What do you do with a manuscript when you think it might be done? You PITCH IT.
Pitch Perfect is back! If you have a draft of a novel or creative nonfiction manuscript, and you’re not sure whether it’s ready to go or what to do next, Pitch Perfect at FOLD 2021 is the perfect opportunity to get direction and advice.
In 2021, all Pitch Perfect appointments will take place over Skype.
Check through this list of frequently asked 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?
In 2021 all of the Pitch Perfect meetings will be virtual. If your application is successful, you will be matched with an editor or agent who will liaise with you about a time to set up a virtual appointment in the week leading up to the 2021 Festival of Literary Diversity. In 2021, the festival will take place from May 1 – May 15.
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 manuscript excerpt and query letter as part of the application.
What will I need to submit?
Writers will need to submit the first twenty pages of their manuscript and a query letter during the application process. Once their application has been selected, writers will be contacted and 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 graphic novels. Writers of children’s literature (excluding YA) are asked to submit to Pitch Perfect at FOLD Kids 2021, which will take place later in the fall of 2021.
Is there a cost?
Yes. Manuscript reviews cost $40, which will be payable after we have contacted you to let you know that your application has been accepted. 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 in the weeks before the festival, connecting you with your agent or editor, who will speak directly with you to settle on a time for discussion that works for you both.
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?
In the application, you will have the opportunity to select whether you’d like your manuscript to be reviewed by an agent or editor. We work hard to match each applicant to an editor or agent who is best suited to their manuscript.
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 organizing and sending the materials and connecting applicants with their editor or agent facilitator 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?
No. In 2021, the Festival of Literary Diversity and all of its associated events will be taking place virtually. All of the Pitch Perfect sessions will take place over Skype, Zoom, or telephone–whatever works best for you and your chosen facilitator.
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.