Pitch It! Competition 2022

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

Think about this… your pitch is often your first point of contact with your chosen publisher. This is your big chance to market your book and your author brand in their best light. So, if you want the publisher’s attention, give your pitch the attention it deserves!

Like most writers, you’re probably hungry for the chance to skip the slush pile and get your manuscript directly on the desk of a publishing editor. Not only that, but for that editor to cast a professional eye and offer an invaluable appraisal and critique of your manuscript. Yes please! How about a free professional mentoring session? Sign me up! 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, 2022

CLOSING

September 30, 2022

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All writers within Australia, published or unpublished in the children’s book industry.

Each entry will be based on the pitch of an unpublished manuscript.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 assessed by their choice of TWO publishers, including:

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

Anouska Jones, children’s commissioning editor of EK Books,

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

Melinda Chandler, communications manager and children’s editor of CSIRO Publishing,

Rochelle Stephens, commissioning editor and publisher of Wombat Books / Rhiza Edge

PLUS

FREE one hour, one-on-one mentoring coaching session with international award-winning author, presenter and entrepreneur, Michelle Worthington at Share Your Story, valued at AU$250.

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

Crystal Corocher, publicist and consulting editor of Larrikin House, or

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

Rochelle Stephens, commissioning editor and publisher of Wombat Books / Rhiza Edge

PLUS

FREE one hour, one-on-one mentoring coaching session with international award-winning author, presenter and entrepreneur, Michelle Worthington at Share Your Story, valued at AU$250.

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

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

PLUS

FREE one hour, one-on-one mentoring coaching session with international award-winning author, presenter and entrepreneur, Michelle Worthington at Share Your Story, valued at AU$250.

2ND Place Runners Up:

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

The 2ND Place Runner Up in the YOUNG ADULT category will receive a part manuscript critique from award-winning author and mentor, Kate Gordon.

3RD Place Runners Up:

ALL 3RD Place Runners Up in the categories of PICTURE BOOK and JUNIOR FICTION / MIDDLE GRADE will receive 3RD OPTION to one of the above publishing editors for a manuscript assessment.

SHORTLISTED Winners:

All Shortlist winners in the categories of PICTURE BOOK, JUNIOR FICTION / MIDDLE GRADE and YOUNG ADULT will receive feedback from our judges on the quality of their pitch.

PLUS, a digital certificate / plaque for website and social media promotion.

LONGLISTED Winners:

All Longlist winners in the categories of PICTURE BOOK, JUNIOR FICTION / MIDDLE GRADE and YOUNG ADULT will receive a digital badge for website and social media promotion.


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 THREE (3) entries PER CATEGORY. A fourth entry, and thereafter, in the same category will be withdrawn.
  • You CAN enter up to 3 entries for Picture Books AND 3 entries for Junior Fiction/Middle Grade AND 3 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 author 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/CBSGA
  • 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 and award-winning picture book author and presenter, Amelia McInerney

JUNIOR FICTION / MIDDLE GRADE CATEGORY and YOUNG ADULT CATEGORY

Multi-award-winning author, Kate Gordon

Author, publicist and editor at Larrikin House, mentor and presenter, Crystal Corocher

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 2022 (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


*** UPDATE: BOOKINGS FOR THE WORKSHOP ARE NOW CLOSED ***

PITCH IT! WORKSHOP with James Layton and Dani Vee

Bookings are open to attend our optional Pitch It! Workshop with Larrikin House publishing experts, James Layton and Dani Vee on August 17, 2022 at 7PM AEST.

Please click here or on the image for information and how to book your spot. Places will be limited.

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