A Kids & YA Graphic Novel Pitch
Gallery and Industry Panel

2023 Jury  |  ’22 Showcase  |  ’22 Winners  |  Terms & Eligibility |  Pitching Tips |  FAQ

KCU Pitchfest is a gallery showcase of unpublished graphic novel projects that are reviewed by a panel of top agents and editors!
You can submit your pitch to be considered from Oct. 10-24th. A jury of distinguished agents and editors then review and vote on the projects.
Winners will be announced at a live event on November 4th. The Pitchfest Gallery will be shared widely with agents, editors, and art directors across the industry.
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Jury of Agents and Publishers

Read full bios >>

 

Key Dates

Oct. 10 – Oct. 24, 2023 — KCU Pitchfest Gallery Submission Period

Oct. 24, 2023 11:59pm EST — Deadline for submitting pitches to the Pitchfest Gallery.

Nov. 4, 2023 — KCU Pitchfest Gallery Reveal and Industry Panel.

KCU Pitchfest Ticket Prices

General Public

  • $95 Gallery Submission + Industry Panel Event
  • $50 Industry Panel Event Only

KC Studio Members

Discounts and Parity Pricing

We are offering a few options for individuals who can’t afford the full cost. Use the discount code: “50%off”

1. Students may purchase a ticket at 50% off the full ticket price. This is done on the honor system. Please use the following definition when purchasing a student ticket:

Student: A full-time student at the undergraduate or graduate level at the time of the Pitchfest competition.

2. Those who would experience financial difficulty in purchasing a full price ticket may purchase a ticket at 50% off the full ticket price. This is done on the honor system.

3. For our international entries, please email us for international parity pricing at hello@kidscomicsunite.com

4. If the price of entry at any level is a hardship for you, please contact us at hello@kidscomicsunite.com. We don’t want anyone to be unable to submit because of lack of funds.

Pitchfest Gallery
Submission Terms & Eligibility

*Please note that submission requirements have not been finalized and are subject to change.*

Deadline

Registration for the Pitchfest Gallery opens on October 10th and ends on October 24th 11:59 PM EST.

Eligibility

  • You must be 18+ years old.
  • Authors and illustrators of any nationality are eligible to submit a project (we currently have jurors from the United States, Canada, and Australia).
  • Pitches need to be in English so our judges may evaluate them.
  • Your pitch must be unpublished and not acquired by a publisher at the time of submission.
  • You may be agented or unagented.
  • Kids-YA graphic novel projects of any length and hybrid-picture books in comic format are eligible.
  • We welcome author-illustrator partnerships and teams.

The Voting Process

In October 2023, a jury of agents and publishers will look through the submitted projects and vote. The projects which receive the most votes will go into the showcase in the order of vote count. On Nov. 4th, 2023 the Pitchfest Gallery will be revealed and the top 5 voted projects will be presented with prizes (more info coming soon).

Here is an article explaining how the 2022 Pitchfest Voting happened. Please note that the judging procedure has not been finalized and is subject to change.

This year, a selection of the submitted pitches will be displayed in the final gallery. (In our previous Pitchfest, we displayed all the submitted pitches in the final showcase.) We don’t yet know how many projects will be selected this year; it’s up to the industry experts on the jury.

Your submission will include the following:

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

Note: the character count includes spaces.

For Author/Illustrators:

  • One (1) 800x800px 72 dpi (.jpg or .jpeg) thumbnail image of your cover art to be placed in the Gallery view.
  • A minimum of two (2) spreads and maximum of four (4) spreads (.jpg or .jpeg). A spread is composed of two pages side by side, like looking at an open book. Each spread must be complete pieces of work and no larger than 1800px wide at 72 dpi. Sequential pages are strongly recommendedEach file size should not exceed 5mb. 

Here is an example by Brigitta Blair:

For Writers:

  • One (1) 800x800px 72 dpi (.jpg or .jpeg) thumbnail image of your title to be placed in the Gallery view.
  • A minimum of four (4) pages and maximum of six (6) pages (.jpg, .jpeg, .png). We recommend using a standard letter size of 8.5×11 inches. You may trim the size if you have a lot of white space. Do not export any larger than 300px dpi. Each file size should not exceed 5mb. 

