November marked our ninth #FaithPitch contest, and it was a terrific event for writers of Christian fiction and non-fiction seeking representation from an editor or agent. This was our second year to host three events a few months apart, and, while each one had it's own personality, interaction, and content variety, we were inspired by all the writers who took that leap of faith and shared their completed manuscript with all of us via their pitches. So kudos to each of you!
Looking at 2020, we found a few conflicts in the calendar. After reviewing holidays and conference dates as well as drawing on some feedback from industry folks, we had to tweak our dates a bit.
The biggest change will be in November. Historically, our events fall on either Wednesdays or Thursdays and our November date has been either the Wednesday or Thursday before Thanksgiving, but due to where the holiday falls next year and in order to give literary agents and acquisition editors more time to schedule the event on their calendar, we moved our November event up.
The 2020 #FaithPitch dates are as follows:
Thursday - February 27, 2020
Thursday - June 25, 2020
Thursday - November 12, 2020
We've seen an increase in our follower count, which has grown from around 800 to over 1,400 in the past 12 months. This is truly amazing and such fun news for everyone because it means that our there is an interest in our offerings and it brings interest from those within the CBA market.
It also brings helpful authors like Jason T. Voiovich, who re-tweeted almost everyone's pitches during the November event as well as blessed us by documenting our event using Brand24 analytics (THANK YOU Jason!). Much of what he shared was consistent with our previous events, but it was cool to see it listed out as a checkpoint for participants.
November is always an event date where participation will fluctuate due to the holiday, travel plans, NANOWRIMO, and so forth. As a small and niche-focused event, we have grown our numbers each year and this year's final event had a little over 500 participants, and the majority percent of those pitching were for fiction manuscripts. However, our non-fiction pitches have increased from when we first began seeing those pitches in February.
Of those authors in attendance, our highest number participating were in the #picturebook category and our lowest number was for the #STEM category. We personally invited over 50 industry professionals to the event in almost equal amounts between agents and editors, but we did notice that quite a few agents were unavailable or closed to submissions for this year's event date, which explains why this was probably the smallest pool of literary agents we've had in recent memory. Thus, the reason we have made the change to our third event date.
While our numbers don't account for the number of industry folks that jump on quietly or check out pitches after the main portion of the event is over, we do know that we had over 20 "visible" literary agents, including Hope Bolinger with Cyle Young, and acquisition editors from publishing houses small and large, including Anaiah Press and Beaming Books.
After the holidays, it will be lovely to hear from any authors and agents or editors who make a connection from the events this year. We are putting together a quick 10 question survey so we can share more about you, our authors, in the new year.
Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed hosting #FaithPitch in 2019 and we are looking forward to what wonderful authors and manuscripts we will encounter in 2020. We will be making a few tweaks to the guidelines for next year's contests and are working on a blog to share that with you all in January.
Don't forget to join our Twitter handle @Faith_Pitch for the latest news and interactions, and bookmark our website to stay current on guidelines, date changes, and other information pertaining to our event. Lastly, be sure to add our new 2020 dates to your writing calendar! We hope you all have a safe and happy holiday season!