The Agent Showcase is here! And wow, this is our 10th Pitch Wars class! Make sure to scroll down for some exciting news!!
It’s been a tough year. Even with a pandemic and other distractions happening in the world, our mentors and mentees worked hard to get all the wonderful manuscripts ready for this year’s agent showcase. I’m so proud of them! I want to thank all the mentors and committee members for volunteering and making Pitch Wars 2020 happen. Without their hard work and generosity, we wouldn’t have Pitch Wars.
How can you show your appreciation to our volunteers, you ask? BUY THEIR BOOKS! Seriously, I’ve read a huge amount of them, and I’m sure you can find one or a few or a dozen or more you’d love.
For those who don’t know what Pitch Wars is, it’s a mentoring program where published/agented authors, editors, or industry interns choose one writer each to mentor. Mentors read the entire manuscript and offer suggestions on how to make the manuscript shine for the Agent Showcase. The mentor also helps edit their mentee’s pitch for the showcase and their query letter for submitting to agents. Mentors can participate solo or pair up and co-mentor.
During the Agent Showcase, 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. Over the past nine-ish years, Pitch Wars has changed many lives. Countless authors have been matched with agents and even gone on to book deals and successful careers. If we’re not over, we’re really close to 400 successes since I started the event in 2012! But most importantly, Pitch Wars has grown into a writing community that connects authors with other authors, creating an atmosphere of camaraderie as we go through all the various stages in our publishing journeys.
The entries for the 2020 Pitch Wars mentees are now live on the showcase site here: https://showcase.pitchwars.
The agent request comments will be hidden, which means you won’t see requests until the showcase has ended. This is to reduce stress on both our mentees and our agents.
Here is the showcase schedule …
- February 10: Adult entries go live at 12:01 am ET
- February 11: MG entries go live at 12:01 am ET
- February 12: YA entries go live at 12:01 am ET
- February 15: Showcase ends at 11:59 pm ET
- February 16: All agent requests are made visible.
Now, for some other news. With the end of the showcase, there will be a changing of the guard so to speak.
I want to give a huge THANK YOU to Sonia Hartl for managing this year. It takes tons of hours each day to manage Pitch Wars in the year leading up to the agent showcase. We have to choose mentors, receive mentee submission applications, read manuscripts, prepare the showcase, answer so many questions, and solve issues that come up before, during, and after the showcase. Sonia has done a splendid job managing this year. She puts her heart into everything she does, and we’re so lucky to have had her lead us this year. Thank you so much, Sonia, for volunteering, for your generosity, and all your hard work!
Now, I’d like to introduce you to our 2020 Managing Director, Ayana Gray.
Ayana is an author of speculative works and lover of all things monsters, mythos, and #MelaninMagic. Originally an Atlanta native, she now lives in sunny Florida where she reads avidly, follows Formula 1 racing, and worries over her adopted baby black rhino, Apollo.
Her highly anticipated young adult debut, BEASTS OF PREY, is forthcoming and will be published on September 28, 2021!
Ayana has worked behind the scenes as a committee member and on selection teams, and she’s been a mentee and a mentor. We know she will do a spectacular job managing Pitch Wars, and we hope you’ll take the time to congratulate and thank her for volunteering.
You can find Ayana online:
Both Sonia and Ayana have something to say, so I’ll turn it over to them …
From our 2020 Managing Director, Sonia Hartl …
It’s been such a huge honor to serve as Managing Director this year. 2020 tested all of us in ways we’ve never faced before, and I’m so proud of all the work everyone has done to make this year a success.
I could not have managed at all this year if it wasn’t for the support and generosity of Brenda, Kellye, and Sarah, who all managed this program before me. I’m so thankful for their knowledge, advice, and the care they have for the community. And a huge thank you to the Pitch Wars Committee, Gail Villanueva (our Tech Director, who we literally cannot exist without), Sarah Nicolas (our Agent Liaison), Kellye Garrett and Susan Lee (our Mentor Liaisons), Ernie Chiara (our Communications Director), Brenda Drake and Irene Reed (our Mentee Liaisons), Leigh Mar (our Social Media Director), Laura Lashley (our Pro Bono Counsel), and our committee advisors, Roselle Lim, Luke Hupton, Rajani LaRocca, Rachel Lynn Solomon, Pintip Dunn, Juliana Brandt, Remy Lai, Bethany Mangle, Michael Mammay, and Ayana Gray.
I love everything about Pitch Wars, it’s been such a huge part of my writing life, and I’ll be continuing on as a member of the committee as I look forward to 2021. Thank you to our mentors, who so generously gave their time to help an up and coming writer, and everyone who has taken part in Pitch Wars this year.
From our incoming Managing Director …
Hi there! I’m so honored and delighted to act as the 2021 Pitch Wars Managing Director! For so many years, this community has been a tremendous source of support and kindness, and I’m incredibly grateful to the many individuals who have selflessly volunteered their time and energy each year to ensure the Pitch Wars program gets better and better each time! I owe a special ‘thank you!’ to Brenda Drake, Kellye Garrett, Sonia Hartl, Gail Villanueva, and Sarah Fisk for entrusting me with this privilege.
I first served as a Pitch Wars mentor in 2019, and most recently in 2020 I served as a both a mentor and Advisory Committee member. My first and utmost commitment is and always has been to advocate and champion the narratives of those whose voices have been systemically dismissed, disregarded and appropriated in publishing spaces. You have my word that as Managing Director, I will maintain and defend that commitment to the best of my ability.
2020 was certainly the year no one could have predicted, and I know for many of us, the world may still feel uncertain in a lot of ways. I am hopeful, however, that this year will be another historic one for the Pitch Wars community, brimful with new friendships, new stories, and new memories for us all! To the Pitch Wars Class of 2020, I salute you and am so proud of you. To the Pitch Wars Class of 2021—I can’t wait to meet you! Let’s do this!