What did you do to prepare for Pitch Wars?
I’ve done Pitch Wars twice now, and had very different preparation strategies! One year, I had revised my novel significantly a few times, and gotten a ton of feedback on the first chapter. I spent the whole submission window doing a frantic line edit. The next year, I had just finished a first draft, and I did a quick read for typos and inconsistencies and then I was out of time. The second year, I sent my manuscript to sensitivity and beta readers at the same time I submitted it to Pitch Wars. It was actually great (though slightly overwhelming) to get four or five sets of feedback at once, including my mentor’s feedback, so I would recommend this strategy!
How did you choose which mentors to send to?
I pored over all of the wishlists and wrote down any mentor I thought could be a good fit. I read mentor books, and stalked past mentees. I also casually interacted with them on Twitter, to get to know them. In the end, both years, there were more mentors I would have loved to work with than I could submit to so I kind of just closed my eyes and picked.
How/Why did you decide to enter Pitch Wars?
Because I’m an adrenaline junky who can’t seem to stop entering contests? Ha! That’s certainly part of it–it takes a certain personality type to deal with the rollercoaster that is Pitch Wars and querying and then want to go back and do it all again. Really, though, I’d had my eye on Pitch Wars for a long time, and I think I missed one year while I was drafting my second novel. I loved the idea that the contest built in time for a mentor to work with you on your entire book, not just your query and first page. So I was thrilled when the timing worked out for me to enter my second manuscript. I had an amazing mentor, Rachel Lynn Solomon, but that manuscript didn’t get agented, and by a combination of luck and planning, I had another manuscript ready to go for the next year of Pitch Wars. I was so lucky to land another amazing mentor in Diana Gallagher. That one hasn’t gotten snapped up yet either, so I may even enter for a third year, if I can get my WIP in any kind of fighting shape in time!
What was your favorite part of Pitch Wars?
I adore both of my mentors and keep in touch with them. I also adore the thriving Facebook communities of fellow mentees and probably spend way too much time on Facebook now instead of writing and working. But at least I get to call it networking!
What would you say to someone thinking about entering Pitch Wars?
I definitely recommend it! In my experience, even if you don’t get chosen, if you reach out to other entrants, you may land awesome new CPs. Many mentors will also send feedback to people who submitted to them, even if they don’t request your manuscript or pick you as a mentee.
However, if you know your schedule is going to be ridiculous during the revision window, I would sit Pitch Wars out. It’s not for the faint of heart.
What is one gif that represents your Pitch Wars experience?
Hard work, high stakes, great allies