[pg70pit] Save the Dates for 70pit17

Times are given in EDT, or New York City time. 7pm EDT is 4pm in Vancouver, 11pm in London, and 9am (the next day) in Sydney.

Now until June 1

Make sure your full novel manuscript is agent ready. Then prepare your contest entry by reading Revising for Writing Contests and How to Submit.

The 7-word description is really important this year if you want to enter the Twitter contest, so get that ready, too!

June 1–6: Twitter Party

Like last year, we’ll have a Twitter party leading up to #pg70pit. Use the hashtag #70pit17 to participate. Have any great ideas for topics? Comment below, or jump on the tag like a vigilante and go for it. Note: due to an urgent family situation, I am not leading the Twitter party this year. But please have fun on the #70pit17 tag! I’ll still be available to answer questions and am taking the day off on the 7th for the submission day.


June 7: Submission Date

The submission form—just one this year!—will go live at LaraWillard.com/blog at 7:00 a.m. EST on June 7, 2017, and will be removed at 7:00 a.m. June 8th, 2017.

TO PARTICIPATE IN THE TWITTER CONTEST, tweet your 7-word description—just once, and pinned to your profile—on June 7th with both the hashtag #pg70pit* and the hashtag of your age category: #A #YA or #MG. You can post at any time on the 7th; no one will be able to cross-check Tweets with entries, so you’ll stay anonymous.

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

June 7–15: Twitter Contest

Favorite and/or quote-RT * any 7-word descriptions you like from June 7th to June 15th. This is a great way to meet other writers in the online community!

To be eligible for the Twinner contest, you must choose seven—just 7!—of your favorite 7-word descriptions and retweet them—without quote-retweeting* them.

Encourage your friends who aren’t participating to like or retweet your 7-word description. If you’re participating, though, you may only retweet seven contest tweets. Like or quote-RT* the others. Your seven total retweets can be from any age category.

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.

We’ll choose the 7 Twinners from the ones with the most RTs, the ones with the most likes, and some of our favorites from the tweet content itself.

Encourage your friends to like or retweet your pitch!

On June 7th, 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!

Want to nominate an especially awesome tweet? Quote tweet it, include the tag #70pit17, and tell us why!

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

June 17: Twinners and Lottery Winners Announced

Check in at larawillard.com/blog for the 7 Twinners and 70 lottery winners from each age category.

July 17–July 31: Find CPs while We Read

Didn’t get into the lottery? I’ll post on my blog an opportunity for you to find a CP, if you’d like.

Judges will read and score all of the 77 entries for each age category. Follow along on the #pg70pit tag for insight and teasers. I will rate each entry on my @LaraEdits account, like I tend to do, and other slushies and judges are encouraged to do the same. We don’t always agree, which is why I’m not the only judge!

July 7: Agent Round

The top 7-scoring entries for each age category will be posted on my blog for agents to read and request from. In the event of a tie, I’ll call in another slush reader or two, confer with them, and then make my decision that way. If we REALLY can’t decide, we might look into the entries that didn’t make it into the lottery. No promises.




(or ask me in the comments below!)



Meet the #70pit16 Cohosts!

“70pit16” is the tag for this year’s contest. You’ll still see #pg70pit (the name of the annual contest), but anything tagged with 70pit16 is specific to this year. 😘

The Band Manager

I’m just your friendly contest coordinator (and judge).

Lara Willard, editor
Host, Lara Willard

Lara Willard is a pixelsmith and wordherder, freelance editor and writer, and writing instructor at storycadet.com. She’s edited for literary agents, Marvel Comics editors, poets, authors, and comic creators. While scribbling in margins and gutters, she sometimes tweets editing tips @LaraEdits. Lara lives in the Twin Cities with her husband, sons, and dog-show dropout Havanese. Connect with her on Twitter, on Instagram (@larathelark) or here on her blog!

The Disc Jockeys

Introducing the 70pit16 cohosts! In addition to the 7 MG, YA, and Adult entries posted on Lara’s blog, each cohost will select up to seven entries to feature on their own blogs! These will also be available for agents to read. That’s a total of 42 winners!
Elizabeth Buege, editor

Co-host for Adult Entries, Elizabeth Buege
Elizabeth Buege is a writing teacher and book editor with a B.A. in English Writing. She offers copyediting services and manuscript critiques over at ElizabethBuege.com, where she also blogs writing tips and other helpful topics for writers. She’s in love with the magical way words can become living, breathing stories and extensions of an author’s voice, and that’s why she loves cohosting #pg70pit. She can’t wait to see the magic of your voices!
Kaleigh Walter, writer

Co-host for YA Entries, Kaleigh Walter

Reader, writer, editor, and Academy Award enthusiast, I enjoy staying indoors, the occasional sunshine-filled afternoon, and dreaming about Paris (the city…not the socialite). Some of my closest friends live in the pages of YA. But don’t worry, I have friends IRL, too. We eat food together and laugh over glasses of red wine.
JD Burns, writer

Co-host for MG Entries, JD Burns
Hi there! I’m JD Burns, a writer of middle grade fiction, the father of a 13-year-old reading maniac, and a man afflicted with a serious chocolate addiction. No really—I once ate an entire gallon of Rocky-Road while sitting in my recliner, watching Godzilla 1998. OK, I made that last part up—it was actually the 1956 American adaptation with Raymond Burr. BTW, anyone know where I can get my hands on an unedited 1954 version … and a stomach pump?

