Tuesday, December 4, 2012

#PitchMAS - Day One - Pitch-Honing Workshop



On the first day of #PitchMAS my true love gave to me .... 

A workshop to make my pitch sweet! 


Oh wow. That rhyme was pretty bad. But hey ... 


YOU GUYS! 

IT'S FINALLY #PitchMAS TIME! 




Well, the wait is over, my writerly friends! Today kicks off the awesome Holiday pitch fest we've all been waiting for! 



Welcome to DAY ONE of PitchMAS, and our official pitch-honing workshop!

All day today (Tuesday 12/4), from 4am to 9pm pacific standard time, you will be able to comment on this blog post with your pitches and receive help from your peers!! 

Comment below with your pitches (both 35 word blog pitches and 140 character Twitter pitches, or just one - whichever you feel you need help with). Your peers will comment and help you hone your pitches into something that will grab the attention of our esteemed editors and agents during the live pitch fest.

Please, please, please read each other's comments and share your thoughts and pointers. That's what today is all about! 

(Does anyone else have the hokey pokey song in their head now?)

An example of a comment during the pitch-honing workshop could look something like this:

Jessa Russo
EVER, YA ParanormalRomance

35 word blog pitch:
Seventeen-year-old Ever Van Ruysdael knew her heart was on the line when she met Toby James. What she didn’t know was that her soul and the souls of those she loved were also in danger.

Twitter pitch:
17yo Ever knew her heart was on the line when she met Toby James. What she didn’t know was that her soul was in danger as well. #PitchMAS

Once your comment has posted, people can respond telling you what would work better for your pitch,  what they like, dislike, etc, and we can all help each other with honing our pitches and making them contest ready.


And now, for the PITCH EXPERTS!


In addition to peer critique, we've called in a few experts to help as well! These people have reached expert status because A) They're awesome and agreed to let me dub them experts, and B) They've received requests from previous pitch contests! 

So, here they are, our Pitch EXPERTS

Angi Black: Received a FULL request during a pitch contest back in September.

Kelsey Macke: Received a partial that turned into a full during The Writer's Voice!

Alex Brown: Has received multiple requests from pitch contests as well as helped others receive requests with their pitches! 

*commences round of applause for esteemed experts*

But that's not all!

Today just also happens to be my 33rd 21st birthday! So to celebrate, I am drinking mimosas all day giving away a few e-book copies of some awesome books! Mine included! 
(Yes, yes, I just called my book awesome. Sue me.) 


Aww, look at little baby Jessa. 
Anyway, there's no participation necessary, just click the free entry on the Rafflecopter form below! And then ... ta-da! ... the magic happens.




So, without further ado, Happy Birthday to ME and Merry #PitchMAS to all of you! 

Don't forget that the BLOG-pitch submission window is TONIGHT at 11:00EST over at Tamara's blog

~XOXO~

Jessa & Feaky



If you have any questions, please leave them below, or contact me directly at emailjessarusso AT gmail DOT com. 



Also, if you need a little refresher on what #PitchMAS is all about, and what we have scheduled for the week, click HERE



And for a list of the amazing agents and editors participating, click HERE



317 comments:

  1. Barb Taub
    NULL CITY, NA ParanormalRomance

    35 word blog pitch:
    Gaby, a (technically) dead accountant, tries to help teenage demon Leila protect their city from angels seeking Leila’s Book of Divine Knowledge, the ex-boyfriend/current angel Gaby accidentally killed, and Leila’s birthDad — Prince of Hell.

    Twitter pitch:
    How are (technically) dead accountant Gaby & teen demon Leila supposed to save the world when the angels are all on the other side?#PitchMAS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love "Technically" in parenthesis...says a lot without using words. But I did get lost/have to read over the bit about "current angel Gaby accidentally killed, and Lelia's birthDad" was unclear to me. The Twitter pitch is spot-on.

      Delete
    2. Hi there! 35 word - You establish at the beginning Gaby is (technically) dead so you could delete that from later in the pitch is what I first thought but now I see Gaby accidentally killed the ex. The run-on makes it hard to distinguish who's who.
      Make more sentences. The number one critique I heard when honing my own pitch was no run-on sentences. It will help with clarity.
      I'm missing the catalyst in your pitch. Why are they trying to get the book? Why do they need to protect the city from the ex and the dad?

      Twitter pitch - By other side do you mean a veil or the other side of the fight. Just switching up the words "the angels are all on the other side" to "no angels are on their side" will help clarify.

      Good luck!

      Delete
    3. 35: Ditto on the (technically) - great voice. But the rest is too much character soup and not enough conflict. I want to know what the stakes are for Gaby. Seems more like Leila's story.

      Twitter: Don't like the question form. Also having trouble with the angels phrase -- getting confused as to what 'the other side' means.

      Delete
    4. I actually like your twitter pitch better than the longer one. I didn't mentally stumble over any words and got the point. Love the dead accountant bit!

      Delete
    5. The (technically) dead bit also made me lol.

      And I agree w/ AngiNicole – “The run-on makes it hard to distinguish who's who.” You’ve obviously got a great cast of characters here, and some lively competition for your protagonists – but 35 words and 140 characters doesn’t leave a lot of room for everyone to be mentioned.

      Also agree with S Jenan, focus on the protagonists, the stakes, and their reasons.

      Delete
    6. I'm not a fan of the use of "(technically)" because I'm not sure what it means. Is she a zombie? Is she an angel? Why is she "technically" dead. Also, I'm not sure if we need to know she's an accountant here. With such little space, you should focus on the plot and main character only. When doing a 35-word pitch only use the POV of one character. Something like this...

      When half-demon, Gabby, assists the teenage daughter of the Prince of Hell protect their city from angels sent to destroy it, she'll have to seek help from her ex-boyfriend/current angel who, unfortunately, she accidentally killed.

      Delete
    7. Okay, now Brenda -- that's just not fair. I sweated blood over my 35 words and you toss off something that's SO much better. I'm seriously thinking of taking up a less-challenging profession. Like underwater welding. Instead I have to figure out how to use your exact pitch without copying it at all.
      (That means thanks!) --Barb

      Delete
  2. Diana Beebe
    HUNTER MOON, Adult Fantasy (Epic with a bit of romance)

    35-word blog pitch:
    In HUNTER MOON, a champion hunter in a matriarchal society needs an heir to keep her position and lands, but the only slave to help her conceive should be executed for his illegal goddess-given gifts.

    Twitter pitch:
    Champ hunter needs an heir to keep her position, but the slave to help her conceive should be executed for his illegal goddess-given gifts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Twitter pitch again, because I forgot the hashtag:
      Hunter Marce needs heir or be outcast, but the slave to help her conceive should be executed for his illegal goddess-given gifts.#PitchMas

      Delete
    2. Sounds like an intersting read! Perhaps rethinking "slave to help her concieve"...might make it clearer. (I'm a litle slow this morning). I'll think on it too.

      Delete
    3. Hello! In a blog or Twitter pitch with limited words or characters, don't include the title. In a blog pitch it will be above it and in a Twitter pitch it's never required.

      35 word pitch - Tell me the name of the Champion hunter so I can begin to connect with your story. Does it have to be a slave who helps her conceive or is the only person who can help a slave? This makes a huge difference in your story and the stakes. And the slave should be executed or is scheduled to be executed before she can conceive? Because if she can conceive first, then very little stakes. If it's a race against time, huge stakes. And that's what you want to set up in the pitch. The why, the main character and the stakes.

      Twitter pitch - Add a name so readers can connect.

      Good luck!

      Delete
    4. Agreed. Title is not necessary, and takes away precious word space for character and plot. Plus, when you start with the character and what they need, it is a much strong pitch opening. For example, your 2nd twitter with the hashtag is a cleaner, better start.

      “Should” be executed, or “will” be executed? The should throws me off a bit. Also, I’m not sure why Hunter Marce cares if the slave would be executed – you haven’t given her a reason. Give her a reason!

      Delete
  3. Nicole Evelina
    Guinevere of Northgallis, Adult Historical Fantasy

    BLOG
    Long before Camelot, war and strange visions interrupted 11-year-old Guinevere’s life. Then came Avalon and choices that would lead to love, betrayal, life-long animosity and eventually, capturing the heart of a king.

