Anyone who knows me, knows that I planned to self-publish. In fact, I probably will self-publish, but that’s another story. This story is about an event called Pitch Wars. I highly recommend this event, not for the chance to pitch agents or get much needed mentoring (although that’s awesome), but for the chance to meet some new people via Twitter, the blog hop, and more.
My sister convinced me to enter a completed manuscript, because at the worst it would only delay my self-publication, and the potential rewards were worth it. A 2 month mentoring with a published author and the chance to pitch to agents is a big deal, especially if you’ve ever sent a cold query to an agent before and been ignored. Did I think I stood a chance? I felt my manuscript may be a little too quirky for some, and since there were very few Urban Fantasy mentors in the Adult classification my chances were slim to none (okay 4% when I did the math, but you get my point).
Like many people, on the final day I sat glued to tweet deck watching the various hashtags. Why? I found some amazing people in their community and I loved every second of it. I’ve never been a great twitterer (tweeter, twatter, twitterphile, WTF?) but I was having fun. These people are smart, funny, generous, and truly amazing. I am not saying this about just the mentors, but the potential mentees as well. This went on until about 72 hours after the deadline closed. Then something strange happened, and this is what I want to address in this post.
It started off slowly, a twitter post about checking their inbox looking for a request for more from a potential mentor (realize that the results aren’t announced until August 25). There were a few cute gifs. Then day three and four happened, people started asking if they should cry about not receiving requests, or if all of the mentors had made their requests, it was a little annoying, but not bad. The #PWTeaser thread was hilarious, a lot of mentors made comments about what they loved and what they didn’t. Even my sister started watching it to see if there was anything that could potentially be my manuscript, but since my potential mentors have been very quiet there was no love for us. Did I give up? No. What was there to give up on? For me, there was nothing to lose. If they make a request that would be awesome (they haven’t as of today). If they don’t, then I know I need to do some work. Either way it’s a win/win situation for me. So why are all these whiners announcing to the world in 144 characters or less about how sad they are? It makes me want to grab them by the shoulders and shake some sense into them.
Yes, you haven’t received a request, boo fricking hoo. Pull up your big boy/big girl pants and get the fuck over it. It’s been less than 5 days. There are around 135 potential mentors in MG/YA/NA/Adult categories combined and there were 1977 entries. That’s a metric ass load of reading and they can each only choose one mentee. Give them a flipping chance! These people have families, jobs, and other responsibilities! Everything they do is voluntary, they receive nothing from doing this. You are not the center of their particular reality, neither is your book. Take a Xanax, drink some alcohol, take a bubble bath, and do what we’ve all told others to do a million times. MOVE ON TO YOUR NEXT WIP AND FORGET ABOUT THIS ONE! At least for a while. You won’t end up with an ulcer from the stress and you might find the whole process is a lot more fun than you think. This is an amazing opportunity to meet new people and network, use it! The odds are against you being selected, so connect with the other non-lucky entrants like me. You could make a new friend, get a critique partner, or more.
V. L. Cooke
UPDATE AUGUST 13: WTF Potential mentees?! I freely admit I have no life and have enjoyed watching the various #PitchWars threads. Now, people who have not received requests are blaming it on a feminine conspiracy in the literary world and calling out mentors for being anti-male? Paranoid much? Maybe your book just needs too much work right now. Take this as a learning experience and get better. /FacePalm. You’re making all writers look bad when you put this type of behavior out in the public for everyone to see.