Pitch It! Competition 2021

The annual Pitch It! Competition is back for its fourth year, and the team at Just Write For Kids Australia are delighted to be able to offer a range of resources to help you on your publishing journey!

Remember our competition pitch? It’s had a small upgrade…

If you’re like most writers, you’re probably itching for the chance to skip the slush pile and get your manuscript directly on the desk of a publishing editor. I’ll bet you also wouldn’t mind your manuscript appraised by one of these professional assessors. How about a free professional learning kit? Yes? Well, believe it or not, now you can have the chance to jump ahead of the rest simply by writing a knock-out pitch!

Here’s what you need to know to enter…

OPEN

September 1, 2021

CLOSING

September 30, 2021

ENTRY CATEGORIES

Three separate categories are open to cater for your specific writing preferences. You will have the chance to enter into any or all of the following:

a) Picture Book Category (PB)

b) Junior Fiction / Middle-Grade Category (JF/MG)

c) Young Adult Category (YA)

ELIGIBILITY

All writers within Australia, published or unpublished in the children’s book industry.

Each entry will be based on the pitch of an unpublished manuscript. That is, the manuscript you are pitching for is NOT already published.


PRIZES

Winners: 

The PICTURE BOOK WINNER will have their pitch and accompanying manuscript forwarded to their choice of publisher, EITHER:

Mary Anastasiou, publishing editor and creative director of Larrikin House, or

Clair Hume, children’s commissioning editor of University of Queensland Press, or

Jennifer Sharp, children’s and YA publishing editor of Daisy Lane Publishing

PLUS

FREE access to best-selling author and presenter, Adam Wallace‘s Short Courses for Authors

The JUNIOR FICTION / MIDDLE GRADE WINNER will have their pitch and accompanying manuscript assessed by EITHER:

Crystal Corocher, publicist and editor of Larrikin House, or

Jennifer Sharp, children’s and YA publishing editor of Daisy Lane Publishing

PLUS

FREE access to best-selling author and presenter, Adam Wallace‘s Short Courses for Authors

The YOUNG ADULT WINNER will have their pitch and accompanying manuscript assessed by:

Clair Hume, children’s commissioning editor of University of Queensland Press, or

Jennifer Sharp, children’s and YA publishing editor of Daisy Lane Publishing

PLUS

FREE access to best-selling author and presenter, Adam Wallace‘s Short Courses for Authors

2ND Place Runners Up:

ALL 2ND Place Runners Up in the categories of PICTURE BOOK, JUNIOR FICTION / MIDDLE GRADE and YOUNG ADULT will receive the 2ND OPTION to one of the above publishing editors for a manuscript assessment.

3RD Place Runners Up:

ALL 3RD Place Runners Up in the categories of PICTURE BOOK, JUNIOR FICTION / MIDDLE GRADE and YOUNG ADULT will have their manuscript assessed by Sally Odgers of Affordable Manuscript Assessments and Editing Services.

Honourable Mention:

ONE Honourable Mention from each category will receive a book prize, courtesy of Big Sky Publishing and selected authors.


BRIEF and SUBMISSION GUIDELINES*

*Entries that do not follow the specific guidelines outlined will be withdrawn from the competition.

Write a pitch for a children’s or YA manuscript to a publisher. Be creative! Be interesting! Provide a captivating hook! We are looking for pitches that jump off the page and excite us. Make us want to know more!

IMPORTANT: Please follow these specific guidelines:

  • Word count of your pitch must be between 100 and 150 words.
  • Entries must be typed, set to Times New Roman font, size 12 point.
  • Entries must be in English.
  • The pitch is written for either a picture book, chapter book (JF or MG), or young adult manuscript.
  • The pitch must include (and are included in the pitch word count):

– manuscript title (in italics)

– manuscript word count

– specific genre (PB, JF, MG, YA)

– target market (age group)

– your hook

– comparative title/s

DO NOT include: 

  • Author biographies or identifying details – Your name DOES NOT appear on the pitch entry.
  • The word count of your pitch (include the manuscript word count only)

Other HELPFUL HINTS:

  • Your comparative titles should include why your book and its themes are both the same AND different to other similar titles on the current market. This gives the publisher an idea of where your book sits alongside similar titles – that you understand the market, but also explains how you’ve made your story unique.
  • Your plot should be summed up succinctly and with evocative language. A good formula to follow is, ‘When [identity] [protagonist name] [does something or something happens], [something results]. Now, with [obstacle], [protagonist] must [do something] to [accomplish] or [sacrifice high stakes].
  • The language of your pitch should be lively, engaging and sophisticated. It should give a taste of your ‘voice’.
  • Your pitch should flow well in one to two paragraphs (no dot points).

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

  • Multiple entries are accepted. Please Note: We are only accepting a maximum of TWO (2) entries PER CATEGORY. A third entry, and thereafter, in the same category will be withdrawn.
  • You CAN enter up to 2 entries for Picture Books AND 2 entries for Junior Fiction/Middle Grade AND 2 entries for Young Adult.
  • Each entry must be submitted with separate entry emails and payment.
  • Submissions are to be emailed to jwfkcompetition (AT) gmail (DOT) com:

In the Subject Line:

JWFK Pitch It Competition Entry_(Your Name)_(Your Category)

In the Body of the Email:

Your Name

Your Manuscript Title

Your Phone Number

Attachment:

  1. Pitch Entry document as .doc or .docx saved with manuscript title (NO name).

Payment and Receipt:

  • Payment of $8.95 per entry (plus transaction fee) is payable at the time of submission via the TryBooking link: https://www.trybooking.com/BTVJC
  • All entries will receive acknowledgement upon receipt via email within 24 hours. Incomplete entries will receive a second chance via email to complete within 24 hours, thereafter will be disqualified.
  • By entering this competition, you agree to the terms and conditions listed in these guidelines.

FEEDBACK

We are providing feedback to each of the three SHORTLISTS ONLY. We cannot provide feedback for other entries.

JUDGING

Entries will be judged by the following industry professionals:

PICTURE BOOK CATEGORY

Award-winning picture book author, Debra Tidball

Award-winning picture book author and 2018 Pitch It! Winner, Stef Gemmill

Accomplished picture book author and conference presenter, Katrina McKelvey

JUNIOR FICTION / MIDDLE GRADE CATEGORY and YOUNG ADULT CATEGORY

Multi-award-winning author, Kate Gordon

Middle Grade Mavens podcast host and author, Pamela Ueckerman

Judges’ decisions are final and no further correspondence will be entered into.

NOTIFICATIONS

The winners will be announced on the Just Write For Kids website and social media pages by mid November 2021 (TBC).

QUESTIONS

Please contact us at jwfkcompetition (AT) gmail (DOT) com with any questions.

DISCLAIMER

The winning entries are not guaranteed publication by publishing editors. Completed manuscripts must be ready for submissions upon announcement of competition winners and runners up. It is up to the discretion of the participating publishers and assessors to return feedback in their own time – please be patient in receiving replies. All entries will be discarded after competition close.

HELPFUL ARTICLES ON WRITING A PITCH

2 thoughts on “Pitch It! Competition 2021

  1. Elizbeth Westra says:

    I wasn’t aware of this pitch it and wonder if you will have another this year? Is this open only to people who live in Australia?

    • Just Write For Kids says:

      Thanks for your query. We do run this competition annually but it is only open to Australian residents at this stage. All the best 🙂

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