I didn’t get my agent through #pitchwars. Here’s why you should join Pitch Wars anyway.

Okay, so Pitch Wars time is coming around, and I’ve got some things to say about it.

I didn't win Pitch Wars, but THE OUTS is coming out in 2017

I didn’t win Pitch Wars, but watch for THE OUTS coming out in 2017, anyway

For starters, let me just put it out there that I didn’t get an agent out of Pitch Wars specifically. I do have an agent (the absolutely AWESOME Erin Young at DGLM), but not because of my Pitch Wars manuscript.

I loved my Pitch Wars submission. THE OUTS is a YA sci-fi thriller with mind-bending Inception-level craziness, comics references, and a Jekyll/Hyde relationship that gives me the creeps. My mentor J.A. Souders (her new book REBELLION just came out… buy it!) was awesome. She worked with me through the whole process, and when we queried I got lots of bites from some ah-MAZ-ing agents, many of whom I still communicate with.

But the agents weren’t quite sold. Something about the manuscript just didn’t fit for them all.

That’s okay, though, because the manuscript was picked up by Curiosity Quills off a completely different Twitter competition. NOTE: THE OUTS is scheduled for release Jan 24, 2017. Watch for it.

So no, Pitch Wars didn’t get me an agent. Technically, Pitch Wars didn’t get me the small press deal, either. But right here, right now, I’m telling you that if you have a great manuscript you’re undyingly excited about and want to keep moving forward into a publishing journey, you owe it to yourself to participate. And here’s why…

No, Pitch Wars didn’t get me an agent, but it did give me one of the most amazing support groups I’ve ever seen. The Pitch Wars class of 2015 are some of the best people I know, and some unbelievably talented authors. I talk with last year’s mentees daily. They share their publishing journey with me, and I get to do the same. Many are some of the best advice givers I’ve met (looking at you, Mike Mammay). A ton of them have given me awesome beta reads on my new manuscripts, and they’re always there to give their insight and experience when I have a question. And the support… man, that support…

Publishing can be a lonely business, and there aren’t a lot of affirmations along the way. If you’re accepted into Pitch Wars, you’ve got an awesome affirmation. You’ve got people to share the struggle with. You’ve got others to give you wisdom when you need it, and talk you off the edge when you’re freaking out about all the rejections, and the silence, and the why-don’t-they-see-what-I-see-ness.

No, Pitch Wars didn’t get me an agent right away, but being connected with an awesome support system and people who lift one another up gave me some of the confidence to keep going, and some of the insight to make my next book better, and some of the experience to know what to look for. And now I’m looking to go on sub with an amazing agent in September, and I couldn’t be happier about it.

Pitch Wars didn’t get me my agent, but the Pitch Wars community helped, more than I can express. And if you’re an author who’s serious about getting into this business, you owe it to yourself to connect with people like this.

Do it. Submit. Submit.

#pitchwars #pimpmybio (for those of you who don’t know me yet)

E.S. Wesley fiction

All right, everyone! *claps hands. Pitch Wars. Let’s do this.

To those of you I haven’t had the pleasure of getting to know (yet), I go by E.S. Wesley. I’m participating in the 2015 #pitchwars contest, and I couldn’t be happier about it. But Christopher Keelty over there set up this handy little get-to-know-you shindig for the #pitchwars participants, and I thought I’d drop in and say “hey” as well.

The basics: 

  • I’m married to the love of my life (hi Shelly!)
  • I live in Texas (so, so , SO stinking hot–I go outside and smell burning hair, which is interesting, because I have none)
  • I’ve been writing since I was in third grade (when my teacher gave me extra writing assignments to keep me from falling out of my chair from boredom)
  • I spent MANY years as a youth pastor (all you guys and gals still rock–let’s get coffee!)
  • I also sing and play the guitar (I sang my wife down the aisle at our wedding–people cried ugly tears)
  • I have an unhealthy love of Fullmetal Alchemist and Final Fantasy (the old stuff–none of that newfangled flashy whatchamacallits)
  • I also have an unhealthy addiction to soup (soup makes everything better–eat some … eat some NOW!)

As far as the writing goes, I write YA sci-fi and fantasy, with a dash of middle grade and this awesome idea for a YA contemporary, if I can finish all the other ideas first. The manuscript I’m submitting to #pitchwars is a YA sci-fi involving a memory-stealing phenomenon, an honor student with the heart of a kidnapper, a language-disabled comic artist, and a reality-bending freak child. You want it. You know you want it.

Oh, and if I win #pitchwars, I’m going to take the money and buy a trip on a Disney cruise. (Wait … what? There’s no money? What am I doing this for, then?)

*tosses laptop

“Honey, I’m going to go get some phō down the street!”

… … … …


ESW at DFW (con, that is. DFWcon. DFW Writer’s Conference. Come on, guys!)

DFW Writer's Conference

DFW Writer’s Conference, #dfwcon

Hey everyone! Just thought I’d pop in and give a little report on how things went this last weekend. A lot of you know that I was heading down to the DFW Writer’s Conference this weekend to do all the writerly things that we writers do at writers conferences (like see how poorly we can construct a sentence in order to pass it by agents).

Just so you know, the DFW Writer’s Conference was pretty sweet this year. Great speakers (including the lovely and hysterical southern belle Charlaine Harris and the über-productive and ever-awesome Kevin J. Anderson), great agents and editors and fan-freaking-tastic authors. Seriously, if you live in the DFW area and didn’t drop in on the DFWCon fun, you really, REALLY missed out.

Events like this are a must for writers, and now that I’m walking around with more cultured eyes, I can really see value in everything that happens at a conference like that. At DFWCon I made great connections with authors I’d met only briefly, and some authors I’d never met before. I got to hear some great sessions that really challenged my thinking on narrative voice and villains. And, best part–I got to meet some amazing agents and editors. Continue reading