Friday, December 5, 2014

On the First Day of #PitchMAS: Peer Critique/Honing Workshop

HAPPY #pitchMAS, YOU GUYS!

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

***pitchMAS sub email/info will be posted at 6:00pm (pacific) 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, as we are the ones who will be picking the Top 50, so it would not be fair. 

We will, however, 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.

729 comments:

  1. Andrea Gaskill
    The Split Apart

    Catherine is trapped. Her life straddles two worlds; one filled with happiness the other with violence and torment. In the Split Apart, she fights a living nightmare to save those she loves most.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Catherine:

      I think your pitch sounds interesting, but I think it needs a little more detail. How old is Catherine? That would tell if this is MG, YA, NA, A. It's not really clear what the Split Apart is. Do you just mean in the story? Or, is there something in the story called the Split Apart where she fights?
      Good Luck!
      Crystal Christie

      Delete
    2. I'd like to know how she has become trapped, and like Crystal, I'd like to know how old Catherine is. Good luck!

      Delete
    3. Adding above what category and genre would really help. If this is Women's Fiction my reaction to this pitch would be very different from, say, SciFi/Fantasy. One's literal and the other's figurative.

      I agree with Crystal, though, it needs more concrete details. What makes this unlike any other story?

      Delete
    4. Specifics would be helpful, I think. What traps her? Two worlds in what sense? Details :)
      Also perhaps reconsider using both violence AND torment. Is there a single word that sums it up?

      Delete
    5. I agree with the above. But also - why does her life straddle two worlds? Because, to be honest, if World 1 = joy and rainbows, and World 2 = pain and misery, I'm not going anywhere near World 2. The pitch is a good start, but it's a little too vague to help me figure out if I want to read more.

      Don't be afraid to use all 35 words, either.

      Delete
    6. Hi Andrea,

      I'm intrigued by your pitch. But I too agree that it could use more details. How old is Catherine? How did she get trapped and why? Where is she trapped?

      Delete
    7. I agree with all the above comments. I'd like to know Catherine's age, and what the Split Apart is. You could condense the information in the first two sentences "Catherine is trapped between two worlds...etc." That would allow you to explain more about the Split Apart.

      Delete
  2. Crystal Christie
    BETWEEN REALITIES NA Paranormal Romance

    35 Word Pitch:
    Nineteen-year-old amnesiac, Anniston, communicates with plants. Zac moves at the speed of thought. Viruses steal bodies to filter oxygen in order to survive here. Or... is everything merely a side effect of illness, including Zac?

    Twitter Pitch:
    Is Zac from another dimension OR a side effect of mental illness? 19yo amnesiac, Anniston, seeks the truth before it's too late. #PitchMAS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This sounds interesting. I wish I knew whether Anniston was male or female. But maybe it doesn't really matter. Also, in your 35 word pitch, I'm wondering if you need a clarifier before 'illness', such as 'mental illness' 'the illness' or 'his/her illness'. But then again, it might just be me. I'll be watching to see what other people think. Good luck!

      Delete
    2. Thank you Betsey:

      If I could somehow fit "her" illness, that would solve both issues. Now it's just a matter of which word to eliminate in order to add another. hmmm...

      Thanks so much for your feedback!

      Delete
    3. I love this! It reminds me of "I'm a Cyborg, but That's Okay".

      I think the only thing you're missing here is the indication that these things they do aren't normal to the rest of the world.

      If these are the only two in the world with powers, you may want to change recast this as Magical Realism (which is much hotter than Paranormal right now). If, however they're part of a bigger sub-group in the world, keep it where you've got it.

      Delete
    4. What about "is everything a hallucination?" instead of "side effect of illness?" That gives you a few extra words. You could even say "a hallucination from ebola" (or whatever).

      Delete
    5. I prefer the twitter pitch. One clear central character and question, bam, right off the bat.

      Delete
    6. One thing I forgot to mention - try to avoid rhetorical questions in your pitches. They're a turn-off for many agents, just like in a query letter.

      Delete
    7. Hi Crystal,

      I like your concept and would like to know more about Anniston and Zac. I would also like to know if Anniston is male or female or both. Of course, I thought of Jennifer Aniston when I read the name. :)

      Finally, what is the illness? I'd like to know this too.

      Delete
    8. I agree with Laura - ditch the rhetorical question. I like that your twitter pitch has a focus, whereas your 35word pitch doesn't have a clear MC or stakes. I need to know why any of this matters, not just to answer the question if it's real or not. Good luck!

      Delete
  3. Betsey Riedl
    THE SECOND BAD THING Women's fiction

    35 Word Pitch:
    An emotional eater recalls having been raped in college twenty years earlier. She becomes determined to figure out who she is while dealing with her cheating husband, her upcoming college reunion, and her friend's divorce.

    Twitter Pitch:
    To save herself, an emotional eater must put down the candy, deal with a cheating husband, confront her rapist and help her divorcing friend

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Betsey... I replied but accidentally put it in the comments so I will copy and paste it again here...
      Your story sounds really good. I really like your twitter pitch. The 35 word pitch is good, but I'm not sure about the very first line... I would maybe start it out as... After recalling her rape in college twenty years earlier, SusieQ, becomes determined to ........ No wonder she's an emotional eater.

      That is just my suggestion..

      Good Luck!
      Crystal Christie

      Delete
    2. Lots of clear conflict which is great, but what triggers the action? Why does she suddenly remember the rape? Does she already know her husband is cheating? A discovery or action would help this, I think.

      Delete
    3. You've got a great, clear conflict and a character - but what are the stakes? Are the college reunion and the divorce crucial? If not, take them out. Tell us what happens if she can't find the rapist. A good starting place for these pitches is "When CATALYST EVENT happens, Character must CONFLICT, or STAKES."

      When suppressed rape memories surface, Mathilda SUFFERS A LOT BECAUSE THAT'S AWFUL. She must locate the rapist and save her marriage or RABID UNICORNS WILL EAT HER FRIENDS AND FAMILY.

      And then, once you have your 35-word pitch, it's easier to condense into one sentence for Twitter.

      Delete
    4. Laura has made an excellent point: stakes are essential for a pitch. You can spell out the stakes, but you can also imply conflict by using emotive verbs. For example, by replacing "becomes determined" with "becomes obsessed" you generate an emotional charge that will intrigue the reader. (Obsession implies danger.)

      Delete
  4. Taylor Clemons
    THE GATEKEEPERS Middle-Grade Fiction
    (I tried to post earlier, but it didn't work, so if this shows up twice, I'm sorry!)

    35 Word Pitch:
    A young detective must save her adoptive mother while mysterious ghost from the Underworld threatens to tear her new family apart. Amelia must choose: a life she's never had and a life she's just beginning.

    Twitter Pitch:
    Trickster God of Underworld + new parents + devious bio dad = trouble for Amelia. Oh, and everyone's dead. #PitchMAS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Taylor,

      I really like the first part of your pitch. However, the second part confused me a little bit. I think because we don't get the details of what "the life she's never had" would look like in the pitch.

      Similarly with the twitter pitch, I think it starts off really well, but the "Oh, and everyone's dead" bit felt too glib for me and didn't work.

      Hope that helps a bit and best of luck!

      Delete
    2. This is intriguing. The one bit I'd suggest is more of a copy edit. "mysterious ghost" needs an "an" in front of it, or if it's multiple ghosts should be plural.

      If you need advice to steal a word, change the second "and a life" to "or one".

      Or, HATE my advice, and have it inspire you to something even better!

      Delete
    3. I'd start with her name. Amelia must save her adoptive mother...
      Do we need to know the ghost is from the underworld? Tearing a family apart can be literal or figurative, and there might be a stronger way to say it, steering clear of the cliche.
      I like 'trickster god' :D How about, 'Amelia must save her adoptive mother from the trickster god of the underworld'? And then follow with something about her devious biological father, perhaps?

