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 agree with Carlie that clarifying the parameters of the time travel will up the stakes dramatically. I would also agree with Leah that we need to learn what makes 1895 Paris attractive--and it had better be more than just a boy!
Crystal's Magic by Nicole Zoltack
Almost everything fifteen-year-old Crystal prays for happens. But her relationship with God is tested when she finds a note from her dead mother and learns that her birth wasn't natural. Her mother had sought out the help of witches to conceive a child. She seeks out the witches, who tell her that she is magic and that she was making everything happen, that God hadn't been answering her prayers over the years. As Crystal struggles to fit together the clues of her past, she strives to learn who she is and what she can become.
This is another pitch that I feel needs more action verbs. "She is magic," but how? What does "magic" mean here? Is her prayer a way of magic, or is she religious? There's not enough here yet to make me want more.
I guess my pitch isn't clear enough. Crystal is the human incarnation of magic. Whenever she had prayed for something, she wanted it badly enough that she was able to make it happen. All her life, she had thought God was answering her prayers when actually she had been.
I'm just not sure how God and magic fit together here. It seems torn between a paranormal story and a test of faith tale.
I like the themes here about self-discovery and figuring out what to believe in. But what are the stakes really? What kind of magic does she have?
NATURAL SELECTION by Alexis Wynn
After recovering from the disappearance of her father and sister, 17-year-old Sonia only wants to pick up where she left off a year ago at her NYC prep school. When she learns that her father discovered an extraterrestrial gene in his two daughters, she realizes the worst has yet to come. A team of corrupt geneticists is now set on exploiting this celestial gene—with all its biological possibilities—and is kidnapping carriers for experimentation. And Sonia is next.
One thing I'd like to see here is how Sonia learns that these geneticists are out to kidnap her. The why is obvious, so I think you could really strengthen this with a few words on the how. It's not clear to me whether Sonia is a lone teenager in an otherwise adult world; that can be problematic.
I'm somewhat intrigued by this. I would encourage you to streamline the writing, for sure, and elaborate on certain things, such as how her father discovered this gene and how she knows about it.
This sounds like it has the potential to be quite thrilling--the stakes are high and obvious. I do feel as though we see a bit of scientists trying to track down someone for something in their DNA, so a few extra super-hooky details here would really help set this one apart.
Jera Fowler is afraid of everything, from talking to gorgeous Rolfe Jameson to people discovering her kid brother’s obsession with Alderone, his imaginary friend. When Jera has to keep a journal for Freshman English, she chronicles her school year, unaware that a single day can be the dividing line between life and death. Years later, the discovery of the journals helps Jera's teenage daughter weather a crisis and reach a clearer understanding of her mother, her family, and herself.
Doesn't sound YA to me, more women's fiction. Also, this pitch seems cluttered. THere's the phobias, the diary, the imaginary friend, and what exactly do you mean by "a single day can be the dividing line between life and death?" It sounds like you have some good ideas, but in this short amount of space there are too many of them.