#PimpMyBio Post for #PitchWars

I’m going to cheat a bit with my #PitchWars #PimpMyBio post. For part of it, I'm recycling my job application for MTV to write about YA books. 1. I’m still in frantic revision mode, but I want to play! 2. I spent a lot of time on it, so it might as well get a second life. 3. It’s GIF-tastic!

Here it is:

Dear Fabulous Folks at MTV News,

I was excited when I saw MTV News is looking for a Freelance Books Writer. Very excited. And obviously the only way to deal with such excitement was to craft my application out of gifs from movies and TV shows based on YA novels.
 
The Lying Game
The Lying Game
 
My earliest memory of MTV is begging my mom to stay up until midnight for the historic premiere of the Michael Jackson Thriller video, and because my mom is awesome, she let me.  
 
Pretty Little Liars
Pretty Little Liars
 
From watching MJ’s thrilling masterpiece, to spending hours dancing and reenacting various videos with my friends, to getting sucked into reality TV with the groundbreaking launch of The Real World, to being ridiculously entertained by current scripted shows like Teen Wolf and Faking It, MTV has long been part of my television life. 
 
Having been around for the early MTV landmarks might make some of the current viewers think of me like this:
 
The Hunger Games
Catching Fire
 
But when it comes to my passion for YA novels, I really look like this:
 
The Hunger Games
Catching Fire
 
My love of YA started when I was an actual young adult reading Christopher Pike, L.J. Smith, Sweet Dreams, and Sweet Valley High. 
 
Inkheart
Inkheart
 
As I got older, I read adult books, but I returned again and again to the heart and emotional truth of YA. When I walk into the YA section of a bookstore and see the incredible variety of books available, I feel like this:
 
The Book Thief
The Book Thief
 
But just because I love YA novels doesn’t make me qualified for this position. So why do I think I’m a strong candidate? 
 
I worked at a software development company for ten years in the quality assurance department, where I tested the software, identified bugs, and wrote reports. I started as an entry-level tester and worked my way up to the manager of the team, and through the years learned many skills, especially how to meet insane deadlines.
 
While a lot of the time it was fun figuring out creative ways to break the software …
 
Gossip Girl
Gossip Girl
  
… after ten years in cubicle land, it began to feel more like this …
 
Warm Bodies
Warm Bodies
 
… so I decided it was time to run toward my real passion …
 
Eye Candy
Eye Candy
 
... writing for young adults!
 
The Vampire Diaries
The Vampire Diaries
 
I’ve taken classes through the Institute of Children’s Literature, participated in the Chautauqua Writers Workshop, and attended conferences through the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
 
I’ve been fortunate to have short stories published in Highlights magazine and the Post and Courier. I also won the 2008 South Carolina Fiction Project, the 2009 Highlights Fiction contest, and the 2013 Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators novel work-in-progress grant. I even won two different grants to turn my short stories into short films: Saying Goodbye and High Heels & Hoodoo. All of these things made me feel like this:
 
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
 
It also reassured my parents I hadn’t ruined my life by chucking my ‘real’ job to be a writer.
 
I'm also the Interview Coordinator for Adventures in YA Publishing, which has been a Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers for the past three years. Every Saturday and Sunday I post interviews with YA authors who released books that week from the major publishers. 
 
With my passion for YA, awards for writing, and contacts in publishing, I believe I would make an excellent Freelance Books Writer for MTV News. And if you were to hire me, I would definitely feel like this:
 
Harry Potter
Harry Potter
 
Thank you for your time and consideration,
 
Jocelyn Rish
 
 
So there it was.
 
The good news? MTV contacted me to write a sample article, and then a few days later, they hired me! 
 
I'm so excited
 
And then my first article was published called 13 Reasons Nancy Drew is a kick-ass 85-year-old teen.
 
And I was feeling pretty kick-ass myself. 
 
Feeling kickass
 
And every time they published another of my articles, I felt like this:
 
Bouncing
 
If you’re interested in reading any of them, you can check them out here
 
The bad news? This dream job only lasted six months before new management came in, decided YA books didn’t need to be covered by MTV, and let my boss go along with all his freelancers. 
 
I may have cried a single manly tear.
 
Dean crying
 
Just kidding! This is actually what I felt like. 
 
Crying waterfalls
 
You can read the whole sad story here if you want some drama in your life. Just kidding! There was no drama just a reasonable amount of angst. 
 
So if you’ve made it this far, you might be thinking, “You’ve had your fingers in a lot of YA pies, but … didn’t you submit a middle grade novel?”
 
Record scratch
(Since I can’t do sound effects, just imagine a record scratch sound as the turtle goes round and round.
 
Why, yes, yes, I did. And that’s the main reason I’m entering PitchWars again. I was beyond fortunate to be picked as an alternate by the AMAZE-BALLS Fiona McLaren in PW 2013 and as an alternate by the FABULOUS Jessie Humphries in PW 2014 with my YA novel. As a bonus of 2014, I became part of an incredible support group with the other mentees/alternates (love y’all!), who I interact with every day. So I kind of felt like I’d had my turn with PitchWars and didn’t plan to enter again. 
 
Then along came this MG idea. Honestly, I thought it was YA. I started plotting it as YA. Then my critique group said, “Nope, it must be MG!” I pouted. I resisted. I stamped my feet. I’m a YA girl, I know nothing about MG! For an entire year I put off writing it because I didn’t want to write it as MG. But then last April, I decided what the heck, I’ll toss off a quick rough draft of the idea as MG for Camp NaNo. So I did. And of course my critique group was right. And I love it as MG and want to hug it and squeeze it and make it the absolute best book it can be.
 
Hug
 
But the fact remains that I don’t know much about MG. I haven’t read very many MG novels (though I’m currently trying to fix that), and I haven’t immersed myself in the MG community like I have with YA. I need a mentor to guide me through this scary new world of MG, and the best way to do that is to throw my hat into the PitchWars ring one more time. 
 
 
If you’ve made it this far, hat’s off to you. And don’t worry, it’s not my head-chopping hat. As a reward, here’s a picture of my dogs. They’re the best. Well, all dogs are the best. But mine are THE best. 
Freya and Chloe
 
Thank you Brenda Drake for the awesomeness that is PitchWars, and thank you Lana Pattinson for hosting the #PimpMyBio blog hop! Check out the other entries here.
 

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