Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About #PitchMe 2022

#PitchMe is back, and I couldn't be more thrilled. If you take what I love most about multi-agent query contests--mentoring great writers at wherever they happen to be on their publishing journey--and mash it up with a pitch fest, then you've basically got #PitchMe. Are you interested? Read on!

Here’s the timeline:

September 7: The submission windows open
September 21: Selected submissions announced
September 21-October 18: Mentoring takes place
October 19: Revised Twitter pitches posted; agents (and editors!) like their favorites


To enter, your manuscript must meet two conditions. First, it must be COMPLETE, NEVER-PUBLISHED, AND READY TO QUERY, and second, it must be in one of the following genres:

PB fiction and nonfiction* (all genres)
MG fiction (all genres)
YA fiction (all genres)
Adult fiction (all genres, including commercial, literary, and/or upmarket but excluding erotica)

*I’ve asked PB author and two-time #TacoPitch winner Tara Shiroff to help me again!

1. All submissions must be sent to kvandolzer(at)gmail(dot)com and include A TWITTER PITCH, A QUERY, AND THE FIRST 250 WORDS of your manuscript. (PB author-illustrators are also encouraged to share links to their online portfolios.) You must paste these items IN THE BODY OF YOUR E-MAIL; otherwise, I'll disqualify it.

2. Please submit ONLY ONE PROJECT. If you submit multiple projects, I'll only consider the first.

3. It would also really help if you INCLUDE YOUR CATEGORY--PB, MG, YA, OR ADULT--SOMEWHERE IN YOUR SUBJECT LINE, but it's not a requirement.

4. THERE WILL BE TWO 30-MINUTE SUBMISSION WINDOWS to (try to) accommodate work schedules and international entrants. The first submission window opens on Wednesday, September 7, at 11:00 a.m. EDT and closes at 11:30 a.m. EDT. The second submission window opens later that same day, Wednesday, September 7, at 11:00 p.m. EDT and closes at 11:30 p.m. EDT. Hopefully, you'll be awake and/or not at work during one of these 30-minute intervals!

5. Once you send me your submission, I’ll send you a confirmation e-mail with a summary of these rules.

6. Previous finalists may enter again AS LONG AS THEY HAVE A NEW MANUSCRIPT TO SUBMIT.


I'll select 6 entries within each major category--PB, MG, YA, and adult--and up to 6 wildcards. I may pick 6 adults or 3 YAs and 3 MGs or just a single PB; it depends on what I know the agents are looking for and which submissions seem strongest.

Once I've finalized my picks--with Tara’s help, of course--I'll e-mail the winning writers and announce the winning titles here and/or on my Twitter feed on Wednesday, September 21. Then the real work will begin!


For the next roughly 4 weeks, the winning writers will revise their pitches, queries, and first pages with my and Tara’s help. You won’t be obligated to incorporate our thoughts, and the feedback we provide on your queries and first pages won’t actually be featured in the agent round itself. We just want to help you make your pitches, queries, and first pages the very best that they can be.


On Wednesday, October 19, I'll post the revised pitches ON MY TWITTER FEED for the agents (and editors!) to review. Here are the awesome agents who’ll be liking your pitches:

Aida Z. Lilly of KT Literary
Ali Lake of Janklow & Nesbit Associates

Each like will count as a partial or full request based on the agents’ preferences. Agents will be able to review and like your pitches for a full 24 hours, at which point you’ll be allowed to submit your materials to all the agents who requested them. These likes represent serious interest in your project, so PLEASE DON’T ACCEPT AN OFFER OF REPRESENTATION BEFORE GIVING THE #PITCHME AGENTS AN OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE A COMPETING OFFER.

I've also enlisted the aid of some lurking editors. Their likes will also represent requests, BUT EVEN IF THEIR PUBLISHERS ALLOW YOU TO SUBMIT WITHOUT AN AGENT, I STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU WAIT UNTIL YOU SECURE REPRESENTATION. A smart, savvy agent is worth their weight in gold, and I'm hopeful agents will be even more interested in your project if they know you've got an editor request (or two!) in your back pocket.

So get those pitches polished up and plan to e-mail them to me--with your queries and first pages--on Wednesday, September 7, at 11:00 a.m. or 11:00 p.m. EDT. We can’t wait to read your work!

Have a question? Ask below!