I am a HUGE fan of Pitch Contests. Even though I actually have ended up on the hosting and judging side more than I have as an entrant. But I see some amazing things happen for writers. So here’s my top five reasons why you should enter pitch contests in your search for an agent or editor:
- You are amongst a smaller field: If you make it through the cut-off/slush, you are usually amongst a smaller group of pitches than if you were sitting in the agents regular query slush.
- You can be connected to agents you hadn’t thought about querying: There are a lot of agents out there. Researching can be long and time-consuming. Some blogs are out-of-date with their agent information and even agency sites may not have enough information on it for you to determine if you and the agent are a correct match. You could end yo before ten agents you hadn’t even thought of querying.
- You can get a request from an agent at an agency you’ve already had a rejection from: Have you ever looked at an agency list and thought “I like this agent, no this agent!” and been unsure who to pick. I’ve been there. Then the second agent at the agency saw my example pitch when I was hosting and asked for the full.
- You will meet some kick-arse writers: I would not be part of this blog if it wasn’t for a pitch contest I hosted. That’s how I met Stacey, Lauren and Cassandra. And now I’m part of the team, I have a new Alpha Reader (Love You Stacey!) and new Beta Readers (You rock Lauren & K.A.). It brings writers together, gives you new advocates – cheerleaders who support you not only in writing, but on social media as well.
- It makes you analyse your query and pitch: Honing your entry can help you improve your query in general as well as crafting an awesome pitch. This is if you do it right. I highly recommend workshopping your entry before you submit it. There’s always lots of bloggers who host workshops to help you improve your entry. I’m hosting one right now for #PitMad.
This year I have been on the contest side of Sun verses Snow and Pitch Madness. Later this year I’ll also be helping with Like A Virgin, Nest Pitch, Pitch Madness (round 2) and Pitch Wars. In previous years I’ve also hosted Get Your Pitch On and Pitcharama on Aussie Owned and Read. I hope to see you in the slush!
If you’ve entered pitch contests, what’s been your favourite part? Let us know if you’ve had success and which contest it was with.