Trisha T.’s Pitch Wars 2018 MSWL

Hey there, Pitch Wars hopeful! I’m a new YA mentor for Pitch Wars 2018 and I’m so thrilled to have the opportunity to find my mentee soulmate and support their writing journey! #LetMeLoveYou

If you’re reading this, you’re here to discover good fits for your work, so let’s get started!


About Me

My name is Trisha Tobias. I’m a YA Editorial intern over at Page Street Publishing, Associate Editor for FORESHADOW: A Serial YA Anthology, and a freelance editor. I have a BA in Media and Communications Studies with a minor in Creative Writing from Fordham University. Currently, I’m a mentee myself in the Representation Matters Mentorship Program, where publishing professionals offer practical advice and insight into the industry—info I hope will be helpful to my future mentee as well! Previously, I’ve interned at a literary agency and a micropublisher, and I was an assistant editor at said micropublisher for about a year and a half as well (edited four books in that time). I also have a bookish YouTube channel, if you’re into BookTube at all! And yeah, I write YA too. 😊

I’m a NY native currently displaced somewhere in the American South. I’m all about The Sims and Kingdom Hearts (💖💖💖), tarot, to-do lists, BlackPink, musical theater, meditating, practicing Japanese, and Disney movies. If the following personality classifications matter to you, here you go: INTJ/INFJ (honestly depends on the day I test), Slytherclaw (no, I will not choose), Aquarius Sun/Virgo Moon/Scorpio Rising.

Fun fact about me: I auditioned for the second season of The Glee Project. Anyone remember that show? If not, I don’t blame you.

Okay, enough small talk!

So, What Am I Looking For? (AKA The Good Stuff)

Category: YA

Genres (in order of interest):

  • Contemporary
  • Fantasy (okay, consider this equal with contemporary!)
  • Thriller/Suspense
  • Sci-Fi

This post is long, but I hope it helps you determine whether I might be The One for you!

YA Contemporary

I’m seeking something on the dark and twisty side of things. I love some serious and emotional contemporary. I adore anything that pushes boundaries and might be described as intense and complicated. If your story asks some tough questions that the MC—and reader!—has to really sit with, let’s talk. Some elements that aren’t required but are of definite interest include:

  • Family drama/dysfunctional families
  • Complex relationships (family, friendship, romantic—whatever you like, but I do like them a little heartbreaking and tragic!)
  • Flawed, messy characters
  • Friendship or couple breakups

YA Fantasy

I’m excited to see something high concept with deep, compelling world building and tons of atmosphere.  Some keywords: lush, immersive, mysterious, unique. Non-Eurocentric influences would be wonderful! Voice is a must here! If your fantasy includes any of the elements mentioned in the contemporary section, I want to see it! And if you have gods and deities that complicate things and ruin some lives, sign me up (not required, however!). More specifically, I’m seeking:

  • Urban/contemporary fantasy
  • High/epic fantasy
  • Political/court intrigue fantasy
  • Quest-centered fantasy
  • Historical fantasy

YA Thriller/Suspense

I’d love to find a gripping plot-driven story that fits the thriller/suspense category and leaves me breathless and turning pages all night long. I’m going to be much pickier about this genre, but if your story includes any of the below, I’d love to take a peek!

  • Heists
  • Obsessive female friendships that go weird (I really love this!)
  • Cults

YA Science Fiction

I’m open to looking at sci-fi, but of all my accepted genres, this will be the hardest sell for me, so keep that in mind when deciding your mentor submissions. In general, keep it light.

  • Near future sci-fi – something that could read as contemporary but with technological additions that add something fresh and bring new questions or scenarios to the story
  • “soft” science fiction – I’m interested in character and the social changes that technological advancement and development could bring. How does society evolve?

