Welcome to Team Girl Power!
The short story:
Pitch Wars is an opportunity for writers to submit their finished YA manuscript to mentors. If picked, we'll guide you through revisions ahead of the Pitch Wars agent showcase in February 2021. More details here!
Team Girl Power is Sabrina Lotfi and Carrie S. Allen, and we are 2-for-2 in Pitch Wars!
gif:Lego WonderWoman & Katana
Here’s a list of the genres we accept (all YA):
We are NOT a good fit for these:
New Adult (NA)
Hard Sci-fi/space opera/tech-heavy
Novels in verse or 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.
gif: Who Run The World? Girls.
That 2-for-2 we mentioned above? Meet our previous mentees!
Kristy Boyce, Pitch Wars 2018:
JC Peterson, Pitch Wars 2019:
Here’s a closer look at the genres we accept:
* Contemporary: Yes, please! We prefer sweet and fun, but also love exploring serious issues. We’re not very angsty or dark.
* Sports: Got a queer girl 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!
* Light Fantasy: Paranormal, contemporary fantasy, urban fantasy, magical realism, fabulism – magic in the real world, here and now, basically.
* Soft Sci-Fi: Character-based, near future; fresh dystopian takes.
* Romance: In any of the above genres. We’re especially grabby hands for Rom-Coms!
* 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!
* Alternate History: Preferably with settings outside the US.
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Stuff we LOVE to find in books:
* Speaking of love: 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 also 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!
* Inclusion: We read to step outside ourselves and expand our worlds; whether you’re writing about serious social issues or joyful experiences, we want it!
- Queer writers, disclosure is per your comfort level only.
- We do not accept subs written from within cultures and races that are not your own.
- If you need a sensitivity read for the diversity in your manuscript, you should accomplish that before subbing to us.
- Sabrina’s dad is a Muslim Turkish-Egyptian immigrant, so we’d love to see Middle Eastern and Muslim rep!
* Unique settings and experiences: Epic road trips, travel, feminist westerns, competitions, treasure hunts, scavenger hunts, and mysteries.
* Tropes, and creative spins on them: Do you have fake dating?
Or ONLY ONE BED? We’re SO THERE.
* #MeToo with an empowering spin.
* STEM stories. Make our nerdy hearts smile.
* College setting, as long as the story and characters are still YA and not NA. (Note: while there is a great need for younger YA, our tastes tend towards fifteen and up.)
gif: Babysitters Club phone
gif:Be your own hero
This list is not exhaustive! It’s meant to give you a feel for what ideas make us go “ooh!” So if you don’t see YOUR EXACT MANUSCRIPT… it’s only because we haven’t read it yet, what are you waiting for, hit send!!
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.
* Clowns and zombies
* DON’T KILL THE DOG (or any other animal). Seriously. Don’t.
Notes on 2020:
There’s this pandemic thing you might have heard about? We are already spending a lot of time and energy and stress on coronavirus, please don’t send us pandemic stories! See above comments on ESCAPISM.
gif: Harley Quinn reading
Moxie, Have a Little Faith In Me, Best Laid Plans, Anna, Lola & Isla, My Eyes Are Up Here, Parachutes, I Wanna Be With You, These Witches Don’t Burn, Sky in the Deep, Clap When You Land, Here To Stay, Home and Away, A Week of Mondays, Break the Fall, To Best the Boys, Scorpio Races, Westing Game, Percy Jackson, Last Voyage of Poe Blythe, Fake It Till You Break It, Vengeance Road and Retribution Rails, Truly Madly Royally, The Epic Crush of Genie Lo, You Should See Me in a Crown, Dare Mighty Things, Strong Like Her, Tyranny of Petticoats and the Radical Element, The Best Kind of Magic (Windy City Magic series)
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, GBBO, Leverage, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Warehouse 13, Riverdale, Hooten & The Lady, Jessica Jones, Hanna, The Originals, Tomb Raider, Clueless, Mean Girls, Alexa & Katie, Liv and Maddie, The Baby-Sitters Club
What To Expect From Your Mentors:
gif:Bitches get stuff done
* 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.
* 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.
Please include word count in your query letter. 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 in 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also reach out to us on Twitter @CarrieSAllen and @LoftilyLotfi.
We look forward to hearing from you!
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 nine-year-old daughter for not including unicorns. Carrie is retired from sports medicine, and extra-tired from chasing around two kids and a T.Rex masquerading as a puppy. Hobbies include books, dogs, dessert, and anything outdoors on a gorgeous Colorado day.
And because you deserve it for making it to the end... dancing goalies.