Hi, all of you Pitch Wars hopefuls! I’m Jennifer Camiccia, a PitchWars 2016 mentee. I can still remember how excited I felt last year. The fabulous, Kristin Wright, was my mentor, and she showed me how to mold my story into something that actually matched my vision for it.
What did you do to prepare for Pitch Wars?
I went over my manuscript several times, doing a search for overly used words like just, really, that, then, and filtering words like I felt, I saw, I heard. We all have language we tend to repeat that stops the flow of the story.
What didn’t you do that you wish you had?
I wish I had immersed myself in the community sooner. I was a little shy at first, and more than a little awkward. Almost everyone is awesome and supportive. They cheer your successes and help you gripe about your rejections. The sooner you dive in, the sooner you establish connections.
How did you choose which mentors to send to?
I went through all the mentor blogs and found the young adult mentors who wanted contemporary and mainly looked at what they listed as their favorite movies or books. I figured if our tastes were similar then one of them might also like my writing.
How/Why did you decide to enter Pitch Wars?
I heard about it on twitter. It sounded awesome! I needed to learn how to revise, and this sounded like the place to make that happen. I knew the beginning of my book was strong, and I suspected the middle and end needed major work (I had no idea how much!).
What was something that surprised you about Pitch Wars?
I’ve never worked on a deadline before – at least not with my writing – and it was a bit more stressful than I anticipated. If you get in, prepare to work hard. Like really, really hard. My brain, butt, and back were all sore – in that order.
What was your favorite part of Pitch Wars?
Learning how to revise. My mentor helped me figure out what worked or didn’t. It helped immeasurable to have someone to run things by. I, also, love the community. Everyone has been so supportive.
What is one thing you wish everyone knew about Pitch Wars?
To not define your writing by how many request you get or don’t get – or by getting into Pitch Wars or not. You’re going to hear one thing over and over in this business: taste is subjective. Agents and editors might be looking for something specific, but then decide they don’t like how you’ve presented it. Or they do like how you presented it, but don’t like the topic. All you can do is write your story, the one that speaks to your heart and soul, and work hard to make it the best you can be. After that, it’s out of your hands. Then you go to the next idea and do it all over again.
What would you say to someone thinking about entering Pitch Wars?
Your dream is one step outside your comfort zone. Go ahead and take that step.
What is one gif that represents your Pitch Wars experience?