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pg70pit is Back!

pg70pit is coming back in 2016!

pg70pit-a new kind of writing contest

This year is going to have an added feature:

7th on the 7th

Every month on the 7th leading up to the contest, I’ll share one of last year’s winning entries with a commentary talking about how it works. I’ll also do a line edit of one blog subscriber’s seventh page, on my blog, to show you exactly how to make your entries (70th page) shine.

To enter for a chance of getting your seventh page edited on my blog, fill out the form at the bottom of the page. Unlike the contest itself, this will not be a blind drawing. I’ll be picking entries that I think will be the most educational for my blog readers.

#70pit16 Schedule

February 7: first 7th on the 7th post

March 7: 7th on the 7th

April 7: 7th on the 7th

May 7: 7th on the 7th

June 1: Check-in with last year’s winners

June 7: last 7th on the 7th

June TBD: Agents announced

July 1: MG entry window opens

July 2: YA entry window opens

July 3: Adult entry window opens

July 7: Winners posted on and co-hosts’ blogs

Any questions? Read this post.

7th on 7th Entry

By entering, you agree that your work may appear and be edited on my public blog. Your name and email address will be used only to contact you in the event your page is chosen.

PLEASE CHANGE ALL CHARACTERS’ NAMES. I don’t want you to be disqualified from pg70pit because we recognize your entry.


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#pg70pit—The Agents!


More than 30 agents are excited about the pg70pit contest!

Some are “maybes” due to busy schedules—and they all have busy schedules!—so I have left them off the list, but we are still left with 22 agencies and 27 agents who have shown interest in participating on July 7th.

My summer intern Meghan (say “hi,” everyone!) has graciously linked to all of the agency websites and the agents’ Twitter accounts. Check the links to see what is on each agent’s wish list. Eventually we will include the age categories and genres for each agent, but I wanted to get you the list sooner rather than later!


Alphabetical by agency:

A+B Works

Amy Jameson

The Bent Agency

Heather Flaherty

Broadland Literary

Lisa Jane Weller

Chalberg & Sussman

Natasha Alexis

Deborah Harris Agency

Rena Bunder Rossner

Dee Mura Literary

Kaylee Davis

Diana Finch Literary Agency

Diana Finch

Donadio & Olson, Inc.

Carrie Howland

Folio Literary Management

Erin Harris

Inklings Literary Agency

Whitley Abell

Jabberwocky Literary

Sam Morgan

KT Literary

Sara Megibow

L. Perkins Agency

Leon Husock

Rachel Brooks

Maria Carvainis Agency

Elizabeth Copps

Marsal Lyon Literary Agency

Kathleen Rushall

McIntosh & Otis

Christa Heschke

P.S. Literary Agency

Maria Vicente

Red Sofa Literary

Laura Zats

Bree Ogden

The Rights Factory

Lydia Moed

Sterling Lord Literistic

Caitlin McDonald

Stringer Literary Agency

Marlene Stringer

Talcott Notch Literary

Gina Panettieri

Waxman Leavell

Julie Stevenson

Fleetwood Robbins

Kirsten Carleton

Agents, if you’re not on this list and would like to be, please comment below and I will send you an email confirmation. If you ARE on this list and would like to be removed, send me a tweet (@larathelark) or comment below, and I will remove you.

Writers, am I missing someone you’d like me to ask to participate? Find me the agent’s Twitter handle or non-query email address, and I can invite them to join. Remember, we might have unlisted agents stop by to view the top entries to make requests!

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#pg70pit—The Countdown Begins!

We are less than a month away from sharing the twenty-one best 70th pages from aspiring authors!

Submission dates:
7/1 for MG audience
7/2 for YA audience
7/3 for Adult audience

Do not enter this contest if you’re not ready to send your complete manuscript to an interested agent! This contest isn’t for ego-boosting—it’s for showcasing the best new and unpublished voices we see.

This week I’ll finish going through my list asking agents if they will participate. We’ve already got a solid lineup of participating agencies!

Let’s get the party started here and on Twitter. Comment or tweet your age category and genre, and don’t forget to use BOTH #pg70pit and #contest in your tweets. For more information about the contest and how to filter spam out of the Twitter feed, see the main contest page.

Remember, this is a blind contest, so don’t give away your title, character name, or pitch on Twitter if using the hashtags!

Stay tuned for the list of agents. See you in the comments and/or on Twitter!pg70pit

Beta Readers vs. Manuscript Critiques

MS Editor Elizabeth talks about the difference between Beta Readers and professional MS critiques. I’ll add that strangers can be Beta Readers, but it’s best to pick acquaintances—they are objective, yet you can get a hold of them IRL if they drop off the planet or steal your work (FYI, this happens way less often than writers think). I had twelve friends read my novel and give feedback anonymously using a Google form—it worked well!

MS Editors

You just finished writing the last page of your story—congratulations! Whether you pumped out a NaNoWriMo victory or spent the last five years agonizing over your dream book, you now have a full manuscript sitting in front of you. Give yourself a pat on the back; you deserve it for making it to the end. Now what? You want to make your story better, but you’re still too close to see its weaknesses and discern whether readers would enjoy it. It’s time to get an outside opinion.

If you take your work seriously, you should show your story to someone other than your mother or best friend. Run far away from anyone who has an obligation to tell you that your story is great as is! No book will be ready for publication without major revisions, so you need to hook up with someone who can give you informed feedback…

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