Pitch Wars: How it Works, Wild Cards, and Secret Mentors!
Aug18

Pitch Wars: How it Works, Wild Cards, and Secret Mentors!

  While you’re waiting for the results to be posted on August 24th, we’re busy reading and deliberating and drooling and crying over which manuscript to choose! It’s one of the toughest decisions ever. We see potential and merit on every page. So we’re giving some insight into what’s going on behind the scenes. How do the wars work? All mentee/manuscript picks are due by August 23rd at 5pm Eastern. Every mentor lists their top three picks. If two mentors have the same first choice, they write to the mentee that night and convince them that the mentee should choose them. The mentee has overnight to choose and must notify us by 10am the next day (Aug. 24th) which mentor they’ve chosen to work with. But a mentor can only go to war once, so they’re always willing to fight hard for that manuscript. If they don’t get chosen, they get their second choice–unless someone else who’s lost has the same second pick! But by then, we’re nearing time’s up, and so it’s a random draw. The loser of that draw gets their third choice. We’ve never had to go beyond a third choice during Pitch Wars. But I Just Can’t Decide . . . *begs for wild card* Choosing only one manuscript sometimes feels impossible, so we offer some mentors the chance to win a Wild Card. The mentors who win a wild card can choose TWO MENTEES! They are treated as equal mentees, given the same time and devotion, and will both be in the agent showcase. Wild Cards are handled behind the scenes and chosen by a drawing. And this year we want more of you lovely Pitch Wars Hopefuls to succeed. So we’ve got more mentors sifting through the slush. They’ll only get their mentee picks after all the other mentors choose, but their mentees will all have a chance to make it to the agent showcase! Welcome Our Secret Mentors . . . Elinor Sattler – Adult Twitter Elinor Sattler has a degree in Anthropology, writes urban fantasy, used to hit people with swords as a hobby until one of many injuries put a stop to it, and would rather be back in the Pacific Northwest backpacking outside of cell phone range. She also has a weakness for the Oxford comma and sentence fragments. Amy Garabedian – Adult Website | Twitter Amy Garabedian (writing fiction as A.B. Sevan) is a dog training business owner with a serious love for stories that bend the laws of nature, especially with a romantic twist. She started taking her publishing career seriously when a client bartered editing services...

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Pitch Wars 2017 Submission Window … is now closed!
Aug01

Pitch Wars 2017 Submission Window … is now closed!

Surprise! We’re opening the submission window early! It will remain open until the original closing of August 6 at 10PM EDT (New York time). For those unfamiliar with Pitch Wars, it’s a contest where published/agented authors, editors, or industry interns choose one writer each, read their entire manuscript, and offer suggestions on how to make the manuscript shine. The mentor also critiques 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 a little over two months to get them ready for the agent round. Writers can pick up to four (4) mentors to submit to. Want to have two bonus entries? Go to this page here and find out how you can submit to six (6) mentors instead of four. Last year we had over fifty mentees sign with agents and several of those resulted in book deals. This is our sixth year and Pitch Wars has reached almost 250 successes to date. We’re excited to see what happens in 2017. We hope to have many more successes this year! For a list of our mentors go here, for submission guidelines go here, and for a list of our agents this year, go here and here. And make sure to enter the scavenger hunt for a chance to win a mentorship with a chance to enter the agent showcase in November. Only those who enter Pitch Wars can participate in the scavenger hunt. After all the mentors make their mentee picks, we’re holding a drawing and picking three lucky writers to go through the mentoring process. This is a random draw. So anything goes! And anyone can win! That’s one writer each from the middle grade, young adult, and adult/new adult pool of submissions. More information on this post here. You have until August 23 at 10AM Eastern time to solve the puzzle and submit your entry. If you have any difficulties with this form, or if there’s a technical glitch, or if the site blows up, don’t panic! Just use the form under the Contact Me page/label at the top of the blog and let us know the issue. About your queries: It should have all parts of the query, as if you were sending to an agent. “Dear Mentor” works for the salutation and make sure to include your bio (if you have one) and category/genre/word count. About your first chapters: Upload the first chapter of your manuscript no matter how long it is. You can include short prologues (5 pages or less) or send the prologues later if the mentor asks for a full manuscript. If you don’t have chapters in...

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Pitch Wars 2017 Mentor Blog Hop!
Aug01

Pitch Wars 2017 Mentor Blog Hop!

