How to Pitch Like a Rock Star (Part 3 of 3)–THE WORKSHOP & CONTEST

Posted by Heather on Oct 28, 2012 in CONTESTS & HOPS |

FINAL PITCH SUBMISSIONS are due by Saturday, November 10th at midnight, EST. Please be sure to follow submission instructions listed below. Three finalists will be announced mid-week (check back!). The WINNER will be announced by Friday, barring Michelle has power and all is well in NYC.  Good luck, everyone!


We’ve discussed COMPONENTS of a rock star pitch in Part 1, and HOW TO DELIVER it in Part 2. This week, we will create a pitch for our novels and give and receive feedback from other entrants. Next week, submit your BEST PITCH for a chance to get your pages in front of literary agent Michelle Brower of Folio Literary Management.

WHO SHOULD PARTICIPATE

1. Writers in need of help with their pitches (finished ms NOT required)

2. Writers who could use honest feedback & line edits on their pages

3. Writers with finished manuscripts, ready to pitch to an agent

PITCH REQUIREMENTS

1. Create a three sentence pitch

2. There is no word count limit, but remember to create a vivid teaser that illustrates the tone and major conflict in your novel

3. You may post up to two pitches on your blog for feedback.  Also, you may submit up to two pitches for DIFFERENT manuscripts for the contest.

HOW TO SIGN UP FOR THE WORKSHOP

1. Leave a comment on this post and be sure to INCLUDE YOUR WEBSITE LINK. If you don’t have a site of your own, post your pitch in the comments of this post. You will receive feedback there.

2. I will keep a running list of participants at the bottom of this post with your links as you sign up. This makes for easy hopping to and from others’ sites.

3. Feel free to post up to TWO pitches on your blog.

 HOPPING INSTRUCTIONS

1. Sign-up October 28th-Nov 3rd (Sun-Sun)

2. On Mon & Tue Nov 5th & 6th, post your pitch to your blog

3. Hop from blog to blog and give other participants feedback on their pitches

CONTEST

Submit your FINAL PITCH November 7th-10th. Submissions must be entered by MIDNIGHT EST, Saturday Nov 10th. Email your final pitches to HeatherWebb (dot) writes (at) gmail (dot) com. The subject heading should read: ROCK STAR PITCH.

Your email should include the following things:

  • author name
  • book title
  • word count
  • genre
  • pitch

 

I WANT TO ENTER THE CONTEST, BUT NOT THE BLOG HOP

This is fine. Just follow submission rules listed above. But I will say this—if your pitch is perfect, why not share it on your blog anyway? You can help others by demonstrating your prowess. Not to mention, you’ll receive all kinds of gushy praise and who doesn’t like that? And my final point is—someone may make a suggestion that will strengthen your pitch. You never know. The choice is yours.

SHARE

1. Please share the contest on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc. I won’t be tracking you, but the more folks we have participate, the more advice you will receive on your pitches.

2. Be kind, but honest with your feedback.

PRIZES

***All three finalists will receive a FREE critique from editor extraordinaire (me).

***ONE WINNER will have their first ten pages read by Michelle Brower.

 

ABOUT MICHELLE

***I’ve lifted this right from the Folio Literary Management website.

WHAT MICHELLE IS LOOKING FOR

I’m interested in fiction that pays equal attention to both the voice and the story, and I’m particularly drawn to thrillers and literary mysteries, quirky women’s fiction, “book club” fiction that brings a tear to the eye and a thrill to the heart, books with a fantastic/paranormal element that reach beyond genre fiction, and literary fiction that pops off the page. I am also selectively representing edgy YA with the same qualities. In non-fiction, I am mostly interested in subject-driven narratives, memoirs, or journalism, but will always be on the lookout for the right book on the right practical subject. Food, science, psychology, pets/animals, and humor are some of my favorite topics. Overall, I love a book that takes an unusual look at the world, whether that’s by writing through the lens of a personal story or focusing on the big picture.

WHAT SHE IS NOT LOOKING FOR
I am not looking for genre romance, cozy mysteries, westerns, hard science fiction or fantasy. I also do not represent children’s picture books, plays, or screenplays.

GOOD LUCK, EVERYONE!

