The Wonderful Brenda Drake is well known for pitch contests and Pitch Wars is one of the best for author development. Entrants not only are in with a chance to land an agent via the contest, they also get to network, find new beta readers, critique partners and blogging pals.
At the moment, I am deciding which manuscript to mentor out of the 80-odd applications I received.
Some of the trends from the applications I received included:
• Inspirational themed stories
• “Weird” fiction
• Dark Contemporaries
• Amazing voices.
Nearly every mentee had done their research and hit me with a story related to my wish list.
I use a writing math equation to decide whom I will mentor:
Pitch that I love + Amazing prose + Magnetic voice + Story I’m drawn to + A Story that hits agents wish list = my mentee!
At the moment there are still 20 that I really, really adore, with seven that I’m giving priority to because the stories are singing to me more. There are way more than 20 that I was actually interested in; that I would read if they were a published book.
And chances are these stories will be available to purchase in the next year or so. There’s no guarantee that the authors shown will get an agent or published via this contest. But contests like this do have a higher success rate than cold queries. And with more and more contests popping up, there is also an increased chance that the story you’re reading made it’s way onto your shelf/into your eReader after participating in an event like this.
I am a big fan of contests like this and what they offer the writing community. Authors, helping authors is always a good idea to me.