If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve no doubt seen my endless #PitchWars tweets the last several weeks. I’d say I’m sorry for flooding your feeds, but I’d be lying. I’ve so loved being involved with Pitch Wars, and, schedule permitting, I foresee doing it again next year.
That said, I didn’t think it’d be as difficult as it has been. Not just the time commitment–though it is extensive–but actually getting right down to it and choosing my mentee and alternate.
Being a first time mentor, I seriously thought I was going to get ten submissions (no hyperbole), and that if I got a whopping ten, I should consider myself lucky. I got nearly five times that much. And the quality of the submissions were outstanding, so it made my job even harder. In the end, though, I had to do something to narrow it down.
I’ll admit that picking my mentee was the easiest. I knew from the first paragraph in the query that I wanted to mentor her. And, yes, I licked that MS like a son of a bitch because I’m greedy like that and because I loved it so much.
My alt? That was a more difficult decision. I had six entries that I felt drawn to, in one way or another, and I really wish I could’ve worked with all of them. Alas, I haven’t figured out how to stop time, so that wasn’t going to happen. From six, I went down to three, then two, then one. But even narrowing it down to one, I waffled more than once on whom I was selecting for my alternate, that’s how close it was. In the end, I went with the MS that I thought I could help the most.
See, that’s the thing with submitting to mentors–we each have our own strengths and weaknesses that may or may not make us the right mentor for the submitted manuscripts. I had to take that into consideration when selecting my team. I also had to take into consideration the market and what the Pitch Wars agents are looking for. I was also really greedy and read several manuscripts strictly as a reader, even once I knew I wouldn’t be a good fit as a mentor (which, btw, is a totally good sign).
We’re now roughly five and a half hours away from the final announcement, and I know many (all?) of you are sitting on the edge of your seats, waiting for the news. But just know that even if you didn’t make it, you’ve made it. You wrote a book (yay!) and put it out there (yay!) with the intention of receiving feedback (yay!). That in and of itself is a huge accomplishment, and one you should be proud of.
I’ve already drafted all my pass e-mails. I know they’re going to be hard to receive. Putting your heart and soul out there for other people (four other people) to read and critique is hard. But I tried to offer constructive feedback to everyone if I felt it would help your MS. And whether or not you take the feedback given (that’s the beauty of this business…you totally don’t have to if you don’t feel it’s a fit for your book!), I hope you’ll take them in the spirit in which they were given: helping your MS become as good as it can, even if I can’t be with you every step of the way.