It’s funny, because I just started this blog but am already slacking on posts. And it looks like I’ll be slacking for the next couple of months, too. But I swear, I’ve got a really awesome, totally legitimate reason for my slackitude. That reason?
What is #PitchWars, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. It’s a contest in which unpublished writers can, if they’re lucky, get mentored by published authors. Actually, let me borrow from the contest’s host, author Brenda Drake:
“What is Pitch Wars? Is it another contest? Oh, no, it’s so much better. Pitch Wars is a contest where published/agented authors, editors, or industry interns choose one writer each, read their entire manuscript, and offer suggestions to shine it up for agents. The mentors also critique the writer’s pitch to get it ready for the agent round. Mentors also pick one alternate each in case their writer drops out of the contest. Writers send applications (query and first chapter of manuscript) to the four mentors that best fit their work. The mentors then read all their applications and choose the writer they want to mentor for the next two months. Then we hold an agent round with over a dozen agents making requests.”
Sounds awesome, right? It is. It’s an amazing opportunity. And you know what? I got in!
I submitted my YA fantasy, THE WATCHMAKER, which made it into the Amazon Breakthrough Novelist Award quarterfinals earlier this year. Since then, I’d had it professionally edited and started querying literary agents. The rejection letters arrived in droves. But such is querying. On average, a writer can expect dozens upon dozens of rejections. I actually got a request from a small press editor who wanted to read my full manuscript, but that scored me a rejection, too. I was bummed, because it was my first full request. But it turned out to be the best thing that could have happened, because I got the rejection right as the #PitchWars submission window opened. (Having a full request out for consideration would have prohibited me from entering the contest.)
Over 1,200 writers entered #PitchWars this year. There were 75 mentors to choose from. Of the 4 mentors I submitted to, 3 asked to read my full manuscript before the list of mentees was announced, which in and of itself was fantastic. When the list was posted last week, I was floored to learn a mentor had picked me to work with!
Her name is Meredith McCardle. Her YA book, The Eighth Guardian, has spies and time travel and flat-out rocks. (Yes, I’ve already read it. You should go buy it right now.) For the past few days we’ve been bouncing around ideas about ways to revamp the overall plot of my book. It’s going to mean a fair amount of rewrites, but I am super excited by all the changes we’re making. Hopefully the agents agree come the agent round in November.
Anyway. That’s my news. Cool, huh?!