    TWITTER
    B4 Camelot, war & 2nd Sight led 11yo Guinevere 2 Avalon, where her choices set her on the path 2 love, betrayal & King Arthur #PitchMas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I also wanted to ask, should I mention this is the first book in a trilogy? If so, what's the best way to do that?

      Delete
    2. Nicole, I've read a couple of places that pitch tweets should use full words and no short hand (like b4). 11yo is ok, and 2nd - there you're using the numeral instead of writing the number, but I'd try to rewrite this so the b4 and the "path 2 love" is fully written. Here's a sample, but I'm not sure it's clear here that a) this is an adult (not YA) story and b) what makes your story unique. I added more on the second sight to pull that in.

      War & strange visions interrupted 11yo Guinevere's life. Her choices & second sight set her on the path to King Arthur, love & betrayal #Pitchmas

      Delete
    3. No, the time to mention that this is first book in a projected trilogy is AFTER you have an agent's/editor's interest. Even as part of a trilogy you need to make sure this one is stand alone and can be published as such.

      Fingers crossed for you!

      Delete
    4. I love the sound of this book!! The blog-pitch is good, but it starts witha prepositional phrase that leaves my techno-weenie-gearhead-English-major-self hanging... You might dispense with the "where". Ellie's tweet is a good offering.

      Delete
    5. Hi there! 35 word - Your genre says adult but you site an 11YO in your pitch. Is this grown up Guinevere's life story, because right now it's not clear. If it's her grown up story, then maybe try, "Long before Camelot, war and strange visions disrupted Guinevere's childhood."
      And why is that important to the story? As a feature, it's a good hook to show your story is different but I don't see the connection jump between 11YO things happening and Avalon showing up and the things that come after. I feel that is what your story is, so that's what should be in your pitch.
      I'm a sucker for stories of this time period but I need to know what the story is.

      Twitter pitch - 11YO is the only abbreviation you should use. (Again, why is this age important in an adult book?)Figure out how to word it without the others. I know you're trying to save characters, but it looks young, especially for an adult book. If someone where to ask you what your book is about, write down the first sentence that comes to mind and build your Twitter pitch from there. Because that is the heart of your story. If you find that difficult, you probably need to dial in your plot more. I know I did!
      As far as trilogies and sequels, your book should be able to stand alone, or mostly alone, especially for first time authors. Once you have an agent/editor, then you could discuss series potential.
      Good luck!

      Delete
    6. I do love me some Camelot historical fantasy! I really enjoy your premise. Most of my edits would be nitpicks on word choice.

      1. Does it need to be defined as “adult historical fiction” or should it just be “historical fiction”? In a bookstore, shelves aren’t labeled with “adult sci-fi” and “adult romance” – just sci-fi and romance.

      2. What other word could you use i/o strange. To me, strange is blasé, you might as well just say visions. Bizarre or curious would be quick suggestions, but by no means perfect.

      3. As is, with all the abbreviations, the Twitter pitch looks a little like a 14yo txt msg. Unless her being 11 is super, super important (in an adult fantasy? I’m assuming she doesn’t stay 11 for most of the book) I would suggest dropping it to save on character space. You could also drop “king” to save on character space b/c with the mention of Camelot and Guinevere, it is pretty obvious who Arthur is, even without a title.

      Delete
  4. Pippa Jay
    TETHERED, Science Fiction Romance

    35 word blog pitch:
    Assassin Tyree of the Su must take the place of her murdered sister clone and protect surviving co-delegate Zander D'joren. But she never expected her heart to be as much at risk as her life.

    Twitter pitch:
    To prevent war, assassin Tyree must replace her murdered sister clone & protect her co-delegate, risking her life - and her heart. #pitchmas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I REALLY love your Twitter Pitch. It's sweet and two the point, conveying the same amount of information as your longer blog-pitch. Which I guess would beg the question: why not use your Twitter pitch there, and then use the extra words for more detail? I'm not sure what you would add, but it's just a thought :) Great job!

      Delete
    2. Hello!
      35 word - What age is this book? A simple addition of the age of the MC will answer this for a Twitter pitch, which is important for agents when they are looking through the feed. In your blog pitch, it should be above, after the title. Does she have to take the place of her sister(pick one, sister or clone) AND protect the co-delegate, or does she need to take the place TO protect Zander? That one word makes a huge difference in stakes of your story, which is the hook in a short pitch.
      The last sentence tells me about the romance but the wording feels a bit off. I love the idea you have going, but try flipping the sentence around.
      From the beginning you could try "When (age) Assassin Tyree takes the place of her murdered clone to protect her co-delegate Zander D'joren, the risks are higher than expected. She must protect her heart as well as their lives." Or something to that effect. I haven't read your story, so it's more difficult. You have a solid base, just a little tweaking.

      Twitter pitch - Pick sister or clone, not both. I love this. it tells me more than your 35 word pitch. The addition of war ups your stakes. Try working this into your 35 word pitch and expanding it. Add the age of the MC.
      Good luck!

      Delete
    3. Okay, I after reading your pitches, I really like the title. :)

      Very small edit: i/o “must take the place of her murdered sister clone and protect” I feel it should read “must take the place of her murdered sister clone to protect”  giving Tyree a reason / need to act.

      Delete
  5. Manju B. Howard
    TRIPLE B, Upper MG Contemporary

    Blog Pitch
    Thirteen-year-old Samantha copes with an alcoholic father. But when a popular eighth grade girl perceives Samantha as competition, verbal sparring escalates to cyber-bullying. With her safety at stake, Samantha trusts her instincts and true friends.

    Twitter Pitch
    13yo Samantha's home is unsafe, now an 8th grader perceives her as the competition, verbal sparring escalates to cyber-bullying. #PitchMAS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You story sounds very relevant in terms of issues. The main criticism I have of the blog pitch is that it sounds as though the peer conflict is easily resolved and that since she is "coping" with the drunk dad, maybe it's not that big a deal. Maybe something more about having to discover who her true friends are? I think you could shorten the second sentence and free up some words. "When verbal sparring with a popular girl escalates to cyber-bullying..." But what do I know-I'm here for help too.

      Delete
    2. Thanks, Rhiann! In trying to pair down to 35 words I cut the level of conflict too.

      The Blog Pitch should read:
      Thirteen-year-old Samantha tries to avoid her alcoholic father. When verbal sparring with a popular eighth grade girl escalates to cyber-bullying, school turns unsafe too. With her BBF shutting her out, Samantha must find true friends.

      Delete
    3. Hi there!
      35 pitch - I love your premise! so timely!! But, I'm missing the conflict and the stakes. It sounds all wrapped up. She turns to her friends and herself, so where's the conflict? What grade is Samantha in? I don't know that eighth grade girl is needed here. Just 'the popular girl at school" or "a popular upperclassman" would work.
      This is MG, but the writing in your pitch is stiff for that age. I'm guessing your book is not like that but you need to try to show your voice in your pitch. (So hard, I know!!) Such as lies and rumors at school turn to online bullying (or online threats) reads easier than verbal sparring to cyber-bullying.
      Does the alcoholic dad play into the rumors at school? if not, just say has a stressed home life or troubled home life. If it does, then I need to see the link between them.

      Also - You can use 13YO as an acceptable abbreviation and save some words.

      So I wrote all that before I saw you posted a new pitch. :) The part about her BFF HAS to be in there. It is critical to the story. Maybe try something like "When exchanging insults with uber-popular (name of girl) turns into cyber-bullying, 13YO Samantha finds her already challenging home life more unsafe. With her BFF siding with (popular girl's name), she finds true friends where she least expects." Or something along those lines.
      Again - love this premise!

      Twitter Pitch
      13yo Samantha's home is unsafe, now an 8th grader perceives her as the competition, verbal sparring escalates to cyber-bullying. #PitchMAS

      Twitter pitch - The same notes as the blog pitch. Use the bully's name and tell me she's popular. Lose the comma after unsafe. Lose 'the' between as and competition. Again, I feel the verbal sparring is tightly worded for MG. Middle schoolers don't talk that way. Use their language, because I'm sure you do in your book and you want to show your voice.

      Good luck!