Here is an example by Bailey Culver:

Pitchfest Showcase submissions are due by Oct. 24th at 11:59pm EST.

If you are a Full-time student OR you can’t afford the full price, please use the discount code: “50%off” to receive half off the submission fee (this applies to one pitch).

If you are a Studio member, please find the 20% off discount code found here (this applies to your full order) or use the 50% off discount code if that applies to you.

If you are an international registrant please contact hello@kidscomicsunite.com for parity pricing options.

If you already have an account on our website, log in using those credentials (if you have purchased anything on the KCU website before, you have an account). Please note this is not the same as your KCU Mighty Network Community login. If you have not purchased anything from the website before, you will be prompted to create a password during checkout.

Ticket sales are closed.

Tickets

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Tickets are no longer available

Frequently Asked Questions

YES all graphic novels for children up to and including YA graphic novels are welcomed.

We would strongly recommend they be sequential but they don't have to be from the start of the book.

If your picture book is in comics format, yes, you can submit a hybrid picture book.

No, we are only accepting pitches in graphic novel format for this competition.

The synopsis is limited to 750 characters. Here's an example of a 714-character synopsis of Gene Luen Yang's AMERICAN BORN CHINESE:

"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.”

Teams should submit together. For example, a writer and illustrator working together on a pitch, should submit ONE complete submission. You will have extra space to submit an additional bio.

When you register for Pitchfest you will need to create an account on the KCU website. For current KCU and Studio members — this is separate from your KCU account on Mighty Network. Our Events/Workshops tickets are purchased through WooCommerce on our website. Creating this new account will not affect your Mighty Network account.

The ticket price goes toward the costs of running Pitchfest Gallery.

Costs associated with this competition include organizing, marketing and promotion, developing and maintaining the website and other administrative costs.

Jury members are not paid to be on the jury. Panelists are paid to speak at the November 4th event.

Your ticket includes the Industry Panel on November 4th.

We are offering a few options for individuals who can’t afford the full cost:

1. Students may purchase a ticket at 50% off the full ticket price. This is done on the honor system. Please use the following definition when purchasing a student ticket:

Student: A full-time student at the undergraduate or graduate level at the time of the Pitchfest competition.

2. Those who would experience financial difficulty in purchasing a full price ticket may purchase a ticket at 50% off the full ticket price. This is done on the honor system.

3. For our international entries, please email us for international parity pricing at hello@kidscomicsunite.com

4. If the price of entry at any level is a hardship for you, please contact us at hello@kidscomicsunite.com. We don’t want anyone to be unable to submit because of lack of funds.

The gallery will be on the KCU website starting on November 4th. The gallery will stay up indefinitely. You can find last year’s gallery on the website here.

While we recognize the top vote getters with badges on the gallery, there is not a winner in the traditional sense of receiving a big prize. The top 3-5 will be given a set of graphic novels.

The purpose of this event is to get creators' work in front of agents and editors. This happens in two ways:

1. A distinguished panel of agents and editors will review each entry and vote on them. You can find the full roster of jury members here.

2. The final gallery will be promoted to hundreds of agents and editors.

The number of pitches that make it into the gallery depends on the number of entries and vote distribution. We don’t have an exact number selected in advance.

No. However, we suggest that you have a full pitch ready to submit to agents or editors if they follow up with you about your work.

You may submit up to three (3) pitches. You must pay the full $95 submission fee for each pitch.

You can find an overview of the voting process for last year’s event here. This year's voting process will be similar. 

The main difference this year is that pitches must receive a certain amount of “Yes” votes to make it into the gallery. The number of votes needed will be determined by the vote spread.

The jury will not be able to provide individual feedback.

However, at the Industry panel on November 4th, some members of the jury will provide feedback on the entries as a whole.

You are welcome to post within the community to ask for feedback before you submit!

Yes. We have judges from Canada, Australia, and the UK. Read their bios here.

Yes, we are requiring all projects to be in English.

No, we will keep your pitch in the gallery and label it as “acquired”. Please let us know if it is! Email hello@kidscomicsunite.com and we will make the adjustment. Or you have the ability to change its status later after you have registered and have an account.

We keep the gallery up indefinitely, so all past years will be viewable.

Please contact Lisa Lowry at hello@kidscomicsunite.com with any questions related to the submission guidelines or registration.