Friday, December 9, 2016

Peer Critique Workshop! PitchMAS 2016

On the First Day of #PitchMAS, Tam and Jessa gave to me: 

A Peer Critique/Honing Workshop!


HAPPY #pitchMAS, YOU GUYS!

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

Please, please, please read each other's comments and share your thoughts and pointers. 

That's what today is all about! 


***PLEASE READ THIS!***

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. When in doubt, hit 'refresh'!


Here are a few free tips from Tam: 

-In a pitch, we need a GOAL, a CONFLICT, and STAKES.

The goal is what the main character/s need to accomplish.
The conflict is what's preventing them from accomplishing that goal.
The stakes are what happens if the main character fails.

Sometimes these can be combined, but we need to get a feeling for those points. I know it sounds like a lot to cram into 35 words, but here is one of mine as an example. 

*And please remember, a pitch CAN break the rules--it's there to HOOK us. Forest/trees. If it doesn't have all three but makes us get grabby raccoon hands for your MS, then it does its job.*

-Hyphenated words count as ONE WORD, but don't try to be sneaky with it. Follow grammar rules. 

-Especially in Spec Fic, the temptation to use unique words comes up. But if your character is a Thferzle, that gives me NO information out of context in a pitch. Judges haven't read your MS and don't know what YOUR Thferzle is. Avoid using made up words because they raise more questions and give no information--burning up one of your precious words. 

-Things you can PROBABLY safely cut from the blog pitch: 
               -Ages (we can infer your MC's age is 13-18ish if the category says YA. Don't waste one of your 35 words on something we don't need.)
               -Last names
               -Anything that's listed in the relevant information above the pitch. Category, genre, POV, tense. (These might be necessary in the twitter pitch, but the blog gives you more wiggle room as you get to include more.)

-PLEASE make sure it's a PITCH and not a SPOILERY SYNOPSIS. Don't tell us everything that happens in 35 words. ENTICE US to read more WITH those 35 words!!! No one likes a spoiler. 

-PLEASE don't try to entice us by being deliberately vague. By this, I mean don't try and use made up words, or 'you'll never guess what happens next!' as a means of piquing our interest. MAKE US CARE about what happens next. There's a difference between being mysterious and being annoyingly vague. 

And one more bonus tip: 
Questions in your pitch are almost always something to avoid. "Will she save the day!?" I don't know, will she? We don't know enough about your character to care, frankly. So don't waste precious pitch space with a question that we can't actually answer. (Side note: this is a great piece of advice for QUERIES as well.) 


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

Name: Tamara Mataya
Title: THE BEST LAID PLANS
Category: Adult
Genre: Erotic Romance
Wordcount: 55k

35 word blog pitch:
Ten years later, she doesn't recognize him. He never forgot her. Jayne wants the perfect lover. Malcolm wants revenge. But you know what they say about the best laid plans...

Twitter pitch:
Jayne wants the perfect lover. Malcolm wants revenge. But you know what they say about the best laid plans. #PitchMAS



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

NOTE: Tamara and Jessa will not be participating in the peer critique/pitch honing portion of #pitchMAS, as we are the ones who will be picking the Top pitches for the blog, 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 once the submission window opens on Sunday, and hopefully help you on your path to bringing your writing dreams to fruition! 
Tam & Jessa 

***PLEASE READ THIS!***
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. When in doubt, hit 'refresh'!

499 comments:

  1. Name: Joshua Pleming
    Title: Bourbon Blood
    Category: New Adult
    Genre: Dark Fantasy, LGBT
    Wordcount: 95k


    35 word blog pitch:
    Time-jumping disorientation, jewelry from hell and an apocalypse that Aidan, Lana and Nadia must prevent without spilling their drinks. Resurrected from mythology to stop ancient evil yet all these heroes want is a hangover cure.


    Twitter pitch:
    Armed with sarcasm and liquor, news of being resurrected to stop armageddon is no big deal for a demon, valkyrie & nymph #PitchMAS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love this! I wonder if you could add a little from your Twitter pitch to your 35-word one. The valkyrie, demon, and nymph really grabbed my attention. Maybe something like this?

      Resurrected from mythology and armed with sarcasm and liquor, a demon, valkyrie and nymph must prevent an apocalypse without spilling their drinks, yet all they want is a hangover cure.

      Delete
    2. I will agree with Carrie--LOVE the twitter pitch! Love the line about "without spilling their drinks" and think something like Carrie's compromise works really well

      Delete
    3. Hi Joshua,
      I totally agree. I LOVE the Twitter pitch, but the 35-word one has me really confused. There seems to be a lot going on at the expense of clear syntax. I do really like the 'all they want is a hangover cure' aspect, though.

      Delete
    4. Thanks for the input. With a little tweaking to your suggestion, how does this sound?

      Resurrected from mythology and armed with sarcasm and liquor, a demon, valkyrie and nymph have to prevent an apocalypse without spilling their drinks, even though all they really want is a cure for their hangovers.

      Delete
    5. Hi Joshua, I really like the rewrite. Nice!

      Delete
  2. Name: Carrie Pulkinen
    Title: WEREWOLVES ONLY
    Category: Adult
    Genre: Paranormal Romance
    Wordcount: 85k

    35 word pitch:
    A psychic New Orleans detective doesn't know she's hunting demons. The alpha wolf must make sure she never finds out, but he risks losing his pack when he falls for her.

    Twitter Pitch:
    A psychic New Orleans detective doesn't know she's hunting demons. The alpha wolf is making sure she never finds out. #A #PR #PitchMAS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Carrie: This is a book I would read. I think you capture the essence of your book in both pitches. Great job!

      Delete
    2. I really like the 35-word pitch... I'm not exactly sure who the MC is though. At first I thought it was the detective, but the goals and stakes are for the alpha wolf. If he is the MC, you may want to mention him first.

      The alpha wolf is determined to make sure the psychic New Orleans detective never finds out she's hunting demons......

      Also, the twitter pitch doesn't mention stakes and it again sounds like the detective is the MC, or possibly that it's multiple POV would make since.

      Delete
    3. It's a romance, so they are both MCs.

      For the twitter pitch, I've tried this one:
      New Orleans alpha wolf risks losing his pack when he falls for the psychic detective he must stop from discovering demons.

      But I've gotten more hits on the other one in other contests, so I'm not sure what to do.

      Delete
    4. This is totally a book right up my alley and I love both pitches! But I also like the revised suggestion from Crystal (above). 'The Alpha wolf is determined....'
      If you switch it around like that, it does flow nicely.
      Best of luck!

      Delete
    5. Than you for the feedback! What about this one?

      The New Orleans alpha wolf is determined to make sure a psychic detective never discovers she's hunting demons. But when he falls for her, it could tear his pack apart.

      Delete
    6. Hi Carrie - I really like the rewrite!

