July Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentors … Renée Ahdieh & Rebecca Yarros!
Jul25

July Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentors … Renée Ahdieh & Rebecca Yarros!

Welcome to the July Query & 1st Page Workshop with some of our PitchWars mentors. We selected many wonderful writers from a drawing held in June to participate in the workshop. Each mentor has graciously critiqued either a query or first page for two writers. The writers are anonymous and the titles/genres are hidden. Follow along all month to view the critiques. We welcome comments and further suggestions, but please keep them kind and respectful. Here are the next two mentors and their critiques …   Renée Ahdieh Website | Twitter| Facebook | Tumblr | Instagram | Goodreads Renée has written for Condé Nast Traveler and Seen Magazine, and is an honors graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In her spare time, she likes to dance salsa and collect shoes. She is passionate about all kinds of curry, rescue dogs, and college basketball. The first few years of her life were spent in a highrise in South Korea; consequently, Renée enjoys having her head in the clouds. She lives in Charlotte, NC with her husband and their tiny overlord of a dog. Her YA fantasy THE WRATH AND THE DAWN will be published by Penguin/Putnam in 2015.   Renée’s critiques …   Critique #57 – Query: Dear Illustrious & Beneficent Agent (sounds legit): I am seeking representation for DOWN FOR THE COUNT, an 87,000 word work of New Adult Mythic Fantasy, based on that takes the classical tale of Persephone, then adds enough detail to explain her transformation from minor agricultural goddess to powerful, feared deity. Other modern retellings, like the original sources, have left out this part of the story. So, let me begin with the caveat that my opinion is my opinion alone, so grain-of-salt-it however you will, but the first sentence is a bit long for a query. Stick to the straight and narrow. As far as the reasoning for why you wrote the book/why it’s unique, I think it’s better to presume rather than assume, when it comes to agents. Presume he/she knows about the tale of Persephone, rather than run the risk of irritating an agent by implying ignorance, however indirectly. Or, perhaps, having an agent go, “Well, actually, there is THIS retelling . . . ” Persephone’s name means “bringer of death,” but the only thing she kills are the flowers she picks. She prefers to be called Persie, more suitable for a virgin goddess Greeks call “the Maiden.” The prior set of sentences is coming off as too “telling.” The subsequent set of sentences is much more voicey and fun. Unfortunately, I’m worried an agent might stop reading...

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