This is the big one, kids. The gold standard of pitch contests, and one of the longest-running. There are something like 130 mentor teams participating this year, broken into four age categories: Middle Grade, Young Adult, New Adult and Adult. The contest runs from today through November 9.
But what is it?
Oh! I didn’t see you there, under that rock. Okay. PitchWars is a contest for writers with complete manuscripts and a polished query letter. You choose four mentors or mentor teams (a lot of those this year) and submit your first chapter, query, and contact info. Over the course of the next three weeks, those mentors will review all of their entries and request additional materials from those writers whose manuscripts they like. And by “like” I mean they feel like they can connect to the story and the author, and can offer concrete advice for revising the entire manuscript to agent readiness. These are experienced people — slush readers, professional editors, published authors. Many of them are past PitchWars winners.
Then, for the next two months, the chosen mentees will be in constant communication with their mentors, frantically revising their manuscripts and query letters according to their mentors’ advice. Then, during the first week of November, these revised pitches and manuscripts will be showcased for participating agents. There are over 60 of those, this year. The goal, of course, is for an agent to sign you. That happened to over 50 people last year, and over 200 in the 4-year history of PitchWars.