Wednesday, March 25, 2015


I am SO excited to be a part of this fun contest!
#NestPitch is the brainchild of the wonderful @NikVukoja (go follow her on Twitter) and it's BIG. 
Here's what it's all about:
In central and northern Croatia, the day before Easter, the children make Easter Nests for the Easter Bunny. (I love this!!) They collect leaves, grass, twigs, flowers and then make their “nest” -- and this is where the Easter Bunny places Easter-Egg-Presents. The children go to bed that eve wondering if the Easter Bunny will like or love their nest, because the best nest gets the best and biggest eggs!

And that’s the basis of Nestpitch -- but in our contest, the ‘nests’ are the author’s pitches, and the ‘Easter Bunnies’ are the agents – get it? Great!

Who can submit to Nestpitch?
This year we have changed things a bit, therefore even if you participated in Nestpitch 2014 you will still need to read the below.
This year we are NOT accepting Picture Books. We are accepting MG, YA, NA and Adult FICTION ONLY. 
We are accepting all genres within these categories. If your novel is either Erotica or Christian, please state this. For example: Adult Romance (Erotica) or YA Historical Romance (Christian).
We support diversity and strongly encourage authors with GLBT, geographic, cultural and/or social diversity within their manuscripts to submit. Having said this, we DO NOT support sexual violence, violence against children, bigotry and racism, pedophilia and/or animal cruelty. While it is true that violence and cruelty features within some genres, horror for example, or racism in a historical fiction set in the time of slavery, we will not accept manuscripts that support or promote, directly or indirectly, racism, misogyny, rape, sexual, physical or emotional violence.

Who reads the slush?
These wonderful Teams! (Including me! @SC_Author, @LH_Writes and I are Team #OneBasket)
This year there are nine Teams made up of one Mentor & two Slushies. The Teams are listed here:

Entry Guidelines:
The Pitch window will be open for 48 hours, thereby allowing everyone, regardless of where you live in the world, to prepare and submit a pitch.
The Pitch will be made up of three parts.
(i)                 a 35-word pitch
(ii)               answer to a question (in your main characters voice)*
(iii)             the first 300-words of their manuscript

*QUESTION: If your MC was an Easter Egg, what flavour would s/he be?  Keep your answer to NO MORE than 15-words.

How to submit your Pitch:
On April 1st the submission window will open. Please follow the guidelines. Last year some people put their first 300 words at the top or mixed up the order. Please do not do this. There is a reason for the order and failure to follow the below will likely mean your submission will not pass Round#1 (refer below).

Send the following in your email:
In the Subject line: Nestpitch2015 Sub and your name/author name

In the body of the email type these words: 
By submitting this pitch + first 300 words I agree to allow the Nestpitch blog and/or any other affiliated blogs to post my submission on an open forum for the purposes of critique and feedback.  I understand this can be for the life of the blog(s). 

Manuscript Title:
Category/ Genre:
Word Count:
35-word Pitch:
QU (in your MC’s voice), if your MC was an Easter Egg, what flavor would s/he be?:
*First 300-words of your MS:
*1st 300 = if your MS has a prologue, then your 1st 300 starts from your prologue. Also, finish at the end of a sentence. This is 300-word MAX, so your last word is 300-words. If your sentence finishes on 292-words, submit that. If your sentences run into 30 or more words, then you might want to rethink the length of your sentence(s). Broken sentences do no one favours.

Example of a Submission:
Subject line: Nestpitch2015 Sub – Nikola Vukoja
By submitting this pitch + first 300 words I agree to allow the Nestpitch blog and/or any other affiliated blogs to post my submission on an open forum for the purposes of critique and feedback.  I understand this can be for the life of the blog(s). 

Manuscript Title:      Easter Bunny goes to Vegas
Category/ Genre:      MG/ Fantasy
Word Count:             26,000
35-word Pitch:                      
After loosing all his eggs in a card game to March Hare, the Easter Bunny heads for Las Vegas where he plans to win enough money to buy back the world’s Easter eggs.
If your MC was an Easter Egg, what flavour would s/he be?
I’d be every flavour, colour, shape and size imaginable; I’m the Easter Bunny… geez!
First 300-words of your MS:
Easter Bunny Blah Blah…

Send your submission to: (please note the submission window below, submissions sent prior or post those times/dates will not be accepted)

Either Times Roman or Arial (we are aware that there may be issues with some email accounts regarding font, please do your best to use either Times Roman or Arial, or something as close as possible to these two)
Please don't indent. Single Space. One space between each Paragraph.