      Delete
  3. Name: Carrie Pulkinen
    Title: SOUL CATCHERS
    Category: YA
    Genre: Paranormal
    Wordcount: 80k

    35 word pitch:
    Little Red Riding Hood meets a government experiment-gone-wrong when a murderous wolf spirit possesses her. Now she must infiltrate a secret government research facility to find a cure before it kills her.

    Twitter Pitch:
    Little Red Riding Hood meets a government experiment-gone-wrong when a murderous wolf spirit possesses her. #PitchMAS #YA #PN

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Carrie,
      Oh my gosh, I would totally read this! Can't think of anything to add :-)

      Delete
    2. Really cool this twist of a popular theme. I find both pitches well crafted and to the point. I noticed the additio of #YA and #PN to the first hashtag. Didn't see that in the guidelines. Need to double check for myself. Best of luck to you, Carrie.

      Delete
  4. Name: Martha Taylor McKiever
    Title: SKETCHED IN TIME
    Category/Genre: Upper MG contemporary w/magical realism
    Word Count: 59 K

    35 wd. Pitch:
    Whenever Tessa sketches a wild mare and foal, the warm presence of her now distant mom surrounds her. So when criminals threaten the horses on ATVs, she plans a dangerous rescue with a ghostly friend.


    140 character Twitter pitch:
    When Tessa sketches a wild mare & foal—distant mom is near
    Thieves chase horses—she must risk life 2 rescue w/ ghostgirl’s help #Pitchmas #MG

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh, I really hope this does well! There seem to be a fair few agents looking for books about horses and MR. For the 35-word pitch, I'd possibly cut one of the adjectives? But generally it captures a great tone, so up to you.
      To be totally honest I'd probably scroll past the Twitter pitch. It's a little hard to unravel at a glance. I think I'd focus on expanding one of the sentences rather than squeezing in both - probably in this case the horse thief plot.
      Hope that helps!

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the input. I'm going to work more on the twitter pitch. I want to show the connection of Tessa with the horses, but very tough in so few words. I think you're right about focusing on second part.

      Delete
    3. Hi Martha,
      I agree that the Twitter pitch could be tighter.
      How about playing with the distant and near? Something like:

      Sketching horses brings Tessa closer to her distant mom and when thieves threaten her subjects, she risks life w/ a ghostgirl to help. #Pitchmas #MG

      Delete
    4. I'll just chime in and ask, is Tessa's mom physically distant or emotionally, because they would have totally different meanings.
      I might focus on the horse thief, too.

      Delete
    5. Revision of my Twitter pitch:
      When sketch-artist Tessa hears felons plotting to steal the wild mare & foal, she plans a risky rescue with a ghostly friend. #PitchMAS #MG

      Delete
    6. Hi Maureen, Her mom is distant both as "far away," and she's very depressed. So I thought I would combine them into "distant" rather than put two words.
      Martha

      Delete
    7. Hi Marit,
      I like your suggestion. I really want to bring in the relationship w/ Tessa, horses and her mom. Thanks.

      Delete
    8. I love the 35 word pitch, the only thing I would change would be to get rid of the word 'so' at the beginning of the second sentence. I think it reads more powerful to start with "When" and it gives you a word to play with somewhere else if you want.
      I remember seeing your Twitter Pitch during #PraPit and I liked it. The one you posted here isn't pulling me in the same way. But your revised Twitter Pitch (posted at 7:31) is doing the job! My question is "a" mare and foal vs "the" mare and foal. Does Tessa already know these two horses in some way and are they very specific to the story or are they just two random horses that they felons are targeting?

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

      Delete
    10. 2nd Revision
      Sketching horses brings Tessa close to her distant mom. When bullies harass them she risks life in rescue w/ ghostgirl’s help. #Pitchmas #MG

      Delete
    11. Getting there! Maybe the second sentence is trying to do too much with the bullies and the ghostgirl....??? Maybe just boil it down to the stakes?

      Delete
    12. A couple thoughts on the 35 word pitch:
      "when criminals threaten the horses on ATVs"

      First, thieves (used in twitter pitch) is a stronger, more specific word than criminal.

      Second, regarding "on ATVs": First, I don't think you need it in the pitch. If you do leave it, place it as thieves on ATVs, otherwise it could be the horses on ATVs.

      Delete
    13. Katie,
      Thanks for your suggestion. I agree with removing "so". Also, the mare and full are important in my book because they have a magical effect. I did change it to "horses" in my 2nd revision because of space. Appreciate!

      Delete
    14. I find your pitch stronger that your tweet which doesn't read as smoothly. But I love the theme of your MG. Best to you.

      Delete
    15. I'm glad you noticed ""threatened horses on ATVs" Thank you.

      Delete
  5. Name: Susan Dalessandro
    Title: A Complex Solution
    Category: YA
    Genre: Romantic Suspense
    Word Count: 79k

    35 Word Blog Pitch:Amanda, a lonely teen who cuts herself, learns her deceased parents solved a famous math theorem. She must get her addiction under control, if she’s to find their research and preserve her parents’ legacy.

    Twitter Pitch:16 y/o with addiction to self-harm must find proof of a famous math theorem her dead parents left behind before her stalker does.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you should add the part about the stalker to the 35 word pitch as well. That really drew me in so I think you could benefit from including that.

      Delete
    2. I agree about adding the stalker. It ups the stakes!

      Delete
    3. I agree about adding the stalker part. Everything about this premise is so fresh! And as a teenager studying for a maths degree, I'm SO HERE for this book! Seriously, the world needs more books teaching teens how freaking cool maths really is. Seriously, hit me up on Twitter if you want a beta :-) @lillianmwoodall

      Delete
    4. I would definitely add the stalker to the 35 word pitch. Conversely, I would change "addiction to self-harm" to addiction to cutting; I feel like many people know what cutting is and gives you 2 extra characters, for that 140 challenge.

      Delete
    5. The stalker seems crucial to the story, so I would include this character to your 35 word pitch. Great potential suspense in your novel. Good luck!

      Delete
  6. Hannah Ruth MillerDecember 9, 2016 at 4:48 AM

    Name: Hannah Ruth Miller
    Title: Pursuit Interrupted
    Category: Adult
    Genre: Romance
    Word Count: 72k

    Disabled STEM-geek reluctantly grants Jason-Bourne type 5 dates to win her heart. After they seemingly irreconcilably quarrel, his life becomes endangered. She then realizes she can’t live without him. Is she too late? #IRMC #OwnVoices

    Disabled STEM-geek thinks she's unlovable. Alpha-MoC seeks to capture her heart despite her self-protective armor #A #R #PitchMas #OwnVoices

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had to read this a couple of times to understand it, and I'm not sure why the hyphenation is necessary in the first sentence? The premise is great, but after 'seemingly irreconcilably' it gets a bit generic. I'd try and put something specific about how his life is endangered, why they quarrelled and what the two things have to do with each other. This does look like a stand-out premise though. All the luck!

