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!
Hi, D L--
I would agree with Leah and Carlie that I'm not really buying into the premise right now. Is there some key bit of information about Dylan that you're leaving out that would explain Hank's assumption a little better?
The Flowering Hands of the Borealis
Mia didn’t think she’d have to face them so soon. The sixteen-year old would rather hang out with her friends at Wisdream, the school for the richest “haves” on the merchant planet, Lemulas. But when Austere and his band of aura pirates are smuggled into the capital, where they begin to feast on the light of the “have-nots,” the strugglers, she has no choice. Mia is only lightseeder left. No one else can channel the light of the borealis through their bodies – both to fight, and to “lightseed” auras back once they’ve been taken away – and she’s not ready, not yet, not by a long shot.
I had to read this a few times to be sure of the gist--we have a lot of names and and unfamiliar terms to contend with. Is there a way to simplify?
Thank you, Leah. I appreciate your comments. Here's a more simplified version with less names to contend with:
The Flowering Hands of the Borealis
Mia didn’t think she’d have to face them so soon. The sixteen-year old would rather hang out with her friends at her fancy private high school for the richest “haves” on the merchant planet, Lemulas. But when aura pirates are smuggled into the capital, where they begin to feast on the light of the “have-nots,” she has no choice. Mia is the only lightseeder left. No one else can channel the light of the Borealis through their bodies – both to fight, and to heal – and she’s not ready, not yet, not by a long shot.
Please don't keep secrets from me in your pitch. I don't know what aura pirates are, and I don't know what lightseeders are. In your rewrite, focus on introducing the character and one or two aspects of her world that set your book apart.
I would highly recommend you reconsider your first sentence. There's really not anything compelling about it. I certainly commend your creativity here, but I think you need to explain this world you've built.
Seventeen-year-old Shelby Harris survives having snotty friends long enough to ditch them and make new ones. Then her ex-friends play a prank that causes her to lose the only real friends she ever had, along with her hard-earned reputation. Friendless and suspended, she doesn't expect to find the peace she's craved since her parent's divorce seven years before. However, through the loyalty of a boy (who’s not her boyfriend) and an old man struggling with the onset of dementia she finds renewed confidence in herself to face her so-called friends, stand up for herself and set her record straight.
I'm a little distracted by the fact that she hasn't brought any backup insulin. It seems that, with such a serious disease, it would be important to be prepared for anything.
I'm not hearing a real hook here. It seems as though the first couple of lines could be consolidated. And what is giving her peace? The fact that she's friendless? Or this boy who isn't her boyfriend?
What is the plot of this book? I see a lot of character description and emotional verbs ("finds renewed confidence," "loses friends") but I'm not getting a sense of the action that brought these emotions. If you can balance those two, I think you'll have a very nice contemporary pitch.
I like the idea of the young woman connecting with the older man with dementia (not something you see in YA every day) and think that it has potential to be very touching, but nothing else here really stands out and a lot of the sentences are confusing and/or poorly constructed.
When Philly outsider Roiseen packs her three identical pairs of cowboy boots and goes to Ireland to track her missing dad, the sixteen-year-old encounters young Irish gods and goddesses who abandoned their mythic land to live as mortals. But a teen god who considers them heretics threatens them all. The Burner has captured Roiseen's musician father to prevent him from repairing a powerful harp the young gods must soon return. Rescuing her father and saving her new friends means Roiseen must confront The Burner and a supernatural world that can destroy her own--and change her forever.