Thursday, December 11, 2014

How about some Twitter pitch *peer* critique!?

All of this information will be posted again tomorrow morning, but we're answering a lot of questions on Twitter, so we figured we'd post some info here. 

Also, some of you might want to have pitch feedback from your peers--and the workshop post is FULL of comments--so go ahead and post them here for some PEER feedback! 


Twitter Party Details (READ THESE PLEASE):

  • I've decided to set a time because the "all day" was causing A LOT of questions. We go live at 5:00 AM pacific time on 12/12/14, and the pitching will continue all day long. The agents/editors will respond to the pitches they want to request. IF an agent or editor does not respond, but favorites your pitch instead, please view their feed to see if they've mentioned what they want from starred pitches, OR ASK ONE OF US FOR HELP.


  • NEVER NEVER NEVER pitch directly to an agent or editor UNLESS THEY HAVE ASKED. 

Please follow this simple rule . . . at all times, not just during pitch events.

  • If you did not get through to the Top 55, and even if you did, please join us for the Twitter Pitch Party! ANYONE can participate!
  • BUT, your manuscript MUST BE COMPLETED AND POLISHED.

Did you read that? Go back and read it again. I'll wait. *whistles*

Completed and polished. Please, please, please do not pitch a bare-bones idea/concept or a half-written manuscript. No one will sign that, and they'll just be disappointed when they request pages that don't exist. This makes us sad.

  • Twitter pitches MUST BE 140 Characters or Less, and they HAVE TO INCLUDE THE HASHTAG. Don't make the agents and editors work to read what you're pitching because you've broken your pitch into more than one tweet. Don't make them follow a link. Just, NO. (That will just annoy them, irritate your fellow pitchers, and ensure that your pitch gets lost among the others.)
*On this note, we highly suggest avoiding anything that may appear gimmicky
(like artwork and images). 
  • Please keep your Twitter pitching to no more than TWO PITCHES PER HOUR, per manuscript. Do not fill up the feed with your pitch over and over again. This, too, will annoy the agents and editors involved, as well as ruining it for everyone else--which I know you don't really want to do, do you? (Plus, people WILL remember you for it.)

Twitter pitch parties are a LOT of fun--trust us, we've both done many as hosts and pitchers--but please don't get carried away. TWO PITCHES PER HOUR is plenty, and doesn't bog down the feed.

Please respect us, the agents and editors participating, and your fellow writers by following these rules.

You are welcome to pitch more than one manuscript, but please only pitch EACH manuscript no more than TWICE per hour.

Follow along with the hashtag: #PitchMAS

50 comments:

  1. Instead of hitting refresh non stop, I'm going to take the first plunge *holds nose* *dives in*

    To do: Solve mom’s murder, figure out new kid’s secret, avoid hostile hick neighbors, turn into witch, try not to die #pitchMAS #YA

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    Replies
    1. Ooo... I like the list! I would move the witch bit to the first bit though. Keep the last as try not to die. Good luck!!!

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  2. Aimee Marie: I like it. I'm just wondering what connects those things together.

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    1. Oops. Didn't mean to hit enter yet. Why does she need to turn into a witch? Maybe switching the order around might help?

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    2. I like your choice to start with "To do." I am also wondering about the "turn into a witch" part. If you need to save characters, you can change "figure out" into discover and "try not to die" into "stay alive."

      Good luck tomorrow!

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    3. This is great feedback, thanks!

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  3. New to twitter and pitchmas, so bear with me. Any help is appreciated. :-)

    Life was good. Enter being let go, a third date curse, a charging moose, & 1 VT café owner 2 bring Jess & Brad together. #pitchmas #adult

    Or

    Pharmacies don't usually bring fear 2 pharmacists, unless ur name's Jess. & a cursed forest ranger won't change that fact. #pitchmas #hfnrom

    Or

    A cursed forest ranger+30yo pharmacist w/ a secret+VT café= recipe 4 disaster or just right blend. #pitchmas

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    Replies
    1. I think the 3rd one is the clearest. I don't know if you need "or just right blend," though. The charging moose might be more intriguing than VT cafe, if you have enough characters. I'd love to hear what others think, esp. since I'm new at pitch contests. Good luck!

