Second Chance Pitch Slam is here! Please read below for rules, and information on how to participate!
If you have already participated in Pitch Slam 2, Second Chance Pitch Slam is a chance to be seen and read again, only this time, by a group of great small presses interested in reading your work whether historical, contemporary, paranormal, science fiction or something of a mash-up! Judges hail from InkSpell Publishing, Tribute Books, Magpie Eclectic Press and Month9Books!
For a list of participating publisher bios, click here!
PLEASE DO NOT COMMENT, ADD PITCHES OR OTHERWISE UPDATE, DELETE, REMOVE, INCLUDE, ADD, REVISE, RESPOND, ETC. to any of the below pitches unless you are one of the participating judges. All of the rules of Pitch Slam 2 apply to Second Chance Pitch Slam. Please be sure to read the rules prior to posting. All comments not made by judges will be deleted.
If a judge/small press wants to see more of your submission, they will reply with a note asking you to send it. Judges may not comment on your submission, or they may give their opinion about how to improve. PLEASE DO NOT RESPOND TO COMMENTS, QUESTIONS, RHETORICAL QUESTIONS.
Judges will read your pitches July 1-14, 2012. For those of you who did not originally participate in Pitch Slam 2, you will have a chance again in September when we hold Pitch Slam 3.
The pitches will be 5-6 sentences in length and should be pasted in the COMMENTS section with your full name and title of the work. No pitch longer than 6 sentences will be considered. The pitch should give the reader an idea of what the story is about, including the major conflict. For example, below is a pitch for Harrry Potter.
"Harry Potter is the most miserable, lonely boy you can imagine. He’s shunned by his relatives, and forced to live in the cupboard under the stairs. Harry’s world gets turned upside down on his 11th birthday, when an invite to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry arrives. He learns of the evil Lord Voldemort who killed his parents, and then tried and failed to kill Harry when he was an infant. Harry later learns he was saved for a reason." -- from Wiki Summaries
Members will enter pitches beginning Monday May 28, 2012 at 9AM EST. You may post pitches (as many as you have) any time between Monday May 28, 2012 and Monday June 4, 2012. YOU MAY ONLY POST PITCHES FOR TITLES THAT ARE COMPLETE.
Agent judges may read and respond pitches at any time.
During the week of June 4-11 however, agent judges will read and respond to/comment on pitches.
Judges will be looking for their top 5 pitches (per judge). A total of TWENTY (there are 4 judges) members will have a chance to revise and resubmit based on agent feedback. These are the TWENTY finalists. You may ONLY revise and resubmit IF a judge requests that you do so in the comments they make to you. Judges are instructed to ignore any revise and resubs which have not been approved.
Upon completion of pitch review, judges will POST their top 5 pitches by author and title, establishing the top 20 finalists ON June 22 no later than 3PM EST. So be sure to check back then!
Once posted, those finalists will have a chance to revise and repost during the weekend of June 22-30, 2012.
Judges will review the revised pitches and choose 1 (each judge) as winners: 1. The best and 2. A second best, and 3. Runner up, by July 15.
The four who win the top designation will be awarded a full manuscript critique from whichever judge has chosen them. However, judges may request more than one manuscript from members of the top twenty, or from ANY pitch they like, regardless of whether the pitch itself made it into the top twenty.
Pitch Slam 2 Agent Judge Profiles
Tamar Rydzinski worked at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates prior to joining the Laura Dail Literary Agency. She graduated from Yeshiva University in 2003 with a major in literature and a minor in business.
Tamar is not interested in prescriptive or practical non-fiction, humor, coffee table books or children’s books (meaning anything younger than middle grade). She is interested in everything else that is well-written and has great characters, including graphic novels. A fantastic query letter is essential – “you need to make me want to read your book, and be excited to read it,” she says, “with those first couple of paragraphs.”
Pam van Hylckama Vlieg joined Larsen Pomada as an Associate Literary Agent in 2012 to represent young adult and middle grade children's book authors. Over the past four years Pam has become one of the top YA book bloggers in the country at Bookalicious.org. She partners her blog with Hicklebee's, a children's bookstore in San Jose, CA.
