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Welcome to Team Girl Power!

The short story:

Team Girl Power is Sabrina Lotfi and Carrie S. Allen, and we are excited to mentor in the Young Adult category for our Grand Slam (4th!) year of Pitch Wars!

Pitch Wars is an opportunity for writers to submit their finished manuscript to mentors for consideration. If we pick you as our mentee, we'll guide you through manuscript, query, and synopsis revisions, and help you craft a killer pitch for the Pitch Wars agent showcase in February 2022. More details here!

 

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Here’s a list of the genres we accept (all YA):

Contemporary

 Sports 

Adventure

Light Fantasy/Paranormal

Soft Sci-fi

Romance

Retellings

We are NOT a good fit for these:

New Adult (NA)

High/Epic Fantasy

Hard Sci-fi/Space Opera/Tech-Heavy

Horror

Steampunk

Historic

Memoir

Erotica

Graphic Novels

Novels in Verse

Epistolary Novels

Still with us? Here’s the long version, with all the juicy details:

Why Team Girl Power?

We want to amplify the amazing girls in YA! (We are aptly named.) We love manuscripts with fierce girls, strong girls, smart girls, brave girls, sporty girls, funny girls, sweet girls, difficult girls, sassy girls, unlikeable girls...ALL THE GRRRRL POWER. Please note: Team Girl Power loves boys and nonbinary writers and characters too! We are drawn to stories that have a strong female cast and any manuscript we take on will be girl-positive.

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gif: Who Run The World? Girls.

Meet our previous mentees!

 

Kristy Boyce, Pitch Wars 2018:

goodreads page for HOT BRITISH BOYFRIEND

Pitch Wars success story

JC Peterson, Pitch Wars 2019:

goodreads page for BEING MARY BENNET 

Pitch Wars success story

Nicole Magoon, Pitch Wars 2020:

SIDEKICK, Repped by Kari Sutherland, Bradford Literary

Pitch Wars Interview with Nicole

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Here’s a closer look at the genres we accept:
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* Contemporary: Yes, please! Send us your rom-coms, swoons, and anything sweet, fun, and funny! While we enjoy exploring more serious issues, we gravitate towards books that balance out the heavy with a lighter tone or humor.

* Sports: Got a queer sports story? WE NEED MORE OF THOSE. We also love underdogs, tackling gender inequity through sport, and fierce on-the-field scenes.

* Adventure: Extra swoon for girl pirates, treasure hunts, and heists! If you can comp it to Ally Carter, we want it!

 

 

* Soft Sci-Fi: Character-based, near future; fresh dystopian takes.

* Romance: In any of the above genres. Just... romance. Send us the swoons.

* Retellings and Reimaginings: In any of the above genres. Books, myths, fairytales, historical events or figures, we want them all! Bonus points for gender swaps!

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* Light Fantasy: Paranormal, contemporary fantasy, urban fantasy, magical realism, fabulism – magic in the real world, here and now, basically.

Stuff we LOVE to find in books:
(Warning! The full list of what we love would kill your bandwidth. This is just a nibble of our tastes!)
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* We read to step outside ourselves and expand our worlds. Whether you’re writing about serious social issues or joyful experiences, we want your fresh perspectives and authentic voices! *Queer writers, disclosure is per your comfort level only!*

* Speaking of stuff we LOVE to find: We love LOVE in all its glorious forms. Make us swoon with your smooches, cuddles, and sex-positive sexy times. Give us all the ships! We’re especially fond of can’t-live-without-you besties, girl gangs or teams, enemies-to-friends (or lovers), found-family and family/sibling stories and happily-ever-after pet/human ships. 

* Humor! We could all use some escapism right now! Big laughs or small chuckles, we want ALL the giggles!

* Unique settings and experiences: Epic road trips, travel, feminist westerns, competitions, treasure hunts, scavenger hunts, revenge, modern royals, and mysteries.

* Sabrina’s dad is a Muslim Turkish-Egyptian immigrant, and we are especially hyped for Middle Eastern and Muslim stories! 

 

* All the tropes, and your creative spins on them! (No, we will never tire of "OH MY GOD, THERE'S ONLY ONE BED, WHATEVER SHALL WE DO, HOT TRAVEL-MATE???")

* #MeToo with an empowering take.

* STEM stories. Make our nerdy hearts smile.

* College settings, as long as the story and

characters are still YA and not NA.

 

 

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If a manuscript is written from a point-of-view within a cultural or racial community, the author should belong to that community.

 

If you need a sensitivity read for the diversity in your manuscript, you should accomplish that before subbing to us.

     

Stuff That’s Not For Us:

* Romanticizing sexual assault and harassment, toxic masculinity, or victimization of women.

* Glorifying violence or violence that serves no specific purpose to the story.

* War-related PTSD or fresh grieving of MIA/KIA. If it's long ago backstory or if military characters are not in imminent danger on the page, you're probably okay. Please note as a trigger warning in your query.

