Our interview today is with Julia Nobel, a middle grade writer, and member of the Pitch Wars Class of 2016 (and 2017 mentor!). You can find her on Twitter, facebook, or her website if you want to learn more!
What did you do to prepare for Pitch Wars?
The best thing I did to prepare was post my genre and subgenre on the hashtag and ask if anyone wanted to trade queries and pages. Two people answered my call, both of whom were also writing MG mysteries, and they helped so much with my query and pages. As fate would have it, all three of us got into Pitch Wars, and they’re now two of my strongest critique partners.
How did you choose which mentors to send to?
I looked at every MG wishlist very, very carefully. I wrote down everyone who seemed like they might be interested in my subgenre (mystery), and made notes on all of them. Every time they mentioned something that fit with my manuscript, I wrote it down. Then I watched all the live chats and made notes as well. When I was reading over my notes, it became pretty clear who would be interested in my project and who wouldn’t be.
What was something that surprised you about Pitch Wars?
The community. I’m part of a really active Facebook group of 2016 mentees, and I have a really big group of MG critique partners and beta readers. We all support each other, celebrate each other’s successes, and commiserate with each other in all the tough parts of this business. It’s pretty amazing!
What is one thing you wish everyone knew about Pitch Wars?
Pitch Wars doesn’t guarantee success. There are plenty of people who don’t get agents with their Pitch Wars book. There are people who get agents, but don’t get a book deal. There are people who get agents, and then leave their agents because it ends up not being a good fit. A career in publishing never follows a straight line. You need to have realistic expectations, and the drive to keep going, no matter what happens. And find writing friends to lean on, because they will help you get through it.
What would you say to someone thinking about entering Pitch Wars?
Do it!!! Whether you get in or not, the community is the best part of Pitch Wars, so be active on the hashtag and look for people to connect with. Be very intentional about who you submit to, and get your query and ms into the best shape you can before the submission window. And have fun with it!