A Pitch Madness Success (sort of) Interview with Mandy Mikulencak!
Nov22

A Pitch Madness Success (sort of) Interview with Mandy Mikulencak!

Mandy Mikulencak So let’s get this party started. What made you decide to enter Pitch Madness, and how did you feel during the contest? I participated in Pitch Madness in March 2013. Contests like this one are a great way to get agents’ undivided attention because they’ve committed to participating. In essence, you bypass the hundreds (thousands) of competing pitches in the slush piles. But the biggest reason to enter was the amazing support you end up getting from your team leader and your fellow writers. Writing is a solitary endeavor but Pitch Madness connected me to a larger network of people going through the same struggles. Which blog were you on and what was the title of your entry? How many requests did you get? I was on Summer Heacock’s blog (FizzyGrrl). My entry was titled FACING FIRE. Summer’s enthusiasm for my manuscript was the first real feedback that made me think I was on the right track! I received seven requests and was on the verge of fainting. I knew I had a great concept, a great query and great opening pages. But listen up, writers! I didn’t get an offer from any of those agents. What I did receive was constructive feedback that helped me polish the manuscript before I queried JL Stermer of N.S. Bienstock in May 2013. Summer Heacock aka Fizzy Grrl Okay, this is my favorite part *sits at the edge of her seat*. Tell us about THE Call. I didn’t have a typical call and I’d like writers new to the process to know the journey to publication can take many turns. JL requested the full in July. In early August, she emailed to ask if I had an agent yet. I thought I was about to get an offer! But then, I didn’t hear back until September when JL emailed how excited she was about the manuscript. We exchanged a few emails about my willingness to revise the manuscript. I took her input and revised and revised – even without an offer. After she read the revised version, JL scheduled a call in late October. Even then I didn’t know it was THE call. And we didn’t even get around to the offer until the end of the call – instead we talked about ourselves and the book and additional revisions needed before going out on submission (yes, more revisions!). Can you tell us a little about your book? FACING FIRE is about a homeless teen forced to live with her uncle after her mother commits suicide. She yearns for some sense of normalcy, but it’s always out of reach because...

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