both for mentors and prospective mentees. It’s a huge contest, and everyone
wants to be a part of it. In this three part blog series, I’m going to take a
look at ways that you can benefit from the contest through your interactions
with mentors, whether you’re chosen or not.
insist that mentors provide you with feedback on your entry.
Some mentors give feedback, some don’t. Some give it only on certain entries or
do a drawing. We’re donating our time, and sending useful feedback to more than
a hundred people takes a lot of time.
thank any mentors who take the time to send feedback. It’s not required. We do
it because we want to help.
feel like you have to accept all feedback given as gospel,
especially if more than one mentor gives you conflicting advice.
reflect on feedback to determine what’s best for you and
your manuscript before starting revisions.
- DON’T argue about feedback or send a rude response. We take extra time away from our friends and families because we want to help. You can ignore it, but if people respond rudely, we’re all less likely to send feedback in the future.
- DO congratulate the winners, even if you don’t mean it. Graciousness is free. It’s OK to want to crawl into bed and wallow. It’s OK to even do it. But online paste a virtual smile on your face. If you can’t do it, sign off until you feel better. Then hold your head high and talk about other things.
- DON’T post online
about how the mentors are idiots for not picking you. Save it for a private
group, or better yet a verbal conversation with your best friends/your mom.
Nothing posted online is sacred, and all it takes is one screen shot for your
rant to get back to the wrong person.
- DO keep polishing
and working on your manuscripts. Pitchslam is coming up, followed by Nightmare
on Query Street, PitchMas, and other contests. Not getting into PitchWars is
not a reflection of you or your work. It just means the mentor was more
strongly pulled toward someone else. Think of a book you picked up in a
bookstore, but ultimately decided not to buy. It’s the same thing.
- DON’T give up. Somewhere
out there is an agent or editor and readers who will love your book. You owe it
to yourself to find them. This isn’t the end.
- DO be proud of
yourself. You wrote a book, you put yourself out there, and that’s huge. 🙂
Keep watching my blog for more information on Nightmare on Query Street, coming in October, and PitchSlam, tentatively scheduled for early 2018. PitchWars is brutal for the mentors, because we’re
only allowed to pick one of the dozens of excellent entries we get. Contests
where each blog host picks multiple entries to spotlight are another great way
to get your work before agents. I hope to see everyone there. We’ll be
accepting all genres of adult, YA, and MG manuscripts.