Do you have a complete Young Adult or Middle Grade Manuscript? Are you still stuck on edits? Do you need a hand to get you past the last plot hole, to polish it before you begin to query agents? Then #PitchWars is for you!
What is #PitchWars? #PitchWars is a contest created by writers for writers. Established writers offer their time to mentor unagented writers. On August 2nd, unagented writers with completed manuscripts are invited to submit those manuscripts to mentors. The mentors then go through their submissions to find one manuscript they would like to work with. Unfortunately, they can only pick one. Then the mentors work with their mentee for two moths, overhauling and polishing the manuscript. Then in early November, there is an agent round. All of the mentees post their query and first 250 words for agents to see.
All of the info can be found on the site of the amazing Brenda Drake.
So, why should you enter #PitchWars? What will it get you?
WRITING CONNECTIONS AND FRIENDS
PitchWars is about the writing community first and foremost. It’s not a guarantee that you will get a mentor. So, why would you put your work out there if there’s a good chance it won’t go anywhere? No one looses PitchWars. If you participate in the hashtag on Twitter, you’ll meet other writers in the same boat as you. This year they even have a forum for hopefuls to trade work.
My first year participating, I didn’t get in. I didn’t even get a request for more pages. But I joined a group of others who didn’t get in. There I met two of my closest Critique Partners–one who is a mentor this year. (If you write YA Fantasy or Sci-fi especially with LGBTQ+ characters sub to Laura Pohl.)
This year, one of the mentors has already helped me come up with a new title for my work. The Pitchwars community is hands down the best part.
IMPROVING YOUR WRITING
Even before #PitchWars starts, participating in the forum and critique giveaways will help you polish your writing. Then if you get a mentor, they will work hard with you to make your manuscript the best it can be. It’ll be a lot of work. I know many mentees in the past had to rip apart their work and put it back together. Even those who didn’t get an agent from that manuscript took what they learned in #PitchWars and applied it to other manuscripts before they jumped back into the query trenches.
THE AGENT ROUND
There’s no guarantee if you get into #PitchWars you’ll end up with an agent, but it will improve your chances. #PitchWars is known to turn out polished manuscripts and agents show up to the agent round. Here’s the list of agents participating this year. Last year mentee Tomi Adeyemi had 33 agent requests! 17 turned into offers! Her book CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE will be out March 2018. (She’s a mentor this year and her mentor from last year Ashley Hearn is returning.) Obviously that’s best case scenario,but you still get your manuscript in front of agents! Hopefully you’ll have to fend off the onslaught of requests.
Even if you don’t plan on entering, I suggest following the mentors on Twitter. They offer a lot of writing advice. And if you’re still on the fence about it, also go follow the mentors and see what they have to say about. The worst thing that can happen if you enter #PitchWars is that you’ll make new friends. So, polish those manuscripts and get ready for August 2nd. We have 1 week before the battle begins.
Unfortunately my book is only at the editing stage but I will watch for it next time around. Best of luck to everyone who enters it.