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    2. I'd avoid using abbreviations like ur. I know they save space but they look unprofessional. I like the 3rd one best but not crazy about "or just right blend" and do you mean cursed literally?

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    3. Thanks!! Ranger suffers a third date curse, imAgined by him. Will reword to get ur to your

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  4. This is my first pitch contest, so I appreciate any help you can offer. And I wish you all lots of luck tomorrow!

    1.Anti-bullying story set at summer camp with humor, heart, and a quirky fairy. BUCKET FILLING FAIRY #pitchMAS #PB

    OR

    2.Trey’s a bully. Bucket Filling Fairy is magical & quirky. Will he take her advice & change his ways? Or will he lose friends? #pitchMAS #PB

    OR

    3.Bully at summer camp meets magical, quirky Bucket Filling Fairy. Can she help him change before it’s too late? #pitchMAS #PB

    OR

    4.Anti-bullying tale with a quirky, magical fairy. Set at summer camp. MOLLY LOU MELON meets NANNY MCPHEE. #pitchMAS #PB

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    1. since you have 24 slots you have ALOT to work with for tweets.

      I personally like 4 the best because it has references, which always helps. It tells ALOT about the story in a short amount of words

      I think 3 has strength but not everyone knows what a bucket filling fairly is.

      I think 1 Is good but needs more stakes. The title of the book isn't required. Maybe use those characters to add the stakes?

      I think 2 might be the second best because it combines it all, i would also put in 2 "BUCKET FILLING FAIRY" in caps so people know its also the title!

      you should use 4 and 2 twice, once in the morning and once at night and use them as basis for your other tweets! play with voice, character, stakes, premise and such to get different tweets!

      ~
      KMJ

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    2. You keep using"bucket filling fairy" but I don't know what that means. Could you be more specific? What's the deal with the bucket and what do buckets have to do with bullying? Who is Trey bullying? Are there other kids in the story? Maybe less adjectives and more plot?

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    3. Thanks so much! This is my first pitch contest so I appreciate the help. I struggled w/ how to describe bucket filling in 140 characters. It's a bullying prevention concept taught in schools. It comes from a series of books. I wrote a play based on the books. Bucket Filling Fairy is my original character fr my play. Basically filling buckets is being kind- think the golden rule. Suggestions re clarity about this? TY!

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    4. So the fairy helps him fill up a bucket by helping him do good deeds? I would maybe call it a "Good deed aiding fairy" or something like that just for the sakes of a pitch. You can clarify it if you get an ask and a query letter!

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    5. I really like the fourth one. I think leaving out the phrase 'Bucket Filling Fairy' makes it a little clearer. Good luck! :)

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    6. Yeah, that's about right. So I should drop her name entirely (and therefore also the title)?

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    7. I agree about being confused about what exactly a bucket filling fairy is. Is she an actual fairy? So maybe describe her rather than name her, which looks like you are leaning towards.

      I also like the fourth one best :) I also like #2 because it hints at the stakes (losing friends).

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    8. You don't need to put the title in the pitch. Most people don't. Leaving it out gives you extra space for more plot, stakes. ..

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    9. Thanks, everyone. Good luck today!!

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  5. Here are my top...5?

    In 2100, brain chips are so fetch. But being controlled & forced to commit murder? Not so much. BOURNE X PIED PIPER #ya #pitchmas #WNDB #SF

    An LGBTQ party boy’s fun night turns to finding the one who hacked his brain before the cops find him. #SF #YA BOURNE goodness #pitchmas #SF

    Sassy LGBTQ MC in seedy 2100 must find who controlled him to kill before the cops pin the murder on him #SF #YA #pitchmas #WNDB #SF

    Imagine young merlin in 2100, following the orders of The Phantom. No singing. Just (lots of) blood & mind control. #YA #pitchmas #SF #WNDB

    22st century LGBT boy finds himself forced to kill, & discovering who hacked his brain by becoming a hacker himself #pitchmas #SF #YA #WNBD

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    Replies
    1. I like #1, but I'm not sure if everyone will relate to "fetch." Not sure.

      I like #3 too, but I had to go back to re-read "must find who controlled him to kill" to make sure I understood it. Maybe re-phrase?

