Take a breath. If you’re picked, you’re going to have a crazy 2 months of revision. Picking 4 (or 6, if you donate to Pitchwars!) mentors isn’t easy, and since we’re not allowed to share MSs this year, your choices become even more important. When the wishlists go up, my suggestion?

Read every single one from your age category, and find who seems to love your genre. Make a list, and research them. There are authors, editors, and some mentors who do both. We all have different experiences, backgrounds, and skills. That’s an advantage, because you can pick what might best suit you. Some people want a more casual, friendly mentor, where others want a more professional approach, or something in between. There are no wrong answers for these, just personal preferences.

Make sure you have time to commit. Everyone is busy. The mentors, you, the wonderful team that coordinates all this for us. Make sure you can get what needs done in the time we have. Plan that something will need more work than you expect, and that you will feel crunched, and plan around that crunch. Everyone gets 24 hours in each day, it’s a matter of how you prioritize the things you need to get done. Maybe someone else can watch the kid, or maybe you can prepare your meals in advance and freeze them, so you only have to reheat them. Whatever eats time, or mental energy, try to see what you can do to reduce that stress.

More than anything, while you wait for the picks, engage with the community. You may find new CPs, new writers to read, and new friends. Yes, being picked is awesome, getting an agent and later a book deal is all the goal. But thousands enter, only a hundred will be chosen. It’s the community that makes it amazing. It’s why I do it, year after year. I love giving back to the writing community, and the time and energy it takes is so worth it. I do it, and my editing with Chimera, because I want to see books go from good to great to amazing. That’s the goal, let’s make it happen.

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