      Delete
    4. I've lost my reply to you guys so many times now 😫 haha okay third times the charm!

      First off, thank you for your suggestions.

      What do you think of something along these lines (also, am I even allowed to do this?):

      Amelia must save her adoptive mother from a mysterious ghost who is bent on ruining Amelia's chances at a normal life. Or, as normal as it can be when her new parents are ghosts, too.

      Also, with the Twitter pitch, I think it's harder to understand after reading the blog pitch. The trickster God isn't the mysterious ghost...etc. so maybe I should switch up the Twitter pitch to go with my blog post.

      Delete
    5. I think both could use more stakes. Having a 'normal life' never really stands out as a worthwhile goal. Make it personal. Be more specific on why she has to save her mother, and what saving means in this case. Good luck!

      Delete
  5. Julia Essenburg
    SOUL STORM Upper MG Fantasy

    35 Word Pitch
    When a plague decimates the kingdom, local monks discover 13yo Katcha’s magical webbed hands and blame her for the disease. With nowhere to hide, she must prove her innocence and catch the real monster responsible.

    Twitter Pitch:
    When her webbed hands make her the target of a fear-driven witch-hunt, Katcha must decide whether to run or prove her innocence. #MG #Pitmas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is this High Fantasy or Alt History?

      I think, for either, I'd prefer to have a better idea in the 35 why her webbed hands are magical than that she needs to prove her innocence.

      The Twitter is great either way.

      Delete
    2. How are her hands magical? I think the "With nowhere to hide" part isn't necessary, and you can use those words to describe what exactly is at stake or how she can use her webbed hands to track the person who is really responsible.

      I also like the Twitter pitch. It seems on point and makes me want to read it. (My fingers are slightly webbed, so I can relate to Katcha. Except mine aren't magical, unfortunately.)

      Delete
    3. Your tweet is great. Why not use that as the basis of your pitch? You could expand it to 35 words by including Katcha's age and a few other details. I would also like to know if her hands really are magical. The fantasy element needs to be brought out more.

      Delete
  6. Hi Betsey:

    Your story sounds really good. I really like your twitter pitch. The 35 word pitch is good, but I'm not sure about the very first line... I would maybe start it out as... After recalling her rape in college twenty years earlier, SusieQ, becomes determined to ........ No wonder she's an emotional eater.

    That is just my suggestion..

    Good Luck!
    Crystal Christie

    ReplyDelete
  7. Lana Wood Johnson
    NECESSITY, YA Contemporary Fantasy

    35-Word Blog Pitch:
    Mel and Wolf accidentally start Ragnarok eight weeks before graduation. While their families prepare for the coming war; she needs to find her place in the nine worlds, and he needs to choose a side.


    Twitter:
    Two Iowa teens start Ragnarok before graduation. She needs to find her place in the 9 worlds. He needs to choose a side. #PitchMAS #YA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This sounds really interesting.

      In the second line of your pitch, don't use the semi-colon with "while". It doesn't flow right. I'd probably break it up into two sentences or just use a comma. My primary comment, though is - what's at stake? Don't expect your reader to know what starting Ragnarok means. Do we need to know that it's before graduation (hint: no). Does it matter that their families are preparing for the war?

      Could you say something like
      17-year-olds Mel and Wolf accidentally start Ragnarok. She must find her place in the 9 worlds, and he must choose a side, or the world will be stuck listening to Justin Bieber on repeat forever.

      (Clearly, I don't know what happens in the book)

      Same with Twitter.
      When 2 teens start Ragnarok, she must EAT LOTS OF CHOCOLATE to save her family. If Wolf chooses the wrong side, the world ends. YA #PitchMas

      Just an idea. I'd also like if "find her place" were a little more concrete. I've seen this before, though, and it's really coming along. Good luck!

      Delete
    2. You're awesome! OK, take two!

      35-Word Blog Pitch:
      When Iowa teens Mel and Wolf accidentally start Ragnarok, their families prepare for a trans-dimensional war. Its outcome depends on two things: Mel finding her place in the nine worlds, and Wolf choosing a side.


      Twitter:
      When 2 Iowa teens start Ragnarok the future of the gods depends on her finding her place in the 9 worlds and him picking a side. #PitchMAS

      Delete
    3. Your story sounds awesome. I don't think the "Iowa teens" part is needed in the pitch. Other than that, it sounds great. Good work!

      Delete
    4. Hi Lana! I really like this revised pitch. Agree with A.C. that "Iowa teens" isn't really necessary, but something else could be put in its place to show their relationship to each other, like "When best friends Mel and Wolf..." or "When dream team Mel and Wolf..."

      Delete
    5. I'll be contradictory and say I like the 'Iowa teens'. It places your story and ages your characters, and does it very succinctly.

      The main thing I think that's missing/confusing is what does Mel do? What does 'find her place' mean? What are the 9 worlds? I don't think it gives much sense of what the story is about or what conflict your MC faces. You are hooking people with the idea of Ragnarok in Iowa, so that's great, but there isn't really a compelling conflict for your MC. I know the answer is long, complicated, and vague, but try to tell us as simply as you can what Mel actually does. Good luck!

      Delete
    6. The "Iowa teens" is there for time, place, character orientation. Those two words are all I have to set it as a contemporary, US, rural setting. (Because, while I'm from a city in Iowa, you all think rural when you think of us. ;) )

      I'll think if there's anything better, but read it without that and let me know if I still get across that this isn't high fantasy or alt history.

      Delete
  8. Jenna Pan
    THE CITY OF MARROW Young Adult Fantasy/Horror/Steampunk

    35 Word Pitch:
    Chase is trapped in the cursed City of Marrow, and his only hope of ever going home is the help of the creature Slayd—however, Slayd is as likely to eat Chase as save him.

    Twitter Pitch:
    Chase is trapped in the City of Marrow. His only hope of going home is the creature Slayd—but Slayd is as likely to eat Chase as save him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jenna,

      This sounds really interesting! Definitely like something I'd want to read. The only thing I worry about is that the 35 word Pitch and the Twitter Pitch are basically identical. It might be good to explore different aspects of the story in each?

      Delete
    2. I'm intrigued by this for sure.

      35 Word: The advice I've seen and I think it would help here is that you should use more description than proper names. Especially with Fantasy. You don't have a lot of room to sell ideas so to those who haven't read your work yet they come off as random words. I say this as a writer who also does Fantasy so I know how, to you, they're very much not just word.

      Twitter: I don't think this will work as a Twitter pitch. As it is, it's 141 characters and you don't even have the #PitchMAS tag in there which is how your pitch will be found. It's rough (I say from experience) but keep tightening it up so you're at about 125 characters for the pitch itself. Then you have room for tags.

      Delete
    3. I agree with Muliebris that 'City of Marrow' may sound cool, but it doesn't tell us anything. So I don't know how someone would be 'trapped' there. And I have no idea what kind of creature Slayd is, or how it would helps someone escape. Try to step back and think about explaining the ideas to a kid who doesn't read fantasy. That often helps you find clearer ways to say things. There's a lot of great potential in there, and I think you're close. Good luck!

      Delete
  9. A.C. Thomas
    THE TIME TRAVELER, MG Speculative

    35 Word Pitch:
    Thirteen-year-old Stevie is being erased from existence by his dad’s former sidekick (for world domination purposes, of course). To stop him, Stevie must travel in time, Marty McFly style, and possibly alter history himself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Having the benefit of having read your first 250, this totally casts a different spin on the the story. It still sounds like great fun!

      You've got a ton of voice in here, which is nice, but I wonder if the 80s movie reference might have a problem in an MG book pitch.

