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Pitch Madness 2016 . . . Introducing Round 1 Readers!

Monday, 15 February 2016  |  Posted by Heather Cashman

35747-Super_Mario_Kart_(USA)-10Pitch Madness Mario Kart Edition

For those who don’t know about Pitch Madness, click here for THE OFFICIAL RULES.

The Pitch Madness submission window will be open from 12:01 AM EST on February 26 until 11:59PM EST! There is no limit of how many entries will be accepted. Please note: All entries sent before or after the allotted times will be deleted.

Make sure to perfect your entry. If you make an error, you may not resend.

There will be 60 finalists moving onto the agent round. Pitch Madness will accept Middle Grade, Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult (never before published) fiction only, novel length (no novellas) completed and polished manuscripts only. All genres (i.e. fantasy, contemporary, sci-fi, and so on) are welcome to enter. This time around we will not accept non-fiction. Only one entry per writer.

What do you need to enter? A 35-word (max) pitch and the first 250 words of your finished manuscript. If the 250th word falls in the middle of a sentence, go to the end of the sentence. I will post formatting instructions and where to send when the submission window opens.

Pitch Madness will be on four blogs and each blog host will have a co-host helping them choose their top 15 entries. We’ll have a team of first readers who will check for formatting, grammar, and content and put their top picks through to the hosts.

All the Twitter fun will happen on #PitchMadness!

And here are the 2016 first round readers . . . we love and thank you all!


And our round one reader and trend insider . . .

Jami Nord 1st Round ReaderJami Nord is frequently accused of having a TARDIS, because she gets so much done. Between a day job as a phone monkey, her internship, and the rest of life, she’s really just an expert at time management, hyper organized, and a very fast reader. She grew up reading mountains of scifi and fantasy, cut her professional chops on romance novels, and has a weak spot for GLBT*, disabled, and racially/ethnically diverse characters told with enrapturing style, where their identities are part of who they are, not just a plot thread. Someday, she’ll become an agent, or an editor, and help make dreams come true. In the meantime, she’ll settle for trying to make the industry just a bit more transparent, or at least her tiny corner of it. She lives in Philadelphia, having finally escaped the clutches of south Texas, though she still favors margaritas and good queso.

Find her at Adventures in Publishing or on Twitter as @JamiNord


Adrianne Russell 1st Round Reader Adrianne Russell, our diversity insider, is a Midwestern writer with Southern roots, arts lover, and professional snarkstress. When she’s not crafting plans for the zombie apocalypse, she’s daydreaming about being a professional baked goods tester.

Find her at The Writers Republic or on Twitter as @writersrepublic




LLMcKinney 1st Round ReaderL. L. McKinney, AKA Elle, is a freelance writer, a published poet, and a core member of Novel Clique. She’s also the creator and host of the bi-annual Pitch Slam contest via her blog.

Elle lives the single life in Kansas surrounded by more nieces and nephews than she knows what to do with. Aside doing the Favorite Aunt thing, she spends her weekends watching Saturday morning cartoons, defending her crown as the Mario Kart queen, and waging war against the enemies of Azeroth. For the Horde! When she’s pretending to be a grownup, she plays the part of freelance writer, published poet, and an active member of the writing community via social media outlets (which is a fancy way of saying she’s addicted to Twitter). She’s spent time in the slush by serving as a reader for agents and participating as a judge in various online writing contests. She also enjoys long walks on the beach, piña coladas, and getting caught in the rain.

Find her at L.L. McKinney or on Twitter as @ElleOnWords


Tanya Spencer 1st Round ReaderTanya Spencer writes YA contemporary novels that contain with a healthy dose of romance and adventure in beautiful settings. She enjoys exploring unique gifts and talents which she reflectsin the special gifts her main character’s possess. She’s held positions in Marketing and Program Management, is a voracious reader, a 5K runner, knits and crochets, and is a member of SCBWI.

Find her on Twitter as @tanya7writer




Amy Trueblood 1st Round ReaderAmy Trueblood: Today, I’m a freelance writer who spends most of my time penning press releases for my favorite non-profit. When not “chasing the crazy” dream of being published, I feed my addictions to good TV (Bones, Castle & Fringe), Barnes & Noble and mango ice tea. I write YA, so of course I like to read and review YA – any genre will do as long as the writing is good. My work is represented by the lovely Roseanne Wells at Jennifer De Chiara Literary.

Find her at CHASINGTHECRAZIES or on Twitter as @atrueblood5



Jodi Andrefski 1st Round ReaderJodie Andrefski: I live in a tiny town in PA that no one has ever heard of with my teenage daughter. Two women in the house…fun times! =)  I received my BS in Secondary English Education, then taught a few years before changing focus and going back to school for my Master’s in Mental Health Counseling.
I’ve always loved both reading and writing. I’ve written for several websites and magazines, and served as the co-editor of the indie & arts magazine, “The Circle.” I’m currently a submissions intern at a publishing house.
I’m a firm believer that just about anything can be cured with chocolate or by watching an episode or two of Supernatural. (There’s a lot to be said for the pretty boys.) =)
I write YA Contemporary, most of which involves at least some kissing.

You can find her at Jodie Andrefski or on Twitter as @2000_words


After the first round readers narrow down the submissions, the four teams will choose 60 finalists to move onto the agent round.

Here’s the schedule …

  • Round One Readers Introduction (This Post)
  • Team Introductions throughout the day on February 16
  • Agent Introduction on February 17
  • Rules of the Game on February 19
  • Formatting Instructions February 23
  • Submission window will be on February 26 and will be open for 24 hours
  • The top 60 picks for the agent round will go up on the blogs on March 9 at 12:01AM EST (NY time)
  • March 11 at 12PM EDT (Noon) the agents requests are revealed, and right afterward is the tying agents challenge round. This year the agents will have 24 hours to respond to challenges (tie-breakers)
  • There will be a #PitMad Twitter Pitch Party on March 17 from 8AM to 8PM EST. Check here for rules of the Twitter Pitch Contest.

That’s it for now. Come back on the mentioned dates to learn more!


We're thrilled at the different ways those in our Pitch Wars community are giving back—and we encourage them to do so. However, please keep in mind that Pitch Wars is not affiliated with any of these various contests, promotions, etc., including those of our mentors and mentees. Promoting any such opportunities via our social media channels doesn't imply endorsement or affiliation. We encourage you to do your research before participating.

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