The submission period for proposals is now closed. Thank you to those who submitted to the competition. Check back soon for updates on future Pitchfest events. 


Do you have a great idea for a nonfiction book in science or technology, broadly defined? Editors receive hundreds of inquires each year. What makes one book project stand out from the rest? In the spirit of fun and fostering the Boston publishing scene, the MIT Press invites you  to submit your proposal to its first-ever Pitchfest competition.

Six finalists will be selected to present their projects before a panel of judges on October 13, 2018 at the Boston Book Festival in Boston, Massachusetts. The winner will be given the opportunity to workshop a full-fledged book proposal with an MIT Press editor, get advice on how to navigate the publishing world, and receive a $1000 cash prize.

How Does it Work?

The submission deadline for proposals no longer than 300 words, along with a homegrown pitch video, is September 1. Finalists will be notified September 17 and invited to participate in Pitchfest in front of a live audience on October 13 at the Boston Book Festival. The winner will be announced at the event.

Submission Criteria

  • Proposals should focus on non-fiction work in science or technology, broadly defined. Interdisciplinary projects are encouraged.
  • Proposal of no longer than 300 words that simply describes, in a few paragraphs, the project, its author, its primary field, its intended readership, and the contribution it will make or need it will fill.
  • A two-minute, homegrown, pitch video. Pitchfest Video Instructions
  • Essay proposals must be written in English.
  • Your name, email address, brief bio, and a working title are required.
  • Although The MIT Press will take reasonable measures to prevent the public disclosure of your submission unless you are chosen as a finalist, submission of a proposal to The MIT Press does not create any contract between you and The MIT Press, or impose on The MIT Press any legal or equitable duty.  Furthermore, by submitting a book proposal you agree that The MIT Press will have no obligation to you with respect to your proposal except pursuant to a formal written publishing agreement.  Without limitation of these conditions, you expressly waive any claim you may have based on any alleged resemblance between the ideas or other content of your proposal and any book or other publication that may hereafter be published by The MIT Press.

Key Dates

September 1, 2018: Proposal submission deadline at 5pm EST
September 17, 2018: Finalists notified and invited to proceed to the next round
October 13, 2018: Pitchfest competition at the Boston Book Festival in Boston, Massachusetts

Share Your Book Idea with Us

Apply for Pitchfest 


Q: Who is eligible to submit a proposal?
A: This is an open competition and anyone is welcome to submit a proposal.

Q: What should I pitch?
A: The judges will consider proposals for nonfiction work in science or technology, broadly defined.

Subject areas may include, but are not limited to: Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology; Algorithms for Fairness and Privacy; Anthropology and Paleontology; Astronomy and Astrophysics; Biodiversity and Extinction; Biotechnology; Complexity; The Brain and Human Behavior; Climate Change Mitigation; Cryptography and Blockchains; Cybersecurity; Energy; Environmental Science; Future of Food; Human-Robot Interaction; Immunology and Microbiology; Infectious Disease and Epidemics; Mathematical Conjectures; Nuclear Science and Engineering; Oceanography; Sustainable, Resilient, Smart Communities; and Thermodynamics, Chaos, and Complexity.

Q: How many pitch slots are available?
A: There are six pitch slots available.

Q: Can I submit more than one proposal?
A: No. Due to limited time and resources, we will be accepting one proposal per applicant. If an applicant submits more than one proposal, we will read and consider the first one submitted.

Q: What is the deadline for proposals submissions?
A: The deadline for proposals is September 1, 2018 at 5pm EST.

Q: Is there a word limit for proposals?
A: Proposals should be no longer than 300 words.

Q: Can I submit my proposal in a language other than English?
A: No. Unfortunately, we can review proposals written only in English.

Q: Will you consider co-authored projects?
A: No. Unfortunately, we cannot consider co-authored projects for this competition.

Q: Do I have to submit a pitch video?
A: Yes. All written proposals must be accompanied by a two-minute, homegrown, pitch video. For more information on creating a video, please see our Pitchfest Video Instructions.

Q: When will you notify applicants about the next phase of the competition?
A: Finalists will be notified on September 17, 2018.

Q: What happens if my proposal is selected for Pitchfest?
A: Finalists will be invited to pitch their project before a panel of judges and a live audience at the Boston Book Festival in Boston, MA on October 13, 2018. More information about the format of the event will be communicated at this time.

Q: Where is Pitchfest?
A: Pitchfest will be held at the Boston Book Festival in Copley Square in Boston, MA.

Q: What is the Boston Book Festival?
A: The largest annual literary event in New England, the Boston Book Festival is a free, day-long event featuring over 200 authors, 25,000 visitors, and a lively street fair.

Q: Do I have to participate in Pitchfest on October 13 at the Boston Book Festival in order to win?
A: Yes. In order to win you must participate in the live competition at the Boston Book Festival on October 13 in Boston, MA.

Q: If selected as a finalist, will the MIT Press provide funding for travel or accommodations?
A: No. Finalists will be expected to provide their own funds for travel and accommodations.

Q: Who are the judges?
A: The judging committee will be made up of MIT Press editors, authors, and professionals from the publishing industry.

Q: What if I win Pitchfest?
A: The winner will receive the opportunity to work with an MIT Press editor to develop a full-fledged book proposal, advice on where to submit it, and a $1000 cash prize.

Q: How can I share news about this contest with others?
A: Please spread the word about the competition by linking to our Announcement when posting on social media. Please also follow the MIT Press on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter at the handle @MITPress.

Q: Who can I contact if I have a question about or issue with my submission?
A: Please contact Kate Silverman Wilson, Community and Resource Development Associate, kswilson@mit.edu.