How To: Enter Pitch Wars and #PitMad 2018

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Ah, June. BEA and BookCon have come to a close. Summer is starting. And on Twitter, Pitch Wars season is upon us.

How to enter Pitch Wars: Schedule, submission rules, and more

What’s Pitch Wars, you ask? It’s a mentoring program where published writers, editors, and other publishing professionals choose one unpublished writer to mentor. They work with the unpublished author to polish their manuscript and get it ready for a showcase with agents, where they will be able to show off the first page of their manuscript and a description of their book to prospective agents. The agents will then request any manuscripts they are interested in.

In 2016, over 50 writers were offered representation by agents!

But wait! Not just anyone can become a part of Pitch Wars. First, writers have to be chosen by mentors. To do so, they will send out completed applications (details here) to four mentors who they think would best fit with themselves and their manuscripts. Mentors will be able to choose one writer to work with, and together they will spend three months working on the manuscript they will present to agents.

Below is a full schedule of deadlines and events during Pitch Wars, with important dates bolded and/or italicized:

May 15, 2018: Mentor Application Window Opens
May 30, 2018: Mentor Application Window Closes
*June 7, 2018: #PitMad Twitter Pitch Party (8 a.m. – 8 p.m. EDT) — See #PitMad section for more!
July 15, 2018: Mentors Announced
August 14 – 27, 2018: Pitch Wars Mentor Blog Hop
*August 27, 2018 (midnight EDT): Mentee Submission Window Opens
*August 29, 2018 (10 p.m. EDT): Mentee Submission Window Closes
*September 6, 2018:: #PitMad Twitter Pitch Party (8 a.m. – 8 p.m. EDT) — See #PitMad section for more!
*October 12, 2018: Pitch Wars Mentees Announced
*February 6 – 11, 2019: Agent Showcase
February 6: Adult entries are live on the Pitch Wars site
February 7: MG entries are live on the Pitch Wars site
February 8: YA entries are live on the Pitch Wars site
*December 6, 2018: #PitMad Twitter Pitch Party (8 a.m. – 8 p.m. EDT) — See #PitMad section for more!

To follow along with the Pitch Wars madness, check out the hashtag #PitchWars on Twitter.


How to enter #PitMad: Dates, submission rules, and more

If you aren’t chosen, didn’t make the deadline, or didn’t have your manuscript finished — don’t despair! There’s also #PitMad! This event, hosted on Twitter, allows authors to pitch to agents in tweet form rather than the usual email submissions.

#PitMad is actually quarterly, but one of the scheduled “pitch parties” is directly after Pitch Wars comes to a close in December. The schedule is as follows:

June 7, 2018 (8 a.m – 8 p.m. EDT)
September 6, 2018 (8 a.m – 8 p.m. EDT)
December 6, 2018 (8 a.m – 8 p.m. EDT)

This event allows unpublished and unagented authors to pitch their books in 280 characters or less. Agents actually request manuscripts by liking and retweeting!

To get in on the fun, there are some requirements:

Your manuscript needs to be finished and ready for querying — you can’t pitch an idea or a half-finished book!

You should include the #PitMad hashtag as well as an age category hashtag (here’s a list!) and, if you prefer, one or more genre hashtags (list).

You can pitch more than one manuscript, and you can tweet three pitches for each manuscript throughout the day.

Don’t attach any photos or graphics unless you are pitching a picture book or graphic novel.

If someone favorites or retweets your submission, check their profiles and recent tweets for any submission preferences! If three aren’t any #PitMad-specific guidelines, use the guidelines on their website, but include #PitMad Request” in the subject line.

Check this link for FAQs, resources and more!


Other Pitch Parties

We could write out a long list of upcoming pitch parties on Twitter, but we could also share Jessica Trudel’s lovely list! Special thanks to her for creating this list and sharing with other writers.

Happy Pitch Wars season! May the odds be ever in your favor!

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