      The other thing is that the stakes are highly personal for someone who is the key to some form of world domination. Or is he the key, is he actually just a side-effect?

      These are the questions that I come up with. Hope they help!

      Delete
    2. This sounds like a book I would like to read. Is it supposed to be funny? If so, you may want to play up the humor. Also, some adjectives are needed. For example (just an example, mind you), "by his mad scientist dad's megalomaniac sidekick."

      I would not use parentheses in a pitch. It tends to slow down the pace. Pitches need to read like an express train - no stops until the final destination.

      Delete
    3. Thank you! I've been debating about the movie reference myself. I might take it out.

      Good question! He's mainly a side effect. I may take out that word domination part and get something else in. Thank you so much!

      Delete
    4. Thanks Eric! I'm going to remove the parenthetical and make some tweaks.

      Delete
    5. Oops I mean Erica. Darn typos :)

      Delete
  10. Kristine Kruppa
    27 DAYS TO MIDNIGHT, YA Steampunk

    35-Word Blog Pitch:
    Dahlia’s father is murdered in a world where watches show how long a person has to live. She vows revenge. She didn't know that meant tolerating the rude man helping her kill a psychotic general.

    Twitter Pitches (I have two I'm considering--thoughts?)
    When Dahlia's dad is killed, she vows revenge. The man helping her (and stealing her heart) will die in 27 days. Steampunk. #Pitchmas #YA

    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

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The second Twitter pitch grabbed me the most. The general premise reminds me of the movie "In Time." But the fact she knows how to change the watches is what made me take notice. Could you focus on this aspect in the 35-word pitch?

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the response! How about this for the 35-word?

      Dahlia must avenge her father’s murder in a world where watches show how long people have to live. And she knows how to change them. The problem? Changing time means giving up her own.

      Delete
    3. I like that better. I didn't really get the part about the rude man in the first version. What about simply ending with "And she knows how to change them. Only changing time means giving up her own."

      Delete
    4. I LOVE the premise!! I just feel as all of your pitches have different and very important aspects of the story scattered among them. Perhaps something like this?

      Watchmaker Dahlia fights for revenge in a world where watches foretell length of life. But the man helping her (and stealing her heart) has 27 days to live, and changing the watches changes time itself

      Delete
    5. I like the second twitter pitch and the revised 35. I think the fact that she can change the watches that tell people how long they have to live is the hook, so build your pitches around that. Good luck!

      Delete
  11. Jamie Poole
    BETWEEN FRIENDS, NA DRAMA

    35 word blog pitch:
    Liyah Alexander is a well-known teen supermodel. When she decides to finish school with her best friends she learns that walking the runway is much easier than walking down the hallway of whispering high schoolers.

    Twitter pitch:
    Liyah, teen supermodel, decides 2 finish school w/ best friends but walking the runway is easier than hallways of whisper'n high schoolers.#PitchMAS #NA

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Jamie,
      Your pitch sounds really interesting, and it's a good hook for a NA contemporary. If I had any advice, I'd maybe switch up your twitter pitch instead of a crunched version of your blog pitch. Maybe something simsimple like "Teen supermodel Liyah faces brand new challenges when she decides to return to high school"? Best of luck!

      Delete
    2. I agree, the Twitter pitch is less clunky and gets to the meat of the book immediately.

      Delete
    3. You have a good concept, but a lot more room to get in the heart of the story. I want to know what, specifically, is difficult about walking the hallways. Give us a clearer sense of what she faces - jealousy? awkwardness? bad grades? lazy teachers? hunky football players? surprisingly ripped chess club members?

      And you have room to do that if you tighten the 35 words. You don't need 'well-known' and 'supermodel' - they're redundant. And if you phrase it: Teen supermodel Liyah (We don't need her last name at this point) decides to finish high school, you've saved a lot of words. Good luck!

      Delete
    4. This is a good premise, but I am left with a question: Has Liyah given up modeling to finish school with her best friends? If that's the case, it needs to be included in the pitch. (Giving up a demanding career for the sake of something that proves even more difficult creates tension, whereas simply deciding to finish school does not.)

      Delete
  12. Samantha Martin
    Beneat the Same Skies
    Twtter Pitch:
    Two unique girls living two identical lives : The Parent Trap meets the Truman Show #sff #ya #pitchMAS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think ages would be helpful, and maybe a little clue about each - certainly if you're doing a 35 word pitch, you've got room. Hint at stakes. Or be specific - even better!
      I like the comparison films. Very cool.

      Delete
    2. Thanks! I'm still working out the kinks in my blog pitch, and this is great advice :)
      ~Samantha

      Delete
  13. THE PENGUIN AND THE ROCKET, PB (470 words)

    Twitter:
    5:28 AM. Boy meets penguin. Penguin needs a 3/8" socket wrench. Invites boy to moon. Blast off! #Pitchmas #PB 470 words

    35-word:
    5:28 AM: When a penguin knocks on his door in search of a three-eighths inch socket wrench, a boy helps fix his rocket and together they blast off to the moon. But an asteroid looms.


    I feel about about the Twitter pitch, but I'm actually struggling to make it longer in the second pitch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really like this idea! The socket wrench certainly caught my attention, as did the looming asteroid in the 35-word pitch. Is there any way you can work the asteroid into the Twitter pitch? Perhaps remove the "5:28 AM"? The significance of the time is a little confusing.

      Delete
    2. What about replacing the "Blast off!" with "But as asteroid looms"?

      5:28 AM. Boy meets penguin. Penguin needs a 3/8" socket wrench. Invites boy to moon. But an asteroid looms. #Pitchmas #PB 470 words

      Delete
    3. I really like it! I think the asteroid adds in the tension and excitement that will really draw people in.

      Delete
  14. Brian Schwarz
    SHADES, A SFF Thriller

    Twitter Pitches
    When Emma walked into her room, the last thing she expected to hear was her husband's voice - after all, he'd been dead for weeks #pitchmas

    When a hemophobic is faced with a bloody apocalypse, he must bury his fears if he's going to save the world. #SFF #pitchmas #Thriller

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like the first one better, and it definitely intrigues me, but I can't help but feel I still have no clue what the story is about.

      Delete
    2. I'd have to agree! The first one really caught my attention. The second one is a bit too general; give specifics of what makes your story unique!
      Best of luck!
      ~Samantha

      Delete
    3. The first is good, yes, but if you wanted could probably hint at what is to come. What it says now could be shortened to accommodate.

      The second needs a name :) Let's-call-him-Jack can save the world, if he can conquer his fear of blood, but there's a lot of that going around. Or something like that.

      Delete
    4. The first one has more voice, which is really good. But it doesn't give enough of a story or setting to tell us anything. I'd never suspect from the first one that it involved a bloody apocalypse and world-saving. It's great to catch an agent's attention, but the real point is to catch the eye of someone who would want to represent the type of book you have. Good luck!

      Delete
  15. Heather Eagar
    Devil's Playground, YA Historical Fantasy

    35 word pitch:

    Living in Salem is dangerous business, especially for a witch. That doesn’t stop Elizabeth from using her magic to try to save innocent lives. Unfortunately she accidentally curses the whole village instead.

    Twitter Pitch:
    This pitch is one that was favorited by an agent yesterday for PitMad.

    A young witch in Salem must face her inner demons as she tries to save her village; she accidentally curses it in the process. #Pitchmas

    However, I kinda like this one better. What do you think?

    Living in Salem is dangerous business, especially for a witch. Elizabeth tried to save the innocent, but cursed them instead. #Pitchmas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember this one from yesterday, it was intriguing! The first tweet is definitely the strongest, but maybe swap out the semicolon for "but"? It might flow a bit better. Best of luck!
      ~Samantha

      Delete
    2. Personally the second one grabbed me more, I think because "save the innocent" felt stronger to me than "save her village"; the stakes are higher. But of course you can always use both! (Congrats on the PitMad favorite.)

