My #RevPit Experience

On April 30th, I found out that amazing editor Carly Bornstein-Hayward had chosen my manuscript for the #RevPit contest. Almost two months later, I have a shiny new manuscript, a tight-knit group of writer friends, and a tremendous amount of gratitude. #RevPit was one of the most valuable experiences in my writing career. Here's what the journey was like.

Only slightly unhinged after finishing my #RevPit edit

What is #RevPit?

#RevPit is a relatively new annual writing contest. 11 editors receive 100 submissions each over the course of a few days. The submission packet includes the query letter and first 5 pages. The editors then request full or partial manuscripts and synopses from their favorites. After a week of deliberation, they pick one manuscript they want to work with for the 5 weeks of the contest, culminating in a showcase of the revised query and first 5 pages.

How did I get involved?

I found out about #RevPit on Twitter. (Side note for aspiring authorsget involved in writing Twitter! I was skeptical at first, but I've made so many incredible connections.) I investigated the hashtag and realized the deadline was in a week, so I worked on my query and researched which editors I wanted to submit to. I was excited about the chance to have a professional editor's eyes on my work. When you're just starting out, it feels like writing in a vacuum. My beta readers are always kind, complimentary, and insightful, but I wanted to know how my writing held up once reviewed by a professional.

And then it happened! Carly Bornstein-Hayward chose my YA fantasy manuscript, THE DYING CITY!

What was the process like?

Carly sent me big-picture notes after reading the manuscript. She wanted me to bring out the love story, emphasize my heroine's struggle with anxiety, and stop shying away from dark moments. Oh, and she wanted more metal animals. So thanks to Carly, there's now a delightful chainmail ferret named Rascal in the story.

I worked hard on edits whenever I had a spare moment (even on my trip to Guatemala). Then I sent her the revisions, which she read before coming back with a few more developmental notes and some line edits. While I finished up the manuscript, she edited my query and synopsis. My novel ultimately went from 95k words to 107k to 98k with her guidance.

My boyfriend captured this shot of me writing on a rooftop in the shadow of a volcano in Antigua, Guatemala

Working with Carly was a dream. She's a thoughtful, encouraging editor with great feedback. My manuscript is so much better after her input, and I highly recommend working with her. Check out Carly and Book Light Editorial here!

The Showcase!

The Big Day arrived at last! Thursday, June 7th, which was also #PitMad. It was a day full of coffee, champagne, and nervous excitement. Our revised entries went up on the blog, and the editors also helped us with our #PitMad tweets. I've never had much luck in Twitter pitch contests before, but one of my tweets ended up getting quite a few requests!

Thanks to Carly, THE DYING CITY was ready to go.


Nope, can't give you any updates yet. 😉

Do I recommend the #RevPit contest?

YES. YES. YES. A thousand times yes. It improved my writing and increased my chances of getting an agent, and I made amazing friends. The winners have a #RevPit support group chat on Twitter, and it's been exciting to see our group starting to get real success on our querying journeys. There's a lot of good news that can't be shared with the public yet, but rest assured that the #RevPit squad is about to take the publishing world by storm.

If any writers are questioning whether or not they're ready to enter contests like this one, take the plunge! It's 100% worth it.


  1. Omg congratulations!!! Carly was my editor in #RevPit 2017, and she’s AMAZING. ❤️❤️❤️ So excited for this next step in your journey!!

    1. Thank you! Carly really is amazing. What's your manuscript about?


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