I’ve written two Middle Grade series, and I’m currently represented by the wonderful Rebecca Angus of Golden Wheat Literary agency. I love the writing community, and I’m a frequent contributor through forums like Absolute Write, #p2p16, and my blog (which you can read more about here: Ink2Burn). In 2015, I was a winner of the Pitch to Publication contest, and in 2016 I’m excited to be a cohost for the MG category of the #pg70pit contest run by the incredible Lara Willard.

The #pg70pit event is unique because it drops you right into the middle of a story. Evaluating a manuscript based on the 70th page is a completely different experience from judging a story’s opening. However, the one thing that will always catch my eye is Voice. That’s true of any age category, but most especially with MG. So pull out those manuscripts and polish up your 70th page! I can’t wait to see all your fantastic entries.

meet the 70pit16 hosts pg70pit

pg70pit writing contest logo

#pg70pit Feedback

This is going to be the final pg70pit “nitty gritty” post until next year, unless we get some good news from the winners! (Winners, if you receive representation, even if not directly due to the contest, let me know! I’d love to interview you!) I will, however, deconstruct one or more of the winning entries so you can see why we picked them. If you have a request for an age category and/or genre, comment below, and I’ll see if one of them received a perfect score.

Normal blogging will continue soon!

Raffle Winners

The following people won free feedback on their pg70pit entry:

  • Pj Feldsine
  • Diana Arellano Hicks
  • Denise Stanley
  • Myra Fiacco
  • Robyn Arrington
  • Elesha Halbert-Teskey
  • KK

How to still get entry feedback

If you’d like entry feedback and didn’t win the raffle, enter the form below, and I’ll email you back with payment information. Cost is $7 per entry, paid via PayPal. You’ll receive an email with encouragement and ways to improve.

If you have more than one code name, include each on the line, separated with a semicolon (;), and include the age category for each.

I have reserved the second week in August to respond to these requests.

Query Critiques

If you submitted to pg70pit, I’m giving a 50% discount on query critiques. Email your code name and query to querylara[AT]icloud.com with the subject “pg70pit query” to receive payment instructions. Cost is $17.50 with discount. Your email address and code name must match the ones used when submitting to pg70pit.

I currently have about a 1-week wait list for queries. If you wait a few weeks, my turnaround will be back to 2-3 business days.

Manuscript Critique

My intern Meghan is doing a full manuscript critique as part of her summer internship. Interested? Apply here by August 1st.

pg70pit writing contest logo

#pg70pit Editing Giveaway!

Quick FYI, I (Lara) am on vacation this week, but I’ll be reminding agents that they can still request #pg70pit entries. If you receive a request after 7/20/15, I’ll email you!

If you see your code name below, hold tight until we can connect your email address with your editor’s. If you don’t see your code name, see below for a chance at feedback on your entry.

Editing Giveaways

Meghan Barret

One seven-page edit

  • Dream Weaver I Believe

Megan Ruesink

Three five-page edits

  • Cockles & Mussels, Alive Alive-O
  • In My Field of Paper Flowers
  • Are We Human

Elizabeth Buege

Four five-page edits

  • We Can Be Heroes Forever and Ever
  • That’s Some Hot Dish! Fondue for Two!
  • As the Sun Burns the Ground
  • Dreams of You Are Hard to Erase

Kaleigh Walter

Two five-page edits (still deciding which gets which!)

  • Where Courage Was Contagious
  • Like a Book Elegantly Bound

Five one-page edits

  • Raise You Like a Phoenix
  • Can’t Turn Back Now
  • Trapped Between Two Lungs
  • Bullets Catch in Her Teeth
  • Ring of Fire

Lara Willard

First Chapter Critique

  • Not a Novice Any Longer
  • Somewhere Over the Rainbow
  • Take a Chance on Me
  • I’m Hero Zero with a Capital Z
  • Shock Me Like an Electric Eel
  • Chasing After Time
  • Words are Weapons

Chance at pg70pit Entry Feedback

I wish I could give personalized feedback to every one of you! Unfortunately, I took off two weeks from work to host this contest, so there’s no way I can look through each entry and send detailed feedback. However, I’ve created a raffle so that seven of you can receive feedback on your entries. Enter here, via rafflecopter.

I’ll announce the winners of the raffle next week. If you do not receive the raffle and are desperate for feedback, I can email a quick note of encouragement and constructive criticism for $7. I’ve blocked off time during the second week in August to respond to these requests and will answer in order of receipt.