Other Things I’d Love to See in Any/All Requested Genres

  • Romance—can be the main focus of the story or a subplot; enemy/rival-to-lover and forbidden or taboo relationships are my favorite! And yes, I’m all about love triangles, especially if they’re actual triangles (or any shape, really). 👀
  • Retellings – I’d love to see something fresh! Fairytales, folktales, mythology, something uncommon—go for it!
  • Anything LGBTQ+ in general, but in particular, if you have something f/f or focused on bi/pan MCs, I really want to read!
  • Strong friendships, especially among girls!
  • All the feels. All of them. I love a heart-wrenching read!
  • Soft cinnamon roll boys. 😍
  • A focus on lies & secrets. If you’re tackling what’s hidden, that’s what I’m interested in.
  • Found families make me warm and fuzzy inside!
  • Set in a Caribbean location or Caribbean-inspired (Jamaican girl here!)
  • Boarding school – realistic, magical, whatever you’ve got!
  • As a true stereotypical millennial, I love exploring social media, especially YouTube.
  • Elites/royals of any sort as a focal point – I love to follow any sort of high-class social station! And how does that group interact with those outside of it?
  • If you’d describe any part of your world as opulent, bougie, or luxurious in any way, I’m here for it.
  • Marginalized writers: please submit! Own Voices is not required, but please do due diligence (research, sensitivity readers, etc.). If your work is Own Voices and you’d like to share that, note that you do not have to disclose specifics if you’re uncomfortable doing so. And if you do, that’s between you and me!
  • Inclusive stories and varied perspectives
  • Sex-positive everything! (Whether characters are having sex or not!)
  • Complex, fleshed-out characters
  • I have a soft spot for lyrical writing.
  • Memorable voice and character are key!

Even if I didn’t specifically name a key part of your manuscript, or your story is a bit more genre-bendy, if you think it’d still be a good fit, consider me! Sometimes, we don’t know what we want until we see it.

Note: If you have a manuscript featuring characters as old as nineteen years old (which you might currently be labeling as New Adult for various reasons), I’d love to see it. But keep in mind that I might request you recategorize your work as YA if it fits/is appropriate. If your work features main characters ages 19+ AND heavy sexual situations, you might be better served by an Adult mentor.

Content Warnings

If your story contains any of the following, please don’t consider it an automatic no-go! I’d just appreciate a heads-up in your query, if possible. Thank you!

  • Sexual assault
  • Rape
  • Graphic depiction of suicide
  • Graphic depiction of self-harm
  • Eating disorders, particularly anything restrictive

What I Don’t Want

I’m not the right mentor for:

  • Issue-driven contemporary—I like reading them and they’re important, but they’re not exactly what I’m seeking this year. So, if it’s purely about coming out, eating disorders, suicide, cancer, etc., I might not be the best choice.
  • Inspirational and/or Christian fiction. (If your story explores religion, however, that’s fine!)
  • Sports-centric or sports-heavy stories.
  • Anything with a large number of POVs. I greatly prefer one or two, and I tend to max out at three or four. Large casts are totally doable, but I’m not the right person for those stories!
  • Most straight-up historical unless there’s something significantly different about it or it focuses on marginalized folks. So, historical fantasy = OK. Historical romance? Maybe! Almost anything else? Another mentor will be best!
  • Horror of any sort.
  • Anything with extreme gore—sorry, I’m just sensitive to that!
  • Werewolves, goblins, or zombies.
  • “Hard” science fiction: enjoy reading, I’m not well-versed enough in this area to feel confident taking on these sorts of projects.
  • For the SFF folks: nothing way over 100K, please!
  • Memoir.
  • Graphic novels.

Why You Should Submit to Me

First, a message from our sponsor!

Trish has all of the qualifications you’d want in a mentor—but she’s so more than that! Along with being one of the most ambitious, passionate, and hardest working people I know, her knack for rooting out untapped potential in a manuscript will be key in helping you take your story to the next level. Trish is a prompt communicator, an enthusiastic champion, and an incredibly supportive teammate—all traits you’ll want on your side through the ups and downs that is Pitch Wars. I cannot recommend submitting to her enough!

– Ashley Hearn, Associate Editor at Page Street Publishing, Pitch Wars Mentor 2016-17

I’m weeping. Thank you, Ashley!

If you read my bio, you’ll know that I’m a mentee myself. I’ve been blessed with mentors who see my potential and are willing to offer their time and expertise to educate me and make me feel supported as I work my way into the industry. So I understand the ups and downs that come from any sort of journey through publishing. It’s hard for everyone! I want to pay that forward with someone who needs a cheerleader who will urge them to do more and do better.

