Thursday, August 6, 2015

Pitch Wars 2015 is coming! Are you ready?

Brenda Drake hosts the popular Tweetfest, #PitchMAS. During #PitchMAS, writers tweet their pitches along with their category. Agents following the feed then contact the writers who grab their attention.

Pitch Wars is a preliminary event in which writers apply for critiques from mentors. Published and/or agented authors, editors, or industry interns choose one writer each, read their entire manuscript, and offer suggestions to prepare it for agents.

The process is as follows: First, go to the wish lists of all mentors and make a list of those who represent your genre; on a second pass go back to the mentors on your list and select those who have an editing style that suits you; and on a third pass narrow that list to five. On August 17 send your application to those five. You only get one chance at finding a mentor (and all five may reject you), so read your prospective mentors' pages carefully.

Note: Brenda has opened the submission window early. It is now open, and will remain open until August 17 at 11:59 PM EDT. After you submit your information, the submission screen will re-appear. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen to see the notice that your submission has been received.

To submit, click HERE.

For all you YA fantasy writers out there, I have assembled a list of all the mentors seeking YA fantasy. (This will save you a little time.) You have to narrow your list down to five, so read these pages with an eagle eye for those you feel would be a good match for you. (For a full list of mentors go HERE.)

Mindy McGinnis (co-mentoring with Kate Karyus Quinn)

Jenni L. Walsh (co-mentoring with Trisha Leaver)

Sarah Glenn Marsh

Rosalyn Eves

Linsey Miller

Lisa Maxwell

Wendy Spinale

Sarah Cannon

L.L. McKinney

Elizabeth Briggs

Ron Walters (co-mentoring with Meredith McCardle)

S.M. Johnston (co-mentoring with Stacey Nash)

Laura Salters

Megan Grimit

Katie Bucklein

Brianna Shrum

Kim Graff

Stacey Trombley

Susan Gray Foster (co- mentoring with Monica Bustamante Wagner_

Sarah Nicolas

Renee Ahdieh (co-mentoring with Traci Chee)

Janet B. Taylor (co-mentoring with Kathryn Purdie & Shannon Parker

Jessie Humphries (co- mentoring with Mara Rae)

Erica M. Chapman

Summer Spence

This is an excellent opportunity to get a solid critique of your work. Good luck!

Pitch Wars 2015 is coming! Are you ready?

Posted By Brenda Drake on Jul 19, 2015

We’re so excited for Pitch Wars 2015! 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 critiques on how to make the manuscript shine. The mentor also critiques his/her writer’s pitch to get it ready for the agent round. Those entering Pitch Wars submit applications (query plus first chapter of manuscript) to our mentors. The mentors then read all their applications and choose the writer they want to mentor for two months to get them ready for the agent round. Writers can pick up to four mentors to submit to. How will you decide what mentors to submit to?

Come back August 3 for our Mentor Wishlist Blog Hop. The mentors’ bios and wishlists will be posted to their blogs and linked from a post on my blog, and you can hop around and find the right matches for you. And visit the Twitter hashtag #PitchWars to get to know the mentors personally (virtually). The hop will go on until 8/17, which is submission day!!

This year, we won’t have alternates. Instead, I’ve added more mentors and there will be 92 mentee spots up for grabs. Applications will be sent through an easy submission form. The form will go live just after midnight (EDT – New York time) August 17 and remain open for 24 hours. What will you need to enter in the form? Your top four (max – you don’t have to pick 4, but you are limited to 4) mentors, your email address, title of the manuscript, category and genre, your query letter (sorry no personalized queries this year), and the first chapter of your completed manuscript (Word .doc or .docx format).  The sample chapter should be manuscript formatted pages (12pt, double-spaced). All of this will be fill-in-the-blank on the form.

Submission Guidelines:
  • Only Middle Grade, Young Adult, New Adult, or Adult manuscripts will be accepted.
  • This is open to completed, full-length, fiction manuscripts only.
  • You may only enter one manuscript.
  • Only the genres requested by each mentor will be considered for the contest.
  • Writers may only apply to 5 mentors max.
  • Mentors will only consider the categories they’ve signed up for. (The mentors’ categories – MG, YA, NA, or Adult – are set.)
  • Writers cannot apply for a mentor that is not in their category or the application will be deleted.
  • No nonfiction, picture books, chapter books, or previously published works. (If you’re an unagented author and have self-published before, you may enter the contest with a never-before-published manuscript.)

WARNING: Just like an agent, mentors may request more pages or a synopsis of your manuscript to help them make their final decision, so get them ready! Mentors may also pass your application on to another mentor they feel would be a better match. If a mentor you didn’t apply to picks you invites you to be his/her mentee, you have the right to pass on said invite.

Please note: Being kind to one another is mandatory in this contest. Should I find someone isn’t being kind and respecting others, I will remove you from the contest. Also, if you are difficult with your mentor or if you aren’t working well as a team or if you don’t take any of your mentor’s advice, your mentor will have the option to opt out of being your mentor. Remember your mentor has other obligations like deadlines, book promotions, and family life, please be mindful of their time. They are only required to read your manuscript once and give an edit letter. They aren’t required to do line edits. Our mentors are very generous with their time, so please be patient. We’ve had close to forty successes from last year’s Pitch Wars and it’s because of our mentors and the care they take with their mentees that it’s been such a great success.

If you were a mentee in Pitch Wars 2014 you may not enter Pitch Wars 2015. If you were a mentee in 2012-2013, you may enter with a new manuscript. If you were an alternate in any of the previous Pitch Wars, you may enter the same or a new manuscript for Pitch Wars 2015.

!!!! If you make it into Pitch Wars, you may not enter any contests or query during the mentoring period and until after the agent round, which is November 3-5. If you are currently in a contest (such as Pitch to Publish running at the same time as Pitch Wars), you may not enter Pitch Wars. When in doubt, ask.

For those who do not make it into Pitch Wars (and those who want to join in), we’ll hold a Twitter Pitch Party on #PitMad September 10 from 8AM to 8PM EST. If you make it into Pitch Wars, you may not pitch in #PitMad.

There will be an “Ask the Mentors” event on the Twitter hashtag, #AskMentor and on #PitchWars, on August 10 from 12:01AM to 11:59PM EDT. Stop by and ask mentors questions as you see them join the hashtag.

Some our Pitch Wars mentors will be chatting live with the Whiskey, Wine, & Writing gang at 8PM EDT. Make sure to watch and get to know the mentors. Here’s the schedule:
  • August 4 and 11: Middle Grade mentors - Read about them HERE.
  • August 5 and 12: Young Adult mentors - Read about them HERE.
  • August 6: New Adult mentors (Mentors who are mentoring either YA/NA or NA/A)
  • August 7: Adult mentors
For a full list of mentors go HERE.

Meet the agents HERE.

For the contest schedule go here.

For the submission form go here.

We look forward to seeing you August 3!


  1. Would the Adult category include erotic historical romance?

  2. There is no mention of genres, so I assume all are welcome. A number of their mentors from 2014 had published romance novels. I imagine it will be the same this year. Go here to see last year's list:


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