How to Pitch Like a Rock Star–FINALISTS

Posted by Heather on Nov 20, 2012 in CONTESTS & HOPS |

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.


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!


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.

G.B. Skye

 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.


Kate Brauning

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.


Kate Michael

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.

Rhiann Wynn-Nolet

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.


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


Rhiann Wynn-Nolet
Nov 20, 2012 at 7:50 am

Oh, thank you so much Heather! Great contest and I’m psyched for my critique :)

Nov 20, 2012 at 8:01 am

:) That reminds me. I need to post my email address! Looking forward to reading!

Kate Michael
Nov 20, 2012 at 8:09 am

Congrats finalists and runners-up!! Woohoo! Heather, thanks for all your hard work! And pass a big thank you to Michelle too :) Great job everybody!

Elizabeth Campbell Frey
Nov 20, 2012 at 10:50 am

I am so excited, Heather! Thank you so much for the opportunity. I learned so much and I enjoyed watching the evolution of so many pitches. Thank you for the challenge.

Nov 20, 2012 at 11:00 am

Congrats to all the finalists. It was fun. Thanks Heather, for your input.

Jennifer King
Nov 20, 2012 at 11:00 am

Wow, Heather! Thank you so very much. Again, I’m amazed by your generosity to help other writers along in their journeys, too. THANK you! I’ll have my pages to you in my morning tomorrow. :) Thanks!

G.B. Skye
Nov 20, 2012 at 11:01 am

Woohoo! Thank you so much for this opportunity and for this terrific contest! It was wonderful seeing all the pitches honed.

Also, your feedback was so spot-on Heather. I’m super excited to have won a 10-page critique from you! Your feedback already did wonders for my pitch. Thanks so much for this opportunity!

And thank you to Michelle, too!

Nov 20, 2012 at 11:04 am

My pleasure, ladies. I had a great time getting to know you all and reading your awesome pitches! I’m looking forward to reading your pages as well. :)

Nov 20, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Congrats everyone! It was a great process and thank you again Heather!

Cindy Dwyer
Nov 20, 2012 at 8:29 pm

Congrats, everyone! It was a fun contest and I think even those of us who didn’t win walked away with better pitches than we started with.

Jessica Vealitzek
Nov 21, 2012 at 8:59 pm

Congrats, ladies! Fun to see some names I know on the list…well done!



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