Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pitch Wars: The Details

I’m teaming up with Brenda, Cupid, and Monica again--and a bunch of other agented writers and industry interns--to bring you Pitch Wars, an event that’s just as much about the manuscript as it is about the pitch. Each team will consist of 1 agented writer or industry intern and 1 querying writer, and the mentors will offer feedback on pretty much everything, from their teammates’ 3-sentence pitches to their full manuscripts.

Here’s the timeline:

November 26: The mentors (listed on the widget below) will post which category they plan to coach (either MG, YA, New Adult, or adult) and which genres within that category they want to consider. Querying writers will hop around and decide which mentors best fit their manuscripts.

November 26 - December 5: Querying writers will submit applications to their 3 top choices to brendadrakecontests(at)gmail(dot)com from 8:00 a.m. EST on November 26 to 8:00 p.m. EST on December 5. YOU MUST SEND 3 SEPARATE E-MAILS, ONE ADDRESSED TO EACH OF YOUR 3 TOP CHOICES.

December 5-10: The mentors will read the applications and pick their teammates. THE MENTORS DON'T HAVE TO PICK SOLELY FROM THEIR APPLICATIONS. If a mentor passes on an application but thinks the project has potential, it is then up for grabs. Another mentor may choose to snatch it (so long as the applicant agrees).

December 12: We’ll announce the teams and include instructions to the applicants as to how to send their work.

December 12 - January 16: The mentors will read their teammates’ manuscripts and provide their teammates with as much or as little feedback as they choose. The mentors will also help their teammates get their pitches and first pages ready for the agent round.

Note: The material for the agent round will be a 3-sentence pitch and the first 250 words of your manuscript. THE MENTORS WILL READ THE FULL MANUSCRIPTS AND QUERY LETTERS ONLY ONCE. It is then up to the writers to use their mentors’ notes to revise their manuscripts and query letters. While they’re doing that, the mentors will critique the 3-sentence pitches and first 250 words, going through them with their teammates as many times as they deem necessary. In no way should writers expect their mentors to read their manuscripts or query letters more than once.

January 20 (my birthday!): The mentors will submit their teammates’ polished pitches and first pages to brendadrakecontests(at)gmail(dot)com.

January 23-24: The agents will read the entries and make whatever requests they choose. (It is likely that not every entry will get a request.)

January 25: We'll announce the team with the most requests. The winning mentor and writer will receive Amazon gift cards.

The Rules

1. To enter, your manuscript must meet two conditions: First, it must be COMPLETE AND READY TO QUERY, and second, it must be in one of the genres the mentors are considering. (But since the mentors are considering pretty much every category and genre on the planet, that shouldn’t be a problem.)

Note: You’ll notice I didn’t say it had to be polished, since we mentors are planning to go through a round of revisions with you, but you’re going to get a lot more out of this experience if you’ve taken your manuscript as far as you and your beta readers can take it.


3. All applications must follow this format:

Subject line: “Pitch Wars Application: [Mentor’s name]: [TITLE]” (Example: Pitch Wars Application: Krista Van Dolzer: THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN) (Oh, man, if you’ve written the next IVAN, I want you to be my teammate!)
In the body of the e-mail, your name
The genre of your manuscript (including the category)
The word count of your manuscript
Your query letter, single-spaced, with no indentations and a space between each paragraph
The first 5 pages of your manuscript, single-spaced, with no indentations and a space between each paragraph
KEEP IN MIND THAT YOU CAN SEND AN APPLICATION TO UP TO 3 MENTORS, so check out the widget below and figure out who you’d like to submit to.
The Mentors
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Monica B.W. said...

Wooooooot!!! :D I'm so glad to be on a contest with you again!

Chelsey said...


Now to decide which MS to enter....

Empty Refrigerator said...

Hmm, that's strange. my comment did not go through. If you end up with TWO comments from me, please delete one. Anyway, just wanted to say this is really incredible, and generous. It seems to be mainly YA / MG, so I probably won't enter (unless there is a women's fiction author I missed?) but I WILL be following it closely. Such a great idea and so kind -- it's enough to restore my faith in humanity on my dark days :)

Elaine said...

Wow! This looks amazing, and it's so generous of you guys to read the full manuscript! Empty Refrigerator, I know Summer Heacock writes women's fiction, and there may be others. Thanks, Krista!

Stephanie Garber said...

Wow! What a fun contest! And I totally agree with Elaine, that is really generous of all the mentors to read the full manuscripts of their team members!

Thanks! I'm super excited!

Empty Refrigerator said...

Hey, thanks for the tip, Elaine! I missed that.

Tamara said...

this sounds like such an amazing opportunity. HUGE thanks to all those giving their time to help!!!

DanaE said...

This sounds like great fun! Manuscript feedback and some competition!

Kathleen Basi said...

Oh, this sounds so exciting, and I actually do have a MS I've taken as far as I can. Thanks for this!

Krista Van Dolzer said...

I'm glad you guys are excited! When Brenda first proposed the idea, I totally jumped on it. I love the idea of working with one writer and really tweaking the heck out of the whole project. Can't wait to get started!

Annie McMahon said...

What a fun contest! This may be exactly what I need right now. And the winning team will be announced on my birthday. This might be a sign! ;) Thanks for organizing this! I'll spread the word.

Emailman said...

This is so awesome :) I will share it with everyone!

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Thanks for helping us spread the word, Annie and Emailman!