Day 3 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query and First Page Workshop with mentors Gail Villanueva, Isabelle Adris, and Leigh Mar
May11

Day 3 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query and First Page Workshop with mentors Gail Villanueva, Isabelle Adris, and Leigh Mar

    Welcome to our Query and 1st Page Workshop with some of our amazing Pitch Wars mentors. From a Rafflecopter lottery drawing, we selected writers to participate in our query and first page workshops. Each mentor has graciously critiqued a query or 500 word opening from our lucky winners. We’ll be posting four critiques per day (except weekends) through July 7. Our hope is that these samples will help shine up your query and first page 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.  First up we have … Pitch Wars Mentor Leigh Mar … Leigh Mar is a marketing and communications professional and a young adult author represented by Elana Roth Parker at Laura Dail Literary Agency. She’s a former Pitch Wars mentee (class ’15) turned mentor. Leigh loves to travel (both in reality and through fiction), has an excellent sense of direction, and only ever gets lost on the internet. Twitter: Twitter | tumblr Leigh’s Query Critique . . . [Leigh’s comments] Leigh’s suggestions for content. Dear Pitch Wars Query Mentor, Maggie Morris spent every night in her childhood by her bedroom window, waiting for a flying boy who never came. [This initial phrasing tripped me up a bit, I kept wanting to read it in present tense, consider rearranging so we know Maggie is now 18 and thinking back to her childhood. Suggested rework to try to pull all those need-to-know details upfront]: Eighteen-year-old Maggie Morris spent every night in of her childhood by her bedroom window, waiting for Peter–the flying boy from grandmother Wendy’s stories. Now eighteen and at the cusp of her society debut, Maggie is disappointed that Peter never came and dismayed to learn becoming an adult isn’t the adventure she hoped for [preach!]. Corsets pinch and afternoon teas bore [I love this line! Concise, brings great voice to the query which is tough to do]. Far worse, her mother is determined to marry her off to a chauvinistic marquess who sees her only as a pretty prize to be won. But just Aas Maggie wonders is questioning if real love [true love? I think the phrase gives more of a fairy tale vibe] is as much a myth as her beloved fairy-tales, Peter arrives. [The only other thing I’d like to work into this intro paragraph is what era the story takes place in. It sound like it could...

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Day 3 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query and First Page Workshop with mentors Helene Dunbar, Beth Hull, and Stephanie Scott
May11

Day 3 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query and First Page Workshop with mentors Helene Dunbar, Beth Hull, and Stephanie Scott

Welcome to our Query and 1st Page Workshop with some of our amazing Pitch Wars mentors. From a Rafflecopter lottery drawing, we selected writers to participate in our query and first page workshops. Each mentor has graciously critiqued a query or 500 word opening from our lucky winners. We’ll be posting four critiques per day (except weekends) through July 7. Our hope is that these samples will help shine up your query and first page 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. First up we have … Pitch Wars Co-Mentors Helene Dunbar and Beth Hull … Helene Dunbar is the author of THESE GENTLE WOUNDS (Flux, 2014), WHAT REMAINS (Flux, 2015) and BOOMERANG (coming from Sky Pony in 2018). Over the years, she’s worked as a drama critic, journalist, and marketing manager, and has written on topics as diverse as Irish music, court cases, theater, and Native American Indian tribes. She lives in Nashville with her husband and daughter and exists on a steady diet of readers’ tears. Represented by Lauren MacLeod at The Strothman Agency. Twitter | Website | Amazon Author Page In less than a second… … two of the things Cal Ryan cares most about–a promising baseball career and Lizzie, one of his best friends–are gone forever. In the hours that follow… …Cal’s damaged heart is replaced. But his life will never be the same. Everyone expects him to pick up the pieces and move on. But Lizzie is gone, and all that remains for Cal is an overwhelming sense that her death was his fault. And a voice in his head that just…won’t…stop. Cal thought he and his friends could overcome any obstacle. But grief might be the one exception. And that might take a lifetime to accept… GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES AND NOBLE | INDIEBOUND   Beth hull lives in northern California with her husband, two kids, and cat. She overuses parentheses and ampersands. She writes short stories and young adult novels. Twitter | Website         Helene and Beth’s Query Critique . . . AGE CATEGORY: Young Adult GENRE: Fantasy Dear [Agent]: [How I found agent and why I thought they would be interested in my project]. At 99,000 words THE EXILES combines contemporary and fantasy settings in the vein of a modern day CHRONICLES OF NARNIA meets THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS.  [I would move this 2nd sentence to the end. Most agents want to dive into the story...

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