What did you do to prepare for Pitch Wars?
Nothing. Well, not exactly NOTHING, I wrote and edited a book, but this is my chance to say if you don’t have time to #pimpmybio or stalk all the mentors or get a critique on your query it doesn’t mean you can’t get into Pitch Wars. Last year I found out about Pitch Wars on the day the submission window opened. I didn’t know a lot about what the program involved, I just heard “mentor” and knew it was an opportunity to take a manuscript that I loved to the next level. So I wrote up my query, spent a full day pouring over the mentor list, and submitted.
How did you decide which mentors to submit to?
Since GHOST TRAIN is a spooky story, I made sure to find the mentors who liked things with a little creep. I figured subbing folks who wanted ghost stories would give me the best chance of getting chosen as a mentee. But I kept coming back to one mentor’s bio even though she didn’t express any interest in paranormal or dark material. She talked about clean, smart, fast writing with lots of heart, and that quiet voice in my head pushed me to submit to her. Clearly, it was just meant to be because she became my mentor for 2016. My takeaway? Definitely pay attention to what mentors say they want, but don’t limit yourself if someone’s bio is speaking to you. Trust your inner voice.
What was something that surprised you about Pitch Wars?
Two things. One, how much work was involved. Don’t laugh. Stop it. I had no idea that when they said “be prepared to work” it would mean “rewrite an entire novel in 30 days, then revise and polish it in the next 30.” It was intense. But I learned so much and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. And two, how important the community would become to me. Writing without support sucks. Querying without support sucks. I am better today not just because my mentor rocked my socks off, but because I have a group of smart, talented, trusted writers at my back, pushing me to be better and cheering me on when I get stuck.
What is one gif that represents your Pitch Wars experience?