What would you say to someone thinking about entering Pitch Wars?
We’ve seen a ton of posts encouraging people to try something new, go for it, you’re the best and have nothing to lose! And all those things are true. But today I wanted to focus on those of you who’ve applied to Pitch Wars before and weren’t chosen.
I entered Pitch Wars three times, with three different manuscripts. In 2014, I got no requests. In 2015, I got one request. And in 2016, I got in.
The second time I entered, I got a rejection that knocked me flat on my back. It wasn’t that the rejection was mean; it was incredibly kind (because Pitch Wars people are seriously amazing). But afterward, I couldn’t look at my book. I was in a total slump. That book was the best I could do, and it felt like no one would ever want my work―not the mentors I subbed to, not literary agents, and definitely not publishing houses.
Because that rejection hurt so bad, when 2016 came around and I had a new manuscript, I told myself I wouldn’t enter Pitch Wars. Not this time. I’d queried enough by that point that rejections rarely stung, but the idea of taking my brand new, never-queried book into that arena once more… I worried it would bring all those feelings rushing back, and that this time it’d be even harder to get up and try again when I was rejected.
But then a voice popped into my head. It was that scrappy part of me that hates being told I can’t do something, and sounds weirdly like Stephen Colbert for reasons I’ve yet to figure out.
What if I got in? What if I got a mentor, improved my book, and joined an incredible community of people who’d be there for me during the ups and downs of publishing?
I’m so glad I listened to the “what if” rather than the voice that told me getting rejected twice was a sign Pitch Wars wasn’t for me. Because I did get all those things. I worked harder than I’ve ever worked, I learned so much, and made so many friends. And in the end I connected with Jessica Watterson, my dream agent.
What if this is the year that it happens for you?
What is one gif that represents your Pitch Wars experience?