Friday, December 13, 2013

#PitchMAS Pitch-honing and peer critique workshop!

HAPPY #pitchMAS, YOU GUYS!

(Or, at least, happy first leg of pitchMAS!)

***pitchMAS sub email/info will be posted later today***

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 next week.

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

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

Jessa Russo
EVER, YA Paranormal Romance

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. Tamara and Jessa will not be participating in the honing portion of #pitchMAS, but we will be around to answer questions on Twitter, so @ us or use the hashtag! 

Good luck, everyone! We can't wait to read your polished pitches, and hopefully help you on your path to bringing your writing dreams to fruition! 

XO,
Tam & Jessa 

Oh, and PS: since this became an issue during our July event, I'll go ahead and post this now . . 
Because of the sheer volume of comments on the pitch-honing workshop, you'll have to click "load more'' at the bottom of the page a few times to see all of the comments.

647 comments:

  1. Jodie Llewellyn
    SECTOR12, YA Science Fiction

    35 word blog pitch:

    High school student, Alexandra Hamilton is focused solely on her career… until she finds herself breaking a multi-million dollar cyborg, named Zentis, out of one of the largest corporations in the city.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jodie, great premise! You could save a few words by saying: Straight A high school (sophomore, junior, senior? which is she?)...

      This tells us she's focused only on her grades and you'll give us her age by saying which year she's in high school.

      ...burglarizes/burgles (name the corporation) to save (is it for life/death reasons?), rescue? steal? Zentis, a multi-million dollar cyborg.

      Delete
    2. Hi Jodie,

      The premise sounds great, but like Sidney says, I think you could tighten it up a bit and then leave yourself with some extra words that you could use to show us exactly why she's breaking a cyborg out of this corporation and what the results of that might be.

      Good luck!

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

      Delete
    4. A question I would have is having a high school student who already has a career. As said above - could use a little tightening. If you need to cut characters, you could skip high school and just give her age. Say "a valuable cyborg named Zentis..." And do you really need the "..." in a pitch?

      Delete
    5. I agree with rob, a high school student having a career sounds a little strange. Showing she's a straight A student covers several bases: it shows that she's in school and is driven (implying she cares about her future). My question is, how did she get into the corporation, was she an intern? This is just a shot in the dark, but: Alexandra thought working at _____ would give her a jump-start in her career after school, but when she broke____ etc

      Delete
    6. I agree about showing motivation. Kill "finds herself" (too passive; readers want a protagonist who's in charge of her destiny) and just say she breaks the cyborg out of a huge corporation (more cut words from that phrase) BECAUSE whatever. Or "in order to" whatever.

      Delete
  2. Garrett Vander Leun
    BORN A SCARY THING, MG Adventure

    35 word blog pitch:

    AUTH/ILL: A hulking bigfoot with a bite-sized brain will lose the idyllic forest he was born to if he doesn't swallow his ego and recruit a rag-tag group of sideshow freaks to help him.

    Twitter pitch:

    MG-AUTH/ILL: Hulking bigfoot must swallow his ego to rescue a group of sideshow freaks that can help save forest he was born to. #PitchMAS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Garrett, great job! I see no way to better either of those!

      Delete
    2. At the risk of being unhelpful, I also can't think of anything wrong with this! Love it!

      Delete
    3. This pitch is so fabulous, I want to kiss it on the mouth. It's delightful as is but, if you want a few more characters to play with on the twitter pitch, the phrase "his native forest" could work.

      Delete
    4. I like the twitter pitch better, when I read "bite-sized brain" I think to myself, why would I want to read about a stupid MC and why is the author making a point to say he is this way? That kind of detail can be evident and done very well in the story, I just don't need it in the pitch necessarily. Other than that, I love it!

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

    ReplyDelete
  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Rob Livermore
    DRAGON SPOTTING IN GRUMBLING PARSNIP, MG Contemporary Fantasy

    35 word blog pitch:

    In the village of Grumbling Parsnip, ten-year-old Joshua fights to save his dad from being dead, stealing fire from a dragon’s belly so he can burn down the barrier between this life and the next.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good story, Rob.

      Maybe: In Grumbling Parsnip, ten-year-old Joshua fights to save his dad from being dead by stealing fire from a (deadly?-some adjective) dragon to burn the barrier between this life and the next.

      Hope it helps.

      Delete
    2. Great concept!

      To save word count, you can swap “save his dad” for “resurrect.” You might even drop the name of the village, since the genre is clear without it (fantasy/dragon). You could also cut “barrier between this life and death,” since saving his dad from death/resurrect almost says the same thing. I don’t know your story, but with the pared word count you could add another line about overcoming a huge obstacle along the way, which would add another layer. Perhaps something like this:

      Ten-year-old Joshua fights to resurrect his dead dad by stealing fire from a dragon’s belly. He’ll need to rally friends to help… hard to do for the shyest kid in town.

      Delete
    3. I agree with skywriter! If his dad isn't being resurrected necessarily, you could say "save his dad from death."

      Delete
    4. Thanks for the comments, everybody!

      Delete
  6. Sidney Blake
    THE SPACE BETWEEN, Adult Contemporary Suspense

    35 word blog pitch:

    Dedicated DEA Agent Deanna Ellis reveres her hallowed wall of accolades, until her partner dies. Guilt-driven, she tracks her partner’s killer, which leads to deceit, betrayal, and the real murderer among her trusted colleagues.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh! This sounds good :)

      I'm curious, why is she guilt-driven? Is she somehow responsible for her partner's death? You might want to try working that in there. (I know, 35 words is tough!)

      Maybe cut out the second instance of "her partner" and just use the appropriate pronoun. It will free up a couple of words for something else.

      Delete
    2. Consider having her be either dedicated or revere her wall of accolades, they give the same character trait.

      Delete
    3. I also think you could focus more on why her partner's death makes her feel guilty. Did she mess up somehow?

      If so, you could go with something like: The one mistake in DEA Agent Deanna Ellis' otherwise spotless career leads to her partner's death. Or so she thinks, until she overcomes her guilt and begins her own investigation, tracking the murderer into the ranks of her trusted colleagues.

      Okay, that's a pretty clumsy attempt, sorry, but I hope it illustrates what I mean.

      Delete
    4. This feels somewhat generic. What makes this story different from all the other "surviving partner goes after dead partner's killer" stories? See if you can work out what makes either the protagonist or the plot unique.

