Pitch Slam - The Basics

Pitch Slam Calendar*

*Entries should be emailed to PitchSlamContest@gmail.com on the 17th, 19th, and 21st respectively. You do not have to enter the two feedback rounds to send your final entry on the 21st.

Note: If you have entered Nightmare on Query Street, you must enter the feedback rounds of PitchSlam to be considered for a finalist spot AND advise us that you have entered NOQS.

Entry formatting:

Please type Pitch Slam: TITLE into the subject line for each round.

When sending the first 250 words: do not stop in the middle of a sentence. Continue to 255 words at most if necessary. There is no extension for pitches.

Sample Entry:

Name: Real Name (Writing as [insert alias] if you are using a secret indentity/pen name)

Genre: This includes age category and genre. Age categories=MG, YA, NA, Adult. Keep your genre picks simple. An easy way to do this is ask yourself: If my book was in a store, what would the sign on the shelf say? Fantasy, Contemporary, Sci-fi, Horror, Western, Thriller?

Title: Your Story

Did you enter NoQS?: Yes or No.

Word Count: XX, 000. Round to the nearest thousandth.

Hogwarts House: Which house would your main character be sorted into and why? (This is just for fun - keep it brief)

Pitch and/or 250: Entries must be single spaced with one line between paragraphs and NO indentations. See this post for a tip that might help you copy-paste without losing your formatting. 

*If you submitted to NOQS and want to be considered for PitchSlam, you need to enter the feedback rounds. NOQS will announce their picks on the 20th, the day before the final entry window for Pitch Slam opens. 
Whether you are picked for the feedback lottery or not, your feedback round entries WILL be read and considered for a finalist spot IF you indicate on your entry that you are entering NOQS as well (see above entry example for how to do this).
In the interests of giving as many authors a chance at an agent round as possible, entrants may be a finalist in NOQS *OR* Pitch Slam--not both.

October 17th: Submit 35 Word Pitch. 

150 pitches will be randomly selected to receive feedback from three of our judges.*

October 19th: Submit first 250 words. 

100 first 250's will be randomly selected to receive feedback from three of our judges.*

*Please be patient as you wait for feedback. If you are not selected (and even if you are), we encourage you to take advantage of the amazing community on the #PitchSlam Twitter hashtag and our Pitch Slam Writers FB Group. In the past, entrants have had good success trading critiques with each other. 

October 21st: Submit 35 Word Pitch AND first 250 words. There will be no entry limit for this round. You do not have to participate in the first two rounds to enter this one.

If you are unable to send during a submission window, consider using an email scheduler like Letter Me Later. Send all submissions to: PitchSlamContest@gmail.com. Entries sent before or after the entry windows will not qualify.

House leaders will spend October 22nd reading final entries and finalizing their choices. These choices will be made public when the agent round starts the next day.

Finalists will go live on each house's blog on October 23rd for the agent round.

The agent round will end October 26th. Agent requests will be revealed shortly after.

Agents/Professors will make requests using the following House Points system:

10 Points - Query and first 10 pages
25 Points - Query and first 25 pages
50 Points - Query and first 50 pages
100 Points - Query and first 100 pages
200 Points - Query and full

And for some added fun this round, each team will have a secret "horcrux" entry. The agent who requests the most horcruxes will win a $100 gift card or a donation to the charity of their choice.

For more contest details, presented with our fabulous contest theme, check out THIS POST by our glorious leader.

For details on each individual team, check out these awesome posts from our Heads of House:






  1. If we're using a pseudonym, will both our real name and the pen name be published, or just the pen name?


  2. Thanks for hosting this contest. Perhaps we should round word count to the nearest thousand instead of thousandth. Fractional letters are so twentieth century.

    1. I honestly haven't the foggiest idea what the difference between thousand and thousandth is, so the joke is rather lost on me. I've long thought "math" to be one of the vilest of four-letter words, so that might account for it. ;)

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  4. Hi. I have a question regarding the pitch competition. How do you count hyphenated words? For example, is "eight-year-old" considered to be one word or three? Thanks!

  5. Thanks so much for your email, Kimberly. It is good to know that hyphenated words count as one word . . . as long as we don't go crazy with them. Thanks again for all the work you put into this!