      Delete
    3. You've done a great job on both pitches!! For the 35 word pitch my only suggestion would be to word it like this:Unfortunately, she winds up cursing the whole village instead.

      Delete
    4. I want to read this! Very interesting. I like the second twitter pitch over the first one. Cheers!

      Delete
  16. Rachel Stevenson
    THE RED AND THE SCARLET, YA historical fantasy

    35-word blog pitch

    In an 1811 Slavic continent, an 18yo minority girl, Fyr, and her 12yo brother seek revenge on the man who saved their life a decade ago, warn of an otherworldly invasion, and avoid arrest for criminal offenses.

    Twitter pitch

    In 1811, 18yo Fyr must save Slavic land from otherworldly invasion+hunt the man who saved her life, before she's arrested #pitchmas $YA #F

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The hunting the man who saved her life throws me off a bit. It works in the Twitter pitch, because I'd totally click to read more, but I think in the blog pitch, explaining *why* might be a good idea. Seems like an interesting story!!

      Delete
    2. Hm... well, that would take a couple paragraphs :D
      I actually didn't realize that it was okay for the pitches to differ. I thought the thirty-five was just an extension of the twitter pitch :D

      Delete
    3. Perhaps cut it out in favor of talking a bit about the invasion or other aspects of the story?

      Delete
    4. And thanks!! Glad it sounds interesting :D

      Delete
    5. I do think you have interesting concepts in there, so that might grab someone's attention. But both kinda feel like a collection of facts, not so much a story. In such a small space, you can't fit much in, but it really helps to make sure what's in there connects.

      In both, you have them seeking revenge/hunting the man who saved them - that doesn't make sense. I'm sure there's an explanation in your story, but if you can't fit it in the pitch then leave the whole thing out. And the arrest part also lacks context - you don't suggest any reason for them to be arrested.

      Try to make the pitch read like a mini-story itself that has consistent logic. Don't try to fit in all the things that make your story great, just the most important ones. Good luck!

      Delete
  17. Missy Shelton Belote
    INCONCEIVABLE, Contemporary Romance

    Following a hot, tumultuous love affair, Ozarks native Hatty and Prince John face an unusual sex scandal: infertility. Tabloids dub her “Barren-ess;” royals demand divorce. They face medical procedures or abandoning John’s future as king.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As someone who struggled with infertility, I'm intrigued by this idea, especially throwing in the idea of royalty. My only thought was how did someone from the Ozarks end up with a prince. Where is he a prince? Good luck!

      Delete
    2. I like your title and the story sounds intriguing, but I was confused by the reference to "Ozarks native" (Do these royals live in the Ozarks?) and by the reference to the "love affair." (Is this couple married?) What about something like this: Prince John and his bride, Ozarks native Hatty, face an unusual...? Also, "facing medical procedures" is a pretty common occurrence these days--it's not clear why that would be so bad. (You might consider not using the word "face" twice in the pitch.

      Just some thoughts. Consider or ignore. Good luck.

      Constance McKee

      Delete
    3. All great insights. I hate repetitive words, so good catch on "face" being in there twice. Emily: Sorry for your struggles. Wrote this story because we went thru infertility.

      Delete
    4. AND thank you so much for the feedback!

      Delete
    5. I agree that it's important to get in there that they married - and probably a good idea to suggest a kingdom, since I assume they don't stay in the Ozarks. And while I see the difficulties of infertility, I don't really get conflict out of 'face medical procedures'. Isn't the real conflict that the procedures might fail, and what will they do if that happens? Good luck!

      Delete
  18. Emily Layne
    AFTER ALICE, YA Twist on a Classic

    35 world blog pitches: (Which one is better???)

    Memory theft. Giant rats. Blood rain—Welcome to a dark, steampunk Wonderland 200 years after Alice disappeared. A spirited seventeen-year-old girl can help overthrow the power-hungry Red Queen, if she can keep her head. Literally.

    150 years after Alice’s disappearance, a spirited seventeen-year-old girl races to escape a steampunk Wonderland. Preferably before the Red Queen snags her head or she becomes the brewing rebellion’s symbol of resistance.

    A fall dumps 17yo Jenny into Wonderland on the verge of civil war. Rebellion wants help retrieving their stolen memories. Queen wants Jenny’s head for being an Alice-look-alike. Nowhere’s safe for Jenny, not even Earth.

    Twitter Pitches:

    A fall dumps 17yo Jenny into a Wonderland on the verge of civil war. The rebellion wants her help. The Queen wants her head. #PitchMAS

    Memory theft. Giant rats. Blood rain--Wonderland 150yrs after Alice. A spirited 17yo can change it all, if she keeps her head. #PitchMAS

    150 yrs after Alice’s legacy, a spirited 17yo races to escape steampunk Wonderland before she loses her head to the Red Queen. #PitchMAS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like the first 35-word pitch best. I like how you set the scene first. Just one note: you say 200 years in the first pitch, and 150 years everywhere else.

      In the Twitter pitch that starts with "Memory theft..." I would give Jenny's name rather than "spirited 17yo." Naming her feels more specific to me.

      Delete
    2. I love this idea! The pitch that grabbed me the most was the first one (likewise, the the second twitter pitch). That being said, I think the third one provides more insight into some specifics of the plot (stolen memories, look-alike). Just me two cents. Good luck! I hope to see this in book stores one day!

      Delete
    3. Ooh, I'm pretty sure I was in your Camp Nano bunk this year, because I remember this story! Love this premise. I actually like the second 35-word pitch best, although I'd suggest including Jenny's name in that. The first Twitter pitch is my favorite, too, along I think they're all strong. Good luck!

      Delete
    4. I think the list approach works in the twitter pitch (your second one), but not so much in a longer pitch (your first 35). I like the second 35-word pitch the best (150yrs) because it really tells me the story.

      I will also say that using a name works better than 'girl'. And I'm not a fan of the word 'spirited', because I don't think it really gives much character. Good luck!

      Delete
  19. Constance McKee

    OUT OF THIS WORLD, Women's Fiction

    35-Word Pitch:

    After a near-death experience in which she encounters her deceased husband in a parallel world, grief-stricken Jodi Kendall resolves to find him again, soon realizing that suicide might be her only option.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Powerful idea, but I think pitch could be simpler - In a near-death experience (or be more specific) Jodi encounters her deceased husband and, desperate to see him again, considers drastic measures.
      I guess my concern here is that it sounds like it could be a lot of Jodi, on her own, angsty and desperate. What's the action? What are the stakes? Why do I want her to live? DO I want her to live?
      Also, worth being clear about whether or not there is anything paranormal?

      Delete
    2. I agree with Amy. The suicide addition seems very out of left field.

      Delete
    3. I like more specificity (when appropriate) in pitches so I agree that detailing the near-death experience more clearly might work better. Seems there's something/someone here you don't mention. WHO tells her or how does she find out what her options are for dealing with this parallel world/seeing her husband again? Good luck!

      Delete
    4. Thanks so much Amy, Vincent and Missy for the very helpful feedback. Will work on it.

      Constance

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

    ReplyDelete
  21. SUTTON ISLAND, YA Paranormal Mystery

    Natalie Sutton never thought her summer would consist of love, near death experiences, ghostly visits, and solving a ninety-year-old murder. Now, she must choose between saving the living or rescuing the dead.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think this pitch is great. Very concise but it tells a story on its own. It makes me want to read the book. Do you have a twitter pitch?

      Delete
    2. Can you say Natalie's age or hint at it? This pitch seems to lack specificity. Love with whom? Whose ghosts? Why ghosts? Who makes her choose...why is she facing this choice? Maybe answering some of these questions can help you bring in the specificity to help strengthen the pitch. All the best!