Welcome to the mentors’ wishlist blog hop! From today until submission day, use the linkies below to hop to all the mentors’ websites/blogs to read their bios, wishlists, and what categories and genres they want to mentor. 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 mentee then revises their manuscript for two months under the guidance of their mentor. The mentor also critiques his/her writer’s pitch and query letter 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 and to get ready for the agent round on November 1-7. Want to find out about the fabulous agents joining us this year? Go to Meet the Agents Part 1 and Meet the Agents Part 2 to find out. Need instructions? Go to this post here. Want to donate to support Pitch Wars and get extra applications? Go to this post here. Surprise! We have a great new hang out for our Pitch Wars community. It’s a forum to have discussions with mentors and other writers, a place to get your worked critiqued by your peers and sometimes mentors, and a place to seek critique partners. So here’s our gift to you for being so awesome, and we hope you find this space useful. Join us today! Cheers! http://pitchwars.proboards.com/ Also, we’ll be launching the new Pitch Wars website next week! Hope you’ll join us for the fun reveal! Pitch Wars Live! Some of our Pitch Wars mentors will be chatting live with with the wonderful Nikki Roberti starting July 17 with the final one on August 1. The fun will be happening on the hashtag #PitchWars, and if you miss one, we’ll post the recorded chats here, too.  Make sure to watch and get to know the mentors. Follow the #Pitchwars hashtag during the chats to ask questions for the mentors. Here’s the schedule: Want a chance to win a mentor? Participate in the Mentor Blog Hop Scavenger Hunt! We’re so excited to bring back this special game. After all the mentors make their mentee picks, we’re holding a drawing and picking three lucky writers to go through the mentoring process. Only those who enter Pitch Wars can enter the scavenger hunt. This is a random draw. So anything goes! And anyone can win! That’s one writer each from the middle grade, young adult, and adult/new adult pool of submissions. The winning writers will go through two months of revisions. If the winners are able...

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Help support Pitch Wars … donate and receive extra entries into the contest!
Aug01

Help support Pitch Wars … donate and receive extra entries into the contest!

Donate today! (You don’t need a Paypal account to donate. Just go to the bottom and you can use a credit card.) Over the past six years, Pitch Wars has changed many lives. Countless authors have been matched with agents and even gone on to book deals and successful careers. We’re approaching 250 successes this year!! But most importantly, Pitch Wars has grown the writing community to connect author with author, creating an atmosphere of camaraderie as we go through all stages of revision and publishing. Behind the scenes, it takes a lot of work to coordinate the event each year. And as it continues to grow, so do the responsibilities required to make Pitch Wars possible. Like last year,  we will be accepting donations to go toward the administrative costs associated with running Pitch Wars. Everyone who enters Pitch Wars can submit four (4) free applications to the mentors of their choice. Those who donate $20 or more will receive two additional applications.* To claim your extra mentor applications, please keep your emailed receipt from Paypal as proof when uploading your entry during the submission window on August 2. All amounts are greatly appreciated. If you’re not entering Pitch Wars this year and the contest has benefited you in the past, please consider donating. Please note: Mentors volunteer their time and do not get any of the donations. Donations are for administration costs. If you’d like to support the mentors, please consider buying their books. *Please note: Pitch Wars is a contest where mentors choose mentees based on the entrants’ skills and is not based on chance. If mentors love an entry but don’t feel they’re quite the right fit, they might pass it on to another mentor. As Pitch Wars continues to grow and evolve, so will our processes each year to make sure the contest runs as smoothly as possible for all of you–because that is what Pitch Wars is all about. We are here to support our fellow authors at every stage of the process through mentoring, workshops, and community. Thank you for your continued support and involvement in Pitch Wars. We look forward to another successful season this year and for many more to come.   (You don’t need a Paypal account to donate. Just go to the bottom and you can use a credit card.) Save Save...

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Meet the Pitch Wars 2017 Agents! (Part 2)
Aug01

Meet the Pitch Wars 2017 Agents! (Part 2)

