Ever heard of Pitch Wars? (If you haven’t, Here’s a little information.
I read this exact same information August 14. Yep, three days before the deadline. The one
thing you’ll notice about Pitch Wars is it’s always called an opportunity instead of a contest.
I definitely agree. Have you ever felt like your manuscript is almost there, but you can’t
exactly put your finger on what’s missing? Well, a mentor helps you with that. Your mentor
also helps you polish your query - and maybe some other things you need to get started.
Anyway, when I saw the post, I knew I had to try it. So I jumped right into the mentor list -- and only covered half of it. On Saturday, I went back to the list with my notebook and pen
only to discover submissions had already started. Panic Voice kicked in right away. All of
the mentors will have a manuscript they love before Monday. You better pick the first five
ones that take MG and get your query in. But I wasn’t ready. I knew I needed the right
mentor, the one who would want to make Delayed the best it could be. It took me until
Monday afternoon to narrow down my list of mentors. Then I filled out the submission page,
held my breath, and clicked send. If you’re wondering, yes, it’s just as intimidating as
sending out a query to agents.
When I saw the email in my inbox with Pitch Wars in the subject line, I was expecting a rejection. What I got was a request from Kate Foster, author of Winell Road, for the whole manuscript! A few days later she sent me a few questions. As the deadline loomed for the mentor list, she sent me more questions - because she had a shortlist and I was on it! When I saw the new questions Panic Voice was back. You better just tell her what she wants to hear. If you don’t you’ll never get published. I closed my eyes, told myself that if it didn’t work out, this wasn’t the right place for me to get started, and answered the questions truthfully.
The following day, Kate tweeted that she had chosen her mentee. I hadn’t heard a peep, so I assumed she’d chosen someone else. I stayed away from the contest until September 1st. You can’t imagine the shock I felt when I saw Kate’s CONGRATULATIONS email in my box. Even worse, we live in very different time zones, so she probably had to wait a whole day for a response from me. So, Pitch Wars mentees, if you knew before the list came out, the joke’s on me. If you’re an author thinking about entering next year, plan to sweat out the whole two weeks. It’s well worth it if you get in.
A big thank you to Brenda Drake for setting up this great opportunity, and to Kate Foster for believing in Delayed. Go Team Llama!!
Growing up, I was the