      Delete
    3. Thank you both! 35 words makes it hard to fit everything in. I appreciate the feedback!

      Delete
    4. I like the idea and it's pulls me in. The age might not be necessary as long as the YA tag is there. I would like a little more concrete-ness on what 'saving the living' means vs. 'rescuing the dead'. But otherwise it works. Good luck!

      Delete
  22. Here are two more for SUTTON ISLAND (Thoughts on which one is the best?):

    Natalie Sutton never imagined her summer would be spent solving a ninety-year-old murder. Now, she must unravel the truth behind forbidden love to answer one question: Who really killed Jane Sutton?

    Christmas, 1924. Oil Heiress Jane Sutton plans to elope with her forbidden lover, but she doesn’t live to see the next day. Summer, 2014. Natalie Sutton must discover and reveal why.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I liked the first one in the separate post the best. It leaves you wanting more.

      Delete
    2. I like the last pitch here because it's more specific to YOUR story. Still missing WHY Natalie has to solve the mystery. Is she Jane's daughter? Neice?

      Delete
    3. While there are more specifics in these two, your earlier one read better. What's missing in all these is why Natalie has to uncover the truth. What are the stakes for her?

      Delete
  23. I have two separate novels to pitch. Here's the second. Thoughts on which pitch is better?

    THE ACQUISITION, YA Dystopian

    To rid humanity of disease and disability, the Southern Assembly Acquires healthy, beautiful people and enslaves and Sterilizes all others to prevent their inferior genes from passing on. Branded for sterilization, Emma chooses to fight.

    For reasons beyond her control, Emma is rejected from the Assembly and enslaved. She reluctantly accepts her fate until she falls for the Master’s nephew and someone close to her is murdered. Now, she fights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is an awesome premise! I think I prefer the first pitch--it paints an excellent picture of the dystopian world Emma lives in. That really drew me in.

      Delete
    2. I agree with Kristine, I prefer the first pitch. It does a great job of world building and gives a good idea of what's at stake.

      Delete
    3. First pitch is better. May be a typo, but I'm not sure why you capitalized sterilization and acquires. Nice job!

      Delete
  24. An Heir out of Place

    140chars -
    Leaving it late to marry, Lady Ailsa considers a likely fortune-hunter but is distracted by a bookseller-turned-earl. #wf #pitchmas

    35 words - Leaving it late to marry, Lady Ailsa must consider a likely fortune-hunter even if it means looking past the enigmatic bookseller-turned-earl who is quickly becoming a dear friend.


    Reconciliation

    140chars-
    On point of burn-out, TV cop actress seeks R&R in Paris and reconnects with old flame, who is now a priest. #wf #pitchmas

    or

    Actress confesses, then recognises the priest, loved & lost 20 years ago.
    'Notting Hill' meets 'Keeping the Faith', in Paris. #pitchmas #wf

    35words-
    Anxious & insomniac, Anne keeps making mistakes. When Paris doesn't help, she tries confession. Perhaps it works, or else it's the priest, who she fell for & fell out with long ago.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. An Heir Out of Place: Interesting premise, but I find the wording "Leaving it late to marry" to be awkward. What about something like: Having postponed marrying, Lady Alisa... Also, your 140 character pitch has more punch than the longer one.

      Reconciliation: I like the title, with the double meaning of the word. As with your previous pitch, I think your 140 char pitches have more punch than your 35 word. I like your first 140 char pitch best. Including the comparison titles in a pitch doesn't work for me.

      Good luck!

      Constance McKee

      Delete
  25. 35 Word Pitch:

    The Butterfly Locket (YA Fantasy/Adventure).

    Transported to steampunk world Ambrosia, Alice battles the evil Queen Isadora. With assistance from a thief, dog, and robots, Alice discovers the mystery of her locket and returns Ambrosia’s magic.


    Twitter:
    In Ambrosia, Alice battles Queen Isadora with help from a thief, dog, and robots. Alice learns the mysterious power of her locket. #pitchmas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do not know why but this sounds a lot like Return to Oz, which makes it completely awesome. I understand there are many agents out there looking for steampunk novels, well-done.

      Delete
    2. I have definitely angered the Google gods trying to post this. Take 3:

      I really like the concept, I'm guessing Alice in Wonderland retelling?

      Especially if not, but in general, avoid using proper nouns and replace it with descriptions. They all mean a lot to you, but as an uninitiated reader I'm bringing my own biases to the names and places.

      Also, I'd replace the second sentence with something that focuses more on the Hook than the resolution. It feels a bit like you're telling the whole story condensed, I'd rather feel like I've been fed the hook.

      Hope that helps! (and that this posts!)

      Delete
    3. Thanks for the advice (and for making sure you were able to post). Your suggestions are helpful!

      Delete
  26. 35 Word Pitch:

    Suppose: A Sea Tale (Middle Grade Fantasy)

    After his father is lost at sea, Kelly goes off in search of him, discovering how deep and mysterious the Atlantic truly is. An adventure featuring talking lobsters, hurricanes, a cloud-walker, and a fabled treasure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like your premise for the story and the journey Kelly takes to find her father. I love the idea of talking lobsters and fabled treasure. I'm not sure what a cloud-walker is but it sounds interesting. I'd love to know more about those.

      Hope this helps. Your story sounds great!

      Delete
    2. I like the concept a lot, but you're missing stakes.
      Why does the reader care that Kelly is going on an adventure?
      Why would they want to read through to the end?

      Those are the kinds of things I'm looking for in your second sentence.

      Delete
    3. Thanks for the insight! Is this one snappier?

      Searching for his lost-at-sea father, Kelly is flushed down into the wicked Lobster King’s chamber. Who will help the boy if he brings back a “prize” that could change the fate of the sea forever.

      Delete
    4. You're asking a rhetorical question without the question mark. Don't do that. I think you're on a better track, but make it a statement not a question.

      Delete
  27. Amandah Blackwell
    Benny, the Tuxedo Cat, First Book in a children's picture book series

    35-Word Blog Pitch

    Benny, a black and white kitten, sat in a cold, steel cage in a pet supplies store for 2-weeks. People adopted other kittens quickly, but he didn’t know why they were adopted. What was it?

    Twitter post

    Benny, a black & white kitten, sat in a cold, steel cage for 2-weeks. He didn’t know that his fur color delayed his adoption. #PitchMAS

    P.S.

    I'm not sure if my original entry was accepted. I apologize if this is a duplicate post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would just start with "Benny sat in a cage" which would give you more words to describe the problem (for example, "No one wanted a black and white kitten") and what Benny does about it.

      Delete
    2. Ann Marie Gardinier HalsteadDecember 5, 2014 at 7:05 AM

      Yay, a picture book! I agree w T. James. Any chance you could use fewer words at the start in order to get to what Benny does to solve the problem... or hint at what happens next?

      Delete
    3. I can use fewer words. :) I'll journal about the day I saw him in the cage and flush out ideas.

      Delete
  28. I forgot to mention that I'm new to PitchMAS. May we publish more than one pitch? Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Annwyn and the Owl King (Fantasy/Adventure)

    With her friends desperately searching for her, Annwyn will discover her true destiny as she struggles to find a way to heal the Owl King and save the forest from impending doom.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like this pitch. I think it's very descriptive.

      Delete
  30. Michelle Mazzarella
    THE BOARD OF REPRODUCTIVE REGULATION, Commercial Fiction

    Four stories. Four couples. Four relationships and futures affected by the Board of Reproductive Regulation, which issues parenting licenses.

    Twitter:
    Same time, same place. The key difference is the rigorous licensing process to become a parent. #PitchMAS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just tried to reply to this and it didn't load so I'm trying again...sorry if it shows up twice.

