First of all, for those of you who don’t get selected: DON’T PANIC.
Pitch Wars is great—don’t get me wrong—but getting accepted doesn’t make or break your manuscript. If you don’t get in this year, that doesn’t mean your querying journey will end the same way. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad writer, or that your story is broken, or that you should just give up.
It means you didn’t get in. That’s it. Brush yourself off and keep going.
You’ll get there. I promise.
Now, to those selected as Mentees this year, here’s my advice to you: Enjoy it.
Enjoy every rise and fall of the emotional turbulence to come—because oh, it will. Enjoy the sky-high reality that somebody else loves your book. Learn to cope with the inevitable cut of somebody disliking it. Learn to love the slow, steady burn of your skin thickening—because you’re going to change as a writer, and that doesn’t come with ease.
But most of all, 2015 Mentees, enjoy the brilliance that is the Pitch Wars community.
Yes, the community. The connection. The commiseration.
When I was selected as Trisha Leigh’s Mentee last year, I thought Pitch Wars was all about the acquisition of an agent—and though it’s an incredible opportunity in that regard, you get so much more out of this. To this day, a year later, the 2014 Pitch Warriors are still in touch and endlessly supportive of each other.
My story is this: I didn’t get an agent out of Pitch Wars. But I gained friends for life.
I’ve gained a lifelong friend, who came to me before Pitch Wars started and said, “Hey, your book sounds AWESOME.” We’ve spoken almost every day since—and when I think of the best things Pitch Wars gave me, she’s one of the first that comes to mind. (Love you @alliegatorziggs!)
My friendship with Trisha didn’t end after Pitch Wars. She’s still a believer in me as a writer, an advocate of my Pitch Wars novel, and a much valued friend. When I turned to her nearly four months later, after my 32-query spree having come up empty, she’s the one who suggested I not give up on this story.
And so with her love, and the support of so many others, I didn’t.
So Pitch Warriors of 2015, I urge you to enjoy the ride, to make lifelong friends, and to look at yourself right now knowing full well that next year, you’re going to be a different writer with possibly an agent, and possibly a book deal, or possibly—like me—a new, exciting route to getting published you’d never imagined.
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