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SPIRIT OF PITCH WARS Rejection Party . . . Nominate Your Heroes!

Saturday, 2 September 2017  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

Writers face rejection all the time. We even reject ourselves as we revise every word, constantly fixing and replacing. It’s difficult to be rejected, but the truth is, people are different. We like different things. We want different things. So the manuscript you write isn’t ever going to please every person.

Rejection can mean just that–it didn’t resonate with the person you submitted to. Some of the mentees I rejected because the manuscript was TOO GOOD! It’s ready to query, and I’ll be sure to tell them that. Some mentees need to work on mechanics or plot or voice. Even published writers can improve. Even published writers get rejected. It’s part of this business, so please, know we’re proud of you for trying.

We’re happy you’re part of our community!

Eventually, you’ll find a niche group who your writing resonates with, and hopefully, you’ve written for yourself and enjoyed the process as well. Here are a few more articles about rejection that give different insights.

Try Because You May Fail, a Guest Post by Brynne: This post was helpful and enlightening about all forms of rejection. And I’ve found her theory to be true in my own life.

Mentor Michael Mammay also wrote an amazing article about rejection and how Pitch Wars is one of the ways we can take baby steps toward agent and editor rejection: PITCHWARS: SHOULD I OR SHOULDN’T I?

Mary Ann Marlowe also has an amazing story to tell, which she does here: Writing Contests, #PitchWars, and Rejection

And here’s what S.E. Witschorke learned after entering and being rejected for Pitch Madness this year.

S.E. Witschorke


My journey to signing with Natascha Morris actually began by getting rejected from . Frustrated, but determined to succeed, I signed up to take the online Pitch Perfect class with CM McCoy. Through the class I honed my pitch while revising my ms and presto, I finally had the perfect hook in time for . I love that out of a rejection came success. Had I not been rejected with the first contest, I might not have found the right people who are now part of my camp or my super cool agent, Natascha Morris.

Because of rejection, we also need to surround ourselves with people who uplift us, see the good in our writing, and encourage us to endure.

Pitch Wars was created with this goal.

So we’re giving you the opportunity to nominate someone who had a positive influence on your writing, your perspective, or your experience this Pitch Wars 2017 season.

When I asked our mentors if they would be willing to give even more for this crazy party idea of mine, this is what they said . . .

Isabel Davis: I’m happy to donate a first chapter critique. It may or it may not include line edits.

Marty Mayberry: I’ll donate a first 4000 words critique that will be completed after Thanksgiving. Just in time for the holidays. LOL.

Isabel Davis: OH! Hello. I’m a designer. I can do a fun screen saver of their favorite quote for the desktop or their iphone.

Dawn Ius: I can donate a first chapter or query critique. I’m also happy to donate a book, or an ARC of Lizzie, depending on when those things arrive. *taps foot with impatience*

K.T. Hanna: I’ll do a first chapter critique to be delivered at end of October.

Tara Creel: I can donate a query+first chapter critique.

Amanda Rawson Hill: I’ll donate a copy of next month’s book for our newsletter book club. ALAN COLE IS NOT A COWARD. I have an in with the author so I might even be able to swing a signed copy. I’ll see. (Hooray for Joy McCullough’s previous Pitch Wars mentee!)

Erin Foster Hartley: I can donate a query + first chapter critique.

Akemi Dawn Bowman: I can donate a query or 1st chapter critique.

Amy Trueblood: I’ll do a query + first chapter critique.

Annette Christie: I’ll donate a craft book of their choosing!

Monica Hoffman: Put me down for a query critique and first chapter.

Joy McCullough: I’ll do a query + first chapter – MG or YA only.

Carrie Callaghan: I’ll donate two copies of THRILL ME by Benjamin Percy.

Jamie Howard: Query + first chapter for me!

Helene Dunbar: I’ll do a query + first chapter AFTER pw!

Katrina Carrasco: I’ll do a query + first-chapter critique after PW. Adult only.

Laura Pohl: I can do 3 query critiques! (YA preferred)

Kellye Garrett: I can donate a book! Woo hoo.

