Pitch Wars Wishlist For Team Tangled Web!

Welcome to #TeamTangledWeb!

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Hi! We’re Kay and Andrea, and we’re so glad you’re here!

We also want to be one of the firsts to say CONGRATULATIONS for entering the amazing contest that is Pitch Wars!

As former mentees, we know how hard it is to put yourself out there and trust other people with your words, and we’re so proud of you for taking that first step!

We also know everyone is hoping to be chosen so they can improve their manuscript and score one of those elusive creatures we call agents, but one of the most important parts of Pitch Wars is the relationships you’ll form. And you don’t need a mentor for those. So don’t be afraid to make a few new friends--the kind who will stick with you through the ups and downs of your publishing journey.

The Pitch Wars community is one of the most supportive and welcoming groups we’ve ever had the privilege to be part of, and you’re officially part of the Pitch Wars family now!

We think you’ll be very happy here.


About Team Tangled Web

We both hail from the Pitch Wars class of 2017, and the contest helped us both find our lovely agents. Kay is represented by Allison Remcheck of  Stimola Literary Studio, and Andrea is represented by Sarah Davies at The Greenhouse Literary Agency

We are so excited to be mentors this year, and we can’t wait to read your beautiful words!


As much as we’d love to read every entry, we did have to narrow things down. We’ll get to our requested genres a little later in the post (you’re scrolling to the end now, aren’t you?) but our team name is a pretty good clue!


Team Tangled Web comes from the Sir Walter Scott poem, Marmion, and it's all about the inevitable, tangled mess that comes from lies and deception. We love a good tangled web! Also lies and deception. Basically anything that leads to conflict and intrigue!

But before we tell you all the other things we love, we want to tell you a bit more about us!

A Few More Details: Andrea Edition

It me.

It me.

I'm a young adult mystery and thriller writer, and my manuscript, THROWAWAY GIRLS, was featured in last year's Pitch Wars. If you want an idea of my writing style, you can see my entry through this linky right here!

For me, Pitch Wars was an amazing success in a lot of ways. I got lots of requests. I got lots of offers. Out of those, I chose my amazing agent. It all sounds very fairytale, right?

What you don't see are the other books. The midnight (and beyond) hours spent writing and hoping. The years of querying. You wouldn't know that not only did I switch age groups when I started THROWAWAY GIRLS, I also switched genres. Those other two books I queried? Adult contemporary fantasies.

I don't think he approves, guys.

I don't think he approves, guys.

What that means is I've had time to learn this industry. I've had time to hone my craft. I have several long-term CPs. I belong to a writing group and I’m a SCBWI member. I’ve given and received more critiques than I could possibly count. I’ve been through revisions with my amazing mentors from Pitch Wars 2017 and my agent, who happens to be one of the best in the industry. (Okay, I may be slightly biased but it’s also true!)

I’ve learned from all of them.

I've learned what works--and what doesn't. And most importantly, I've learned how important it is to have friends who love and support you, who cry with you when you need it, and who celebrate even harder when things go right.

That’s one of the many reasons I was thrilled to be chosen as a mentor this year. My experience in 2017 was one of the best things to happen to my writing career, and I hope I’m able to give that to another writer!

I told you he was fluffy.

I told you he was fluffy.

Things that don't matter for this contest but I'm gonna tell you anyway (since we're friends now): I'm married and I have two daughters who are nine and five, and they are awesome. I live about an hour outside of Detroit, but I grew up in the city. I bake ridiculously elaborate cakes for my daughters' birthdays, and we regularly run 5Ks as a family. I'm terrible at work-life balance and I have a very fluffy kitty who's my writing partner and harshest critic.

But here's one last thing that does matter for this contest. Publishing is hard. At every step of the process. So to our future mentee and everyone else who's wondering if this whole writing thing is worth it: 

It is.

Yes, it's hard. Take breaks if you need them. Be kind to yourself. But don't give up. You never know what's waiting for you.


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A Few More Details: Kay Edition

❤️❤️❤️(Andrea added these hearts--we swear Kay is not a raging narcissist.)

❤️❤️❤️(Andrea added these hearts--we swear Kay is not a raging narcissist.)

