In the past two months I’ve moved to a new state, started a new job at a new library, become a first-time landlord (ugh), and… some other things that I can’t talk about yet. It’s a lot, y’all.
And on top of it all? I’m preparing to be a #PitchWars mentor for the first time!
Pitch Wars is the biggest writing contest in the twitterverse, hosted annually by Brenda Drake.
Potential mentees submit their query and first chapter to a select number of mentors reading in their genre. The mentors (agented/published authors) choose the best manuscript from their submissions and work with their mentee for two months, providing detailed manuscript critiques and advice about the publishing world. It all leads up to the Agent Showcase in November, where mentees get to post a 35-word pitch and 250-word sample of their manuscript on Brenda’s blog. Then, the agents who have committed to the contest (and a few ninja agents!) check out all the samples and request more pages from those that interest them. Here’s my Agent Showcase post from last year. There are two things that really make Pitch Wars priceless, though: Getting critiqued by someone farther up the publishing chain than you, and the amazing community that emerges from the experience.
Last year I made it into the Pitch Wars class of 2015, had a fantastic time, learned a lot, and met a community of writers that continues to be a crucial part of my support system. Our private facebook group is my solace, and they’re some of my most active twitter buddies and email pen pals. I was so grateful for the experience that I wanted to give back to the community, so this year I’ll be co-mentoring in the YA category with my fellow PW15 alumna, Jamie Pacton! Our manuscript wishlist will be coming out in July, but for now, just know that we’re looking for a hard worker with big dreams and a YA manuscript we can’t put down!
If you’re planning to enter Pitch Wars, I hope you’ll consider donating to the cause. All of the mentors work for free, but it takes an enormous amount of time and expensive web hosting to make Pitch Wars happen. Everyone gets to submit to four mentors for free, but those who choose to donate $20 or more will get two extra submissions, for a total of six. All entries are given equal consideration (mentors will not know who donated and who did not), and smaller donation amounts are just as welcomed and appreciated!
To support the fundraising effort, the Pitch Wars class of 2015 will be doing a day of donating on July 15th. To show our appreciation for everything Pitch Wars gave us, we’ll all be donating what we’re able on that day. The first 100 people to donate at least $15 with us on the 15th will get a bonus swag pack of writing-related goodies! If you donate at least $20 on the 15th, you’ll get both the swag pack and the two extra entries. Good deal, right?
Want to show your #PitchWars pride? You can also purchase Pitch Wars t-shirts and coffee mugs, and 30% of proceeds will go straight to the Pitch Wars fund!
If you have any question about Pitch Wars, please feel free to reach out to me on twitter @GeektasticLib. While I can’t answer any questions like “Do you want a manuscript that features X and Y?”, I can definitely tell you what being in Pitch Wars is like and encourage you to enter. If you need convincing, I’m here!
Are you planning to submit to Pitch Wars this year? Feel free to ask question in the comments!