I’ll start off by saying that Megan is a magical writing resource niffler. She finds all the opportunities, whether they are blog columns, query websites, twitter pitch contests, or agents.
Most recently, she sent me information for Pitch Wars, a mentoring contest hosted by Brenda Drake. Drake also hosts Pitch Madness in February and the concurrent Twitter #PitMad contest. If you’re a writer, her blog would be a great resource to follow.
Back to Pitch Wars: writers are invited to submit their writing to a group of pre-selected writing mentors. To enter, you must have a polished manuscript, a query letter, and a synopsis, though they also advise hammering out a 35 word short pitch just for practice (useful for any future Twitter Pitch contests).
The mentors are organized based on genre (Middle Grade-MG, Young Adult-YA, Adult/New Adult-NA). They post wish lists and based on these lists, you select up to four mentors. Upon submission, your information relays directly to your mentors. They sift through a gargantuan pile to choose their winner.
If you are selected, a two-month long, intensive mentoring relationship begins. The manuscript and the query and the synopsis are all up for heavy review. It’s an opportunity for growth, but this growth can be hard-hitting. In the end, there is a strong current of warmth and support for fellow writers. Many state on their wish lists they are offering mentoring relationships that continue well beyond the duration of Pitch Wars.
This mentoring isn’t even the end game! After receiving a bounty of advice and one-on-one writing counsel, the mentees are featured in an Agent Showcase. Agents take a digital tour of the presented works and make offers.
In conclusion, this process is not for the faint of heart or the unprepared, though it offers much to participants. By preparing to submit my manuscript, I’ve already added a handful of fellow authors to my twitter as possible connections and followed several blogs. I also watched one of the Live Shows featuring a handful of the Adult Fiction mentors answering questions from Twitter; some of the information was familiar, but I also heard some answers that surprised me and prompted me to think.
I’ve expanded my network and connected with this unique corner of the writing community. Though the act of writing is a solitary exercise, the journey is one shared by many feet (hands, minds, etc). We can all help bolster each other through encouragement or advice, by work-shopping writing, creating forums for questions and resources, and by supporting contests like Pitch Wars.
Even if I’m not selected as a mentee (and let’s be honest, the odds are against me just by the number of competitors), this has still been a valuable exercise in focusing my craft, engaging with the industry, and networking. The love of writing fuels and connects us.
Because friends + writing = yay ♥