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!
Though you've done a good job of defining all your terminology, I feel there might be a few too many definitions, which is impeding us from hearing more about the characters. From the last line, it sounds as though Chase gets captured. Is the main conflict for him to escape? Or for him to evade Mr. Jenkins?
Less setup and more heart (both of the story and the main character) needed here. I'm tangled in the vocabulary and having a hard time getting to the interesting part. How few definitions can you get away with and still make the story clear? Then, how can you use that space to introduce Chase to the reader?
I'm definitely missing a real sense of the main issue here, though your villain and hero are at least clear. Also, I'm not crazy about your first sentence. It's a little too straightforward for me.
The Art of Being Invisible
by Suzanne Kamata
Thirteen-year-old Aiko, who is "differently abled," no longer wants to pose for the sculptures that have made her politically correct mother famous - and that have helped to put food on the table - and she definitely doesn't want to go with Laina, a.k.a. Mom, to Paris for an exhibition where her body will be on display. A better idea: Aiko's going to become a successful manga artist and go to Japan to meet her father for the first time.
This sounds a little like what I would call a "quiet" book. I like a lot of the aspects here, but how is Aiko differently abled? What action will drive the plot?
I like the manga artist angle here, as well as the going to Japan to meet her father, but I want a little more re: the catalyst for this drastic change. I realize the exhibition is the event that makes it happen, but how does she have the means to go to Japan? Do her parents know or is she running away? Has her father just reached out or has she just learned how to contact him?
I'm not seeing how being "differently abled" contributes to the story here. And when you say her body will be on display, do you mean she'll be pulled out of school and have to sit in a museum all day, or is that just the art. The ideas of rebelling, wanting to meet her father, and becoming a manga artist are classic ideas, but you're not selling them as well as you could. What makes your book different and saleable (yes, I think I just made up that word)?
Karnephear, by Clifford Piel
Fifteen-year-old Xander Gerber thought alcohol could protect him from his nightmares. His addiction can’t even save him from his abusive parents and he sees killing himself as the only way out. But his father interferes with his suicide attempt and after a fight turns bloody, Xander returns to where the complications of his life started—at a portal to another world. Dark World is a world of cannibalistic creatures who have been awaiting Xander’s arrival and they are now free to invade Earth.
Whoa. I thought we were getting an emotional, issues-based contemporary until a huge veer into supernatural horror. This feels like two stories smashed into one pitch. It might help to even the balance so the reader knows it's paranormal right off the bat.
The last sentence is very, "Surprise! It's supernatural, not contemporary!" I love this idea (and I love horror AND sex-drugs-rock 'n roll books) but the pitch is not balanced in a way that makes the plot direction clear to the reader.
You had me until that last line. I think it would sound better somewhere if you attached it to the previous sentence and jump into describing Dark Word instead of just stating that Xander is going to the portal of another world. That would up the drama in the language for me and build towards a much more dynamic finish.
Surviving Derek, Maybe
by Jessica Buccinna
Seventeen year-old JP Thomas was caught red-handed on top of his best friend Derek’s girl just before Christmas break. Days later, Derek was found hanging from the rafters in his parent’s basement. While in a live-in rehabilitation center for troubled youth, JP is desperately trying to keep his surviving friends from hanging as they come to terms with sex and death, all the while dealing with the unfortunate business of youth. Things go from bad to worse with the arrival of Elizabeth, whose honest presence forces JP face his own demon, his undeniable role in Derek's suicide.