What a whirlwind of a Week!
Remember at the end of June, when I tweeted a bunch of Pitches?
Well, during that competition, #PitchWars was mentioned. I assumed it was a similar contest and put it on my calendar, for August 3rd.
So, Monday, August 1st rolls around and I go to check-out the website for all the details.
It’s not a tweeting pitch-fest. It’s better.
It’s the opportunity to query for an industry mentor, work with them for 2 months, then have my work showcased for a group of agents.
I read the agent list and recognized a few from my short list of agents I was getting ready to query!
Fortunately for me, I’ve just spent the last MONTH getting my query letter and synopsis together.
All that was left?
I had to pick 4 mentors to apply to. That involved studying the blog links of 66 YA mentors and find the ones looking for fantasy, whose bios sounded eager for my novel. Don’t worry, I used a spreadsheet. The first pass took me down to 17 who were right for my genre, then the hard work began.
Luckily? My budget could spare $20, so I could apply to 2 extra mentors.
I ended up sorting by voice, booklist, and editing experience. It was still so hard! They all sounded awesome, but I didn’t want to miss the mentor who would be excited about MY novel.
Don’t Forget the Writing!
Well, almost all. I still had to double-check that query and that first chapter: the parts that would make up my submission. They all sounded like they wanted bios, so I added a better one to mine. Then, I found FIVE typos in my first chapter. *headshakes* The things one finds…
I’ve got my synopsis ready, for whichever mentor requests it.
They were supposed to start submissions on August 3rd. They opened them right after the last Q/A session, at 9pm! I had mine tweaked and polished by 11:30pm.
Note: If you got extra mentors, each form submits separately, refreshes the screen, and clears the other forms.
It’s Not Too Late! (if you’re reading this before August 7th)
If you have a completed manuscript, there’s No Reason not to query and at least try. If you need help, the people on twitter and facebook will be happy to help you.
#PitchWars contestants are the most supportive, gif sharing bunch of people you will ever meet.
Jumping Into the Community with Both Feet
I joined the FB support group for #PitchWars hopefuls. I started following the hashtag on twitter and encouraging my fellow writers.
The more I read, the more I realized:
These are the people who are exactly where I am.
- Over half of us write YA, with fantasy being the most popular genre
- We’ve all finished a novel, polished it, and feel it’s ready to be queried
- We’re all working hard to take our novel to the next step
So? What else could I do but support them! I now have a community of people, in the same stage as my writing career. I’ve followed them on twitter, subscribed to their blog feeds, and liked their pages on facebook.
Even if my novel doesn’t get selected for mentoring*, I feel I’ve got a support group now.
Thank you #PitchWars
*Clearly, the only reason my novel wouldn’t get picked is that they took one look and are wondering:
- why I want a mentor
- why I don’t have an agent yet.
It is kind of breathtaking, isn’t it? Good luck!
Thanks for sharing this, Sis. I know there are folks who will welcome this opportunity.
Of course you had a spreadsheet.
Best of luck!!
Thanks! I’m super nervous and hopeful.
I’ve heard good things that have come out of those mentoring partnerships — I hope you add a good story to those.
So much has changed since I began this journey. Thanks for posting this, Morgan. I had no idea such a service existed. Thanks for visiting IWSG.