      Delete
    2. Love the idea! I'd use "five" instead of 5, assuming the first one is your blog pitch. Do we need the hashtags for the blog pitch? "Jason-Bourne type" isn't sitting right for me, but I don't know another way to say it. Jason Bourne-esque?? I think that's worse! Lose "seemingly irreconcilably" like the last comment said. It's quite a mouthful.
      I love the Twitter pitch. "Self-protective armor" is awesome. Good luck!

      Delete
    3. Great premise. I might change "seemingly irreconcilably quarrel" to words that a teen might use (epic fight? major? --showing my age!!).

      Delete
  7. Name: Maureen Marshall
    Title: AKROTIRI
    Category/Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance
    Word Count: 106,000

    35 word pitch:
    Minoan priestess chooses sexy heretic foreigner as her partner in their sacred fertility Rites. Her goddess vehemently disagrees. Earthshakes ravage her city & Asta must choose: kill him or sacrifice her people. Mists of Avalon + Outlander.

    I have two 140 character tweets, so I hope no one is mad if I put them both? :)

    World of bare breasts and bulls, priestess Asta falls for foreign painter Kyan even though her religion says he’s off limits #HF #pitchmas

    Priestess falls for sexy heretic foreigner. Their love angers Goddess who vows to destroy them w/earthquakes & fire #HF #pitchmas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whoa I love your premise! Hooked in the first six words. I think I'd tweak a couple of things. It wasn't clear until I read the Twitter pitch that the goddess was sending the earthquakes, so possibly make that link. I'd also decapitalise 'Rites' just for the sake of easy reading, and replace the ampersand with and. Love the comps and ADORE the Twitter pitches. Looks amazing. Good luck!

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the feedback! :) I played around a bit to make it more clear but I am at 35 words exactly. Moving the period hopefully helps?
      Minoan priestess chooses sexy heretic foreigner as her partner in sacred fertility rites. Her goddess vehemently disagrees & earthshakes ravage her city. Asta’s choice: kill him or sacrifice her people. Mists of Avalon + Outlander

      Squueeeee that you enjoy the tweets! :)

      Delete
    3. I think the 2nd tweet is the strongest. It's clear, compelling and makes me want to read more–– and that's the point, right?

      In 35 word, I agree; don't capitalize rites. Also, what if you said something along the lines of this:

      (Same start +) The Goddess sends earthquakes and fire to show here disapproval. Asta must choose: kill her lover or save her people.

      Delete
    4. Thanks so much, Dawn! I am working on making a good mashup of all the suggestions! :)

      Delete
  8. Name: Natalie Marie
    Title: THE WINCHESTER GIRLS
    Category: YA
    Genre: LGTBQ/Paranormal
    Wordcount: 84K


    35 word blog pitch:
    Among the roar of the twenties, an heiress, a demon, an inventor and a maid must band together to fight the ghosts that plague the famed Winchester Mystery House or lose the house forever.


    Twitter pitch:
    An heiress, a demon, an inventor and a maid must fight the ghosts that plague the Winchester House or lose the house forever. #PitchMAS


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like the blog pitch, but if you need to, you can probably cut "a", "an", "must" and maybe even "the" before ghosts. That would give you room for 4 other words if you need them :)

      Delete
    2. I tried to post earlier and it didn't work (my computer I think) so if it happens to go a second time, not trying to pile it on! ;) Your premise sounds fun and definitely has a '20's flair, but what are the stakes? Why is the Winchester House famous, and why do they care? What happens to the house if the ghosts stay?
      35 words just is not enough, but spend more time on conflict and stakes than madcap bunch of characters, maybe? :)

      Delete
    3. How about changing "among" to "amidst"? Somehow seems a more scene-setting choice to me?

      Delete
    4. Since your genre is LGBT I think it would be good that both pitches suggest this crucial point. Otherwise, both are intriguing and well-crafted. Good luck!

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

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

    ReplyDelete
  11. Name: Leah Heilman Schanke
    Title: I WANT TO RIDE
    Category: Picture Book
    Genre: Historical Fiction
    Wordcount: 836

    35 word blog pitch:

    In 1864 9 year-old Charlie fights against the rule that only white passengers can ride the Washington, DC, streetcar and discovers there’s more than one way to be brave.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No comma between DC and streetcar. I would spell out nine-year-old. Does the character have a last name? I know they said you could leave out last names, but I think it might help here. Also, is it 1964 or 1864? I would imagine 1964 in the midst of the Civil Rights movement vs. 1864, in the midst of the Civil War.

      Delete
    2. Thanks. It is 1864 during the U.S. Civil War and based on actual events. Many advances were reversed, similar to what many fear will happen now.

      Delete
    3. Thanks for clarifying Leah, I thought there was--but then doubted my history! I wonder if you could add something to indicate that it's not a typo? But perhaps it's already there with the no ride bit?

      There should be a comma after 1864, and the comma after DC is correct.

      Delete
  12. Name: Leah Heilman Schanke
    Title: NO WAY, NO HOW: THE STORY OF ANNE SPENCER
    Category: Picture Book
    Genre: Biography
    Wordcount: 113

    35 word blog pitch:
    Harlem Renaissance poet, Anne Spencer, strives for a better life for African-Americans and discovers what sustains her and how an African-American woman can make a difference.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Name: Mark Kennedy
    Title: Robin & Stealin'
    Category: YA
    Genre: Contemporary
    Wordcount: 72K

    35 word blog pitch:
    Robin steals from classmates to help a girl with cancer. Chase obsesses with being a detective to find his missing father. High school relationships are hard, especially when your first date includes breaking and entering.

    Twitter pitch:
    Robin steals from classmates, Chase wants to be a detective. Not the best formula for a 1st date, which includes breaking & entering #PitchMAS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mark! Cute title! What are the stakes? Obviously, breaking and entering is risky, but what happens to them if they get caught? In the 35 word pitch, I'd change the "with being" to "about being" for clarity and drop the "high school relationships are hard" and give some definite stakes. :) I am not sure what happens next to give any offers, but I am happy to help if you need some more tweaking.

      Delete
    2. Okay, so this book looks so good! Last sentence of the pitch is AMAZING! The only thing I'd say is, is it Robin and Chase on the date? Right now it seems like several disconnected stories, but if there's any way of linking the third sentence to the first two it might be clearer. Up to you, though. I think it's great! :-)
      PLUS THE TITLE! OH MY GOSH SO GOOD!

      Delete
    3. I get the Robin Hood vibe with her stealing to help the cancer patient. Maybe that's what's at stake (in reference to Maureen's suggestion above). Maybe emphasize the date could get Robin to play it straight but if she does patient X could die. Follow your heart or save someone else's. that sort of thing

      Delete
  14. Name: Lillian Woodall
    Title: WILDCARD
    Category: YA
    Genre: LGBTQ+ Contemporary Romance
    Wordcount: 65,000

    35-word blog pitch:
    BASKET CASE. That's what the http://are-u-madly-in-love.quiz called Dani. In one last bid for her happily high school after, she befriends her crush's tennis pro sister — and, somehow, seduces the wrong sibling. Rats.

