Sunday, December 1, 2013

#PitchWars: Down to the Wire

Pitch War submissions open tomorrow at 12:01am. Are you ready? Make sure you read the submission guidelines from top to bottom. All of them. And then follow them. Precisely. Also, while it's not explicitly stated, my preferred font is New Times Roman.

This is my first Pitch Wars so I'm not entirely sure how things are going to break down. I did Pitch Wars last year as a reader for Agent Boss. I know there were ninety-nine entries and I read every single one. Despite knowing that there were even more entries that didn't make it through, part of me is still worried my inbox will be bare.

I do have a plan if I get entries. It involves a spreadsheet. I know, I know, you're shocked, right? I do so love my spreadsheets. Once I narrow it down to my top choices, I will be asking to see the first three chapters and possibly the synopsis as well. I have to be honest, though, I am not sure I'll be sending feedback to each entry. It depends on how many people submit to me. I'd want to be able to send it out in a timely manner and I don't want to promise something I can't deliver. Watch my twitter feed during Evaluation Week. I'll probably be tweeting quite a bit.

My wishlist was culled from things that the participating agents have said they wanted to see, with one or two personal preferences thrown in. However, the only thing that you really need to follow is what I don't want to see (mainly horror and despicable immoral behavior). I am going to read every single entry sent my way so long as it's an Adult or New Adult manuscript. If the writing is amazing, I am going to give the manuscript serious consideration, regardless if it's a romance or not, but I will respond more favorably to certain genres than other. For example, if you have a hard-boiled mystery, there are four other mentors that would likely be a better fit for it than me, but there's nothing stopping you from rolling the dice and submitting to me anyway.

Genre-aside, I'm primarily going to be looking for writing that grabs me and something that I can work with. I'm also going to be looking for any red flags, like, a word count that is ridiculously long for commercial fiction (i.e. above 90k) or typos. If your sample has typos in it, that's going to be a major, major issue for me because in my mind, you've had ample time to go over those five pages with a fine-toothed comb. Sending me something with a typo tells me you either didn't care enough to edit properly or you didn't realize it was a typo. I seriously cannot stress enough how much I don't want to see typos in those five pages.

I think that expands a bit on what I've posted before and covers some of the things I've been asked on Twitter. If there's anything you're curious about, this is your last chance to ask! Better to find out now rather than after you pressed send. Leave me a comment and I'll get back to you.