PitchWaaaaars!!! Can you smell the bloodlust in the air? No? Just me being a competitive psychopath? Whatevs – I AM NOT ASHAMED! I love contests (and in fact got my agent through one!), and this is definitely the coolest one I’ve seen in a while. Why? you ask. Because you have the opportunity to get mentored by me! (Oh, yeah, and there are some other great mentors out there too. I GUESS.) (No, but really, they’re amazing. If you’re outside my area of interest/expertise, you should totally check ’em out.)

So how do you know if I’m meant to be your Yoda? WELL. Do you like candy and fun and Ian Somerhalder and/or Olivia Wilde?? (Just kidding – that was solely to check if you’re baseline human.) What’s really important is that you’re looking to work together, put in the time to make your manuscript awesome, and take some crit that may not always be as delightfully sugar-coated, all in the interest of making your work the best it can be. Well, that and that your manuscript fits my particular area of interest, which means it is:

– Either YA or NA (sorry, no MG or Adult, but there are some fanfreakingtastic judges doing these!)


Contemporary. We’re talking anywhere on the spectrum here – no such thing as too light or too dark for me! My soft spots are romance, psychological thrillers, books that makes me laugh out loud, and main characters that have an edge – think Courtney Summers’ protagonists, AS King’s Vera Dietz, or the girls from Lauren Oliver’s BEFORE I FALL. I also love characters who are passionate about their hobbies, especially if they’re hobbies we haven’t seen lots of before. Oh, and if you have a contemporary retelling of an Old Testament story, I’m going to need that on my desk ASAP.

Got something like that for me and I will hug you harder than I am inexplicably hugging this Turkish vending machine!

So now you’re probably wondering who I am and why on earth you should choose me. And so, here’s a little more info about yours truly!

My history in writing/editing/publishing is about as strangely varied as it gets. I started off as an Intern at HarperCollins (Publicity), then went on to get a BA in Journalism (magazine track) from NYU. While in college, I minored in creative writing (poetry!) and interned at Simon & Schuster (Production) and Maxim (Fashion). Upon graduation, I went back to Simon & Schuster, as an Editorial Assistant. Sadly, I had to leave that job to move to Philadelphia, where I switched to academic publishing (Editorial for a scientific journal), picked up two freelance copy editing contracts (m/m romance/LGBT YA for Dreamspinner Press/Harmony Ink and erotica for Ellora’s Cave), and took a fab class on writing MG/YA with the wonderful Melissa Jensen. Now I’m back in NY, working as an Assistant Editor at an academic publisher and a copy editor for Ellora’s Cave, and blogging along with 11 other fab YA writers at YA Misfits. Oh, and I write, too – all contemp, all the time! – and am repped by Andrea Somberg at Harvey Klinger, Inc. You can check out more about the books I’ve written here and some blog posts I’ve written/interviews I’ve given here!

Plus, here’s 5 random fun facts about me:

1) I know all the world capitals for no good reason.

2) I attended a seminary in Jerusalem for a year.

3) I was named after a turtle who ran away under my sister’s care.

4) I am in the acknowledgments of six books, and the dedication of one.

5) The best possible tools you can use to bribe me are French macarons, but I’m a fiend for candy in general. My dental work reflects this.

So, that’s me! Tell me a little bit about you in the comments, and if you think we might make an awesome team, check out the official information below for how to apply to get me as your mentor:

Submissions start today (11/26)! The cut-off time to get your applications (query & first five pages of manuscript) in is 8AM EST on December 5.

Send your applications to brendadrakecontests@gmail.com. Writers can apply for up to 3 coaches. The coaches’ categories are set. Coaches can only consider the categories they’ve signed up for. Writers cannot apply for a coach that is not in their category.

For additional information about this contest go HERE

·        This is open to finished manuscripts only.

·         You may only enter one manuscript.

·         Only the genres requested by each coach will be considered for the contest.


Subject line: Pitch Wars Application: Coach Name you want to apply for: Title (Example: Pitch Wars Application: Dahlia Adler: GONE WITH THE WIND)

Name: Your Name

Genre: The genre of your manuscript

Word Count: The word count of your manuscript

Query letter here  (embedded in email). Single spaced. No indentations. A space between each paragraph.

First five pages of the manuscript here (embedded in email). Single spaced. No indentations. A space between each paragraph.


REMINDER: You can send an application for up to 3 coaches.

Check back soon for a complete list of the amazing agents participating in the contest. There’s over a dozen!

Today all the coaches are posting bios/wish lists on their blogs. So before choosing your top 3 picks, check all the coaches’ posts in your category before deciding which coach to submit. To jump from blog to blog, just click on our pictures below.