Day 10 (Part 2) of the Pitch Wars 1st Page Workshop with mentors, Jeanmarie Anaya and Rachel Lynn Solomon
May22

Day 10 (Part 2) of the Pitch Wars 1st Page Workshop with mentors, Jeanmarie Anaya and Rachel Lynn Solomon

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 Jeanmarie Anaya Twitter | Website Jeanmarie is a YA Contemporary writer represented by Jessica Sinsheimer of the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency. She’s a University of Michigan grad (Go Blue!) who somehow missed receiving her Hogwarts letter and has never gotten over the disappointment. You can find her on a beach in NYC, with a book in hand, wishing she could surf as well as her daughters. Jeanmarie’s Query Critique . . . Dear ____, I am seeking representation for a young adult novel called Power Surge. [Title should be in ALL CAPS.]  <Insert personalized line based on agents bio or wish list > [Your introductory sentence isn’t technically a problem, but I think you could save some space by jumping straight into the personalized second sentence (based on the agent’s wishlist). That first sentence sounds like filler. I think you’d grab the agent’s attention faster by saying something like, “Hey, I saw your MSWL tweet about XYZ and thought you’d enjoy my manuscript, POWER SURGE.”] Erin comes from a long line of hunter-elf hybrids, but when she is diagnosed with ADHD, her family decides to hide their true nature from her. As she grows older, developing depression and a cutting addiction, some family members question their decision while others become more convinced she is too disabled to hunt. [You lay out the main character and her initial internal conflict very well in this first paragraph. I wonder, though, if you could inject more voice into it? Right now it reads a bit like a synopsis and is missing the feel you’d get from a query that comes alive with the main character’s voice. I think the query would benefit from a different spin on the opening. Something that’s a bit more enticing. Try to rewrite the opening from Erin’s perspective. Really let loose so your writing...

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Day 10 (PART 1): Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with mentors, Sandi Ward and Julia Nobel
May22

Day 10 (PART 1): Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with mentors, Sandi Ward and Julia Nobel

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 Sandi Ward Twitter | Website Sandi Ward grew up in Manchester-by-the-sea, Massachusetts. She went to Tufts University, and then received her MA in Creative Writing at New York University. She is an advertising copywriter and lives on the Jersey Shore with her husband, teenagers, dog and a big black cat named Winnie. Sandi is represented by Stacy Testa of Writers House.   Sandi’s upcoming release …   THE ASTONISHING THING, the story of a broken family seen through the eyes of their cat, will be available from Kensington Books on October 31, 2017. Add it to Goodreads Pre-order on Amazon     Sandi’s Query Critique… AGE CATEGORY: New Adult GENRE: Paranormal Romance I noticed you’re seeking supernatural and paranormal fiction, so I’m happy to submit DEFINING LOVE, a 67,000-word [New Adult] Paranormal Romance with crossover appeal [Crossover to which audience? Young Adult readers, or adult readers?], which should interest readers of Patricia Briggs and Richelle Mead. This is a strong stand-alone but has series potential. [Very good use of comp authors. Word count is on target. I like that it is stand-alone but with series potential.] Rejection made her stronger. [You used the word “strong” 2 sentences in a row. Maybe replace one?] Loss kept him isolated. If they can overcome their deepest regrets, together they can save the future of the Blood Moone pack. [This is a little vague. I think your 2nd paragraph below is more powerful and more specific. When Lucinda Raven, a twenty-three-year-old wolf shifter, seeks refuge in the Blood Moone territory, she puts the Alpha and his entire pack in jeopardy when her controlling and psychotic ex-lover finds her there. [Great one-sentence hook with crisp details! I might start with this paragraph. It gives me an immediate sense of the MC, and the urgent stakes involved.] Hunted by her ex-lover who plans to claim...

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THE MELODY OF US by Julia Bade … new cover!
May22

THE MELODY OF US by Julia Bade … new cover!

Amazon About the book … Lexy would never tread on the bonds of brotherhood. At least, not intentionally. Lexy was a promising musician forced to let go of her dreams, find a job, and survive on her own. Now, she is just hoping to survive the love triangle she stumbled into with two brothers… Simon and Max Hyatt. Simon was Lexy’s world. He had tapped into her very soul, kept her secrets, and loved her deeply. After pledging his love and promising to marry her, his parents died in a horrific accident and Simon had disappeared. And now he’s back, but even in the vaguely familiar, they’ve become strangers. Max, Simon’s charming and well-meaning older brother, decides to play cupid. He just wants his brother to find the happiness he deserves. Big Mistake. As Max spends more time with Lexy, they get closer. She helps him through his demons and breaks down his walls. But the harder Max pushes Lexy onto Simon, where he believes she belongs, the stronger their own chemistry builds against the boundaries Max has reluctantly set. But Lexy is no one’s fool. She knows exactly what she wants in life, and it doesn’t include a love triangle between brothers, only Lexy can’t deny everything wonderful she had with Simon, and she also can’t ignore everything she’s creating with Max. And then comes the announcement that Max is to be deployed, setting off a series of life-changing events. Time is running out. Lexy’s heart has reluctantly chosen one, but she could never tread on the bonds of brotherhood. At least not intentionally. About the author …  Website | Twitter Julia Bade loves LOVE! She is a busy wife and mom in Texas whose guilty pleasure is writing romance stories during her alone time at three in the morning! A mom of a kindergartner, 3-year-old twins, a 17 and 20 year-old, she loves going a hundred miles an hour. She had no idea that her time as a college cheerleader was really training for her life that was to come! Julia loves to write about people in love and the challenges that make it all worth the fight. Her husband is her soul mate and best friend, and she is indebted to him for all the nights he’s had to sleep with the glow of her laptop screen blasting him in the face just so they could be near each other. Julia is a member of Savvy Authors, a freelance journalist, an English professor, and a former newspaper journalist....

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