Have questions about submitting to Pitch Wars or just want to know what it is? Start here!


Pitch Wars 2016 … all the details!

Sunday, 17 July 2016  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

PitchWars Logo

We’re so excited for our fifth Pitch Wars! For those unfamiliar with Pitch Wars, it’s a contest where published/agented authors, editors, or interns choose one writer each, read their entire manuscript, and offer critiques on how to make the manuscript shine. The mentor also critiques his/her writer’s pitch and query letter to get it ready for the agent round. Those entering Pitch Wars submit applications (query plus first chapter of manuscript) to their chosen mentors. The mentors then read all their applications and choose the writer they want to mentor for two months to get them ready for the agent round. Writers can pick up to four mentors to send an application to.

How will you decide what mentors to submit to?

  • Participate in our Mentor Wishlist Blog Hop starting July 20th. The mentors’ bios and wishlists will be posted to their blogs and linked from a post on my blog, and you can hop around and find the right matches for you. The hop will go on until August 3, which is submission day!! There will be a scavenger hunt during the hop with an exciting prize. You don’t want to miss it. More details will be on the blog hop main post on this blog.
  • Visit the Twitter hashtag, #PitchWars, to get to know the mentors personally (virtually).  Mentors will be tweeting advice and answering questions on it.
  • Check out Pitch Wars Live. Some of our mentors will be chatting live starting July 20 and ending on August 2. The chats start at 8PM EDT. Make sure to watch, ask questions on #PitchWars, and get to know the mentors. Watch the blog for more details.
  • Read the July Mini Interviews with the mentors here on this blog posted June 27 through July 18.

How do I enter? Applications (query + 1st chapter) will be sent through an easy submission form. The form will go live just after midnight (EDT – New York time) August 3 and remain open until August 6 at 10 PM (EDT – New York time).

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 (sorry no personalized queries this year), and the first chapter of your completed manuscript (Word .doc or .docx format). The sample chapter should be manuscript formatted pages (12pt, double-spaced). 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. Also, everyone who enters will be put into a drawing to win some fabulous editing prizes from our mentors!

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. 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!

If you were a past mentee in Pitch Wars, you may enter with a new manuscript, but you may not submit to your previous mentor.

!!!! If you make it into Pitch Wars, you may not enter contests that’s 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. 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.

Here’s the contest schedule:

July 20 – 3:  Mentor Bio/Wishlist Blog Hop
August 3 (midnight EDT) – August 6 (10PM EDT): Writers submit applications to mentors for Pitch Wars
August 3 – August 24: Pitch Wars mentors review applications and choose a writer to mentor.
August 25: Pitch War mentees are announced.
August 25 – October 31: Mentors work with their team.
November 3 – 9: Agent Showcase

  • November 3: Adult and New Adult entries go up on my blog
  • November 4: MG entries go up on my blog
  • November 5: YA entries go up on my blog
  • November 9: Last day of Agent Showcase

We look forward to seeing you August 3!

Filed: Pitch Wars

  • Anna Molly says:

    What’s a query?

  • Chrystal Carver says:

    Hi Brenda!
    Thank you so much. Just a quick question. If we’ve donated and we select two more mentors to submit to (up to six) do we attach the receipt to the entry form and include our extra two mentors with the other four? So essentially, do we do it all at the same time?

    Thank you again. Super excited.


  • Taylor says:

    I’m curious, do you consider bare bone rough drafts on writing sites like Wattpad.com as previously published?

  • Evil Overlord says:

    I’ve been reading the mentor interviews, have followed many mentors on Twitter, etc. However, I’m still finding it hard to pin down which mentors are interested in which genres. For example, mentors often note that they write x genre – but people read far more widely than they write. Is (or will) there be a list that gives each mentor’s name, category, and accepted genres? That would be really useful.

  • Thanks for your help! I have found out I don’t qualify at all. My books are self published and even re-writes are not acceptable. The WIP’s are still part of the same series. I don’t have anything else at the moment. It would have been nice to have a mentor to help me.

