Pitch Wars Mentor Bio



Real name: Rachel Huffaker Chang

Pen name: Rae Chang

Categories: YA/NA

Genres: Fantasy, sci-fi, historical, unique contemporary, literary with a commercial edge, subtle magic realism

Also this. Zutara forever.

Also anything that reminds me of this. Zutara forever.

A little about me: I’m a freelance editor and the assistant to the lovely Brenda Drake – you know, the fabulous woman who puts on this contest. I’m an enormous nerd who does things like go to Comic Con and dress up as a Dark Jedi and memorize ship schematics in Star Wars and Star Trek. (No joke, my book actually has references to something like 15 fandoms.) I studied 10 different majors and minors in college, so I have a ton of random knowledge/interests. Your MS is weird and quirky, you say?

bring it on

What I love: Romantic sub-plots with unexpectedly hot guys (particularly enemy-to-lover romances), SWORDS, assassins, food, video games, messed-up shiz with lying protagonists (one of my books was the medieval version of Gone Girl — infer what you like from that), Asian culture (I’m married to a Korean), Hispanic culture (my mom’s from Argentina), the Italian Renaissance, art history, cross-cultural stories, behavioral psychology, fringe science, super creative and quirky protagonists (I compose orchestral music and did dance team, choir, and theatre), stories with mental illness, good grammar, and anything that can surprise me and/or make me laugh.

Hi. Marry me please.

This is Choi Siwon. He can surprise me and make me laugh. Marry me, please.

What I don’t: “Shock” rape/violence, tragedy just for tragedy’s sake, straight-up comedy or romance, fuzzy historical accuracy (I want to murder “The Other Boleyn Girl” — SO LITTLE ACCURACY) , paranormal, high school stories, dystopians that pretend to be sci-fi, erotica, horror (I’m an unabashed wimp), bad grammar, huge chunks of telling, tropes done badly, and anything that makes your protagonist sound like a whiny armchair activist who gets outraged because it’s trendy.


Why you should pick me: I love to edit. I studied it, I do it for a living, and I will not settle for “good enough”. If I pick you as my mentee, I will obsess about your book long beyond the end of Pitch Wars. I will run myself ragged editing, thinking about, and promoting your book.

Seriously, I got so impassioned about a tiny plot point in last year’s mentee’s manuscript that I debated it with her for something like 3 hours and may have cried a little. We resolved it by getting another CP of ours to mediate, and the plot point was solved with a very clever “in between” solution. Then we ate chocolate. But seriously, that’s how I roll. I throw myself in.

Also, there’s that little thing where my mentee from last year scored an agent and three-book deal. I don’t make any promises, but I will work just as hard to try to get you there.


What to expect if you get picked by me: Pain beyond pain, my friends. No, but seriously, I have a very direct style of editing. If I don’t like something, I will tell you without any dancing around the subject. Honesty is my #1 trait, and I expect it in return. (For example, during one editing session with last year’s mentee, I pointed to a line and said, “That line is stupid.” to which she replied, “Your face is stupid.” She’s my bestie and my CP now.)

smash it




Also, expect LOTS of hard work. Caitlyn (last year’s mentee) and I worked for over two months on her book and pulled 4-12 hour-long days. (We also sampled many different foods together since we live 2 miles apart.) I will not stop until I can’t possibly make your manuscript any better. In fact, Caitlyn’s agent told us her manuscript was one of the cleanest she’d ever seen.

Lastly . . .

kill you


What my mentee has to say to you: “Greetings, Pitch Wars hopefuls! So, you’re thinking of applying to Rae as a mentor? Unless you love hard work, pointed critiques, and the idea of cutting 20,000 flabby words from your manuscript, think again. The name of this blog is no joke; she will make your manuscript bleed.

And then you just might get an agent and a three-book deal. Because that’s what happened to me.” – Caitlyn McFarland

Check out more about her here at http://chmcfarland.wordpress.com, and if you’re not following her on twitter (@CHMcFarland), I will be very disappointed in you.


Caitlyn is seriously almost as fabulous as Roy Mustang. And that is a serious accomplishment.



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22 thoughts on “Pitch Wars Mentor Bio

  1. Pingback: Pitch Wars Mentor Bio | Ben L. J. Brooks

  2. Pingback: #PitchWars Mentor Bio Blog Hop! | Jessie Devine

  3. All the gifs, all the fandoms! There’s nothing that can convince me not to send my pitch your way (desert-world dragon-filled character driven fantasy)! Just for curiosity’s sake, would you mind if I asked who your favorite authors are? 😀

    • Oh gosh, I have so many. I’ll just start listing: Gail Carson Levine, Margaret Peterson Haddix, Patricia C. Wrede, Jude Watson, Scott Westerfield, Garth Nix, Caitlyn McFarland . . . 😛 That’s just off the top of my all-nighter brain. There are so many more XD

      • Oh man, I knew you were awesome. I’m a huge Wrede fan, if you couldn’t tell by my penname (no one ever seems to have read The Enchanted Forest Chronicles, and it makes me ridiculously happy every time — though I’m a big fan of the Mairelon the Magician books, too).
        Haha, that really wasn’t a fair question, it’s like choosing a favorite song.

  4. Wow I love you! Please tell me you’d be into a YA fantasy romance steeped in Middle Eastern culture… With pirates! It does have a hot sword fight 🙂

  5. Hi Rae:

    Lot of work involved working with you–and I want to work hard and be awesome.

    What are your thoughts on anti-religious overtones? I ask because everyone either A: Thinks something like that is awesome or B: just gets turned off. Mine’s a contemporary fantasy that gets pretty blasphemous. Kinda like a His Dark Materials meets DaVinci Code. It’s YA, but in my outlines, it’s definitely going into NA before the series is done (due to the age factor).

    But the plus is the main character gets a sword by the end of chapter 2. A badass one. And then he flies around (like literally flies) and chops stuff up. Like a boss. Like a boss hog

  6. Pingback: Pitch Wars Stage One: COMPLETE | Infinitefreetime.com

  7. Wow. You seem like pretty much my perfect match (holy crap, I couldn’t agree with you more about work ethic and wanting to stab the historically inaccurate) except for one question: I don’t know if my MS is acceptable as YA/NA.

    It is about protagonists classically in the YA/NA age range, BUT because it’s historical (12th century Normandy) they are experiencing things that I have been told are too ‘dark’ for YA. I have also been told there is no such thing as YA historical because teenagers in the past were experiencing adult things.

    I would like to pitch you, but I don’t want to offend you by then having the work turn out to be too dark (no gore! just historically accurate emotionally difficult experiences that a teenager might experience like witnessing death, warfare and the galling experienced of killing your first person, arranged marriages, miscarriages caused explicitly by being too young to bear to term) to be acceptable.

    • That does sound like it’s more NA than YA, so that’s fine. I’m doing YA AND NA; they’re not combined into one behemoth thing 😛

      • Haha, sorry, I didn’t mean to imply they were one behemoth thing. I simply meant the characters in my case range from 13-19 over the course of the story, mostly in the YA age range but by the end edging into NA. It makes sense that if the topics are a little darker than usual for YA, NA might be the safer bet overall. Thanks for taking the time to answer!

      • Yeah, I’d go with NA. In YA, the time period is very tight — a few agents have stated you can’t generally do multi-year stories in YA.

  8. You have a birthday card from John Williams?! I’m so jealous! My MS is definitely weird and quirky, and I’ve been treating my writing like a full-time job for the last 4+ years, so I think we’d get along swimmingly. 🙂

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