How I Got Into Pitch Wars by Complete Accident

I've been holding off posting this for a while, because I figured it wasn't official-tishal until the Pitch Wars mentor list went up, but now that it's out in the open it's time to reveal ...


(For those of you who don't know what Pitch Wars is, it's a contest where writers work with mentors to get their full manuscripts polished up nice and shiny, and then have their pitches posted in a blog showcase for agents to peruse and make requests. For more info, see here)

Now, the Pitch Wars submission window doesn't open till August. So how could I possibly be in Pitch Wars already?

Answer: by complete accident.

It all started when I entered TeenPit -- a contest for teen writers organized by Kelly Hopkins and Michael Mammay. The idea was that teens who got into the contest would work on their pitch and first pages with a mentor, and then get selected for prizes. Most of the prizes were books (which are amazing, don't get me wrong), but the grand prize was a guaranteed mentor spot in Pitch Wars, courtesy of the Pitch Wars creator, Brenda Drake.

Actual picture of me when I first found out about TeenPit
Now, I'm not gonna lie -- I wanted that mentor spot. But after I got selected for the mentor round and got to know my fellow mentees, that dream slipped away pretty fast. Everyone was just so GOOD! So I decided instead to focus on making my pages and pitch as good as possible, under the guidance of my wonderful mentor and Pitch Wars alum Lisa Schunemann (aka The Fairy Godmother of Revisions).

When all the editing was done and everyone's pages went up on the blog, any hope I'd had of getting that Pitch Wars spot vanished. There were at least two entries that I could totally see becoming huge mega bestsellers. No way could my weird little story beat them.

And then something happened. One of my fellow mentees had had the idea of making a thank-you video for our mentors, and we all sent in clips of ourselves and posted the video once our entries went live. And Brenda Drake said this:

Nobody thought she was actually serious. But then, when the day came to announce the results ...


And guess who came fifth? Me.

I thought I was dreaming for about two days, but then my Pitch Wars mentor contacted me, and it sank in. I'm in Pitch Wars. I have a mentor. My book will be prettified and seen by agents. And maybe, just maybe, one of them will want to represent me.

And it's all thanks to Kelly and Michael, my TeenPit mentor Lisa, and, of course, the amazing Brenda Drake (who I am now convinced is secretly a fairy). My book is currently getting put through its paces by my phenomenal Pitch Wars mentor Laurie Dennison, and it's crazy how much her suggestions have improved it.

Coincidentally, Laurie is also going to mentor the Pitch Wars Scavenger Hunt YA winner, so if you have a completed YA manuscript and you want to enter Pitch Wars, you could come be on our team! It's a random draw, so you have no excuse to say you're not good enough :P All the instructions are here.


  1. Congratulations! I hope you get an agent, and may many more wonderful things start rolling from there!

  2. *practically squeezes Ellie to death with her hug*

    YEEEEESSSS!!!!! WAY TO GO!!!!!!!

    Clare P.

    1. *Squeezes Clare back* Thank you so much, friend of mine!!