  • M says:

    We’ve passed 40 PW ’15 success stories! We’re at 55 now 🙂

  • Raina Xin says:

    How short does your 1st chapter have to be in order for you to be able to send 10 pages instead? Thanks!

  • Carolyne says:

    Thanks for this great opportunity! Wondering, can you still enter if you’ve sent out queries prior to Aug. 25 winners being announced? In which case, in the event you are lucky enough to become a mentee and then get a request from a past query–pre Aug. 25–what happens?

    • Brenda Drake says:

      You can still enter if you’ve sent queries out prior to August 25. If you get a request after the mentoring phase, your mentor will help you through what to do. In the past, mentees tell agents they made it into Pitch Wars and could they send in the requested pages after the revisions. Most agents are happy to wait because they know how much work mentees do to their manuscript during Pitch Wars.

  • Sally says:

    What’s the minimum age to be able to participate?

  • Jeanne says:

    Thank you for this amazing opportunity! If an agent has had my full since May can I still enter? What would happen if I was offered representation in July or August — can I still proceed with Pitch Wars if I was lucky enough to be chosen? Thank you!!

  • A.J. says:

    Hi Brenda:
    When you say “make it into Pitch Wars,” does that mean simply submitting an application or does that refer to those applications which are selected by mentors? Also, does the prohibition against entering contests pertain only to the manuscript being submitted to Pitch Wars or all work by an author, i.e. short story contests as well? I’ve submitted short fiction of mine to contests for Glimmer Train and Crazyhorse Journals and wonder if that disqualifies my unrelated novel manuscript as well (and prohibits me from sending other short fiction to contests after submitting my manuscript)?


  • Susan says:


    This is an amazing opportunity!! Thank you. I have a fairly polished first chapter/ten pages, but the rest of the manuscript isn’t. It definitely needs WORK and I need guidance. Is this a good time to enter Pitch Wars or do I wait until I feel my manuscript is the best it can be?

    Thanks for your help!


  • Jeanne says:

    I had a question about queries. It says no personalized queries. Does that mean we should submit generic “dear agent” queries? Thank you!

  • Brenda Drake says:

    It means to address it in the generic “dear mentor.”

  • Elyse says:

    Does the moratorium on contests extend to unagented ones? I entered a contest back in April, and I’m now a Finalist. Winners aren’t announced till October. This contest does not involve agents or a publishing deal–we only get a certificate, or a medallion if we win.

  • Katrina says:

    I’m planning on entering Pitch Wars. But, I’m also planning to attend a writer’s conference in September, and there is an option to pitch to an agent. Am I allowed to pitch to agents at that conference? Or is pitching not allowed until after PW is over? Thank you!

  • Mariel Hesley says:

    Hey Brenda!
    Thank you so much for putting PitchWars together – this is my first year entering and I’m very excited! I have a question – my manuscript followers an 18 year old who goes through a supernaturally based college-esque program (18+ only). The book doesn’t have a lot of bad language (‘damn’ and ‘shit’ are the worst it gets), nor sexual themes, but it does deal with establishing one’s identity and discovering what it means to be an adult person. So I’m not sure if I should pitch it as YA or NA. Do you have any advice?
    Thank you so much!

    • Nikki Roberti says:

      Hmmm…my gut says NA but maybe ask around on Twitter to the mentors who mentor in those categories.

  • Helen says:

    Thanks for such a great opportunity! I was wondering if I could get some clarification on the contests. I saw you said that it was ok to enter so long as agents and editors aren’t involved. I have entered a couple contests run through chapters of RWA and if I make it to the finals then the manuscript will be judged by agents and editors. You don’t win anything other than a certificate. Is that not acceptable? Thanks!

  • Amy says:

    Hi Brenda! Thank you for putting this contest together. It’s such a great opportunity. I have a quick question: Can we enter if we’ve been previously agented? I’m not currently, but have been in the past. Thanks!

    • Nikki Roberti says:

      If you are not currently agented and you have an unpublished manuscript to enter, you are eligible!

  • Ashley says:

    I’m so excited for this! I just have a quick question concerning active queries. What should we do if we have a query out to an agent that we’d like as a mentor? Should we notify them, or select someone else? I just want to make sure I’m following the proper rules since I’ve been sending out a lot of queries in the past month.

