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Pitch Wars Insights by Michael Mammay

Tuesday, 15 November 2016  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

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Now that the agent round for Pitch Wars this year is over, I want to talk about some of the hard truths that sometimes get glossed over in the excitement. Pitch Wars is awesome, and it helps a lot of people, but it’s important to remember that it’s not a magic ticket. You still have to put in the work, you still have to keep growing, and publishing is still an incredibly subjective business.

To illustrate some of this, and offer some insight, I asked the people from the Pitch Wars 2015 class some questions, a year after they got accepted. 71 people responded. Here are their answers.



As you can see, not everybody had a life-changing experience, and only about half the people have an agent a year later. To get a feel for how getting an agent changes someone’s opinion of the contest, I took a look at the people who got an agent, to see if they had a different  average result. Those without agents averaged 3.6 when rating their experience. Those who now have agents averaged 4.6.

It’s impossible to say for sure that people were more satisfied just because they had a better result. There are a lot of factors at play – it could be the fact that they connected with their mentor made it a good experience, which then led to getting an agent. But there’s certainly some correlation.

In my opinion, this doesn’t tell the whole story. Getting an agent is obviously the goal, but the most important thing, to me, is what you learned. To that end, I asked people to rate where they see themselves today as compared to a year ago.



When you talk about Pitch Wars, and even other contests, a lot of what you hear about is the community, and how that’s the best thing you get out of it. I asked some questions to see what mentees thought.




There is a bit of a bias in this data, since if people aren’t in the Facebook group anymore, they probably didn’t see the call to join the survey.  The statistics nerd in me has to note that as an opt-in survey, while the data is useful, it’s not completely scientific.

Lastly, I wanted to ask some questions that might help people who were considering joining Pitch Wars next year. It’s not too early to start. I started writing the book I entered into Pitch Wars 2015 in November of 2014. Are you considering it? Here’s what our mentees had to say.



So of the 71 people who responded, two of them wouldn’t do it again. And I’m sure that if I got 100% participation in the survey, that number would go up some. It’s not for everybody. And without a doubt, these feelings have changed throughout the year. For those of you now out of the agent round, there’s stress and excitement and a whole pot of other emotions. You’re going to be up, you’re going to be down, and at some point you’ll probably somehow be both at the same time. It’s a crazy ride. But hopefully, a year from now, you’ll be able to say that you’d do it again.


Michael Mammay

Michael Mammay

Twitter | Website

About Micheal …

Hi. I write things. Sometimes those things are books. Other times they are random things that entertain me. Mostly I write them because they’re stuck in my head, and that’s the only way that I can get them out. Some of those things I will share here. When I do write books, I write Science Fiction, and sometimes fantasy, usually revolving around military characters. A lot of the ideas that go into those books come from having served in the Army for quite some time. There will also probably be explosions. On the page, not necessarily in real life.


Filed: Misc

  • unrepentantescapist says:

    I’d be super interested in hearing people who answered c on the last question talk about what they’d change in their approach. Maybe you could create an anonymous form and post it as a blog pre-pitch wars next year?

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