Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Pitch Wars: An Unexpected Journey (that's only just begun!)
Last Monday, something incredible happened.
Well, really, the story starts a bit earlier, on the last day to submit to Pitch Wars. Pitch Wars, if you haven't heard, is an online contest that's been all the talk on Twitter lately, run by Brenda Drake and a team of very. awesome. mentors.
The game? Each mentor picks one mentee and a couple alternates from the pool of people who applied to them with their query letter and first pages. The teams would be announced on Wednesday, December 12th. If two mentors wanted the same person, that person would be notified on Monday, December 10th, and decide which mentor they wanted to work with. Each mentor/ mentee combo would have a little over a month to perfect and critique the mentee's manuscript, pitch, and first page, and near the end of January each entry would be presented to a panel of agents.
Okay. Now to the meat of the story. I almost didn't enter because I couldn't decide which manuscript to put forward. After putting up Twitter pitches, a couple of mentors expressed interest in different manuscripts, which didn't help narrow it down but did help me feel like I might have the tiniest hope.
One of the mentors, Sharon, had asked what might be holding people back from entering and I told her that I felt it was too late and mentors had already made their choices. But her encouragement convinced me to enter anyway. I wrote three emails, one to Sharon Johnston, one to Andrea Hannah, and one crazy off-the-walls one to Cupid of Cupid's Literary Connection. I sent them off and held my breath.
Actually, I tied all my hopes up in a basket and sent it down the river. I've been down this path before-- and been covered in armadillo hide by the battle scars. Plus, it was absolutely crazy to submit to Cupid. I may as well have forgotten that entry right away-- I'd seen Cupid's other contests and the people she worked with were GOOD. Really though, my chances were slim with any of them. I'd also seen the entries in recent contests, and the other work out there right now is... well, let's just say I had tough, tough competition.
Last Monday, the 10th, I still had it in my mind that I'd be waiting two more days to receive my rejection letters. I'd talked to Sharon some on Twitter and she had asked for more pages, but that didn't mean anything. I'd been there before, too.
I woke up and made a gingerbread house before rushing off to work. During a quick break in my afternoon, I stopped and checked my phone.
There was a DM on Twitter from Brenda Drake. Two mentors (Sharon and Cupid) had selected me. Could I please make my decision and let her know?
Cupid had followed me. So, actually, had a bunch of other people. And the mentions and messages were still pouring in.
And then I read my emails. And cried, right there, behind the scenes, with other employees shooting me confused looks (but not concerned because of the huge smile on my face). The things Cupid and Sharon had to say about my manuscript!
Not one, but two people I liked and admired, liked my work. Liked it enough to want to work with me.
My high lasted a few hours until the end of my shift and the start of a birthday dinner with friends. On the drive to dinner, I realized the downside:
I was going to have to say no to one of them.
More on the decision later!