Pam writes fantastical YA and MG fiction and is represented by Laurie McLean, also of Larsen Pomada Literary Agents. She lives in the Bay Area of California with her Dutch husband, two children--a boy and a girl the perfect set--a Jack Russell terrier, a bulldog puppy, and a small guinea pig. It is her greatest dream to own a menagerie.
Michelle Witte* is an agent at the Mansion Street Literary Agency. She is interested a variety of YA & MG fiction, including: Magical realism (think Sarah Addison Allen for teens/tweens), Obscure fairytale retellings (Just say no to 12 Dancing Princesses!), Fantasy, Supernatural (creatures you run from, not date), Sci-fi, Mystery/Suspense, Adventure, Contemporary realistic, Historical. Michelle is a bit weary of Paranormal Romance and Dystopian at the moment. She would love to find a great manuscript that is:
Elana Roth* is an agent at Red Tree Literary. She's a Brooklyn-based creative type, specifically of the word variety. After 4 years of agenting at other people's companies, she opened Red Tree Literary to continue working with a select list of children's and young adult authors on her own.
How she fell in love with children's content is a long story that begins by sheer dumb luck with an internship at Nickelodeon Magazine. Books followed when she began working as an editor at Parachute Publishing, where she spent 5 years learning the publishing ropes on series for kids of all ages (and that includes some adults). She switched to agenting in 2008.
Educationally, Elana is a graduate of Barnard College and the Jewish Theological Seminary, where she earned degrees in English literature and Bible. Surprisingly, it's that second degree which comes more in handy when trying to make conversation at cocktail parties.
* YALITCHAT.ORG member
ADVICE FOR A SUCCESFUL PITCH
Pitches are open to members of YALITCHAT.ORG, regardless of tier. Do encourage friends who aren't members to join, and pitch their Young Adult or Middle Grade titles.
DO pitch only Young Adult and Middle Grade titles. May be speculative, contemporary, historical, non-fiction.
DO test your pitch out in Query Kick-Around or First Pages for feedback from other YALITCHAT.ORG members.
DO have a friend or colleague read your pitch for clarity, spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
DO use as many lines are as needed to form a fully-realized pitch.
DO sample pitches online for the proper format. Google is your friend.
DO NOT present the same pitch more than once.
DO NOT delete a previous pitch that was commented on by an agent judge, because it had errors, and replace it with a new one. The new one will NOT be read.
DO NOT PITCH AGENTS OUTSIDE OF PITCH SLAM. That means, on twitter, on Facebook OR on YALITCHAT.ORG.
DO NOT RESPOND TO PITCHES thanking agents for commenting or asking for clarity. DO NOT RESPONG TO PITCHES AT ALL, UNLESS ASKED TO DO SO.
DO NOT SEND EMAILS TO GEORGIA MCBRIDE ASKING IF YOU CAN REPOST YOUR PITCH, REGARDLESS OF THE REASON. YOUR REQUEST WILL NOT BE READ.
DO NOT pitch a title that has not been written, or in is the process of being written, or you are considering writing, etc. YOU MAY ONLY PITCH COMPLETED, fully revised, and edited titles.
DO NOT PLAGIARIZE another's idea, pitch or story, or in any way present it as your own. Our staff will troll the forum during pitch slam to remove and disqualify vastly similar stories.
DO NOT ask an agent judge about the status of your pitch.
DO NOT add anything other than your 6-line pitch to the comment, except your full name, work title, genre, category. For example: Georgia McBride, YA Fantasy, BEWARE THE GODS, Pitch: Greatest book ever written by a human. You know you want it.
DO NOT claim to have the greatest book ever, or that your title is like another well-published title. Just pitch your book.
DO NOT post questions or anything other than pitches in the comments section. DO NOT COMMENT ON OTHER pitches, or offer feedback or support below. COMMENTS ARE FOR JUDGES ONLY.
