I admit it. I only wanted to write this post because I have a deep abiding love for both Pitch Wars and Harry Potter. (and I wanted an excuse to use some HP gifs, okay?) Guilty as charged.
BUT... I think there are some great parallels that can be drawn between the two... so bear with me
Getting picked for Pitch Wars is like getting your Hogwarts letter...
When I found out that I got into Pitch Wars, I was out with a group of friends... I remember seeing Brenda's tweet and then rushing to look at the list, and the scrolling down to find my name... and I found it! (it was misspelled, which was fine, but my title was there so I was like YESSSSS!) Luckily we were out at a pop-up beer garden at the time, because if I had started shouting and jumping up and down inside... well, we might have gotten some strange looks. But basically, this was me...
Your Mentor is like a Hogwarts Professor (well, a non-evil one...)
Working with Michelle Hauck during Pitch Wars was so wonderful. Michelle dedicated tons of time and effort to making sure my manuscript was in the best possible shape for the agent round, and she also helped me work on my pitch, first 250, and query letter. (Michelle goes above and beyond for her mentees, that's for sure). I knew I was in good hands when she told me how much she loved the story and made some excellent suggestions on characterization, pacing, and stakes. Yay mentors!
September and October are like doing tons of magic homework (sometimes it may feel like a Binns essay. or worse, a SNAPE essay) ... but luckily you have your friends in the common room to help
September and October were months full of work. BUT luckily, there were 124 other people also working just as hard on the same deadline. Some days it seemed like there was too much to do and I would never finish my edits on time. Sometimes I needed someone else to give advice or help bounce ideas or to share expertise... that's where the "common room" comes in. Using the #PitchWars hashtag on Twitter, and hanging out in our super-secret mentees FB group (no I will not tell you the password to get past the painting!) kept me going and reaching towards my goal. Without these folks, I would not have had nearly as much fun during Pitch Wars.
And on the topic of your "Pitch Wars class" ...
We have become a writing family... these 124 people who live all over the world are my tribe. I wouldn't trade them for anything.
The Agent Round (and then querying) is kind of like the Triwizard Tournament
But it's only the first challenge. You may get requests, you may not. It's all okay! You can still query after Pitch Wars, knowing you have an amazing manuscript.
Querying is like the second (and third... and the fourth/fifth/sixth/etc(?)) challenge... it's just another step in the process! I queried my agent in December with the query my mentor helped me to polish, and the manuscript I'd worked on revising for 2 months. I mentioned Pitch Wars in my query letter, and I think that made a difference. I know that my manuscript was stronger because of PW.
This is alllll to say -- Pitch Wars will not magically solve all things, and it is a challenge to get through. But it is so very worth it and it was one of the best experiences of my life (much like reading Harry Potter!)
And I think that's the end of this very, very extended metaphor. Thanks for reading!