      Delete
    4. Agreed, very relevant and contemporary premise. Sounds interesting!

      I think AngiNicole hit it on the head – conflict and stakes are missing. You’ve got great story elements listed, but I’m not sure what her alcoholic father, cyber bullying, and missing BFF all have to do with each other (other than obviously making life tough for Samantha).

      Delete
  6. Melissa Gorzelanczyk
    THE CHANNELS, YA Paranormal Mystery

    35 word blog pitch:
    Sixteen-year-old Hannah can hear people’s thoughts, but a family history of mental illness leaves her wondering if she’s crazy. Colin’s touch can make the voices melt away, but she’s already heard his cousin’s deadly secret.

    Twitter pitch:
    Static. Secrets. Mental illness? His touch makes the voices melt away, but 16yo Hannah can't ignore his cousin's deadly secret. #PitchMAS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very intriguing premise. The pitch is a little vague in terms of the conflict, and how the secret might be a threat (to whom for instance?) You could free up space for clarifying if it went more like "Hannah hears people's thoughts, but familial mental illness makes her question her sanity. Colin's touch silences the voices, but..." I'm assuming judges will know if your entry is "YA" it's about teens. Of course I could be wrong.

      Delete
    2. I was sucked in by the idea of your story. I wonder if you have to mention the bit about "his cousin's secret", and perhaps just spice up the idea of a secret. Just a thought.
      Your tweet is great! I love the first three words, they really refelct well with what I know about your story from your blog-pitch, but I wonder if it would have the same effect if I knew nothing about your story. "Static" works because I know Hanna can hear voices, but if I didn't know that...I might not get what you are creatively trying to do there. Good Luck!

      Delete
    3. I really like this, but the cousin threw me--can you clarify in someway how that matters?

      Delete
    4. Hi there!
      35 word - How is Colin's cousins secret an impact to your story? "Family history of mental illness" is a lot of words. Maybe: "16YO Hannah can hear thoughts. Did she inherit the family crazy? Colin's touch brings silence, but not before she hears his cousin's deadly secret." In the last ten words tell why that matters. Does it affect her feelings for Colin? Is it a threat to someone dear? Does she feel she should tell Colin?

      Twitter pitch: You are missing Colin from your pitch, therefore the cousin line doesn't make sense. And I don't understand static at the beginning. Rework this pitch by flipping the info.
      Good luck!

      Delete
    5. Well, I want to read this for sure.

      Agreed, how does the cousin’s secret affect Hannah?

      Delete
  7. Rhiann Wynn-Nolet
    FOOLISH YA Contemporary

    Blog pitch
    When Sparrow’s pyromaniac brother burns down their hoard-filled mobile home, her art college dreams go up in smoke. That goofy boyfriend she dumped holds the key to reinventing them—if she’ll give love a chance.

    Twitter pitch
    #PitchMas Hoarders: Buried Alive meets bagpiping Romeo & snarky Juliet. Can love survive her pyro bro’,burning ambition, commitment phobia?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think these are both great! Love the twitter pitch. I think you could cut Buried Alive to free more characters; Hoarders speaks for itself.

      Delete
    2. Loved the blog-pitch. But the Tweet left me wondering and stumbling over the commas. Maybe just rearranging the words, and put the bro' last? (Please keep in mind I'm a dork and all comments issure forth from "Dorkdumb".

      Delete
    3. Mostly nits here.

      35: 'to reinventing them' isn't clear until I untangle it. Perhaps 'that goofy ex-boyfriend' to save words, and then 'the key to reinventing her [art/sculptures/whatever]'. Also, I'm not 100% sure if 'reinventing' is the right word there.

      Twitter: I think you can dump ": Buried Alive". I knew immediately what "Hoarders" was. Extra chars can be used to smooth out 2nd sentence.

      FYI: Tone-wise, 'Gilbert Grape' movie popped into my head while reading this. I'm envisioning a MS w/ quirky characters, moments of quiet. Funny, sad, touching.

      Delete

    4. Hi there!
      35 word - It already looks like it's funny with heart, I love that you incorporated that into the pitch.
      I don't know about the use of reinvent here. reinvigorate maybe, renew would work too, but reinvent leads me to the conclusion that art college is no longer her dream.
      If it remains her dream and he helps her achieve it, then reword. If her dream changes, then just say dreams go up in smoke.
      Change to "Her goofy ex-boyfriend" to save words. Then tell me how he can help.

      Twitter pitch - Ditch 'Buried Alive, change bagpiping to goofy so it's consistent with your blog pitch for reference, LOVE the snarky Juliet! Now you'll have extra characters to spell out brother. Also - add 'and' between ambition and commitment.

      Sounds awesome and quirky!
      Good luck!

      Delete
    5. Sounds like an interesting story!

      I agree, 'reinvent' doesn't feel right here. Try, 'recreate' to see if that fits. I also agree with Laurie about cutting 'Buried Alive'from the Twitter pitch. That will free up space so you don't have to abbreviate brother and you can add the grammatically correct '&' after 'burning ambition.'

      I happen to like 'bagpiping Romeo,' it's a lot more characterizing IMO than 'goofy.' Think that one's just gonna come down to opinion.

      Delete
  8. Jessica Harvey

    35 Word Blog Pitch:
    Six months after he killed Christine’s entire demon-hunting team, Veynix returns to finish the job. With another close friend’s life on the line, Christine must finish alone what her team couldn’t: kill Veynix.

    Twitter Pitch:
    17yrold Chris must face a demon w/ a taste for platypus venom to keep an innocent alive & atone for the friends she couldn’t save #PitchMas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This confuses me a little--I like it, but I'm not really sure I know enough. Maybe focus more on the after, then six months ago.

      Delete
    2. These are both great! Clear goal and stakes in both. You can change to 17yo to free up another couple characters. Not sure that platypus venom sounds as scary as say a pit viper but it makes me curious!

      Delete
    3. 35: Focus of first sentence is he/Veynix, but 2nd makes me suspect Christine is MC. I know you're trying to avoid passive voice, but 1st needs to be switched up to reflect narrative focus: Six month's after Christine's entire demon-hunting team perished at Veynix's hand, the creature returns to finish the job... etc.

      Twitter: '17yo Christine' is same # of letters, and doesn't drop sex of MC. Platypus venom is an interesting detail, but seems to put platypuses in more danger than Christine. 'Atonement' probably too airy a conflict for the twitter pitch. I'd rather know more about the innocent.

      Delete
    4. HI there!
      35 word - You say 'finish' twice in a small space. Try not to repeat words in your pitch. Is the six months important? If not then ditch it for space. Try: "Veynix killed (age) Christine's entire demon-hunting team. Now he's returned. With herself and a close friend in danger, she must do what her team couldn't: Kill Veynix. And she must accomplish the task alone." Or something like that.
      Your stakes are clear. Idea concise. Just don't gt bogged down in extra details in the pitch. You want the hook. They can learn more in the query/synopsis after the fact. :)


      Twitter pitch: Change to 17YO for space. +1 for use of platypus venom. But is it relevant to your hook? The plot is there at the end. Protect the friend, atone for the lost of her team. I want to know Christine is a demon-hunter because a) cool! and b) girl demon-hunter - cooler! That feels more important to me here than platypus venom. I also might go with avenge as opposed to atone. Atone suggests it was Christine's fault. Avenge is as it states, getting their killer. Say friend instead of innocent, it packs more punch as far as connection.
      Good luck!

      Delete
    5. Strong conflict and motivators for the main character. Well done.

      Below is suggestion with tightening of words for the blog pitch. “Killed” sounded too common, “slaughtered” (to me) conveyed more emotion. “Entire” was unnecessary detail. Same with “alone”.

      Suggestion: “Six months after he slaughtered Christine’s demon-hunting team, Veynix returns to finish the job. With another friend’s life on the line, Christine must finish what her team could not: kill Veynix.”

      Delete
    6. WOW, thank you for all the great feedback! :) I liked adding the platypus venom bit because it's something unique, but I know it confuses people who don't know platypuses have venom so... I took it out of these revisions.

      I reworked the pitches and hopefully these are better:

      Seventeen-year-old Christine's demon-hunting team was slaughtered by Veynix. When Veynix returns, placing Christine and a friend in mortal danger, she must avenge her teammates by accomplishing what her team could not: killing Veynix.