    I'm worried the URL inclusion would count as manipulating the word limit. Do you think I should trim elsewhere to make sure? Thanks! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Could you just call it a teenage love quiz, online love quiz, or something like that? I understand your concern, and I'm not sure it would be an issue, but it makes the pitch harder to read because it doesn't flow like the other words. :)

      Delete
    2. Good point! I didn't think of that. Thank you!

      Delete
    3. The capitalization of BASKET CASE made me think that was the title of the book because that's standard in query letters.
      I also thought the http:// part was a typo. Is the online quiz a major plot point? Just something to thing about.
      Sentence 2 about the tennis pro is more interesting!

      Delete
    4. Thank you so much for the feedback! I need to do some major tweaking ;-)

      Delete
    5. There's a disconnected between the two sentences in the pitch. I think...What does the quiz have to do the making friends with the sister?

      I like the second sentence, but suggest ditching the somehow and going with something more on the lines of "end ups seducing". Good luck.

      Delete
    6. I agree. Don't capitalize BASKET CASE and don't use the URL. Other than that, I loved it!

      Delete
    7. I agree with the other replies. I don't think you should use the URL. I think you should go with the second sentence and expand a little there. It seems to sum up what your book is about.

      Delete
  15. Name: Megan Cassidy
    Title: Smothered
    Category: Adult
    Genre: Mystery
    Word Count: 95K

    35 Word Blog Pitch:
    Child star Kitty Holbrooke was murdered fifteen years ago, possibly by someone in her family. As rumors still circulate today, an online tabloid obtains secret police recordings, emails, and transcripts, which may reveal the killer.

    Twitter Pitch:
    15yrs ago: A child star murdered, her family suspected. Today: Their secrets exposed online. Epistolary inspired by JonBenétRamsey #PitchMAS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Should I mention the Ramsey case? I wasn't sure about that and I'm worried the 35 word pitch is not as interesting as the Twitter pitch. Thanks in advance for your help, everyone!

      Delete
    2. I really like the Twitter pitch but I'm not hooked by the blog pitch. Not getting a sense of character - but the epistolary part is interesting. I'd definitely make it more clear in the blog pitch that you play with unusual formats.

      Delete
    3. piggybacking on lillianmwoodall's comment - I assume there's a reporter for the tabloid or some other character working through the mystery? I might try refocusing on them for the second sentence.

      Delete
    4. I was going to say pretty much what the others already said... not sure who the MC is, so I'm not getting a clear picture of what the stakes are. Is it the family member about to be exposed? or someone at the tabloid about to break the case?

      Delete
  16. Name: Amy Freeman
    Title: Enmeshed
    Category: Literary Fiction
    Genre: Women’s, Upmarket
    Wordcount: 89k

    35 word blog pitch:

    Sketchy sexual boundaries…A clandestine eating disorder….Marital infidelities swept under the rug….

    Yep, that’s the Shores.

    Three women’s stories unfold, as a dysfunctional upbringing dictates two adult sisters’ lives.

    Their mother’s? Not so much.

    Twitter pitch:

    Three women, one dysfunctional family. One will heal. One will sink deeper into despair. The third? She won’t learn a thing. #PitchMAS

    .


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Revised Twitter pitch:

      Three women, one dysfunctional family. In time, one will heal. One will despair. The third? Well, she won’t change one bit. #PitchMAS

      Delete
    2. Amy, your Twitter pitch entices me more than the 35 word one. I like your first Twitter pitch better actually. 'One will despair' sounds off to me.

      Delete
    3. Agreed! Thanks. I already like these better, what do you think?

      Blog pitch:

      Three women’s stories unfold, as a dysfunctional upbringing continues to dictate their lives.

      By the end, one woman will heal. One will sink deeper into despair. The third? Well, she won’t learn a darned thing.

      Twitter pitch:

      Three women, one dysfunctional family. One heals. One sinks deeper into despair. The third? Well, she never learns a darned thing. #PitchMAS

      Delete
    4. I'm wondering if this "gives away" the ending? It's almost like I'm reading the resolution since you have "by the end" in there. I'm no expert, just my opinion.
      Damn thing has more of a punch, but if that's not the tone of your story, forget it. :)

      Delete
    5. I swear I replied to this...if you get this twice, sorry. I'm doing what we're not supposed to do!

      It's almost as if I'm reading the resolution, a general one, because of "In the end", you know? I'm no expert on these things though!
      "Damn thing" has more of a punch, but if that's not the tone of your story, forget it. :)

      Delete
    6. Okay, three's a charm!

      Blog pitch:
      A dysfunctional upbringing continues to dictate three women’s lives. Over time, one will heal. Another will sink deeper into despair. The third? Well, she won’t learn a darned thing.

      Twitter pitch:
      3 women cope with family dysfunction. One heals; one sinks deeper into despair. The third? Well, she never learns a darned thing. #PitchMAS

      Delete
    7. I think you've got it! This blog pitch is so much clearer than your first one. Good luck!

      Delete
    8. Thanks, Lauren! What a great process this is. Good luck to you, too.
      Other comments from any and all most welcomed.

      Delete
    9. Oh, thanks, Marit, much appreciated. I like the revised version much better than the earlier ones too.

      Delete
  17. NAME: Sarah Rowlands
    TITLE OF MANUSCRIPT: The Stone Inheritance
    CATERGORY/GENRE: YA/Historical Fiction
    MANUSCRIPT WORD COUNT: 74,000

    PITCH:

    In 1912, heiress escapes fortune-hunting fiance, Edward, and befriends two Irish fugitives hiding in secluded glen. She must stop Edward before he destroys the glen and all its inhabitants, who are secretly connected to her inheritance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like the sound of this! My only suggestion is to lose "Edward" so you have another word if you should need it. Not too helpful, sorry, but this looks pretty polished to me! Good luck!

      Delete
  18. Name: Crystal Christie
    Title: 40 DAYS
    Category: Adult
    Genre: Contemporary Romance/Adventure
    Wordcount: 76k

    35 word blog pitch:
    After becoming stranded on an island with a reality-show cast, Liz is faced with leaving on a lifeboat and risking everything to get back to Caiden, or staying on the island with Skip—possibly forever.

    Twitter pitch:
    After being stranded on an island w/a reality show cast, Liz can risk everything to get back to Caiden or stay on island w/Skip #Pitchmas #A

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel like this needs some more stakes. Right now she's facing a choice between two guys, but I need to know a little more about them. And how is she risking everything by leaving?

      I think you can take out "after becoming" and change "is faced with" to "can" to save a few words.

      The part about the reality show cast is intriguing!

      Delete
  19. Name: Emily Strong
    Title: SKADI
    Category: Young Adult
    Genre: Fantasy
    Manuscript Word Count: 93K

    35 Word Blog Pitch:
    Eighteen years after the vessel of the gods walked away from destiny, her daughter Skadi works to end the resulting war but she must risk her foster home and future career to save her people.