  • Claire W says:

    Hey! Just came across this and it sounds neat. My own manuscript isn’t ready, but I’ve shared with all my writing friends 🙂 Out of curiosity, are you able to disclose a) how many total mentors there will be this year and b) how many writers, on average, apply for mentorship?

  • Adaire says:

    Does anyone know where the 2016 wishlist for NA/A is? I’ve found every year but 2016.
    Thank you!

  • Pingback: PitchWars Wishlist
  • Amy says:

    Is there any legal jargon we can read for the contest? I know it’s legit, but it’s good to have all the bases covered. 🙂 Thanks!

  • Janice Fosse says:

    Hi – reading the rules, I see that we are not allowed to query during the mentoring process. I currently have queries out, and an agent that sent me an R&R asked me not to send her the revised full until mid-to-late August, as she will be on vacation. Does this disqualify me from PitchWars?

    • Nikki Roberti says:

      If accepted as a mentee, you would have to notify these agents that you’re revising with Pitch Wars and will send them the new draft after the agent round.

  • Emily Bates says:

    I have a book published by a small publisher and a self-published book, but I’m looking for an agent. Am I eligible to participate in Pitch Wars with an unpublished manuscript?

  • Jake says:

    Hi – have a longer horror/fantasy book written, that is currently broken into three parts–each long enough to be a book of their own (which is something I may end up trying to do). Part 1 is completed and ready for submission, but I am currently retooling parts 2 and 3. Would it be okay for me to submit part 1 for Pitch Wars? The narrative arc is obviously not complete, but it does have an appropriate ending point. Thanks for your help!

  • quiarah says:

    As always, I have to say thank you so much for this contest! Looking forward to it! 😀

  • Des says:

    Are we allowed to enter Pitch Wars if our manuscript made it to the agent round of a similar contest earlier this year?

  • This looks SUPER exciting and I can’t wait to participate…next year :(. The manuscript I want to submit is only 3/4 done, which is because I put it on pause to self publish my first two books in another series, and am currently writing books 3 and 4 of that series. But hopefully by next year I’ll be done publishing those and can focus on my next series manuscript in time to have it ready for this pitch war! Super excited!

  • Alexis says:

    Hi there! Thank you for all your incredible work on this event. Two eligibility questions:

    (1) May we participate if the manuscript was submitted to the SCBWI Work-In-Progress Grant? I don’t know when the winners are announced. https://www.scbwi.org/awards/grants/work-in-progress-grants/

    (2) If I rewrote a manuscript that was submitted to, but not selected for last year’s Pitch Wars, may I submit it this year to differ mentors?

    Thank you!

    • Nikki Roberti says:

      Hi Alexis

      1) I believe so, as long as this contest does not result in agenting or publication at the end of it during the Revision/Agent round.
      2) Yes!

  • Louise says:

    I’ve never done Twitter. Looking at this thread, I can see I’m not going to do so for the foreseeable future. Very confusing.
    I wish some other sort of pitch wars would go up elsewhere.
    I guess I’m excluding myself now for being too 20th century – not because of any lack of faith in my work!
    Good luck to all who proceed!

    • John Fuller says:

      Louise, don’t give up! You can do this. I began engaging with Twitter in a very limited way (maybe twenty minutes a day, 4 days a week) after a workshop by @Jess_Keating (paste it into the Search Twitter box at the top of http://www.twitter.com), and I have been enjoying it a lot. Only a few dozen people read my contributions, but they are from around the world, and include published authors, activists, and feminist YA writers that I don’t know how I would have made connections with any other way. Reading their material in turn has enriched my intellectual life and my writing. I know it’s intimidating, but there are unique rewards in it. Best wishes,

      • Louise says:

        Thanks for the encouraging reply.
        It’s all cost-benefit, and I am very afraid of partitioning my attention more than it already is.
        But you make some good points, so I will give it ponder!

    • Nikki Roberti says:

      Hi Louise!

