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!
This sounds like a really cute premise. Just be sure to target agents and editors who handle Middle Grade, not YA.
I just love this. Your novel seems cute, clever, and full of heart and you've set it up well enough that I want to take a look. Nice job!
Leah and Rachael, thank you! And thank you for doing all these critiques. So helpful!
Overall, I think this sounds like a fun, cute-quirky MG novel. If I can offer one suggestion, I would take more time with the last sentence. Drop the ellipses and tell us in a few words what her big plan is. After seeing the plan in your pitch and thinking that it's great, I'll want to read your book to see how and if she pulls it off.
Escaping the Fire
by Carolyn Chambers Clark
It's 1669, and fifteen-year-old Isobel de Toledo is miserable. Her parents betrothed her to the hateful son of a rich landowner, and her friends are being burned at the stake. Isobel's world is turned upside down when she joins a revolutionary group of ladies of intrigue and danger, healers and others, shaking her very values and birthright. When a handsome sailor saves her from the evil Dom Francisco de Hernandez, Inquisitor General, they escape from Seville on his stallion. Later, Isobel discovers her true destiny.
It sounds as though Isobel has so much going on, it's hard to know what should be the main focus. I'd probably be much worried about being burned at the stake than engaged to a jerk. Is this set in Spain? It would be helpful to have that info upfront, along with a little more detail about this revolutionary group of ladies. Is this strictly historical or is there a paranormal element too?
Thanks for the feedback...guess I thought Seville would be the tip-off, but will add Spain. The healing aspects could be considered paranormal...good idea... good idea to add that and will add more about the revolutionary group.
I'm fairly intrigued as I read this, but that last sentence kills me. It reads like a laundry list item and a bit of a cop-out, when what it really needs to do is up the ante.
I'm not sure from your pitch whether I'm reading about a damsel in distress or a kick-ass revolutionary, nor am I sure where (or who) Seville is. While it's often a problem in pitches that writers don't tell us what's at stake, I believe you have the opposite problem: there is too much at stake to fit well into this pitch. The final sentence doesn't offer much promise of adventure.
The Disappearance of Robbie Tay
When Danni Tay’s eleven-year-old sister, Robbie, doesn’t come home from school one afternoon, everyone assumes she’s run away. What they don’t know is that she’s been kidnapped and is being held captive in a cabin in the woods. After months of searching, Danni’s mother, believing that Robbie is dead, takes Danni and her youngest sister, Mickey, and moves to a new town with new identities to get a fresh start. Just as they are becoming comfortable in their new lives, Robbie is found. Now the Tay family must ask themselves: Who are we? Where do we belong? And how does Robbie fit in?
This is a tough premise for me to buy into. They suddenly don't know how to fit Robbie back in their lives after just a few months? Why do they feel they need new identities if they think Robbie ran away? I think there's an interesting angle in a missing child come back home and how the family deals with that situation, but this one needs a little more work to make sure it's plausible.
I think this would be much more interesting if, instead of telling us Robbie was kidnapped and that Danni's mother believes she's dead, you just focus on establishing that she's gone, they've moved on, and then she's found. You've giving too much away when leaving out some of that information will really draw us in.