Mentees Blogging During Pitch Wars

I plan on blogging throughout the next two months while I work on my manuscript with my lovely mentor, Laura Salters. I want to share tips, hints, progress, types of changes, things to look out for in your own novel, and to share the frenzy!

I know I’m not the only one!

If you’re a mentee and you want to share the wisdom you garner from your mentor, let me know! Send me a message @Mcrebecky on Twitter or comment here or email me!

If you’re a Pitch Wars hopeful that didn’t make in this year, but you still want to dive into revisions, check out these blogs! We’ll be posting about the types of changes we’re doing, the tricks we learn from out excellent mentors, and the methods of madness we’re learning to navigate!

Mentees Blogging

  1. Rebecca McLaughlin (The Nameless Queen)
  2. Lynn Forrest (The Measure of a Monster)
  3. Brian Palmer (A Silence Worth Breaking)
  4. A. S. Olivier (Chalk Circles)
  5. Jenn Brisendine (Under the Dust of Ransom)
  6. Michelle Tran (Diamond Queen)
  7. Vanessa Barger (Learning Space)
  8. Taryn Bashford (Game Face)
  9. Heather Murphy Capps (Spooky Jane)
  10. J.R. Yates (Unspeakable)
  11. Joan He (Hesperia)
  12. Jeigh Meredith (Resonant)
  13. Monica Hoffman (The Atlantic Bond)
  14. Megan England (Space Academy Rejects)
  15. M. C. Vaughan (The Reluctant Princess)
  16. Gretchen Kaup (The Mirage Shifter)
  17. C. L. McCollum (Traces)
  18. Elizabeth Leis-Newman (Callback)
  19. E. S. Wesley (The Outs)
  20. Sarahlyn Bruck (Fit)
  21. Jamie Manning (Out of the Ashes)
  22. Amanda Christine Donegon (The Zer0 Maker)
  23. MORE COMING SOON! (If you want to be on this list of blogging mentees, let me know!)


Pardon me while I


Ok. That’s out of the way, so let’s move on to


*disassembles capslock key*

There we go. Much better.

Contents of this blog post:

The Stats of Pitch Wars

Pitch Wars is a contest. You submit your query+chapter 1, and you could get chosen to do a 2-month mentorship with a published author. This year (2015), it had nearly 1600 applicants, and around 100 mentors. Due to a couple lovely surprises, 125 of the applicants were accepted as mentees instead of the predicted 100-ish. That’s about a 7.8 percent chance of getting in.

If you want MORE statistics and math (like I know you do), then here are some other resources the mentors put up:

What This Means (What is Pitch Wars?)

I’ll be working with a published author (the absolutely rad and in all other ways awesome Laura Salters) for two whole months! Working how, you ask?

I’ll know more once we dig in, but the goal is for a mentor to work with the mentee to tear apart and fix, tidy up and polish, and all-around whip the manuscript into shape in time for the mentor round.

If you’ve skimmed the “Revisions” or “Show Don’t Tell” categories on my blog, you know that I LOVE editing. Adore the crappidy crap out of it. I work as a technical writer, not because I’m good at it (I mean, I AM good at it, but that’s not why). I do it because I LOVE IT. I get to rephrase, rewrite, edit, format, reword, and mix around all sorts of documents! It’s fun!

Basically, I’m in this for the long haul. I have just enough ego (coupled lovingly with fear and determination) to know that I’ll get published someday. I just can’t stop writing EVER, and I know I’ll get there. That’s the determination you need, writer friends! The only thing that can stop you from getting what you want is you—if you give up. SO NEVER GIVE UP!

In two months, I’ll hopefully have burned my way through my manuscript, kindling what is good and carbonizing what is bad. All of this in time for the agent round.

Agent round?

Yep! There’s an Agent Round at the end of the two months, at the beginning of November. (Sorry NaNoWriMo 2015, I’ll likely still be working on (or just obsessing over) last year’s project: aka the project I’m working on with my mentor!!)

What is this thing you call the Agent Round?

The excerpts and pitches (similar to a first chapter/query but punchier) will get posted on the website of the fantastic lady who runs it all: Brenda Drake. For 2 days, a slew of literary agents will scour the posted submissions and comment on them to request anything from the proper query + first pages, a partial/full manuscript, a synopsis, or your favorite color! (I mean, I don’t expect they’ll be terribly focused on getting your favorite color. But I’m leaving the door open, here.)

There’s no guarantee of representation or publication, or even that anyone will request any material from the writers. But I’m sure it’s a great way to fray every single nerve in your body with an overdose of adrenaline and cortisol.

If you didn’t get in (or didn’t even submit)

Don’t despair. Basically what the mentees are doing over the next two months is barrel through the manuscript and do a slicey-dicey, building-and-changing, all-around-intensive set of revisions. At the end, we’re mimicking the query process.

There is no reason you can’t work alongside with the same fervor!

Blogging is HAPPENING

I’m going to blog throughout the two months of revisions about what sorts of things we’re looking at and changing. I want to share any new editing techniques that I learn. I want to reveal any tricks or trades or turn-abouts that I come across! How do we approach revisions, communication (my mentor is in the mystical polite land of UK = time zone fun), line edits vs. character/plot arc, scheduling?

My inner geek is becoming my outer geek and I am officially GEEKING OUT!

I created a new category for these posts called “Pitch Wars.” I was going to try to be clever, but that’s when I get into trouble.

Don’t Have WordPress?

Don’t have WordPress but you still want updates and fun times ahead? I’m adding a button on the right hand side of my blog that will say CLICK FOR EMAIL AWESOMENESS. That way, you can follow me through emails that will update you when I post something new!!

Why join me on this revision quest?

It’s important to have another set of eyes on your work. That can be a Mentor, a Critique Partner, or a Beta Reader! Use the Pitch Wars community (check out the hashtag on Twitter), or use the CP Matchmaker by Megan Grimit which will be happening on Sept 12!

Just because you didn’t get in as a mentee doesn’t mean you can’t get in on the action!

Walk with me, Writer Friends.

(Or in the case of anxiety and awesomeness, SPRINT FOR TWELVE STEPS THEN SPEED-WALK BECAUSE RUNNING IS HARD.)