Day 9 (PART 2): Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with Mentors MK England, Jamie Pacton, and Aimee Salter
May19

Day 9 (PART 2): Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with Mentors MK England, Jamie Pacton, and Aimee Salter

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 Mentors MK England and Jamie Pacton Megan K. England is an author and YA librarian living in the mountainy parts of Virginia. When she’s not writing or librarianing, Megan can be found drowning in fandom, rolling dice at the gaming table, going to conventions, or climbing on things in the woods. She loves Star Wars with a desperate, heedless passion. It’s best if you never speak of Sherlock Holmes in her presence. You’ll regret it. Her debut YA space opera, THE DISASTERS, will be out in Fall 2018 from HarperCollins Children’s. Twitter | Website | The Disasters on Goodreads   Jamie Pacton writes dark and twisty feminist YA novels and funny Middle Grade books. For her day jobs, she teaches college-level writing online and homeschools her kids. Meaning her days are full of legos, playing outside, and trips to the library while her nights are consumed by grading student work and drafting new books. She’s an occasional blogger for parents.com (with a focus on autism acceptance) and when she gets a moment alone, you’ll find her drinking coffee, reading, or walking by Lake Michigan. www.jamiepacton.com @jamiepacton.   MK and Jamie’s Query Critique… AGE CATEGORY: YA GENRE: Mystery As a reporter for the school paper, all senior Pierce Padgett wants is the truth. [Can you make this a stronger statement? Can she demand the truth? Relentlessly pursue it? Or perhaps bring the central conflict up earlier. Something like, “Pierce Padgett is determined to find out why her school administration is covering up sexual assaults”] But ever since the day football player Kade Bigsby showed up [Use more concise language whenever possible: “But when football player Kade Bigsby shows up…”] at school with his face smashed to a pulp, the truth has been playing hard to get. [Use cliches/puns sparingly or eliminate all together in a query letter.]...

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Day 9 (PART 1): Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with Mentors, Isabel Ibañez Davis and Ashley Martin
May19

Day 9 (PART 1): Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with Mentors, Isabel Ibañez Davis and Ashley Martin

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 Isabel Ibañez Davis   Isabel studied Creative Writing and History at UCF, finished in 2006 and thought that was the end of pencils, books and teacher’s dirty looks. Not so. She rejoined the academic world some five years later and picked up graphic design in order to become a children’s book writer + illustrator. Except somewhere in the beginning of her scholastic pursuit, she bumped into the letterpress world and hasn’t left yet. Now she gets to come up with cute + charming greeting cards, wedding invitation suites and many other things she’s been secretly dreaming about. All of this has been a sweet surprise and she’s loved every minute of it. She’s thankful to be lucky enough to do what she loves—writing books and designing greeting cards. If you’d like to learn a little bit more about her company, 9th Letter Press, visit here. Website | Twitter Isabel’s Query Critique… Dear Agent, “Where are you from?” It’s the one question Katja Wickham dreads answering [this might be a personal preference but in general, starting off with a question reads weaker. Your first sentence should hook the agent and compel them to keep reading. I’d try an active, succinct sentence: Katja Wickham didn’t have a place to call home.] Moving to a different country every two years with her archaeologist father has left her no place to call home [Your sentences, though informative, run long. In a query, shorter, punchier sentences stand out. I’d rework the sentence so it reads more evocative/active. Like: Every two years, she packs her bags and follows her archaeologist dad around the globe.]She’s bilingual and well-travelled [I LOVE the bilingual aspect, and because it’s so cool, try and have fun here! Show that she’s bilingual in her own voice. Maybe something like: She wants to belong somewhere but the students...

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