Pitch Wars: Enter the Ninjas

A little over a week of submission time remains in the Pitch Wars contest – and the ninja mentors (including yours truly) have entered the field!

What is Pitch Wars, you ask?

Pitch Wars is a mentoring-based contest for authors seeking representation by literary agents. Authors can choose to query up to three prospective mentors (details below and also here). At the end of the submission window, each mentor will choose an author and together the teams will work to polish the author’s pitch in preparation for its review by a panel of literary agents. The panel of agents (over a dozen at last count…names coming soon) will read the entries and bid on the ones they want to see.

So … with all of the fabulous mentors to choose from, why should you choose a ninja – and me in particular? Here’s my pitch to you:

Who is this ninja mentor anyway?

I’m a mystery author and publishing attorney with over ten years’ experience writing and editing both fiction and non-fiction.

Claws of the Cat, the debut novel in my Shinobi Mystery series, is scheduled for publication by St. Martin’s/Minotaur in July 2013 – with the second and third books in the series planned for 2014 and 2015.

I’ve critiqued and edited multiple full-length manuscripts, worked with both published and aspiring authors, and I love nothing more than playing with words (my own or someone else’s)!

I’m very honest in my critiques, but also look to identify the strengths in an author’s work. I’m detail-oriented and drawn to fast-paced narratives – and if we end up working together I’ll do my absolute best to help you shine!

What am I looking for?

For Pitch Wars, I’m working with adult manuscripts only.  (That means no YA or Middle Grade, even in my chosen genres – but don’t despair! There are MANY highly qualified mentors to choose from in those areas!)

Within the general boundaries of adult fiction, my preferences (in no particular order) are: Historical, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Speculative Fiction/Sci-Fi, and Fantasy – though Fantasy has to be very unique to pique my interests, and the fantasy that piqued my interest here would probably have to include strong elements of mystery, thriller, or suspense. (Steampunk mystery anyone?)

I’m not put off by mystical or religious elements, violence or blood (I write ninja police procedurals set in 16th Century Kyotoblood and violence are my stock in trade), though overly graphic sexual narratives won’t be my first choice.

Generally speaking, though, if you think I might be a good fit and your manuscript is written for an adult audience, DO query me regardless of the topic. My tastes in fiction are broad ranging and I’m always open to something I haven’t anticipated!

TL;DR: Pick me! Let’s rock this competition!

Pitch Wars Submission Details:

Submissions opened November 26 and will remain open until 8AM EST on December 5. Coaches will read submissions and pick author teammates December 5-10, and the teams will be announced on December 12. More dates and details here.

Send your application (query and first 5 pages of your manuscript) to brendadrakecontests@gmail.com.

Each writer applicant can apply for up to 3 coaches (aka mentors). Coaches can only consider the categories they’ve signed up for (in my case, adult fiction). Writers cannot apply for a coach that is not in their category.

This contest is open to finished manuscripts only. Writers may only enter one manuscript. Only the genres requested by each coach will be considered for the contest. Coaches will make the final decisions regarding which applicant(s) to mentor – coaches’ decisions are final.

How to Format Your Entry email:

Subject line: Pitch Wars Application: Coach Name you want to apply for: Title (Example: Pitch Wars Application: Susan Spann: CLAWS OF THE CAT)

Inside the Email:

Name: Your Name

Genre: The genre of your manuscript

Word Count: Manuscript word count.

Query letter (embedded in the email). Single spaced. No indentations or graphics, but leave a space between each paragraph.

First five pages of the manuscript (embedded in the email – no attachments). Single spaced. No indentations or graphics. Leave a line between each paragraph.

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