The writer’s life is full of rejections. Whenever I receive an email from a literary agent that says, “Thank you,” I brace myself because there is usually a “but….” following. But blah, blah, blah. The rest of the email is full of “nice” rejection words. I know they can’t take on every client, so I get it. But (I used that word!) we are all human, and it’s hard reading rejection after rejection. Get thick skin! Man! If you want firm, leathery skin, become a writer. But (that word again!) even leather can look worn and cracked with time. I try to be optimistic. Some people like the distressed leather look. Aged. Broken appearance. Vintage or rustic look. Those words sound much better than “worn” or “beat down!” Persistence and perserverance are what give writer’s the vintage (valuable) look. Yes, rejection is part of the molding process while a writer persists and perseveres. But (this is a good but!) when you receive the “Thank you. I love what I’m reading. I’d like to see more,” message, is when a writer (who is trying to get traditionally published) feels a glimpse of maybe I am vintage. Maybe I have learned enough to bring my words in a book to the world. Maybe I can impact others.
My whole lot of words in the last paragraph leads to my announcement. I had my eyes set on a writing competition called Pitch Wars for three years now. I was too intimidated to submit previously. Fear held me back. Honestly, I don’t believe I was ready three years ago either. I needed more time to learn the craft of writing. I had submitting to Pitch Wars on my radar this year, and I did.
Pitch Wars is a contest where published/agented authors, editors, or industry interns choose one writer each, read their entire manuscript, and offer suggestions to shine it up for agents. The mentors also critique the writer’s pitch to get it ready for the agent round. Writers send applications (query and first chapter of manuscript) to four mentors who best fit their work. The mentors then read all their applications and choose the one writer they want to mentor for the next two months.
One mentee is chosen by each mentor or set of co-mentors, and they spend two months revising the manuscript and pitch. In November during the agent round, each mentee is featured on a post that includes their pitch and the first page of their manuscript. Participating agents view the posts and make requests. More than 50 authors were offered representation and/or published with the help of Pitch Wars 2016!
Over the past six years, Pitch Wars has changed many lives. Countless authors have been matched with agents and even gone on to book deals and successful careers. We’re approaching 250 successes this year!! But most importantly, Pitch Wars has grown the writing community to connect author with author, creating an atmosphere of camaraderie as we go through all stages of revision and publishing.
This is a very competitive competition. There were almost 3000 applicants from all around the world for 180 spots. I said lots of prayers and was a little nervous while I waited for the results (Who am I kidding? Try WAY nervous!). On August 24, 2017, the mentor’s pick posted on Brenda Drake’s website. I was selected! What? Not another rejection? A real “Thank you! I want to work with you.” Not a “Thank you, but….” My mentor is Jay Coles. I am sooooooo lucky to have him as a mentor. With writing, it’s not easy finding critique partners that fit well with you and your work. I had to write an interview blurb on why I chose Jay. I’ll show you all that later. All that I’ll say for now is that I know he’s a great fit for me. He’s funny, composes music (what? yep!), and likes similar authors who I like or I feel my writing compares to. His book, Tyler Johnson was Here, comes out March 2018! I’m excited to read it!
I wrote a Young Adult contemporary novel that I will talk more about later. I will share the link and information when it is posted on Brenda Drake’s website in a couple of months. Two months is going to fly by! I will be busy over the next two months so I may not be as interactive as I usually am on my site. I’ll try my best!
Your Dreams/Goals (Yes! You!)
I had mentioned (here) at the beginning of the year that persistence was going to be main goal for the year. Additionally, I needed a positive attitude to help with that. It hasn’t always been easy. I have thick, leathery skin from all of my persistence, but it has been worth it. I am taking my vintage self into Pitch Wars. How are your goals for the New Year holding up? Are you vintage already? If so, YEAH!!!! 🙌🏼 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽 If not, are you beating yourself up for not reaching your goals?
Well, stop it if you are. Keep your eyes on what YOU want and don’t let anyone stop you. I had two people, who I love dearly, tell me to not get my hopes up for Pitch Wars because I may get disappointed. I understand that they didn’t want to see me hurt, but you have to take risks to go after your dreams. With risks comes disappointment and success. They are hand in hand. You have to persist until you become vintage! I have also had many people tell me that you can never make money being a writer. Why would I waste my time? How will you know unless you try? Some authors are making a living writing, so it’s possible. That’s all I need to know. I’ll take my chances. I’m becoming vintage, remember? So should you!
You are the only person who can stop you from achieving your dreams. And I didn’t have to copy that quote from anywhere because I believe it. Now, go chase your dream! I’m going to chase mine with a smile on my face and leather skin.
P.S. All of you amazing blogger friends I have, you have pushed me to keep moving forward with your motivational words. You know who you are! Thank you.
I hope you have a wonderful day. Thank you for reading! ❤️❤️❤️
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