Meet the Pitch Wars Agents … and submission info./guidelines!

Pitch Wars 2014 logo



We’re so excited for Pitch Wars 2014! The agent round isn’t until November 4-5, but we thought it would be fun to announce the agents now, so you can see all the fabulousness waiting for you if you are chosen by one of our amazing mentors. So grab a cool drink, sit by the pool or find some shade, and get to know the agents for Pitch Wars. But before the big reveal, here’s some more information about Pitch Wars, such as our exciting mentor wishlist blog hop and everything you need to know to submit to the contest this year.

For those unfamiliar with Pitch Wars, it’s a contest where published/agented authors, editors, or interns choose one writer each, read their entire manuscript, and offer suggestions on how to make the manuscript shine. The mentor also critique his/her writer’s pitch to get it ready for the agent round. To do this, the mentors read all their applications and choose the writer they want to mentor for two months to get them ready for the agent round. Writers can pick up to four mentors to submit to. How will you decide what mentors to submit to?

Come back August 4 for our Mentor Wishlist Blog Hop. The mentors’ bios and wishlists will be posted to their blogs, and you can hop around and find the right matches for you. And visit the Twitter hashtag #PitchWars to get to know the mentors personally (um… virtually). The hop will go on until 8/18, which is submission day!!

Here’s a list of your mentors until then: Pitch Wars Mentors

Mentors will pick one alternate each in case their writer drops out of the contest. The mentors will critique the alternates’ pitches & first chapters only. We may or may not have an alternate showcase on a day other than the agent round for the top picks. Stay tuned for more information about that later.

This year, we’ll have an easy submission form courtesy of Dan Koboldt. The form will go live at midnight (EDT – New York time) August 18 and remain open for 24 hours. What will you need to enter in the form? Your top four (max – you don’t have to pick 4, but you are limited to 4) mentors, your email address, title of the manuscript, category and genre, your query letter (sorry no personalized queries this year), and the first chapter of your completed manuscript (Word .doc or .docx format).  The sample chapter should be manuscript formatted pages (12pt, double-spaced). All of this will be fill-in-the-blank on the form.

Submission Guidelines:

  • Only Middle Grade, Young Adult, New Adult, or Adult manuscripts will be accepted.
  • This is open to completed, full-length, fiction manuscripts only.
  • You may only enter one manuscript.
  • Only the genres requested by each mentor will be considered for the contest.
  • Writers can apply to 4 mentors max.
  • Mentors can only consider the categories they’ve signed up for. (The mentors’ categories – MG, YA, NA, or Adult – are set.)
  • Writers cannot apply for a mentor that is not in their category or the application will be deleted.
  • No nonfiction, picture books, chapter 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.)

WARNING: Just like an agent, mentors may request more pages or a synopsis of your manuscript to help them make their final decision, so get them ready!

If you make it into Pitch Wars, you may not enter any contests during the mentoring period and until after the agent round, which is November 4 -5.

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 September 9 from 8AM to 8PM EST. If you make it into Pitch Wars, you may not pitch in #PitMad.