      I like the last one too. Wouldn't it be 22nd century? And would you want "discovers" instead of "discovering"?

      You have #SF twice in some of your pitches.

      I think I'm most intrigued by 1, 3 and 5.

      Good luck!

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    2. I love #1 and #5, but I would agree with AMG Halstead on the word 'fetch'. You might want to consider revising that bit. Good luck! :)

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    3. #4 and #5 are my favorites. I think the #4 shows a strong voice and #5 wraps up your stakes and conflict nicely.

      To echo AMG, I also like #3 but got tripped up on the phrase "must find who controlled him to kill".

      Good luck!

      Delete
  6. Hi! Thank you for doing all of this! Here are three of my possibilities:

    1. In UNCOVERED, a rookie reporter in Florida wants a scoop. Instead, she gets a sexy Italian, erotic nights and the Mafia. #NA #PitchMAS

    In UNCOVERED, rookie reporter meets Italian. They're chased by the Mafia in Florida. Erotic nights lead to dangerous days. #NA #PitchMAS

    Skylar wants a newspaper scoop then meets a secretive Italian who leads her to a great story, the hottest kiss and danger. #NA #PitchMas

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    Replies
    1. 1: I like this, I think it gives a clear idea of what the book is about. Can you maybe add an adjective or two--though its clear I think it could use a little more punch

      2: I think bridging the second and third sentence with "And" will make it flow better but this is more clear than 1. The only thing is I wonder...is this italian also part of the same mafia? if so that's not completely clear and should be clarified

      3: This is perfect. The only thing i'd change are the adjectives for story, kiss and danger. "Danger" just seems flat compared to the other two. Try and add rising adjectives for each word (for example: great story, steamy kiss, terrifying danger) those dont work exactly but you can see the rising tone of each adjective?

      ~
      KMJ

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  7. I like the second one best, but recommend moving "in Florida" to follow "reporter."

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  8. I only have five at the moment...opinions? Thank you!

    1.) Half-Indian Dahlia must avenge her dad's murder in a world where watches show how long people have to live. Except hers. #PitchMAS #YA #SF

    2.) She must avenge her dad's death in a world where watches show how long people have to live. And she knows how to change them #PitchMAS #YA

    3.) She must avenge her dad's murder. The man helping her (& stealing her heart) will die in 27 days. But she can change time. #PitchMAS #YA #SF

    4.) Everyone knows when they'll die. Except Dahlia. Dad changes her lifetime watch to save her, now she must avenge his murder #PitchMAS #YA #SF

    5.) IN TIME+LEVIATHAN In a world where watches show lifetimes, Dahlia must protect dad's secrets before watches become weapons #PitchMAS #YA #SF

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    Replies
    1. I really like #3 the best. Do you need the parenthesis, though? Could you tighten by saying ...in a world where watches show people's lifespans?

      I also like #1.

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    2. I love #4. Punchy and wraps up the stakes nicely :)

      I also like #1 both because it's punchy and the WNDB campaign.

      I am struggling to come up with an alternative, but I keep hearing the movie trailer guy every time I read "in a world". Another way to phrase it maybe...? Maybe it's just me :)

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    3. "Watches" is also a verb, which makes the pitches confusing at a glance (and there will be so many pitches that a glance is all you get). Maybe "clocks"?

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  9. I think I like 1 and 4 best.

    One of the things that 1 has that the others don't is that it's diverse, esp considering the "we need diverse books" campaign going on right now.

    I think 5 would be my other fav except... The beginning confused me. Is the title Time+Leviathan or In Time + Leviathan? The use of "In" again right after In Time + Leviathan... You might consider rephrasing. Then that one will be fantastic.

    You really can't go wrong w any of these.

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  10. I didn't realize it was okay to post more than one! Newbie here :) Here are a few more (for a total 4- I'm not going hog wild, I promise)

    Try to solve your mom’s murder when: she was a witch, you’re an almost witch, & your hillbilly neighbors want to kill you #pitchmMAS #YA #PN

    Em JUST wants to solve her mother's murder. She could have done without the homicidal neighbors and lightning slinging new kid #pitchMAS #YA

    A grieving Veronica Mars and bff Kaylee Frye solving a murder in rural Illinois. Also, there is magic, sports cars, & Home Ec #pitchMAS #YA

    Thanks in advance, y'all!