PARTICIPANTS

1. Rhiann Wynn-Nolet                                                           11. Kate Brauning

2. Elizabeth Campbell Frey (pitch in comments)                      12. Rebeca Schiller 

3. Devin Berglund                                                                13. JL Oakley

4. Marilyn Talia Dahl                                                            14. Teralyn Pilgrim

5. Liz SanFilippo                                                                  15. Carrie Anne Brownian 

6. Misa Buckley                                                                   16. Jennifer King

7. Michael Poeltl                                                                  17. Robert Milstid

8. C.A.T. Torres V                                                               18. Kel Heinen

9. G.B. Skye                                                                        19. Keely Dunn

10. Diedre Riordan Hall                                                       20. Kate Michael (pitch in comments)

 

21. Jessica Harvey

22. Talynn Lynn

23. Cynthia Dwyer

24. (sign up in comments)

 

Tags: , , ,

64 Comments

Rhiann Wynn-Nolet
Oct 28, 2012 at 9:47 am

Sounds like fun!


 
Elizabeth Campbell Frey
Oct 28, 2012 at 6:38 pm

Looking forward to it.


 
Devin
Oct 29, 2012 at 4:22 am

I am in! :)


 
Marilyn
Oct 29, 2012 at 10:32 am

Me 4 – Thanks for making it happen Heather!


 
Liz S
Oct 29, 2012 at 11:33 am

Count me in for the blog hop too! http://lizsink.com/writing-blog/


 
Misa Buckley
Oct 29, 2012 at 12:04 pm

I’m in!


 
Michael Poeltl
Oct 29, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Looking forward to this! I’ll do the hop as well. http://apocalyptic-literature.blogspot.ca/


 
Carrie-Anne
Oct 29, 2012 at 6:21 pm

I’d love to take part!


 
C.A.T. Torres V
Oct 30, 2012 at 4:08 pm

This sounds like a lot of fun!


 
G.B. Skye
Oct 30, 2012 at 6:18 pm

Why not? Sounds like fun! Count me in.


 
Kate Brauning
Oct 30, 2012 at 9:39 pm

Sure, I’m in! :)


 
Deirdre
Oct 30, 2012 at 10:02 pm

Count me in! Looking forward to it!


 
Rebeca Schiller
Oct 31, 2012 at 11:14 am

This looks like fun. Count me in!


 
JLOakley
Oct 31, 2012 at 1:01 pm

I’ll jump in. ** goes off to look at the rules. Glad to know you are okay.


 
Teralyn Pilgrim
Nov 2, 2012 at 12:31 pm

Count me in too!


 
Carrie-Anne
Nov 4, 2012 at 1:07 am

Heather, could you add me to the list of participants? You must’ve missed adding my link. Thanks!


 
Heather
Nov 4, 2012 at 6:59 am

Absolutely! I remember doing it, but it was on my phone while the power was out. I guess it didn’t register. Thank you for letting me know! :)


 
Jennifer King
Nov 4, 2012 at 8:32 am

I’d love to participate, Heather. Thanks! You can count me in for the blog hop, too. I’ll post on Tuesday. http://jenniferlynking.com/blog/


 
Robert Milstid
Nov 4, 2012 at 10:23 am

I would love to be included the Rock Star Pitch as well as the blog hop. It looks like big and valuable fun!


 
Kel Heinen
Nov 4, 2012 at 11:14 am

This looks like fun =), so count me in!


 
Deirdre
Nov 4, 2012 at 9:47 pm

Gulp- not sure why but my link (in the above lead to a 404) http://www.deirdreriordanhall.com thanks for organizing this! Looking forward to tomorrow!


 
Kate Brauning
Nov 5, 2012 at 9:43 am

The link under my name in the post goes to my homepage, but here’s the link to my post with the pitches. http://katebrauning.com/manuscripts/

Hopefully everyone can find them without too much trouble! :)


 
Keely Dunn
Nov 5, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Alright, let’s do this. http://keelydunn.squarespace.com/writing/, and my pitch shall be thrown tomorrow.


 
Keely Dunn
Nov 5, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Actually… it’s up now! I’m looking forward to everyone’s input.


