Deneneenoooo! Denen… okay, so trying to make a Capella music with a keyboard is perhaps a hopeless endeavor. Or maybe this is why I didn’t get into an a Capella group in college despite auditioning seven times. What can I say? I’m not a quitter. I’m also not a college level a Capella singer… apparently.
If you’re wondering what on EARTH I am talking about, then you haven’t watched Pitch Perfect enough times. Here, this is the best I could find. Hopefully you’ve already seen the movie:
“The Final Countdown” performed by the University of Virginia Hullabahoos in the movie Pitch Perfect. Fun fact: the four a Capella groups who rejected me were ALSO at the University of Virginia! Whee!
Anyway, I’m talking about a different Pitch contest today: PitchWars! Which is coming at us like a speeding bullet right now. On Wednesday the submission window opens for PitchWars, and some hundred plus mentors will have their inboxes flooded by thousands of hungry writers hoping to be chosen for two months of arduous revisions followed by an agent round (with some really cool agents! *squealing*)
This isn’t the first time I’ve entered a writing contest, but it’s safe to say this one is the biggest. My previous contest responses have ranged from crickets to requests for pages to judges telling me I might be ready to query (I still don’t feel ready to query, but that was a very nice compliment!) so I have no idea what to expect this time around. Also, my book has been revised, hopefully for the better, since those attempts.
With a 7% acceptance rate last year (Yeah. 7. Not 17, not 70…7.) I’m not holding my breath. Well, maybe I am but I don’t even realize it. Ha!
Sorry, “holding your breath without realizing it” is a Young Adult book cliche joke. It’s also something I do quite frequently when I’m stressed, so I was born for this career.
I was lucky enough to get randomly selected in a few pre-contest-contests so my first chapter, query, and synopsis all had a little extra polishing, and I’m feeling pretty good. I also met with my writing teacher turned writing buddy and after chatting over coffee with her I did one last pass through the manuscript, trimming dialogue and cutting extraneous descriptors. Just by imagining which lines would make her shake her head, I cut 2000 words! Ha! After taking multiple classes from her, I’ve become really good at predicting which sentences would make her say:
At this point I’ve done all I can and it comes down to whether my writing and concept appeal to the mentors I’ve chosen. And the competition is TOUGH. I’ve exchanged queries and chapters with a lot of other hopefuls and they are GOOD. Really good! I’m astonished constantly by how many amazing writers are out there, as-yet-undiscovered. If you are a bookworm, rest assured there are many, many fantastic stories yet to be published.
Either way, selected or not, it won’t be the end of my writing journey. If I’m not chosen, I will do my best to plow through another round of revisions on my own and move toward querying this fall. It would be REALLY great to have a mentor to help me, though! I hope I hope I hope!
Shout out to my fellow PitchWarriors. I’ve had so much fun getting to know you on twitter, the Facebook groups, and the new PitchWars message boards. Your queries are intriguing, your stories sound awesome and I hope I get to read ALLLLLLL of your books! No matter who is chosen for PitchWars, I hope we can continue to cheer each other on and help each other improve in the future.
Onward! To Glory!