Lynnette Labelle’s Bio and Wish List for #PitchWars

To my regular readers, potential clients, and regular clients,

The following post is my bio and wish list for the blog hop in the Pitch Wars contest. The blog hop runs Aug. 3-17. I’ll post something new August 25.

Pitch Wars 2015 Pic

Let’s win this war.

Hey gang. I’m super excited to be a Pitch Wars mentor this year. Whoop! Think of me as your captain, and we’ll sail this ship through rough seas and cannon balls to win this war. I’ll help you polish your manuscript and make it shine, but you’ll be the one swabbing the deck. Got it, mate? Arrr!

Four Stages of Drafting - Jack Sparrow


Why should you pick me as your mentor?

Simple. I’m a freelance editor. I do this for a living and have been for over thirteen years. Plus, my clients range from new writers to New York Times and USA Today best-selling authors like Roni Loren, Rebecca Hamilton, and Cristin Harber. I work with writers seeking traditional publishing and indie authors.

I specialize in substantive/developmental editing for romance (romantic suspense, paranormal romance, romantic thriller, contemporary romance, and romantic comedy), mystery, psychological thriller, suspense, horror, crime, paranormal/supernatural, fantasy, urban fantasy, dystopian, women’s fiction, NA, YA, and SOME science fiction (no aliens or futuristic stories). I also help writers create hooky query letters and strong synopses, and I teach several writing classes.

BE WARNED: Just because I edit a certain genre/subgenre doesn’t mean I’m accepting it as a submission to Pitch Wars. You’ll have to read further for that info. Bahaha!

When I’m not helping others polish their manuscripts, I’m writing or revising my work-in-progress. (Yeah, it’s time for me to focus on my stories too.) I’m a romantic suspense author who injects a dark edge into romance. I’m a finalist in the 2015 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense contest. DEADLY CONTRACT won first place in the romantic suspense category of the 2014 Winter Rose Contest offered through the Yellow Rose RWA chapter. DEADLY CONTRACT is my first manuscript that didn’t get shoved under the bed.

Because I’m a writer and an editor, I’ll see your story from an editor’s, writer’s, and reader’s point of view. Plus, I’ll understand what you’re going through as you fight through revisions. Been there. Done that. Still doing ‘em. As an editor, I’ll know how to guide you and show you how to fix issues in your manuscript. And the teacher in me will help you learn from your mistakes so you can improve your writing skills.

Check out a sample of my work on Brenda Drake’s blog:

Okay, now that you know a little bit about me, I’ll reveal what I want to see in my Pitch Wars inbox.

I’m mentoring . . . adult fiction. Woohoo!

Pitch Wars Mentor - Adult - Larger

Adult genres/subgenres I WANT:

-contemporary romance
-romantic suspense
-romantic thriller
-romantic comedy
-paranormal romance (not vampires—only because I’ll be editing another vampire MS for a client during the mentoring period)
-erotic romance (must have a romance)
-UPDATE: psychological thriller (and all thrillers except political or medical)
-urban fantasy
-women’s fiction
-some science fiction (no aliens or futuristic stories)
-cowboys and ranchers
-magical realism


Adult genres/subgenres I DON’T want:

-historical romance
-inspirational romance
-western (see explanation below)
-science fiction with aliens or futuristic stories
-category romance
-space opera



-For horror: I’m looking for a story that scares me but not because it’s filled with gore. Hey, gore is fine, but there has to be something behind it, just like an erotic romance needs to have a romance and can’t be all about sex. As a teen, I read Stephen King, John Saul, and Dean Koontz, and I still love those authors.

-Psychological thrillers are my thing. I’m not really into legal or medical thrillers.

-No zombies. They don’t do anything for me. Sorry.

-Fairytale retellings? YES. LURVE those. Also lurve all other fairytales. Gimme.

-No old-fashioned westerns with guys shooting each other in saloons. Cowboys and ranches are good. Send those.