The Pitch Wars 2014 agents …




Louise Fury — The Bent Agency

Website | Twitter


Jim McCarthy — Dystel & Goderich

Website | Twitter


Rachel Brooks — The L. Perkins Agency

Website | Twitter


Jessica Sinsheimer — Sarah Jane Freymann Agency

Website | Twitter


Ammi-Joan Paquette — Erin Murphy Literary Agency

Website | Twitter


Peter Knapp — Park Literary

Website | Twitter


Carly Watters — PS Literary

Website | Twitter


Stefanie Lieberman — Janklow & Nesbit

Website | Twitter


Lana Popovic — Chalberg & Sussman

Website | Twitter


Brianne Johnson — Writers House

Website | Twitter



Brooks Sherman — The Bent Agency

Website | Twitter


Lara Perkins — Andrea Brown Literary

Website | Twitter


Michelle Richter — Foreward Literary

Website | Twitter


Victoria Marini — Gelfman Schneider Literary Agency / ICM Partners

Website | Twitter


Uwe Stender — TriadaUS

Website | Twitter


Carolyn Forde — Westwood Creative Artists

Website | Twitter


Julia Weber — JA Weber

Website | Twitter


Rena Rossner — The Deborah Harris Agency

Website | Twitter


Sarah Negovetich — Corvisiero Literary

Website | Twitter


Thao Le — Dijkstra Agency

Website | Twitter


Jessica Watterson — Dijkstra Agency

Website | Twitter



Saba Sulaiman — Talcott Notch Literary Services, LLC

Website | Twitter


Amanda P

Amanda Panitch — Lippincott Massie McQuilkin

Website | Twitter


Representing New Leaf Literary …


Jaida Website pic

Jaida Temperly, literary assistant to Joanna Volpe

Website | Twitter


Danielle Barthel
Danielle Barthel, literary assistant

Website | Twitter


Jackie Lindert
Jackie Lindert, literary assistant

Website | Twitter


Come back Monday, August 4, for the mentor blog hop!!


Girls wanna have fun

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

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  1. Unfortunately, I’m not ready for the pitch wars but I hope to be for pitch mad!! This is SO exciting!! You’re website is SO valuable for writers to see hands on what is and isn’t wrong with manuscripts, queries, etc. Thanks for this, Brenda!!

    Post a Reply
  2. Would ian illustration-heavy MG novel (a la Diary of a Wimpy Kid) be appropriate for this contest?

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  3. I’m getting excited too! I’m looking forward to the Blog Hop. 🙂

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  4. Another writer and myself have collaborated on a middle grade novel. Would we still be eligible to participate in the contest? Or, if both of us are not eligible, could we chose one of us to be mentored rather than both?

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  5. My book starts with a short prologue before starting at chapter 1. Is the prologue the only part I should submit?

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  6. So we should avoid personalizing in any way for the mentors we are sending to?

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  7. This is such a great thing! Thanks for all the work that must go in to this. What a great way to help aspiring authors have a better chance at making it. Can’t wait to submit. 🙂

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  8. Hi Brenda! Thanks so much for hosting this amazing contest;I can’t wait! When you say that submissions will include the first chapter, how many pages or words is that? Is it unlimited? Is there a “typical” length expected? Thanks!

    Post a Reply
    • There are no word count limits. But however long it is or short it is will tell the mentor a lot about the writing ability of the writer. So, yes, you should take into consideration industry standards for both the query and chapter, depending on the category and genre of the book.

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  9. What a brilliant thing Pitch Wars is! I wish I had anything at all ready to submit. 😉 I need to get my act together!

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  10. Hi Brenda! I am signed up for a webinar that includes a critique of my query letter, would this be considered a breech of the Pitch Wars “no other contests” rule?

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  11. Just wondering…why are the categories set, rather than genres? I understand MG having their own category, but what about the teen & up books that are cross-over categories?
    I keep going back and forth on to whom I should submit.
    I have a cross-over fantasy that’s half NA (20-something protag with romantic elements, without sex) and half YA (17 y.o. protagonist, again, with some romance). Since the NA section doesn’t have sex, I figured I should just sub to Adult mentors. But the subject matter is PG-13, and the second half is told in a YA point of view. If I considered where I’d shelve it, I’d put it next to Princess Bride or Stardust, wherever those would fit (I’ve seen them in SFF and in YA, depending on store).
    I want to be sure to play by the rules—what do you think? Submit to adult only?

    I’m mostly wondering what other participants have done in the past, if they similarly had age differences in POV characters.

    Post a Reply
    • This question hasn’t come up in the past. It’s up to the writer to decide how to market their book. Treat submitting to the contest just like you would submit to an agent. How would you sell your book to agents? We can’t decide that for you. You can find a mentor who you think it will fit with and ask them this question on the Twitter hashtag #PitchWars, just don’t pitch to them on Twitter. Ask a general question like I have a protag who is 17 then turns 20 half way through the book would you consider it YA or Adult? If it’s heavy fantasy, my guess, without knowing your story, is Adult.