      17yo Christine must face the demon who killed her demon-hunting team to keep a friend alive & avenge for those she couldn’t save #PitchMas

      Delete
    7. The twitter pitch rewrite should read:
      17yo Christine must face the demon who killed her demon-hunting team to keep a friend alive & avenge those she couldn’t save #PitchMas

      Not "avenge for those".

      Delete
  9. Keely Dunn
    THE ONLY ONE, YA Contemporary

    35-Word Blog Pitch:
    Fourteen-year old Shae Mackenna lost everything she loved in one summer - her mother, her friends and her game. Can she find friendship and belonging on the ice with an all-boys ice hockey team?

    Twitter Pitch:
    14yo Shae lost everything in 1 summer: her mother, friends and her game. Can she find belonging w/an all-boys ice hockey team? #PitchMas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like this a lot. :) In your Twitter pitch, see if you can spell out one and with, rather than using short hand.

      Delete
    2. Nice effective pitch. One question: Does Shae's loss occur in the story? If yes, perhaps "Shae Mackenna loses everything she loves" might serve you better.

      Delete
    3. Hi Nazarea, thanks for that, I'll make the fix.

      Hi Jill, the story begins after the summer of all the losses. I'll have a think about whether I'd want to start the plot earlier but currently it begins when she has moved to her new small town and started at the new school.

      Delete
    4. I really like this one! It looks refreshing and sweet. I totally want to read it. :)

      Delete
    5. Aw, thanks Sam! I'll be looking for beta readers, if you're interested feel free to email me. :)

      Delete
    6. 35 word - Why did she lose everything? Tragic accident, a move, a divorce? A hint of this could form immediate connection to someone who has gone through one of those things. I'm not sure of the connection between the lost and the ice-hockey. I love the concept here, but I need a bridge between thoughts.


      Twitter pitch: Make it more concise: "Shae lost her mother, friends and her game all in one summer." Then reword the ending to get rid of the w/.
      Good luck!

      Delete
    7. Wow, this sounds like a tearjerker already!

      Minor tweaks for blog pitch (most of these you already did for the Twitter pitch, and I think they work well):

      - Fourteen-year-old (added hyphen)
      - Drop the last name – unnecessary detail in a quick pitch.
      - summer: (added colon)
      - all-boys hockey team (removed second “ice”, you already mentioned it)

      Delete
    8. These are fantastic pieces of feedback, you guys rock! I've incorporated all of them (I hope) in the revisions below.

      Blog Pitch:

      Fourteen-year-old Shae lost everything she loved in one summer: her mother to cancer, her friends and her game. Can she find a new home where she belongs with an all-boys hockey team?

      Twitter Pitch:

      14yo Shae lost everything in one summer: her mother, friends and her game. Can she find a new home on an all-boys ice hockey team? #PitchMas

      Delete
  10. Ellie Heller
    Warder, Contemporary Fantasy

    35 word pitch:
    Mona needs to help her pregnant & bespelled friend, and avoid henchmen sent after them, not deal with her unwanted mate. Worse, he's a shifter, trained to protect & she's an Elf who wasn't.

    Tweet:
    While helping her bespelled friend & avoiding evil goons, Mona finds her (unwanted!) mate. Like her life needs more complications. #pitchmas

    (note: you need more than one tweet, as twitter doesn't like you to send out the same one over & over)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I liked your tweet Ellie. Question: Are you sold on the word "unwanted"? There might be a more illustrative choice. As far as the blog, perhaps starting with "bespelled (and pregnant) friend,". Just thought it rolls a but easier.

      Delete
    2. Hi there!
      35 word - I would change 'and avoid' to 'to avoid'. Can it say "But he's a shifter trained in protection and she's an Elf who isn't." Also you use two & and one and. choose one and stay consistent. I prefer the spelled out way.


      Twitter pitch is great. If you're looking for a second pitch, change bespelled to pregnant and the end to "Even if he is their best protection"
      Good luck!

      Delete
  11. Kelsey Beach
    LIAR'S LIGHT, YA fantasy

    35 word blog pitch:
    The only thing Calisson wants more than developing her magic is finding her parents. She befriends two people who can help: the crown prince and the assassin who wants to kill him.

    Twitter pitch:
    Her magic dormant, Calisson befriends two people to help find her lost parents: the prince and the assassin who wants to kill him. #PitchMas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good words here. Small suggestion witha grain of salt: "...is to find her parents" instead of "finding her parents". (I know, splitting hairs here but that's what this crazy game of thirty-five words is about!)
      Good tweet!

      Delete
    2. I feel like it's a little vague and lacks urgency. I like the idea, though. Maybe.
      Calisson will do anything to find her parents--including befriending the crown prince. But the assassin who want to kill him? She'll use him too.
      (k, that sucks, but, yeah. There's an idea)

      Delete
    3. I also like the story idea.

      Ooh, and I really like Nazarea’s word choice suggestion (not sucky to me!).

      Delete
    4. Hi there.
      35 word - I think it should say 'is to find her parents' at the end of the first line. I don't know how it affects the story by Calisson befriends those two. It is by accident? On purpose because it helps her? Tell me the stakes. Right now I'm having trouble connecting the dots between developing magic, missing parents and the people helping her. Draw the lines so I can connect to the story and see the hook.


      Twitter pitch: Again, I'm missing the connection between her magic and parents. Will friending those people help with her magic which will help her find her parents? Or will finding her parents help her magic? I need the hook in the story, not just characters. Right now, they are ou of context so they don't connect.
      I like your rekindling magic idea though and the whole enemy helping her thing with the assassin.
      Good luck!

      Delete
  12. Heather Quartetti
    THE HALO, YA fantasy

    35 word blog pitch:
    Becca Ford thought her affinity for plants was nothing special. When she realizes she has the power to control them, Becca goes to the one place where she can discover the truth about her past.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like, but maybe be a little more specific about what the place is?

      Delete
    2. I thought this was good. Simple, clean and effective.

      Delete
    3. Wondering if 'affinity for gardening' would be better, since it sounds like nothing particularly special, whereas an 'affinity for plants' is definitely unusual. And this feels like it is missing the most important word: '...the truth about her past: ______"

      Delete
    4. Oooh, controlling plants – what fun!

      In short pitches, I always suggest removing the last name. It is unnecessary detail, taking up precious word space.

      Delete
    5. 35 word blog pitch:
      Becca Ford thought her affinity for plants was nothing special. When she realizes she has the power to control them, Becca goes to the one place where she can discover the truth about her past.

      Hello!
      35 word -
      What's the one place? And finding out about her past throws me for a loop. Try to integrate that from the beginning. Also, to save a word, ditch the last name. How does the plant control and her past connect? and what is the hurdle/stakes to finding out about her past and getting to the place she can? This is what I want to know.
      Love the controlling plants angle. Definitely a new twist.
      Good luck!

      Delete
  13. Marlene Moss
    ELEMENTAL FIRE, Upper MG Fantasy

    35 word pitch:
    Horse-crazy fourteen-year-old Brook discovers a gate to Tirasvara and joins forces with Goshawk, the legendary Ghost Horse, to protect the gate key from a man plotting to control all dimensional pathways or be trapped forever.

    Twitter pitch:
    14yo Brook discovers a pathway to Tirasvara and teams with Goshawk, the Ghost Horse, to protect the gate key or become trapped forever

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am very new to all of this, so hopefully others will weigh in as well. I thought your twitter pitch was much clearer. I wonder if you could say something like: When 14yo Brook stumbles into Tirasvara, she partners with Goshawk, the Ghost Horse. They must protect the dimensional gates or be trapped forever.

      Delete
    2. 35: Since portal fiction can lead anywhere, the name 'Tirasvara' doesn't really give me anything to envision. The rolling plains of Rohan or the jagged surface of Mercury? So I'd cut the proper nouns and use the words to paint the setting. 'joins forces' is positional, are there two replacement words that could show motivation/conflict?

      Twitter: Works better than the 35, but again I'd drop Tirasvara and Goshawk in favor of their descriptions.

