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!
Agreed that this sounds more women's ficiton. If the teenage daughter is really the subject, emphasize this. I don't think splitting the story between a mother's past and a daughter's future will really resonate with teen readers, but I think a mother's legacy and how it affects her daughter is something young women can certainly understand.
Who is our main POV here--Jera or Jera's daughter? You need to focus on whoever is a teen for the entire book, or else it wouldn't be considered YA.
Banking Trust by Erica Roberts-Wing
When her brother is drafted during WWII, 16-year-old Eleanor Greyson creates a middle-class persona to patriotically join the workforce on the home front - against her wealthy family's orders. Trading in her silver spoon seems invaluable as Ellie begins to fall for the raw American spirit that inspires her soul and the Italian busboy who steals her heart. However, an internal war arises when Ellie's employer sets out to take down his competition – her father.
Terrific pitch. You get right to introducing the main character and the primary conflict. I'm totally clear on the when, where, and why of this book. Though the book is not for me (it's not that the pitch is bad, it's that for the most part I don't read historical fiction), I have no doubt that those who like historical fiction will want more.
I like this, but I wish you mention Eleanor's wealth before you discuss her new persona. Also, I'm not exactly sure what country this takes place in... I'm inclined to say America, but the Italian busboy throws me. I do love this era, though, I must say, so I'd probably read more.
Thank you for making the time period so clear. Though, like Rachel, I'm less clear on where this is set. There are a lot of great themes here, but the "internal war" seems less dramatic against the backdrop of the global war and potential downfall of her family. I'd make sure whatever you end the pitch on is the most dramatic part.
SWEET AMBROSIA by Sophia Chang
Ambrosia Wyne: half-nymph, all-nerd…destroyer of Mount Olympus?
To fix things, all she has to do is
1) hunt down and obliterate (or firmly talk to) whoever set her up
2) rescue the Gods from Hades
3) get Almighty Titan Helios (or “Dad”) to love her again.
I'm not understanding why this pitch has to be in the gimmicky list form. I think you have a fine premise, but unless this pitch reflects the tone of the book, a straightfoward style would serve you just as well.
I actually think this is a great approach. It gets me all the info I need to know and gives me a hint at the tone of the book. For me, this sounds like a lot of fun.
I'm with Leah on this one. The list form stood out to me and really established a sense of fun--but only because you executed it well. Not everybody could pull this off. I like the title too. Nice job!
Phoenix Rising by Liz Hellebuyck
High school senior Julia doesn’t believe in magic, but when her gorgeous new classmate Graham’s secrets are revealed to her through dreams, she’s forced to consider the possibility. Despite the rituals and kidnapping she sees in Graham’s dark history, she’s drawn to him. But Graham’s past isn’t the only thing Julia dreams about. An ancestor enters her dreams to warn Julia that the magic Graham and his friends were practicing was darker than any of them knew, and that Julia has the power to stop it all. As Graham’s past catches up with him, Julia embarks on a cross-country journey to save him and stop his old friends from finishing what they started before it’s too late.
This line: An ancestor enters her dreams to warn Julia that the magic Graham and his friends were practicing was darker than any of them knew, and that Julia has the power to stop it all leads me to ask "stop all what?" because you've used "were practicing," making me think that Graham has abandoned his dark practices. I am also not getting why Julia would risk anything to help Graham. "Because he's hot" cannot be the reason. What stake does Julia have in any part of his life?