      Post a Reply
      • Thanks! It’s like Mal Peet’s TAMAR: it has two protagonists, one is in his twenties, his sister is 17. TAMAR was marketed as Young Adult. Though I could be remembering incorrectly. It’s possible that the 20-something characters in that novel were very late teens. I always pictured them as mid-20s.
        I have 4 favorite adult mentors, so I will sub to them.
        Thanks again!

        Post a Reply
  12. Hello!

    Can’t wait.

    I thoroughly read through each mentor bio and request list. No one mentioned anything about a series or trilogy.

    My manuscript is the first in a planned trilogy. Is there anything extra I should consider, or will this be an issue?

    Thank you!

    Post a Reply
    • You shouldn’t be querying it as a series. Each book should be queried as a standalone, just as you would with an agent. You don’t mention in your query to Agents that it’s a series, you save to discuss a series potential if they offer representation. So pick mentors who best fit that first book.

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  13. Would a chapter book be considered MG? When I’ve talked to agents and editors in the past, some of them consider them part of the genre, and others consider them a genre all their own.

    My thought was to check out the mentors in particular and see if they say. Does that make sense, or do you think it really just doesn’t fit at all?

    Post a Reply
    • I’m sorry chapter books are not middle grade novels. You can pitch your chapter book during #PitMad the Twitter pitch party happening on Sept. 9, though.

      Post a Reply
  14. Hi,

    An agent has had my full for about 4 months. Would doing Pitch Wars be a bad idea?

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  15. I understand the query cannot be personalized. My question is, should we use the exact query that we would send to an agent (minus personalization)? Or should the query be directed more specifically to the mentors, including information about why we would make good mentees?
    Hope this question makes sense.
    Thank you SO MUCH for hosting this contest/event.

    Post a Reply
    • You can do it either way. But it would be a query with all the information you’d send an agent, but you can change to fit a mentor.

      Post a Reply
  16. I checked through each one of the mentors and only found one interested in Adult Fantasy. I have a completed Adult Epic Fantasy novel that I’d like to pitch, but it doesn’t seem there are enough mentors interested in that genre specifically. Should I choose the other three from those that represent simply “Adult”, or do you think I would serve better using my Young Adult Urban Fantasy completed manuscript?

    -Craig A. Price Jr.

    Post a Reply
    • I can understand your dilemma, but I don’t feel comfortable telling you which one to submit. But you should only choose the adult mentors that ask for fantasy. Which manuscript is closest to your heart and which one you’d have the best luck with.

      Post a Reply
  17. Hi, I just discovered Pitch Wars today and think it’s a really cool idea! I’ve had my manuscript completed for a couple months now, but it’s not in it’s final draft stage. I’m not sure if Pitch Wars is to help writers with fairly rough manuscripts to get to that final draft or to polish up a manuscript that’s already a final draft. Hope that makes sense. Thanks for this opportunity!

    Post a Reply
    • Also, how will mentors work with their mentees? Through email, skype, phone? I’m just curious.

      Post a Reply
      • Each mentor works a different way. Some email, some Skype, some talk on the phone… it depends on what you and your mentor sets up and feels comfortable with.

        Post a Reply
    • Ally, the manuscripts should have been revised and polished to your best ability.

      Post a Reply
  18. My first chapter is not a prologue but it does set the tone for the rest of the book and is not set during the same time period as the rest of the story. Should I submit chapter two instead? If so, should I mention this in the query?

    Post a Reply
    • You may only submit your first chapter, just like in an agent asked for your first chapter. We want to see how you start a story off. The mentors will ask for more pages if they want to read on to help make their decision.

      Post a Reply
  19. When we see two mentors that are pairing up together (ex. Stephanie Garber and Stacey Lee) can we choose just one of them as our four or do we need to use two slots for them?

    Post a Reply
  20. First of all, thanks so much for organizing this every year, what a huge undertaking! Would participating in Write-on Con (and the forums there)while we’re waiting be a violation of the rules? It sounds fun but I don’t want to kill my chances here. Thanks again for all you do!


    Post a Reply


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