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!
My main criticism is that I have a hard time getting excited about vampires these days, but I do like the idea that vampirism might be curable. Just examining the technical aspects, I do think you've done a fairly nice job here. The language is interesting and compelling and it does make me want to read on. The last sentence does irk me a bit, however, as it's so impersonal. I think it might be more interesting framed in the context of your characters and I would encourage you to explore this.
Sara by Marsha Lytle
Growing up in a FLDS Compound in Texas has shielded fifteen-year-old Sara Evans from the outside world, until she’s faced with the prospect of marrying a 72-year-old man. She’s willing to risk learning on the run, as she flees at her first opportunity, soon finding herself the suspect in a high profile murder case. She stays one step ahead of the authorities, but can’t escape the tormented dreams of possible child abuse at the hands of the man her father pledged her to
I like the FLDS aspect, but the murder made it veer straight to "Witness" territory for me. I'm not sure you need both the child-bride and the murder here--it starts to strain believability for me. What's the worse threat: being on her own, or the nightmares? Make sure you end on the strongest, most dramatic hook.
The first thing that strikes me here is that there's really a lot going on--keeping it straight makes my head spin a little! I would also comment that your title seems like a bit of a cop-out. If I just saw "Query: Sara by Marsha Lytle" as a subject line in my inbox, I can't say it would get me all that excited about reading the query.
I have a thing for books about fundamentalist religions and cults and on that alone I'd take a look at your sample pages, but for those who aren't fascinated the way I am, I think this pitch could be a hard sell. It's not clear how the prospect of marriage brings her knowledge of the outside world; has she never seen older men marrying young girls in her compound before? I like that she's a murder suspect but I'm not sure how you've made that fit in with the overall story.
The Gathering Darkness
They say, "The third time's the charm"...maybe the third lifetime is too.
They say, "The third time's the charm," and for sixteen-year-old Brooke Day they had better be right. She's been here before--twice in fact. Now in her third lifetime, Brooke must stay alive until the equinox when she will be granted a limited time of ancient power. Only then will she be able to defeat the evil that has plagued her for centuries and attain her heart's desire--to live past the age of sixteen.
This is too vague for me to have a clear sense of what the actual threat is. How long is it until the equinox (to show urgency)? Why might she NOT stay alive (set up conflict)? When/where is this set (to show world-building)?
Agreed--way too vague. I see threads of a nice sly, edgy story, but not enough to make me read on.
Third on the "too vague." Who are these people, where do they live, and what's at stake for Brooke?
The Devil's Flower
In order to save millions of souls from darkness, eighteen-year-old Rosalie Lockwood is wiling to give up hers. The Dark and Light Realms collide as Rosalie chooses between life, death and the ever-after to become that which she is fated to destroy.
Eighteen-year-old Rosalie Lockwood gets more than she's bargained for when she falls for Darkstar, the half-human she is fated to destroy. The only way to prove to him that she is not the killer he fears is to deliver his soul from Hell. But in order to do that, she must become soulless herself.
The "hers" in the first sentence doesn't have a direct antecedent, but I assume you mean "soul." The second sentence doesn't really have any meaning. Hook 2 gets a little closer to telling me what this is about, but I'm still lacking the main conflict and world.
Again, you're really undermining yourself by holding so much back. I see little glimpses of interesting stories, especially in this second post here, but you describe them in a way where anyone could have written them--show us you!