Let’s get real—pitching our novels is tough. Often beyond tough. Personally, I find it a lot easier to talk about the amazing work of my critique partners Mindy McGinnis and RC Lewis. In imagining pitching my novel and RC’s to her students, Mindy had a thought … hey—EVERYONE should practice pitching by pitching other people’s stuff! And so our contest idea was born.

Last month, I posted a heads up about the upcoming Pitch-A-Partner Festival that Mindy McGinnis, RC Lewis, and myself are running. Mindy will be the primary host on Writer, Writer, Pants on Fire, while RC and I will be co-hosting, because that’s only fitting. Well, it’s almost here! And now with more details and illustrations!


Sure, there’s lots of blog contests out there. Ours is a little bit…different. In our model, writers will pitch their critique partner’s project, and our team will decide whose pitching abilities are so strong that we’re interested in seeing their own project.

The blogging team will narrow the final hopefuls down to 30 entries, at which point we’ll ask our participating agents to cruise our blogs to bid on projects that catch their eye.

What Are the Rules?

  • The PAPfest is open to completed MG & YA projects of any genre
  • Be sure to have your CP’s permission before pitching them
  • If CP-X successfully pitches CP-Y, we will ask to see the query and first 5 pages of CP-X’s ms to use in determining who moves on to agent judging
  • 100 initial entries accepted
  • 30 finalists move on to agent judging
  • Finalists will provide query & first 200 words for agent judging. Their partner CP-Y has the option of requesting a query critique from the PAP team of myself, MarcyKate and RC.

Are you confused? That’s OK. We’re here to walk you through this contest, hold your hands, wipe your brow, bring you ice chips and breathe right along with you. All kinds of fun things are in store to clarify your questions. We mean that. We intend to amuse the hell out of you while explaining this contest.

What’s the Timeline?

  • There will be two windows to pitch your CP’s project to PAPfest(at)gmail(dot)com
  • The first window will open Wednesday, Jan 23 at 8 AM EST
  • The second window will open Friday, Jan 25 at 6 PM EST
  • Each window will allow 50 email entries

The team of Myself, Mindy McGinnis, and RC Lewis will be reading the entries between Jan 29 – Feb 8. If you are one of the 30 finalists you will be notified by Feb 8 via email. If you are chosen you will provide your query & first 200 words for agent judging. If you are chosen, your CP who graciously allowed you to use their project as pitching material, will have the option of requesting a query critique from the PAP team.

February 14th from 9 AM EST to 9 PM EST (Hooray! V-DAY!) The agents will be invited to browse the entries and make requests. They will vote for their favorites with a partial or full request. Everyone who receives requests will be able to submit their materials to all the agents who voted for them.

Can Guys Get a PAP?

Why yes, yes they can. In fact, we’d love to see that.

Who are the Agents?


Agents participating in the PAPfest are:

Isn’t that spectacular? Aren’t we so glad that we have them? Yes, we are. In fact, we’re so glad that we commissioned some original art from Lynn Phillips to immortalize them.

So, Wait, Seriously, How Does It Work?

Here’s an illustrated guide we hope will help clear up any confusion. Enjoy! (and if you have questions, please do ask in the comments!)


PAPFEST rules 2


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