Sunday, December 15, 2013

Pitch Wars! Bring it on!


The brain child of Brenda Drake, Pitch Wars is a contest for writers seeking an agent, and ultimately a book contract. This year's contest deadline was December 2nd (sorry, if you missed it, but there's always next year). I actually didn't find out about it myself until two days before the deadline when one of my writing pals told me about it. I love this particular writing pal. Aside from being a really nice person, she's also a bloodhound when it comes to discovering stuff like this. Anyway, with my new Middle Grade in fairly good shape, I decided I might give it a try.

The contest rules are posted on Brenda's website, but basically it works like this:

1. You have to have a complete manuscript ready to go.
2. Choose up to four mentors to apply to. Each contestant has to go to their mentor's site and check out their interests. Some mentors wanted YA, while others only wanted NA or MG.
3. Apply to your mentors, emailing your query letter and the first three pages of your ms.
4. DO NOT apply any sooner than the designated date. I actually messed up and sent my email out - rather than putting it in my draft file. No biggie. I just recent on the official date.
5. Each mentor chooses a winner and two alternates. This year, I was lucky enough to be chosen as second alternate on Veronica Bartles's team.
6. The winner gets their manuscript read by their team captain, opportunity to revise and then get pitched to the participating agents. The alternates will also have their pitches and queries reviewed and be entered into a separate pitch gallery where agents can make requests.
7. The team with the highest number of pitch requests (and also offers for representation) is the team winner for the event.

Why would someone like me who is already published participate in a contest like this? Well, I know for a fact that I am not the only published author who entered. While I can't speak for their reasons, I REALLY am ready to work with an agent. While I've published without one all these years, there's something enticing about working with someone, collaborating even, with a professional who hopefully cares just as much about your book as you do. And, of course, it would be nice to have someone on my side when it comes to negotiating the terms of a contract. Also, this Middle Grade, feels different than my last three books, but similar in vain to Under the Banyan Tree, my first novel. I think it's more literary and so I'm ready to go a more traditional route and that includes having an agent.

As I go along in this contest, I'll keep you posted. Especially as all the offers come rolling in :)

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