As I’ve mentioned, I decided to enter Creampuffs in Pitch Wars this year. (Pitch Wars is the yearly contest where unpublished writers pitch to mentors for help with their manuscript. Mentors each select one manuscript, suggest refinements over a couple of months, and then help their mentee compete to win the attention of literary agents in February.)
Over the past month since making that decision, I’ve rewritten my query letter, gotten critiques, rewritten, repeated. Lot of doubt in my mind whether Creampuffs, the little weirdo that it is, has what it takes. After all, a rejection that I received on Wednesday from a June query baldly stated that “we do not feel it is something we could place successfully in the current publishing climate” (and I have heard similar things in other rejections). But I kept going. I researched my potential mentors: there are a total of 101 mentors across four categories, 37 mentors in the Adult demographic; of those I found 6 that were interested in anything approaching something like Creampuffs. (An entrant is allowed to pick four.) The odds didn’t seem very good. But on Monday, I packaged all the requirements together anyway and hit submit; I have literally nothing to lose to by trying.
This morning I woke up to this:
Good morning #pitchwars!
We received 3,452 entries this year from 3,452 wonderful writers!
Stay tuned for category breakdowns! (and if you want to send me pet pics it *might* speed up the process a bit. Couldn’t hurt, anyway.)
— Pitch Wars (@PitchWars) August 30, 2018
OVER THREE THOUSAND PEOPLE SUBMITTED TO PITCH WARS. The vast majority of subs will be for categories I am not competing in. But still! I follow my picks for mentors and one tweeted yesterday that she’s received over 160 pitches! That’s just ONE of my picks!
At first I felt very overwhelmed seeing the numbers in black and white like that but then I grew very calm. After all, with odds that bad, sitting and refreshing twitter or my email for good news is a clear waste of my time. I’ve done my best; maybe it will be good enough. But probably it isn’t, and rather than waiting on tenterhooks until the mentees are announced in October, I can get on with my life. I’m not allowed to pitch Creampuffs anywhere else until the mentees are announced, and that’s fine; I can take that time to figure out what next to do with it. Maybe I post it somewhere like Wattpad. Maybe I just keep querying. Maybe I switch it up to query small presses. Who knows! I had nothing to lose but a rewritten query, so I’m in the same place I was on Sunday.
And that’s okay. Disappointing, sure, but okay.
In better rejection news, I’m up to #98! That’s an average of 11 rejections a month, but even more crucially is this: it represents over 107 submissions. In eight months! I did sixteen subs in the whole of 2017! I can’t even do the math on how much a percentage increase that is! It’s so much math, you guys!
Tomorrow’s my birthday, and I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed that the final rejections come in tomorrow so I can celebrate reaching #100 with my friends over allllll the food and drinks.
I start again.
(I want my year to go Sept 1 to August 31–and if I can get two more rejections by tomorrow, I can do just that. I shall call it the Feistner Fiscal Year.)
There’s lots of work left to do, but I’m proud of myself for doing this much so far.
I’m going to eat so much birthday dim sum tomorrow, you have NO IDEA.
See you next year! 😉