 
Kate Michael
Nov 5, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Hello, Heather! I’m in! I don’t have a blog, so my pitches are below. Good luck everyone :)

1) When tragedy strikes, 17-year-old Genna retreats deeper into the cocoon of silence she’s maintained since childhood, until her otherwordly guardian appears and reveals what she is: one chosen by the gods, and destined to bear the Immortal Season, Winter. Now, Genna must harness her gifts of Song and Air to defend the Winter Lands against an evil that threatens to destroy everything she holds dear. Immersed in a dangerous, glittering realm of myth and legend, she learns that faith and courage go hand in hand, and the price of destiny is paid by all.

2) A mortal girl, chosen by the gods to bear an Immortal Season. An ancient tale, once again stirring. Hunted by a forbidden magic, shadowed by enduring love, Genna is immersed in a glittering realm of myth and legend where courage is forged, faith is tested, and sacrifice is the price of destiny.


 
Heather
Nov 5, 2012 at 2:46 pm

I love the first pitch. My only thought is, how much does the enduring love come up in the story? If it’s a central plot point, I would try to work it in somehow. Also, the last sentence, though I do like it, it sounds a bit like a movie trailer. I’ve tweaked it a bit below, though I didn’t bring the love element in. As for the second pitch, I think it’s too generic. You have so much going on in the novel and that pitch doesn’t convey much but themes. For a pitch, you want to focus on plot elements and stay away from themes.

Here’s my take, though this still needs some work, too. I wanted to just give you an idea. I need to refuel my pitch brain–been cranking them out all morning. WHEW!

When tragedy strikes, 17-year-old Genna retreats deeper into the cocoon of silence she’s maintained since childhood–until her otherwordly guardian appears and reveals what she is: one chosen by the gods, and destined to bear the Immortal Season of Winter. Now, Genna must harness her gifts of Song and Air to defend the glittering Winter Lands, a realm of myth and legend. For an evil is descending and threatens to destroy the unexpected love of Genna’s guardian, jeopardize the safety of her grandmother, and prevent her from realizing her destiny.


 
Kate Michael
Nov 5, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Gotcha! Will revise and focus on plot :) Thanks, Heather!!


 
Talynn Lynn
Nov 5, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Hi Heather. I just found out about your blog via Twitter. Is it too late to join?
Thanks!
Talynn


 
Heather
Nov 5, 2012 at 5:21 pm

“Hop” on in!! I’ll add you to the list. :)


 
Jessica Harvey
Nov 5, 2012 at 4:59 pm

Hi! I just found out about this. If it’s not too late to join, here’s my website: http://xomiragexo.blogspot.com/. I posted two pitches, one for each of my finished novels.


 
Heather
Nov 5, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Jessica, it’s not too late! I’ll add you now. :)


 
Elizabeth Campbell Frey
Nov 5, 2012 at 5:31 pm

Are we still supposed to limit our pitch to 25-35 words or is that flexible? Here’s what I came up with in the 35 range:

The abiding friendship of five women is challenged by an old demon resurfaced. Far from home, they are caught in a race to confront the past and expose the truth before it destroys them.

or

The abiding friendship of five women is jeopardized by demons resurfaced to threaten everything they have fought to overcome. Caught in a race to confront their past, they must claim the truth before it destroys them.


 
Heather
Nov 5, 2012 at 6:56 pm

Elizabeth, both of these are more of a logline. Don’t worry about the word count. Focus on three sentences that give us a sense of the major plot points in your book:

1. Who is/are the protags and what are their goals?
2. What stands in their way or how are they thwarted?
3. What choices must they make to overcome XXX?

We need to know who is involved, what their goal(s) is/are, and what is at stake if they don’t acheive them. Hop around to some of the blogs and check out what some of the others are doing. :) Repost your next version here tonight or tomorrow and I’ll pick at it.


 
Kate Michael
Nov 5, 2012 at 5:59 pm

Okay. Revision!

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, and 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. Faced with the heart-wrenching choice between remaining with her grandmother, or joining Coll beyond the margins, Genna embraces her destiny, only to find she must risk her very soul to ensure the realm’s survival.


 
Heather
Nov 5, 2012 at 7:13 pm

Kate, MUCH BETTER! Great job! The only things I would tweak:

Take the “and” out of the first sentence—the one after “chosen by the gods,”.