Selection Process:
Last year we contacted all submissions that had made a mistake or left something out (listing only category or genre for example). This year we aren't able to do that. All submissions will be read by Nikola first to ensure each submission has followed the above rules/guidelines. 
NOTE: WE understand formatting can get wonky in emails. That is not a disqualifier.

There will be three rounds before final selection.
a.       Round #1: Follow guidelines. That's it!
b.      Round #2: Each Team will select an initial 5-8 submissions and then request more pages/material. Based on the additional pages/material, each Team will drill their selection down to between 4-5 to go to the next round. Note: authors may receive more than one request from more than one Team.
c.       Round #3: Teams will critique the first 2,500-words of each ms that made the  final round. That's also our chance to get to know the authors! 
      This round is a 3-step process. Being selected does not necessarily mean being featured. Teams will want to know the author(s) are willing to accept feedback etc.  The Teams will work with their authors for 3 weeks, offering feedback, sharpening pitches, & suggesting improvements. After this, the authors have a full week to make any final changes before the agent round.

From the Slush-pile Picks.
Nikola's Team #Team2Beat, will be hunting through the slush-pile and the reserves, looking for gems that have been missed. We will have the option of selecting between 1-5 pitches (at our discretion) to feature. This is basically a bonus-pick so, you may just get an email after the date, but if you do, you’ll be expected to work twice as hard as the other authors as you’ll have less time – so be ready!

Additional Rules:
a.       Only manuscripts which HAVE NOT been featured in another online competition are eligible to enter. This DOES NOT include workshops, critique groups or similar. It also DOES NOT include Twitter or any other tag-line style pitches either. Please feel free to ask if you aren't sure.
                                                              i.      If you have submitted the same manuscript to #Pitchslam, due to the time-line cross-over, we are accepting these submissions. However, if your submission goes to the final stage of either or both competitions, please advice us and the host of #Pitchslam.
b.      Submissions MUST follow the submission format. We accept that sometimes emails de-format fonts and tabs, what we don’t want is people forgetting to put CATEGORY & GENRE (for example) or not answering the question; that sort of thing.
All pitches that have followed the rules (round#1) will then be forwarded to each Team. After the internal cat-fight, erh discussions will take place and each Team will select their top 4-5 author submissions (round#3). Expect to also see teasers and cryptic clues via Twitter & Facebook (*don’t forget to follow the Mentors and Slushies, lots of fun to be had!)

Nikola's Team #Team2Beat will be the Bandit Team. I bet all of you have a brother or sister who always stole your favorite Easter Eggs – well that’s what they’ll be doing – sort of. They will look for hidden or missed gems. #Team2Beat may have as few as one submission featured or as many as five – it all depends on how many diamonds in the rough they believe were missed.

This year there will again be an Amazon Gift Voucher Prize for the submission with the highest number of requests and another for Matching the Agents with their Masks (more on that at agent reveal).

Agent Reveal: March 27th

Submission Window Opens April Fools Day (April 1st 2015)
10pm Aust. Eastern Standard Time
7am USA New York Time
12 noon London UK Time
Submission Window Closes Good Friday (April 3rd 2015)
10pm Aust. Eastern Standard Time
7am USA New York Time
12 noon London UK Time

Secret Agent Bunny Mask Reveal: April 9th

Teams send out requests for 1st 2,500 words Sunday 12th April
Authors reply by Tuesday 14th April
Final Selection Sunday10rd May (Mother’s Day)
Agent request open Monday 11th May to Tuesday 12th May 2015
Unmask the Agent: Wednesday 13th May 2015 (Amazon Voucher)
Agent request(s) sent out to authors Wednesday 13th May 2015
Authors to send requested pages to Agents by Friday 15th May 2015
Winner of Most Requests: May 20th or 21st
Stats: May 28th or 29th
Nestpitch2015 Close: May 31st (follow up blog with success stories as they come)

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