      Twitter is not a required component of Pitch Wars (the community just happens to be very active there). To enter Pitch Wars you only need to have an email address and an unpublished manuscript. #PitMad is a separate event where people pitch books to agents on Twitter, but you do not need to participate in #PitMad to enter Pitch Wars. Hope this helps!

      • Louise says:

        Thanks so much, Nikki! Very kind of you to respond. It does help.
        I’ll see how things go here, but I really would love to join.

  • Casey says:

    My first chapter is technically 24 pages (including a one-page prologue) because of the way my novel is set up. Is this too long? I know you it says send the full first chapter no matter how long, but then it mentioned 10 pages. Just want to check! There are section breaks within the chapter, if necessary!

    • Nikki Roberti says:

      You can send the first chapter no matter how long, however prologues can only be included if they are under 5 pages.

  • Katie says:

    Question on the rules: it makes sense that we shouldn’t query a book during the mentorship process. But are we allowed to send queries for a different book than the one we submitted to pitch wars?

      • Michele says:

        Hi, If we are actively submitting a different book to agents/publishing contests than the one we submit to Pitch Wars and receive an offer on the book being trafficked, esp. agent representation, should we also withdraw ourselves from the Pitch Wars process?

        • You should be prepared to wait to accept an agent offer until after the Agent Showcase on November 3-9. If you can’t guarantee the wait, you shouldn’t enter. Sorry if this is a disappointment but it wouldn’t be fair to the other applicants or your mentor.

          • Michele says:

            Hi, Thank you for replying. I’m a bit confused now, however. An earlier post to someone else said it was okay to query on a different book than the one submitted to Pitch Wars. I hadn’t read this until now, and went ahead and entered. But should I just withdraw considering I don’t know what queries will come in or not on a different book? Or can I send out partials, fulls, queries on the other book and just assume things will move slowly if at all–then if an agent offer comes in on the non-pitch Wars representation on the non Pitch Wars book, be bound to after Nov 3-9 if picked as a mentee? I apologize if I’m not getting all the fine points and acted in haste by entering; I don’t mean to waste the time of any mentors or organizers here so will act quickly to rectify.

  • Many thanks to everyone who helps with organising Pitch Wars.

    Can I still enter if I’ve queried a few agents already, but haven’t heard from a couple of them yet? In the event I get chosen by a mentor, what happens if the agents I queried on my own request a partial or full?


    • Nikki Roberti says:

      In the event that you are a mentee and a previously queried Agent requests your material, you would inform them that you are now participating in Pitch Wars and undergoing a big revision that you will submit to them once you’re allowed.

  • Julie says:

    Thank you all for this wonderful contest. I’m so excited to enter again! I’ve seen some talk on Twitter of people looking at applicant bios, but I can’t seem to find any link for it. Is this something we can do before the submission date?

  • James Moore says:


    I am very excited about participating in PitchWars IF I qualify. To that end, a question: My unpublished work is actually a novella of a little over 36,000 words. Do I qualify with a manuscript this small?

    • Nikki Roberti says:

      Due to what our participating agents are looking for, Pitch Wars doesn’t include novellas. I’m sorry!

  • Hi Brenda! Question: I recently stopped querying agents to embark on revisions, so I thought this would be the perfect time to try to get a mentor through Pitch Wars. However, I still have handful of fulls out with agents. Does this preclude me from entering?

    • Nikki Roberti says:

      You can enter, but if you are chosen, then you are to tell agents that you will resend your manuscript once revisions are done through Pitch Wars.

  • How do I access the submission forms to fill out on August 3rd?

  • Marian Crane says:

    Hi, Brenda. I’ve got a completed, polished adult SFF mms that I’d like to enter, but I’m afraid it may not be worth my mentors’ time and effort…since it has already been rejected at query and partial stage by at least 45 SFF agents this year. Should I try PitchWars with it, anyway, in hopes that I can hone it further? Or cede the spot to someone who hasn’t overqueried already?

  • Helen Hoang says:

    I entered OCC RWA’s Orange Rose contest a while back. The first round results will be announced 8/13. Does this mean I can’t participate in PitchWars?!

