#PitchWars

This blog wouldn’t exist without Pitch Wars and the generous and talented Brenda Drake. This page will serve as a repository for blog posts full of tips and insights from the Pitch Wars class of 2015 about Pitch Wars.

ttsBlogs about Pitch Wars from the 2015 Mentees
4 Reasons Why You Should Enter Pitch Wars (Do it! Do it! Do it!) by Monica M. Hoffman (May 18, 2016)
The Merits of Pitch Wars by Isabel Ibanez Davis (May 27, 2016)
Pitch Wars Prep #1: Get Your Manuscript Ready! by Ashley Martin (June 15, 2016)
Pitch Wars is Coming! by MK England (June 22, 2016)
Pitch Wars Prep #2: The Query Letter by Ashley Martin (June 22, 2016)
Ask the Pitch Wars Mentees! Guest post on Brenda Drake’s blog by Rebecca McLaughlin (June 27, 2016)
Pitch Wars Prep #3: The Synopsis by Ashley Martin (June 29, 2016)
Pitch Wars Class of 2015 Fundraising Day! by Ashley Martin (July 1, 2016)
Pitch Wars Prep #4: Why You Should Enter (And What to Expect) by Ashley Martin (July 6, 2016)
Pitch Wars Prep #5: Making Your Mentor Picks by Ashley Martin (July 13, 2016)
5 Reasons Pitch Wars Rocked — Even Though My Pitch Wars MS Didn’t Get Me an Agent by Cindy Baldwin (July 14, 2016)
What is Pitch Wars? A Vlog with Spitfire & Sparrow by Joanna Hathaway & Kristen Ciccarelli (July 20, 2016)
I didn’t get my agent through #pitchwars. Here’s why you should join anyway by E.S. Wesley (July 20, 2016)
Why I wanted to be a Pitch Wars Mentor by Michael Mammay (July 20, 2016)
What to Expect if We Select You For Pitch Wars by Michael Mammay (July 23, 2016)
How to Increase Your Odds of Getting into Pitch Wars by Leigh Mar (July 25, 2016)
How Pitch Wars (and beyond) is like Harry Potter by Kat Hinkel (July 26, 2016)
Pitch Wars 101: An Overview by Joan He (July 30, 2016)
Pitch Wars 101: The Query by Joan He (July 31, 2016)
My Pitch Wars Experience (& Why You Should Enter) by Timanda Wertz (July 31, 2016)
Etiquette and Survival in Pitch Wars by Amanda Rawson Hill (August 1, 2016)
Pitchers, When You Really Do Need To Phone It In by David Gillon (August 1, 2016)
Find Your Tribe by Heather Murphy Capps (August 2, 2016)
10 Things About Pitch Wars You May Not Know by Michael Mammay (August 10, 2016)
A Behind the Scenes Look at Pitch Wars by Michael Mammay (August 17, 2016)
Pitch Wars Homework Assignments by MK England (August 17, 2016)
Pitch Wars Behind the Scenes Part 2: The Mentors Strike Back by Michael Mammay (August 18, 2016)
More Pitch Wars Behind the Scenes by Michael Mammay (August 20, 2016)

