A Kids & YA Graphic Novel Pitch
Gallery and Industry Panel
KCU Pitchfest is a gallery showcase of unpublished graphic novel projects that are reviewed by a panel of top agents and editors!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.
Jury of Agents and Publishers
- Andrea Cascardi, Literary Agent, Transatlantic Agency
- Anjali Singh, Literary Agent, Pande Literary
- Britt Siess, President, Britt Siess Creative Management
- Bunmi Ishola, Editor, Waterbrook Multnomah
- Chelsea Eberly, Director and Literary Agent, Greenhouse Literary Agency
- Chris Duffy, Executive Editor, Union Square & Co.
- Christie Megill, Associate Agent, The CAT Agency
- Erinn Pascal, Senior Editor, Andrews McMeel Kids
- Fiona Kenshole, Literary Agent, Transatlantic Agency
- Jasmine Richards, Editorial Director and Founder, Storymix, United Kingdom
- Jenniea Carter, Literary Associate, New Leaf Literary and Media
- Kathleen Ortiz, Licensing and Literary Agent, KO Media Management
- Kristie Choi, Assistant Editor, Atheneum/Simon & Schuster
- Maria Vicente, Senior Literary Agent, P.S. Literary Agency
- Megan Peace, Senior Editor, Scholastic Graphic
- Rachel Diebel, Editor, Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan
- Serah-Marie McMahon, Senior Editor, Annick Press, Canada
- Shana Corey, Editorial Director, Random House
- Shannon Gallagher, Associate Agent, Wernick & Pratt Agency
- Sophie Splatt, Senior Editor, Allen and Unwin, Australia
Sep. 6, 2023 — KidlitGN + KCU Pitchfest Info Session (RSVP here)
Sep. 9, 2023 — How to Pitch Your Graphic Novel Workshop (purchase ticket here)
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
- $95 Gallery Submission + Industry Panel Event
- $50 Industry Panel Event Only
KC Studio Members
- 20% Discount
Submission Terms & Eligibility
*Please note that submission requirements have not been finalized and are subject to change.*
Registration for the Pitchfest Gallery opens on October 10th and ends on October 24th 11:59 PM EST.
- 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)
- Two to four sample spreads or 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)
- One (1) 800x800px 72 dpi thumbnail image of your cover art to be placed in the Gallery view.
- Two to four complete, full color spreads (4-8 pages) of your graphic novel. No larger than 1800px wide at 72 dpi. Sequential pages are strongly recommended. They will be placed on your Project Details Page.
Here is an example by Brigitta Blair:
- One (1) 800x800px 72 dpi thumbnail image of your title to be placed in the Gallery view.
- Six (6) pages of your graphic novel script corresponding to six (6) pages of the graphic novel (each page should be one page of the graphic novel). They will be placed on your Project Details Page.
Here is an example by Bailey Culver:
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.
Please contact Lisa Lowry at email@example.com with any questions related to the submission guidelines or registration.