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!
Like the pitch before it, this story has been done at least twice, very recently. What you've done here that I really like is given us the twist that sets your book apart: the murder suspicion. Good pitch, and it's a book I'd like to see more of.
We are not accepting RE-PITCHES at this time. This takes attention away from the writers who are still awaiting notes from our judges. If you are asked to resub in the final round, then please do so. Otherwise, your pitch/re-pitch has been deleted. Thank you.
MAGICK ALL AROUND by Shannon Kennedy
Fifteen-year-old Hester McDougal, a hereditary witch, struggles to control her newly acquired telepathy, which allows her to read the minds of humans and animals. The telepathy causes more problems than it solves, because people's thoughts rarely match what they say leaving Hester unsure of their true beliefs. When she meets a boy who manages to block her mentally, she realizes there are limits to her telepathy. With his help, can she master her magic and finally understand what it means to be the next McDougal witch?
This sounds a little like True Blood-lite to me. What's at stake for Hester? Some well-defined conflict will help make this more compelling.
I feel like I've seen the "can't read his/her destined's mind" a lot. What separates this from the stock?
I like witches, but, after Twilight, I can't think of anyone but Edward Cullen when I read something about a mind block like this. I do like the bit about discovering what it means to be the next McDougal witch--that kind of a nice coming-of-age meets paranormal fusion.
THE MERMAIDS OF LAKE MICHIGAN by Suzanne Kamata
According to a fortune teller, seventeen-year-old Elise Faulkner's match-made-in-heaven is Miguel, the Gypsy musician she has fallen in love with. But Miguel, who is forbidden by his people to consort with gadje (non-Gypsy) girls, is betrothed to someone else, and he has no future. Literally. Elise sets out to change the course of destiny and save Miguel's life.
I'm not clear why there are mermaids in the title but don't appear to be any in the story. Is this set in the present day? Are there gypsies in Michigan? I find the idea of a fortune-teller or gypsy out to figure out why someone doesn't have a future intriguing, though. You might want to focus more on that and give a hint at what Elise finds out about Miguel that could be a threat.
If he's betrothed to someone else, aren't those who betrothed him planning a future for him? How do these two points jibe? And I would drop "literally."
I like the idea of gypsies, but I have a hard time reconciling them with a seemingly contemporary American setting. Also, I'd really like to see you do something more interesting with that last sentence. It's too frank.
Just turned seventeen, Zara Cowen is having sudden nightmares and unnatural air-currents around her. It’s not until she meets Damion Romano that her aunt, Glenda Sweeney, reveals her ancestry and explains her nightmares, or dreamshadows. Descended from a legendary sorceress Lilith, Zara and Damion are 'Carian Companions' – the perfect match to perform magic. A coven of Dark Witches – the Seven Elders – begins its hunt for Zara and Damion’s awakened powers. Together they launch on a pre-determined course of their fate, fighting the Elders to save themselves, discovering strengths they never imagined.
"Dreamshadows" is a cool word and makes me want to know more about your mythology, but what is going to be different and surprising about this story? If their fate is predetermined, what's at risk for them?