Monday, September 28, 2015

Introducing Pitch Slam - Hogwarts Cup!

Here are the details straight from Pitch Slam's creator, L.L. McKinney!

As I write the title of this post, I can’t help the giddy excitement that threatens to take over. I have been a Harry Potter fan since I was a freshman in high school, and when I started Pitch Slam all that time ago, I knew then one of the themes would be based in the Wizard World. Now, the time has come!

Yes! So thrilled! Okay, folks are here for details, not my unabashed fangurling. So, on to the nitty-gritty.

This season, there will be four teams. Not hard to guess what those are gonna be, I’m sure. Professor McGonagall introduced the Hogwarts Houses to the world that fateful evening, and I feel it’s suited she do so this time:

“The four houses are called Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin. Each house has its own noble history and each has produced outstanding witches and wizards. While you are at Hogwarts, your triumphs will earn your house points, while any rule-breaking will lose house points. At the end of the year, the house with the most points is awarded the House Cup, a great honor. I hope each of you will be a credit to whichever house becomes yours.”

Oooh that takes me back… Now then, just like at Hogwarts, our House Cup competition will have captains or Heads of House leading each team. These captains will select entries from the submission pool of eager hopeful students to fill their houses for the upcoming school year. These students will be showcased so Professors, agents, can make requests by assigning points to their house.

The contest will play out in the following rounds:

Diagon Alley – Round one is where writers submit their first 35 words for critique if they wish. The Prefects (slush readers), as well as a Head Boy or Head Girl chosen by each Head of House will offer feedback on up to 150 entries. The window for entries will open October 17th, at 12:00 AM Eastern time. The window will remain open for 12 hours, closing at 12:00 PM on the same day. If we receive less than 150 entries, everyone will receive feedback. If we receive more, 150 random entries will be chosen and critiqued.

Hogwarts Express – Round two is for the first 250, without the pitch. This way the writing stands out. Premise had its time to shine in the first round. Once again, feedback will be provided for up to 100 entries. Students do NOT have to enter the first round to enter this one. The window will open October 19th, at 12:00 AM Eastern time. Like before the window will remain open for 12 hours, closing at 12:00 PM on the same day. If we receive less than 100 entries, everyone will receive feedback. If we receive more, 100 random entries will be chosen and critiqued.

The Great Hall – Round three is for the 35 word pitch and first 250 to be submitted together. This is the pool the Heads of House will select their students from. Students do NOT have to enter either of the previous two rounds to enter this one. The window will open October 21st, at 12:00 AM Eastern time and will run the ENTIRE day, closing at 11:59 PM on the same day. There is no entry cap on this round. All entries will be read and considered.

The Sorting Ceremony – Entries chosen to advance to the final round will be displayed on the Heads of House’s blogs starting October 23rd at 8:00 AM Eastern time. At this time, the Professors (agents) will be free to make requests! ALL REQUESTS WILL BE HIDDEN UNTIL THE REQUEST ROUND IS COMPLETE. The Sorting Ceremony round will run from October 23rd 8:00 AM eastern time to October 26th 4:00 PM Easter time. All Professors are free to make as many requests as they please using the following House Points system:

10 Points – Query and first 10 pages
25 Points – Query and first 25 pages
50 Points – Query and first 50 pages
100 Points – Query and first 100 pages
200 Points – Query and full

For some added fun, there are seven secret horcrux entries scattered across the teams. The Professor who “finds” (randomly requests) the most horcruxes will win a $100 gift card to the online bookstore of their choice! If there is a tie, there will be a special tie-breaker play to decide a victor.

At the end of the request round, the house boasting the most points will win bragging rights until the next Pitch Slam competition! Which is going to be just as awesome as this one, we already have most of the details hammered out.

Throughout the week leading up to the Sorting Ceremony, there will be daily games to play on various twitter hashtags, but for general shenanigans, do join us on #PitchSlam across all social media, including all sorts of chances to rep your house pride.

That is it, my Pitch Slammers. Details on the Heads of House, Prefects, and Head Girls and Boys will be posted very soon, along with a list of the ever-growing Professors participating this season. This is going to be so much fun, and I cannot wait for it all to begin. Let’s make some magic!

Me too, Harry. Me too.


And there you have it! We really do hope you'll join us this Pitch Slam. We're excited to dive into the slush and dose of crits. 

Are you excited about this year's Pitch Slam theme? Are you going to enter Pitch Slam? Let me know in the comments!


If you'd like early eyes on your 35 word pitch and first 250, then please come join us on the Pitch Slam Writers Facebook page. While the team hosts may not crit you there, (but you never know. I make no promises,) your fellow authors will gladly lend a hand in helping you craft a pitch and first 250 you're really proud of!

BONUS #2!!!

When the first two Pitch Slam rounds open, I will have a post where you can post your pitch and first 250 for critiques. I will NOT be critiquing them, but your fellow authors will. If you post your pitch/250 for crit, you must crit at least two of your fellow authors. You can of course do more, but that's the least you can do.

I'm opening my comments on these posts open for all of you who wants extra eyes and for those who don't use Facebook. (We all have our preferred platforms and I don't want anyone left out who might want critiqued, but doesn't want Facebook just to get one.)

So starting on the first Pitch Slam window, I will have TWO posts available for you to posts in the comments for critiques. One will be for your 35 word pitches and the other will be for your first 250. This way it's easier to keep track of things and a little cleaner.

I really hope you all will join us! Come say hi in the Facebook group if you use Facebook. If you don't, then hit the #PitchSlam tag on twitter.