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Pitch Wars is right around the corner and already the hashtag on twitter is getting busy (don't know what Pitch Wars is? Learn about it here:)There are so many great things about contests like this and one of them is the online community. Meeting other writers, learning new things, having FUN (because a lot of the process of getting published is NOT fun) So this year I wanted to add on a little something on Instagram.

Why? Becuase Instagram is a huge platform, one of the biggest social media sites out there (and much better for book promotion than twitter right now) It's good for all of us (mentors and mentees) to be out there using it. We can follow each other, chat, and get used to using this very cool and useful platform. Plus, it's FUN!

So basically, there is a post prompt for each day of July. Just post using the hashtag and you're in!

But since it's more familiar to some than others, I'm going to answer a few questions  about the event here.

1) How does Instagram work? Instagram is kind of like a combination of Twitter and Facebook except every post is a picture, but you can write under the picture with all the information/stories/jokes/hashtags you want. You have friends and followers, but you can also use hashtags to get interaction from people all over. Hashtags are really what run Instagram. Pay attention to them-- they are the key!

2) Do I have to do this? Nothing about this is required. This is just for fun, to get us up and chatting and using something other than Twitter to hang out! Zero points will be deducted from you for not doing this, or anything. Submit a book I love, after not saying a word to me, or posting on Twitter, Instagram or your blog even once and I'll still be wiling to pick you (but I looove the community so do yourself a favor and get chatting! ;) )

3) Can I just post these on Twitter? Yes, you can just post on twitter, but you'll be missing out on a lot by not hopping onto Instagram, and like I said, it's a useful platform so consider starting an account if you don't already have one!

4) What if I come in late? Can I still play? Yes! We started this a bit early, not everyone will be involved in the #PitchWars fun yet, since the mentors wishlists aren't even out, but that's okay. If you come in days after the start, you can still play. Mostly, I'll suggest just starting on the day we're on and go from there, but you're also welcome to backtrack and post some of the previous prompts. Up to you. This isn't a very structured event ;) Just interact and you're in.

TIP: Make sure you use the #PWSummerSplash hashtag on every post, but use any and all hashtags on your posts to cast a wider net (#Bookstagram is a good one but check out what other people are using and include those if they're relevant. You can also do a little research if need be)

TIP: The best way to take advantage of this game and others, isn't to be "ZOMG, THE BEST!" Standing out is great, posting beautiful pictures is awesome, but if you don't that's okay too. It isn't about having the most amazing pictures, or getting the most likes. It's about stretching yourself and interacting. So post comments and like other's pictures, that's how you make the most of it.

And Warning about posting lines from your manuscripts, last year we had an incident where it seemed one person stole a line from another and called it their own. Don't do that. It's very likely it'll be noticed and it will look very badly on you. Be proud of your own work and praise people whose work you love.

Now, since the image only has a vague description of each day's challenge I'll elaborate on them here!

