Thanks to a sponsorship with Penguin Random House Canada, agents and editors from Canadian and multi-national publishing companies are participating in this year’s festival through a new event – Pitch Perfect. Agents and editors will read 10-20 pages of a completed manuscript and provide feedback in a one-on-one meeting on Sunday, May 6. Appointments will take place at the festival in Brampton, Ontario. Remote Skype sessions will also be made available as needed.
So dust off the manuscript, check through this list of FAQs and fill out an application today.
What is Pitch Perfect?
Pitch Perfect is a new Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD) event that gives writers with a finished draft or completed manuscript the chance to have an editor or agent review a portion of their manuscript, along with a query letter, and provide detailed feedback in a private, one-on-one meeting.
When does Pitch Perfect take place?
The meetings will take place on Sunday, May 6 between 11-2pm and can be done in-person or through Skype or Google Chats.
What will I need to submit?
Writers will need to submit the first twenty pages of their manuscript during the application process. Once selected, writers will be asked to submit their entire manuscript.
What kind of writing can I submit?
Writers can submit nonfiction or long-form fiction in any genre, including children’s literature and young adult literature.
Is there a cost?
Yes. Manuscript reviews cost $40, which will be paid once your manuscript is accepted. All applications must be completed by March 1. If cost is a prohibitive factor, please apply and make a note of the cost in your application. We would love to accommodate all voices.
How will I know if I’m selected?
Confirmations will come through via email 2-3 weeks after the applications close. A representative from the FOLD will email requesting your manuscript and confirming your preferences for agent/editor, including a link for payment. A final confirmation will arrive the week before the festival – confirming the specific time and location, as well as the name of the editor/agent reviewing your manuscript.
Will they review the whole manuscript?
No. Agents and editors will provide detailed feedback on the first twenty pages of the manuscript, but they will not review the completed project as part of this process.
Why do I need to have a finished manuscript?
The goal of Pitch Perfect is to give authors the chance to discuss the work they submitted as it relates to the larger manuscript. In the one-on-one meetings with editors/agents, writers will be asked questions about where the story goes and how the characters evolve. Without a finished manuscript, it is difficult to answer clearly, which makes it difficult for an agent/editor to be helpful.
Does the manuscript have to be polished?
The pages you submit should be polished, but the entire manuscript does not have to be polished. But it should be as far along as you can get it in order to get meaningful help and advice.
Do I have to submit a query letter?
Yes. Query Letters are very helpful because they provide an overview that will help us identify who might be best suited to review your work.
What should I include in my query letter?
We were going to explain all of this in our own words. But that’s a lot of work. So check out what author Jane Friedman has to say: https://www.janefriedman.com/query-letters/. Use it as a guideline. Some things are different publisher to publisher, especially in Canada. Remember, for Pitch Perfect your query letter will also be reviewed, so it doesn’t have to be perfect.
Can I choose who reviews my manuscript?
By providing your query letter and manuscript, we will pair you with the best possible editor/agent after consulting with the editors themselves. Please indicate if you would prefer an agent or an editor in the application process.
What’s the difference between an agent and an editor?
Agents and editors are great readers, and we are confident that they will all provide excellent advice. So first and foremost, it’s up to you. An editor is connected to particular publishing house and will be focused on your manuscript and the technical work – where the story is going. An agent can be a great resource for someone who is ready to make writing a career and has a manuscript that’s ready (or almost ready) to go.
Why is there a cost?
Each of the editors/agents is doing work outside of their regular work life, and they will be compensated for their work. In addition, the work of printing, sending, and organizing the materials and meeting times goes above and beyond the typical work of the festival and a festival event. We believe the value of a face to face interaction with a publishing professional who has read and reviewed your work will serve as a worthwhile investment in your future work as a writer.
What if I can’t afford the fee but I really want or need the support?
Send us a message at email@example.com! Perhaps we can find a local patron or author patron who would be willing to invest in your story.
Do I have to come to Brampton to be a part of Pitch Perfect?
No. In addition to live, face-to-face meetings, the FOLD is arranging technology to allow folks from across Canada to Skype in to their one-on-one meeting.
What can I expect from the meeting?
Expect feedback. Expect questions about where the story is going and how the characters evolve over the story. Expect critical thoughts about what was clear and unclear, what worked and didn’t work from someone who has read lots of books. Expect questions about how you envision the work – what genre and age category you think the book falls into.