Day 31 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with mentors, Derek Chivers and Caitlin Sinead
Jun20

Day 31 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with mentors, Derek Chivers and Caitlin Sinead

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 Derek Chivers Website | Facebook | Twitter  | Instagram | Tumblr DEREK CHIVERS was born and raised on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. He spent a wild childhood wandering through woods where winter winds drifted snow deeper than he was tall, and the midnight sun stretched summer days and stories to extremes. Now he shares his life’s adventures with his wife and daughters; he can still trek through tracts of trees tucked between snowcapped summits, or choose to lose himself instead between the covers of his favorite authors’ stories. An alumnus of the University of Alaska, Anchorage, Derek received a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, wrote opinion for the campus newspaper The Northern Light, and was published several times in the annual undergraduate fiction showcase Understory. He is a founding member of Anchorage writing collective The Life Partners, and an infrequent contributor to their Tumblr, which features fresh fiction Mondays and Wednesdays. Derek’s creative nonfiction “Gunshots on Dogfish” took top prize in a statewide writing competition and was published in F Magazine. He is represented by Becky LeJeune of Bond Literary Agency.   Derek’s Query Critique . . . AGE CATEGORY: Adult GENRE: Contemporary Romance AGENT AGENCY Dear AGENT, After researching your agency website and the authors that you represent, I believe that my completed 75,000 word Contemporary Romance manuscript, Off String, would be a good fit for you. [Personally I would move this whole paragraph down into the body and lead with your hook.] Jane Thomas wasn’t planning on meeting the love of her life while covered in puke, but she’ll wear the stains with pride if it means spending the rest of her life with single dad, Nate. [While the vomit bit is unique and catchy, I don’t think this is your main conflict. A successful hook isn’t just catchy, but also provides a glimpse of the larger, overarching...

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Day 31 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with mentors, Mike Grosso and Katrina Carrasco
Jun20

Day 31 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with mentors, Mike Grosso and Katrina Carrasco

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 Mike Grosso Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram Mike Grosso is a musician and a fifth-grade teacher who always keeps a guitar in his classroom. He writes books and records music at his home in Oak Park, Illinois, where he lives with his wife, son, and a drum set he plays much too loud. I AM DRUMS is his first novel, and its accompanying soundtrack, Songs for Sam(antha), is available through many digital music outlets and streaming services. I AM DRUMS by Mike Grosso . . . AMAZON | INDIEBOUND | BARNES & NOBLE | POWELL’S Sam knows she wants to be a drummer. But she doesn’t know how to afford a drum kit, or why budget cuts end her school’s music program, or why her parents argue so much, or even how to explain her dream to other people. But drums sound all the time in Sam’s head, and she’d do just about anything to play them out loud—even lie to her family if she has to. Will the cost of chasing her dream be too high? An exciting new voice in contemporary middle grade, Mike Grosso creates a determined heroine readers will identify with and cheer for. Mike’s Query Critique . . . AGE CATEGORY: MG GENRE: Adventure with Fantasy and Sci-Fi elements Twelve-year-old aspiring journalist Angela Xue has only one goal for her school trip to the North Pole: to find out the secret of Santa’s magic, write and publish something about it, and launch herself to internet-journalistic stardom. So what if it’s illegal for ordinary citizens to meddle with magic, and the last kid who messed with Santa, Jamie Rayner, got caught up in a social media flame war like no other and then mysteriously disappeared? [I am loving this fresh spin on Santa! Especially that he seems a bit...

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