1) Introduction, Just introduce yourself, does not have to be a picture of you, but can be. Be creative if you don't like taking pictures of yourself.
2) #SockSunday, take a picture of your socks, traditionally done with books. Mostly, it's just cute.
3) Coffee or Tea, The great debate. Pick a team and fight to the death (aka just post which one you'd prefer, with picture of said beverage in a cute mug if you have one :)  (or be a rebel and post lemonade or whatever you prefer to drink
4) First Line of your MS, (MS means manuscript) If you are entering Pitch Wars, post the first line of that book. This one is fun on Twitter too. On Instagram, it'll require you to get more creative. You can just take a picture of your word file on your computer, or add the words over a picture ( There are free copyright free stock photos available online or take your own) or just type the words over a colored back round in Paint or whatever program you have (PhotoGrid is a fun app on your phone you can also use and I'm sure there are tons more)
(MENTORS: pick a line from one of your published books or from a WIP, or even the first line of a previous mentees book, if you get permission.)
5) Revision tips/goals, Do you have some revision goals to complete before you submit to Pitch Wars? Tell us about them. Do you have a writing lesson/rule you learned recently? Share it with the rest of us. Mentors can post about things you want people who submit to you to keep in mind. Common problems, homework you give to writers etc. Basically just any advice you'd like to hand out.
6) #ThrowbackThursday, this is a popular hashtag on most social media sites, basically just a picture of you from the past. It could also be a previous MS, or show how your MS has changed (an old title, maybe?) Lots of fun can be had on this one. Feel free to step outside the box.
7) #FridayReads, what are you reading right now? Or what was your most recent read? Take a cute picture of the book and use all the bookish hashtags you desire (yes, you can take a picture with an Ebook too)
8) Favorite Writing Spot, Take a picture of the place you most like to write. It might be an office, it might be your bed, it might be a local coffee shop. Whatever
9) Writing Companions, This one, I imagine, will be mostly cute pets but can also be supportive friends and family, or kids or coffee cups, or dolls/stuffed animals that sit near your computer. Again, be creative!
10) #MusicMonday, Share a song that represents your book, or one you like to write to or just your favorite band.
11) Your Main Character, this could be an actor, something more abstract like a few items that represent them, or if you can draw (well or not, no judgement ;) ) post an illustration (those would be pretty popular, I'm sure!)
12) Favorite Writing Quote, so many good quotes out there. Find one and post it! Could also be less specific to writing, something inspirational.
13) Favorite reading spot, Share a picture of the place you most like to read!
14) Comp titles, a comp title is a published book (or movie, tv show etc) that you could compare your book to. A lot of books are sold by saying "The One And Old Ivan meets The Night Circus," etc (though it's best not to use massive best sellers like Hunger Games, Game Of Thrones and Harry Potter.) If readers of those books will love your book, that can be a comp. Take a picture of one or two of them and post away!
15) Last Line of your MS, see "first line" above. Same thing, just the last line of your book. If it's too spoilery you can  alter it a bit, cut out pieces or be all abstract and blur out the whole thing.
16) Your favorite Instagram post from the last year,This would be your own Instagram post, show us who you are outside PW, but if you don't have any from the last year, you can find any Instagram post you like and share it (just make sure you give them credit and @ them)
17) Favorite Line from your MS, same as the other two except this one can come from ANYWHERE in your book. Just find a line you love and share it. It can be amazingly written, or it can be a great scene,  or voice. It can be compelling, dramatic, quirky, funny. Show us whatever you want to showcase.
18) Show your warrior pose, this is a just a silly one. Post a picture of you looking fierce or a Gif of ninja. Whatever
19) Who do you #ship? Ship means a couple you want to be together. Think of people from a book or movie or TV show that you want to be together.
20) Favorite Fandom, a fandom is just a community of people who are fans of the same thing. Supernatural, Pretty Little Liars, Game Of Thrones, Dr. Who, Harry Potter etc. Those are big ones, but there are small ones too. If you read or write Fanficiton about a show or book that totally counts. If you talk about it on Twitter or Facebook that can count too.
21) Shout out a mentor's book, That's pretty self explanatory. Just find one of the Pitch Wars mentor's published (or soon to be published) book and post about it. You can pull it up in your kindle, take a screen shot of it on Amazon, post a favorite line from it. Extra credit if you have a physical copy of it, but you don't need to. It does not have to be a mentor you're submitting to, it can be any of them, even in a different category.
22) Weird fact about you, here's where we can get a little fun getting to know each other. Tell us something we don't already know about you. Some things you'll have to get creative about how you post it to Instagram but we're all creative types, yeah?
23)Favorite book, take a picture with your favorite book (you can be in it, or not. Up to you. I'm not usually in my Instagram posts unless it's just my socks ;) )
24) #IfIWonTheLottery, (or got a huge book deal) pretty much what fun things would you do/buy if you suddenly got tons of money? Make this fun!
25)Writing habits, Do you always drink coffee (or wine?) while you write? Eat Oreo's or M&Ms? Do you have to be in complete silence or always listen to music? Do you write the ending first? Start in the middle?  Do you use Write Or Die, or Scriver? Do you use an ancient computer like George R.R. Martin? Do you write by hand? Or use a voice to text program? Anything you specifically do when you write. Have fun with it.
26) #1 on your travel wishlist, where is the number one place you want to travel? I'll allow places you've actually been because those pictures will be cool to see :)
27) #ThankfulThursday, I image this to be a lot of shout outs to CPs and writing friends, or spouses or parents maybe even old teachers that encouraged you. Who are you thankful for? Specifically that has supported or helped your writing but could be anything. (hint, it can also be to Brenda Drake for creating Pitch Wars ;) )
28)Favorite writing website, there are tons out there and some we may not all be aware of so share your favorites. It can be a specific post if you want. Something that has help you!
29) #Novelaesthetics, (did I spell that right? LOL) basically a few images compiled to represent your novel. Themes and tones etc.  (look for examples if you need help)
30) Mentor hints, By this point most of you will know some (or all) of the mentors you're submitting to so give some VAGUE hints. The mentors will post some teasing tweets when reading through their slush, now is your chance to tease them. Realistically, it's in your best interest not to tell us too obviously the people you're submitting too. Just have fun and don't make anyone feel left out.
31) Build yourself up, tell us your greatest strength, I assume this will mostly be writing related. Tell us what you're good at! Writing dialog? Evoking emotion? Don't worry about being humble, or people not agreeing with you, toot your own horn for a minute and help yourself feel GOOD about what you write.

Have more questions? Shoot them in the comments or on Twitter! Now go have some fun!


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