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    Replies
    1. Hi!

      I really like the second one. I agree with AMG though about changing the tense to "she could do without the homicidal neighbors". Deleting that section may open enough characters for you to give the name of the lightning slinging kid. That way, agents and editors may be able to tell if it's a guy or girl and know who Em will be spending her time with :)

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  11. Hi again.

    I like all of this (and your orig. one).

    In #2, is the new kid throwing lightning around? If so, I think you need a hyphen: lightning-slinging. Also, I think you to stick w/ pres. tense since you start w pres. tense: She could DO without...

    You may want to put Veronica Mars in caps. I've been seeing references done in caps. (but what do I know? I'm new at pitch contests!). :) I don't think you need the MC's first and last name. I'd rather hear more about premise. You may also want to re-think the wording of "also, there is." I think you could some up w/ something more intriguing.

    As for the first one, what about:
    To do: Solve your mom's murder. The conflict: She was a witch... Do you have enough characters to do that? You can change "your" neighbors to "the" neighbors to save 1 character, and "hillbilly" to "hick" to save several. (You can tell I really love the "to do"!)

    Good luck! Mine's above if you have any feedback.

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  12. Hi! Thank you for doing this! I have 4 so far. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

    Drew learns that the letters his twin brother left him after committing suicide, are being sent by the girl Drew’s falling for #PitchMAS #YA

    After his twin brother commits suicide, 17yo Drew starts receiving letters, his brother’s way of saving Drew from the same fate. #PitchMAS

    When his twin commits suicide, 17yo Drew must decide if he’ll take the same road or fight to make a different path #PitchMAS

    17yo Drew discovers the letters his twin left him after killing himself are being sent by the girl Drew’s falling in love with #PitchMAS

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    Replies
    1. Hi Elizabeth!

      This is cool, sounds a bit like 13 reasons why?

      One general suggestion for all of them is that all are one sentence. I feel like breaking them up might give all them more punch.

      I like that #3 and #4 both give a hint at the stakes (Drew is contemplating killing himself?).

      I'm curious about the nature of the letters. Are they encouraging? Hopeless? Maybe consider adding something about that. Good luck!

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    2. Lose the comma in the first one.

      The second one's the best. Third is too vague and the first and fourth have a tense agreement problem. I'm assuming what's going on is that Drew gets letters he thinks are from his twin but which are actually from the girl, but it sounds rather like he received the letters from his twin earlier and now, later on, the girl is taking those letters and sending them somewhere.

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  13. I've got two different pitches I've been tweaking for tomorrow. Any advice on improving them would be greatly appreciated!

    Tempted by Satan, cast out by God, poisoned by Adam, being the reincarnation of the original woman could get Evey killed…again #PitchMAS #NA

    Evey discovers she's the reincarnation of the original woman. Now she must run from a great darkness or get killed by it again #PitchMAS #NA

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    Replies
    1. I LOVE the first one!

      I know that's not super constructive but I really do! Nice work!

      Delete
    2. The rhythm is off on the first one. You've got three parallel clauses and then one that seems like it should continue the pattern but doesn't. A period instead of a comma after "Adam" would help.

      The stakes are kind of vague. Yeah, her life, but why now? And from what? Specificity will help you stand out.

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  14. Time Traveling teens rescue Tituba of the Salem Witch Trials & save Baywich Harbor from the encroaching darkness.#Pitchmas

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  15. A prophecy is fulfilled when 12yo Madelyn Kapoor arrives in Baywich. Evil is back & Madelyn must realize her own dark potential #Pitchmas#MG

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  16. Sam is an undead slasher. He is also a bit of a celebrity. But the girl he loves thinks he's a monster. Can he win her heart? #PitchMAS

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  17. Extra credit + Luke’s dream girl = Win. But Sensory-Deprivation and A.M.P. don’t mix, and when the line between imagination and reality blurs, Luke must stop Ian before Ian erases Luke's dream girl. Permanently.


    Thank you everyone in advance for any comments / thoughts / suggestions / questions you have.
    And it’s YA Sci-fi if that’s not clear… Is it?

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