      I LOVE the concept of the story and your initial (blog) pitch makes me want to see more. The twitter pitch, however, may not need the 'same time, same place'...I think the most compelling part of the pitch is "Four relationships and futures affected by the Board of Reproductive Regulation, which issues parenting licenses." so it there is a way to include some of that in the twitter pitch, even better. Pls. note that I'm totally new at this and it's just my opinion...I'm going to follow your thread to see how everyone else comments. LOVE the idea!

      Delete
  31. Paige Watson

    SEEDS OF EDEN, New Adult, Romance, Fantasy

    35 word pitch:

    As Evey Rhodes wades through her waking nightmares, her dissipating reality gives way to a centuries old secret. Once again, death lurks upon this not so normal teenage girl.


    Twitter pitch:

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

    ReplyDelete
  32. First ever attempt at this, a 35 word pitch for illustrated children's bedtime story book series:

    "The cabin in Cool Green Forest is home to the Merry Munks Chipmunks. Tony, Stacey, Douglas, and Michelle play and have adventures all day. Each storybook ends with them tucked in bed, ready for sleep."

    Thank You in advance for any tips / advice...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ann Marie Gardinier HalsteadDecember 5, 2014 at 7:10 AM

      Yay, a picture book (my first attempt too)!

      What about hinting at the type of adventures they go on? If you don't name all 4 of the chipmunks and end with "tucked in bed" you'd have more words to do so.

      Do you have a twitter pitch too?

      Delete
    2. Thanks Ann Marie! I'll try making a pitch per your advice for a single one of the books (there are 3 so far), that way I can put a bit more into the plot. I have been dragging my heels on the Twitter situation- don't have an account!

      btw, should I post my revised pitch within these replies, or as a new pitch?

      Thank You

      Delete
    3. Also posted as a new post:

      Douglas Forgets He's Hiding! A Little Merry Munks Book (Volume 1)
      Children's bedtime story book

      35 word pitch:

      The Merry Munks Chipmunks are playing Hide and Seek, but nobody can find Douglas! Where could he be hiding? Find out in this richly illustrated bed time story, the first in the Merry Munks series.

      Thank You

      Delete
    4. Ann Marie Gardinier HalsteadDecember 5, 2014 at 7:46 AM

      I personally think this is stronger because it's more detailed, but I'd love to hear what others think.

      Delete
  33. Alex

    INTERLACED, YA Fantasy

    35 Word Pitch: When seventeen-year-old Lacey inherits Blackwood's ruling status and her family's estate, dissent over her icy magic and a string of murders plaguing Blackwood's elite families could land her dead, and her territory in enemy hands.

    or

    Seventeen-year-old Lacey has always had ice at her fingertips, but her icy magic becomes a liability when she inherits Blackwood's ruling status and the string of murders and political rivals that come with it.

    Twitter Pitch: 17yo Lacey must outsmart deadly rivals at their political games to keep her family's gothic estate - and her ruling status. #YA #Pitchmas

    or

    17yo Lacey inherits her family's estate and the political war that comes with it, including keeping her icy magic secret #YA #Pitchmas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like these, and I think you're on the right track, but the piece that always throws me is "ruling status" it comes off a smidge awkward. Is she the queen? Duchess? Is she managing a town? There's words for all these that are probably shorter(!) and clearer.

      OK, specifics.

      The second 35 doesn't need ice repeated, but otherwise I prefer it even though the first has better stakes (How's that for not helpful?)

      I prefer the second twitter pitch. But, I may have a reader bias about the ruling status.

      Hope this was of any help at all!

      Delete
    2. I totally agree, maybe just take out or replace the word 'icy' from the second 35 word pitch, and I like your second twitter pitch the best.

      Delete
    3. I like the second 35-word one better than the first. I might take out "icy" in the second part of the first sentence so it reads, "but her magic becomes. . ."

      I also like the second Twitter pitch better, mainly because it hints at her magic.

      Hope this was helpful. Good luck!

      Delete
  34. Thoughts, anyone? I hope I've done this correctly. I'm new to PitchMAS and I need all the help I can get. And THANKS! in advance for any advice and suggestions.

    “Dyre: By Moon’s Light” SFF (Urban Fantasy, 70,000 words)
    by Rachel E. Bailey

    Thirty-five word pitch: A young werewolf, Des, must keep a newly-turned werewolf queen alive amidst the sudden rash of assassinations of powerful werewolves. Their emerging feelings for each other serve to make their mystical bond more powerful…and more painful.

    One hundred forty character pitch: Des, a young werewolf, guards her new Alpha. It’s nice work if you can get it. At least until the silver bullets start to fly. SFF.

    ReplyDelete
  35. THE ENDURING SEASON
    by Megan E. Freeman
    MG, 38k words


    A scheme to host a secret sleepover turns into a nightmarish adventure when 12 year-old Madeleine is left behind in a town that has been mysteriously evacuated overnight. Modern retelling of Island of Blue Dolphins.


    Left behind in an evacuated suburban town, Madeleine becomes a teenager, confronts natural disasters and wild animals, and invents clever ways to survive for years alone. Modern retelling of Island of the Blue Dolphins.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure which of the above is your Twitter entry and which is the blog post entry, or if they're both blog post entries ... either way, I hope I get to read this someday. I loved Island of Blue Dolphins!

      If you're looking for input on which one to use -- I think the first is more powerful and has a stronger voice. I hope this is helpful. Good luck :)

      Delete
    2. Sorry for the confusion. It's definitely for the blog (too many characters for Twitter, unfortunately.) Thanks for the input!

      Delete
  36. Kelly Griffin

    THE RECKONER, YA, Science Fiction

    Genetically mutated Evie has the ability to manipulate the physical world. Can she guard her heart and save society from a dark secret? Only if she learns control over her genes.


    Twitter Pitch

    Genetically mutated Evie tries to right a society's science experiment gone horribly wrong in this love-driven mystery. #PitchMAS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think if I was going with a question for the second sentence, I would make the last sentence a question as well. I think the Twitter pitch is stronger overall. It sounds like a great premise, BTW.

      Delete
    2. Thank you for the input! I wasn't feeling particularly strong about the question, so I may rearrange a little.

      Delete
  37. Hi everyone! Very new here & I need any help you're willing to give...

    "My Life with Bradley Cooper" (Memoir, 60,000 words)
    by Danielle Davies

    (35 word pitch) We’re former castmates. But this year, Bradley Cooper will star in two movies and one Broadway play while I carpool my children to school and bake cookies. What happened on the way to stardom.

    (Twitter pitch) MY LIFE W/BRADLEY COOPER: the story of my attempts to become an acting professional as Bradley Cooper actually becomes one. #Pitchmas

    ReplyDelete
  38. Jayne Ferreira

    CUBE OF LIGHT YA adventure

    35 word pitch,

    Toggling between 13th century Britain and present-day jungles in a parallel reality, 16yo Sofi and friends use an ancient cube to undo a tragic curse, and must outrun the rejected spirit that started it all.

    or

    16yo Sofi thought falling in love and surviving high school would be hard, until she finds a cube and is cast into parallel worlds to undo a curse with an evil spirit hot on her heels.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like the second one better. I think "with an evil spirit hot on her heels" is a little more intriguing than "must outrun the rejected spirit that started it all." IMO the second one flows a little better as well. Good luck :)

      Delete
    2. Thank you, what about this one?
      With an evil spirit hot on their heels, 16yo Sofi and friends use an ancient cube to toggle between 13th century Britain and present-day jungles, trying to undo a tragic curse and stay alive.

      Delete
  39. TWO TEASPOONS & A MICROPHONE, NA,
    Jessica

    I would love your thoughts on which Twitter pitch is more compelling. Thanks!

