1. What’s the deal with the Pitch Wars mentee bio thing?
It’s a fun, totally optional and unofficial way for mentees to get to know each other, and for mentors to stalk and study their would-be mentors. We follow the pattern of the mentor blog hop, but encourage creativity and variety.
2. Do I have to submit a bio?
You do not. We’re not officially part of the Pitch Wars contest, and a mentee bio is not a requirement. That said, it’s fun, and many of the mentors look at bios, and you’re trying to break into an industry where you’ll have to do tons of self-promotion, so you probably should.
3. How do I submit a bio?
First, you write a bio at a web site of your choosing–probably your blog or personal site, because hopefully you have such a thing already. There will be a form on this site where you can link directly to that bio. It’s that easy! There will be more details included once we open.
4. When does it open?
August 17, the same day as submissions. That’s so the bio thing doesn’t become a distraction from what you should be doing right now: Polishing your submission and manuscript (and polishing it again) and researching the perfect mentors for you. I also don’t want to take the focus off the mentors when it’s their time to shine. However, if you’re really eager to get that bio out there (you overachiever, you) and really confident that your submission and manuscript are ready to go, Darci Cole has very kindly set up an early list at her site.
5. How should I write my bio?
Be creative. You’re a writer, after all. Bios are the most fun when you let your personality shine through and don’t follow the crowd. Last year I wrote mine in the form of answers to the “Girl questionnaire” female contestants must complete to get on The Bachelor.
Darci’s page (above) links to some examples, and there are 135 examples from last year at Dannie Morin’s page. You’ll notice a sort of unofficial PitchWars tradition where we saturate everything with animated GIFs. Don’t submit to that page, though. It’s from last year.
Here are some format suggestions if you’re looking for bio inspiration:
- Answers to last night’s GOP primary debate (just please don’t call any other mentee a “loser”)
- An obituary in a newspaper that mistakenly thinks you’re dead
- An oral history from POV of your friends and neighbors
- Find a magazine Q&A with some vapid celebrity and answer the questions the interviewer asked
- A formal apology press conference for some imaginary scandal
6. Why are you hosting this? You’re neither a contestant nor a mentor.
Dannie Morin, PitchWars mentor extraordinaire, hosted in 2013 and 2014. This year she has a lot going on, so she asked me to take over. Dannie gives me credit for “inventing” the mentee blog hop, which I’m not sure I deserve. I’m sure I had some hand in it, but that was two whole years ago and who can remember? So I’ll take partial credit. (#humblebrag)
7. What do I do after I submit my bio?
You read other contestant’s bios. You leave supportive comments and make friends, and maybe find new critique partners. You announce your bio on Twitter (we use the hashtag #PimpMyBio). You read every tweet from your chosen mentors, and assume they are all about you. You bite your fingernails and count the days until September 2.
8. I have other questions.
Don’t we all….
Oh wait, you mean about mentee bios? Try this post from last year that has some more advice and answers other questions.