Today’s the day–July 19th. The mentor bios and wishlists are gonna drop (or maybe they already have! You never know what Brenda has up her sleeve!) You’re all about to rush over and read through dozens of profiles searching for the right fit for you. Today is an exciting day!
I know for me, mentor wishlist day was my most anticipated reveal–okay, second most, since nothing beats the mentee reveal day. Choosing who to submit to is probably the most important decision you, prospective mentee, get to make. There are a lot of things you can do to be ready for PW: polish your MS, swap with other hopefuls, make ALL THE FRIENDS etc. But at a certain point, it’s out of your hands, and it’s important to make sure the mentors you send to are the right ones, because nothing’s worse than knowing you have a great project that a mentor you didn’t sub to would have loved.
My process for choosing mentors wasn’t all that special–I made a spreadsheet with everyone who wanted my genre, and then narrowed it down based on specifics. Pretty basic. I ended up with about a dozen to choose from, and only 6 entries (I purchased 2 extra, and gosh I’m glad I did!). Of my 6 entries, 3 of them stayed the same throughout my process of narrowing down; the other three changed daily, and on the day I submitted, I changed my mind and swapped in two I’d eliminated early on.
This was risky. Their profiles didn’t match my book exactly, and I was very unsure about a couple of things I thought they might not like about my book (turns out, I was right about one of those things and I ended up cutting it entirely, much to the betterment of both my book and myself as a person). But I wanted to work with both of them–badly. Early on I eliminated them because I thought they were way too cool and sophisticated for my book. I didn’t think they’d even give mine a second look when they were probably getting subbed by really creative, great writers–far better than me. But the thing is, you or I can’t predict 100% accurately what other people are going to like. The wishlists are a great guideline, but sometimes you have to act on instinct. Sometimes you just have to reach for the stars, and go for it.
I got requests from 3 out of the 6 I submitted to. Anyone want to guess which 3?
Yeah–the three I kept switching. I was certain I’d get a request from one mentor in particular, and I didn’t hear a peep from them (not necessarily a bad thing! They ended up picking a good friend of mine, and I’m thrilled that’s how it turned out). My requests were all a surprise. They were the people I never expected to hear from–the ones who were, in my head at least, way too cool for me.
And my last minute switch? Turned out great for me–my dream mentor, the one I never ever thought would want to work with me in a million years, ended up picking me!
So the advice I have for you, mentee hopeful, is to consider your options carefully, and don’t eliminate a mentor just because you think they’ll get a ton of submissions or because you think you’re not good enough. Don’t self-reject, because there’s already so much rejection in this industry–the least you can do is try as hard as you can to believe in yourself.
What is one gif that represents your Pitch Wars experience?