    1. Save dad's restaurant or continue toward a dream? A sexy cooking network star could help 24yo Regan do both -- but not if her food critic bf gets his way. #pitchMAS

    2. Pet Talk listeners don’t need to know that 24yo Regan hates pets, right? Her food critic bf, James, is hiding something too. Can a sexy Food Network star expose James & save Regan’s career? #pitchMAS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I prefer your first pitch, I see a clear picture here. Might just be me, but I found the second one a little confusing.
      Hope this helps. :)

      Delete
    2. I think both sound very interesting but I love the first one! It really sets up a love triangle, and who doesn't love those? Great job!

      Delete
  40. I'm new to PitchMas - If you have any thoughts/advice, I'd love to hear. Thank you so much!!

    Title: SKIPPING SCHOOL: A Memoir of Homeschooling and Unschooling
    by Lua Wells
    Category/Genre: Narrative Nonfiction/Memoir
    Word Count: 78,000

    35 word pitch: Maddy and Patrick grew up as unschoolers, in charge of their own education. No textbooks, homework, or tests required. Instead, adventures, and learning just for fun. True story. Can they still go to college?

    Twitter pitch: SKIPPING SCHOOL, memoir. Maddy & Patrick didn't go to school. No tests or grades. Instead, adventures. But what about college? #NF #pitchmas

    or

    I gave my children a choice of whether to go to school or not. They chose not... SKIPPING SCHOOL, a memoir. Adventures ahead. #NF @pitchmas

    Thanks again!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. First, fun concept (and one of interest to me!). With that said, I like the first twitter pitch better and feel like you include the main idea as well as upcoming challenges better in that one.

      Delete
    2. I like the third pitch the best, but that may be just me.

      Delete
  41. Melanie
    YA UF: EPONINE

    35-word pitch:

    Eponine doesn't care about her parents’ crime sprees or her User abilities. All she cares about is best friend Mark. When civil war threatens the Users, Eponine must choose: her heart or her life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YAY FOR LES MIS RETELLINGS!! :D

      The only question is, what are Users? I feel like mentioning them is a little nondescript and distracting, which is hard because I pick up they're a crucial part of the story. But I know the feeling. So much plot, so few words!

      Delete
  42. Leah Price
    Apparitions, YA Adventure

    35 word pitch:
    Ghostly story of modern day teenagers whose souls are ripped from their bodies & sent spiraling into the past. Set in 1750s GA & featuring pirates, adventure, romance & a growing underworld of restless spirits.

    Twitter pitch:
    #Pitmad #YA Ghostly story of modernday teenagers whose souls are ripped from their bodies & sent spiraling into the past. Set in 1750s GA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I also have these Twitter options:

      #PitchMas #YA #Southern #Ghost story of modernday teenagers whose souls are ripped from their bodies &sent spiraling into the past.

      #PitchMas #YA Ris never expected to become a ghost. Stuck in 1750s GA, Ris &her BF Whit must try to return to their own time…& bodies

      #PitchMas #YA #Ghosts. An entire world invisible to the living. Now Ris & Whit must try to return home & the only way is together.

      #Pitchmas #YA Ghosts, pirates&adventure. Set in 1750s GA &featuring teens whose souls have been ripped from their bodies &thrust into the past

      Delete
    2. Ann Marie Gardinier HalsteadDecember 5, 2014 at 7:50 AM

      Leah, I think your pitches are both clean and intriguing. Just one note: In the twitter pitch: What is #Pitmad?

      Delete
    3. It was the contest yesterday! lol I didn't realize I left it there. It will be #PitchMas. Did you do #PitMad?

      Delete
    4. Very intrigued! It seems we both have a thing for ghost stories set in the past in Georgia (though I hail from Bama). I was wondering about PitMad too. Thanks for clearing that up. I think my favorite Twitter pitch is #PitchMas #YA Ris never expected to become a ghost. Stuck in 1750s GA, Ris &her BF Whit must try to return to their own time…& bodies. I like having a name or two from the story. (though, is BF boyfriend or best friend?). Having read your pitch, I'd pick the book up and read it!

      Delete
    5. Thanks Emily! Yes definitely have a thing for ghosts, but I'm from TN. hahaha.

      Delete
  43. Kirsten Chapman
    PROJECT BOREALIS, YA Time Travel (74,000 words)

    35 word blog pitch:
    Desperate to leave her Alaskan hometown, 17-year-old Penryn Quinn accidentally uses the aurora borealis to time travel to her own future. Only to be hunted by a cryptic government agency. And by her future self.

    Twitter pitch:
    #PitchMas #YA 17yo Alaskan teen uses aurora to travel to her future where she's hunted by deadly government agency. And by her future self.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm obsessed with the Aurora Borealis, so I would love to read this book. I really like your pitch, but I think it could be streamlined like this:
      "Desperate to leave her Alaskan hometown, 17-year-old Penryn Quinn accidentally uses the aurora borealis to time travel to her own future, only to be hunted by a cryptic government agency - and by her future self."

      Good luck!

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

    ReplyDelete
  45. Douglas Forgets He's Hiding! A Little Merry Munks Book (Volume 1)
    Children's bedtime story book

    35 word pitch:

    "The Merry Munks Chipmunks are playing Hide and Seek, but nobody can find Douglas! Where could he be hiding? Find out in this richly illustrated bed time story, the first in the Merry Munks series."

    Thank You

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really like this concept and your pitch. Very clean!

      Delete
  46. Ann Marie Gardinier HalsteadDecember 5, 2014 at 7:30 AM

    Hi, everyone. This is my first PITCHmas. Thanks in advance for your feedback. Wishing you all lots of luck!

    BUCKET FILLING FAIRY
    Picture Book: 1st in a series

    35 Word Pitch
    Young Trey is a bit of a bully. Bucket Filling Fairy (BFF) is magical and quirky. She helps Trey to see how his actions have affected others. After some resistance, Trey becomes a bucket filler.

    Twitter Pitch
    Trey is a bit of a bully. Bucket Filling Fairy (BFF) is magical & quirky. She helps Trey to change from a bully to a bucket filler.#PITCHmas

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    Replies
    1. I think in the 35 word pitch, I would rephrase the last line. It kind of ends it for me instead of leaving me hanging.

      I really like the Twitter pitch, but what is the genre on that? Usually it helps if you include the genre with a hashtag as well.

      Delete
  47. Cameron Eldridge
    DEADLY NIGHTSHADE YA sci-fi/thriller

    35 word pitch:
    After a near-death experience, 16 year-old Morelle Noire wakes with telekinetic powers, and so many questions. When she joins a government task force, her life depends on learning if her near-death was really coincidental.

    Twitter pitch:
    1. A near death experience, stopping an armed robbery with telekinesis, and joining a govt. agency that wants her dead. Ah, summer.
    2.A run-in with Deadly Nightshade gives 16y/o Morelle telekinetic powers that land her on the govt.’s task force--and kill list.

    I was really torn on which Twitter pitch was more appealing. Thanks for the feedback!

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    Replies
    1. I lean towards the 2nd pitch myself, but I think for the twitter day you may be able to use both interchangeably.

      Delete
  48. Stacey Meets the Tree Ducks! A Little Merry Munks Book (Volume 2)
    Children's bedtime story book

    35 word pitch:

    Everyone wakes up grumpy some mornings, even the Merry Munks Chipmunks. Stacey wakes up grumpy, and goes for a walk to cheer herself up. She never thought she'd find Something Important, AND help her neighbors!

    Thank You

    ReplyDelete
  49. Jamie Klinger-Krebs
    ON BURING MIRRORS, Contemporary Fiction

    35 word pitch:
    Love can make you lie. When well-known journalist, Jules Kanter, dies unexpectedly, her husband discovers her illicit, same-sex affair and slowly begins to unravel her tightly-woven blanket of deceit.

