Thursday, August 3, 2017

2 Pitch Contests in August

Pitching your book is the most important aspect of getting representation. A query letter is essentially a pitch. It contains a brief summary of the plot, a "hook" to get the agent interested, and comparative titles, to let the agent know that your book already has a market. You can also pitch your book in person during a conference that includes pitch sessions to agents.

If you can't make it to a conference, and are getting the cold shoulder on your queries, you may want to consider entering a virtual pitch fest. These can take a number of forms, from simple tweets that pitch your book's central idea, to longer excerpts.

The most popular of these virtual pitch fests is Pitch Wars. Every year, writers submit their query and first chapter of their manuscripts to four mentors in their age category, who then choose one writer as a "mentee." The mentors help their chosen writers create a compelling pitch, as well as assisting them with their manuscripts. The advantage of Pitch Wars, or any pitch fest, is that agents are alerted, and dozens will be waiting for the upcoming pitches in the genres they are seeking.

Entering a virtual pitch fest costs nothing, so you have nothing to lose by participating. Even if you don't "win," pitch fests are a golden opportunity to hone your pitch.

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Pitch Wars

August 2 - August 6, 2017

Fiction only

Pitch Wars is a contest in which published/agented authors, editors, or industry interns choose one writer each, read their entire manuscript, and offer suggestions on how to make the manuscript shine for the agent showcase. The mentor also helps edit his or her writer’s pitch for the contest and his or her query letter for submitting to agents.Writers send applications (query and first chapter of manuscript) to four mentors who best fit their work. Mentors read all their applications and one mentee is chosen by each mentor or set of co-mentors, and together, mentee and mentor spend two months revising the manuscript and pitch.

You can find the mentor who best fits your work on the site. Mentors are categorized according to the age group (not genre): Middle Grade, Young Adult, New Adult, Adult. Read the bios of the mentors in your age group, and make a list of the ones that either write in your genre, or who share a common interest or background. Narrow those down to four.

From August 2 - 6, submit your query (follow instructions on the site for your query) and first page to those four mentors.  After mentors read all their applications, one mentee (writer) is chosen by each mentor or set of co-mentors. Writers spend the next two months revising the manuscript and pitch with their mentor. In November first chapters are posted for agents to view. Last year more than 50 authors were offered representation.

Submissions can be made HERE. (Follow the instructions! You will only get one chance to enter!)
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Pitch America

August 30 - September 3, 2017

#PitchAmérica was created by Laura Pohl to focus on submissions and books produced by Latino voices. "Latinxs being such a large population and so diverse themselves, we’re often grouped in a single place. We have white, black, hispanic, native and Asian Latinxs, and I’d like to open a space where we can welcome all as well as have more discussions about diversity, coming from a different culture, and what it means to be Latinx."

This contest will feature the first 500 words and the 35-word pitch of completed and polished manuscripts written by Latinos. Please keep it in mind that this exclusively for Latino writers.

The entries will be open on midnight August 30th, until 11:59 pm of the 3rd of September. Read their submission guidelines here.

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