What do you do with a manuscript when you think it might be done? You PITCH IT.
If you have a draft of a children’s picture book (ages 0-8), or are working on a Middle Grade (ages 9-12) manuscript and you’re not sure whether it’s ready to go or what to do next, this year’s Pitch Perfect at the FOLD Kids Book Fest is an opportunity made just for you.
Pitch Perfect with be at FOLD Kids! Due to overwhelming popularity, we have brought the session that pairs aspiring writers with agents and editors for one-on-one feedback to our inaugural FOLD Kids Book Fest.
Appointments will take place at the festival in Brampton, Ontario, on September 29, 2019.
So dust off that manuscript, check through this list of questions, and fill out an application today.
What is Pitch Perfect?
Pitch Perfect is a 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, September 29, 2019, between 12-2pm at the festival site in downtown Brampton.
How do I apply?
You can apply to Pitch Perfect by filling out and submitting this form. There will be space for you to upload your finished book (if it’s a children’s picture book) or manuscript excerpt (if it’s a middle grade book) and query letter as part of the application.
What will I need to submit?
All writers will need to submit a query letter as part of the process. Children’s picture book writers will be asked to submit their whole manuscript. Middle grade authors will be asked to submit an excerpt consisting of the first five pages of the manuscript.
What kind of writing can I submit?
Writers can submit a children’s picture book (ages 0-8, text of up to 1000 words) or a middle grade book for ages 9-12. The books can be fiction or non-fiction.
Is there a cost?
Yes. Manuscript reviews cost $30, which will be paid once your application is accepted. All applications must be submitted by August 15, 2019. 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 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?
Agents and editors will provide detailed feedback on the full children’s picture book submitted, and on the excerpt submitted for the middle grade book.
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. You can also check out tips on fantastic query letters from our own Léonicka Valcius, whose FOLD Academy webinar covered this very topic. If you follow the FOLD on WebinarNinja, you can watch Léonicka’s webinar here.
Can I choose who reviews my manuscript?
When you provide your query letter and manuscript, we will pair you with the best possible editor/agent after consulting with the editors and agents themselves.
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. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org! 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?
Yes. The majority of sessions will take place in-person at the festival, on Sunday September 29 from 12-2pm. There are a select few Skype sessions available which will be given out based on need. More information about this is available on the application form.
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. And expect to come away from your meeting invigorated and ready to tackle your project again!
We look forward to receiving your applications.