Pitch Wars Submission Guidelines…

PitchWars 14 23

For those unfamiliar with Pitch Wars, it’s a contest where published/agented authors, editors, or interns (mentor list here) choose one writer each, read their entire manuscript, and offer suggestions to shine it up for these agents here. The mentors also critique the writer’s pitch to get it ready for the agent round. Mentors also pick two alternates each in case their writer drops out of the contest. A special alternate showcase is held on some of the mentors’ blogs and the mentors will critique the alternates’ pitches. Writers send applications (query and first 5 pages of manuscript) to the four mentors that best fit their work. The mentors then read all their applications and choose the writer they want to mentor for the next five weeks to be ready for the agent round January 22 through January 23.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to deadlines, I’m not mentoring this time.

Check out this vlog message by the talented (and so cute) Megan Whitmer who is a mentor this year …



Submission Guidelines …


Submission window opens on December 2 from 12:01AM to 11:59PM EST for applications (query and first five  pages of manuscript – that’s double spaced manuscript pages but make them single spaced in your application – see below). Please do not send applications before or after the submission time or they will be deleted.

If you make it into Pitch Wars, you may not enter any contests during the coaching period and until after the agent round, which is January 22 -23. (That’s after 12/11. You may enter Baker’s Dozen.)

On submission day, send your applications to brendadrakecontests@gmail.com. Writers can apply for up to 4 coaches. The coaches’ categories are set. Coaches can only consider the categories they’ve signed up for. Writers cannot apply for a coach that is not in their category or the application will be deleted. No nonfiction, picture books, or previously published works. If you’re an unagented author and have self-published before, you may enter the contest with a never-before-published manuscript.

· This is open to finished manuscripts only.
· You may only enter one manuscript.
· Only the genres requested by each coach will be considered for the contest.


Send four separate emails addressed to each of your chosen mentors. Not one email for all four. That’s four individual emails. The query should be addressed to the mentor(s) you’re applying to, and it’s up to you if you want to personalize it as you do when sending to an agent. It’s not a requirement to tell the mentors why you’re choosing them, but it may be an added push to get the mentor to notice you.

Subject line: Pitch Wars Application: Coach Name you want to apply for: Title (Example: Pitch Wars Application: Brenda Drake: LIBRARY JUMPERS).

Name: Your Name (Example – Name: Brenda Drake)
Category/Genre: The category/genre of your manuscript (Example – Category/Genre:  YA Urban Fantasy)
Word Count: The word count of your manuscript (Example – Word Count: 86,000) (make sure to round up or down to the nearest 1000’s

Query letter here (embedded in email). Single spaced. No indentions. A space between each paragraph.

First five double-spaced pages of the manuscript here (embedded in email). Single spaced. No indentions. A space between each paragraph.


REMINDER: You can send an application for up to 4 coaches.

WARNING:  Just like an agent, mentors may request more pages of your manuscript to help them make their final decision.

For those who do not make it into Pitch Wars (and those who want to join in) we’ll hold a Twitter Pitch Party on #PitMad January 8 from 8AM to 8PM EST. If you make it into Pitch Wars you may not pitch in #PitMad.


Author: Brenda Drake

New York Times bestselling author of Thief of Lies (Library Jumpers #1), Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers #2), Touching Fate (Fated Series #1), and Cursing Fate (Fated Series #2) available now, creator of #PitchWars, #PitchMadness, and #PitMad, fueled by coffee and Goldfish crackers (but not together), and represented by Peter Knapp with The Park Literary Group. @brendadrake

Share This Post On


  1. I am so excited! Will the mentors be contacting us by email or will you be announcing the mentor/writer teams on your blog?

    Post a Reply
  2. Yet another tool for the unpublished author to utilise. Thanks.

    Will put my submission together this very instant…

    Post a Reply
  3. ‘Twas the night before Thanksgiving, and my husby and I
    Were on the road to his daughter’s for pie

    When all of the sudden my screen went dark
    But I refused to turn into a snark.

    Away to the Mac Store I flew like a flash
    Tore open the GPS and itched with a rash

    The moon on the breast of the Palm Desert sand
    Gave a luster of hope I could not “comprehand”

    When what to my wandering eyes should appear
    But the La Quinta Mac Store to soothe all my fear(s)

    Since they couldn’t meet my Genius Bar needs
    They set me up in El Paso after my incessant plea(d)s

    A Saturday appointment gave me Sunday to work
    I tweaked and adjusted through all of the murk

    And laying a finger aside of my nose
    I hit the send button, but not with my toes

    And all I can say as I send this to writers
    Is I hope good results come to all verbal fighters.

    Author of You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers

    Post a Reply
    • What if I was a really stupid 16 year old when a scam artist “published” my novel. Since then, I’ve changed the entire plot. The only similarities are the names. Would that novel be fair game?

      Post a Reply
      • I’m sorry, Laura, without knowing if the ISBN is terminated or the rights reverted or how much of the book has been changed, you may not enter it in Pitch Wars. Do you have another manuscript that you can enter?

        Post a Reply
        • Good point. Obviously I misread or misunderstood the question. Sorry for any confusion.

          Post a Reply
  4. I just found out about this from my writers conference when will the first round be for 2016. I know someone who got a mentor and I know it’s too late for me but can you tell me when it begins for 2016 ?

    Post a Reply


  1. I have enough ideas to last a lifetime. | firebird tales - […] you are an unpublished writer, and don’t know what I’ talking about, well, you should. There you go.) It’s…
  2. My Weekly Update – NaNoWriMo +One Day | Sydney Aaliyah - […] Pitch Wars hosted by Brenda Drake – submissions are due on Monday, December 2, 2013. I won’t be participating, but…
  3. Monday Musings: The Contest Experience | chasingthecrazies - […] the next couple of weeks there are two amazing writing contests happening: Pitch Wars and […]
  4. #PitchWars #PimpMyBio | Info Dump a la El - […] there’s this thing known as Pitch Wars going on right now. Got no clue what that is? Here, take…
  5. Because #PitchWars, that’s why… | firebird tales - […] the spirit of the #PitchWars contest, I have compiled the reasons why you should pick […]
  6. #PimpMyBio | To Taste Life Twice - […] today is PitchWars! What is this madness, you ask? You can read all about it here AND you can…
  7. Pitch Wars Bio. (Otherwise known as the post with the lame title) | - […] I’ve submitted my novel to #PitchWars, a contest for writers in which they get a mentor to help them…
  8. #PitchWars #PimpMyBio | Natasha Hanova - […] super excited to be able to participate in #PitchWars this year. Don’t know about it yet? Go here for…
  9. #PitchWars #PimpMyBio | Dawn Allen - […] group is participating in Pitch Wars. If you haven’t been involved, check it out here. For those of you…
  10. Pitch Wars | Sonia Hartl - […] If you are wondering what Pitch Wars is, it’s an amazing writing contest held by the even more amazing…
  11. Writerly Resolutions for 2014 | Carla Luna Cullen – YA & NA Writer - […] along with my revisions, but I need to have this manuscript polished in time for the agent round of…
  12. She’s Back! or Wait, I Can Explain | Kimberly Emerson - […] month, way back in 2013, I entered a contest called Pitch Wars. Created by author Brenda Drake, this literary…
  13. Kids, this is the story of how I met my agent (and mentor) | Whitney Fletcher - […] recently participated in Pitch Wars, a writing contest hosted by the wonderful Brenda Drake, who is a fantastic advocate…

Leave a Reply