    Twitter Pitch:
    Daughter of failed chosen one risks foster home & career as inventor and fights to end decades-long war on magic #YA #F #PitchMAS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm intrigued. A couple of clarifying questions though, are "the gods" ones I'd be familiar with potentially already - Greek, Egyptian, Norse etc.

      I get the vessel of the gods is a person but who she is and what her destiny is/was might help me understand the stakes better.

      Finally, who goes to war with whom as a result of this decision to walk away?

      I realize that's a lot of questions and I'm sorry if it's too much.

      Delete
    2. I think your Twitter pitch gives us more information than your blog pitch. It's clearer too. That introductory phrase is a bit confusing to me. You could also lose the first name to give yourself another word if you need it.
      Sounds like an awesome story! Good luck!

      Delete
    3. Is this better for the 35 word pitch?

      Eighteen years after the chosen one walked away from destiny, her daughter Skadi works to end the resulting war on magic but she must risk her foster home and future career to save her people.

      Delete
  20. Name: Lauren See
    Title: I'M ONLY ME
    Category: Adult
    Genre: Women's Fiction
    Word Count: 99k

    35: First year teacher's predetermined life is erased when she loses her job and sense of self. Her unavailable neighbor tries to keep her from falling into chaos, but he ends up falling for her.

    Twitter: Teacher loses job and sense of self. Unavailable neighbor tries to keep her from falling into chaos but ends up falling for her. #pitchMAS

    *I have a second 35 word pitch. Do I post it now or wait? Thanks, all!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lauren, can you hint at why he is unavailable? Is he married?

      Delete
    2. He's giving her mixed signals, avoiding commitment, being secretive and aloof. It's more emotionally unavailable I'd say. Not sure how to get all that in these tiny pitches!

      Delete
    3. Maybe try elusive, complex or something along those lines? Maybe infuriating, if that fits??? I assumed he was married, which of course would be a whole other story...

      Delete
    4. Hi Lauren,
      I like the "erased" nod to the job as a teacher. Could you tie in the 2nd sentence to teaching as well? They feel a bit detached.

      Delete
    5. Hi Lauren: I agree with Amy. I think you should change unavailable to something else. Maybe 'mysterious' or 'enigmatic'? I like Amy's 'elusive' too. That means she doesn't know what to make of him and it sounds like that's what you're going for in your pitch. Otherwise, I think it's pretty good.

      Delete
    6. I agree, I assumed he was engaged or married. Maybe hint he isn't either somehow. Some agents specifically hate adultery stories.

      Delete
    7. REVISED: (I changed unavailable to elusive. Thanks, Amy!)
      First year teacher's predetermined life is erased when she loses her job and sense of self. Her elusive neighbor tries to keep her from falling into chaos, but he ends up falling for her.

      2nd Option:
      When a teacher loses her perfect job, she questions her life-long career goals, until her elusive neighbor presents a new path, which she interprets as a relationship. That's not what he meant.

      Which pitch should I go with? Thanks!

      Delete
  21. Name: Brian Burak
    Title: A Kiss from Papa
    Category: Picture Book/Child
    Genre: Inspirational
    Word Count: 561 + 1310 Info Guide for Parents

    35: Papa has a mysterious illness called cancer. He helps our child narrator understand the process of dying, using an allegory of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly, which helps the narrator say goodbye to him. #PB

    140: Papa is diagnosed with terminal cancer but teaches our child narrator how to say goodbye using butterflies in A Kiss from Papa #PB

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like an important book, Brian. May I suggest, though, that when I read "mysterious illness called cancer," I thought you were being sarcastic? Maybe change mysterious to scary, or some other word that a child might use?

      Delete
  22. Name: David Palmer
    Title: THE VICTORIOUS DEATH OF ELIZA WARDEN
    Category: Adult
    Genre: High Fantasy
    Wordcount: 125k

    35 word blog pitch:
    Eliza became a frontier folk hero fighting the immortal Servants, but there’s a wide river between legend and truth. Years later, when the Servants return for Eliza’s family, her mistakes could haunt them for generations.

    Twitter pitch:
    Some call her witch; some hero. The truth is between, and Eliza’s choices could lead her nation, and her family, to civil war. #PitchMAS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi David, I LOVE your Twitter pitch.
      The first part of the 35 is a bit wordy and unclear.
      "Frontier folk hero Eliza fights the immortal Servants..."
      Just a thought.
      Good Luck, sounds good.

      Delete
    2. The second sentence in your pitch is a little vague and not real clear on her goals and stakes. What does she need to do to stop what? Does she need to battle them, or cover up lies to keep her family alive?

      Delete
  23. Name: Genevieve Gibson and Jacquelyn Junkins
    Title: Sam Powers: Hamster Poop and Rat Guts
    Category: Illustrated MG
    Genre: Contemporary Fiction
    Wordcount: 13K

    35: 11-year-old Sam Powers, call sign Super, must rescue his runaway hamster before losing his temporary super hearing. #pitchMAS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I want to read this right now. Love the title. Poop AND guts in one title? A kid's dream. :) My only suggestion is perhaps one description of Sam? 11-year-old ____ Sam Powers...
      Good luck!

      Delete
    2. I don't think this posted...sorry if you get this twice.

      I want to read this right now. Love the title. My only suggestion is to include a description of Sam. 11-year-old ____Sam Powers...
      Good luck!

      Delete
    3. Thanks for your feedback! Let's see. Sam is spunky, imaginative, creative, a military brat (the military life-style is a huge part of the story), new to the South...

      Delete
    4. What about replacing his age with a descriptive word?

      Delete
    5. I like spunky. :)

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

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

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

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

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

    ReplyDelete
  29. Name: Lisette Alvarez
    Title: Following Fires
    Category: Urban Fantasy
    Word Count: 70k

    35 Word Blog Pitch:
    A Latina refugee gains access to godlike powers and falls for a reporter who can see ghosts. Two women decide the fate of a media empire and an American refugee zone.

    Twitter Pitch: A refugee becomes a god. A reporter is haunted. Two women’s choices affect the fate of an American refugee zone. #PitMad #F #UF #WOC #LGBT

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Latina refugee intrigued me right away, but it seems there is too much going on in the first sentence of the 35 word pitch - sounds like an LGBT relationship, Latina refugee, gods, reporters, ghosts. What if you started w/ the 2nd sentence and added on to it? Two women must decide the fate of media and refugees BY....

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

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Their abilities sound really intriguing, but it's not real clear what the goals and stakes are. What do they have to decide and how does it affect the media empire and American refugee zone?

      Delete
  31. Name: Marit Tinguely
    Category: Adult
    Genre: Contemporary Romance
    Word Count: 89K

    35:
    Socially starved Louana bangs delicious drummer Jake against her front door then drops him at his bus. He’d like to hit repeat but she refuses to be just another stop on his tour.