      Delete
  7. Stephanie Schauer
    THE DIARIES OF GUARDIA, Young Adult Steampunk

    35 word blog pitch:

    Three teenagers from Earth must decide if championing a magical revolution in a society ruled by burgeoning Steampunk technology is worth a devastating war and certain death, when they cannot trust even their closest allies.

    Twitter pitch:

    Three teens must decide if reintroducing magic to an oppressed people ruled by technology is worth war and certain death YA #Pitchmas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I dig the twitter pitch more than the 35-word. It sets up the plot better without the additional words that add little info. "reintroducing magic to an oppressed people ruled by technology" is a genius phrase. Great job and groovy concept! You've summed things up in a concise way and given me a tantalizing mental image of the story.

      In the 35-word, "from Earth" seems extra, since other planets aren't mentioned. "a society ruled by burgeoning Steampunk technology" could be much shorter to give more room for some idea of what happens and what the stakes are (more specifically than war and death). Maybe by stating what could be won instead of lost? What I'm missing in this version is what makes this world different and fascinating enough to want to visit. It sounds like a really engaging story, but here it's getting lost in literary swooshes. The twitter pitch is a great place to start in tightening up and giving something to sink teeth into.

      Delete
    2. Adding to what Mich said. I'm not always a fan of descriptions saying "certain death." If there seems no chance of survival they seem to have nothing really to gain. The word "certain" just feels unnecessary - why is that better than "facing death?"
      If you must include "Earth" in the pitch, try "three Earth teenagers..."

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

      Delete
    4. Sorry Rob! Caught your comment as I was posting and then Google managed to trip me up with random account switching. Let's try this again!

      Do these revised versions sound better?

      Twitter:

      "Three teens must decide if reintroducing magic to an oppressed people ruled by technology is worth war and facing death."

      35-word:

      "Three teens must decide if reintroducing magic to an oppressed people ruled by technology is worth war and certain death. Love blossoms as they seek freedom, but a change of allegiance could divide them forever."

      Delete
    5. Hi Stephanie,

      The twitter could also be smoother if the end read "worth risking war and death"

      The 35-word is still a bit vague.
      Maybe you could compress and add more specifics?
      In an oppressed society ruled by technology, three teens contemplate risking war with [enemy oppressor] by reintroducing magic. When one [sum-up betrayal] ...

      Is the story based on deciding to move or not? If they act relatively soon, you can just say they risk war instead of making it sound like a lot of deliberation. The more your characters act in the pitch, the more compelling your story will sound, especially if those actions are specific and set your story apart from other rebellion tales.

      You've got a GREAT hook in the magic v tech angle, but it's getting lost in generalities at the moment. Maybe expanding on that idea more?

      Delete
    6. If the teens actually do reintroduce magic, then the opening as a decision may not be relevant and you can focus on the consequences of the decision. I like the overall idea of magic v tech too.

      I'm still a bit vague on the love angle since there are three. Do they love each other, have they found others to love? How big a part of the story is this?

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

      Delete
    8. *strangles Google*

      Thank you guys for being so patient and helpful with this. I appreciate it beyond words. In regards to the love, Rob, it's essentially love in a camaraderie sense, not so much as romantic. I've mulled over the awesome feedback you both gave and came up with this revision for the 35-word pitch:

      "In an oppressed society ruled by technology, three teens ignite a civil war by reintroducing magic. When one switches allegiance they risk losing their freedom and the thing they care about most – each other."

      I'm glad you both like the tech v. magic aspect. It's something I've really enjoyed playing with!

      Delete
    9. SO MUCH BETTER! "Ignite" makes me smile with word-glee. If there's a good reaction to the betrayal, or some juicy action, it'd outrank general risk of friendship. The more teases you give at unique plot points, the better.

      Don't know the story, but as an example ...
      When one switches sides, the others must mesmerize evil cyborgs to protect their freedom and their friend's life.

      You're getting much closer with each whack, and it makes your story come to life.

      Delete
  8. Sarah Floyd (skywriter)
    BUTTERFLY GIRL, MG magical realism (coming-of-age)

    35 word blog pitch:

    Twelve-year-old Mandy awakens ancient magic… and sprouts weird leathery wings! Her absentee-mother shows up with superstar plans, but choosing Hollywood mom means leaving Grandpa, who always stood by her, and her crush…who’s totally crushing back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I dig the daylights out of this pitch. You've packed a lot of great story beats into so few words, and I get a great sense of the conflict. I'm not sure whether absentee-mother is proper, but you've got a few spare words in there that are great for amping voice, but could be bounced if folks are nit-picky.

      I'd be inclined to get this story for my niece. Great job and great concept.

      Delete
    2. I like this :) It sounds quirky and adventurous.

      Delete
    3. I'd remove "weird" and just say "leathery wings." How many people have normal wings? If your title is descriptive, maybe "colorful leathery wings" would be better.

      Delete
    4. Great pitch. Just be careful with the "totally crushing back" in MG. Good Luck!

      Delete
    5. Thanks to you all for the kind words and helpful feedback!

      Delete
  9. Lexi Lawton
    DEADLY ORCHID, Adult Romantic Suspense w/ light erotica

    35 word blog pitch:

    A delivery of orchids caked in human blood was her first clue. An Adonis-like bodyguard was her second. Nicole’s been targeted by a serial killer. Now she must fight for her life and her heart.

    Twitter Pitch:
    12 blood covered orchids, 1 sexy as sin bodyguard & 1 sadistic serial killer. Nicole must fight for her life & her heart. #Pitchmas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good premise.

      Delivered *or* Anonymous-gifted orchids caked in human blood serves as the first clue. An Adonis-like bodyguard rings in second. A serial killer targets Nicole (what's her last name?...and her job? targets Dentist Nicole Granger as she fights (what) for her life and heart.

      Good luck!

      Delete
    2. Thank you! Great suggestions. This is how I've reworked it:

      Anonymous-gifted orchids caked in human blood serves as the first clue. An Adonis-like bodyguard is the second. Investigative journalist Nicole Andrews must fight a serial killer for her life and a bodyguard for her heart.

