Meet the Pitch Wars Agents … and submission info./guidelines!
Jul31

Meet the Pitch Wars Agents … and submission info./guidelines!

    We’re so excited for Pitch Wars 2014! The agent round isn’t until November 4-5, but we thought it would be fun to announce the agents now, so you can see all the fabulousness waiting for you if you are chosen by one of our amazing mentors. So grab a cool drink, sit by the pool or find some shade, and get to know the agents for Pitch Wars. But before the big reveal, here’s some more information about Pitch Wars, such as our exciting mentor wishlist blog hop and everything you need to know to submit to the contest this year. For those unfamiliar with Pitch Wars, it’s a contest where published/agented authors, editors, or interns choose one writer each, read their entire manuscript, and offer suggestions on how to make the manuscript shine. The mentor also critique his/her writer’s pitch to get it ready for the agent round. To do this, the mentors read all their applications and choose the writer they want to mentor for two months to get them ready for the agent round. Writers can pick up to four mentors to submit to. How will you decide what mentors to submit to? Come back August 4 for our Mentor Wishlist Blog Hop. The mentors’ bios and wishlists will be posted to their blogs, and you can hop around and find the right matches for you. And visit the Twitter hashtag #PitchWars to get to know the mentors personally (um… virtually). The hop will go on until 8/18, which is submission day!! Here’s a list of your mentors until then: Pitch Wars Mentors Mentors will pick one alternate each in case their writer drops out of the contest. The mentors will critique the alternates’ pitches & first chapters only. We may or may not have an alternate showcase on a day other than the agent round for the top picks. Stay tuned for more information about that later. This year, we’ll have an easy submission form courtesy of Dan Koboldt. The form will go live at midnight (EDT – New York time) August 18 and remain open for 24 hours. What will you need to enter in the form? Your top four (max – you don’t have to pick 4, but you are limited to 4) mentors, your email address, title of the manuscript, category and genre, your query letter (sorry no personalized queries this year), and the first chapter of your completed manuscript (Word .doc or .docx format).  The sample chapter should be manuscript formatted pages (12pt, double-spaced). All of this will be fill-in-the-blank on the form. Submission Guidelines: Only Middle Grade, Young...

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A Publishing Journey by RC Hancock … from contest to published!
Jul31

A Publishing Journey by RC Hancock … from contest to published!

Available to pre-order here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble Add it to Goodreads! A Publishing Journey by RC Hancock My first novel I wrote and queried on my own. It was a lonely time and after 100 or so rejections, I shelved it. With my second novel (early 2012) I started to reach out to fellow writers for support as much as advice. On Query Tracker they helped me with my agent letter and I heard mention of blog hosted writing contests. They sounded like a lot of fun, and when this mysterious person named Brenda Drake made a post on QT about her 35-word contest, I knew I had to give it a try. I was elated when Agent Sara Sciuto “shot me” with a paintball and asked to see my ms. Even more exciting, she soon had me revise and resubmit. (This was my R&R first ever!!) Although Ms. Sciuto ended up passing, she helped me so much by guiding me in fixing Bruno’s parents and tweaking characters’ motivation to make the whole thing more realistic. She also recommended I read Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Rennie Brown which completely overhauled my writing style. Now that I had a taste for contests I entered them ad nauseum with mixed results. I ended up with an offer from a small press, as well as another R&R with another awesome agent who had me completely rewrite the first half and change the entire conflict in the novel. She was brilliant and she did wonders for my story but she was also exceptionally busy. That’s why when a friend (and talent manager) got me another offer for publication with a larger press, I asked her to be my agent. (This was a tough decision, but decided in the end it was better to have a brand spanking new agent who had nothing but time and enthusiasm for me than being on someone’s back burner.) I’ve loved working with the people at Cedar Fort. They’re very professional and I absolutely love the cover they’ve designed for me. I’m currently in the last round of substantive edits and will start copyediting in Sept. December 9th seems so far away, but at least my book is up for preorder now on Amazon, so it feels like something is finally happening. Now I’m working on book #3. Here’s what I’ve learned in the last five years: Take it one step at a time and appreciate every single person who helps you along the way. Forge friendships and working relationships. Read blogs and stay connected. Not only is it great for morale, you’ll hear about...

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