Tag Archives: pitch wars

Why am I doing Pitch Wars?

I am a proud Pitch Wars contestant this year.

Yes, I am already an published author with an independent press, but believe it or not, I have been floundering around for the last several years, semi-lost in the publishing sea, AGENTLESS.

I love writing. If you’ve been hanging around here long enough, you know that telling stories is near and dear to my heart. (And it’s my therapy, to some extent)

sadI’ve been through several independent publishers, two of which have closed their doors and reverted rights.

happy smileI am still happily with my two remaining publishers, but the other two houses closing made it plain to me that I should not put my eggs in one basket. (Or even two, as it were.)

I do a lot of research, and I’ve met enough people to ask questions and get honest answers. So I know that to get into one of the other publishing houses I am interested in, I will need an agent.

For those of you out there trying to find an agent, you know the slush pile isn’t much fun. The challenge is to get pages read at all, let alone gaining representation… and it’s so darn hard.

That is where Pitch Wars comes in.

If I’m selected, I get the help of a super-deep-dive beta read (Which I just LOOOOOVE) You guys know I usually have 5-12 beta readers. I love new ideas and fresh perspectives. I am a firm believer that a novel can always be improved, so I am TOTALLY for this.

Next, after the beta read, is the AGENT ROUND. Now this is where I am hoping to shine. Because Pitch Wars has earned a reputation. Agents know these manuscripts have not only been heavily culled, they’ve been deep-dive edited for two months in preparation for the Agent Round. So I’m hoping this will give my story that extra boost, because I know in my heart that Mollie will wiggle her way into their hearts once they start reading.

Lastly, even if I am not chosen, the Pitch Wars community totally rocks. This is a great place to make writerly friends.

“Hello, fellow pitch warriors!”

So, If you are entering this year, GOOD LUCK! I am totally rooting for you.

Have fun, make friends, and most importantly, keep writing. No matter what happens in the next few months, you still have a story to tell.



How to get writing help – and maybe an agent while you’re at it! With Brenda Drake

Hey guys!

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.

17669243I’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

Brenda Drake, the youngest of three children, grew up an Air Force brat and the continual new kid at school. Her fondest memories growing up is of her eccentric, Irish grandmother’s animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling. So it was only fitting that she would choose to write stories with a bend toward the fantastical. When Brenda’s not writing or doing the social media thing, she’s haunting libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops or reading someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).



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. 29939285No 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.

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