It's been a while since I last blogged... (I feel like this is slowly becoming my go-to opening words here. So sorry!)

I'd like to announce that this year I'm a Pitch Wars hopeful. If you don't know what that means, I'll give you a quick summary: Pitch Wars is a writing contest where writers query four mentors on the hopes of getting picked for a two-month mentorship. In Brenda Drake's words:

"Pitch Wars is a contest where published/agented authors, editors, or industry interns choose one writer each, read their entire manuscript, and offer suggestions to shine it up for agents. The mentors also critique the writer’s pitch to get it ready for the agent round. Writers send applications (query and first chapter of manuscript) to four mentors who best fit their work. The mentors then read all their applications and choose the one writer they want to mentor for the next two months.

One mentee is chosen by each mentor or set of co-mentors, and they spend two months revising the manuscript and pitch. In November during the agent round, 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. More than 50 authors were offered representation and/or published with the help of Pitch Wars 2016!

Over the past six years, Pitch Wars has changed many lives. Countless authors have been matched with agents and even gone on to book deals and successful careers. We’re approaching 250 successes this year!! 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."

I entered COUNTDOWN in the contest. The book has gone through a major revision and it feels like a completely different story. In the past, I've struggled with readers having trouble connecting with my main character, so that's one thing a mentor's trained eye could help me a lot with.

My query:

Masked men kidnap Jo Smith on the first day of school and she wakes up in a fully furnished library, locked up with four other teens. The only clue to what’s going on is a message directly for her: every time the timer in the room counts down to 0:00, she must choose someone to die, or the kidnappers will kill her mom.

Jo needs to decide if she's going to become a murderer to save her already broken family, or risk trusting allies who could kill her in her sleep. Jo is the key player in this killing game, after all, and without her... the game is over. Cameras dot the room. The kidnappers are watching. The whole world is watching. Jo is the only one who doesn't know she's trapped in COUNTDOWN, a reality TV show that's not for the faint of heart.

COUNTDOWN is a 60,000-word YA thriller pitched as THE TRUMAN SHOW meets THE BREAKFAST CLUB.

Fingers crossed a mentor will like it?
-- Becca :)

UPDATE (Aug 24th, 2017)

I didn't get picked. That's okay. It's part of this industry to get rejections and I know it's all very subjective, of course. I do not take it personally, and I do not see it as a defeat. Not at all. I appreciate the opportunity and the time the mentors spent reading my words.

I'm not sure what the future holds for COUNTDOWN. I don't know if I should try querying it to other agents I admire, or if I should try self-publishing it at this point. I know my best bet is to focus on finishing PROJECT ANDROID TWO, but for some reason my mind keeps going back to COUNTDOWN... It was the book that gave me my first agent, after all. It was the book that gave me hope and pulled me closer to seeing my dream come true.

Well, I guess part of being a writer is also learning when to let go. I'll keep that in mind.

Thanks a lot for the support, guys! I wish I had better news to announce, but I guess for now let's just be thankful for the opportunities that come our way. :)

-- Becca