After ten amazing years of building mentorships and an online community of writers, Pitch Wars and #PitMad are coming to an end. As an entirely volunteer-run event, we are truly overjoyed and grateful for the opportunity to assist so many writers on their journeys. While this decision was difficult to make, we are confident that the many other wonderful writing mentorship programs that now exist will carry our common mission – to help writers grow and connect – forward. To read a letter from our Founder, Brenda Drake, please see below.
I can hardly believe it’s been ten years since our first Pitch Wars. When recruiting my writer friends and inviting agents for that first event in 2012, I wasn’t certain how my idea for the mentorship program would be received, so I was pleased with its success. I never imagined Pitch Wars and #PitMad would grow and become as popular as they are today.
The industry has changed over the ten years we’ve hosted both Pitch Wars and #PitMad. Writers are more connected than they were when I started my personal publishing journey in 2008. I’ve always said the best part of Pitch Wars and #PitMad are the communities built around them–writers connecting to other writers and becoming friends, critique partners, and support for each other in this industry that can be heartbreaking at times.
Pitch Wars and #PitMad are run solely by volunteers. Running them can often feel like a full-time job, even with the help of others. It takes many people and many work hours to throw the events. But the last couple of years have been particularly taxing on our volunteers and myself. We’ve experienced the loss of a dear mentor this year, the pandemic, family losses, surgeries, and a volatile social media and political climate, along with our family duties, day jobs, and writing careers. We’ve had volunteers quit or just stop showing up, which puts a strain on those trying to keep things going.
And so, it is with a sad and heavy heart our board has decided that now is the right time to end both Pitch Wars and #PitMad. I don’t have plans for a future Pitch Wars or #PitMad returns, but I never lock a closed door.
I’m sure this news will come as a surprise to many of you, and there will be those who will be upset. At this point, a lot of people have strong feelings about Pitch Wars and #PitMad and how they’re run. It’s difficult to please everyone, but we know that people feeling so strongly is evidence of how much Pitch Wars means to us all.
There are several other amazing mentorship programs and twitter pitch events that weren’t around when I started Pitch Wars 10 years ago. More pop up every year. And I hope that more will continue to be established. We feel it’s better to retire Pitch Wars and #PitMad and let others continue to come up with newer and better programs for the current times. Our website will remain up as a resource for writers.
In closing, I want to say that I’m proud and grateful to all our volunteer committee members and the hundreds of mentors who have given their time to our events over the years. Without their generosity and willingness to pass on their talent and learned skills to writers a few steps behind them on their publishing journey, Pitch Wars wouldn’t have been as successful. So, I’d like to extend a sincere thank you to them all. Because of you, we’ve had nearly four hundred (if not more) successes over the ten years, with agents offering representation to our mentees and many mentees going on to snag book deals or publish their wonderful stories on their own.
And thank you to the community for joining us on this amazing journey. I hope we were able to help you in some way, too, and that you’ve found your community of writers and the people that help you keep going in this tough industry.