-No vampires. As I mentioned above, during the mentoring period, I’ll be editing a vampire novel for a client, so I don’t want to mentor something similar.

-No time travel. I’m picky when it comes to time travel stories, so best to avoid them for this contest.

-No spy novels. I like YA spy novels, but I can’t accept them for this contest.

-For romance: I like any heat level from sweet/closed doors to hot & smexy. BUT there has to be a real romance. Don’t try to disguise erotica as erotic romance by having the characters proclaim love for each other. I expect to see sexual tension, and the relationship needs to build.

-I’m not interested in characters overcoming alcohol or drug addiction. This doesn’t mean your characters can’t drink or have a drinking problem. I don’t want overcoming addiction to be the main story goal.

-I’m open to diversity and LGBT stories, but ONLY if the characters are real. If you thought diversity is selling, so you’ll change your character’s skin color to get in on the trend, it won’t cut it. If you make your female characters kiss or have sex, but I don’t feel a romantic connection between them, I’ll pass. You can’t fake this stuff, guys, so don’t try.

-I can’t accept MG, YA, or NA of any kind for this contest. I’m an adult mentor.

-Please use industry standard formatting for your sample pages and manuscript. Times New Roman (or Courier, but I prefer TNR), size 12, 1” margins all around, ½” paragraph indents, double-spaced text, and only one space between sentences.

-Have a synopsis ready. If I request additional pages, I’ll ask for one. Don’t worry. I won’t judge you on the synopsis, just the sample pages. But, I’ll want to see where you’re going with the story, so make sure you have a beginning, middle, and end in your synopsis. If I request a synopsis, it can be one single-spaced page OR up to five double-spaced pages. Whatever best showcases your story.

-I MIGHT ask for the full, so have your manuscript polished and ready to go. If I make a request, I’ll expect you to send it to me within 24 hours. Your first deadline. 🙂

-If you’re not sure if I’d accept your type of story, ask me on Twitter: @LynnetteLabelle.

-You MUST be open to constructive criticism if you want to work with me. I’m not your cheerleader and I won’t stroke your ego. I want to help you improve as a writer, which means I’ll pick apart your work. I’ll point out your strengths and weaknesses, and I’ll help you find ways to fix the issues. My feedback is honest but not harsh. Still, if you believe your manuscript doesn’t need any work and I find plenty of things to fix, you might be in for a shock. So, only submit to me if you’re ready to learn, revise, and possibly rewrite some of your manuscript. I’m here to help. Offering praise instead of true editorial feedback might make you feel better, but it won’t get you an agent, a publisher, or five-star reviews. Not that anyone can promise those things. Just sayin’.

Follow Me:

Twitter: @LynnetteLabelle


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6 Responses to Lynnette Labelle’s Bio and Wish List for #PitchWars

  1. Well, that is a bummer! I have been looking into doing this after I read you were a mentor, but now I see you don’t want category romance! ::sad face::

  2. Lynnette Labelle says:

    Sorry, Toni Lynn. I don’t read enough category romance to know the rules and “formulas”. I don’t edit category either (for the same reason).

    Lynnette Labelle
    2015 Daphne du Maurier Finalist

  3. Am making my way through the PitchWars blog hop and I really enjoyed your post! I have a mg time travel, so, not at all what you’re looking for, but I checked out your sample page on Brenda Drake’s blog and really learned a lot just from that. Thanks for mentoring and good luck with your applicants!

  4. Lynnette Labelle says:

    Thanks, Kristin. I’m glad you were able to get something out of the sample. Good luck with the contest.

    Lynnette Labelle
    2015 Daphne du Maurier Finalist

  5. Kris Laubscher says:

    Contemporary romance MS polished and ready to go. Can’t wait until Monday!

  6. Lynnette Labelle says:

    Kris: GIMME. I’m dying for a good contemporary romance.

    Lynnette Labelle
    2015 Daphne du Maurier Finalist

Comments are closed.