Day 8 (PART 2): Pitch Wars Query and First Page Workshop with Mentors Jenn Brisendine and J.R. Yates
May18

Day 8 (PART 2): Pitch Wars Query and First Page Workshop with Mentors Jenn Brisendine and J.R. Yates

  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. Next up we have … Pitch Wars Mentor Jenn Brisendine Website | Twitter Jenn Brisendine, a secondary English/Language Arts teacher, writes middle grade and is repped by Alyssa Eisner Henkin at Trident Media. She currently enjoys writing historicals with magical realism, but loves reading a variety of genres in middle grade. She was a Pitchwars ’15 mentee and can be found at @jennbrisendine on Twitter and @jennbrisendinewrites on Instagram. She’s happy to have recently joined the ranks at From the Mixed-Up Files of Middle Grade Authors – http://www.fromthemixedupfiles.com/2017/03/umbrella-raining-overarching-conflict-mg/ . Check out her site https://jennbrisendine.com/ for free teacher printables on great MG novels and for reviews of great books on writing.   Jenn’s Query Critique… AGE CATEGORY: 7-9 years old GENRE: young middle grade contemporary fiction [Dear (agent’s name):] [I’d put the basics right up front: “After reading of your interest in (genre, age category, style, or comps) on (agent website , article, interview), I’m eager to share my 10K-word early middle grade contemporary, DAISY DIXON, WEATHER GIRL with you.” ] [Love your title!] I’d like to introduce you to Daisy Dixon. Daisy is in third grade and has already decided on her career path: chief meteorologist for a major TV station. [Save words. Start with “Third-grader Daisy Dixon…” and use the opening pitch to show stronger voice– “…has her career path all figured out: chief meteorologist for a major TV station.”] In fact, everyone in her class calls her Daisy Dixon, Weather Girl, because her aunt is a real chief meteorologist at the highest rated news station in Colorado. [Are there other reasons she’s known as Weather Girl—like she’s gone to work with her aunt, gets special tours, shares facts about meteorology with friends?] But then her aunt comes over for dinner and announces that she’s getting married and leaving the TV station [Is there a more decisive reason for leaving (moving...

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Day 8 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query and First Page Workshop with mentors Kip Wilson, Amanda Rawson Hill, and Cindy Baldwin
May18

Day 8 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query and First Page Workshop with mentors Kip Wilson, Amanda Rawson Hill, and Cindy Baldwin

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 Kip Wilson … Twitter  |  Website Kip is a YA writer represented by Roseanne Wells at the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency. She has a Ph.D. in German Literature and is the Poetry Editor at YARN. Her work has been published in the TIMELESS and SPAIN FROM A BACKPACK anthologies as well as BLACK FOX LITERARY, COBBLESTONE, and FACES magazines. Her work has won several awards, including the 2017 PEN New England Discovery Award. You can find her on twitter and on her website.   Kip’s Query  Critique . . . AGE CATEGORY: Young Adult GENRE: Fantasy A millennium ago, Meridian Island, sank underground. Everyone blames its last ruler, the nefarious [This is a tricky word for a POV character because it seems like a judgment from others. However! If she is in fact proudly nefarious, that is unexpected and super-interesting, so you could definitely quantify it by adding ‘proudly’ to show that aspect of her personality.] Prime Princess [It would be helpful for us to know both her name and age as a POV character in a YA novel] – after all, she did commit parricide. Little do they know, the princess was avenging her husband’s brutal murder. Everyone suspects she was associated with the Void (an entity who seeks the five elements to destroy humanity). [There is a lot going on here—parricide, husband’s murder, the Void—and I’m struggling to see how they’re all related. You might want to consider dropping one of these elements from the query to focus it more.] Little do they know how much she sacrificed to protect humanity from the Void. With her kingdom, her true story’s lost, and her fate unknown. [I like how this query is structured into the two millennia and what happens in each. Another option that could work with a dual POV novel is a brief...

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