Lyndsay Ely: A book of the winner’s choosing my work hoard! (I’ve got picture books, MG, YA, adult, cookbooks, etc…the shelves are packed) Mark me down for that! 🙂

JC Davis: I’ll donate a query & first chapter critique.

Julie Artz: I’ll donate a query + synopsis + first chapter for MG or YA. The synopsis can be optional, but they’ll get big-picture feedback if they send one 😉

Katrina Emmel: I’ll do a first chapter critique (up to 10 pages) completed between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Alicia Clancy: I’ll do a query+first chapter critique.

Nikki Roberti: I’ll do 3 query critiques

Sarah Hawthorne: I’ll donate a book!

Jessica Calla: How about a $5 Amazon GC to buy a book of their choice?

Alexandra Alessandri: I couldn’t mentor this year, but I’d love to contribute with a query + chapter critique!

Melissa Marino: I’ll donate a signed paperback of their choice of one of my 3 books. 🙂

Jenny Lundquist: I’ll do a first chapter critique (MG preferred) and donate a copy of The Wondrous World of Violet Barnaby.

Adalyn Grace: I can donate a YA query + 1st chapter critique.

Kerbie Addis: I can donate 5 YA query critiques, to be delivered between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Rebecca Sky: I’ll donate a YA audiobook.

Shari Schwarz: This is great! I’ll donate a query + 1st chapter critique.

Kes Trester: I’ll donate a book and swag.

Kim Long: Mixing things up–I’ll do a synopsis crit, but it must be less than two pages single spaced.

Jessica Bayliss: I’ll donate a first chapter critique (up to 3K words).

Lisa Amowitz: I will offer a first chapter critique. At the end of October (up 3K words).

Sheena Boekweg: I’ll donate three query critiques.

Marie Meyer: Great idea! I will donate a query + 1st chapter critique, when PW is over.

Emma Wicker: I’ll do a 5 chapter critique for NA/A – 5 1st chapters or 1 5 chapter – I don’t mind.

Destiny Cole: OH I HAVE ONE!!!! Victory Fall by Alicia Dada.

Jennifer Jones Vincent: I’m happy to offer a first chapter critique for MG or YA!

Jami Nord: I’ll do 5 first page (250 words) crits. I figure keeping it short spreads the love! YA or Adult only.

Laura Brown: I’ll do a first chapter critique for A/NA.

Fiona McLaren: I’m up for a query & synopsis critique! Make that x 2. 🙂

Natalka Burian: I can happily donate a book!

C.M McCoy: I’ll donate SHOWING AND TELLING IN FICTION by Marcy Kennedy

Kelly Siskind: I’ll do a query critique!

Kristin Smith: I can donate an ebook of CATALYST or FORGOTTEN.

Beth Ellyn Summer: I’ll donate an ebook of At First Blush! 🙂

Rachel Griffin: I’d love to do a YA query + 1st chapter critique!

Kelly Hopkins: Happy to do a couple of query critiques!

And Cimone Watson, editorial intern at  , wanted to donate, too! Thank you Cimone! This is what she said: For the Pitch Wars rejection party, may I donate 3 query+first chapter critiques? And I said, of course!

We’re so grateful to have editors, agents, authors, mentors, and writer hopefuls as part of this community.

And their generosity touched me so deeply, I have to wipe my cheeks and snif a few times every time I look at this list. These mentors give me hope in my writing, in the industry, and in humanity. I love them so dearly and hope you’ve connected with a group of #PitchWars members the way I have.

So if you know a #PitchWars hopeful who didn’t become a mentee who you’d like to nominate for the Spirit of Pitch Wars Prize, please fill out the following form and we will put their name(s) into a random drawing.

The nominee(s) must not have been chosen as a mentee this year.

The winners will be posted on Friday, September 8th in a post here on pitchwars.org. (No multiple prizes will be awarded.)

Please do not fill this form out with more than one name. Refresh the page and fill out a new form for each nominee. Thank you for your support!

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We're thrilled at the different ways those in our Pitch Wars community are giving back—and we encourage them to do so. However, please keep in mind that Pitch Wars is not affiliated with any of these various contests, promotions, etc., including those of our mentors and mentees. Promoting any such opportunities via our social media channels doesn't imply endorsement or affiliation. We encourage you to do your research before participating.

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