aa Answers from the Pitch Wars Class of 2015 on Pitch Wars
Q: Were you ever worried of having your story ideas stolen or people (including mentors) incorporating your ideas into their own WIPs? If so, how did you get over it? Thanks! (Answered 6/26)
Q: What draft # did you submit for Pitchwars? What kind of revisions did you do with your mentor? Thanks! (Answered 6/28)
Q: How likely is someone applying to Pitchwars going to be picked as a mentee (percentage). If I dont get selected should i still try applying to agents? (Answered 6/29)
Q: Any hints on writing a query/synopsis that will improve our chances of getting selected for Pitch Wars? (Answered 6/29)
Q: What was Pitch Wars really like? (Answered 6/30)
Q: How critical is word count for pitch wars (Answered 7/1)
Q: Howdy! I have a question about genre for Pitchwars. I have a YA retelling of classic lit: Jungle Book & Les Mis, so I assume my genre is “Retelling”as I see people classify their fairytale retellings as just that. Then again it’s set in AlternateHistory 1832 Paris – not a speculative Alt Hist, but just a Parish where the French Revolution never happened. So should I be classifying my MS as Retelling? or Historical? I personally think it’s more for fans of retellings than Hist Fic. Any thoughts (Answered 7/1)
Q: Are the Pitch Wars mentees chosen based on query + pages alone, or will the mentors ask for fulls (like agents) in order to choose between multiple manuscripts that they like? Thanks! (7/3)
Q: What should aspiring mentees include in their #PitchWars #PimpMyBio post? Did you do one? Why/why not? (7/4)
Q: Any advice for a college student thinking of entering #PitchWars (7/5)
Q: Are [Pitch Wars] manuscripts more likely to be chosen if they are high-concept stories? Thanks! (7/6)
Q: What does it mean when #pitchwars mentors talk about voice? (7/6)
Q: Is submitting to #PitchWars like querying agents? (7/7)
Q: How does the Pitch Wars selection process work? If I submit an MS to four potential mentors and am lucky enough to have interest from more than one, then is there behind-the-scenes bartering between the interested parties? Are the mentees presented with multiple interested mentors to select from? (7/7)
Q: How do you emotionally prepare or deal with a contest this big? Especially if you don’t get any agent requests? (7/8)
Q: How did the 2015 mentees decide which mentors to submit to? (7/8)
Q: How long should a mentee bio be? I see all these short, one page ones, then feel like mine is too long (7/8)
Q: Out of all the agents participating in Pitch Wars, how many did you WANT to query? How many of those made requests? After the competition, did you query other agents too? (7/9)
Q: Do you think it will effect Mentors decisions whether our MS comes in first or last? (7/9)
Q: What is the criteria for the mentors? Do they all have agents? Are some are editors? (7/9)
Q: Hello all! I have a question on age categories as a Pitch Wars hopeful. My main character is 18, and I originally wrote my manuscript as a YA. But since I started writing I’ve heard that for YA the main character has to be under 18, anything older than that has to be classified as NA. Do I classify my manuscript as a YA or NA? (7/10)
Q: As an English writer, should I be er… “translating” my MS into US English for pitchwars? There are a LOT of differences in spelling and I would hate to turn anyone off in readings. Do you have any thoughts? (7/10)
Q:  Will mentors include their wants and don’t-wants in terms of ‘dark/gritty’ or ‘happy’ stories? (7/11)
Q: Prologues! I know general consensus is NO EVIL! Would you all agree that we should not put one in our Pitch wars application? YAY OR NAY? (7/13)
Q: What was the most valuable lesson that you learned through #PitchWars? (7/13)
Q: Hi, I was wondering if it was ok or taboo to tweet/chat with mentors about your book to gauge their interest. Would you recommend doing this, or would it leave you with a bad impression? (7/14)
Q: How do I know if I’m ready for Pitch Wars? (7/15)
Q: I have heard many things about the downfall of dystopian: it’s a dead genre, it’s all the same, the market is overcrowded. Is dystopian worth entering in Pitch Wars? (7/16)
Q: Should I modify my NA manuscript into YA or Adult for #PitchWars? (7/17)
Q: Is speculative fiction an acceptable classification for #PitchWars? (7/17)
Q: Feelings and thoughts on Prologues? Are we shooting ourselves in the foot by having them in our PW submission? (7/17)
Q: I don’t know any of the mentors. Does that put me at a disadvantage for getting into PitchWars? (7/18)
Q: My first chapter is a little over 7K word count. So I’m a bit worried about sending the whole chapter on August 3rd. Should I still do it anyway or send just the first 10 pages? (7/18)
Q: If a writer is under 18, should they mention it in their query/application for Pitch Wars? I know since there are no contracts/other legal stuff there shouldn’t be any issues as with querying agents, but would you, as a mentor, still like to know? (7/19)
Q: What is standard length of a chapter? The Interwebz tells me anything from 3k to 5k. Brenda said somewhere we could post 10 pages if our chapters were short, but my first chapter is 17 pages 4k words so. Not sure what to do. What are your author thoughts on chapters? (7/20)
Q:  Prologues: the kiss of death for Pitch Wars mentors? (7/20)
Q: I’m struggling to pick my pitchwars mentors I want to submit to. Do the previous mentees have any advice about how they selected their mentors? (7/21)
Q: Is it okay for writers who have already sent out queries to agents to enter Pitch Wars? (7/21)
Q: For the mentees with and without agents, are there still things you think are weak about your writing, or things you still struggle with technically/mechanically in your stories, even though you may have a book deal already? (7/21)
Q: Best tips to strengthen my #PitchWars application? (7/22)
Q: SYNOPSIS QUESTION! I read you shouldn’t name more than 3 characters. How do mentors feel about that rule? (7/22)
Q:  I have two polished manuscripts. One is brand new and I have never queried agents with it. I have queried the older manuscript, and a couple of agents have asked for submissions. I may not hear back from those agents for a few months. I’m not sure of the ethics of this, but would it be okay to enter my brand new manuscript into Pitch Wars when I have another manuscript that has been submitted to agents? (7/27)
Q: Can I enter Pitch Wars with a brand new manuscript if I have submissions out to agents on another book? (7/28)
Q: On the PW Twitter feed, someone said they were rejected because they had a “flawed book.” What does it mean when a book is flawed? What are some signs of a flawed book? (7/30)
Q: This may sound silly, but how do #PitchWars mentors feel about taking on an older mentee? (7/30)
Q: Describe Pitch Wars in 4 words or less! (8/1)
Q: How many people had read your MS before you applied to Pitch Wars last year? (8/2)
Q: Did your mentor talk about various ways a plot could go, or was the focus on revision? (8/2)
Q: Does a mentee hopeful have a higher chance of getting a mentor if they are socially active on Twitter? Or have a pimpmybio? (8/2)
Q: How do you stay sane between the submission window of Pitch Wars and the Mentee announcements? (8/3)

Have a question? Visit Ask Authors. Looking for more answers on all things writing? Follow us on Tumblr and Twitter.

And be sure to browse the rest of To The Shelves for tips on queries, synopsis, first pages, and more that will strengthen your application!