      Delete
    3. I was going to suggest adding a wee bit about the protagonist, but I like the addition of "investigative journalist." Not so wild about "anonymous[ly] gifted." Perhaps just "receiving" would do it. I think it's pretty easy to infer that a sane person wouldn't send flowers caked in blood, and certainly wouldn't announce who he/she was.

      Delete
    4. lol. Good point, Gin. "Receiving" is a good word choice. Thanks for the help :-)

      Delete
  10. David Eric Tomlinson
    AMERICAN PRAYER, Adult Commercial/Literary Fiction

    35 word blog pitch:
    The justice system saved this Choctaw Indian’s life. Now he’s a public defender, estranged from his heritage. To keep a Choctaw client off death row he’ll need to rediscover his roots. And break the law.

    Twitter pitch:
    A public defender estranged from his Choctaw heritage. To save a client from death he must rediscover his past. And break the law. #PitchMAS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting story.

      You may want to name your character.

      The justice system saved this Choctaw Indian's life. Now a public defender and estranged from his heritage, XX YY needs to rediscover his roots to save (is this person important in the tribe?) Choctaw client from death row.

      Hope it helps. Good luck.

      Delete
    2. Also, if you want to name the MC right off, you could start with something like:
      The justice system saved XX YY’s life. Now he’s a public defender, estranged from his Choctaw heritage.

      Twitter pitch is aces.

      Delete
    3. Ditto - need to give the name. You want us to connect with a character. Easier to do when we know the name.

      Delete
  11. Kelly Martin
    THE AFTERLIFE OF LIZZIE MONROE, YA

    If Shane had it to do over again, he wouldn't have gone out that night. He wouldn't have burned down the church. And he sure wouldn't have taken the annoying dead girl home with him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow! Love this premise :)

      Possible suggestion:
      If Shane had it to do over, he wouldn't have burned down the church that night. He wouldn't have taken the annoying dead girl home with him, either. But now....(include the stakes here).

      Good luck :)

      Delete
    2. Yee-hah! I love this concept with the fire of one thousand suns, and just needed to comment to say that.

      I agree with Lexi that trimming to add stakes would make the pitch even better. You've made me intrigued enough to consider picking up a YA story, so kudos!

      Delete
    3. Great job creating conflict/tension. I like Lexi's suggestion to include the stakes.

      Delete
    4. I'm digging it. Wouldn't change a thing

      Delete
  12. Barbara Kupetz (barbkupetz)
    DEAR MR. B
    Picture Book
    Twitter Pitch

    Mr. B wants a no-harm way to get the mouse out of his house. Will failed plans and “mouse notes” lead him to a new solution?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cute concept, but I wonder if the title gives away the ending that the mouse writes back to Mr. B. Perhaps a switch to DEAR MR. MOUSE.

      Best wishes!

      Delete
  13. David Eric Tomlinson
    AMERICAN PRAYER, Adult Commercial/Literary Fiction

    35 word blog pitch:
    She’s a proud black woman – and the angriest physical therapist in Payne County. Her brother, once a basketball player, embraced a thug life that killed him. She plays hoops to forget. But can she forgive?

    Twitter pitch:
    She's a proud, angry black woman. Her brother embraced a thug life and got killed. She plays hoops to forget. But can she forgive? .#PitchMAS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would like to see the character's name, and maybe something about who she has to forgive. Is she shooting hoops with the people who were part of the life with her brother or saving some people from going down that road? Maybe shorten the brother part : He brother's thug life got him killed. Saves 2 words

      Delete
  14. David Eric Tomlinson
    AMERICAN PRAYER, Adult Commercial/Literary Fiction

    35 word blog pitch:
    He was NBA-bound. Then his spine, and his dreams, were broken. This new physical therapist – a proud young black woman – gives him hope. Can he overcome injury (and his bigotry) for another shot at life?

    Twitter pitch:
    He WAS NBA-bound; NOW he's paralyzed. But a spunky black nurse gives him hope. Can he overcome his bigotry for a new shot at life? . #PitchMAS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi David! Your story sounds very heart-wrenching, and something I would love to read :)

      I see you've posted two different 35 word pitches. I think this one is the stronger of the two. Although I really do like this line from the first one: "--and the angriest physical therapist in Payne County." It would be great if you could incorporate that into this second pitch.

      Maybe:
      He was NBA-bound. Then his spine and his dreams were broken. He's now saddled with the angriest, black physical therapist in Payne County. Can he overcome injury and his bigotry for another shot at life?

      Good luck :)

      Delete
    2. Love "saddled". Thanks for the help.

      Delete
    3. Definitely prefer this pitch over the other version. The other was lacking any obvious plot.

      Delete
    4. No problem, David.

      One more thing: It might not hurt to replace the first "he" with the character's name.

      Delete
  15. Mich M. Fisher
    CAPTURED BY THE PIRATE, Adult Historical Paranormal Romance

    35-word pitch:
    After millennia as Goddess and Queen, vampire Kadi just wants to be loved as a woman. When she finds her soul mate, she'll face the labyrinth, a pirate mutiny, and Death's wrath to save him.

    Twitter pitch:
    Adult- After life as a goddess, vampire Kadi wants to be loved as a woman, facing pirates and Death's wrath to save her soul mate. #PitchMAS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. General references (goddess and queen) shouldn't be capitalized. If it was Goddess Kadi or Queen Kadi in the pitch, then it's part of the name.

      I don't read paranormal romance, but the term paranormal makes me think ghosts. Would this be more of a romantic fantasy?

      Delete
    2. Thanks! I have a bad habit of the caps, since Kadi's frequently referred to by her honorific titles, as well as Your Majesty. Glad you caught that.

      I was pretty sure vampires are included in paranormal, though maybe someone might need to correct me on that.

      Delete
    3. Clean, compelling pitch! One tiny tweak for smoothness would be to change the placement of "vampire," like this:

      After millennia as vampire goddess and queen, Kadi just wants to be loved as a woman. When she finds her soul mate, she'll face the labyrinth, a pirate mutiny, and Death's wrath to save him.

      I would classify this as paranormal. Best wishes!

      Delete
    4. Oh, I like that much better! Thanks!

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

    ReplyDelete
  17. Shiela Fuller
    EYE ON THE FLY, picture book

    blog pitch:
    Bentley is a herding dog, yes, but have you ever heard of a corgi herding a fly? Bentley traverses the house hightailing the fly, turning the house up-side-down!