    • Helen Hoang says:

      I’ve contacted the contest coordinators asking them to remove my entry, but I haven’t heard back from them.

    • Helen, contests that don’t have an agent/publisher component are not in conflict with Pitch Wars. Please let them know you don’t want to pull the entry.

      • Helen Hoang says:

        Dear Heather,

        The final round of the Orange Rose IS judged by agents and editors. Also, the contest coordinators told me today that it’s too late to withdraw my entry! I’m assuming that means I’m ranking. They announce winners on October 8th. This is sounding very sadly like I’m disqualified from entering PitchWars. Would you mind confirming this with those in charge please?

        Thank you!

        • I’m one of the people in charge, and I can tell you it’s okay. There is no need to worry, and you should enter Pitch Wars. Agents and editors know who we are and they will only be more happy if your MS is being further polished with a mentor. My only caution would be to save the exact copy of the draft you sent the contest just in case they want to compare it to the one you revise during Pitch Wars. (If you get chosen, of course.) Good Luck!

  • Hi Brenda. I’ve been working on my tween novel for over 11 months. I have it written from front to back, but still going through endless rewrites and character building. Would it be considered complete and polished?

    Thanks for your advice!


  • Wendy says:

    Hello, are manuscripts co-written by two authors eligible for PitchWars? I’m assuming one of us would send in the form/submission, but that both of us would work with the mentor, should our novel be chosen. Thanks!

  • E.M. Shue says:

    Hope this isn’t something dumb question. You ask for adult genre. Would you consider romance thriller that? And if so would a steam level apply?

    • Not a dumb question. Age category specifies middle grade (MG), young adult (YA), new adult (NA), and adult (A). Within each of these age categories, there are genres. Contemporary, thriller, science fiction, etc. You should find out which age category it is. Then look at all the mentors in that age category to find ones looking for what your manuscript’s genre is.

  • Shari D. says:

    Is there a fee for participating?

    • Brenda Drake says:

      There’s no fee for participating. You get 4 free applications to send to four mentors of your choice. We are running a donation campaign where you can get 2 extra applications if you donate to PW. It’s all up there in instructions.

  • Richard Hiestand says:

    My Query and first chapter are word docs. put in pdf format. Will I be able to use them and will I be able to send the first chapter as an attachment or will it have to be part of the email?

  • Susan Burdorf says:

    How do I find the list of mentors and their specialties?

  • Becky Muth says:

    My manuscript is 12 short stories that fit the genre wishes of a few different mentors. I self-published an independent story that introduces the larger work.

    Would I still be allowed to participate in Pitch Wars using this manuscript?


    • Brenda Drake says:

      The work cannot have been published – self or traditional. I’m not sure how this one would work. I think here you would have to take down the larger work if it’s obvious the new work has the same material as the published one. And explain this to the mentors if they request more pages.

  • B says:

    Hi there and thanks for the opportunity!

    I’ve submitted a partial of my manuscript to one publisher as a direct submission months ago. I haven’t gotten a rejection yet, but it sounds like they are sending notes after a rejection to some and for others, no reply means a rejection — so I have no idea if my manuscript has already been rejected or is still being considered. Can I still enter Pitch Wars?

    Also, it says that if an writer’s work is chosen, their pitch will be posted on the blog. Am I understanding correctly, that this pitch will be the one written with the mentor’s help, not the writer’s original submitted pitch? I ask because my query has some spoilers in it, and I’m not sure if I should rewrite it before submitting or not — will only potential mentors see the original query, or will that be made public? Is this a silly thing to worry about? 😛


  • EL Cruz says:

    Hi Brenda!
    First of all, thank you for this amazing contest. I have learned so much and had tons of fun. And it hasn’t even started yet, so I already feel like I’m winning.
    Anyway, do you have any advice on how I can find a good CP I can trust? I am so paranoid. I guess I just need convincing. Any advice would be appreciated, thanks again!

