca Santelli

    Hi Rebecca,Well you totally upset my carefully compiled mentor list when you said on twitter that you liked historical fiction. I loved your bio when I first saw it (and not just because of the Labyrinth and Princess Bride gifs), but thought my genre wouldn't interest you. So – I have a YA historical mystery set in twelfth century Germany. Headstrong teenage noblewoman joins forces with a peace-loving monk to hunt down a killer while matching wits with a charismatic suitor. It's best described as a medieval Veronica Mars with the rich, vibrant feel of Anna Godbersen's Luxe series. Would that appeal to you?

    1. Rebecca

      Awh, I'm sorry to upset the balance!!!! I love that time period and YA, so I'd say send me what 'ya got, but I can't say yay or nay until I get the actual sub. =)

  12. soumyana

    You mentioned paranormal. Would you be interested in a silly genie who messes people's lives, plays tricks and a psychic MC in a doomed love triangle?Thanks πŸ™‚

    1. Rebecca

      I can't tell you Yay or Nay until I see the actual sub, but as long as it's YA or NA, I would to take a peek! =D

  13. sjoycarlson

    Hi Rebecca. This is my first Pitch Wars and I'm trying to figure out the ropes. Excited! Would you be interested in Romeo and Juliet in modern Belfast?1st person YA, 2 POV, grief, family issues, and sectarianism? Thanks for considering!

    1. Rebecca

      Yes. Yes. Yes. I can't say for certain of course, until I see the actual sub, but I would knock people over to peek at this.

  14. Vanessa Kelly

    Hi I have a question. Do the works have to be completely finished in order to be considered. I have pieces that I am working on but I haven't finished yet, and one novel finished but not completely edited. Also How long does the pitch have to be. And how do we enter and where? Hello from a fellow military wife and aspiring author!

  15. Vanessa Kelly

    Nm I just found the link. Pretty much all my questions got answered. But still hi from me again!

  16. Michelle Collins

    Rebecca, I'm still not sure my MS is right for you or not. I've got six more days to decide, right? No matter what I just wanted to stop in and post my thanks and gratitude your husband for his service. And to you as I know it isn't just him that serves.

    1. Rebecca

      Well Hiya Michelle! You sure do, and don't rush your choice! And thank you very much. He's my rock star. πŸ˜‰

  17. Allyson Gottlieb

    Hi there! This is the first I've even heard of Pitch Wars and I'm a little behind, but I may just give this a go because you sound awesome. :)I've got a New Adult Dystopian burning a hole in my laptop. It's clean NA, so no explicit sex (I so want to see NA move away from all this borderline-erotica). Interested?

    1. Rebecca

      Hi there Allyson! Pitch Wars is AMAZING! NA is absolutely possible (though a harder sell) without the sex. I'd love to take a peek at your sub!

  18. Jason Yarros

    Are you interested in an Adult Contemporary about an Army Aviator that spends entirely too much time away from his family but tries to make up for it on the rare occasion that he is home? The is that his wife brought another girl into their family during his latest deployment and now he's madly in love with her. There's high jinx, drama, romance, and plenty of spice. Let me know if this fits your list.

    1. Rebecca

      LOL! Well…. I mean…. I can't say for sure until I see the actual submission, but I'd love to take a peek! But come to think of it, this sounds very familiar… are you sure you haven't published this before? πŸ˜‰ Do your wife a favor, and fly around this bad weather so you can get home to me – the baby flat-out told me she prefers it when YOU wake up with her. Call her a daddy's girl…. πŸ˜‰

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