A Brief Guide to Contest Pitches

Entering a pitch contest soon? Here are some quick steps to making sure you stand out:

1) Look at previous pitches from the contest. Read A LOT of them.

2) Ask yourself these questions: Do I get it? Am I hooked? Do I care enough to ask for more? Could this be on the back of a book?

3) Now try your hand at creating one. Using the starting point of “When (main character) discovers (inciting incident), they must (fix it) or else (stakes)” and then making it snazzy and amazing is usually a good idea.

4) Read your own pitch(es) aloud to other people, preferably ones who don’t know what your book is about.

5) Ask them the same questions as above.

6) If they answer, “NO” to any of them, consider these questions: Is your pitch too vague? Is your pitch not vague enough? Does your pitch give a sense of stakes or tension? Are you representing your book accurately?

7) Repeat these steps until you have people begging you for more.

Here are two examples that have worked in the past:

Madness, opulence,& intrigue collide when a bipolar heroine returns from exile to seek revenge in a medieval version of GONE GIRL YA

How to lose a guy & destroy his kingdom in 5 days: commit treason, reject king’s proposal, try to kill him YAF (Medieval GONE GIRL)

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