Listen: I won’t hit you with a bunch of empty platitudes and false cheer. I’m not doom and gloom, but sometimes things are difficult, and you need someone who is willing to acknowledge those feelings and talk you through them so you can get back to pressing forward and, well, kicking ass. So, if genuine encouragement is what you need, I’m your girl! I love to sit and talk about all angles of something, whether that be a story issue or an industry practice. We’re partners-in-crime! I’ll teach you what I know, listen to your concerns, and will always push you to take your manuscript another step closer to your vision.

Over the years, I’ve spent time learning from stellar acquiring editors and great agents. With my internship and mentorship positions, I have useful information regarding the other side of the publishing process, which I know can seem so mysterious and unclear. Who doesn’t want to demystify some of that stuff? 🔍🔍🔍

Editorially, I’m collaborative and I will talk up the strengths of your manuscript while pointing out where there’s work to be done. But I always operate under the belief that this is YOUR book, not mine. So if you’re a writer who is willing to listen to feedback but wants the freedom to solve some creative problems in a way only you can, we might work well together. I won’t hold your hand 24/7, but I will absolutely talk through whatever you need so we get this story to the best place possible. I want you to crush this revision process!

If you’re looking for a mentor who will help flesh out your characters, interrogate your world building, push your scenes for emotional resonance, and delve into your romantic arcs (if present), I’d humbly recommend myself. 😉

I’ve been hustling in publishing for a good while now, which I hope is clear from my bio because, y’all, it took effort to get here and I’m not even done yet! Basically: I work hard and put my best into everything I do (why do you think I’m always so tired? 😂) so I hope to find a mentee who takes themselves and their work as seriously as I will.

General Revision Plan

  1. Big-picture edits: I’ll initially provide a detailed edit letter that gives guidance and ideas but allows freedom for you to determine what works best for your story.  We’ll get into world building, character development, plot–everything! Honestly, expect and prepare yourself for a long AF edit letter; I write A LOT and explore various facets of your story in turn. Please take my notes as suggestions rather than gospel. All of it is up for discussion!
  2. If needed (and if we have time), we’ll do another developmental round to make sure everything’s sorted before we jump into more specific work!
  3. Line edits: I will point out dialogue, diction, clarity, sentence structure/variation, places to amplify tension, etc. If your sentences are wonky, I will point that out and we’ll get them shipshape. If you need to cut some words and get to the point, I’ll tell you where you might want to cut. I do line and copy edits freelance, everyone, so I promise that while you might hate me in the moment, it’ll be great. 😂

If you like spreadsheets, outlines, and schedules, we’ll probably get along. (I am Type-A as hell, as a gentle warning.) I love an organized writer and one who can make a solid strategy! I won’t tell you how to schedule your life, but I’m more than happy to work out a plan together based on your needs! We can bond by coming up with a team name and making a shared Google calendar.

Communication Style

I’m available primarily by email and private messaging/DMs. And with some planning, we can also do a few Google Hangouts video chats! I can text if you’d like, and can schedule phone calls if that helps. More or less, whatever level of contact you need to feel supported, I will do my best to accommodate! You’re not alone, I promise!

To close out, let’s include some books I like/love:

  • We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
  • You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon
  • Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton
  • Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios
  • Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy
  • The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
  • Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
  • The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
  • Far from You by Tess Sharpe
  • The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan
  • Pointe by Brandy Colbert
  • A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro
  • Even When You Lie to Me by Jessica Alcott
  • The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
  • Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao
  • The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
  • Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
  • Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
  • Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
  • The November Girl by Lydia Kang
  • Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas
  • Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
  • Across the Universe by Beth Revis
  • More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
  • Warcross by Marie Lu
  • The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee

If you have any questions about my wish list, feel free to reach out on Twitter @PBPrimaDonna! In most cases, no DMs, please, as I am almost guaranteed to miss your message! Please do not send questions to my freelance editorial email address; I will delete any PitchWars messages without reading them. I’ll also be participating in an #AskMentor Twitter chat on August 16, from 8-10 PM ET, so feel free to hit me up then. 😄

Good luck! 💕

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