26 February 2016

Pitch contests

If you are an author who has finished writing The Thing and wants to get it published traditionally, there are many reasons to consider pitch contests.

Much has already been written on this subject by other bloggers, so instead of rehashing here, I'll point you to some of the articles I like:
  • On her blog Writability, Ava Jae has discussed the whys and why-nots of entering Twitter pitch contests. (She also has a host of other helpful posts on the topic, including several on pitch critiques.) 
  • Christina Dalcher has blogged about The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of pitch contests; I found her cautions in the last section particularly helpful. 
  • Literary Agent Carly Watters wrote a succinct yet comprehensive guide to Twitter pitch contests
  • And on Carissa Taylor's blog you'll find a fairly comprehensive list of pitch contests that seems to still be relevant despite the fact that it's a few years old.

What I want to talk about is Pitch to Publication (#p2p16), a pitch contest organized by Samantha Fountain (@FountainWriter) with help from my colleague Becca Heyman (@RFaithEditorial) that's different from any others I've heard of. Most pitch contests involve a writer pitching to agents. Sometimes the prize includes critique. But Pitch to Publication has two rounds and includes not just critique but actual editing.

During the first round, writers pitch to up to three editors. The prize? Each of the 15 Pitch to Publication editors will choose one or two writers to work with for free for a month to help them get their manuscripts and query letters pitch perfect for the agent round. You guys, a full month of free mentoring/editing!

Round Two looks more like what you might've come to expect from a pitch contest - writers pitch to agents directly - with the caveat that only those writers who were chosen in Round One may participate.

So obviously I'm excited because this is a wonderful opportunity for writers who've been wanting to work with an editor but haven't yet been able to for one reason or another. But I'm also incredibly excited because I'm one of the editors this year. =*D I can't wait to meet new writers, read their queries, and find one to work with in March-April whose story sets my soul afire!

Of course the same guidelines that apply to other pitch contests apply to this one. And if you've already been working with an editor you respect and they give you the green light to query, it would not be a good use of your time or a Pitch to Publication editor's time for you to enter this pitch contest.

If this contest *does* sound like a good fit for you, then you have one week left to get your pitch ready. The submission window opens at noon Eastern on Saturday, March 5th and is only open for 24 hours.

Other important #p2p16 links:

But wait, there's more! All of the participating editors will be available on Twitter at scheduled times next week to answer your questions about their wish lists and/or about the contest in general. If you have questions for a particular editor, be sure to follow them on Twitter, ask them when their #AskEditor sessions are, and log in at the appropriate time. (My own #AskEditor sessions are scheduled for Wednesday, March 2nd from noon to noon:30 Pacific and Friday, March 4th from 6 to 6:30pm Pacific.)

Finally, even if you're not participating in the contest this time, you can still join in on the fun by tuning into the #p2p16 hashtag Feb. 29-Apr. 22 and cheering on your fellow writers.

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