    ReplyDelete
  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Rob Gilliam
    LEGACY SOLDIER: HYBRIDS DEPLOYED, Science Fiction

    35 Word Blog Pitch:
    Eighteen year old partial telepath Mark must transition from FTL research intern to soldier. This means learning to use tactical knowledge genetically inherited from his alien father to save two worlds and his forbidden lover.

    Twitter pitch:
    Half-alien partial telepath must master tactical knowledge and skills genetically inherited to save 2 worlds and his secret lover. #Pitchmas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like a groovy concept!

      You've got a lot of words which can probably be trimmed back to add more specific info to the set-up. The forbidden lover sounds promising.

      Maybe something like:
      Eighteen-year-old telepath Mark must transition from intern to soldier, mastering genetically-inherited alien skills ...

      Ideally, that gets the basic idea across enough to build more story into the pitch.

      Hope that helps. You've got cool ideas and it'd be great to see more of them.

      Delete
    2. Thanks Mich. I really like your suggest, particularly for the Twitter pitch.

      Delete
    3. No worries. I'm a copywriter, so being able to use it for good instead of evil, for a change, is all kinds of groovy. Good luck with the recrafting!

      Delete
    4. Funny thing is I incorporated the suggestion to the main pitch and now just have 27 words. I feel like forcing 8 more would add non-value material.

      Eighteen-year-old telepath Mark must transition from researcher to soldier, mastering genetically-inherited alien technology and tactics to save two worlds and the forbidden lover he followed into war.

      Delete
    5. It's badassery. But, if you feel inclined to say what villain(s) or unfortunate fate he's saving the 2 worlds (and/or the lover) from, that'd be a good use of the extra real estate to clarify the obstacles or stakes.

      Delete
    6. I agree with some of the above. Interesting idea! But I'd like to see it trimmed back a little more!

      I quickly tried to trim it down a little bit. Also, what happens if he doesn't save one of the worlds? What are the stakes?

      Half-alien & partial telepath, (MC name), must master new skills to save two worlds and his secret lover. #Pitchmas.

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

    ReplyDelete
  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Ashley Morrison

    SUBMERGED: YA Fantasy

    Blog Pitch: (I'm between two and could use feedback)
    Seventeen-year-old Kova is a treasure-hunting family’s next kidnapping target. She has the Atlas coin—a gift from the sea monsters that raised her. Now, she must outwit her kidnappers before all she loves is destroyed.

    Japanese folklore retelling: Some dead get a second chance at life—below the sea. Seventeen-year-old Kova’s their errand girl, until her double life is exposed and a bounty is placed on her head.

    Twitter Pitch:

    Stay w the boy she loves on land, or die to save the sea monsters that raised her. 17 y/o Kova must choose, & lose the other forever.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like the first one more. I would change the "she has the Atlas coin" part to "They want her Atlas coin," to make it a bit clearer.

      Your twitter pitch needs a bit of work, I think--if she's dying to save the sea monsters that raised her, then how is she losing them forever--I mean, I guess through death, but I feel like the choice could be less one sided--death or love? I think you may be choosing to represent the wrong part of the book in the twitter pitch. It doesn't quite fit with the blog pitch.

      Hope this helps!

      Delete
    2. I don't feel the urgency in the Twitter pitch. I'd like to see the double-life highlighted more in the opening of the Blog pitch.

      Delete
    3. My vote would be the first pitch. It's rich in detail, and gives an intriguing sum-up. The last sentence could maybe be slightly more specific, if you can work it in, but it's really good, overall. The concept is interesting and very clearly communicated.

      The twitter pitch is a good alternate. If you can, you might want to think about developing a 2nd one based on the 35-word, too. Kidnapping + sea monsters + secret treasure is too delicious to miss. Also, if you post twice during an hour, you've got something fresh to look at that gives more info.

      Delete
    4. Thanks all for the feedback! I've tried reworking my twitter pitch! I know it's our job, but man, fitting in the pitch with 140 characters is tough business! Any feedback on this one would be great!

      Kova must outwit the kidnappers out 2 steal her Atlas coin, a gift from sea monsters who raised her, b4 all she loves is destroyed. #pitchwars

      Delete
  23. After the world ends, Raquel wakes up two years in the past. She hears a voice that says one thing: Hurry. Raquel must learn what caused the disaster and fix it before its too late.

    I'm trying to decide between two twitter pitches:

    #pitchmas After seeing the world end and waking two years in the past, Raquel must learn what caused the disaster and how to stop it.

    #pitchmas After time traveling to the five major extinction events in history, Raquel must use the information learned to stop the sixth

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Looks like my title and genre got deleted?

      The Sixth Event
      YA Sci Fi

      Delete
    2. A little potential confusion between one pitchmas and other posts. The second pitchmas mentioned 5 extinction events, but the other two just reference disaster - singular.

      The second pitchmas doesn't flow as well but I like the open reference to 5 extinction events. That shows there will be progression throughout - going through the whole thing just looking to stop one disaster might sound slower.

      Delete
    3. I agree with Rob G about the Twitter pitches. I like the reference to the five events...we get a good idea of how the story will progress.

      Delete
    4. I agree with the others. The 5 events add good detail and suggest escalation.

      Maybe something like?
      The world ends. Raquel wakes up two years earlier. "Hurry," the voice says ...

      That'd give you a whole bunch of words to include more detail.

      Delete
  24. Heather Raglin
    FATED, YA Contemporary Fantasy

    35-word blog pitch:
    When class president Kenzie Moriarty is told she’s a Fate, she competes against her sisters to determine which role each will inherit. If she ends up cutting life-threads, Kenzie’s mortal boyfriend might not forgive her.

    Twitter pitch:
    YACF:16 y/o Fate Kenzie can make her bf immortal. But doing so means cutting someone else's life-thread early, an option she can't live with

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow! Another great idea :) There have been so many of them already.

      I think your pitch is solid, but I have question. What exactly is a "Fate"? I get it's some sort of paranormal-ish being, but I've never heard of it before. A one or two word description might not hurt, just for clarification. Honestly, when I first read it, I thought it was supposed to be Fae and Fate was a typo. It was a bit confusing. I would hate to see someone else make the same mistake because this really does sound like a fantastic story!

      Good luck :)

      Delete
    2. The tie between competing with her sisters and the boyfriend isn't clear.
      And sisters - same parents sisters or just other Fates?