Wishing you all the best of luck. This forum will open for comments on Monday May 28, 2012. If you have any problems pitching, or posting, please contact member support at email@example.com, and someone will respond to your note within 48-hours.
When the zombie attacks start, a small group of teens, and one seven-year-old girl, lock down the high school in hopes of keeping the undead out. With three members of their group injured already, they all fear infection. Erwin is hell-bent on keeping the group together, despite the animosities amongst them. But when arguments arise about whether to hunker down or seek safety elsewhere, it becomes clear that he can’t save them all. He must decide whether to stay or go, and who he’s willing to leave behind.
FLESH-EATING ZOMBIES AND EVIL EX-GIRLFRIENDS, YA horror
As Pam mentioned, This Is Not a Test is already out there, and your premise sounds so similar that I think you'll have a hard time getting anyone to bite. Plus I've seen one or two other books recently pub that have similar concepts as well. You'll probably hate to hear this, but you might better spend your time on a different project.
Agree with both Pam and Michelle. There's not a lot of original story element here or hook to pull me in on this one. Also, the gender flip is a little odd to me...I could see a girl stuck with the new obnoxious girlfriend of her ex and being annoyed by it, but not feeling the same chemistry for a boy MC.
I'm not much of a Zombie-horror fan myself, but from this pitch I would say that I've seen similar plot-lines in games and other books already. Also, I'm not really sure where the plot actually is, from what I've read of the pitch; it feels like it could be all over the place, or else not really there at all. I would suggest tightening this pitch (if possible) so that the true driving force behind the story becomes more evident... more vital to your character's motives. :)
It's a great title, but I am hard-pressed to see where the real plot is. When pitching, be concise, but also make sure the reader understands the premise fully. Having said that, I am a sucker for great titles. Please send your first chapter to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with Yalitchat pitch slam in subject line. Please also send your original pitch. Thanks!
Ten-year-old Elizabeth is less than thrilled about having to spend her summer in the middle of nowhere with a great-aunt she hardly knows, until she meets Fiona. Fiona is a fairy with a torn wing (thanks to Aunt Louise's cat) and a grumpy disposition. Elizabeth joins the fairy on a quest to save Fiona's sister from a frog and crown her as the Fairy Queen.
ELIZABETH AND THE FAIRIES, MG fantasy
This sounds adorable. A bit too close again to the Night Fairy. I hate to keep saying that to you. Reading deeply into your genres would help you come up with pitches that didn't read like the back of already published books.
This makes me think of The Fairy Rebel by Lynne Reid Banks, which I adored as a child. Like Pam said, it sounds very close to several titles. It sounds like you might be having a hard time taking the query from the generic book flap copy to something that will grab readers, dig its claws in, and shake them until they read the book.
Since the concept you describe is similar to several others, what is the thing that makes it totally, completely different from any other book ever? Start there, and build your query around that. Make us pay attention.
Again, just a few too many familiar elements here, but without a new configuration to give it a new spin. What else can the story offer beside a kid being forced to a rural area to hang out with a quirky old aunt? And just by way of grammatical clarity...which "her" needs to be crowned fairy queen? Elizabeth, Fiona or Fiona's sister? It's murky and so I don't understand the end-game.
This book sounds adorable! :) And I have always been a fan of fairies and their ilk. To point out a few places that I feel might be considered technically "weak", I would say that it needs a more evident driving force or motive behind your characters actions... at least within the pitch itself.
However, I would still like to take a look at the manuscript. Please send your original pitch, query, and the first three chapters of your manuscript (including the prologue, if you have one) to email@example.com. Also, please include your name and contact information in the body of the email, as well as the Title "Yalichat Second Chance Pitch Slam" in the subject line. Thank you! :D
Locked in the witch's house, controled by her magic, Gretel learns of the witch's past. Vanity and desperation caused her to make a deal that ruined her life. Now Gretel's the one who's desperate and the witch is looking to make a new deal. Gretel wants to save her brother, but will she risk turning into a wicked witch herself?
GRETEL, MG fairytale retelliing
I love the sound of this one. I wonder how dark it really is. Good work on getting me interested here!