* Self-mutilation

* Stories centered around suicide

* Stories centered around the grief process

* Heavy focus on drug use and addiction

* Clowns and zombies

* Pandemic-centered stories. We're living it. That's more than enough.

* DON’T KILL THE DOG (or any other animal). Seriously. Don’t.

Age Note: While there is a great need for younger YA, our tastes tend towards fifteen and up.

Fave Books
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Moxie, Firekeeper's Daughter, A Cuban Girl's Guide to Tea and Tomorrow, Tokyo Ever After,

My Eyes Are Up Here, The Girls I've Been, Furia, Heartbreakers and Fakers, Today Tonight Tomorrow,

The Inheritance Games, Have a Little Faith In Me, Anna, Lola & Isla, Ace of Shades, I Wanna Be With You, This Time Will Be Different, Sky in the Deep, American Royals, Here To Stay, Trouble Girls,

Home and Away, Girl Unframed, Break the Fall, To Best the Boys, Scorpio Races, Westing Game,

Unchosen, Parachutes, Above All Else, The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss, Vengeance Road, Jay's Gay Agenda, Percy Jackson, You Should See Me in a Crown, Last Voyage of Poe Blythe,

Dare Mighty Things, One Life (Megan Rapinoe)

Fave Movies/Shows

Blockers, Whip It, Never Have I Ever, Bend It Like Beckham, Teenage Bounty Hunters, Easy A,

Outer Banks, Blue Crush, She’s The Man, Mystery Alaska, Miracle On Ice, Fighting With My Family, American Ninja Warrior, Leverage, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Schitt's Creek, Queen's Gambit, GBBO, Kim's Convenience, Warehouse 13, Riverdale, Hooten & The Lady, Jessica Jones, Hanna, The Originals, Tomb Raider, Clueless, Mean Girls, Alexa & Katie, Liv and Maddie, Baby-Sitters Club

What To Expect From Your Mentors:

* Team Girl Power is in this together 1000%. We'll polish your manuscript, your synopsis, your query, your pitch, everything but the silver! We’ll start with big picture edits, in the form of a timely, thoughtful edit letter, making sure to address any concerns that you have. After a round of revisions, we'll go back through for line edits. We'll spend extra time on your first page and showcase pitch to ensure that it is BRILLIANT. 

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* Sabrina is great with the three important Ds: dialogue, drama, and description. She has a good eye for elusive typos and awkward sentences, and she can help boil down a book for a killer query and a succinct, comprehensive synopsis.

* Carrie will make you kill your darlings (or at least move the unnecessary bits to a new doc), infuse tension on every page, champion your characters, and make sure you never stray from your voice.

 

* Zero judgment. Team Girl Power is all about trust, teamwork, and open communication. We believe even the silliest question or idea can hold the most magic, and we want you to feel comfortable enough with us to speak your mind at all times. In the end, your manuscript is YOURS and we’re here to help you bring your vision to life.

 

* Puppy pictures on a regular basis. We both have sweet pups and YOU, our mentee, will have the unique opportunity to enjoy puppy pictures in your DMs any time you need a cuteness boost. Not all mentors offer benes like this. 

 

* Fair warning: We’re with you for the long haul, well beyond Pitch Wars and querying! We’re not just about correcting your commas and graphing your arcs; we’re here when you need to vent, cry, or happy dance. We’re well stocked with stiff drinks and chocolate, and we’ve got the emojis and cute animal gifs on standby.

If we request materials, we’ll want to see your full manuscript, a short bio, and query history. We’ll want to know why you chose to query Team Girl Power, what you’re looking for from your co-mentors, and what you hope to get out of Pitch Wars.

 

Thank you for your interest in Team Girl Power, and for trusting us with your words! We can’t wait to read your books and meet our future mentee!! If you have questions about our genres or interests, email us at carrie.sabrina.pitchwars@gmail.com. You can also reach out to us on Twitter @CarrieSAllen and @LoftilyLotfi.

 

We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Love,

Team Girl Power

Sabrina Lotfi is a nationally published makeup artist with over a decade of experience in fashion and film. She writes contemporary and fantasy YA and has a deep love for history, horses, and Happily Ever Afters. She is a former content editor at Owl Hollow Press and has taught classes at writing conferences. Sabrina lives in Texas with her vampire kitty and bat pup. When she isn’t writing, reading, or watching way too much TV, you can find her playing catch with the pup, nerding out on a puzzle, or trying to make another perfect batch of macarons.

Carrie S. Allen writes contemporary YA fiction where girls smash the sports patriarchy. Her debut, MICHIGAN VS. THE BOYS, was included on the YALSA Best Fiction of 2020 list, but received harsh criticism from her ten-year-old daughter for not including unicorns. She's currently writing a short story for OUT OF OUR LEAGUE, a YA sports anthology out in 2023. Carrie is retired from sports medicine, and extra-tired from chasing around two kids and two T.Rexes masquerading as puppies. Hobbies include books, dogs, dessert, and anything outdoors on a gorgeous Colorado day.

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And because you deserve it for making it to the end... dancing goalies.