September 2016 Contest Roundup

SIC Contest RoundupThere are some great new opportunities listed in this month’s Roundup but after reading through so many pitch contest guidelines I want to give a reminder: just because you get a request during a pitch day it does not mean that you have to submit. That’s right. YOU choose. If you get a request, research the agent/editor/publisher requesting and make sure it’s someone you are interested in working with. Pitching online is an open invitation which means anyone can jump in. Do yourself a favor and make sure they’re legit, alright? Good. Now, here are the contests in order of closing date:


9/1: Madeline Milburn Agency Summer Writing CompetitionOpen to adult novels.  Unagented writers only. ‘Make Us Scared’ is the theme of this competition. Entries can be “anything from gritty crime and suspenseful thrillers to dark narratives, it’s completely open to your interpretation and can even cross genres”. Enter a cover letter, one-page synopsis, and full manuscript (or a minimum of 30,000 words if the novel is nearing completion). The top five entries will receive “comprehensive written feedback” from the agency.  One winner will receive a cash prize and an offer of representation.

9/2: #DVPit Critique Giveaways – Open to MG, YA, and Adult writers thinking of participating in #DVPit. Enter via Rafflecopter for a chance to win query and first page critiques.

9/7: Pitch SlamOpen to Adult, New Adult, Young Adult, and Middle Grade. Enter you title, pitch and first 250 words. See Rules for details on how to enter. The feedback and critique window opens on 9/7. You do not have to have participated in the first round to enter. The Team Pick window opens 9/17. Read the FAQ’s to figure things out.

9/8: #Pitmad – Open to any genre and category. Pitch your completed manuscript on Twitter using the #PitMad hashtag from 8am – 8pm EDT. Tweet 3 pitches per project for the day.

9/12: Son of a Pitch – Open to Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult, any genre. Email your query and first 250 words. Top 20 will move on to an editor/publisher round. Looks like it’s smaller publishers participating. Peruse the website for introduction posts. Non-mandatory preliminary rounds start on 9/5.

9/12: Harlequin’s Oh Canada! BlitzOpen to Romance featuring a Canadian romantic hero. Submit your first chapter plus a 3-7 page synopsis. Editors will respond to all submissions with feedback by 12/1/16. Submit via Submittable.

9/14 Pass or PagesOpen to YA Speculative Fiction. Enter your first 250 words including your word count and title via online form. See full rules here. 5 entries will be chosen to move on to an agent round where online feedback is given.

9/15: Harlequin’s #SexyBlitz – Open to sexy Contemporary Romance. Submit 3 chapters and a synopsis. All submissions will receive feedback by 9/30/16. Read the submission guidelines to see just what they’re looking for.

9/18: SaavyAuthors WriterCon PitchfestOpen to Adult and Young Adult, and New Adult. Agents and editors are taking pitches via the SavvyWriters blog. Pitch via comment on individial posts. See pitching rules for details.

9/19: Dear Lucky Agent Contest – Open to Middle Grade novels. Submit the first 150-250 words of your completed novel, title and logline. You must also mention the contest twice through social media. Winner to receive a 10-page critique from agent Marisa A. Corvisiero of  Corvisiero Literary Agency and a subscription to

9/19: Pen/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship – Open to published authors of children’s or Young Adult fiction in financial need. Submit a work-in-progress along with other required documents. See lengthy rules and instructions for details. Chosen candidate will receive a $5000.00 Fellowship.

9/27: #SonofaPitch – Put your category and genre in you tweet pitch along with the #sonofapitch hashtag. They say to tweet as many manuscripts as you want once an hour. Not much information besides that to be found at this time.

9/29: The Sunday Times Short Story Award – Open to published authors who reside in the UK or Ireland. Enter your short story of 6,000 words or less. Any genre. Winner to receive a prize of £30,000. Five runners up to receive £1,000.

9/30: New Voices Award – “Open to writers of color who are residents of the United States and who have not previously had a children’s picture book published.” Enter your 1500 word or less fiction, nonfiction, or poetry manuscript for children ages 5-12. Winner receives a publication contract and $1000. Honor Award winner receives $500.


10/5: #DVPitOpen to Children’s and Teen Fiction and Nonfiction about and especially by marginalized voices. Pitch your manuscript via Twitter using the #DVPit hashtag between 8am – 8pm EST.

10/6: #DVPitOpen to Adult Fiction and Nonfiction about and especially by marginalized voices. Pitch your manuscript via Twitter using the #DVPit hashtag between 8am – 8pm EST.

10/27: #PBPitch – Open to picture books. Writer/illustrators are welcome to add an accompanying illustration to their pitch. Use the #PBPitch hashtag to pitch to agents via Twitter from 8am to 8pm EST. Pitch up to 3 manuscripts 2x each maximum. Pitch each once before 2pm and once after (3 manuscripts x 2 pitches each.) See FAQ’s for more details.

10/31: Tu Books New Visions AwardOpen to Middle Grade and Young Adult manuscripts by writers of color. “Manuscripts should address the needs of children and teens of color by providing stories with which they can identify and relate, and which promote a greater understanding of one another.” Submit a cover letter, synopsis, plus the first 10,000 words. Graphic novels, include the equivalent of 24-30 scripted pages.Please note: “Manuscripts may not be submitted to other publishers, mentorship contests, writing contests, or to TU BOOKS general submissions while under consideration for this award.” Winner receives $1,000 and a standard publication contract. Honor Award winner to receive $500.


11/1: My Real-Life Story Essay Contest – Enter your essay of 2,500 – 3,500 words. Every woman has a moment in life that changes everything. What’s that moment for you? We’d love to find out. Winner to receive $5,000, possible publication in Glamour magazine, and the opportunity to speak with a top New York literary agent. Do be sure to read the contest rules, especially #7.

12/1: #Pitmad – Open to all genres. Pitch your completed manuscript via Twitter using the #Pitmad hashtag betweet 8am and 8pm EDT. Three pitches per project.


4/1: Scholastic Graphix ContestOpen to Graphic Novels for kids. U.S. Residents only. Up to 5 winners will receive an offer to publish their work with Scholastic and a $15,000 advance.

Know of a great, no fee contest that I missed? Please link us up in the comments!

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