Submission FAQ

How do I enter?

Applications (query +synopsis + 1st chapter) will be sent through an easy submission form. Three separate forms will go live at 12:01 am (EDT – New York time) on July 16th for Adult, July 17th for Young Adult, and July 18th for Middle Grade. It will only remain open for 24 hours–until midnight on each day–for each age category.

Are international participants allowed?

Yes! We have mentors from all over the world. We’ve had many mentees from different countries around the globe as well.

What will you need to enter in the form?

Your top four (max – you don’t have to pick 4, but you are limited to 4) mentors, your email address, title of the manuscript, category and genre, your query letter (do not personalize queries to mentors), your synopsis, and the first chapter of your completed manuscript (Word .doc or .docx format). The sample chapter should be manuscript formatted pages (12pt, double-spaced, one-inch margins). All of this will be fill-in-the-blank on the form.

Send the full chapter no matter how long it is.

But my chapter is short? That’s fine. Send up to ten pages, then.

But I have a prologue? That’s fine, too. You can send prologues that are no more than 5 pages along with your chapter. What if my prologue is longer? Just send in your first chapter. If the mentors want to read more, they’ll send requests. At that time, include your prologue.

But I want to send to more than four mentors. If you want to send two extra applications, making a total of six mentors you can send to, think about donating to help support Pitch Wars. Go to this post for details on how to earn those extra applications. If you donate, keep your receipt. There will be another submission form for the bonus entries and you’ll have to upload your receipt to it.

Do co-mentors count as two entries?

No. The co-mentor teams count only as one application.

Submission Guidelines:

  • Only Middle Grade, Young Adult, New Adult, or Adult manuscripts will be accepted.
  • This is open to completed, full-length, fiction manuscripts only.
  • You may only enter one manuscript.
  • The manuscript can not have been published before.
  • Only the genres requested by each mentor will be considered for the contest.
  • Writers may only apply to 4 mentors max. (Bonus applications are available through the donation page.)
  • Mentors will only consider the categories they’ve signed up for. (The mentors’ categories – MG, YA, NA, or Adult – are set.) Writers cannot apply for a mentor that is not in their category or the application will be deleted.
  • No nonfiction, picture books, chapter books, or previously published works. (If you’re an unagented author and have self-published before, you may enter the contest with a never-before-published manuscript.)
  • A few mentors will take memoir and graphic novels. Ask on the hashtag #PitchWars to see who is accepting them.
  • Do not enter if you are already agented.
  • Please contact us if you receive an offer of representation during the consideration period.
  • Should you make it into the contest, your pitch and first page will be posted to my blog. By entering the contest, you are giving implicit permission to have your work posted. Please don’t enter if you do not wish to have it posted.

WARNING: Just like an agent, mentors may request more pages or a synopsis of your manuscript to help them make their final decision, so get them ready!

What if I was a past mentee in Pitch Wars, can I enter again? You may enter with a new manuscript, but you may not submit to your previous mentor.

What if I entered Pitch Wars before and didn’t make it into the revision round? You can enter the same manuscript as you did in previous years. We suggest you try different mentors this round, though, unless  you have done major revision then you may try the same mentors again.

What if I make it into Pitch Wars, may I enter other contests?

You may not enter other contests that the main goal is to get an agent or publishing deal. You may not query during the mentoring period and until after the agent round, which is November 3-9. If you still have queries, partials, or fulls out prior to being picked, you may still enter Pitch Wars. If you are currently in a contest that won’t end before we announce the mentor picks on August 25, you may either withdraw from that contest or not enter Pitch Wars. The exception is skill-based contests (such as RWA) and pitching at conferences. When in doubt, ask.
For those who do not make it into Pitch Wars (and those who want to join in), we’ll hold a Twitter Pitch Party on #PitMad September 8 from 8AM to 8PM EST (New York Time). If you make it into Pitch Wars, you may not pitch in #PitMad.

Please note: Being kind to one another is mandatory in this contest. Should I find someone isn’t being kind and respecting others, I will remove you from the contest. Also, if you are difficult with your mentor or if you aren’t working well as a team or if you don’t take any of your mentor’s advice, your mentor will have the option to opt out of being your mentor. Remember your mentor has other obligations like deadlines, book promotions, and family life, please be mindful of their time. They are only required to read your manuscript once and give an edit letter. They aren’t required to do line edits. Our mentors are very generous with their time, so please be patient. We’ve had fifty-five successes from last year’s Pitch Wars. Over all four events, starting in 2012 through 2015, we’ve had nearly 200 successes with many going on to make book deals. It’s because of our mentors and the care they take with their mentees that it’s been such a great success.

Anti-Bullying Policy

We do not condone harassment or bullying, and don’t want to see it associated with Pitch Wars. While we have no legal authority, we will do everything in our power to put a halt to it. The Pitch Wars leadership reserves the right to remove anybody from the competition for any reason, and while we would prefer not to do that, we will if that’s what it takes. If you feel like you’re being harassed and you want help, please reach out. You can contact the head of our anti-harassment team, Michael Mammay, via twitter @michaelmammay. His DMs are open. Or you can reach out to Brenda Drake and Heather Cashman via, or any Pitch Wars mentor and they will help you contact the right people. We are a supportive community and will do whatever we can to help. While there is sometimes debate on what is and isn’t harassment, we will err on the side of protecting the most vulnerable members of our community. If you feel that you are in immediate danger, we encourage you to contact the authorities. We will have a more detailed anti-harassment document coming soon.