Vlog: Who Should Apply to Pitch Wars?
May23

Vlog: Who Should Apply to Pitch Wars?

This is the first installment on a video blogging series about Pitch Wars. Have any questions you want covered in a future video or just questions in general? Comment below! Anyone getting excited about Pitch Wars already? Don’t forget to check out the buzz on Twitter with...

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Day 16 (Part 2) of May’s Voice Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentor Jessica Vitalis
May23

Day 16 (Part 2) of May’s Voice Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentor Jessica Vitalis

  Welcome to May’s Voice Workshop with some of our amazing Pitch Wars mentors. From a Rafflecopter lottery drawing, we selected over thirty writers to participate in the workshop. Each mentor has graciously critiqued a 500 word sample that the writer chose from his or her manuscript where he or she felt they needed help with their voice. Our hope that these samples will help you with your work and that you’ll get to know some of our wonderful Pitch Wars mentors.We appreciate our mentors for giving up their time to do the critiques. If you have something encouraging to add, feel free to comment below. Please keep all comments tasteful. We will delete any inappropriate or hurtful ones. And now we have … Pitch Wars Mentor Jessica Vitalis Website  |  Twitter I started writing stories in third grade. By middle school, I’d moved on to poems. One, written in sixth grade (and submitted for an English assignment because why waste a good thing?), was read years later by my homeroom teacher during a high school commencement speech. When I was asked to write an essay for the Harbrace College Handbook my senior year of college, I toyed with the idea of writing full-time. Somehow, life got in the way (as it often does) and I instead embarked on a business career that culminated in obtaining an MBA at Columbia Business School. While at CBS, I took a class called “Creativity and Personal Mastery” and was assigned the task of identifying my ideal career. The result? Writing, of course! Armed with this knowledge, I eagerly traded my business card for a library card. I now live in Atlanta, Georgia with my husband, two precocious daughters, two black cats, one adorable dog, and write stories for middle grade readers. Jessica’s 500 Word Critique . . . MG Contemporary Science Fiction Daisy Kincaid knew nothing of time travel. Or of stolen artifacts, secret societies, ancient tombs, or a vial that held the secret to eternal life. She was just a regular girl, leading a not terribly interesting life in Manhattan, trying her very best just to survive the 7th grade. Although it’s often suggested that we open by dropping the reader into action rather than summary, I actually think this opening paragraph is effective. The voice is great––it establishes tension right off the bat, gives us a taste of what’s to come, and at the same time grounds us in the life of an ordinary girl (added bonus that you worked in her age). Nicely done. But one day in May, two things happened that were a bit out of the ordinary. This...

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Day 16 (Part 1) of May’s Voice Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentor Addie Thorley
May23

Day 16 (Part 1) of May’s Voice Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentor Addie Thorley

  Welcome to May’s Voice Workshop with some of our amazing Pitch Wars mentors. From a Rafflecopter lottery drawing, we selected over thirty writers to participate in the workshop. Each mentor has graciously critiqued a 500 word sample that the writer chose from his or her manuscript where he or she felt they needed help with their voice. Our hope that these samples will help you with your work and that you’ll get to know some of our wonderful Pitch Wars mentors.We appreciate our mentors for giving up their time to do the critiques. If you have something encouraging to add, feel free to comment below. Please keep all comments tasteful. We will delete any inappropriate or hurtful ones. And now we have … Pitch Wars Mentor Addie Thorley Website  |  Twitter Addie Thorley writes Young Adult historical fiction and fantasy. She has a passion for multicultural stories with exotic locales and anything with magic and KISSING! She works as a professional equestrian and does everything from riding award-winning show horses to training wild mustangs. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and wolf dog, and when she’s not writing or riding, you can find her gallivanting in the woods, walking her dog, and eating cookies. She is represented by Kathleen Rushall of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.         Addie’s 500 Word Critique . . . MG Mystery An Elvis, a Marilyn Monroe and a mini-me Elvis walk into a crowded middle school cafeteria. (I would remove the articles before the names, as it sounds kind of clunky with them.) Sounds like the set-up for a great joke, right? There was nothing funny about it. I was sitting on a bench, peeling back a rubbery taco shell to see what squished inside, when the giggling started. My best friend Owen said, “Uh-oh. Incoming.” (Push Owen’s dialogue and reaction harder. “Incoming” makes it sound like Trew’s parents show up in costume all the time. Since Owen is her best friend, he clearly knows that Trew’s parents have an act and it’s not out of the ordinary for them to be dressed up. However, I doubt they show up at school dressed like this, so I would still expect a bigger response. This would be a great opportunity to reveal a bit of Owen’s character/ how he feels about Trew’s wacky parents and also set the scene and ratchet up the tension.) I turned around to see what was causing all the commotion and saw them walking into the cavernous room. (This sentence kind of flat and anticlimactic. This is the big entrance, and it would be much livelier if...

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