Like Andrea, I also began (writing) life as an aspiring fantasy author, and then crossed over into the realm of contemporary. But YA has always been my territory.

My 2017 Pitch Wars book, HOW TO BE A SOMEBODY, was my second complete YA novel, and the one that got me an agent. Participating in Pitch Wars changed my life. It taught me how to write and live on a deadline, and how to deconstruct a story and put it back together again—only much better. Pitch Wars gave me a taste of the publishing industry that I so desperately needed, and I can’t wait to help bring that same experience to one of you.

Kay's amazing writing space that she BUILT HERSELF!

Kay's amazing writing space that she BUILT HERSELF!

I tend to write character-driven contemporaries that touch on important and timely topics, and sometimes (okay usually always) have a trace of the surreal. While mine and Andrea’s writing styles/voices do slightly differ, we pretty much have the same tastes in reading. I need books to haunt me—to break my heart a little and then put it back together, but leave just enough of it missing that I feel it for a long time afterward. Bring on the bold, the achingly beautiful, and the unapologetically risky!

So gorgeous!

So gorgeous!

Experience has been my best teacher. A lot of trial and error and years of being recipient to some stellar editorial advice/criticism have taught me what it takes to craft a killer YA book. I’ve been a part of several critique groups since 2010 and even CP’d books for authors that have gone on to sell to editors at one of The Big 5!

Beyond the world of writing, I’m just an all around creative who’s stuck working three rather unfulfilling jobs! I mess around with graphic design, bake extensively, spoil my three teenagers (and one cat) a little too much, and will build anything I can out of wood.  

Here's The Stuff You REALLY Want To Know!

These are the genres we’re accepting! Young Adult only!

<)   )╯ Mystery  
/    \

(   (>   Thriller
/    \

<)   )> Contemporary
/    \

That’s it. Those genres only.

But no good wishlist would be complete without a few details.

Genre Breakdown!

✷We want all subgenres of YA mystery & thriller except straight-up horror. The twistier the better! If you've got something that could comp to LITTLE MONSTERS, ONE OF US IS LYING, YA GONE GIRL, DANGEROUS GIRLS, DAMAGE DONE, or anything similar, we want it ALLLLL.

We love speculative twists and/or elements, including magical realism and fabulism.

※ Character-driven contemporaries or mystery/thrillers that are set in our world and have speculative twists and/or elements. We have both written fantasy before, so we have experience with all sorts of speculative elements!


※ Please DON’T send us fantasy or sci-fi. We love them, but there are lots of amazing mentors accepting those genres--and we are not them. Don’t waste your pick. So, nothing with fairies, demons, angels, were-anything, spaceships, or robots etc etc

✷ We also love all types of YA contemporaries, but please know our tastes run darker. Sweet, meet-cute, comedic, heart-warming contemporaries are awesome, but save them for the mentors who’re specifically asking for them. We're looking for books like ALL THE RAGE, ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES, SPEAK, IF I STAY.

✷ We’re here for a good disaster/survival contemporary. Anything that combines mystery/thriller with survival (a la Kate Marshall’s I AM STILL ALIVE) is a huge win! Just no post-apocalyptic, please. A YA Seeking A Friend for the End of the World would make my (Kay) heart sing!

✷ We are open to NA manuscripts. HOWEVER. Please know NA does not really exist in mystery, thriller, or contemporary genres. Because of this, if your manuscript fits what we're looking for and has potential to be considered cross-over YA, we would be open to reviewing, though we will likely ask you to change your manuscript to YA if chosen.

Go Here Next!

We've got THE REST OF OUR WISHLIST on Kay's blog here, where you can find a bit about our mentoring style, all the elements we love the most, and the things we're not the best fit for!

You'll definitely want to read those too, so you don't waste an entry on something we don't accept.

You'll also find the blog hop linky for the rest of the mentors on her page! But if you need to get back home (i.e. the main Pitch Wars mentor blog hop) you can find that here!

Still Have Questions?

Feel free to reach out on twitter (@Andrea_Contos and @KayLMcCray) or the Pitch Wars forums!

We have an AMA on the forum here. 

We'll also be participating in the Pitch Wars #askmentor twitter event on August 16th, from 8-10pm!