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!
You should pitch completed manuscripts as this is the preference. You wouldn't want panelists to request something that she then has to wait months for. OR, request something that you rush to send without first making sure it is absolutely ready to send, and miss your opportunity to be successful. You can however, pitch incomplete work. We simply do not recommend it.
The best-friend theme is always well-liked, but I'm not seeing what really makes this stand out. If the response is the hook, be sure to mention it.
I would agree with Leah and would like to add two additional pieces of advice. The first is that you say an awful lot here without really telling us anything super interesting--this is your big chance to draw us in! Don't waste it. Along those same lines, my second piece of advice is to really pay attention to crafting your pitch's language the same way you craft your prose. It should be interesting and dynamic.
I like a fine bromance (in fact, it's on my submissions wishlist), but when you're pitching contemporary I think you really need to answer the question: What's at stake? I'm not getting a sense of what the turning point of this plot might be. Perhaps, when you rework, less emphasis on the long story and more on the immediacy of what is hurting Jack and Rodney's friendship would help.
Hudson Adati Egowige is a cruel, insensitive man who is in a world of trouble. Deep beneath the sands of Egypt, trapped in a cave with no way out, Hudson finds a tomb. Consumed by greed he opens the tomb, accidentally unleashing an ancient menace of unimaginable power. Realizing what he has now done, he tries to run for his life; while trying to remember what went wrong and how he ended in this mess. He trips on a rock, and falls, but as he gets up, he remembered what happened; it was his fault.
This doesn't sound like YA.
You start this off pretty well, using engaging images and dramatizing everything nicely, but I find the intrigue fades after the first three sentences. Keep up that same intensity and energy as you draw towards the end--increase it, actually! Also, beware the misused semicolon.
I like your use of action and I think there's never enough adventure out there, but I agree with Leah. I'm not seeing the YA aspect.
Jay and Adrian are two normal brothers, living two normal lives. When one night, they find themselves standing over their friends dead body. While faced with the fear of being caught, the two boys must escape the horror they have caused. But in the morning, one brother finds himself unable to remember a single thing.
Nice pitch. Intriguing and just different enough to set it apart from an "I Know What You Did Last Summer" feel.
You've done a nice job of drawing me into your concept here. That being said, I think it could be even better if you really pay close attention to the flow of the sentences. The last few are ok, but the first two sound awfully choppy to me, which I find a little distracting.