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!
Title: CRYSTAL MILK
Fourteen-year-old Lucas has problems up the wahzoo. His mother was abducted and hidden by his father when he was 10. He blames it on different parenting styles—his mother wanted him to be good and his father, well, not so much. Thing is, he has finally made a friend, Crystal, who seems to be the only person he can trust, but of course that can’t last. Crystal’s aunt possesses a scepter that can free his exiled people—a scepter he must steal in order to find his mother.
Work on honing the focus here. The last line seems to indicate this has paranormal elements, but I'm not sure exactly what they are, nor do I have enough to go on to make me curious about what comes next.
I really like the conversational tone you've established, but I am more than a little confused re: the plot. Keep the style, but hone in more concretely on the details.
I find it very strange that you have this serious plot with fantasy elements but a very laid-back tone to your pitch. The two don't jibe. I also don't understand what Lucas's opinion of parenting styles has to do with his father abducting his mother.
Title: AERIAL MYSTIQUE
When a teenage ballerina is dismissed from her ballet contract, she auditions for the cirque, and wins a spot in the knife throwing act. Being the eye candy in the dangerous act isn’t her idea of fun, but she’s willing to do almost anything to avoid admitting to her parents she’s no longer in the prestigious ballet school they pay for. And there’s something unmistakably dangerous yet tempting about her brooding partner’s tattoos and crystal blue eyes that devour every inch of her when he’s throwing the knives. When she learns he’s on the run from the law, solving the mystery of his past becomes all-consuming as she gets swept away in the cirque and a romance with a boy her parents would never approve of.
You've done a good job making the conflict clear, and I'm intrigued by the setting. I'm also curious to know how a ballerina learned how to throw knives well enough to be part of a cirque act.
Thank you Leah! Guess my pitch wasn't clear. The ballerina doesn't throw the knives. She's the target girl.
Nope, my fault. It clearly says "he's throwing the knives." That does make much more sense. My apologies and gratitude for your graciousness.
I think that's a good signal to head to bed for the evening. More to come tomorrow.
I like this a lot. The circus world as you've defined it has a sort of a sexy, dangerous vibe that I think will be really appealing to readers. (Who didn't dream about running away and joining the circus as a child, after all?) The one red flag for me is the fact that her involvement in the cirque is supposed to hide the fact that she's left ballet school--won't her parents find out eventually, regardless? I can see it as a postponement tool or as a place to run away to, but these things have a way of coming out eventually.
Good pitch! I've been wondering if circus books will start to pick up, and I like the edgy, dangerous tone of this one. One minor thing: I don't like the line "crystal blue eyes that devour every inch of her," because it just sounds cannibalistic.
UNDONE by Amanda Schoen
For sixteen-year-old Selena Arcenault, protecting her friends from her crime boss uncle isn’t easy. Lucky for her, New Orleans is full of dark surprises. Then again, so are the people she trades her life to protect.
This is a little too short to be truly effective. Why is her uncle after her friends? What kind of dark surprises? I don't understand how she's traded her life.