And the third sentence, I think gives away a touch too much. How about:

Yet she isn’t prepared for the sacrifice she must make to belong to this realm: to choose between leaving her grandmother or joining Coll beyond the margins, and risking her soul for both realm’s survival.


 
Kate Michael
Nov 5, 2012 at 7:27 pm

Ah. Last revision tonight :) Heather, you are so cool.

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 beyond the margins, she will lose her grandmother forever, and possibly her soul as well.


 
Heather
Nov 5, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Yessssss!!! LAST THING:

Ditch the comma after “destiny”.

And this:
…”beyond the margins,” she MAY never see her grandmother again and risk losing her soul forever.

Wooot!!


 
Talynn Lynn
Nov 5, 2012 at 7:48 pm

Hi Heather. Thank you for the late entry! I’ve got my posted now:)
I’ll be making my rounds tonight. I’m not for sure how much help my advice will be, but I’ll give it a whirl:)


 
Heather
Nov 5, 2012 at 8:24 pm

The hop goes tomorrow, too, Talynn. I’ve reworked about 15 pitches today so I’m shot, but I’ll definitely hit yours in the morning! Thank you for joining. :)


 
Jessica Harvey
Nov 5, 2012 at 9:08 pm

Thanks for the late add, Heather! I love these contests. I can’t wait to go through more of these tomorrow :)


 
Heather
Nov 5, 2012 at 9:37 pm

I love them, too! It’s so fun getting to meet people and see what they’re working on. I’ll hit your blog tomorrow. :)


 
Kate Michael
Nov 5, 2012 at 9:30 pm

Okay, I lied. THIS is my last revision for tonight. Wow, my brain hurts.

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 family, and possibly her soul as well.


 
Cindy Dwyer
Nov 5, 2012 at 10:33 pm

Hi Elizabeth,
I think you need to add more specifics to your pitch. Here are some questions/thoughts I had as a reader that might provide a starting point for you:

“The abiding friendship of five women” – I have no sense if these women are in their 20s or 80s.

“is challenged by an old demon resurfaced” – In what way are they challenged? Thinking of Stephen King’s IT, the friends had to conquer their fears and work together, keep faith etc. Is this an “It” kind of demon or something more earthly?

“Far from home,” – Since we don’t know where home is, their being far from it doesn’t have much impact. Give us some sense of the setting like, lost in the Amazon, stranded on Mars, trapped in 1502…

“they are caught in a race to confront the past and expose the truth before it destroys them.” – Try to be more specific here. What do they need to confront from their past? In what way does the truth threaten them? (And does it impact each of them in different ways, or do any of them may have more at stake than the others?)

Good luck! Cindy


 
Kate Michael
Nov 6, 2012 at 7:53 am

Changing- …memories of her “mortal life”…


 
Jennifer King
Nov 6, 2012 at 8:03 am

I just want to say thank you, Heather, for all the time and energy you’re putting into this. It’s a great challenge. Thank you for all of your help! It’s much appreciated.


 
Heather
Nov 6, 2012 at 10:03 am

Thank you for saying so, Jennifer! I really do enjoy these things a lot. :)


 
Elizabeth Campbell Frey
Nov 6, 2012 at 10:00 am

OK ~ here goes again:

Five young girls from different upbringings are unexpectedly drawn to each other when Tammy the Tank targets and bullies one of them, fragile and abused Heather. In the politically and ethnically charged atmosphere of 1960’s Northern California, the backgrounds of Heather, Fiona, Esperanza, Mariah, and Eve, are tasked as social barriers are attacked and broken down. Their unlikely alliance, forged in the violence of one explosive night in 1968, deepens into adulthood as they follow separate paths. Their abiding friendship threatened as Heather’s sanity slips, they are compelled to reunite to challenge a demon resurfaced to avenge the events of that historical night. Caught in a race far from home, they must confront their past before it destroys everything they have fought to overcome.


 
Heather
Nov 6, 2012 at 2:45 pm

Oh yeah, much better, Elizabeth! 😉

So here’s what I’ve done to it. I’ve pared it down to the three sentences we’re shooting for, but it still needs a little work. I would recommend reworking the second line below to be a little more specific. Give us a teaser about the explosive night and how it affected the girls so that we have a taste of what it is they must overcome. This is the essential piece–the main conflict–of the entire novel. That is what you want to capture in a pitch. Also, in my version I lead with the setting because it is essential to the plot and it also frames a context for the novel.

