Pitch Slam FAQ

Here is the basic rundown of this season’s Pitch Slam: Hogwarts House Cup! Additional frequently asked questions can be found below that information.

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Pitch Slam Calendar*

*Entries should be emailed to PitchSlamContest(at)gmail(dot)com on the 17th, 19th, and 21st respectively. You DO NOT have to enter the two feedback rounds to send your final entry on the 21st.

Pitch Slam Calendar2

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Entry formatting:

Please type Pitch Slam: TITLE into the subject line for each round.

When sending the first 250 words: do not stop in the middle of a sentence. Continue to 255 words at most if necessary. If you have more than 255 words, you can either remove that sentence or find a few words to rearrange/cut. There is no extension for pitches.

Sample Entry:

Did you enter NoQS: Yes or No

Name: Real Name (Writing as [insert alias] if you are using a secret identity/pen name)

Genre: This includes age category and genre. Age categories=MG, YA, NA, Adult. Keep your genre picks simple. An easy way to do this is ask yourself: If my book was in a store, what would the sign on the shelf say? Fantasy, Contemporary, Sci-fi, Horror, Western, Thriller?

Title: Your Story

Word Count: XX, 000. Round to the nearest thousandth.

Hogwarts House: Which house would your main character be sorted into and why? (This is just for fun – keep it brief)

Pitch and/or 250: Entries must be single spaced with one line between paragraphs and NO indentations. See this post for a tip that might help you copy-paste without losing your formatting.

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October 17th: Submit 35 Word Pitch.

150 pitches will be randomly selected to receive feedback from three of our judges.*

October 19th: Submit first 250 words.

100 first 250’s will be randomly selected to receive feedback from three of our judges.*

*Please be patient as you wait for feedback. If you are not selected (and even if you are), we encourage you to take advantage of the amazing community on the #PitchSlam Twitter hashtag and our Pitch Slam Writers FB Group. In the past, entrants have had good success trading critiques with each other.

October 21st: Submit 35 Word Pitch AND first 250 words. There will be no lottery for this round, all entrants will be considered. You do not have to participate in the first two rounds to enter this one.


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If you are unable to send during a submission window, consider using an email scheduler like Letter Me Later. Send all submissions to: PitchSlamContest(at)gmail(dot)com. Entries sent before or after the entry windows will not qualify.

House leaders will spend October 22nd reading final entries and finalizing their choices. These choices will be made public when the agent round starts the next day.

Finalists will go live on each house’s blog on October 23rd for the agent round.

The agent round will end October 26th. Agent requests will be revealed shortly after.

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Agents/Professors will make requests using the following House Points system:

10 Points – Query and first 10 pages
25 Points – Query and first 25 pages
50 Points – Query and first 50 pages
100 Points – Query and first 100 pages
200 Points – Query and full

And for some added fun this round, there will be sever secret “horcrux” entries spread across the teams. The agent who requests the most horcruxes will win a $100 gift card or a donation to the charity of their choice.

For more contest details, presented with our fabulous contest theme, check out THIS POST.

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For details on each individual team, check out these awesome posts from our Heads of House:

12009590_10153479451081928_7329457048018989222_n                                      hufflepuff9                  Ravenclaw

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  • Which age categories can enter? Adult, New Adult, Young Adult, and Middle Grade. Sorry Picture Books, you’re awesome, but we have no idea how to critique or gauge them.
  • Which genres can enter? All but erotica and non-fiction, with the exception of memoirs.
  • Can I enter more than 255 words if my last sentence is long? No. We recommend either leaving out that sentence, or cutting a few words somewhere in the entry to include it.
  • Can I enter multiple manuscripts? Only one manuscript per person per round. If you change your mind after submitting for either of the feedback rounds–say you’ve written multiple manuscripts and you want to swap out because you think you need to work on the initial one more–that is fine.
  • Should I enter the chapter title? Only if you wish, but this will count towards the 250 word count.
  • Should I use my prologue or my first chapter? That is entirely up to you.
  • Can I enter more than 35 words for the pitch? No.
  • Can I enter less than 255 words or 35 words? Yes.
  • Do we submit if we haven’t received feedback? You can. For all three rounds.
  • Do I send my revised pitch/250 now? Not until the appropriate window, or it’ll be bounced.
  • Are you sending feedback? Yes. To everyone who is chosen.
  • When will you be done sending feedback? When we’re done sending feedback. An announcement will be made.
  • Will I get my feedback in time to make revisions? Yes.
  • What if after the announcement that you’re done getting feedback I still haven’t received any? Check your inbox and spam for any messages from The Bouncer Bot. If he says you got in (Your entry had been received!) let us know you didn’t get a letter. If he says anything else, you submitted outside of the required times.
  • If I haven’t received feedback does that mean I’m out? No, it just means your feedback is on the way.
  • I received feedback, is this a rejection? No, no one is rejected at any point during the contest.
  • Do I have to enter the first two rounds to enter the final round? No. You can enter as many or as few rounds as you wish, but we always recommend getting another set of eyes on your word either via the feedback rounds or by swapping with other writers.
  • What if I made a formatting snafu? For the first two rounds it’s not a big deal, but the third round is when the entries will be posted to the manager blogs. Please follow all submission guidelines so as to void being disqualified.
  • I messed up my entry, can I send another one? If it’s within the submission window, yes, otherwise the first entry will be used. If it’s in response to our asking you to resubmit, yes. The time doesn’t matter, unless of course it runs into the next round.
  • Will I receive an email if I do something that results in my entry being bounced/disqualified? Most likely, no, unless it is something that can either be corrected or the Pitch Slam team believes you need to be made aware of.
  • What if I have a question about Pitch Slam? Do NOT email the Contest entry address, ask the question in the comments below, at pitchslam(at)llmckinney(dot), or on twitter.
  • What if I wanna thank the Pitch Slam Team or clarify something they mentioned in feedback? Do NOT reply to any emails you receive from the Pitch Slam team, the email is meant for entries only and extra messages only gum up the works. Plus they irritate the bot and he starts tossing messages and we have to go hunt them down. No bueno. If you want to thank the team, do so in the #PitchSlam feed.
  • What if I got a Please Reformat response but don’t know why? @ElleOnWords on twitter, I’ll check to see why the bot kicked it out. Don’t worry, you can re-submit this kind of thing after the window closes, so if you don’t notice the email until later, it’s okay.