Wednesday, July 31, 2013

8 August Pitch+250 Contest is Open for Submissions PLUS a Contest Success Story

The Contest is now closed to submissions.

The August Pitch+250 Contest is open for NA, YA, and MG submissions and will stay open until we receive 50 submissions. Get all the info here:

Our very first Pitch+250 success story is from Sarah Marsh. She was a finalist in the May contest and is now represented by one of the agent judges, Christa Heschke of McIntosh & Otis. Here's a link to Sarah's submission from the contest. Congrats Sarah and Christa! Thanks for sharing your success story with us!

Sarah Marsh's Success Story

Since I discovered their blog in winter of last year, Martina and Jan’s Adventures in YA Publishing has been one of the most enjoyable parts of my writing journey. Each week, I read the articles they post about ways to improve your craft, and the guest posts by other authors—they’ve certainly pushed me to think about my stories in new ways.

I began querying my YA Southern Gothic, No Such Thing, about a month before I heard about the May Pitch + 250 contestover on Adventures in YA. I had already met with some success while querying and in other contests, but I was really excited to give the Pitch + 250 a try, especially when I saw that Christa was participating as one of the agent judges for the top 10. See, I knew from researching that she represents high fantasy, and in addition to No Such Thing, I had a completed, polished YA high fantasy manuscript dying to be read. This made Christa one of my top choice agents!

In the Pitch + 250 contest, I was surprised and thrilled to be included among the top 25 entries, and felt quite humbled when I learned I was one of the top 10—the other finalists’ pitches and openings were so strong, and I would have loved to read their books.While waiting for the final scores to be tallied, Jan emailed me with a request from Christa to see more of No Such Thing!

To my amazement, about a month and a half after the contest, I wound up with four offers of representation from some genuinely lovely people. I kept saying how lucky I was, but my husband pointed out how hard I had worked for this, too—putting my book out there despite being shy, entering many contests, carefully researching agents, and above all, polishing my work and continuing to grow as a writer.

And when it came time to choose my agent, I knew who I most wanted to work with: the person who loves fantasy, horror, and all my other crazy book ideas. Christa is the perfect blend of friendly and professional. Someone I feel comfortable talking to, someone who inspires confidence, and who clearly works hard for her clients.I’m so thankful to Jan and Martina for bringing us together through their contest!

Christa also had some things to say about why she requested No Such Thing, and why she signed me (she’s just that great!):

I was drawn to No Such Thing and Sarah as I am a big horror/creepy/ghost story fan. No Such Thing has a little bit of everything—romance, eeriness, a compelling ghost story. Not to mention, Sarah can write! I also connected with her pitch for Goblin’s Price, a YA fantasy. A writer who does fantasy and horror, two of my favorite things? Yes, please!

Once we began speaking after I requested the manuscript I could just tell we were on the same page. We talked about her other WIP’s and she’s just easy to talk to. Besides loving the work, it’s also important to connect on a more personal level too.

Thank you so much, Martina and Jan, for the work you put into organizing and running this contest. I would definitely encourage other writers to enter the August Pitch +250. It’s a wonderful opportunity to stand out from the slush—even though (if you’re like me), putting yourself out there can be a little intimidating. Trust me, it’s well worth the effort!

Additional Info: If you’d like to say “hi,” you can find me on Twitter @SG_Marsh. I also recently started a blog, where I talk more about signing with Christa and give information on my other books:


  1. This is awesome!!! Congrats to Sarah!!!

    Also, I had a question: A friend and I had differing times on our computer...I sent my pitch +250 3 minutes before she did! Is there a way to find out if my pitch made the timestamp?

  2. Just got a confirmation email... Is that a good sign?

  3. Dang! Whiffed it by five minutes! "Now Closed" wasn't up when I learned about the contest, but up after I e-mailed a few minutes later. Next time!

  4. I'll have to keep a better eye on these things :-)

    Congrats to Sarah and hoping for more success her way.

  5. If you didn't get an email saying we are closed to submissions or that we had reached our limit of 50, then you're good. :)

  6. Congrats again, Sarah! I love these stories.

  7. Inspiring story! Congrats Sarah!!!

  8. so great to read this story. Wish I was ready to pitch--but not there yet. Congratulations, Sarah!


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