      Delete
    3. Oh, you’ve got a great premise here. A few minor tweaks (in order to ramp up conflict) and I think you will be gold.

      “and joins forces… or be trapped forever” doesn’t quite match up. Breaking the pitch into smaller sentences might help.

      Also, your Twitter pitch is missing the hashtag! You need #PitchMas in order for the agents to find your tweet – and it will affect your word count.

      Delete
    4. Great suggestions - thank you so much!

      Revised 35 word pitch:
      Horse-crazy fourteen-year-old Brook stumbles into a magical parallel world and helps a mythical horse protect the gate key from a man plotting to control all dimensional pathways. If she fails, she’ll be trapped forever.

      Revised Twitter pitch (with hashtag!)
      14yo Brook stumbles into a magical parallel world and helps a mythical horse recover the gate key to avoid being trapped forever #Pitchmas

      Delete
  14. Samantha Farkas
    THE LOST FIGUREHEAD, MG Adventure

    35 word pitch:
    Finn Rackham just wanted to escape Brooklyn, but didn't count on his ferry getting commandeered by pirates--and time travelers, no less. Now he's in for a wild adventure through history, if only he can survive.

    Twitter pitch:
    12yo Finn wanted o escape NYC, but didn't count on his ferry getting commandeered by pirates--and time travelers, no less. #PitchMas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 35: Two things -- I'd like to know the time frame. 1860s? 1970s? Two totally different stories. Also, some detail about the pirates that steers me away from thinking "Time Bandits". Right now that's what I'm filling in.

      Twitter: I'd use 'wants' rather than 'wanted'. 'no less' doesn't work for me in either version. Here I'd rather see the chars used for pirate detail.

      Delete
    2. I suggest cutting "just wanted "- "Finn Rackham escapes Brooklyn,". . .

      Change "didn't" to doesn't

      And as per S Jenan's request - Cut "no less"& describe the pirates

      Good Luck! Sounds like an interesting adventure.

      Delete
    3. Okay, I LOVE the idea of pirates and time traveling in a modern world seen through the eyes of a 12yo. Very cool.

      Quick proofing edit: On Twitter pitch – “o”? I think you meant to write “to”.

      I’d also love to know why Finn wanted to escape… some tidbit to help tie everything together.

      Delete
  15. Lydia Aswolf
    YEAR OF THE HYBRID, Adult Urban Fantasy

    Twitter pitch:

    Get the flu shot, they said. It's safe, they claim. Next thing Kas knows, she's on top of the food chain. And the FBI wants a word with her.

    Blog pitch:

    Get the flu shot, they said. Perfectly safe, they claim. Next thing Kas knows, she's sitting on top of the food chain. And the FBI would like to have a word with her.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you can dump 'they claim.'

      'sitting on top of the food chain' doesn't capture what you're trying to express -- we're humans, after all: it doesn't get more apex predator than that... or does it? Let me know the answer with specifics. And does the FBI merely want a word with her? Or do they have orders to shoot to kill? If you have a choice in these things between arch insinuation and sledgehammer, go with sledgehammer.

      Delete
    2. Lydia Aswolf
      YEAR OF THE HYBRID, Adult Urban Fantasy

      Revised Twitter pitch:

      Get the flu shot, they said. Next thing Kas knows, she’s on top of the food chain, but no longer human. And then the FBI butts in. #pitchMAS

      Revised blog pitch:

      Get the flu shot, they said. The next thing Kas knows, she's on top of the food chain. But she’s no longer human. And the FBI wants her to consider their indecent proposal. Or else.

      Better? Or worse???

      Delete
    3. This is so much fun!

      I like a mix of original and revised Twitter pitch:

      Get the flu shot, they said. It's safe. Next thing Kas knows, she's on top of the food chain. And the FBI wants a word with her. #pitchMAS

      Keep the original blog pitch.

      Good job!

      Delete
  16. Jason Nelson

    Free Agent, Adult Urban Fantasy

    35 word blog pitch:
    As the Fairy Godfather’s agent, Marissa Locks makes wishes happen every day. Her wish? Freedom. To gain it, she’ll have to ditch a princess, return a prince, and avoid the wishes of a rival fairy.

    Twitter Pitch:
    As the Fairy Godfather's agent, Marissa Locks granted everyone else's wishes Now, she'll go after a happily ever after of her own. #PitchMas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice! I like the use of the question and "ditching a princess" got me curious. Good Tweet.

      Delete
    2. Fun idea!

      Quick suggestion: i/o “Marissa Locks makes wishes happen every day” use the wording from your Twitter pitch and change to “Marissa Locks grants wishes every day.” Makes is a weak verb. Grants has more imagery, emotion.

      Delete
  17. Wow, great work! This query might be a little vague (on top of the food chain? Does the shot give her superpowers? Or is she literally EATING people, which would be a little creepy but should definitely be mentioned in your post?), but it makes me want to know MORE, which is the whole point.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oops, I'm a goober. That was supposed to be a comment on Lydia's post, lol.

      Delete
    2. Thank you so much; means I achieved my aims with my pitch, Naomi!

      But must pop in to comment on Jason's as I love his pitch...particularly the twitter one.

      "Now she'll go after a happily ever after of her own," sounds perfectly ominous. It removes any thoughts that she might be a om chanting kind of Fairy Godfather agent.

      I like the explanation as to HOW she has to go after her freedom as well. It's fast paced and shows a sarcasm laced voice, which I love to read. I'd like to see what goes down with rival fairy. You've conveyed a lot here in limited space. Kudos to you on account of it!

      Well done, Jason!

      Delete
  18. 35 word pitch:
    Seventeen-year-old Thyra's determined to reign as Snow Queen forever but her time's melting away. She must reassemble a wizard's shattered mirror by her eighteenth birthday or lose her body and her brilliant mind.


    Twitter pitch:
    As the Snow Queen she's immortal. As a seventeen-year-old human, Thyra Winther has less than a year to live. #PitchMas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The tweet is superbly-excellent! Yum. Blog-pitch is good too. Perhaps "Thyra's determined to reign forever as Snow Queen" might roll of the tongue more easily....or not. Or how about "forever reign?" Take advice with a large grain of salt pulease.

      Delete
    2. What is the title of your novel? Genre?

      Your Twitter Pitch is crisp. But it appears to conflict with your 35 word pitch. "As the Snow Queen she's immortal" or "her time's melting away"

      Delete
    3. I would like a higher stake than "losing her body and her brilliant mind". That makes your character seems almost egotistical, which I'm sure she's not :) Perhaps, "or her time on earth will run out"? I know that's not awesome. Just trying to show you a potential re-phrase. Good luck!

      Delete
    4. This is a really fun idea. Is it based on a traditional fairy tale at all (retelling)?

      Quick suggestion: “As the Snow Queen she's immortal, but as a seventeen-year-old human, Thyra Winther has less than a year to live. #PitchMas”

      Delete
  19. Sean Jenan
    CIPHER, Sci-Fi Thriller

    35 word blog pitch:
    The 'Nick Ravell' identity lets him shake the feds and disappear within Wellsburg's ivy-covered halls. But unmasked by a professor seeking the wellspring of miracles, this fugitive cyberthief must attempt the impossible: to hack God.

    Twitter pitch:
    He's framing his best friend, dating a girl to steal her password. Nick Ravell isn't even his real name. And he's the hero. #PitchMas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I LOVE THIS. Especially the 35 word pitch. That's great, but I would consider reworking the Twitter pitch. I think framing the best friend and using a girl, while interesting, aren't nearly as attention-grabbing as "wellspring of miracles," "fugitive cyberthief" and "hack God." I recommend changing your focus for the Twitter pitch.

      Delete
    2. Okay--totally nit-picking here, but perhaps you could say simply "Hack God" rather than "to Hack God". I think it sounds stronger.(Not that hacking God would ever sound weak...mind you.)I agree with Sam up there who recommends changing your focus of your twitter pitch to match your blog's.

      Delete
    3. I really like this. My only criticism is that there is a lot to unpack in the 35 word blog pitch. I don't think it's necessary to share that Nick Ravell is a fake identity for the pitch to work. Taking that out, you could unpack a little. Maybe, "Nick Ravell hopes to shake the feds and disappear within Wellsburg's ivy-covered halls. A professor seeking the wellspring of miracles stands in his way. Now, this fugitive cyberthief must...."

