Are you an agent? Skip to the Agent section.pg70pit-a new kind of writing contest

In 2017, I’m hosting the third annual pg70pit, a totally unique type of contest and pitching opportunity for writers with complete, polished novels (Middle Grade, YA, or NA/Adult) in any genre except erotica. #70pit17 is this year’s hashtag. Enter on JUNE 7, 2017. The lottery winners and Twinners will be announced on the 17th of June, and the top 7 entries of each category will enter the agent round on July 7, 2017.


You may only enter one manuscript per age category, and it must be polished and ready to send to agents that would request the full.

What makes 70-pit different?

  • No query, no 35-word pitch, no first page.
  • Age categories are submitted with different forms and will be given equal attention.
  • Entries will be chosen by lottery AND by Twitter Pitch popularity (see below for details!)

Why 70?

Have you ever heard of the McLuhan Test? (Go ahead, read the article. It’s only 250 words.)

It’s also called the “Page 69 Test,” and after learning about it, it’s now how I choose whether or not I’ll purchase a book. The sixty-ninth page is far enough in that things should really be happening, and it can be a better snapshot of the entire book’s style than the first page.

70pit takes this idea but removes the connotations with the number 69.


Besides, in manuscript formatting, page 69 will be your document’s page 70, since your first page is the title page.

Submission Requirements

For 70pit, you’ll need the following:

  • Your e-mail address (this is private and used only to verify entries)
  • Your code name from song lyrics, up to 7 words (This contest is anonymous—choose something difficult to trace back to you and UNCOMMON. Popular song titles are common.)
  • The song your code name came from (in case you are added to the Top 10 playlist)
  • Your novel’s intended audience—Middle Grade, Teen, or Adult (Adult is 20+)
  • Your novel’s word count, rounded to the nearest thousand
  • Your novel’s genre (I have a guide to major genres here and the sub-genres of science fiction and fantasy here)
  • Seven words describing your MC (DO NOT include name)
  • Your 70th page (choose either your 69th or 70th page.)

Note: this is a family-friendly blog, and any NSFW language will be replaced with the first letter and a dash (like this: “f—”). People will still know what you mean, and my blog won’t be flagged as inappropriate.

You’ll enter via online form on my blog. Be sure to follow my blog so you don’t miss it! (Sign up in the right sidebar of my blog on desktop devices, or scroll below this post in mobile devices.)

See How to Submit for more details and answers to the FAQ.

Submission Time


The submission forms—one for each age category—will go live at LaraWillard.com/blog at 12:01 a.m. EST on June 7, 2017, and will be removed at 12:00 a.m. June 8th, 2017.


70 submissions from each age category will be selected at random to be considered in the contest. I will use a random number generator to select the entries. Lottery winners will be announced on June 17th on my blog.

Twitter Pitch Party

At any time on June 7th, and only once, tweet out your 7-word description with both the hashtag #pg70pit* and the hashtag of your age category: #A #YA or #MG.

Read through some of the other pitches and Like/Fave or Quote-RT** as many as you want.

Choose your 7 favorite pitches to nominate for one of the 7 Twinner spots.

*Use hashtag #70pit17 for all other tweets about the contest

**On Twitter.com, that means  adding a comment when you RT. On the Twitter App, that means choosing “Quote RT.”


Seven “Twinners” from each age category will gain entry into the contest in addition to the 70 lottery winners.

To be eligible for one of those spots, you need to choose your seven favorite #70pit17 pitches and retweet them.

Your 7 RTs can be from any age category, but they CANNOT BE QUOTE RETWEETS

If you don’t retweet 7 of your fellow participants, you can still try your luck in the lottery, but you won’t be eligible for one of the 7 Twinner spots.

Encourage your friends to like or retweet your pitch!

Click to Tweet: “Hey followers! I’m participating in the #70pit17 pitch contest today. I’d love it if you’d vote for my 7-word pitch with a like or RT!

Agent Round

The SEVEN top entries from each category will be posted on 7/7 at larawillard.com. Agents can peruse the entries and make requests for queries, partials, fulls, or the encompassing chapter—whatever they’d like. There is no time limit for requests. After the 14th, if any more requests come in, I will email the authors to notify them of their requests.

In June I’ll start listing the participating agencies!


  • In our first year, we had 79 MG entries, 236 YA entries, and 198 Adult Entries.
  • We chose 14 winners from each category for a total of 42.
  • Agents requested 60 times.

