I met the lovely Brenda Drake YEARS ago while working on the first page of a book that I was polishing for submission. At the time, she was running an online group through her site where people gave feedback to each others first pages. It was great!
Now Brenda is hosting something new, and this looks like an awesome opportunity for those interested in honing their craft.
So here’s Brenda to tall us all about PITCH WARS
Online contests can be a great way to display your work and to meet other writers. The first Pitch Wars contest was in 2012. After running several contests in the past, I discovered something disappointing. Agents who had made requests on entries in my contests would find while reading their requests that the writing and/or plot would fall apart after the first few chapters. Then one fated day, I was watching Cupcake Wars, a competition between bakers to make the best cupcakes. Each baker had an assistant to help them create beautiful and tasty cupcakes for judges. So I thought that’s what we need. We need mentors to help writers who are almost there, but keep getting rejections, to help them work out what is failing in their manuscripts. And that’s how the idea for Pitch Wars came about.
What is Pitch Wars?
It’s a contest where published/agented authors, editors, or industry interns choose one writer each, read their entire manuscript, and guide the writer in revising it for our agent showcase. The mentors also help with their mentee’s pitch. Writers send applications (query and first chapter of manuscript) to the four mentors that best fit their work. The mentors then read all their applications and choose the writer they want to mentor for the next two months. Mentors point out the weaknesses in their mentee’s manuscript and help him or her fix those issues. In publishing, authors must meet tough deadlines all the time. The rigorous two months of revision teaches our mentees how to work on a deadline.
Then we hold an agent showcase with over fifty of the top agents in the industry making requests. We’ve had so many successes in the contests with writers finding agents and book deals. Since its debut year, Pitch Wars has garnered over two hundred successes. The 2016 contest ended three months ago and we’re already at twenty-nine successes.
One of the best parts of the contest is the community it builds. Writers hang out mostly on the Twitter hashtag, #PitchWars, and in Facebook groups. There are many amazing and giving people in our online community of writers surrounding the contests. Many have met long lasting critique partners through participating in them.
I’ve met my critique partners in the community. They were there in the first drafts of Thief of Lies and all my other manuscripts. The community has cheered me on when I got my agent, when I got my book deal, and when I had to make difficult decisions, they supported me. This community is welcoming, they show empathy for others, and they support each other. With all that said, the contest isn’t for everyone and some haven’t had as great an experience as most, but we can’t please everyone. I’m truly blessed to have this opportunity.
If you’re a writer seeking an agent, I hope you’ll join us for Pitch Wars 2017 coming this August.
About Brenda Drake
About Guardian of Secrets
Being a Sentinel isn’t all fairytales and secret gardens.
Sure, jumping through books into the world’s most beautiful libraries to protect humans from mystical creatures is awesome. No one knows that better than Gia Kearns, but she could do without the part where people are always trying to kill her. Oh, and the fact that Pop and her had to move away from her friends and life as she knew it.
And if that isn’t enough, her boyfriend, Arik, is acting strangely. Like, maybe she should be calling him “ex,” since he’s so into another girl. But she doesn’t have time to be mad or even jealous, because someone has to save the world from the upcoming apocalypse, and it looks like that’s going to be Gia.
Maybe. If she survives.