      Just an idea! Love the idea of hacking God and like your twitter pitch. Good luck!

      Delete
    4. Really intriguing! I agree, "hacking God" would read better than "to hack", at least for me.

      Delete
    5. Totally new and interesting. Would love to see how this turns out.

      Quick word choice suggestion: The 'Nick Ravell' identity lets him shake the feds and disappear within Wellsburg's ivy-covered halls. But when unmasked by a professor seeking the wellspring of miracles, this fugitive cyberthief must attempt the impossible: hack God.

      Delete
  20. Jill Haugh, The Play of Fortune, YA Historical
    Blog pitch: The precarious futures of thirteen young Elizabethans all hinge upon the impending wedding between defiant Lady Judith and that disreputable old codfish, Lord Grimbald. How will the play of Fortune influence their lives?

    Twitter pitch: 13 destinies hinge upon the wedding between defiant Judith and the notorious Lord Grimbald.How will Fortune influence their lives? #PitchMAS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 35 word: I'm having trouble discerning whether this is the story of 13 Elizabethans or Lady Judith. If it's the 13, you may want to focus on just one for the sake of the pitch. An individual I can make an immediate connection with; without a novel to explore, a group is just an abstraction. 'disreputable old codfish, Lord Grimbald' really comes to life.

      Twitter: conflict is tighter here, but I'm still more interested in Judith than the 13. I'd invert, to lead with her.

      In both cases, I'd reword the question as a statement.

      Delete
    2. You have hit the nail on the head. "Fortune" is precisely about a group whose lives depend upon this event which hinges upon Judith. (It's thirteen first person narratives/monologues which unfold into a story. Think Robert Altman's "Short Cuts" in Elizabethan England. Thanks so much for your time and your opinion! It is good, sound advice and I'll give it a whirl.

      Delete
    3. I like that they end with questions. Also, you said codfish, which may very well be my favorite word EVER! =) Thirteen futures, thirteen souls… maybe you could do something around 13 being unlucky when ‘playing’ with someone’s fortune? It’s very intriguing, though. I would read. =)

      Delete
    4. Hi! I think you sound like you've got an interesting story here! The biggest issue with these pitches is that you don't give the reader any indication of WHAT will happen after this wedding. You say there's a risk, but we have no idea what that risk is, or what's at stake.

      Does that make sense? I hope so. Good luck!!

      Delete
    5. Love, love, love the phrase “that disreputable old codfish, Lord Grimbald.” So much voice written there. Well done!

      Delete
    6. And here's the new improved blog pitch, for those of you brave souls still willing to offer advice:

      Destinies are altered and fortunes transform for the thirteen young Elizabethans whose interwoven lives (and intertwined secrets) all hinge upon the inauspicious betrothal between defiant young Lady Judith and that disreputable old codfish Lord Grimbald.

      Delete
  21. Christy Trujillo
    Playing With Fire, NA Urban Fantasy

    35 word blog pitch:
    The name’s Lea. Who am I? Leader of Dragonkind? No thanks. World’s savoir? Hell no. Falling for a human? Maybe. Who am I kidding? I’m all of the above, whether I like it or not.

    Twitter pitch:
    Growing up sucks, or blows if you’re a dragon. So does being expected to lead an entire race. Guess I've got to do both. Yay! <-Sarcasm #PitchMas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOOOOOVE IT! Change it only because you are stiff competition!!!! You go girl. Want to read now please.

      Delete
    2. I like your title.
      Usually agents prefer the pitch be made in the author's voice, not your character.
      Good Luck!

      Delete
    3. Thank you, Jill! =)

      I agree with you, Manju. I'll try to revise and see what I can come up with. I've just been writing as her for so long it's hard to be anyone else. lol

      Delete
    4. Okay, so all those question marks should have me telling you not to break the rules, but somehow... you made it work.

      And 'Yay! <-Sarcasm' is all kinds of fun.

      Voice jumps from the page in these; I'm afraid I'm not much help in improving.

      But do change typo: 'savoir' to 'savior'.

      Delete
    5. I loved hearing the voice of the character in the pitch... That strong voice is what "sold" me. But I'm no agent...unfortunately.

      Delete
    6. Hi! So, your pitch is obviously hook-y, which is great, but I would also say that you should be aware that pitches IN voice can be risky. Pitches WITH voice, however, are universally awesome. I would see if you can keep some of the voice while bringing it into a 3rd person perspective. :D Good luck!!

      Delete
    7. I just have to say I'm bowled over by your voice, and would so read you! Sometimes breaking the rules works...but most of the time, alas, we are told no. Couldn't help hopping on the bandwagon to compliment you on your fantastic voice!

      Delete
    8. I'm chiming in with everyone else on this one. Awesome job! This makes me really want to "up" my own pitch!

      Delete
    9. Fun pitch, with original structure. Good luck!

      Delete
  22. Nazarea Andrews
    Beyond Chains and Stars, YA Sci-fi



    When Juhan and his sister are sold into slavery, he swears to find a way home. With Chosi in a gladiator school half a galaxy away, that will be a lot harder than he thought.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 'sold into slavery' has me interested, but you've got Juhan's first thought finding a way home (a me-me-me goal) not rescuing his sister (more sympathetic). Chosi is the sister? say 'his sister Chosi' in 1st sentence. 'that' in 2nd sentence should be referring to finding a way home, but the phrase before sets up Chosi's location half-a-galaxy away. And if she could be taken there by the setting's technology, couldn't he use it too, so why would it be harder than he thought?

      All the conflict/motivation is here -- so the battle is 85% won with this pitch -- but the words are coming out a little muddled and disconnected.

      Delete
    2. I like the title a lot.

      Agree with S Jenan, conflict / motivation is present, just needs a little word tweaking to convey the urgency.

      Delete
    3. I like the title a lot.

      Agree with S Jenan: conflict / motivation is present, just needs a little word tweaking to convey the urgency.

      Delete
  23. Sorry that last one had a great BIG typo... fixed now!

    Katie Teller
    BRANDED NA Action/Romance

    35 word blog pitch:
    On Allison King’s twenty-second birthday she is branded for death. But she escapes her execution and the General, humiliated by her defiance, is obsessively hunting her, and nothing will gets in his way and live.

    Twitter pitch:
    On her 22nd birthday, Allison King is branded for death, literally. She escapes, barely, and is now hunted by the obsessed General #PitchMAS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure who your story focuses on from this pitch. Is it Allison, or the General? Can you focus on just one, maybe:
      Allison King is branded for death on her twenty second birthday. When she escapes, she's on the run from the General she humiliated, and being caught means death.
      Obviously, you can do better than I, but that's an example. :)

      Delete
    2. Perhaps a more active voice? "Escaping from the General she humiliated..." etc.

      Delete
    3. for the twitter pitch I just have a change. I will change by the obsessed General to by an obsessed General. I think that way makes more sense since we never hear from the general before.

      Now the 35 words. It get a little confusing at the part of the general.
      Maybe try something like this: On Allison King’s twenty-second birthday she is branded for death. But she escapes her execution humiliating with her defiance a General. Now he's obsessively hunting her, and nothing will get in his way.

      Delete
  24. I like your twitter pitch much better. However, it loses something around the second sentence for me.
    Maybe something more grabby...
    "Escaping execution, she is hunted by a general who will pursue her at all costs - even his life."

    ReplyDelete
  25. Krystal Marquis
    THE THIRTEENTH SUBJECT, YA Science Fiction

    35-word blog pitch:
    Deceived by the Corporation, Evangeline, a genetically engineered teen leads an attack on the lab that created her after learning she and the other experiments are all that stands between the scientists and everyone else.

    Twitter pitch:
    17yo Evy leads rebel soldiers against the lab that created them before the power hungry scientists can execute a plot for power. #PitchMAS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your books sounds very interesting. For the 35 word pitch can you break it down into 2 or 3 sentences. Right now you got this long run on.

      Delete
    2. Hi! So, my first thought on these pitches is that I don't really know what the danger is. What is the corporation going to do? What's at stake? The genetically engineered this is awesome... but I would love if you could find a way to tell me what happens if they don't stop the scientists. Hope that helps!

