Day 21 (Part 3): Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with mentors, Natasha Neagle, Kelli Newby, & Mary Ann Marlowe
Jun07

Day 21 (Part 3): Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with mentors, Natasha Neagle, Kelli Newby, & Mary Ann Marlowe

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, Natasha Neagle … Website | Twitter Natasha Neagle is the YA author of the upcoming YA Fantasy, THE BODY PARADOX (’18 Entangled Teen) who runs on Starbucks and believes the best way to hear music is live. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, two kids, and zoo of animals.       Natasha’s Query  Critique . . . AGE CATEGORY: Young Adult GENRE: Paranormal Ziva Kritikos wants to grow up. [Interesting, but how old is she? Letting the reader know your main character’s age will help solidify your novel as YA. Knowing this will help us figure out her voice.] Her best friends, Sophie and Abigail already have goals in mind for their lives. [The way you say Ziva doesn’t want to grow up makes me think of her as a younger kid/middle schooler. Why does it matter what Sophie and Abigail want to do?] Kyle, a boy hooked on messing with her is headed towards his dreams while Ziva doesn’t even have any. [In the first paragraph, you’ve named four characters instead of hooking the reader on Ziva. The information you’ve shared about Ziva is minimal compared to the others.] She doesn’t want to be left behind, [okay, this is interesting – why would she be left behind? Where are they going?] and her library’s books won’t help her find a path. [Does she always have her nose in a book and that’s why you mentioned this? How does this relate to the the hook and inciting incident?] Desperate for a change, Ziva relies on a shooting star. [Why would she rely on a shooting star? Wouldn’t she just desperately just cast a wish on one? Be sure to include an introduction to the world, the main character (who they are and what they want), and inciting incident. Convey the voice of your main character so...

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Day 21 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with mentors, Caitlin Sinead and McKelle George
Jun07

Day 21 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with mentors, Caitlin Sinead and McKelle George

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, Caitlin Sinead … Website | Twitter | Editing Services From Caitlin: I have been writing since the second grade when I drafted a riveting piece about witches who turned out to be friendly. My novels, HEARTSICK and RED BLOODED, have received positive reviews from Library Journal, RT Book Reviews, and USA TODAY.  My writing has also earned accolades from Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Glimmer Train, and Writers & Artists, and my stories have appeared in multiple publications, including The Alarmist, The Binnacle, Crunchable, Jersey Devil Press, and Northern Virginia Magazine. I earned a master’s degree in writing from Johns Hopkins University and have also studied writing at the College of William and Mary and Yale University. I am represented by Andrea Somberg at Harvey Klinger, Inc. In my writing, I enjoy mashing the fluffy aspects of life right up against the not-so-fluffy aspects, while sneaking in fun words I wished more people used (e.g., nincompoop, ragamuffin, and peccadillo, to name a few). I live with my husband and two cats in Alexandria, Virginia. Click on Caitlin’s books below to find out more . . . Caitlin’s Query  Critique . . . AGE CATEGORY: Adult GENRE: Women’s Fiction It starts with a confession. “I killed your father.” [This is nice, but I think it takes away from the bigger revelation that her mother killed her father. Removing it would allow the next paragraph to pack more of a punch. Additionally, the real story is Blythe searching for the truth, so you don’t want to spend more time than you need on the setup.] During an afternoon visit [This could be a nice opportunity to briefly set up some ambiance. Are they having tea, are they on a walk in the woods, are they watching the Price is Right? With just one or two details you can help us understand their relationship...

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Day 21 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with mentors, Melissa West and Kristen Lepionka
Jun07

Day 21 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with mentors, Melissa West and Kristen Lepionka

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, Melissa West …   Website | Twitter USA TODAY bestselling author Melissa West writes heartfelt Southern romance and teen sci-fi romance, all with lots of kissing. Because who doesn’t like kissing? She lives outside of Atlanta, GA with her husband and two daughters and spends most of her time writing, reading, or fueling her coffee addiction.     Melissa’s recent release …   CHASING LOVE AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | IBOOKS | KOBO Now Available! He’s her brother’s best friend…and her greatest weakness. There aren’t many things Charlie Littleton values more than his lifelong friendship with his buddy Lucas, currently home from a tour in Iraq. But when he discovers that Lucas’s younger sister, Lila, is back to assist the town’s overburdened veterinarian, Charlie is torn. She’s no longer the skinny, awkward kid he remembers, but a gorgeous woman—one Lucas would never approve of him dating. When Lucas asks him to   Melissa’s Query  Critique . . . AGE CATEGORY: Ages 18-35 GENRE: New Adult & Women’s Fiction EKKO LAVENDER wakes up alone in a hospital bed. [Intriguing!] She thinks the man she’s in love with—also her professor and married to a famous author—is with her. [Is the author Ekko’s favorite author?] But he’s not, neither is anyone else. [Redundant, since the opening tells us she’s alone.] Then she recalls the chain of events that brought her there. [Is the story told in reverse, where she wakes in rehab, and then you slowly unravel what happened to get her there?] Melodramatic Love Confusion [Typically, the title is in all caps in a query. MELODRAMATIC LOVE CONFUSION] is a new adult novel complete at 92,000 words about a New York college student sinking in depression as one relationship pushes her to confront her troubled past. [I would move this to the end of the query, right before your education/experience.]...

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