      Delete
    3. Dig the concept and good, concise pitch, especially the Twitter version!

      The twitter pitch sets up stakes better, so that might be a consideration to pepper into the 2nd sentence of the 35-word to make it stronger.

      I'm very familiar with mythology, so Fates are no issue for me, but Lexi's right in that brief clarification would make the pitch clearer.

      If you start out with "When Kenzie Moriarty discovers she’s a Fate, [possible insert], she competes [against her sisters] to determine which role she'll inherit." you'll recover some extra words. If you drop the sisters, which would be assumed by anyone familiar with the Fates, you'll gain even more. That'll also keep the focus on your MC.



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

    ReplyDelete
  26. Pete Catalano
    MIDDLE SCHOOL MOBSTERS, MG Contemporary Humor

    35-word blog pitch:

    After principal snitches on Rosselli’s WITSEC whereabouts, 13yo Deech and friends plan to trap principal, outsmart badguys, survive seventh grade. Failing that, Deech’s dad's finished, but they've all seen Home Alone like a thousand times.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Sean Grigsby
    52 PICK UP: Supernatural Thriller
    35 word pitch:
    Three years ago he escaped her jaws. After the redheaded woman rips back into his life, Lonnie gets the feeling he might not be the biggest, baddest wolf in the city.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting approach, sneaking in the wolf part at the end. Maybe give the name in the first sentence - Three years ago Lonnie escaped her jaws."

      Delete
    2. I take it Lonnie is a werewolf? Does "jaws" indicate the redheaded woman one too? Also, I agree with using Lonnie's name in the first sentence.

      Delete
    3. Good idea on the name. The redhead is his "maker".

      Delete
    4. Agree with the others that Lonnie's name should probably be in the 1st sentence.

      The pitch tells me only a bare hint at the story, but has sexy intrigue. After reading it, I expect some dark, pulpy shenanigans with a brash anti-hero and an even more brash dame on the make. All of these ideas make me smile and want to click a buy button ASAP. A small hint more story with that voice of badassery would be even stronger.

      Get down with your bad self!

      One FYI quibbly thing about the title. It's the same as an Elmore Leonard novel that was made into a movie with Roy Scheider and Ann-Margret (double-rowr), sexy dark anti-hero and redhead. Granted, I'm a geezer who forgets no trivia, ever, so there's that ...

      Delete
    5. Lol. Thanks! I'm aware of the Leonard novel. I figured since I have a space between pick and up, it wouldn't matter. It can always be changed, too.

      Delete
    6. I was confused, and had to re-read, thinking the pronouns were mixed. I can guess at what you mean, but it's not clear, and clarity is critical in a situation where the reader isn't likely to have the time to parse out meaning.

      Delete
  28. Joy Daughtery Dickinson
    BAD DREAMS GO AWAY, Children’s picture book

    35-word blog pitch
    Sometimes Hope has bad dreams. But there is a special secret that makes the monsters go away. Surprise! It works. At the end of her journey, she finds sweet dreams.

    Twitter pitch:
    When Hope dreams about a monster, she doesn’t make faces, throw things, call 911, trip him, or dig a hole. She does try a new trick to get rid of him. It works!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd feel more hooked if I had a hint of what the secret was. Do you need to tell us that the secret will work? Or could you leave us with that as an open question?

      In your Twitter pitch I like the examples: I can see those pictures.

      Delete
  29. Deirdre
    TO THE SEA: NA-Contemporary

    35 Word Pitch:

    Recently married, loss cracks Kira’s heart wide open then she learns he also cheated. Learning to surf guides her back to who she is and teaches her the best way to love and be loved.

    Twitter Pitch:

    NA: After loss cracks Kira’s heart open she tries surfing to overcome her well of grief & learns more about love than the water. #pitchMAS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What loss? You could open with "Newlywed" instead of "Recently married.

      You apparently like "cracks Kira's heart wide open" but you should consider shortening it. Pitches are to get the key points out. He cheated, he died, she's crushed. Obviously not that simple, but you want to keep it as concise as possible.

      Delete
    2. I have to agree with Rob G. That first sentence is kind of confusing. I had to re-read to get the gist. The Twitter pitch sounds good, although you could lose "cracks Kira's heart open" and use something shorter. Good luck!

      Delete
    3. Love this idea! I agree.I also think Surfing to find herself is key. How about a start like this:

      Surfing mends Kira's broken heart .... Keep it simple and less wordy.

      Delete
    4. I'm not clear if the cheating husband has died. If so, maybe "After the loss of her cheating husband". I think you're doing a good job of creating an emotional connection with the MC.

      Delete
    5. Agreed with all the previous. The surfing angle is a good one, and could be fleshed out. The florid swooshes take up words you could use to add more depth to how surfing heals her heartbreak. I'd simplify the cracking and wells of grief to give details that make Kira's story unique and compelling.

      Maybe starting with something like this?
      "When newlywed Kira's husband dies, discovering his affair intensifies her grief."

      This will give you more room to better detail how surfing impacts her recovery and, since there's love, is there a romantic hero? If so, he should probably be at least suggested.

      Twitter could maybe have a brief set-up like this?
      "Grief-stricken [or grieving to be shorter] Kira learns to love again [from situation/hero] ... "

      Delete
  30. Cynthia Lott
    The Feathers, Adult Thriller

    35 word blog pitch:
    Thomas Carpenter, having been dead for 100 years, returns in 1978 to murder his victims. As detective Brenda Shapira unravels this long ago mystery, she soon realizes that she, herself, may be his last victim.

    Twitter pitch:
    Thomas Carpenter has been dead for 100 years, returning in 1978 to murder his victims. New Orleans detective Brenda Shapira realizes that she may be his last victim. #ptichMAS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting concept! It seems a teensy bit wordy with "soon realizes" and "she, herself," which I think can be pared down for more impact. Perhaps something like this:

      Thomas Carpenter – dead for 100 years – returns in 1978 to once again murder his victims. As detective Brenda Shapira unravels this long ago mystery, she discovers that she may the last victim on his list. (35 words)

      Best wishes!

      Delete
    2. I love this! Sounds great!
      Is there any way to mention the name of the love interest? Something like "It's definitely enough for her to fall in love with {name}." I think you have 2 or 3 words to spare on the 35 word pitch so hopefully that will fit.