    Twitter:
    Fab job? Check. Girlfriends her own age? Not one. Fling with delicious drummer? Oopsy. Drummer who wants a repeat? Oh yeah. #PitchMAS #A #CR

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This sounds enticing, but if Louana's goal is to stay away from Jake, then what is at stake? What happens if he get's too close?

      Delete
    2. I really love your twitter pitch, it has such a strong voice to it -it made me chuckle. If the novel is written with the same voice, I would totally read it.

      Delete
    3. Love the twitter pitch, great voice. I agree with Missy though, it leaves me to wonder what's a stake here? What happens after the fling goes down?

      Delete
    4. Copy that, ladies. Thanks for the feedback. Does this help?

      35:
      Socially starved Louana bangs delicious drummer Jake against her door then says goodbye. He’d like to hit repeat, but she refuses to be another stop on his tour and lose herself in his fast-paced lifestyle.

      Delete
  32. Name: Jennifer Decker
    Title: THE STRANDLINE
    Category: Adult
    Genre: Women’s Fiction
    Wordcount: 74k

    35 word blog pitch:
    When Ellis’s estranged father develops dementia, she reluctantly becomes “parent.” If the young, urban Ellis can slow down and untangle the rules of parenting, she might also learn what it means to be a daughter.

    Twitter pitch:
    He’s lost his mind, not his paternal instincts. She should be caring for her dad, he’s too busy challenging her understanding of family and relationships. #PitchMAS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To me, "lost his mind" has a lot of meanings that dementia does not; I found the blog pitch clearer.

      Delete
    2. To me, the blog pitch is strong. "Challenging her understanding of family and relationships" to me, sounds more self-help and a little cliche than novel. The concept is great, but these make me feel a bit as if I've already read the book and these are telling me what I was supposed to have learned.

      Delete
  33. Name: Missy De Graff
    Title: DEFINING LOVE
    Category: New Adult (with crossover potential)
    Genre: Paranormal Romance
    Word Count: 68k

    35 word blog pitch:
    When Lucinda Raven, an abandoned wolf shifter, seeks refuge in the territory of a cursed Alpha, she puts his entire pack in jeopardy of annihilation when her controlling and psychotic ex-lover discovers her.

    Twitter pitch:
    On the run, a lone wolf shifter seeks refuge in the pack of an old friend. If found she'll be bound to her psychotic ex forever. #PitchMas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Missy,
      This sound great. I would just tighten up that first line:
      When abandoned wolf shifter Lucinda seeks refuge in the territory of a cursed Alpha, she puts his entire pack in jeopardy of annihilation when her controlling and psychotic ex-lover discovers her.
      And maybe "drama up" the Twitter pitch a bit, the 35 words have great momentum.

      Delete
    2. 35: "she" isn't putting the pack in jeopardy, her ex-lover is. I'm more curious what she's doing while she waits for him to find her. The main character is passive as written.

      I'm interested in this concept, and that the genre is Romance. I wonder, where does the romance come in? Could be good to focus on that?

      Delete
    3. Marit - great suggestion, thank you!

      Cicely - You are absolutely right. I'll have to reword a few things. Thank you so much for pointing that out!

      Delete
    4. Revised 35 word pitch:

      Abandoned wolf-shifter Lucinda is drawn to the cursed Alpha and stays longer than intended in his territory. When her controlling and psychotic ex-lover stumbles upon her, the entire pack it put in jeopardy of annihilation.

      Delete
    5. would changed "the" cursed to "a"
      I liked the seeking refuges better than is drawn
      Abandoned wolf-shifter Lucinda seeks refuge with a cursed Alpha and his pack. When she overstays her welcome and her psychotic ex stumbles upon them, it puts the entire pack at risk of annihilation.
      Not trying to write it for you, I just think better that way ;)

      Delete
    6. Hi Marit, Thank you for your suggestions! Sometimes it's hard to step back and switch around words and phrases in our own writing. hehe.
      I appreciate your help! =)

      Delete
  34. Name: Audra McElyea
    Title: When Lilies Bloom
    Category: Adult
    Genre: Women's Fiction
    Wordcount: 70K


    35 word blog pitch: ‪Eve's cancer diagnosis comes with a proposal from her doctor, only he's after more than her heart and it could cost Eve her life. Steel Magnolias' southern wit and charm plus Safe Haven's romantic suspense.‬



    Twitter pitch: ‪Eve's cancer diagnosis comes w/a proposal from her doctor-Only he's after more than her heart & cld cost Eve her life #pitchmas #wf #r #rs ‬

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Grabbed my attention RIGHT away with your pitch. I might tweak your twitter though as the abbreviated words didn't help capture me and from most of the rules I've read, they do more hurt than help in the end. Again though, that pitch really does the job.

      Delete
    2. Also toying with this twitter pitch

      ‪Steel Magnolias' charm+Safe Haven's rom/suspense-Eve's cancer diagnosis=proposal from her Dr.-is he after more than her heart #pitchmas #wf ‬

      Delete
    3. Also this

      ‪Steel Magnolias' charm+Safe Haven's rom/sus-Eve's cancer diagnosis=proposal from her Dr. only he's after more than her heart #pitchmas #wf ‬

      Delete
    4. I think you might be trying to squeeze too much into the 140 characters.

      IMO, in both pitches, "he's after more than her heart and it could cost Eve her life", the second phrase muddies the waters. "He's after more than her heart" is punchier and a better hook.

      Delete
    5. I'm not sure I understood that Al? Can you rephrase?

      Delete
    6. Not sure how to rephrase. your first twitter pitch is the best out of the ones you've posted, but even that is a bit too wordy. Something like this, I think, might be more engaging:

      Eve's cancer diagnosis comes with a proposal from her Doc, but he's after more than her heart. Steel Magnolias + Safe Haven #pitchmas #wf

      Delete
    7. ‪Steel Magnolias' charm + Safe Haven's #rs Eve's cancer diagnosis = a proposal from her Dr. & he's after more than her heart #pitchmas #wf #r‬

      Delete
    8. I will say in the past I have tried the stakes formula and I always get less likes, always get more likes with just the comp titles. So I am trying to incorporate both and it is pretty difficult to do haha

      Delete
  35. Name: Katie Passerotti
    Title: IN MY REMAINS
    Category: YA
    Genre: Fantasy
    Wordcount: 99k

    35 word blog pitch:
    Seeking redemption, an assassin learns of corrupt magic that controls her. Accompanied by her Familiar, a wolf, she must take control of the magic before it destroys the one she loves and starts a war.

    Twitter pitch:
    An assassin & her wolf must unravel the secrets of a corrupt magic to earn redemption & take back control of her life #PitchMAS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I understand that the word "assassin" is crucial but maybe the name of your protoganist would make the pitch more personal. Although intriguing the part "learns of corrupt magic that control her" sounds a little heavy. Love the suspense, though.

