Listening to: Adele - 21
It’s probably no surprise to anyone, being as competitive as I am, that I love Twitter writer contests and pitch parties. With a community as giving and active as writers there are many great events thrown every month to help authors trying to get agents or find indie publishers and so on. So much time and energy by others who are already agented, published, or for those writers just “paying it forward” is put into these contests. Seriously, I know I talk about how great the writing community is all the time, but all these writers who throw the contests are doing so in their FREE TIME. They are doing it out of the kindness of their hearts and don’t get paid to do so.
This week (and last) I participated in Pitch Slam, which is a unique contest because slush readers and team leaders read through the submissions (pitch + first 250 of your polished ms) and provide feedback on how to make your submission that much more amazing. Then you can take the feedback (or not if it doesn’t jive with you) and resubmit for final selection. This is rare for a writing contest as the norm is you submit once and that’s it. On Monday the team selections for the second Pitch Slam were decided and I was excited to find that my ms, BLOODBIRD, made it into the final agent round.
Now I have been in contests where I’ve been picked and ones that I haven’t. It’s all very subjective and all part of the fun, in my opinion. Rejection is a part of publishing that we all have to accept. Build that thick skin early, you’ll need it!
I do have to say though that of all the contests, I felt like the Pitch Slam teams were so incredibly supportive of each other and that’s not always the case. Sure there's support and kind words, but in the case of Pitch Slam there's so much more than that. The team I ended up on, Crimson Ink, had the most badass group of writers and I was thrilled to be surrounded by such awesome, talented, and supportive people. Truly, they all made the experience so amazing! Once the agent requests were revealed, some people got them and some people didn’t. All I can say is that I got boatloads out of the contests by just being a part of—and surrounded by amazing writers on all teams—agent request or not.
So a big shout out to fellow Crimson Ink teammates: Katie Bono, Jodie Andrefski, Ty Martin, Julie Artz, Caitlin Seal, Laura Rueckert, Michelle Pike. I really hope to see all your books published one day because I want so badly to read each and every one of them. And of course Hydra, whoever you are: Hail Hydra!
(You can find all the awesome for our team here: http://pitchslam.wordpress.com/. You know you want to read them all too.)
Also, a GINORMOUS thank you to the slush readers, team captains, agents, and everyone else who participated, whether or not you made it to the final round. Everyone made this contest nothing but a great time.
The point of all this is that I love the writing community. If it was a person I’d hug it (which will shock anyone who knows me because I’m not much of a hugger). I love supporting other authors and it’s exciting when I see someone I know finally land their perfect agent, or afterwards when their agent sells their ms to a publisher. I love seeing that that dreams do in fact come true if you just keep trying. The process is long, it takes time and blood and sweat and tears and so much more. But it’s worth it. And the fellow writer friends you pick up along the way (like my fan-fucking-tastic CP)? They are worth their weight in gold, and then some.