      Delete
    3. Thanks!! Your comments help a lot. I'll play around with them... see what I come up with.

      Delete
    4. Love the premise! I'd love a little more ominous, though...

      First they created her; then they deceived her. Now she and the other experiments might be all that stands between the scientists and everyone else.

      I would absolutely read this!

      Delete
    5. So much good going on here!

      Quick nitpick: “everyone else” is too vague. What is actually at stake?

      Another suggestion, flip the pitch to start with Evangeline, not the Corporation (it’s HER story, after all!).

      Example: After Evangeline learns that she, and the other genetically engineered teens, are all that stands between the deceitful Corporation and everyone else, she leads an attack on the lab that created her.

      Delete
  26. PM Kester
    Dear Oprah,Mainstream Fiction

    35 word blog Pitch

    Jessi Scott Williams has escaped poverty and will be damned if she is going back. When her mother issues a shocking ultimatum, she relies on therapy, prayer, and Oprah Winfrey to get her through.

    Twitter Pitch:
    Jessi has escaped poverty and will be damned if she's going back. With therapy, prayer, and a little help from Oprah she may be alright.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Man, I LOVE the title. I would totally pick this book up based on that alone.

      I think your pitches are effective as is. I'm not sure if it is possible with word count restrictions, but it would be nice to have a hint about what the ultimatum is. You could probably cut the "will be damned if she's going back" line to get more story in. That would also carry the advantage of getting more of your voice in and less of a common phrase. Don't get me wrong, it sounds good, but it is something you might want to play around with.

      One other Q: with the mention of prayer in both pitches, is this more of a Christian contemporary than mainstream? Or maybe Christian fits into mainstream.... I don't know!

      Delete
    2. It's definitely not christian and I worried about putting the word prayer in there because of its. It's a southern thing - "we just some praying people" :)

      I will play around with it some more. Thanks for the feedback!

      Delete
  27. Sarah Turnbull
    AND WE ARE ALL DAMNED, YA dark fantasy

    35 word blog pitch:
    Orphans Haeden and Veanne are fifteen-years-old when their adoptive father, the sole doctor of a grotesquely insular Victorian colony, mysteriously dies, leaving them without knowledge of their parentage and defenseless against a spreading preternatural plague.

    Twitter pitch:
    A preternatural plague is unleashed in a Victorian colony when orphans Haeden & Veanne unearth the dark legacy of their bloodline. #PitchMAS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the twitter pitch is perfect. Maybe work with the twitter one adding some words and make it the 35 words.

      Maybe:Orphans Haeden and Veanne are fifteen-years-old when their adoptive father mysteriously dies, leaving them without knowledge of the dark legacy of their bloodline and defenseless against a spreading preternatural plague.

      Delete
    2. I really, really, REALLY love your twitter pitch; it's clean, elegant, and evocative. Just my two cents, but that approach could work for your blog pitch, too; amping up the dread factor by the same line...something like:

      When their adoptive father dies, fifteen year old Haeden and Veanne are caught defenseless against a spreading preternatural plague...until they unearth the dark legacy of their bloodline.

      I know you can top me, but I love, love, love the concept, and hope my two cents helps!

      Delete
  28. Hi everyone! Just a quick update - I have an appointment at the DMV this morning - BE JEALOUS - so I will be swinging by this afternoon to see if there's anything I can add that our awesome experts haven't mentioned! Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The DMV? On your BIRTHDAY? That sounds...like fifty shades of awful to me. But while I'm here, want to wish you Happy Birthday Wishes...in ahem, the hopes it gets better, that is.

      Raising a mimosa in your honor!

      Delete
    2. Way to dig in, Lydia. I have to inquire about the "Top of the food-cahin" thing. What are you trying to say here? Humans are at the top of the food-chain anyway, so I am wondering how the flu-shot changes her. (Vampire perhaps?) Maybe we need more about this change. It seems like a pivitol point that might need to be included in your pitch!

      Delete
  29. Melanie Conklin
    COUNTING THYME, MG Contemporary

    35 word blog pitch:
    Thyme knew it was wrong to lie about her family’s move to New York. But pretending to be a fifth grade witness-in-hiding turns out to be tougher than facing the truth about her brother’s cancer.

    Twitter Pitch:
    When 10yo Thyme relocates to NYC for her brother’s cancer treatment, she lets the entire 5th grade believe she’s in the witness protection program instead. #pitchMAS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Another interesting book:)

      I found this sentence kind of confusing:
      But pretending to be a fifth grade witness-in-hiding turns out to be tougher than facing the truth about her brother’s cancer.

      Delete
    2. I read the twitter pitch first somehow, so I saw the Witness Protection program line before I read the blog pitch. without that, "witness in hiding" makes no sense.

      Maybe starting out with: 10-year-old Thyme knew it was wrong to lie about her family's move to NYC, but pretending to be in Witness Protection turns out...

      Otherwise, really nicely done!

      Delete
    3. That is an EXCELLENT suggestion! Thank you :)

      I struggled with the phrasing there--witness protection program is too long. But treating as you suggested works very well. Thanks for reading, guys!

      Delete
    4. Revised 35 word pitch:

      Ten-year-old Thyme knew it was wrong to lie about her family’s move to New York, but pretending to be in Witness Protection turns out to be tougher than facing the truth about her brother’s cancer.

      Delete
  30. Amanda Byrne
    FINDERS KEEPERS, Adult Urban Fantasy

    35 word blog pitch:
    Magic's nothing but trouble for Brenna. A tyrannical witch wants Brenna’s talents, her best friend's a notorious thief, and her shifter boss wants a date. Tracking down a crazy-inducing ruby? Ain't happening.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's good...sounds interesting, though I'm unsure of what "crazy-inducing" means. Perhaps play with that a bit?

      Delete
    2. I'm with Jill. Maybe "an insanity-inducing ruby?" It sounds like a fun story, though!

      Delete
  31. ZOMBIE CRUSH
    Upper MG UF with zombies
    53,000 words
    35 word pitch:
    After a thirteen-year old witch turns her boy crush into a zombie, she must prevent a covert agency from using him as a prototype for a zombie apocalypse while still trying to pass seventh grade.

    Twitter Pitch:
    A thirteen-year-old witch and her zombie crush must escape from a govt. agency before the apocalypse begins.#pitchMAS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You certainly have the stakes down! Poor kid!

      Delete
    2. This is such a clear pitch! Sounds like a great story. :)

      Delete
  32. Amanda Foody
    ACE OF SHADES, YA Fantasy Steampunk

    35 word blog pitch:
    To find her lost mother, seventeen-year-old Enne journeys to the “City of Sin,” where casino families reign and street gangs infest the streets, only to be embroiled in a plot to assassinate a mafia prince.

    Twitter Pitch:
    In Boardwalk Empire meets Spirited Away, 17yo Enne journeys to the "City of Sin" to find her lost mother. #PitchMAS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like everything about this. *makes grabby hands* No, seriously. Everything.

      Delete
    2. I think this one is perfect you don't need to change a thing in my opinion.

      Delete
  33. Kelly Heinen
    Driven Commercial/Mainstream Fiction

    35 Word Blog Pitch:

    A green light and a drunk driver are all it takes to send Jimmy Rickliefs’
    rock star career into a tailspin. Now, he has to decide: be a stay-at-home-
    dad or continue his rock star career.

    Twitter Pitch

    A green light and an unobservant drunk driver are all it takes to send Jimmy Rickliefs rock star career into a tailspin. #PitchMas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think these are good! I have some comments, though. For the blog pitch, I think stay-at-home dad and rock star both sound pretty good. I totally get what you are saying, but maybe you could try to punch up the enormity of the choice. Maybe you could juxtapose some outrageous detail from his rock star life (parties, drugs, leather pants, whatever) with his stay-at-home dad role to highlight how weird it would be for him. By the way, I really like the concept! It sounds super fun!

      In the twitter pitch, I'd focus on the stay-at-home dad v. rockstar choice. I think it's more unique than the car crash and will help you stand out.

