Pitch Slam: Hogwarts House Cup

There are a LOT of pitch contests these days, and it can be hard to make sense of the different requirements, locations, rules, and timing of each. We're still hammering out the last few details before detailed information goes live, but here's a brief peek at what Pitch Slam is all about:

1. Second Chances

The publishing industry itself is full of them. I know, I know, it doesn't always feel that way. But just as writing is a process, so is our navigation of the (sometimes confusing) world of trying to be published. There are rookie mistakes to be made, foreheads to be slapped, and old versions of our books to be squirreled away where please-oh-please may no one ever see them. 

The brilliant Leatrice McKinney came up with an idea a few years back. How about a pitch contest where you get feedback and a chance to revise? It would help authors hone their craft, and allow the judges to not just pass judgment but actually help.

I gotta tell ya. The actually helping part is my favorite. I love creating a team of entries I adore. I love teasing the other team captains. I love seeing the agent requests pour in. But my absolute favorite part is seeing the improvement in the entries, and the "Yes, I get it now!" enthusing on the Pitch Slam twitter hashtag.

2. Harry Potter

Okay, so Pitch Slam isn't always about Harry Potter. We have a different theme each time. But I'm not sure we'll ever top this one, and there are already rumblings about the Tri-Wizard Cup happening a year or two down the road. 

Here's a simple breakdown of the theme:

Entrants = Students hoping to be sorted into a Hogwarts house.

Judges = Heads of House
Judges' Assistants = Head Boy/Girl
Slushpile Readers = Prefects
Agents = Professors

We'll be announcing more details soon, but that's the gist of it. 

3. Following the Rules

I can practically hear the groaning. But yes, following the rules is vital. We're going to do everything we can to make things clear for you. And please, for the love of chocolate frogs, read the rules before asking questions. ;)

While you wait for the "Here's All the Info You Need" post, here's a super basic breakdown of how Pitch Slam works:

  • You send your 35 word pitch in.

  • We send feedback.

  • You send your first 250 words in.

  • We send feedback.

  • You send your revised 35 word pitch and first 250 words in.

  • We agonize over who to pick for our houses and fight each other for our favorites.

  • You stress out, waiting for the posts to go live on the "Head of House's" blogs.

  • The "Professors" make requests for a few days.

  • You stress out if you're a finalist, wondering if you're getting requests or not.

  • We reveal the requests and send you instructions for submitting to the requesting "Professors."

*You do not have to enter the feedback rounds to enter the final round. There is no limit on entries for the final round.

*We HAVE set a limit on entries for the feedback rounds. If we receive more than that, we will randomly select entrants to receive feedback. Those who are not selected will be encouraged to trade critiques with other entrants so they still have the chance to improve.

We highly recommend joining our Facebook group for Pitch Slam Writers. This is a great place to network with other Pitch Slam entrants without the character restraints of Twitter.

More details will be coming soon, but please feel free to ask questions or generally squee and flail in the comment section below.

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