Five young girls in 1960’s California bond despite their different upbringings when Tammy the Tank bullies one of them—fragile and abused Heather. Their unlikely alliance, forged in the violence of one explosive night in 1968, deepens into adulthood as they follow separate paths. But as Heather’s sanity slips, the friends reunite to avenge the events of that historical night, or they risk losing everything they’ve fought to overcome.


 
Talynn Lynn
Nov 6, 2012 at 1:50 pm

Thank you Heather for your advice over on my blog. I posted some answers, but after reading through some of the answers and advice here, I can see what I need to do. I’m just not for sure how t do it… I know I ‘m running out of time, but hopefully I can re work it some how to add the elements it’s missing.
Thanks


 
Heather
Nov 6, 2012 at 2:10 pm

If you just want help with yours and you don’t want to enter the actual contest, I’d be happy to look at your pitch, even if you don’t post it in time for the hop. :) If you’re entering the contest, I can’t help anymore after tonight–at least until all submissions are in on Sat evening.


 
Elizabeth Campbell Frey
Nov 6, 2012 at 3:29 pm

OOOOOOOOOh, thanks Heather. You’re a gem! Be right back with it.


 
Kate Michael
Nov 6, 2012 at 3:40 pm

Hey! Did you want me to take out “beyond the margins” ? I read back over your post and now I’m second-guessing my interpretation skills.

Thanks so much for all your help!!! I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating…You ROCK! :)


 
Heather
Nov 6, 2012 at 7:04 pm

Hey Kate. I like your pitch with the changes–no “beyond the margins” and YES, change “family” to “mortal life”. The first phrase is good to ditch, only because you don’t want it to be too wordy. This should be something you read easily without a lot of work, if that makes any sense.


 
Elizabeth Campbell Frey
Nov 6, 2012 at 3:51 pm

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 unwitting 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.


 
Heather
Nov 6, 2012 at 7:00 pm

OHHHHH. YES!!!! This is it, Elizabeth. Shizzzzam! I wouldn’t change a thing!


 
Elizabeth Campbell Frey
Nov 6, 2012 at 7:13 pm

Thank you Heather. You’re fantastic and I JUST caught the fact that your name is the same as one of my main characters …. duh! I owe you a glass of wine.


 
Heather
Nov 6, 2012 at 7:27 pm

Elizabeth, you don’t owe me anything. Haha! But I’m always up for a glass of wine. :)


 
Kate Michael
Nov 6, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Awesome Elizabeth!!! That TOTALLY rocks! :)

Thanks Heather! Have a great evening :)


 
Marilyn
Nov 6, 2012 at 7:35 pm

Thanks Heather, well done. (I mean, you’re well done now, right. But rare too!)


 
C.A.T. Torres V
Nov 6, 2012 at 8:26 pm

Hi All! Sorry I’m hopping so late. I scheduled my draft to publish before I left for overseas, but then realised while I was away that the blog hop was postponed. I unpublished it but because I had no chance to go to the internet until now, I just republished my pitch now.

I do hope folks can still visit my pitches and critique them. I’m critiquing a few right now :-)

Best of luck to all!

Cheers
cat


 
Deirdre
Nov 8, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Hi Kate & Elizabeth- Your pitches get better and better each and every time! What I find is that my brain turns into jello after reading the same thing over and over- and trying to make a story I am intimate with concise, clear and enticing for agents/readers- for that reason I applaud everyone and their efforts and thank Heather and everyone who has comments- SO SO SO much for taking a swing! Like others said this is so fun- but also very instructive- because in the end creating pitches, loglines and query letters really is as much a part of the process as writing the story itself. Well almost.

Thanks again everyone!


 
Lucas
Nov 9, 2012 at 5:23 pm

I just now happened upon this event. Am I too late to join the party by submitting a pitch?


 
Heather
Nov 10, 2012 at 8:37 am

Hi Lucas. The blog hop is over, but it’s not too late to submit a pitch! Get it in today by midnight EST! Glad to have you. :)


 
Lucas
Nov 10, 2012 at 11:11 am

And…the email has been sent.
G’luck, everyone!


 

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