Thursday, August 24, 2017

Didn't Make it Into Pitch Wars? Here's What To Do Next

The mentor/mentee pairings for this year's Pitch Wars will be announced tomorrow. Through the grapevine, I've heard that over 3000 writers entered this year, competing for between 200-250 slots. Those are tough odds, and it means a whole lot of talented writers with excellent books won't be getting in.

So if you're one of the 2500+ who don't make it into Pitch Wars, what do you do next? Here are some ideas:

1) Take a day or two to resign yourself to the rejection, if you need to. There's nothing wrong with feeling upset about not getting in. Take some time away from Twitter, if it hurts to see everyone celebrating. But don't unfollow mentors and mentees - you can mute them for a while if it's tough to see them pop up on your stream, but they're all good professional connections to keep. And don't forget to congratulate any of your critique partners, Twitter friends, or real-life friends who may have gotten in. You'd want them to do the same for you, right?

2) Once you feel up to it, collect the feedback you may have gotten from the mentors you submitted to. Figure out if/how to incorporate this feedback into your manuscript.

3) If you didn't get any feedback, or you feel you want more, find a few new critique partners. The Pitch Wars Hopefuls Facebook groups are great for this, and you'll be able to find a lot of writers in your shoes on these groups. Exchange first chapters with a few people to see who might be a good fit. Then, exchange manuscripts and get as much feedback as you can.

4) Once you have a good pool of feedback, go through your manuscript with a fine-tooth comb and figure out how to incorporate it. This might mean changing your beginning, changing your ending, adding or deleting characters, changing the plot, etc. Be open to really changing your book, if you feel it will make it better! But remember, you don't HAVE to take all the feedback you're given. If more than one person has the same comment, that's a good indication you need to change that aspect of the book. But it's your book, and you get the final say.

5) After you've got a revised manuscript based on feedback and your own revisions, consider sending it to another one or two beta readers. Make sure the revisions work.

6) Once you can't revise any more, you can start querying agents. Or, you can enter any of the other upcoming contests (Operation Awesome's very own Pass or Pages in September, Pitch Slam in the early fall (http://pitchslamcontest.com/), #pitmad in early September and early December (http://www.brenda-drake.com/pitmad/) and many others).

There are many, many avenues to becoming an agented author. Pitch Wars is a great one, but it's not the only one. You took a huge step just for applying, and whether or not you make it in, you've got a lot of options ahead of you!

1 comment:

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