Posted | Written by Patrick Tylee
Wow, it’s been far too long between my posts here.
I’ve been super busy with rewrites to my third manuscript, UNIMAGINARY, and with the first draft of FOREVER PROCULA.
(Here’s the cover of the bound manuscript for my pre-read group. The actual published cover will be something along these lines…)
Today, I submitted an entry for a contest called #PitchWars. Winners (I assume there will be up to 150 or so of us) are given the chance to plug into a mentorship program. The winning authors are paired with a specific mentor that chose the author’s manuscript from among the entries. The mentor guides the author through edits and storyline fixes. The mentor also helps with smaller, though equally important things like query drafts, elevator pitches, and synopsis. If the author puts in the work, the mentor then assists with presentation to a chosen literary agent, and then on to an acquisition editor at some publishing house.
What I find truly encouraging is that this entire project is managed and promoted by the competition.
Author Brenda Drake spearheads the effort, and I can tell you that there’s ample evidence of A LOT OF EFFORT.
I know how much work it takes to author, edit, rewrite, and promote a couple of books. There’s not much time left to help out everybody else with hopes to be successful at the same thing. But here she is, my competition, giving me a chance for a leg up in a very tough market.
This is something that I have noticed in the world of authors. More than in ANY other profession that I’ve been blessed to earn a buck with, this group of people will go out of their way to help another author make it just one rung up the ladder (and there are many rungs!)
A huge help has been to connect with other writers. Of the three national groups that I belong to, the most action I see is with Sisters in Crime. Through the many opportunities to engage the more experienced and successful competition there, I’ve learned some valuable lessons, without having to bang my head on anything.
For instance, FOREVER PROCULA was meant to be written for the genre of Adult Science Fiction. However, through the help of the Sisters in Crime members, I discovered that since the story has elements of Fantasy, it would no longer qualify as Sci-fi. Therefore, I’ve had to restructure the entire manuscript as a Mystery/Suspense. The sweet and tender Claudia here looks the part in the gothic theme. You’d never guess that an astronaut from the future is on the way to stab her to death. Uh-oh! Was that a spoiler? Nah…
So, I just have to say a BIG THANK YOU to Brenda Drake her helpers, and the volunteer mentors that have made #PitchWars such an excited and valuable opportunity for us, the competition. I hope you all sell every book you print.