My First #PitchWars
I have been oddly fortunate in my writing career so far.
I sold the very first piece of short fiction I ever submitted. And the next two. I got the first staff writing job I ever applied for. My first book was published by a small press, but it was accepted on a pitch– I knew who would be my editor and that it would eventually be published *before* I wrote it. I joined SFWA within six months of my book’s release.
This is, to say it bluntly, abnormal.
Most writers toil in obscurity for years before making the kinds of sales I made right out of the gate. And while I could try and analyze why I have been so lucky (and I am 100% certain luck had something to do with it), I’m not going to look a gift unicorn in the mouth. I am thrilled to be where I am.
I am thrilled to have a second book under consideration, also thanks to a pitch made before the book had any words in it. I’m part of a curated online showcase this October. I have an invitation to contribute to another anthology. I have convention panels on the books.
What I do not have, unfortunately, is a literary agent.
Normally, people don’t get where I have gotten without the help of an agent. Like I said: ODDLY fortunate. But now I feel like I felt playing Fable, when I didn’t know I needed to level up and so I wound up at a point in story mode that could not be beaten at my current level and with no way to back out of the save point. I am at a point in my writing career where I have had more success than anyone should without an agent, and to go any further I need one. I shouldn’t have even gotten this far without an agent, and getting any farther without one is not really a thing that happens.
Pitch Wars is a mentoring program-cum-contest in which publishing professionals and agented authors work with un-agented authors to polish their manuscripts, tighten up their queries (for more about querying, have a look HERE ), and prepare for an agent showcase next year. It’s a slightly different way of going about getting an agent than the traditional cold query, but so far I’ve had good luck with competitions, and the whole thing sounds like fun!
I have a finished, professionally edited (by Liana Brooks– I highly recommend her services) middle grade manuscript, a professionally tweaked (by K.C. Alexander whose work you should definitely check out) query letter, a halfway decent synopsis, and my fingers crossed.
Mentor wish lists went live online last night and I have already narrowed the field down to a group of amazing folks who are proficient in their fields, are absolutely digging on what my ms is about, and whose bios make me think we would be a good fit.
We’re a week out from the mentor submission dates, and I can’t wait to dive in!