    Twitter pitch:
    When a revered journalist dies unexpectedly, her husband discovers her same-sex affair and unravels her blanket of deceit. #PitchMas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This sounds like an interesting book. I would consider getting rid of the word "blanket". A blanket is a covering for good purposes....safety, warmth, etc. Maybe use a word like "veil" instead. A veil is meant to hide. In a pitch session It's important for every word to pack a punch when our count is so limited! Good luck! :)

      Delete
    2. Jamie Klinger-KrebsDecember 5, 2014 at 8:24 AM

      Great suggestion, thanks!

      Delete
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  52. Christopher Gotham
    Affinity: New Eden Conflict, Science Fiction

    Word count: 72k

    1. Galactic society is on the verge of war and a rogue agent is the catalyst. Drake, a young officer, must hunt down the rogue agent. Little does Drake know... the rogue isn't the real threat.

    2. Drake, a soldier with psychic abilities known as the Affinity, must stop a rogue agent from starting galactic war. Little does he know... a sinister threat pulls the strings from the recesses of the galaxy.

    I'm really conflicted on which pitch is more appealing. Thank you for the feedback!

    ReplyDelete
  53. SUTTON ISLAND, YA Paranormal Mystery

    Two choices:

    Natalie Sutton never thought her summer would consist of love, near death experiences, ghostly visits, and solving a ninety-year-old murder. Now, she must choose between saving the living or rescuing the dead.

    Not even a summer romance is enough to distract Natalie from the daily hauntings of her great-aunt Jane, who sends Natalie back in time to 1924 to answer one simple question: Who killed Jane Sutton?

    Twitter pitches:

    Summer love, haunting ghosts, murder mystery dating back 90 years. 17yo Natalie must choose to save the living or rescue the dead #PitchMAS

    Christmas 1924. Oil Heiress Jane plans to elope with secret lover but dies suddenly. Now 2014. Natalie must reveal why. #pitchMAS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Personally, I'm leaning towards the first blog pitch. As for the Twitter pitch, I'd also go with the first.

      Choosing between saving the living or rescuing the dead really caught my attention.

      Delete
  54. Sunny Weese

    The Winged Guardian, YA Paranormal adventure

    35 word pitch:
    Instructions for witches with a demon bodyguard: One, avoid using the services unless you want to die; Two, never fall in love with them unless you want to start the WWIII. I just did both.

    Thank you very much.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Aransas Morning

    35 word pitch:
    Sam Barnes is a beach bum with a secret past until a chance encounter with a stranger reveals the tragedy he has run from and the decency that still lives in his broken heart.

    -or-

    When Sam wrecks his career and marriage in Dallas, he flees the city to lose himself on the beach in Port Aransas and finds peace and purpose among the people of this small Texas town.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like that the first pitch hints at a bit of a mystery, however, I feel that the second pitch is just considerably more clean. It sets him up as a broken character with a troubled past who finds redemption, something I think we can all relate to.

      Delete
  56. Missy Shelton Belote
    INCONCEIVABLE, Contemporary Romance
    (Revised based on earlier feedback--Thanks!)

    Following a hot, tumultuous courtship, Prince John and his bride, American Hatty, confront an unusual sex scandal: infertility. Tabloids dub her “Barren-ess;” royals demand divorce. They face invasive procedures or abandoning John’s future as king.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Missy! I really like this revision, and it's clear that they're married in this one whereas it wasn't in the previous pitch. The only suggestion I have is (if you have the room) to say "Toulene's Prince John" so that you have a sense of setting. That's just a little nitpick, though, and this is really well done!

      Alex

      Delete
  57. Sherrie Stradley
    Secrets Kill, Romantic Suspense, 60k+

    35-#1: A sheriff fighting to overcome his past. A woman who can’t remember hers. A secret that threatens to destroy them both and forever binds them together in ways they could never imagine.

    35-#2: When the attempted murder of Elyse Benson leaves her with amnesia, Sheriff James Warrick works with her to discover her identity and who wants her dead. Nothing could prepare them for the lethal truth.

    35-#3: A cop haunted by his past, a woman without a memory, a deadly game of cat and mouse, and a killer secret that both binds them and threatens to destroy them

    35-#4: A cop desperate to forget a tragic past and a woman who’s forgotten hers must work together to discover her identity, who wants her dead, and the horrible truth that will change them forever

    Twitter #1: A cop haunted by his past, a woman who can’t remember hers, and the secret her mother kept that could kill them both

    Twitter #2: The road to hell is paved with good intentions-and deadly family secrets.

    Twitter #3: An assaulted woman who suffers amnesia works with the handsome sheriff to find her identity, her attacker & the killer truth

    Twitter #4: He’s a cop. She’s the mystery. She’s also the answer. And neither of them know they share a secret that could kill them both

    I have 20+ Twitter pitches for this book, and several more 35 word pitches, so I tried to narrow them down. :) Thank you in advance for your feedback!

    ReplyDelete
  58. 35 word pitch: Tired of popping pills, Jimmy quits his meds and lands on psych ward. He turns to his husband for support. Jacoby's had enough and has to decide if he'll handle it with grace or divorce. (HELP!)

    Twitter pitches:

    1. Tired of popping pills, Jimmy quits his meds and lands on psych ward. Jacoby has handle it with grace or divorce #A #LGBT #PitchMAS

    2. Jacoby's always been his husband's rock. But Jimmy's off his meds and back on drugs. Jacoby's about to become his ex. #A #LGBT #PitchMAS

    3. #A Jimmy's off his meds and back on drugs. His husband hits his breaking point and won't be there when Jimmy hits rock bottom #LGBT #PitchMAS

    4. #A #PitchMAS Jacoby swore he didn't have a breaking point with his addict husband—but Jimmy pushed the wrong button this time #LGBT

    ReplyDelete
  59. Draft #2 of the 35-word!

    When her webbed hands make her the target of a fear-driven witch-hunt, 13yo Katcha must decide whether to run or prove her innocence, choosing between fighting a water demon or facing an inquisition.

    Prior:

    When a plague decimates the kingdom, local monks discover 13yo Katcha’s magical webbed hands and blame her for the disease. With nowhere to hide, she must prove her innocence and catch the real monster responsible.

    Tweet: When her webbed hands make her the target of a fear-driven witch-hunt, Katcha must decide whether to run or prove her innocence. #MG #Pitmas

    ReplyDelete
  60. Megan Bledsoe
    THE ILLUMINESSENCE, Upper Middle Grade

    35-Word Pitch
    In ancient Greece, 14yo Asclepius uses the powers of plants to save the girl he’s revived from death—and his world—from essence-stealing gods.

    Twitter Pitch Possibilities:
    1. 14yo Ace uses the powers of plants to save a girl he's healed--and his world--from essence-stealing gods THE ILLUMINESSENCE Up #MG #pitchMas

    2. When 14yo boy discovers the Pantheon is stealing people’s essence, he must overthrow them or he & his classmates are next. Up #MG #PitchMas

    3. Reimagining of Asclepius myth set in ancient Greece. 14yo rejected son of Apollo overthrows Greek Pantheon with a weed. Upper #MG #Pitchmas

    4. When a 14yo healer revives the dead, he uncovers his vulnerable deity family’s murderous plan to restore themselves. Upper #MG #PitchMas

    5. The pantheon is stealing people’s essence. To stop them, 14yo Ace must hone his knowledge of the powers of plants. Upper #MG #PitchMas

    6. 14yo Ace never imagined treating his 1st patient would lead 2 death threats, girls liking him, or the creation of stars. Upper #MG #PitchMas

    ReplyDelete