#PitchWars, huh yeah! What is it good for? Whole bunch of stuff, actually!

Hello Friends!

Our time together is going to be a bit shorter than usual – not another 2,000 word treaties on the majesty of a video game from my childhood (I know you’re terribly disappointed). There are many things a-happening right now in O’Conor Country, but I wanted to take a couple hundred words to talk about some super news!

As you probably already guessed from the title of this post and since you all are so incredibly smart and perceptive (and good looking!) today I’ll be talking a little bit about Pitch Wars! Or you might have read the previous post on this blog where Shauna gave me a fantastic shoutout! (THANKS SHAUNA!)

I’m sure all of our illustrous readers are in tune with all the hubbubs and goings-ons in the writing world, but in case you’re wondering “Just what in the heck is this here Pitch Wars thingie?” IM GLAD YOU ASKED!

You can find out at the blog of the wonderful Brenda Drake!

Basically, unagented writers get the oppotrunity to pitch their manuscripts to agented authors in the hopes of one of them becoming their mentor. If you’re chosen, that mentor will help you edit you manuscript into the best possible shape the two of you can muster! Then after 2 months of grueling edits you get your shiny new manuscript pitched directly to agents! SLUSH FREE YALL! WOOOOOOOOOOOO!

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I know a few of my fellow Scribes have been involved with Pitch Wars, I think Lyra was a mentee last year and Emmie is a mentor this year herself! I’ve heard nothing but positive feedback from anyone who’s gone through the process and so far it’s been pretty darn fantastic for me.

The spectacularly spectacular Hayley Stone (follow her on Twitter everyone!) chose to mentor THE RADIANCE OF BLACK and has shown an unparalleled excitement and passion for the story and characters right away. It’s really blown me away. We’ve emailed back and forth probably 20 times since the September 2nd and my goodness she really just GETS this story and what I’m trying to do with it.

We’re making some dramatic edits – cutting an entire POV (the one my loving CPs Krisitn and Shauna thought was the weakest and were, of course, right). Those chapters are going to be replaced by an all new ending – a huge and definitive final battle father than the more cliffhangery one I originally. I’ve already written about 7,000 words of the New Ending and my goodness do I love it!

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This a really great opportunity, and quite frankly a welcome break from the grind of the query trenches. I’ve been sending THE RADIANCE OF BLACK out there for about five months now, and while I’ve had some positive interest in the manuscript, the heaps of rejection that accompanied those were getting me down a bit.

It’s awesome to have such an enthusiastic response to the story and characters from Hayley, someone who was a complete stranger just a couple weeks ago. The growing pile of rejection letters did make me doubt the quality of this manuscript and whether I should stick with it, but after now I feel rejuvenated and the story feels even more validated. I feel like Pitch Wars have given this book a new lease on life and I can’t help but be excited for the next couple months. THE RADIANCE OF BLACK is going to be torn down to it’s basest core and rebuilt better than ever.

Even if I don’t get any agent requests when it’s all said and done, I’ll have made a bunch of new Writer Buddies. In the week after the mentee announcements, I probably got the most new followers on Twitter in the shortest amount of time since I joined.  The new friends and contacts is one of the best things about entering these contests and a few of my fellow mentees I’ve come to know already through previous Twitter pitch contests. It’s been amazing to see them make it with be and now we can continue to cheer each other on into November!

I would be remiss if I didn’t give a huge, huge thank you to both Shauna and Kristin, who read the original and much crappier version of RADIANCE OF BLACK and help me craft it into what it is today. You guys are amazing and I wouldn’t have gotten this opportunity without you!

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