      Delete
  36. This sounds fun! The blog pitch may read a little better if you rearrange (similar to your twitter pitch), something like (just a sample & suggestion):
    An assassin and her wolf, discover corrupt magic that's controlling her. She must earn redemption and take back control of her life before it destroys the one she loves and starts a war.
    Best of luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's amazing! Thank you for the suggestion, I have such a hard time seeing different options once I put the words in a certain order, and then when someone suggests a change the light bulb goes off. I appreciate the help!

      Delete
    2. Me too! lol. Glad to help =)

      Delete
  37. Name: Louisa Atto
    Title: THE STUDENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
    Category: YA
    Genre: Contemporary
    Wordcount: 56k

    35 word blog pitch:
    Being a first year university student means planning a semester, not planning a heist. Amara has to do both - and before her rich boyfriend finds out he's her target.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Louisa,
      This sounds like a lot of fun. Not sure of the stakes here's an idea to think about:
      Amara didn’t see planning a heist on the syllabus for any classes Freshman year. But she’ll do it anyway and all before her rich boyfriend finds out he’s the target OR?
      It would be nice to know why she has to rip off her boyfriend.
      Good Luck!

      Delete
    2. Hi Marit,

      Thank you so much - this is really helpful :) The stakes have always been the hardest for me to incorporate in a pitch.

      Cheers!
      Louisa

      Delete
    3. As much as the pitch is intriguing it looks like the rich boyfriend issue is more important than it appears through your two sentences. Why is he Amara's target? So But the story still sounds intriguing. Best of luck ot you!

      Delete
    4. Thank you Evelyne! I'll work on making it clearer. :)

      Delete
  38. Name: A.M. Ruggirello
    Title: ONE THOUSAND STARS THAT BIND
    Category: Young Adult
    Genre: Historical Fantasy
    Word count: 74k

    35 word blog pitch:
    Alina lives on the poverty-ridden streets of communist Romania but dreams of the palace. When she finds a rusty oil lamp that holds the spirit of a magical being, her dreams might become reality.


    Twitter pitch:
    A gender-bent ALADDIN retelling of the fall of communism in Romania—Alina can change the course of history with her rusty lamp. #PitchMas #YA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really like the Twitter pitch. Concise with good comps!

      Delete
    2. Hi Ashley, if I remember correctly, your twitter pitch garnered a lot of likes during #pitmad. I think you have that one clear and concise. IMO, the 35 word pitch loses a little of the "hookiness" in the (slight) expansion. It isn't bad, but not as punchy. You manage to convey quite a bit more info in the 140 characters.

      Delete
    3. Great pitch and twitter pitch, Ashley. Not sure I saw that we need #YA in the pitch. I'd double check. Best of luck to you.

      Delete
  39. Name: Al Stegall
    Title: A LEAF IN THE WIND
    Category: Adult
    Genre: Literary Fiction
    Wordcount: 85k

    35word pitch:
    Jihyun strives to rise to the North Korean elite, but she has a secret. In North Korea secrets can kill…or worse. As society turns against her, she struggles to find hope. MISCHLING in NK.

    140 Character pitch:
    Jihyun rises to North Korean elite, but has a secret. In NK, secrets kill. Society turns against her; she struggles to find hope #PitchMas

    ReplyDelete
  40. Name: Michael Flanagan
    Title: REMEMBER, CONSTELLATION
    Category: Adult
    Genre: Literary Sci-fi
    Wordcount: 89k

    35 word blog pitch:
    To escape his crumbling marriage, Paul time travels through memories and falls for a forgotten girl. When his romantic disruptions to the past incite turmoil in the present, he loses the love of his life.

    Twitter pitch:
    Fleeing a crumbling marriage, Paul falls for Stephanie--by stepping into his young self & changing time. Then he finds her grave. #PitchMAS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Michael,I really like this. At first read of the 35 I thought he fell back in love with his wife. Then reading the Twitter pitch I see it's another girl. But then she's dead, so who does he lose in the 35 words? Granted, these two pitches will only co-exist here but I think with just a tweak for clarity you have two great pitches!

      Delete
    2. Interesting story, Michael! If you read the guru advise from Jessa and Tamra, you don't want to give it all away. There needs to be more intrigue... don't tell us that Stephanie is already dead. I think that in the 35 word pitch, you could leave out "he loses the love of his life." Much stronger ending with "his romantic disruptions to the past incite turmoil in the present." Good luck!

      Delete
  41. Name: Cora Kenborn
    Title: BLURRED RED LINES
    Category: Adult
    Genre: Romantic Suspense
    Word Count: 80k

    35 word pitch:
    Eden wants revenge for brother’s murder. Charismatic cartel boss, Val kidnaps her to shut her up. Their forbidden attraction takes her morality and saves his, making them chess pieces in a political game of betrayal.

    140 character pitch:
    Kidnapped bartender crosses moral lines with charismatic cartel boss, becoming a pawn in international game of political betrayal. #pitchMAS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The 35 word pitch is all over the place & I have a hard time putting it all together into a concise story. The twitter pitch is much better, the only problem is I don't see the romance angle in either pitch. In both cases, "charismatic" can be left out (IMO, it provides little if anything to the pitch), "pawn" (in twitter pitch) is much better than "chess pieces", but I don't know if this metaphor will be seen as too cliche.

      Delete
    2. I'm more drawn to the twitter pitch. I love the idea of "crossing moral lines" however in the other pitch, the concept of "loses her morality" is very jarring and makes it sound like there's no turning back for her, and that's kind of a hard stop for the main character who's supposed to "grow."

      I get where you're going with "charismatic" you want him to seem a little likeable, but there's a creepiness about falling in love w/ a captor. Can you identify a trait of his that makes him so charismatic? Like he's a cartel boss but he volunteers at the local orphanage or something.

      The international game of betrayal stuff seems unnecessary to mention.

      Delete
    3. I think the twitter pitch is very strong. Add a comma after Val, for clarity. I think you could substitute "pawn," for "chess pieces" in the 35 word pitch. Pawn is widely understood.

      Delete
    4. Hi Cora,
      I LOVE the line "takes her morality and saves his." Maybe you can condense a bit,
      Kidnapped for screaming revenge over her brother's murder, Eden fights against the (I would find a new word for "forbidden" unless they are related) attraction to cartel boss Val that ends up taking her morality but saving his.

      I like the Twitter pitch too. Wondering what you could do to be a bit more specific when you write "international game of political betrayal." It sounds a bit governmenty (that's a new word I just invented) for the mob.
      Good Luck!!

      Delete
    5. I like Marit's suggestions! I would add these changes: "Kidnapped for SEEKING revenge FOR her brother's murder, Eden fights against tHER DANGEROUS attraction to cartel boss Val, that ends up taking her morality but saving his."

      Agree, that last line is very compelling, and clever! It works as a zinger, that makes reader want more.

      Delete
  42. Name: Evelyne Holingue
    Title: ALL THE MOUNTAINS WE CAN CLIMB
    Category/Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary
    WordCount: 72K

    35 word blog pitch:

    A French boy dealing with PTSD since the Paris terror attacks, his quiet foodie brother, and the daughter of the man who shattered her family are Noelle’s keys for her chance to move on.

