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!
Jeremiah Copperpot by Jessica Lawson
15-year-old Noni Winthrope, isolated daughter of the King of Doorish, believes her father was murdered by the man who will be crowned at next month’s Coronation. Rather than being forced to silence in a nunnery, Noni runs away, depending on stashes of money and a costume trunk to keep alive and unnoticed. When she discovers a truth more sinister than murder or the price being offered for her return, she must find an alias that will inspire Doorish to resist the incoming King. And by becoming Jeremiah Copperpot, a rebellious peasant boy, Noni may come to know her true self and learn that she was never alone at all.
It's hard--really hard--to pull off the girl-dressed-as-boy theme for any length of time. But I like the adventure aspect. You might want to take a look at the kingdom names and some other elements of world-building and see if you can make them sound a little more immediately intriguing. Doorish doesn't sound as interesting as Wildewood, for example (which I just completely made up, so my apologies out there to anyone who might be using it).
Thanks so much for the feedback! The boy is only one of her disguises~ the one she uses to spark a rebellion, based on a timing circumstance in the story. She's actually not pretending to be him for much of the novel. It's more like Alias in a medieval kingdom, where she switches personas according to her needs. I'll work on my delivery, and excellent point about the names. Thank you, again!
Alias in a medieval kingdom
Now, there's a pitch I can get behind!
I always like a strong female heroine with smarts and a will to triumph, which this certainly promises. This seems cute, but I wouldn't say it blows me away. I'd like to see more of that rebellious spirit coming through in the way you describe your story. There is something I do love about the name Jeremiah Copperpot, however!
I'm probably showing my age by delighting in the Copperpot name because it reminds me of The Goonies, but ah well. The disguises thing sounds like fun, but where does she keep the money and costumes while she's on the run? And how long can a 15-year-old girl disguise herself as a boy? (This was one of the issues that was addressed really well in Bloody Jack; the girl hit puberty and had to adapt like crazy.) With the high stakes, I think you could add sparkle to this pitch if you focused more on what Noni could do for Doorish, rather than the outcome of "coming to know her true self."
TRIANGLES by Kimberly Miller
When seventeen-year-old Autumn Taylor takes a cruise through the Bermuda Triangle, her dream of living a different life comes true—but now she's trapped in a nightmare. During her time in the Triangle, she wakes each day to an alternate reality: she speaks to her dead father, finds herself in the middle of a heated love triangle with a coworker and his half-brother, and meets a little girl who calls her Momma and looks suspiciously like one of the guys. But it’s waking up with terminal cancer that pushes Autumn to the edge of a mental breakdown. Even worse, everyone else on the ship, including her sister, accepts each different reality as if it were the norm. Alone and more than a little freaked out, Autumn must escape the Triangle’s torment or she could end up stuck in a life that’s much worse than her own.
Wow! This sounds like a wild undertaking, but I'd give it a shot to see how it comes together. The trickiest part would be building toward one point if you essentially have a different storyline going on every day.
Maybe it's my weird obsession with the Bermuda Triangle, but I think this sounds terrific! I would definitely read this. The only criticism I have is that I do think you could afford to streamline it a bit.
There's so much in this pitch, I'm a little exhausted just reading it. You have kind of a kitchen-sink book here, with the Bermuda Triangle, alternate realities, speaking to the dead, the romance, the cancer, etc. Is this is an adventure on the lines of GOING BOVINE? If not, I think it could use some editing, highlighting the two, maybe three most important events that shape the book.
SCRUMPTIOUS GOES SOUTH by Melissa Shaw-Smith
Crossing nine international borders without money or passport is no big deal for fifteen-year-old Scrumptious Orchis Smith. His feckless parents have been jailed in Peru for orchid smuggling, and the threat of having to live with obnoxious Uncle Reggie is the excuse Scrump needs to rescue them. Riding the rails and dumpster diving, Scrump should be having the time of his life— but he hasn’t counted on Reggie tagging along. Things can only go downhill from here.
I'm not sure your first sentence helps you lead into the second and the rest of the pitch. It sounds as though there could be a lot of zany adventure here--especially with a name like Scrump. If that is indeed the tenor of the project, make sure the pitch reflects that.