If you follow my Twitter account, you’ve probably seen an abundance of writing related tweets using hashtags such as #PitchWars. What is Pitch Wars?
Pitch Wars is now one of many contests/author events geared towards helping writers who seek publication. The contest was created by the lovely Brenda Drake, and you should check out her page for the details and schedule here.
Basically, writers can submit their query letter and first chapter to select mentors who are participating in their genre. The mentors are published/agented authors, editors, interns who are offering up their free time to read each submission they get. After they read through their submissions, they can only select ONE author to scoop under their wing as a mentee.
What does this mentor and mentee partnership mean? Great knowledge! And the mentor will assist the mentee with polishing their query letter and manuscript to become ready for the final round of the contest: The Agent Round.
During the Agent Round the mentees submissions will be made available to the select agents participating in the contest. There’s no guarantee of scoring an agent, but if you get this far in the contest, you should feel rewarded knowing you’re on the right track.
This year the numbers totaled at a little over a hundred mentors and well over a thousand submissions were received. So there’s no guarantee of an agent and the odds are tough no matter how strong your submission might be, so why enter? Regardless of whether you get an agent or even selected to be a mentee, the overall Pitch Wars experience is very rewarding.
First, submitting is great practice and that’s never a loss! You might even score some feedback from the mentors. Feedback is not required because the mentors are already devoting their free time to the contest and have to focus on helping their mentee. So, let’s keep things classy and make sure to be both patient and appreciative if any mentors take the time to offer feedback to you.
Second, this was my first Pitch Wars and I was not chosen as a mentee, but it was a pleasure connecting with the community. The mentors are pretty active on Twitter, and they provide valuable information via Twitter and their personal blogs. This also gave me a chance to make new writer friends! So basically, search the Pitch Wars hashtag for the chance to learn from industry professionals or meet some awesome writers who might be looking for a critique partner.
The contest is annual, and it’s never too early to work on your submission for next year’s Pitch Wars! Also, visit Brenda Drake’s page for other contest options scheduled throughout the year. Good luck and happy writing!