    • Brenda Drake says:

      You could ask on the hashtag #PitchWars if there is anyone interested in swapping work. Or keep a look out on #CPMatch. When I was starting out, I found mine through contests and NaNoWriMo. Just make writerly friends during events and see if they’re interested. To make sure you’re a good match only critique a few chapters of each others first and decide from there. Getting to know someone through communication and checking out their Twitter feed is the only way to see if you have mutual likes and if the person is a good fit and nice. With all relationships, it takes time to build trust. Good luck!

  • Vivienne Hoshkins says:

    Can I submit if I previously self-published a manuscript a year ago to Kindle but have since took it down and majorly edited and revised it.

  • Carol says:

    I’m new to Pitch War, and wonder if the mentors request the complete novel before making their decisions. I’ve been revising an old novel and would like to explain that I haven’t finished the revisions, but am still eager to send it. The query letters are generic and I normally wouldn’t say anything about revising, but I feel like it’s important to give them a little history of the book. Is there a way to make personal contact with the mentor before handing over the novel?

    • Brenda Drake says:

      Yes, they will request a full manuscript if they’re considering you as their pick. Your manuscript must be ready to go.

      • Carol says:

        Thank you for responding so quickly.
        The part that concerns me about sending my novel is a question of communication with the mentor. Can I have a brief exchange of information before sending a manuscript to a mentor? Or do I just blindly send it if it’s requested?

        • Brenda Drake says:

          How would it be blindly if you researched the mentors and chose them yourself? If you send an application to a mentor, we assume you are okay with her/him reading the entire manuscript, so only send to those you would want to read/work with. With that said, mentors will send an email when requesting more, you can ask them anything you like if they do. Good luck!

  • Kat Morrisey says:

    Hi, I’m sorry to ask this question late in the game, but…if I my MS is book 2 in a series, is that eligible? The first book was published traditionally but was thinking of looking for an agent with one. But would it be better to skip this year and submit an MS next year, that isn’t part of this series or is first in a series?

    • Brenda Drake says:

      It has to be a book that can standalone. Our agents are looking for book two in a series with book one already published. I would suggest query agents to see if they would represent it. You may need to get your rights back for book two because the publisher most likely has rights to book two.

      • Kat Morrisey says:

        Okay, thanks. The pub and I only signed for the one book. I’l ponder this a bit more, check out the agent lists/their websites, and decide whether to go in this year, or wait till 2017 and a new book. Thank you for your response and the clarification. (And for PitchWars, in general!)

  • Karolina says:

    If I plan to publish under a pen name, should I enter the contest under my real name or the pen name? Thanks!

  • My brain is toast (I asked this already but might not have clicked the submit button).

    Can I start my query letter with “Dear Mentor?” if we’re not allowed to send personal queries?


  • I am wondering how at this late date I can find the complete list of Mentors? I saw some in links above, but all seemed more for YA and Sci-Fi. Are there any mentors for Adult LitFic? If so, how/where would I find them?

    Should have asked earlier, but only found this now.

    Many thanks, Julia

  • Cez says:

    I have the same question. Is there anywhere a complete list of mentors, like all the YA together? It’s very confusing to skip from one page to the next.

  • Are there any mentors who accept adult memoir please?

  • Alex Zaykov says:

    I am sorry, but is the PW submission form open already? I cannot find anywhere the link to it.
    Can you, please, help?
    Thank you!
    Regards, Alex

  • I clicked the submit button in the first hour of the contest. Can I guess my application has already been reviewed by most if not all 4 mentors? I’ll guess probably, considering there are 18 mentors this year (please correct me if I’m wrong) and at least several thousand submissions (again, I might be wrong), so no doubt they go through them quickly – it’d be the only way to not get overwhelmed and manage to stay on schedule. I Twitter follow many agents, and some will tweet live during a slush pile review – some will go through 20 of them in 30 minutes! Anyway, I just thought I’d ask, not so much for being over-anxious, but in case the answer is “Yes, they probably did,” then I can return to working on my story, without the submission in the back of my head : )

    • Brenda Drake says:

      I have no way of knowing if they have or not. Many are on vacation and will start reading after the window closes. Some will read as they come in and let each sit with them as they read what keeps coming in. They send them to different folders to reconsider them. So they may end up reading several times before they decide to request more pages. With such a limited time, they have to request fulls as few as possible to have their pick by 8/25. So no worries and you should distract yourself until then.

