Pitch-slam weekend is here! Please read below for rules, and information on how to praticipate!
The pitches will be 4-5 lines in length and should be pasted in the COMMENTS section with your full name and title of the work. Nothing longer than 4-5 lines will be considered. The pitch should give the reader an idea of what the story is about. 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 Friday January 13, 2012 at 3PM EST thru Sunday at midnight EST. Agents may read pitches at any time.
During the week of January 16-19 however, judges will read and respond to/comment on pitches.
Judges will be looking for their top 5 pitches (per judge). A total of TEN members will have a chance to revise and resubmit based on agent feedback. These are the TEN finalists.
Upon completion of pitch review, judges will POST their top 5 pitches by author and title, establishing the top 15 finalists ON January 20 no later than 3PM EST. So be sure to check back then!
Once posted, those finalists will have a chance to resubmit and repost during the weekend of Jan 20-22, 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 Jan 23
The two who win the top designation will be awarded a full manuscript critique from whichever judge has chosen them. The 3rd will win a gift from Sourcebooks Fire and YALITCHAT.ORG, TBD.
Pitch-Slam Judge Profiles
Rachael Dugas joined Talcott Notch Literary as an Associate Agent in June 2011. She earned her BA in English from Ithaca College and has worked as an editorial intern at Sourcebooks, where she assisted with their women's fiction, romance, and Jane Austen-related titles. Rachael currently represents cookbooks and young adult, middle grade, and adult fiction in the contemporary, paranormal, women's, and romance genres. She would also love a beautifully written historical and/or literary fiction, some really terrific memoir, and more fun, contemporary YA or adult fiction, especially pertaining to food or the performing arts.
Carlie Webber refused to major in English in college because no one would let her read Stephen King or R.L. Stine for class. She took her love of young adult and genre fiction to the University of Pittsburgh, where she obtained a Master of Library and Information Science, and worked as a YA librarian and reviewer for publications including Kirkus Reviews. Wishing to explore her interest in the business side of books, she decided to switch from librarianship to publishing and enrolled in the Columbia Publishing Course. Now she is building her agenting career on her favorite genres: young adult, middle grade, romance, horror, mystery, suspense, thrillers, literary fiction, contemporary fantasy and women's fiction. Her ongoing submissions wishlist includes but is not limited to high-concept YA, literary suspense, grunge era nostalgia and things that go bump in the night. Carlie is also a member of the YALITCHAT.ORG Submissions Panel!
Website: Jane Rostrosen Literary Agency
(will not be offering editorial prizes, will read and comment on pitches)
Leah acquires YA fiction for the Sourcebooks Fire imprint, original single title romance for Sourcebooks Casablanca and select romance reprints for Casablanca Classics. She's looking for projects with a fresh premise, a lively pace and a solid marketing hook. YA should appeal to the older teen market with crossover adult potential. The romance can be any subgenre: contemporary, paranormal, historical, romantic suspense, fantasy, time travel, or any combination thereof. Please submit cover letter in the body of an email with full manuscript (if available) or first 3 chapters and a synopsis attached as Word documents. Leah is also a member of the YALITCHAT.ORG Submissions Panel!
I do agree with Leah that this may need a bit of work to stand out. However, if I just look at this as an example of query writing, I would definitely commend what you've done here. The writing is fairly interesting and clear and I would certainly read more.
It sounds like the point of view of your novel shifts halfway through the book. Is that so? If it is, that might be something to mention just to avoid confusion. Other than the ending ("he realizes..." is too weak a verb to use when you've clearly set up the idea that he's going to have to pull some heroic stunts in order to protect the princess), I think this is a good pitch.
Two killers pulse through Anna’s veins. One hunts by force and cunning, the other by subtle allure. Wolves and vampires are mortal enemies, a union should have been impossible, and a child of that union is an atrocity.
When two brothers come searching for her, one from each feuding side of her blood, they begin a waterfall of events which spark a war within her blood. Their protective love turns into a battle for her life and she can’t escape the deadly mix, because it’s inside her they’re destined to collide.
IN MY BLOOD By Julie Christine Geistfeld
Nice job with the pitch. After Twilight, though, it's tricky to do vampire/werewolf YA unless you're able to create a mythology all your own. If you have that, help it shine more in the pitch.
This pitch is too nebulous for my liking, a lot of dramatic words and images but very little action.
I, personally, am a little lukewarm about this. I think you've done a decent job, but I do think there is room for improvement. For a specific example, the following sentence bugs me: "Wolves and vampires are mortal enemies, a union should have been impossible, and a child of that union is an atrocity". This shouldn't just be a list separated by commas--it's crying out for some more dramatic punctuation choices, in my opinion. Also, catching my attention with a paranormal is a bit of a challenge these days.
Wrectify by Beth Christopher
When a mysterious woman grants Summer the power to spirit walk – the native Hawaté ability to time travel – Summer is catapulted in and out of 1927 Montana, where she befriends rugged young rancher, Eli Ford. She’d do anything to stop her mother’s fatal car wreck, but by accepting the help of a manipulative spirit walker, her attempt to rectify the past may cost Eli his life, and could destroy Summer’s very existence.
Elements are a little confusing here. Does she spirit walk to help prevent the mother's car accident? Is she frustrated she can't do that from 1927? I like that you're taking an unusual premise and an unusual time period. As you pitch agents, you'll want to take a close look at the entire category and see what trends this might be taking advantage of in the marketplace. If you can't find any, it's going to be hard for them to pitch editors, so you may need to adjust either the location, paranormal element or time period.
This sounds like an interesting story and I would say you've compelled me to learn more, so congratulations. However, I think there are many places in need of explanation/restructuring. The intrigue is here, but keep playing that up, but do try to be as clear as possible even as you paint this mysterious story.
Leah and Rachael - thanks so much for your kind words and helpful feedback. Much appreciated!
I'm not entirely clear on the timeline. It sounds to me like the car accident happens in 1927, which I'm pretty sure isn't the case. What you have here is a lot of plot outline but not enough about the people who drive the story. Tell us why these people and this time period make your book different.
Unwilling by Crystal Hidalgo
She has a secret she doesn’t know she’s keeping; he has a secret he never meant to tell.
Three years have passed since Emma was kidnapped. No one can explain how she ended up safely at home months after she went missing, least of all Emma, whose only memory comes in the form of a reoccurring nightmare. By chance, she meets an unusual loner and hope sparks. Life looks like it’s finally turning around until she discovers that the past she’s been working so hard to forget isn’t quite finished with her yet.