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

      Delete
    4. Sorry. Blog accidentally posted my comment to the wrong pitch. Grrrr.

      Delete
    5. I'm confused by "murder his victims" -- did you mean "murder his killers"? Because of course he'll murder his victims. But how are they related to him? Or do you mean something like "murder stand'ins for his original victims"? He was a serial killer in his past life? Then, something like "serial killer Thomas Carpenter, dead for 100 years, returns .... "

      Delete
    6. Thank you, Gin. He actually was murdered 100 years before and is seeking to avenge his own death by murdering five separate individuals...but there's not enough room for all of that in 35 words! :) He was not a serial killer in his past life...just to make clear.

      Delete
  31. Leslie
    The Mary Kennedys, YA Contemporary

    35 word pitch
    Seventeen-year-old Ivy’s going to reunite 80s band The Mary Kennedys. Or at least try. The only chance of finding the mom who abandoned her will be at a concert by her mom’s favorite band.

    Twitter pitch:
    17y/o Ivy misses the mom who abandoned her, so she hatches a plan to reunite her mom’s favorite 80s rock band, The Mary Kennedys, in order to find her. #PitchMas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What will happen if she does not find her mom? I would like to see the stakes. What gets in the way?

      Delete
    2. I'd open with her only chance of finding her mother is at a concert of her mom's favorite band. Then give details of how difficult it will be to reunite the band.

      Delete
    3. Either added stakes or an intriguing obstacle would definitely help make the pitch even stronger. You've got a very cool angle, which can be beefed up to highlight what makes Ivy's story unique.

      Maybe a start like this will add some room to play with more details?
      Seventeen-year-old Ivy plans to reunite with her estranged mom by reuniting her favorite band.

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

    ReplyDelete
  33. Mary Bernsen
    HEALING THE BAYOU, NA paranormal romance

    35 word pitch:
    Twenty-four year old Eliza discovers her roots in Voodoo royalty and cultivates the powers that come attached to her bloodline, but claiming her throne means she will be forced to give up her soul mate.

    Twitter:
    24yo Eliza discovers her roots in Voodoo royalty, but claiming her throne means giving up her soul mate. NA PRN #Pitchmas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that's a great conflict, but does she want to be a queen?
      Maybe say what is one advantage of cultivating the powers. That would be nice to see her goal (peace in the land?)
      Your title announces that there is a healing going on, maybe put that somewhere.
      Example: Eliza discovers she has the power to heal the Bayou, but claiming her place on the Voodoo throne will force her to give up her soul mate.
      Or something like that.

      Delete
    2. The Twitter pitch should read PNR not PRN :o)

      Delete
    3. Oh! I like the sound of this!

      Try to keep it simple. Just rearranging the wording ...

      bloodline powers (instead of \the powers that come attached to her bloodline\)

      I also like Sussu's example!

      Delete
    4. I love that, Sassu! Thanks for the insight

      Delete
  34. THE MIGHTY CARROT, Chapter Book/Adventure

    35-word pitch:
    After discovering a red handkerchief, Carrot the rabbit seeks forgiveness as a superhero. When his first "rescue" angers an eagle, can he rise from the bottom of the food chain to become a true hero?

    Twitter pitch:
    The discovery of a red handkerchief drives Carrot the rabbit to seek forgiveness as a superhero. But the eagle is watching. #pitchmas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The main question I have is: Why is he seeking forgiveness?
      Maybe try a different word like - purpose.

      Delete
    2. I read the Twitter pitch to my 7 year old (who reads chapter books nightly) and he says, "Mommy, will you buy me that book?" Sold.
      I think it is a very fun concept, and your pitch is very well done.

      Delete
    3. Thank you both. Mary, very encouraging to hear your seven-year-old enjoyed it!

      Delete
  35. CJ Black
    TINDERBOX: Adult heroic fantasy


    35 Word Blog Pitch:

    Isbet is a witch, seeking her grandmother’s murderer. Prince Bram is prisoner, fighting for his freedom. When they are pulled into a war of dark magic, ambitions must be set aside to save their land.

    140 Character Twitter Pitch:

    Isbet is a witch seeking revenge. Bram a prisoner, seeking freedom. Together they are tasked to fight the dark magic threatening their land.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In the twitter pitch, you could replace tasked to with must.

      Delete
    2. I do not see how all these elements are connected. What ambitions? Do they forget their goal to fight together? The plot seems flawed.

      Delete
    3. I see Isbet's search for the murderer possibly leading to a conflict with saving the land, but wouldn't saving the land be part of Bram's fight for freedom? I don't see his goal or ambition needing to be set aside. Might be better to focus on Isbet.

      Delete
  36. The Brothers of Calden: YA/NA Fiction

    Love and war are two very dangerous things. Caught between them, Princess Siri must chose, her country's ruin or her heart's desire.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is tight and has everything, except that I do not see how your story is different from many other stories like this. Work on the originality.

      Delete
    2. My question is if the pitch is too vague or overused?

      My other go at it was: Siri betroths a neighboring prince to save their kingdoms from war and starvation, only to fall in love with her betrothed’s brother, forcing her to choose between love or peace.

      Delete
  37. Katie Teller
    Dancing in the Athenian Rain, NA Historical Romance

    35 words:
    Donna awakes in Classical Athens. Armed with only a note book of translations, falling in love with an Athenian soldier, her husband, is the last thing she wants, but is exactly what she needs.

    Twitter:
    Modern day Donna awakes in Ancient Greece. She'd like to go home but she's pretty sure she loves the guy who just bought her. #pitchmas NA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Twitter pitch is very tight and telling, very well done. The 35 words doesn't necessarily make clear that she isn't FROM the classical period. That does sound like a great read though!

      Delete
    2. I think the blog pitch nailed it, mostly. However, I do not see what the "book of translations" adds to the pitch. How could a notebook help her fight anything?
      Maybe explain why she needs to fall in love with him.
      What will happen if she does not go back to her former life? Stakes?

      Twitter blurb: How could she have fallen in love with the guy who "just" bought her? Is it love at first sight?

      Delete
    3. I agree with Sussu, maybe say "but finds herself falling for the man who bought her"?

