Day 29 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query & First Page Workshop with Mentors Tabitha Martin & Kelly deVos
Jun16

Day 29 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query & First Page Workshop with Mentors Tabitha Martin & Kelly deVos

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 Tabitha Martin Website | Twitter  Tabitha Martin writes contemporary and fantasy YA. When she’s not writing, she can be found with her nose in a book, her head in the clouds, her mind on a video game, or eating chips and salsa. She lives close to the beach and doesn’t go enough, but she longs to live among the stars like Darrow and Mustang. *bonus points if you know who they are and you ship them too*       Tabitha’s Query Critique… Desiring true love, friendship, and a fulfilling adventurous career, Karina has to rebuild every aspect of her life when she moves to a gritty yet burgeoning artistic neighborhood in Brooklyn. [This takes away from your query, because it reads more like a pitch + your query, so I would cut this all together] Twenty-six-year-old [This doesn’t seem necessary for an adult manuscript] Karina [add last name] has been playing by the rules her entire life [also if you keep the age, this makes her sound extra naïve, because 26 isn’t that old], expecting that by the time she graduates from a prestigious law school in New York, she will have everything she has [cut HAS and change to she’s for better flow] ever wanted: the perfect life, the perfect career, and the perfect relationship. Instead, she finds herself dreading the day she becomes a lawyer, and her relationship with a guy she thought might be the one goes awry [this second part is a bit wordy and takes away from your query. Make it more concise, like, “and things with her boyfriend go awry”]. To make things even more complicated, she is an immigrant from Slovakia whose ability to stay in the United States depends of her employment, and the countdown to her visa expiration date has begun. [to me, this is more important than anything you’ve listed above. This should be Problem Number...

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Day 29 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query & First Page Workshop with Mentors Melyssa Mercado and Heather Cashman
Jun16

Day 29 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query & First Page Workshop with Mentors Melyssa Mercado and Heather Cashman

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 Melyssa Mercado  Website | Twitter  Melyssa Mercado is a writer of Middle Grade and Young Adult stories. Creative writing has always threaded the needle of Mel’s life, weaving worlds and characters together in hopes of connecting to the experiences and evolutionary pages of a young person’s heart. She believes humor is the true chicken soup for the soul (and that nobody really throws up all night). Mel’s wish list will forever include book-scented candles and making readers smile. SCBWI and Eastern New York chapter member. She’s represented by the lovely Victoria Selvaggio of The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency.   Melyssa’s Query Critique… AGE CATEGORY: Middle grade GENRE: Fantasy Dear AGENT, I am seeking representation for my middle grade fantasy, Dragon Talker: Heart Stone. [Great title! As agents know you are querying for rep, I’d sub this opening with either a personalized reason you’re querying this specific agent or go straight into the hook and grab their attention right off the bat—the latter is always my personal preference, as agents view tons of queries on a daily basis. You can always add a personalized statement for querying in your closing paragraph]. “All middle school kids are weird – no one fits in.”  So says Jake’s school counselor, and his best friend Owen agrees. But Jake is sure that no one has the night life he does. [Generally, queries don’t include or start off with dialogue. I’ve seen it done, but it’s risky. But my biggest concern here is that a guidance counselor is telling two kids they are all weird and don’t fit in. Do you know how fast I’d be on the phone to that school? (: You can easily turn this around using a snappy word opener with something like: If ___year-old Jake hears that feeling weird is just a natural part of middle school one more time, he’ll go unnaturally bonkers—because, no matter what his...

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