What do you do with a kid lit manuscript when you think it might be done? You PITCH IT.
Pitch Perfect is back! If you have a draft of a picture book or a book for preteens or teens, and you’re not sure what to do next, Pitch Perfect: Kid Lit Edition is the perfect opportunity to get direction and industry advice.
This year, all Pitch Perfect sessions at FOLD Kids will take place virtually, so it’s more accessible than ever.
Check through this list of frequently asked questions and then 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 and a query letter, who will provide detailed feedback in a private, one-on-one meeting.
When does Pitch Perfect take place?
The meetings will take place online, at a date and time determined between the participants and their editor or agent facilitator. Ideally, all sessions will take place between September 27 – October 4, 2020, the week before FOLD Kids.
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. There is no fee to apply. The cost for a manuscript review is $30, which will be collected once an agent or editor has been assigned.
What will I need to submit?
For a picture book, writers will need to submit a completed manuscript and a query letter. For longer works, writers will need to submit the an excerpt of their manuscript (usually the first 20 pages) and a query letter during the application process. (Note: even though an excerpt is requested, writers of longer works should have a completed manuscript.)
What kind of writing can I submit?
Writers can submit nonfiction or fiction in the following genres: picture books (ages 5-8), middle grade fiction or non-fiction (ages 9-12), YA fiction or non-fiction (ages 13 – 16), and graphic novels.
Is there a cost?
Yes. Manuscript reviews cost $30, which will be requested only if the application is chosen for Pitch Perfect.
How will I know if I’m selected?
Confirmations will come through via email 2-3 weeks after the application deadline. A representative from the FOLD will email requesting the most up-to-date version of your manuscript, and will include a link for payment. A final confirmation will arrive a few weeks before the festival, connecting you with your editor or agent so that you can decide on a time for the Skype call amongst yourselves.
Will they review the whole manuscript?
For Middle-grade/YA/graphic novel authors: 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.
Children’s picture manuscripts (1000 words or less) will be reviewed in full.
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. But it’s always good to include one so that you can get tips on writing good query letters as well.
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 assess your manuscript and the technical work – where the story is going. An agent can be a great resource for someone who is looking for some editorial advice as well as advice on publishing houses and how to pitch or position the book in the industry and make writing a potential career.
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 gathering, sending, and organizing the materials and author/facilitator connections 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?
If cost is a prohibitive factor, apply and make a note of the cost in your application. We have funds set aside for this purpose.
Do I have to be from or come to Brampton to be a part of Pitch Perfect?
This year, all of our Pitch Perfect sessions will take place virtually. We encourage applications from all across Canada! We are particularly interested in stories by and from marginalized authors. We will be prioritizing stories by Black and disabled writers. This opportunity is not available to writers outside of Canada.
If I’m selected, 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.