      Delete
    4. The 35-word confuses me. Too many males in the picture. (I think mine has the same problem). Twitter is much clearer though I feel like I need to understand more about the buying thing. Is she a slave? Is your inciting action waking up in Greece and being bought by a guy she falls instantly in love with? I don't know much about Greece but as a modern American being 'bought' is rather a frightening prospect. Unless we're talking an ancient themed version of Fifty Shades of Grey for college students. That would be interesting.

      Delete
  38. Sussu Leclerc
    Pranks and Spirits Don’t Rock: YA paranormal mystery

    35 Word Blog Pitch:

    Psychic Janna is accused of kidnapping. She has to cross over to find her sister if she wants to prove her innocence. That means either going to jail or confront pranking spirits of the beyond.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is here sister dead or alive and in jail?

      Delete
    2. It could use just a bit of tightening, perhaps: Psychic Janna is accused of kidnapping and must cross over to find her sister if she wants to prove her innocence, which means she can either go to jail or confront mischievous spirits.

      Delete
    3. Thank you so much, Nicole :)

      Delete
  39. Rebecca Enzor
    THE NAMELESS WARRIOR, Adult Fantasy

    Pitch: Her sister was sold to the enemy. Her tribe was betrayed by her chief. Now the Nameless Warrior must decide which one to save. #PitchMas AF

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you put a comma after enemy, and into her, you can drop the was. Also, you can replace which one with who to save.

      Delete
    2. I think you did well here. It's very intense for as short as it is, and it's sure to grab attention.

      Delete
    3. One small thought: Since she doesn't have a name can we know something about her that's like a name? Something personal to hang on to that tells us something about her outside the conflict--which is excellent and enticing?

      Delete
    4. Ooooh, I never did think of that. I could make it "Kindra's sister was sold to the enemy. Her tribe was betrayed by her chief. Now the Nameless Warrior must decide who to save. #PitchMas AF"

      Although, does that make it sound like the Nameless Warrior is someone other than Kindra?

      Delete
  40. Amanda Heger
    PLAYING DOCTOR, NA Contemporary

    35 Word Pitch:
    Thirty days in the Nicaraguan jungle might be enough to get Annie into Brown's medical school. It's definitely enough for her to fall in love. She’ll never get used to eating armadillo.

    Twitter Pitch:
    Thirty days in the Nicaraguan jungle might be enough to get Annie into Brown's medical school. It's definitely enough for her to fall in love.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For your twitter pitch, consider putting in the numbers instead of spelling out thirty.

      Delete
    2. Nit picky question for you consideration: What's at stake in this story? Is it being in the jungle or falling in love or getting into medical school? All of these possibilities are interesting but in this pitch it's hard to get a feeling of the conflict. Is she on a medical trip? Is she not supposed to be falling in love? What makes this character's situation inconvenient to her plans?

      Delete
  41. Rebecca Waddell
    BEHIND THE TANGLE TREES, MG Fiction

    35 Word Pitch:
    Beth is in love...with football. Coach Kotch welcomes her to the middle school team as a kicker, but she can't kick. If Coach won't acknowledge her real skills, she's benched for the season.

    Twitter Pitch:
    12 y/o Beth loves football. Coach makes her a kicker, but she can't kick. If he won't acknowledge her real skills, she's benched all season.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rebecca.
      I love the opening on both of these. A 12 y/o girl in love with football is a great hook. But the part about the coach making her a kicker when she can't kick is confusing to me. Why would a coach do that?
      I know it's hard to get detail in with such a short word limitation, so instead of adding in more detail, perhaps it would help to pull back and be more vague. Maybe something like this?
      "Beth is in love…with football. Coach Kotch welcomes her to the middle school team, but doesn't seem to acknowledge her real skills, slotting her as a kicker. She might be benched all season if she can't make him see."
      (I realize that's 3 words too long, but something along those lines.)

      For the twitter pitch, maybe something like this:
      "12y/o Beth loves football, makes it onto the team. But coach doesn't acknowledge her real skills. She might be benched all season #PitchMAS"

      (And don't forget to include the hashtag in your character count for the twitter pitch)
      :)
      Hope that helps!

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

    ReplyDelete
  43. Julie Martin
    MAIDEN, Women's Fiction

    35 word blog pitch:
    A 16 yo girl with the gift of making magic with her piano music is swept into a crooked deal between her father and a stranger, forcing her on a mythic journey of self-discovery that tests her courage.

    Twitter pitch:
    A 16 yo girl with the gift of making magic with her piano music is swept into a crooked deal between her father and a stranger, forcing her on a mythic journey. #PitchMAS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So I've been reading through these pitches--Like the concept of yours but if you hadn't labeled it women's fiction I'd be assuming YA fantasy. Does she literally make magic by playing the piano? It's a very interesting idea both ways but as I don't read YA I'd want to know why this is a book for adults before I bought it.

      Delete
    2. Love it! But I agree with Jaye, it sounds more like YA.

      Delete
    3. I wonder if you should tell us the mc's name instead of just calling her girl. Otherwise I think you packed a lot into that little sentence.

      Delete
    4. Agree on the genre confusion.

      Delete
  44. Connie Ann Michael
    SERENITY: YA Contemporary
    35 word Pitch:

    Football defined high school senior, Jolin. Invisible defined Serenity. It only took a moment to take their dreams away. Now they must decide how far they are willing go to get them back.

    Twitter Pitch Football defined senior, Jolin. Invisible defined Serenity. One moment shattered their dreams. How far will they go to get them back?#pitchmas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi! *waves* Glad to see you pitching this. It's a FAB story!!

      In your 35 word pitch, the second sentence states: "It only took a moment to take their dreams away." The word "it" implies that there is something tangible that stole there dreams. So, what is "it" that you're referring to here? It's too vague.

      How about something like this:
      Crushed dreams. Blackmail. Backstabbing friends. It's just a typical high school day for football hero, Jolin, and outcast Goth, Serenity. But when their worlds collide, they must work together to get their lives back.

      Delete
    2. Hey Connie!
      How about making it shorter, like this:
      HS Football = Jolin. Invisibility = Serenity.

      I'm also wondering how they are connected. Is the ONE MOMENT both of their moments? Does that make sense? And the last sentence is too vague. I know you want suspense, but I think the agents would want to know more.

      Delete
  45. Which do you like the best?