We have an amazing lineup of agents participating in Pitch Wars 2017! On November 1st , the Pitch Wars Agent Showcase will go live for all the mentees, chosen by mentors on August 24th. We will post three separate posts by age category (MG, YA, NA/A), listing the mentees’ pitch and the first words of their manuscript (pitch words + first page words = 300 words). The agents will search from November 1-7 through the posts, find their favorites, and request them. November 1 – 7: Agent Showcase November 1: Adult and New Adult entries November 2: MG entries November 3: YA entries November 7: Last day of Agent Showcase For those of you new to Pitch Wars, check out “Pitch Wars 2017 … all the details!”. And come back July 19th to find your perfect mentor at the Mentor Blog Hop, running July 19-August 2! PLEASE NOTE: This is the list of agents participating in the Agent Showcase in November. They are not mentors. So check out the agents below and see what they’re looking for most in a manuscript. They’re listed in alphabetical order by the agency they work for. This post includes  A-J, and Part 2 includes K-Z. So here they are . . . the second half of our Pitch Wars 2017 agents!   Janklow & Nesbit Associates Brooks Sherman Website | Twitter Represents: MG, YA, A After graduating from Vassar College with a B.A. in Drama, Brooks Sherman worked for several years in the entertainment industry (in both New York and Los Angeles) before joining the Peace Corps and spending two years stationed in Burkina Faso, West Africa. Upon returning to the United States, he set his sights on the publishing industry, starting in 2011 as an assistant at FinePrint Literary Management and working his way up to literary agent, moving to the Bent Agency in 2014, and joining Janklow & Nesbit in 2017. Brooks’s clients include #1 New York Times-bestselling and award-winning authors. For children’s books, he is on the lookout for middle-grade fiction of all genres (especially fantasy and contemporary), young adult fiction of all genres except paranormal romance, and character-driven picture books with an emphasis on humor. His interest in adult fiction runs the gamut from literary to speculative (particularly fantasy, horror, and psychological thriller). For nonfiction, he is seeking projects in the areas of humor, pop culture, politics, and narrative nonfiction. Across all categories, Brooks seeks projects that balance strong voice with gripping plot. Ones that make him laugh earn extra points! He is particularly drawn to stories that elevate marginalized voices and where contemporary social issues are either prominently centered or woven into the worldbuilding; he prefers nuanced narratives over “issue books,” in which characters confront such issues over...

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Meet the Pitch Wars 2017 Agents! (Part 1)
Aug01

Meet the Pitch Wars 2017 Agents! (Part 1)

  We have an amazing lineup of agents participating in Pitch Wars 2017! On November 1st , the Pitch Wars Agent Showcase will go live for all the mentees, chosen by mentors on August 24th. We will post three separate posts by age category (MG, YA, NA/A), listing the mentees’ pitch and the first words of their manuscript (pitch words + first page words = 300 words). The agents will search from November 1-7 through the posts, find their favorites, and request them. November 1 – 7: Agent Showcase November 1: Adult and New Adult entries November 2: MG entries November 3: YA entries November 7: Last day of Agent Showcase For those of you new to Pitch Wars, check out “Pitch Wars 2017 … all the details!”. And come back July 19th to find your perfect mentor at the Mentor Blog Hop, running July 19-August 2! PLEASE NOTE: This is the list of agents participating in the Agent Showcase in November. They are not mentors. So check out the agents below and see what they’re looking for most in a manuscript. They’re listed in alphabetical order by the agency they work for. This post includes  A-J, and Part 2 includes K-Z. So here they are . . . the first half of our Pitch Wars 2017 agents!   Adams Literary Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram Tracy Adams Represent:  MG, YA Tracey Adams co-founded Adams Literary in 2004, after nearly a decade with literary agencies Writers House and McIntosh & Otis, where she was the head of the children’s department. Prior to becoming an agent, she worked in the marketing and editorial departments of Greenwillow Books and Margaret K. McElderry Books. A graduate of Mount Holyoke College, Tracey speaks frequently about her profession and the children’s book industry at conferences across the country. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), the Association of Author Representatives (AAR), and a founding member of the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA) chapter in Charlotte, NC. In her spare time, Tracey enjoys traveling, playing tennis, cheering for the Carolina Panthers, and test-marketing children’s books with her two daughters. Josh Adams Josh Adams, together with his wife Tracey, runs Adams Literary. A graduate of Dartmouth College and Columbia Business School—where he studied finance and accounting, and was awarded the Abe Shuchman Memorial Award in Marketing—Josh spent more than a decade in publishing and media before bringing his editorial and business backgrounds together as a literary agent. A media management specialist, he led teams of creative and business professionals in developing the editorial strategy and positioning of several national publications, and directed the marketing and brand strategy of many well-known...