    Twitter pitch:

    Her keys to closure: the witness of a Paris terror attack, his foodie brother, the daughter of the driver who shattered her family #PitchMAS



    ReplyDelete
  43. Name: Dawn Quyle Landau
    Title: All That Is Or Ever Was
    Category: Adult
    Genre: LF, WF
    Wordcount: 185k

    35 word blog pitch:

    When midlife wife/mother, Maya, aims a jar of capers at her husband’s head, she realizes something’s got to give. Answers lie in her traumatic Boston past or the arms of a sexy, young stranger.

    Twitter pitches:

    Maya wants to kill her husband or sleep with her sexy handyman. She must dig into her traumatic past to figure it out. #LF #WF #PitchMAS

    Or

    Middle-aged wife/mother digs into traumatic Boston past 2 save marriage. Sexy stranger & buried memory may change everything #LF #WL #PitMAS

    I'm grateful for any feedback; thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The 35 word pitch is strong. Neither twitter pitch manages capture the same feel & don't work for me.

      Delete
    2. Thanks Al; back to drawing board for Twitter! So tough in so little space.

      Delete
    3. Ooo, I'd like to read this. I agree, the first pitch is strong. I'd go with your second Twitter pitch. My ONLY nit-pick is the word everything. Is it really everything? Good luck!

      Delete
    4. Love the 35 word pitch. I think the twitter pitches would be stronger if you kept the same concept going.

      Delete
    5. Lauren, thanks; I love your enthusiasm! I'll think about the word "everything." In the story, it does seem like everything (marriage, family, future, etc), but it's a good point, and there may be a more compelling word. Much appreciated!

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

      Delete
    7. Hannah, thanks for the feedback! I'm going to keep working on this. Any and all advice is helpful, so thanks for sharing your thoughts!

      Delete
  44. Name: JP
    Title: The Insurrection
    Category: Adult
    Genre: Thriller
    Word Count: 99K

    35 word pitch: The love of her life manipulated Lilah into marrying another man to further his political agenda. Now she's the leader of the world’s most powerful oil cartel and realizes his life is in danger.

    140 character pitch: Harry Sheppard has to face the woman he once betrayed to build his business empire. The only way to save his life maybe to sacrifice hers. #pitchMAS #A #T

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your pitches present two different POVs that almost sound like two different stories. Does the project alternate between them? Whose story is it?

      Her being the leader of the world's most powerful oil cartel doesn't tell us much other than backstory and you sacrifice giving us any action she may or may not take and the stakes she faces (if she's the protag).

      In 140 word pitch, he's already sacrificed her for his benefit in the past, why wouldn't he do it again? He's an opportunist.





      Delete
    2. The he/she is confusing to me in the second sentence of your 35 word pitch. I don't believe you need his whole name in your twitter pitch. The concept feels strong though, just needs some tweaking for clarity's sake!

      Delete
  45. Name: Lisa Smith
    Title: BUTTERFLY RAIN
    Category: New Adult
    Genre: Literary fiction
    Word Count: 73,000

    35 words:
    All bicultural Mags had wanted was a great science project and maybe a boyfriend too. But when she meets a wannabe narco and a Honduran migrant girl, she finds herself the target of a Mexican cartel.

    Twitter:
    All Mags had wanted was a great science project & maybe a boyfriend. But when she meets a migrant she becomes a cartel target #LF #Pitchmas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think this sounds really interesting. I think the twitter pitch is a little more clear, as the addition of "bicultural" in that instance was confusing to me. I had to re-read it a number of times to understand what you were trying to say.

      Delete
  46. Name: Hannah B. Olsen
    Title: SURVIVING INDIGO
    Category: Young Adult
    Genre: Dystopian Adventure
    Wordcount: 78,000

    35 word blog pitch:
    When Caparina discovers that her mother—whom she believed died of Indigo Infection—is enslaved by the effects of a fraudulent antidote, she risks betraying the man she loves for a chance reunite her family.

    Twitter pitch:
    When cyber-attack and infection force a fear-mongering politician into the Presidency, Cap risks everything to reunite her family. #PitchMAS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In your 35 word pitch, I think the parenthetical--whom she believed died of Indigo Infection—takes aware the momentum of the pitch. It is much stronger with “When Caparina discovers her mother is enslaved by the effects of a fraudulent antidote” (though that could probably be tightened even further by removing “by the effects of”).

      In your twitter pitch, the first part(When cyber-attack and infection force a fear-mongering politician into the Presidency) is very strong, but you fail to show the connection with the second part.

      IMO, the “When cyber-attack and infection force a fear-mongering politician into the Presidency” may likely gain some attention due to our current political climate. You may want to capitalize on this, but you need to connect it to Cap’s story naturally. This part was removed from the 35 word pitch entirely. You may want to go back and figure out a way to use this well in both pitches.

      Delete
  47. Name: Maria T. Lennon
    Title: THE MAN IN THE TENT
    Category: Middle grade
    Genre: realistic/urban/adventure
    Word count: 33,000
    Twitter Pitch: A group of boys stumble upon a makeshift campsite in the hills above LA. In a tent they find plans to steal a forty million dollar watch. They all want in but for very different reasons.#PitchMAS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Maria,

      You have an interesting premise set up, but the last sentence is a let down. I think you could tighten the first two sentences by combining them, but then you need to use the 3rd sentence to really hook us in. Since I don't know your story or characters, I've got nothing to run on to make suggestions.

      Delete
    2. Is this better? When kind-hearted Billy lets a vagrant pitch his tent for the night in the canyon under his LA home, he has no idea he’s planning a jewelry heist and that he’s taking one of Billy’s friends with him.

      Delete
  48. Name: Dave Wickenden
    Title: Homegrown
    Category: Adult
    Genre: Thriller
    Word count: 94K

    35 word blog pitch:

    An American teen has been radicalized by ISIS agents. Mom must find and save her son before he becomes an Islamic martyr. She must be ready to kill or even die to save him.

    Twitter pitch:

    A mother must risk everything to save her son from being sacrificed by the Islamic State in an attack on an American target. #PitchMAS #T

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, you're on Scrib, aren't you? :)
      For the first pitch, I'd combine your last two sentences so it's not as choppy.
      If I'd read the Twitter pitch by itself, I'd be a little confused. Too many prepositional phrases in a row.
      Good luck!

      Delete
    2. Hi Dave,

      Interesting premise, but I think there are some things you can do to tighten the pitches and get more specific. Is this an active shooter at a mall/school, an attempt on a politician, a bombing at the Macy’s parade?
      An American teen radicalized by ISIS plans an attack on ***be specific***. His mom must find and save him before he becomes a martyr. (I think the she must be ready… sentence is weak)

      Your twitter pitch loses the fact this is an American kid. I think that is important to your story. If you can squeeze it in, get specific with the target.

      Delete