    35 word pitch #1:
    Mind-control abilities hinder rather than help Jessamine climb out of the anarchic slums of her city, especially when she meets a charming boy who might be interested in more than just her personality.

    35 word pitch #2
    In a city run by anarchy, mind-control abilities hinder rather than help runaway slave, Jessamine, cope with her new freedom. Especially when she meets a charming boy with strange secrets who sends mixed signals.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like #2 the best, but I'm not sure what the boy has to do with it? Does he also hinder her ability to cope with freedom? I think if you showed what problem (other then sending mixed signals) the boy makes for her, you'll have a stronger pitch.

      Delete
    2. There's a lot of mystery in the second pitch. Maybe too much? I'm thinking specifically of 'strange secrets who sends mixed signals.' I'd like something concrete to relate to.... In that sense I'm drawn more to the first version but I would change 'might in the second line to 'is' or 'seems' might makes me feel like you don't know yourself. Since you're mentioning the boy I assume it's more than 'might' be interested.

      Delete
  46. Jaye Viner
    The Lost Vanguard Trial--Literary/Upmarket Commercial

    35 Word Blog Pitch:
    Jane finds her past creeping up on her when she encounters, Daniel, the actor whose life she saved by marrying her brother’s best friend, a man who puts celebrities on trial for their sins.

    140 Character Twitter Pitch:

    Jane finds herself hiding in plain sight w/a family of movie stars when she learns her husband is coming to make her pay for her sins. #PitchMAS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For the 35 I'm confused. How did she save the actor by marrying her brother's best friend? What does Daniel have to do with her brother? Also, it wasn't clear at first that her brother's best friend is the one who puts celebrities on trial for their sins.

      The Twitter pitch gives me a better idea of what's going on, and what the stakes are (the husband is coming to make her pay) although I think you could probably clarify what her sins are.

      Delete
    2. Thanks Rebecca. Nice to see you here. :-p

      Delete
    3. I agree. There is so much in this little pitch that I am confused. The twitter pitch is better because it isn't trying to put so much in. I know there isn't much room but putting too much in makes it hard to get a feel for what the story will tell us.

      Delete
    4. Nice to see you as well :) If you want to email me we can work on your pitch that way: rebeccaenzor@gmail.com

      Delete
  47. Nancy Churnin
    HE NEVER HEARD THE CHEERS, NF PB

    35 Word Pitch:
    Deaf kids don't play baseball, everyone told William. But he wouldn't give up the game he loved. They jeered, then cheered as he became one of the greats. True story.

    Twitter Pitch:
    Deaf kids don't play baseball, everyone told William. But he wouldn't give up the game he loved. They jeered, then cheered as he became one of the greats. True story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love the title but I don't see the opening phrase. Though it may have happened, why would people say deaf kids don't play baseball? I have experience with the hearing impaired and don't see how that would hinder playing baseball which requires more visual and individual skills. Team communication isn't as critical.

      Delete
    2. Hi Nancy,

      Here's a suggestion for your twitter pitch, to trim it down a little:
      #PitchMAS Everyone told Will deaf kids don’t play baseball. But he’s not giving up until he becomes one of the greats. True story.

      This leaves you with 10 spare characters to say the genre of your novel, which I think would help in this case. It's not obvious from the pitch what genre it's in. The 35 word pitch allows for you to give the title and genre, but not the twitter, unfortunately.

      I would also suggest for the 35 word pitch that you change it from past tense to present tense, as I did with the twitter one. It makes it sound more interesting and urgent.

      Hope that helps!

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

    ReplyDelete
  49. Casey Hill
    ENTERTAINING THE ENEMY, Contemporary Thriller

    35 Word Pitch:
    Dancer Eve is entertaining Troops in Afghanistan when, against all rules, she falls for a Special Forces soldier. But Afghanistan is no setting for a fairytale. Kidnap, corrupt politicians & rogue soldiers almost destroy her.

    Twitter Pitch:
    A dancer Entertaining Troops in Afghanistan is kidnapped by Al Qaeda.Will corrupt Politicians condemn her to death in the desert? #pitchMAS

    Many Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the idea, however I would change "almost destroy her" and i would mix both pitches.
      Try something like:
      Dancer Eve is entertaining Troops in Afghanistan when, against all rules, she falls for a Special Forces soldier. She is kidnapped by Al Qaeda.Will corrupt Politicians condemn her to death in the desert?

      Delete
    2. Very cool idea, Casey! I agree with Sussu on the pitch advice.

      Delete
  50. Sussu Leclerc
    YA High Fantasy: Thalia the Stories Walker

    35 Words Pitch:

    Thalia the muse wanted freedom. Now, her writer will erase her if she does not steal Beauty’s mirror to replace her gift. That’s without counting on the evil Winter Queen who wants her muse powers too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm intrigued, Sussu! Can Thalia not exist without the writer?

      Delete
  51. Gin Jones
    Cozy mystery

    35 word pitch:
    Murdered antiques dealer sold fake rare quilts. Quilt appraiser Keely Fairchild finds clues in the calico to save falsely accused quilt guild leader.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Gin,
      I can clearly see a hook in this, but I wonder if it would flow better if you reversed it. Start with the falsely accused quilter, then mention Keely Fairchild finding clues, then mention the murdered antiques dealer. It sounds like the meat of the story is all about saving the falsely accused, so put that first.
      If this novel is mostly about an antiques dealer being murdered, then I think you could take out the part about the falsely accused quilter and tell me more about the murder.
      Depends on where the focus is supposed to be.
      Hope that helps!

      Delete
    2. Maybe give a name to the dealer, that will personalize the pitch.
      If the story is not about finding who killed the dealer, why mentioning it at all?
      The story is about saving the innocent leader. Say more about the dealer maybe.
      I am a little confused. Will Keely prove the innocence of the dead dealer or prove the innocence of someone else entirely?

      Delete
  52. Twitter pitch:

    Navigating freedom, 17y/o runaway slave is scared to trust anyone. Except for the charming boy with strange secrets #PitchMAS YA Steampunk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds really interesting! Maybe you could lose the word "strange" and replace it with the runaway's name.

      Delete
  53. 35-word pitch
    contemporary fiction

    During the housing boom, newlywed millennials buy a bargain-priced condo in a transitioning neighborhood. When the market falters and their development flops, they must go to extremes to save their “investment.” Arson is an option.

    ReplyDelete