Announcing KCU Pitchfest 2022!!

Submit your kids or YA graphic novel pitch to KCU Pitchfest 2022, a competition and online showcase of unpublished comics!

A large panel of industry pros will judge submitted pitches, culminating in a half day event of presentations and panels. The pitches with the most votes will be featured in a live critique session by our guest judges.

Agented and unagented creators from around the world are invited to submit their projects. Submissions will be displayed on the KCU website from December 2022 through March 2023 and promoted to agents, editors, and art directors across the industry. 

Registration for KCU Pitchfest 2022 will begin on October 19th!

The deadline for submitting pitches is November 6th.

Winners will be announced during the KCU Pitchfest Event, which will take place on Zoom on December 3rd, 2022 at 12 PM EST. You are welcome to attend the Pitchfest event even if you don’t submit a pitch for the Showcase competition.



  • Live critique by our panel at the KCU Pitchfest Event on Dec. 3rd.
  • Guaranteed top billing in the Pitchfest Gallery
  • A year membership to KCU Studio
  • Free enrollment in the 2023 Intensive Course

KCU Pitchfest Event Details

Event will be on Saturday, December 3rd, 2022. All times are EST.


Host: Janna Morishima, Literary Agent and founder of Kids Comics Unite

Guest Judges/Speakers:

  • Colleen AF Venable, Associate Director of Original Content for Epic! Kids; author of Kiss Number 8, the Katie the Catsitter series with Stephanie Yue, Mervin the Sloth is About to Do the Best Thing in The World with Ruth Chan, The Oboe Goes Boom Boom Boom with Lian Cho, and the Guinea Pig, Pet Shop Private Eye series, also with Stephanie Yue.
  • Rivkah LaFille, instructor/fearless leader of Kids Comics Intensive; author-artist of the forthcoming Five Wishes (Candlewick Press), illustrator of forthcoming graphic novel with First Second, and author-artist of Steady Beat (Tokyopop).


12:00 PM EST Introduction

12:15 PM EST “You Got an Offer! Now What?” with Janna Morishima

1:00 PM EST Mini Presentations by Colleen AF Venable and Rivkah LaFille

2:00 PM EST Graphic Novel Pitch Panel 

3:00 PM EST Critique of selected submissions

4:00 PM EST Wrap Up


  • Registration opens on October 19th, 2022. 
  • Submissions for the Showcase will close on November 6th, 2022.
  • Registration for the event will close on December 2nd, 2022.

KCU Pitchfest Ticket Prices

General Public 

  • Event Only: $50
  • Event + Gallery Showcase: $95

KC Studio Members

  • Event Only: FREE. No need to sign up – you’ll be sent the Zoom link for the event.
  • Gallery Showcase: $15. You will receive a discount code or link (emailed to you) that can be used to register for the Gallery Showcase.

Past KC Intensive Students 

  • Event Only: $50
  • Gallery Showcase: $15. You will receive a discount code or link (emailed to you) that can be used to register for the Gallery Showcase.

If you want to get the Studio discount listed above, you can join Studio here. Studio is our paid membership community. Studio members get access to weekly live virtual events, our rich video archive of past events, a free ticket to the KCU annual offering, opportunities to join critique groups, critique sessions, accountability groups and more. 

Studio is $39 a month and there is a one-month FREE trial. 

We are closing Studio enrollment on October 31st, 2022.  (We will reopen Studio in 2023).

Instructions for Submissions to the Gallery Showcase

Here is our mockup of what the Showcase will look like:

You will submit your work to the Showcase through a Google form that you’ll receive once you register for the gallery. Registration opens on October 19th and the last day to submit your work is November 6th, 2022. Submissions received after 11:59 PM EST on November 6th will not be eligible for the Showcase.

If you submit through the Google form, you are agreeing to:

  • have your work (as submitted) displayed on the KCU website for viewing by industry professionals and the public.
  • possible selection for a live critique by the panelists on the December 3rd event which will be recorded, and the replay made available to registrants.

Your submission must include the following:

  • A short bio (500-characters max)
  • A short synopsis of your graphic novel (750 characters max)
  • A description of why you created this specific graphic novel project and what it means to you (750 characters max)
  • Headshot (photo or drawing)
  • A cover image or cover page (see more detail below)
  • Two sample spreads or four pages of script (see more detail below)

For author-illustrators: Upload (or link to) an 800x800px cover page image and two (2) complete, full color spreads (4 pages) of your graphic novel. No larger than 1800px wide. Both at 72 dpi.

Here is a mock-up of how it will be presented:

For writers: Upload (or link to) an 800x800px cover page image of your title and four (4) pages of your graphic novel script corresponding to four (4) pages of the graphic novel (i.e.,each page should be one page of the graphic novel).

Here is a mock-up of how it will be presented:

Please submit the information as you want it to appear on the Gallery Showcase.

Note: If you submit more than the amount specified above, we will post the first four (4) pages only.  

The judges will select a minimum of three (3) submissions to live critique during the event. You do not need to be present at the event to be eligible for a live critique. 

Please contact Lisa Lowry at with any questions related to the submission guidelines.

About Janna Morishima

Janna Morishima is the founder of Kids Comics Unite and a literary agent who specializes in graphic novels and visual storytelling. She started her publishing career at Scholastic, where she was one of the co-founders of the Graphix imprint. She then became director of the Kids Group for Diamond Book Distributors, where she worked with publishers such as Marvel, Dark Horse, and Oni Press, and helped launch Françoise Mouly’s Toon Books imprint. In addition to her background in publishing, she has worked as an associate producer for documentary films, and as an assistant teacher in a kindergarten and a teacher in a high school for teens in the juvenile justice system. She later launched and ran the NYC Department of Education’s “NYC Reads 365” literacy initiative.

6 thoughts on “Announcing KCU Pitchfest 2022!!

  1. This is so exciting, thank you! May I ask: is the short synopsis meant to be a true synopsis that includes the major plot points and conclusion, or is it more like a brief summary that sets up the main conflict and hook, such as you might include in a query letter? Thanks!

    1. hi Tanya, great question. The synopsis you’ll be providing is very short, only 750 characters. It might not be enough space to include all the major plot points, but it should definitely summarize the story and include the main conflict and hook.

      Here is an example of a synopsis of AMERICAN BORN CHINESE by Gene Luen Yang that is 714 characters:

      “American Born Chinese tells the story of three apparently unrelated characters: Jin Wang, who moves to a new neighborhood with his family only to discover that he’s the only Chinese-American student at his new school; the powerful Monkey King, subject of one of the oldest and greatest Chinese fables; and Chin-Kee, a personification of the ultimate Chinese stereotype, who is ruining his cousin Danny’s life with his yearly visits. These three interweaving stories, spanning from the 16th century to the present and seemingly unrelated, come together at the end with a wholly unexpected twist. An action-packed modern fable which explores issues of Chinese American identity, anti-Asian racism, and assimilation.”

  2. Should the synopsis in the Pitchfest pitches contain comp titles?…within the 750 character limit, of course. I know regular pitches queries should contain comps, but what about synopses for this pitch in particular?
    I also asked this on the Mighty Networks feed.

    1. You can write the synopsis however you want. If you think mentioning a comp or two would be helpful, and it fits within the character limit, that’s fine! The goal of the synopsis is, of course, to give editors and agents a clear idea of the story. And since this is a short synopsis, it’s basically an elevator pitch.

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