Day 12 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query and First Page Workshop with Mentors Niki Lenz and Emily Colin
May24

Day 12 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query and First Page Workshop with Mentors Niki Lenz and Emily Colin

  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 Niki Lenz . . . Twitter | Website Niki Lenz lives in Kansas City with her police officer husband and two elementary aged children. She attended Southwest Baptist University and has worked as a teacher, a wedding planner, and a stay at home mom.  In her spare time she enjoys reading, travel and renovating campers.  She writes wacky MG and is represented by Kate Testerman at KT Literary.   Niki’s Query  Critique . . . AGE CATEGORY: Middle Grade GENRE: Fantasy Reformed pirates, a sassy parrot, bewitched children, and a dragon come together in The Abode to reverse a spell that’s turned a valley of dragons into a house of captive children. [I think this hook is a bit long.  You want it to be short and snappy.  The part about the valley of dragons being turned into a house of captive children is the heart of it, so I’d suggest reworking that for a first line.] The Abode is a cold, unwelcoming place surrounded by mists, where Molly and other children spend their days cutting up fish. [Perfectly dreary!] As deeply as Molly wishes for a different life, this rule of the Abode stops her: Do Not Step Into the Mists Alone. You Will Die. [I’d cut ‘You Will Die’ as it is strongly implied] Molly’s friend Fel, defeated by a long punishment, plunges into the mists one day and vanishes. Molly grieves for her friend. [I’d also cut ‘Molly grieves for her friend, as it is also implied.] The first crack in Molly’s world appears when Fel walks back out of the mists, alive. The mists have not harmed Fel. Instead they’ve carried her to the wide world and helped her return to rescue Molly [Maybe combine the last two sentences so it reads “The mists have carried Fel to the wide...

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Pitch Wars Webinars: Rejection Correction–Why am I getting rejected? with Mentor CM McCoy
May24

Pitch Wars Webinars: Rejection Correction–Why am I getting rejected? with Mentor CM McCoy

WEBINARS Pitch Wars Webinars Presents… The second of two special small group educational series…. Rejection Correction: Why am I getting rejected? Rejection Correction is a week-long, online workshop held inside a secret Facebook group and led by author and Literary Agency PR Manager/Associate Agent, Colleen Oefelein (author CM McCoy). Participants will focus on the first page and the routine pitfalls that make an agent stop reading. Colleen will discuss the common reasons agents and editors reject, and then examine the way forward after rejection, whether it’s tweaking the project or seeking alternate agents to query. She will discuss how rejection language translates into real-life, optional manuscript tweaks to address the rejection feedback. This workshop will help you to identify feedback you can use to improve your MS as opposed to feedback that is too vague to be of use, or rejection language that simply suggests the author should seek an alternate champion for their project. Colleen may also cover cliches, telling vs showing, deep point of view, naming emotions, filtering, engine-cranking, cart-before-the-horse, logic, and the basic elements of a “magnetic” first page. Participants have an opportunity to share their query plus first page and receive personal feedback from Colleen and the other participants.   **Note — This workshop is a critique, not an evaluation of the author’s work, and the author’s work will not be considered for representation through this workshop.**   The Details . . . When: The program will be self-paced during the week of June 10-17 and is expected to take about five hours. What: Participants should bring their query, first page, and their rejections (if they have any), both the vague and the concrete. Cost: $50 Please note: Registration is limited to the first FIFTEEN (15) participants. This webinar is now putting names on a wait-list until all the current registrants have paid. Please, fill out the form to be put on the waiting list but DO NOT PAY until you are contacted via email. About Colleen Oefelein.. . . Colleen Oefelein (author CM McCoy) has one pointed ear, a 70-pound puppy from Hell, and a very active imagination. She’s well aware nobody can say or spell her real last name, hence the pen name. You can call her Colleen. She’s a retired Air Force officer, an author, a blogger, and the PR manager for Inklings Literary Agency, where she’s also an agent assistant. When she’s not chatting with her imaginary friends, she’s either stuck in a book or interviewing with PEOPLE Magazine, ABC’s 20/20, the local morning news show, or INSIDE EDITION, where she promotes writing for mental and emotional health. She also mentors...

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Day 12 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query and First Page Workshop with Mentors Kit Grant and Laura Brown
May24

Day 12 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query and First Page Workshop with Mentors Kit Grant and Laura Brown

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 Kit Grant … Kester Grant is a British-Mauritian writer of color, and debut author of A Court of Miracles (Fall 2018, Knopf, Random House), a Young Adult fantasy reimagining of the Jungle Book and Les Miserables, and the first of a trilogy. She was born in London, grew up between the UK, Democratic Republic of Congo, and the tropical island paradise of Mauritius.  As a wanton nomad she and her husband are unsure which country they currently reside in but they can generally be found surrounded by their fiendish pack of cats and dogs. Kes lurks with intent on Twitter, Goodreads, Tumblr, Instagram and her blog. Kit’s Query  Critique . . . AGE CATEGORY: Young Adult GENRE: Contemporary Dear ______, I’m _MyName_, an American living in the UK, [your bio information ; your name/country of residence/nationality and previous interactions with this agent would be better reserved for a paragraph after your book ‘pitch’.] and seeking representation for my novel, THE TALENT, a contemporary YA book of about 50,000 words [The wordcount can come later, use your first paragraph to grab interest,] . I’ve written to you and two other agents in my early attempts to find representation. [unless this agent specifically asked you to revise and resubmit, or asked to see any of your future work, I’d advise against saying this, also its not important that you queried two other agents, the main focus of a query letter should be your book and what it is about, everything else is fluff. Remember agents are reading a TON of queries daily.] You were __insert specifics to this agent__ [I am assuming this paragraph is personalisation? I’ve talked about that a bit below]. I’m aiming at just my first choices because I know the agent-writer relationship is one that is unique and requires mutual affinity (read that as “I like you already and I hope you...

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