Any questions?

Find me on Twitter (@larathelark, @laraedits) and use the hashtag #70pit17


75 thoughts on “#pg70pit

    • Lara says:

      Only complete novels (a novel is at least 50,000 words by most reckonings) may be entered into the contest. Something shorter than 69 pages might be a novella but is more likely a novelette.

    • Lara says:

      Yes sir! If we are trying to choose between a couple of entries for the top 7, I may require finalists to send me their full manuscript so I can verify it is their 69th or 70th page.

      • Christopher Nugent says:

        Thank you, Lara.
        I did an entire revision based on your help with my query and synopsis, and Elizabeth just started an MS critique of it. I’ll submit my current page 70 with smidge of hope it’s good enough to place in YA.
        Thanks for hosting this event!

  1. kyriebuka says:

    Hi Lara– this contest sounds lovely! Because Pg. 70 Pit falls the same week as Pitch to Publication, should writers plan to submit to only one of the contests or is it alright to enter an MS into both?

    Thanks so much!

    • Lara says:

      You can submit to both! Best case scenario, you’d be a winner of 70pit and get an offer of rep, in which case you’d need to pull out of Page to Pub.

  2. Pam says:

    I am SUPER glad to see you’re setting a standard for cohosts and slushies:

    “To be considered, you must be agented, have prior experience working with a literary agency, OR have a degree in English, writing, or literature. You’ll need to read through all slush entries.”

    A big problem I have with contests is when they have hosts/coaches/mentors/slushies who offer authoritative query feedback but don’t have any credentials. I don’t think anyone has any business critiquing queries as an authority if they haven’t successfully queried themselves. Peer review is valuable, but some of these people aren’t presenting themselves as peers.

    However, I’d argue that a degree in English/writing/literature/creative writing isn’t enough to make someone a query authority.

    • Lara says:

      Thanks, Pam!
      I do think anyone can give good feedback, but not everyone knows what agents and acquisitions editors are looking for.
      I was going to have the third option be “OR be a freelance editor,” but anyone can call him/herself a freelance editor. Not everyone can graduate with a degree in English, writing, or literature. The assumption is that any graduate in the field has read widely, knows how to craft a sentence, and has been critiqued or graded by a professor or professional editor.
      Ultimately, though, it’s the readers who decide what gets read, so any reader’s opinion is valuable! And all opinions need to be taken with a grain of salt—though one’s authority can give you an idea of how many grains of salt you’ll grant each opinion 🙂

  3. Xelanhua says:

    Thank you for this contest! It’s a great idea! Will the submission window be all day or will it be cut off after a certain number of entries? Do I need to sit ready to press enter on my email, bang on a certain time? That’s already too many certains and exclamation marks…doesn’t bode well for my writing ahem. I shall just go do some editing.
    My two year old daughter loves your Anna (withalongA) costume.

  4. Christi R. Suzanne says:

    Is it bad form to enter this contest as well as the Pitch to Publication one? Both sound great and there isn’t a guarantee that I’ll get into either. What’s your opinion on entering both?

    • Lara says:

      Enter, by all means! I’m actually one of the editors for Pitch to Pub 🙂
      If you get an offer from an agent before either contest is finished, you need to email either me or Samantha letting us know so we can take you out of the contest.

    • Lara says:

      Seven entries per age category. We’re judging based on voice, not genre, so any genre can win.
      Our co-hosts will each get an additional 7 saves, for a total of 14 per age category.

  5. Maxym says:

    So excited for this! I can’t wait for Friday. 😀 Thanks so much for hosting this, as well as participating in Pitch to Pub. All the feedback is wonderful and greatly appreciated.

  6. Rachel Hobbs says:

    Hi Lara. I have two MC’s. Do I write seven words for each, or seven between the two? The latter might be challenging!

    • Lara says:

      Last year people tended to do 7 for main MC and included a note if the page was in a different POV. I’d recommend doing 7 words for whichever character we are hearing from on the 70th page, and thenow before you paste your page say something like **This book is told in alternating POVs**

  7. Carrie Pulkinen says:

    Is 7am the beginning time this year, too? I’m leaving for the airport on the 2nd, and I want to be sure I can get my entry in before I go. Thanks! 🙂

    • Lara says:

      It isn’t. Query away, and if you get a request, you can send your partial or full and mention that he/she can disregard your previous query.

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