      Delete
    2. A car crash, a rock star in a tailspin! Starts off great, but the second sentence doesn't sound like much of a conflict. The crash didn't take anything from him if he still has a choice to return to the rocker career. What drives him to make this choice? I think the twitter pitch is fine (a twitter pitch by nature is going to be brief), but to me the tension of blog pitch goes flat in the second sentence. It's a big decision, sure, but it doesn't seem to have consequences either way. What is at stake? Did the child's mom perish in the accident? Does Jimmy now fear for his own life if he continues his career? Other than personal desire, what drives him to consider a change of lifestyle that drastic? THAT's where the conflict is.

      Delete
    3. Thank you both =). It's so hard to cram the reason for the decision into 35 words but I will certainly try!! Thank you for the comments =).

      Delete
    4. Will check back if you want to have another go at it!

      Delete
    5. 35: First sentence is good. The second presents the decision-- but that decision leaves me hanging absent the *conflict*. What is Jimmy risking? What about this decision burns either way? That's so important to know in a story like this, where you don't have explosions or chase scenes or baubles. So show me different kinds of explosions -- psychological ones. Is this decision between every friend he's ever known and a son he's hardly had time for? That's what I want to find in the pitch: a man torn apart by an accident who finds the damage goes far deeper than the physical.

      Delete
  34. Samantha Bohrman
    RUBY OVER THE RAINBOW, Funny Women's Fiction

    Blog Pitch:
    Ruby O’Deare embodies the American dream circa 2012. She’s debt-ridden, addicted to Idol, and, uh, “what do two lines mean again?” When someone murders her only client, Ruby finds herself fighting crime. In maternity pants.

    Twitter Pitch:
    Ruby O’Deare needs to find out who killed her only client and pay her student loans. And, yes, she'll be wearing maternity pants. #pitchmas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. maybe add the profession into the blog pitch description

      Delete
    2. I like the voice that comes through even in a short pitch like this! It's hard to cram any voice into 140 characters, including a hashtag! Great job. And I agree with Faye, she could be anything from a hairdresser to a private investigator to an accountant. What does she do for this client?

      Delete
    3. I, too, love your voice! The pitches are good but I wonder: what does she do? Why does she have a client? That's something I'd get in there to make it clearer.

      Delete
    4. With profession...

      New lawyer, Ruby O'Deare, embodies the American dream. She’s debt-ridden, addicted to Idol, and, "uh, what do two lines mean again?" When someone murders her only client, Ruby finds herself fighting crime. In maternity pants.

      Delete
    5. Excellent! Thanks so much.

      Delete
  35. Okay. I'm interested, however, what DO the two lines mean? Sign me, Old and ignorant and previous wearer of maternity pants.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. one line not pregnant, two lines pregnant (on a pregnancy test stick)

      Delete
    2. Oh--I used the one with the "+".

      Delete
    3. Funny! I'm just gonna go with 2 lines and hope for the best. Unless I drink some more coffee and have an epiphany.

      Delete
  36. Brooks Benjamin
    EDEN WORN, MG Fantasy/Adventure


    35 word Blog pitch:

    Thirteen-year-old Asher discovers his middle school’s boiler room is actually a portal to another world called Eden Worn. Now he has four days to rescue his father from an evil overlord holding him prisoner.


    Twitter pitch:

    13yo Asher has 4 days to rescue his dad from an evil overlord living in a world hidden beyond his school's boiler room door. #pitchMAS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I think my twitter pitch is stronger. I really need to work on the blog pitch.

      Delete
    2. Looks awesome! Love the boiler room portal idea.

      Delete
  37. Laura Hughes
    RUNNING DOWN THE DRAGON, Adult Urban Fantasy

    Blog Pitch:
    Thalia Drake, U.S. Military and world's last dragon, must stop a serial killer from exterminating shapeshifters. But stopping him means exposing the dangerous secret she's hidden for thousands of years - her true identity.

    Twitter Pitch:
    Thalia Drake must stop a serial killer from exterminating shapeshifters. Doing so may expose her true identity & spell her end. #PitchMAS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mittens! We meet again! (I remember you from Liz Norris.)

      I think these sounds great. I love the MC's name. Even more, I love that she's US military and a dragon. The second line in your twitter pitch leaves me wanting to know more, which is good, but maybe you could give a stronger hint. I'm thinking, you could write, "If she succeeds, and follow that with the consequences stated more specifically. Just a thought!

      I think they sound awesome. I'd totally ask to read more.

      Delete
    2. Sounds like a great story, and I really like the title. :)

      Delete
    3. It's hard to cram it all in there in 140 characters minus the hashtag!

      How's this:

      Thalia Drake must stop a killer from exterminating shapeshifters. Saving them means death for her if they find out she's a dragon. #PitchMAS

      Exactly 140. *phew*

      Delete
    4. Or even better?

      Thalia must stop a serial killer targeting shapeshifters. Doing so may reveal the dangerous secret she's kept from everyone. #Pitchmas

      Delete
    5. So they all sound good. I'm not sure that #3 gets you any farther info-wise than #1 and I like the phrase "spell her end." Number 2 gives a little more info, but I wonder who "they" refers to (the shapeshifters?). Not sure if you have enough space to clarify. I'm inclined to go back to #1 and feel guilty that I tortured you. I'll go through more, if you have any more ideas!

      Still think they all sound totally request worthy.

      Delete
  38. Wendy Heard
    ELECTRIC GHOST TOWN, YA/Suspense

    Blog Pitch:
    Paloma Lopez gets transplanted from the ghetto to her mom's new celebrity life in Hollywood. She meets her father, a senator with hideous secrets, whose lies pull her all the way to Juarez, and kidnapping.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. who was she living with since she was not with her mother or father.

      Delete
  39. Jonathan Garg
    TYGER, BURNING, Adult Urban Fantasy

    35 word blog pitch:
    Kallie's deaf but had to learn sign twice: once with fingers, then once with prosthetics. Now the man who maimed her has returned, and she can finally take from him like he took from her.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like your pitch-very concise and lets us know the stakes. But when you add in the genre (urban fantasy), well, I don't see anything in the pitch that adds any sort of fantastical element. The only reason I mention that is because I had an editor critique a previous pitch of mine that left out any mention of the setting, which made him wonder if it was just "fantasy" instead of "urban fantasy".

      Delete
  40. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here you are!!! :-D Your twitter pitch is much clearer. I think some punctuation in the 35 words would help. Having read this I'd say something like - Seventeen-year-old Muriel believed she was cursed, but when she moved to Madrid she found something worse. Strange shadows want her soul, but her soul might already taken by a glowing shadow...
      Hope that helps! You're awesome Anabel!

      Delete
    2. Thanks Katie! I made some changes while I think you were posting and I made a new one. But I'm going to work on it again with your changes.

      Delete
  41. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Nazarea Andrews
    One Night with the Monster, YA mythology retelling.

    Andy thought she want Perseus home from the war. She didn’t expect him to return with a nymph, or that she’d wind up tied to a rock waiting for a monster. Turns out, destiny sucks.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Anabel Gonzalez
    Glowing Shadow, YA Urban Fantasy

    35 word blog pitch:
    Seventeen-year-old Muriel thought her curse (emphat/feeling broadcaster) was the worst thing but in Madrid she found something worse. Strange shadows want her soul, but what if her soul is already taken by a glowing shadow.

    Twitter pitch:
    Muriel(17)Found something worse than her curse in Madrid. Strange shadows want her soul, but maybe it belongs to a glowing shadow.#PitchMAS

    ReplyDelete
  44. Blog pitch:

    Seventeen-year-old musician Skylar McGovern is transported by a magical composition to a secret city of art amidst a war fought with music.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Whoops, posted prematurely, but can't figure out how to delete the above post. Anyway:

    Kevin Klein
    LOCRIA, YA Portal Fantasy

    Seventeen-year-old musician Skylar McGovern is transported by a magical composition to a secret city of art amidst a war fought with music.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Sue Frye
    TREE OF MANY COLORS, MG/Adventure

    35 word pitch: You can call me Jimmy. Sure, I want a normal life, but trouble follows me like an ‘ol hound dog. Mind the rules? Shucks, the rules keep changing so . . . I lie.

    Twitter: 12yo Jimmy can’t stay out of trouble or mud puddles. And the lies just don’t work.

    ReplyDelete