Monday, August 31, 2015

An Open Letter To PitchWars Hopefuls...

As the mentee announcement approaches, I can't help but feel like these are the final days of hope for some people and I kind of want to kick that feeling right in the pants.

Because your lifetime writing goal isn't to get into Pitch Wars is it? If you don't make it in, does that mean you'll never get published EVER? Is this the only door open to you?
Want to hear a handful of reasons why I passed on some things? 
  • Because the inner narration felt to me like more of a narrator than a teenager.
  • Because the writing was AMAZING, but the concept involved something I wasn't super interested in.
  • Because there was a technology element I felt I wasn't the mentor for
  • Because the love interest didn't particularly appeal to me
  • Because while I LOVE LOVE LOVED the book, there were issues I felt I couldn't tackle in two months.
  • Because I didn't think the world building was as solid as I'd like to have seen it (and I'm not an expert on world building, so this wouldn't be the best problem for me to tackle.)
  • Because it felt more middle grade than young adult.
  • Same problem, but thought it was more of an adult voice.
And about 1000 other reasons. 

Do you know what the common theme there is? ME. It wasn't right for ME. And some of you might be saying, "Well you're just one person..."

AND YOU'RE ABOSLUTELY RIGHT. Mentors, agent, editors, we're just people, looking for the book that speaks to our hearts the most.

When I entered Pitch Wars I pretty much just sat around sweating for a week. I know how hard that is. It's not a small thing, and I know it sounds like a brush aside when you're faced with the possibility of not being chosen. "If you don't make it in, you're still awesome for writing a book!" It sounds like a consolation prize, right?

But it's not. The first book I wrote? Holy crap it was sad. The second one was... slightly better. The third one was where I found my voice, and that book got me my agent. Literally the only way you won't move forward from here is if you quit right now.

Submitting to Pitch Wars is a big thing. You submitted your book into a MAJOR contest to be JUDGED by the mentors you submitted to! Badge of honor. Participating in the community, finding friends, and CP's? Badge of honor. NOT making it and still trudging along? SEVEN THOUSAND BADGES!

Nobody writes a book, gets an agent, and gets a publishing deal without someone passing on them. Not one single person in the history of ever. 

Mentors pass? 

Keep going. 

Agents pass?

You KEEP going!

Editors pass? 

Are you writing this down?
It's the only way to break through and find your place in this crazy difficult industry we've chosen to be a part of. 

Think of publishing like a GIANT (but also deceptively small?) shopping mall. There are multiple floors, multiple entrances, and thousands of people wanting to get inside and buy something. Some are going to flock to the same big doors, because they're well lit, and by the food court, and that's where everyone goes in. But if those doors were broken and wouldn't open, you wouldn't walk back to your car and go home! You find another door! 

Pitch Wars is just ONE door, and it's a door that doesn't allow many people through. Is it a great opportunity? Of course! But it's not the only great opportunity! I wouldn't be anywhere without my CP's. If I had to choose between them and Pitch Wars back in the day, I would have chosen my CP's, hands down. 

That's why all of us mentors have been stressing the importance of getting EVERYTHING you can out of Pitch Wars. After the announcement, come talk to us! Don't go away, and be sad. We're here for you! Visit the #Menteemates hashtag and find a CP, or join me for my next CP Matchmaker party on September 12th. (Details in the tab above.) Listen to whatever feedback you get from your mentors, and see what feels right to you.

Make sure the changes you make are ones you agree with! Revise, or get a critique, or send a query! The world doesn't stop just because you don't see your name on that list.

And this, right here, what I'm about to say, is the MOST important thing. Are you ready?

You are AWESOME. You're the perfect mix of stubborn and talent and perseverance, and you are not going to quit! You're going to brush it off and keep putting those words down, otherwise my heart will break into a thousand pieces. (Yes, I'm guilting you now.) Don't break my heart. Don't break your own. 

Keep writing, because I can't wait to see where you go from here. 



  1. I'll start again as it only posted half of what I said.

    I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all those awesome tweets that have kept me going throughout- I'm blown away by how much you and the other mentor's you all understand exactly what it's like. Already I've got so much out of PW - joined twitter & even started a blog !! So thank you from the bottom of me rock

    1. Oh, you're so sweet! You're more than welcome. There's NOTHING I love more than helping writers and it makes me so happy to hear that what I'm doing is having an impact. *hugs*

  2. Yes to this! Thank you for all the encouragement. <3

  3. This post is awesome and so are all the positive tweets that you have sent. I'll keep following you no matter what because you are so inspiring.

    1. Aw, thank you! This means so much to me! *hugs*

  4. You made some good points there. This post is awesome and informative