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Category: YA

genres: Sci-fi and fantasy (bonus if foodie!)

Hey, we’re Mel and Alechia! Between the two of us we have: 22 years writing experience, 5 college degrees, 14 novels, over a dozen short stories (that’s all Mel, she’s a genius*—no seriously, she even learned Ancient Greek to read the New Testament), have published food articles (that’s Alechia, food writing is her thing), two agents, and one BIG, shared dream of getting our books into the world.

*Mel would like to note this was written by Alechia and she doesn't think she's a genius, just determined!

Who we are:

We’re both pretty open. We have a Google Hangout account where we can chat “face to face” and also have a joint email where we can be contacted. A group Twitter DM is also an option. We will talk communication styles with our mentee and choose what’s good for everyone. We’re both in different countries, so it will also probably depend on where you are located as well.

Communication preferences:

Any sexual assault/rape, suicide, domestic abuse, brutalization of the disabled, or fat hate.


No military scifi or sports stories as significant themes (unless it’s a made-up magical sport).

No straight up contemporary--there are plenty of amazing mentors taking that, and sadly, we just aren’t a great fit for it.

What we're NOT

looking for:

Two Black aunties who’ll cheer you on and help you feel confident in yourself and your story! 
We’ll be with you in the margins and on every step of the journey. Yes, we’ll send you an edit letter, but we’ll also dive into your book with your permission--track changes of typos (we will not rewrite your book), and comments/thoughts throughout. Mel loves editing/development, Alechia is big picture and pacing. We have different strengths that’ll work together to round out your story. The ultimate goal is to help you access the tools within yourself that will prepare you for a future of writing! 

Here's what you'll get with us:

Um, because we’re awesome? Lol. No, you should go with us because we are driven, dedicated, and determined writers. We plan on using those traits as mentors for you. We’ll champion your work and help you through this long, emotional, daunting process from query to offer. We will challenge you, but we’ll do it with love, excitement, and hope.

Why you should submit to us:

Someone who will listen to the feedback that resonates with them and be open/willing to making changes. A mentee that knows what they want and is ready to do what it takes to get on the publishing path (which btw, you absolutely are since you wrote a book and are entering Pitch Wars!). Someone who can laugh, take criticism without thinking it’s personal (I promise it’s not. We know it’s hard; we’ve been there. We ARE NOT brutal), and wants to be on our team!

What we want

from a mentee:

We are open to everyone as long as their work is inclusive!

We’re rooting for everybody Black (and all other marginalizations too—see below). Give us your Black: witches, vampires, elves, folks in space, chosen ones, dystopian, #BlackBoyJoy, #BlackGirlMagic, and—do we dare to make up a new hashtag? We dare!—#BlackFolksLaughing. Worried your story is *too* Black? We want to see it. 


Not a Black book? No worries! PLEASE GIVE US the immigrant, LGBTQIAP+ (particularly ace spectrum), mental illness, disability, fat positivity, multiracial, cultural/multicultural (any and all) experience with all the intersections in between.


We just want your beautiful words!


Give us characters that pull at our heartstrings, who either want to save or destroy the world or maybe just navigate it enough to leave their mark. Give us music, friendships, unreliable narrators, MCs that have weird, odd interests and hobbies. You can make us laugh—we LOVE that, or you can make us cry, we dig that too. We like our stories dark or happy, magical and/or suspenseful. We like basically all sub-genres like adventure, thriller, comedy, and a touch of romance. Are you getting that we like basically everything yet? Because we’re here for urban fantasy, high fantasy, paranormal, magical realism, sci-fi set in the here and now, in the future, or in space. 

We’re both classically-trained professional chefs so please give us your food stories. We have a particular soft spot for pastries and food traditions. Immerse us into the tastes and textures that mean something to the world you created and the characters who live within them.


We’re into innovative formats. Have something new and dope? Something you think hasn’t been done before or done often? We want it. We’re pretty much into any format from first person to third person, multiple point of views, epistolary, etc.


**A note about historical fantasy--we are interested, but it must be well-researched, okay? We want to spend our time helping you shape your story to make it the best it can be, not necessarily scouring sources to see what they wore in 1700s Scotland in the Highlands. You know what we mean?

What we're 

looking for:

team name

Our team name is very near and dear to us. We’ve been there for each other since we both got agents. Trying to get a book published is hard and it’s even harder doing so as Black women. When one of us feels down or defeated the other says, “You gotta stay hustlin’.” Because that’s what we both feel we’ve done our whole lives to try to make it in every space we’re in. We gotta keep going and dreaming or this world will swallow us whole. There are generations behind us waiting to see themselves in stories. They need to see faces like theirs, like OURS.


They need to see YOURS.


So we present:

team hustle graphic.jpg



Thanks for reading, and we are looking forward to your submissions!

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All of the YA Pitch Wars Mentors

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