Pitch Wars: One Month Update

One month ago, I found out I had been chosen as a 2019 Pitch Wars mentee. It was a supremely exciting moment and for several days I felt like I had to pinch myself, because surely, this couldn’t be really happening to me.

But it was. And it is.

The last few months of the year always are busy for me as freelancer. My clients seem to have more work for me, often with shorter deadlines. I don’t mind and it’s something I’ve learned to expect, which means I build extra blocks of work time into my schedule to accommodate. 

Except this year, it’s different. Because: Pitch Wars.

I’m in the process of revising my middle-grade fiction “Murph Meets a Demon” with help from my mentor, Jessica Bayliss. So far we’ve video-chatted, and despite some technical wonkyness, we accomplished a great deal. I can’t tell you how helpful it is to have someone like Jessica for guidance, to point out potential issues, inconsistencies in plot or character actions, and to just have that support. To have someone in your corner. That’s what Pitch Wars can offer. It’s the community—the mentees, mentors, and admin. What a fabulous group!

Now I’m extremely fortunate, I have an amazing writing community that I’ve been part of for a while. This includes my CP’s (critique partners) and writing friends that I connect with daily via phone, IMs, or social media. They are always there for me, and I’m so grateful. But, I’m also grateful to have my fellow Pitch Wars mentees. We are taking a very specific journey together and I have to say, our 2019 group is pretty awesome!

I can’t wait for their books to be out there and for everyone to get to read them. So many incredible stories! You’re going to be adding many to your TBR list. 

Also, if you follow me on Twitter, and you ARE following me right? 😏

Anyway, I’ve been sharing Pitch Wars mentee/mentor interviews. This is a great way to meet the different mentees and their mentors AND learn a bit more about their books.

Mine with Jessica posted November 22 and you can read it here through this link: https://pitchwars.org/pitch-wars-team-interviews-with-barb-hopkins-and-her-mentor-jessica-bayliss/

This post has rambled a bit, but that’s how it goes today. All day long my brain is always at least halfway with my book as I write other stuff, do chores, or grab 30 minutes for a walk outside on some of the last warm-ish days of the year. I’m really excited about “Murph Meets a Demon” and I can’t wait to share more with you. I promise, my next Pitch Wars update will delve a bit deeper into my book and my 12 1/2 year old MC: Audra “Murph” Murphy. She’s quite the kid!

I’m a Pitch Wars 2019 Mentee!

Last weekend something amazing happened.

Actually, many amazing things happened because I spent Friday through Sunday morning at the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators) Middle of the Map conference. It was a phenomenal conference and I hope to share a bit more about my experiences in another post.

Saturday night, we were just finishing a session of roundtable critiques, and it had been awesome. Great people, fantastic stories, helpful critiques. My phone buzzed and I saw I had an email.

From Pitch Wars. 👀 

My heart stopped. 💓 I debated about waiting and opening the email later when I was alone in my room. But I’m not good at waiting. I had to know. I opened. Read and scrolled. Scrolled some more. 

And shrieked. I might have happy-cried a bit too. Okay, yes, I totally happy-cried and my wonderful SCBWI friends gave me hugs and congratulations. I was in!

I had been chosen to be a 2019 Pitch Wars Mentee! https://pitchwars.org/pitch-wars-2019-the-mentors-picks/

And what is Pitch Wars and why is this such an exciting thing?

I’ll share with you directly from the Pitch Wars site:

“Pitch Wars is a mentoring program where published/agented authors, editors, or industry interns choose one writer each to mentor. Mentors read the entire manuscript and offer suggestions on how to make the manuscript shine for the agent showcase. The mentor also helps edit their mentee’s pitch for the contest and their query letter for submitting to agents. Mentors can participate solo or pair up and co-mentor.

During the agent showcase, each mentee is featured on a post that includes their pitch and the first page of their manuscript. . . . Participating agents view the posts and make requests. 

Over the past seven years, Pitch Wars has changed many lives. Countless authors have been matched with agents and even gone on to book deals and successful careers. . . . But most importantly, Pitch Wars has grown the writing community to connect author with author, creating an atmosphere of camaraderie as we go through all stages of revision and publishing.”

You can read more about Pitch Wars here: http://pitchwars.org/new-start-here/

My mentor is the amazing Jessica Bayliss and I’m crazy-excited to work with her. She writes young adult thriller and horror. Definitely go visit her website here: http://www.jessicabaylisswrites.com/

During the revision process of Pitch Wars I will be working on my middle grade urban fantasy: MURPH MEETS A DEMON. I can’t wait for you to read it, and meet Murph—she’s sassy, kind, and has just learned the women in her family are demon hunters. 

I’ll be posting here as the Pitch Wars revision process moves forward; as often as I can. There is a lot of work involved in revising/polishing a book to get it ready for the agent showcase, but it’s so worth it.

There are so many people that have supported me along the way during this journey, and I’m extremely grateful. Thank you!

Keep an eye out for updates!