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Pitch Wars … the uncomfortable truth by Mentor Liaison, Joy McCullough
Aug01

Pitch Wars … the uncomfortable truth by Mentor Liaison, Joy McCullough

This is my fifth year mentoring Ptichwars and I love so much about it. I love the community and the relationships built. I love the successes—the ones both immediately measurable and the less tangible ones. I love when it gets uncomfortable. It gets uncomfortable every year in a variety of ways. There are always things people ask us to change about the process to make it gentler on the applicants. Could mentors please not tweet about the subs they like? Could mentors please not request any fulls until the sub window closes? Could selected writers not celebrate on the hashtag? Are there things we could do to make everyone feel more comfortable (supposing, of course, that we could control everyone who participates in this contest, which has become gargantuan)? Maybe we could try. But part of our goal as Pitchwars mentors is to prepare you for the next step of your publishing journey—whether you get selected for mentoring or not. For many of you, that next step will be the querying trenches. They’re not called trenches for nothing. It’s cold and dank and you may get gangrene. (Okay, maybe not. But it can be seriously unpleasant.) (And real quick, before you scoff that I have a book deal and this is all really easy for me to say, let me establish my disappointment cred: I have received over 300 rejections as a novelist alone—more as a playwright—I queried five manuscripts before I got my first agent, kept writing, had five books go on submission to editors before manuscript number ten was the one that sold, with my second agent. I FEEL YOU.) So back to the query trenches… You’ll see an agent you just queried sign a really similar manuscript to yours. You’ll see an agent rant about a mistake you’re sure YOU made in your query. You’ll see an agent rave about loving a query and requesting the full and you’ll refresh and refresh and refresh and that request will never come. An agent will lead you on with emails as they read your full and eventually NOT offer. You’ll absolutely slay an R&R and ultimately NOT land the agent. It’s so hard. And getting an agent isn’t the end of the difficulties, either. Being on submission to editors is hell. Once you have a book deal, the whole publishing process can be extremely stressful and rife with comparisons. And then there are worries over reviews and sales and whether you’ll ever be able to write, much less sell, another book. (And real quick again, I know it’s super annoying when people further along the road bemoan the...

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Pitch Wars 2017: Young Adult/New Adult Mentor Spotlights (Part 6)
Jul31

Pitch Wars 2017: Young Adult/New Adult Mentor Spotlights (Part 6)

We’re so grateful for our Pitch Wars mentors! They give so much to help other authors succeed, and we couldn’t have Pitch Wars without them. So please help me in thanking the mentors for all they do via twitter, the comments, or on the Pitchwars Proboards. Pitch Wars 2017 YOUNG ADULT Mentors   Co-Mentors Sonia Hartl & Annette Christie Sonia Hartl Website | Twitter Sonia Hartl is a YA writer rep’d by Rebecca Podos of Rees Literary Agency and has been published in The Writers Post Journal, Boston Literary Magazine, and the anthology Bearing North. Annette Christie Website | Twitter Annette Christie has worked as a playwright, actor, and grant writer for various theatre companies in Canada and the U.S. Most recently, she’s contributed articles to various online publications. She is currently working on her debut YA novel and is represented by Jess Dallow of Brower Literary Management.   Co-Mentors Stephanie Scott & Erica M. Chapman   Stephanie Scott Website | Twitter Stephanie Scott writes Young Adult stories about characters who put their passions first. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and its online YA chapter YARWA, and a current writing mentor in online pitch contests. She enjoys dance fitness and cat memes, and Pinterest is driving her broke. Her debut ALTERATIONS about a fashion-obsessed loner who reinvents herself is a 2017 finalist for the Romance Writers of America Best First Book RITA® award. ALTERATIONS by Stephanie Scott Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks If anyone saw the prom boards Amelia Blanco makes on her favorite fashion app, they’d think Ethan Laurenti was her boyfriend. They wouldn’t know that all the plans she’s made for them are just dreams, and that she’s the girl who watches him from the kitchen while her parents cook for his famous family. When Amelia’s abuelita enrolls her in a month-long fashion internship in NYC, Amelia can’t imagine leaving Miami–and Ethan–for that long. As soon as she gets to New York, however, she finds a bigger world and new possibilities. She meets people her own age who can actually carry on a conversation about stitching and design. Her pin boards become less about prom with Ethan and more about creating her own style. By the time she returns to Miami, Amelia feels like she can accomplish anything, and surprises herself by agreeing to help Ethan’s awkward, Steve-Jobs-wannabe brother, Liam, create his own fashion app. As Liam and Amelia get closer, Ethan realizes that this newly confident, stylish girl may be the one for him after all . . . even though he has a reality TV star girlfriend he...

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