Announcing Pitch-a-Palooza!

One of our major goals is to give creators the opportunity to get their work seen by editors and agents.

So we are very, very excited to announce 2023 Pitch-a-Palooza, a series of graphic novel pitch events starting in early September and culminating in the second annual KCU Pitchfest competition! Pitchfest winners will be announced on November 4th.

This year, we’re partnering with KidLit GN to provide you with a range of ways to participate. Some of the pitching events are free to participants, and others are paid workshops and competitions. 

Sep. 6th Kickoff: KidLit GN + KCU Pitchfest Info Session

The kickoff event in our lineup is KidLit GN + KCU Pitchfest Info Session on September 6th.  This FREE event will be an opportunity to learn all about the upcoming pitching events, learn how to submit your pitch, and ask your questions!  You can register for this FREE event here.

Sep 9th: How to Pitch Your Graphic Novel Workshop

The next event is a Pitching Workshop on September 9th. I will be joined by creators Ken Lamug, Annette Hashitate, David Rickert, and Urania Smith for this half day workshop focused on all the ins and outs of pitching a graphic novel, and what you need to focus on when pitching your work. 

This event will include case studies of successful graphic novel pitches as well as live critiques. You’ll have the opportunity to submit your work in advance, and we’ll select a few submissions for live review.

Our goal with this event is to teach you everything you need to know to put together an effective pitch, and answer all your questions! We want you to be fully prepared when it’s time to submit your pitch to agents and editors.

Buy your tickets here!

Oct 1-6: KidLit GN Pitch Event

Next up is the annual KidLit GN Pitch Event which will take place in early October. This is a FREE pitch showcase hosted annually on KidlitGN’s website. KidLit GN is widely known and respected in the industry – agents and editors are waiting to review your work on their site!

The submission window opens on October 1st and closes on October 3rd. The website gallery is open for editors and agents to review and request from Oct. 4th through Oct 6.

Browse through KidLitGN’s website to read success stories, tips, and helpful information all about graphic novel pitching.

Oct 10-Nov 4: KCU Pitchfest Competition

On October 10th we will open KCU Pitchfest for submissions!!!  KCU Pitchfest is a juried competition with an entrance fee. Your work will be reviewed and voted on by a panel of outstanding graphic novel agents and editors. 

We are extremely excited to announce the confirmed judges on this year’s jury. They include:

  • Andrea Cascardi, Transatlantic Agency
  • Anjali Singh, Pande Literary
  • Britt Siess, Britt Siess Creative Management
  • Bunmi Ishola, Waterbrook Multnomah Kids
  • Chris Duffy, Union Square and Co.
  • Christie Megill, CAT Agency
  • Fiona Kenshole, Transatlantic Agency
  • Jenniea Carter, New Leaf Literary and Media
  • Kathleen Ortiz, KO Media Management
  • Kristie Choi, Atheneum/Simon & Schuster
  • Maria Vicente, PS Literary
  • Megan Peace, Scholastic Graphix
  • Rachel Diebel, Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan
  • Serah-Marie McMahon, Annick Press [Canada]
  • Shana Corey, Penguin Random House
  • Sophie Splatt, Allen and Unwin [Australia]

We will announce additional judges as they are confirmed.

On November 4th we will host our Pitchfest: Industry Panel and Gallery Launch. This event will include a “State of the Industry Panel,” at which a panel of editors and agents will discuss the latest trends in Kids and YA graphic novel publishing; what’s working and what’s not; and predictions for the future. We expect a lively discussion – and you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions directly to the panelists.

The crowning moment at this event will be the unveiling of the online 2023 Pitchfest Gallery! We’ll announce the top winners, and the agents and editors on the panel will discuss why their pitches are particularly effective. 

This is a ticketed event soon to be purchasable from the KCU website.

We got tremendous feedback from industry pros on the talent showcased in last year’s Pitchfest Gallery, and anticipate that this year’s showcase will get even more attention!

To sign up for an email notification click here.

Any Questions?

If you have any questions about the events listed above, please leave a comment below. And don’t forget to RSVP for our Info Session on September 6th! We’d love to see you there!

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.

4 thoughts on “Announcing Pitch-a-Palooza!

  1. Hi Janna,
    Thanks for all this great info. It sounds like a really exciting opportunity.
    I have two quick questions: Is this event open for authors who have a GN script to present, but no artwork? And, will further instructions about how much and what to pitch for both the Pitchfest and #kidlitGN be made available?

    Again, thanks for all you do for this community,
    Audrey

    1. Hi Audrey!
      Yes, we’re super excited too! The Pitchfest event is open to authors who have a GN script but no artwork.

      And yes, we do have further instructions on how to pitch for these events available.

      You can get more detail about the KidLitGN Pitch event on their website here: https://kidlitgn.com/general-information/

      You can get more detail about KCU’s Pitchfest competition on our website here: https://kidscomicsunite.com/kcu-pitchfest-2023/ (There is an FAQ section at the bottom of the page.)

      We are also hosting a free Info Session with KidLitGN on Zoom on Sept 6th. You can sign up here: https://kids-comics-unite.mn.co/events/kidlitgn-kcu-pitchfest-info-session.

  2. Thank you for these wonderful opportunities. I’m hoping to pitch a GN in one of two (or both) upcoming opportunities ( Pitchapalooza Oct. 1-3, and Pitchfest October 10-24). I’m very curious about the difference between the two opportunities other than cost. Can you please inform?

    1. Hi Kate! The main difference between them is that Pitchfest is a juried competition. So a panel of 20 agents and editors will be reviewing and voting on all the pitches. The winning pitches will be displayed in a public gallery that we promote to a large mailing list of industry professionals, and remains on our website indefinitely.

      The KidLitGN pitch event is an online event that evolved from a Twitter pitch event, so it is modeled very similarly to that. Industry pros are invited to view the pitches on the KidLitGN website during a specific open viewing period.

      I hope that answers your questions!

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