  • Hello,
    I found this trough #PitchWars.
    It looks like something I would love doing, but wasn’t sure if I am eligible as I am entered in The Reader’s Favorite Contest?
    It ends Sept. 1st.
    Can I enter?

  • Angelique says:

    Late to the party – just learned about this but in hopes of joining next year can I still read the mentors wish lists? Where is the link?

  • I don’t mean to add to your enormous work pile, but I tossed & turned last night over whether my 4 free entries went through. I know the 2 bonus ones did, but like others here, when I clicked to submit them, I thought that was submitting all 6. Then when I *did* submit the free 4, I stupidly closed out the tab with a CTRL-W out of habit before checking. Just got back from overseas and blame the jetlag. -_-

    If someone has time, could you please let me know if my 4 free entries came through? I’m really sorry. 🙁 But don’t worry if you don’t have time! What will be will be!

    Either way, thank you so much for running this contest yet again. I met amazing friends & CPs through Twitter in the past because of it 🙂

  • Nan Hanway says:

    Hi Brenda–earlier this year I won a contest with an agency, and I plan to give them first dibs on the manuscript. Can I still enter Pitch Wars?

    • Brenda Drake says:

      I don’t understand giving them first dibs. Did you do a revise and resubmit? You can definitely send to them as well as any agent that requests in the contest. At the same time. If you can’t do that, then you should probably not enter. If you have a revise and resubmit, you should probably forego the contest and work on that. Whatever you decide, good luck!!

  • Debbie Hunter says:

    A question about the scavenger hunt. I use a couple of different email addresses. I realized after I did my pitch wars submissions on Saturday that I used a different email address than the one I used for the scavenger hunter. If my entry should be drawn for the scavenger hunt, would it make any difference that the email address is not the same as the pitch wars submission?

    Thanks so much!

  • Nia Davenport says:

    Sorry to bother you. I would just like to confirm that my 4 plus additional 2 pitch wars entries were received. Thank you!

  • Brenda, I entered my MS in PitchWars this year, but I’ve since received an offer of representation. Is there an email address where I should notify you or is this enough?

  • Once we’ve submitted to PitchWars, and prior to the notification date, would it be okay to Tweet teasers and hints to the specific mentors?

    I’d like to encourage them, and ‘sell’ the MS, without it seem like I’m stalking anybody or bothering them.

    Should we reach out to show enthusiasm, or would you recommend just leaving them alone?


    – Patrick

  • Comment
    Hi Brenda,
    Can you explain how the Agent Showcase works?

    • Brenda Drake says:

      The agent showcase happens in November. After the mentors work with their chosen mentees, we put their pitches and sample pages up on the blog and agents read and make requests.

  • Mari says:


    Hi & thanks for all the hard work you do in hosting Pitch Wars!

    My question is regarding contests. Chuck Sambuchino is hosting a “Dear Lucky Agent” contest on his GLA blog. The contest ends on August 24th. If I read the rules above correctly, it’s okay to tweet about and enter this contest while we’re waiting for the mentees to be revealed on Aug. 25th, right?

    Here’s the website for the contest: http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/22nd-free-dear-lucky-agent-contest-contemporary-literary-young-adult

    Thanks again!

  • Karen says:

    I’ve only just discovered #PitchWars as of 9/10/16, any idea when the next one will be? Seems like an excellent way to find an agent.

  • Meg Flynn says:

    I browsed every one of these comments so I wouldn’t re-ask something that had already been answered, but couldn’t find this question so hope I’m not just blind! Do you have to be American to participate? I’m Canadian, hoping very much to submit to this next year.

  • Hi! Quick question looking ahead to PW 2017. I’m fairly certain the answer is no, but wanted to double check: If I have one middle grade manuscript and one young adult manuscript, I’m only allowed to submit one of them, correct? I know there’s different mentors by genre, so I wasn’t sure. Thanks!

  • Brieanna says:

    Does the contest accept completed manuscripts of a first book in a series? I was not sure if it was stand alone works only.

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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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