I had a blast blog hopping around and reading the scads of pitches that flooded my inbox. It always suprises me what you talented creative types come up with! Just a quick word about how the finalists were selected. To go on to be considered for an agent read, the manuscript had to be complete. In addition, the pitches had to be clean and free of grammar errors or misspellings, as well as awkward sentences. Yes, I recevied SEVERAL with those issues.
A REVIEW OF OUR PRIZES…
The top three (four in this case!!) finalists will all receive a free critique of their first 10 pages by editor extraordinaire, yours truly AND their pitches are being mulled over by agent Michelle Brower of Folio Literary Management. The GRAND PRIZE WINNER will have their first 10 pages read by Michelle. Currently, she is poring over them and deciding who this winner will be!
WITHOUT FURTHER ADO, THE FINALISTS
Carrie Ann Brownian
Jakob DeJonghe becomes obsessed with revenge when the Nazis coerce his father into suicide and his little sister mysteriously disappears. In spite of suffering a serious injury when he escapes from a death train, he remains determined to join the Dutch Resistance, find his father’s murderers, and free his homeland. But Jakob never expects to meet Rachel Roggenfelder—the woman who slowly melts the wall around his heart and inspires him to re-examine his ideas about what the best revenge really is.
Jumping off a bridge leaves Blair comatose, his soul trapped in Limbo. Now, he has three days: three days to wake from his coma, three days to confront the reasons that led to his suicide attempt, three days for his soul to escape this tiny island in Limbo before he becomes trapped here forever, leaving his hospitalized body to die. A dead girl named Yuki offers to help him wake if he brings her back with him, but he’ll have to sail across the Styx, duel the grim reaper, and shatter the rules of the afterlife for her, all before his living body draws its final breath–-or they’ll both lose their souls.
Jennifer Lyn King
When a Boston court convicts her father for her mother’s murder, Lily Miller’s grandparents change her name to Rachel Revere and move her to another state. Twenty years later, Rachel questions her father’s guilt when his treasured viola surfaces in a Czech royal music archive. As secrets emerge and tensions grow with her fiancé and grandparents, Rachel must choose between having their approval and pursuing the answers that may free her father at last.
Elizabeth Campbell Frey
In the socially charged atmosphere of 1960’s California, five young girls bond despite their different upbringings when Tammy the Tank bullies one of them—fragile and abused Heather. Their unlikely alliance, intensified by their involvement in the violence of one explosive night in 1968 that ended in rape and murder, deepens as they are ripped from youthful innocence and propelled onto separate paths. But a specter resurfaces to avenge the events of that historical night and as Heather’s sanity slips, they must reunite to confront their past or risk losing everything they’ve fought to overcome.
I loved these pitches because their premises ROCKED. Though these didn’t maket the final cut for various reasons, I couldn’t turn them away. All runners-up may submit their first five pages for free editor critiques.
Being kidnapped by the resurrected god of war and watching him raze Yemen wasn’t part of Ava’s 20th birthday plans. Ares intends to marry Ava, believing she has powers that will help him become Earth’s only god- but that’s not even her biggest problem. Ava is completely nonmagical, and if the god of war discovers the truth, he’ll kill her.
When tragedy strikes, 17-year-old Genna retreats deeper into the cocoon of silence she’s maintained since childhood–until Coll, her otherworldly guardian, appears and reveals what she is: one chosen by the gods, destined to bear the Immortal Season of Winter. Now, Genna must harness her gifts of Song and Air, for in the dangerous, glittering realm of the Winter Lands, evil is descending, and the age-old battle to preserve life has begun once more. But if she embraces her destiny and joins Coll, she risks losing her memories of her mortal life, and possibly her soul as well.
Art school is Sparrow’s ticket out of her family’s overstuffed mobile home, aka Hoarder Central, but when her brother Micah’s pyromania spirals out of control, her aspirations go up in smoke. No college fund, no portfolio, and a promise she makes to Micah, strike “flight” off her list of options. Accidentally falling in love with the class clown could be the worst thing that’s happened to Sparrow all year—or it could be the best, because he might hold the key to unlocking her heart and reinventing her artist dreams.
FINAL WORDS OF WISDOM
Remember that this business is subjective. There were MANY others that were awesome!!! But if your genre or sub-genre didn’t target the judge’s taste, it was passed over. Also, pitches with grammatical errors or awkward phrasing (mentioned above), found their way to the slush pile. Be sure your work is as clean as it can possibly be. Write something you’re proud of and, finally, KEEP PITCHING. KEEP SENDING OUT those queries. You never know who your novel will appeal to.
Stay tuned for the GRAND PRIZE WINNER!
*****All finalists and runners-up, submit your pages for critique to HeatherWebb (dot)writes(at) gmail(dot)com