Day 42 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with mentors, Kelly Hopkins and Neal Chase
Jul07

Day 42 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with mentors, Kelly Hopkins and Neal Chase

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 Kelly Hopkins Website | Twitter Kelly has a Bachelor’s degree (Magna Cum Laude) in English/Secondary Education from Marywood University and a Master’s of Education degree in School Library and Information Technologies from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania. She’s a Creative Writing teacher and school librarian. She has lectured at Keystone College on Celtic Mythology and will be presenting a workshop on Perfecting Query Letters and Pitches at their Gathering Conference in July 2016. Kelly lives in NE Pennsylvania with her husband, two children, and three rescue horses. Kelly’s Query Critique . . . AGE CATEGORY: Young Adult GENRE: Urban Fantasy Sixteen-year-old Azrielle Grave is [Changed font to italic.] one of the things that goes bump in the night. Except this cockatrice [Is she a dragon? A cockatrice is a mythical creature. If so, you will want to make sure the reader understands her duality.] isn’t a hunter anymore, she’s the one being stalked [by whom? Or what?]. The exposed [How] supernatural world is at risk of extinction thanks to special agencies created by humans to terminate the threat [Why is the supernatural world a threat to humans?] . A semi-voluntary recruit, Azrielle trains to infiltrate behind enemy lines [Who is the enemy?] in an underground academy. But the death toll [Humans or supernaturals?] is rising too fast and she is being sent on an undercover assignment [What is the assignment? Who is sending her?] now, years before she’s ready. . [Think about the basics of good query design: character, conflict, and stakes. Another thing to consider is your genre. If this is urban fantasy, where is this story located? It feels more straight fantasy here especially if most of the story occurs below ground or in an alternate Earth.] Raid Ameen is determined to do his part to save humanity. A weapon’s expert at seventeen, he enjoys putting bullets into...

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Day 42 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with mentors,  Austin Siegemund-Broka, Emily Wibberley, Kristin Smith & Beth Ellyn Summer
Jul07

Day 42 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with mentors, Austin Siegemund-Broka, Emily Wibberley, Kristin Smith & Beth Ellyn Summer

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 Mentors Austin Siegemund-Broka, and Emily Wibberley Emily’s Twitter | Austin’s Twitter Austin Siegemund-Broka cowrites YA contemporary with Emily Wibberley. A former journalist for The Hollywood Reporter, where he covered the courts and, yes, met a couple celebrities, he graduated from Harvard in 2014 with a degree in English and a focus on Shakespeare. Emily Wibberley grew up in Southern California, but instead of working on her nonexistent tan at the beach, she spent her time reading, making music and watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She attended Princeton University, where she graduated in 2014 with a degree in Psychology. She and Austin now live and write YA contemporary together. Their debut, UPSTAGED, publishes from Puffin in 2018. They live in Los Angeles. Upstaged by Austin Siegemund-Broka and Emily Wibberley Pitched as a modern-day retelling of Romeo and Juliet, about a teen girl who always winds up playing the Rosaline in her off-stage relationships – the girl before he finds “the one” – but when cast as Juliet in her school play, she begins to notice the Romeo she never expected. Goodreads Austin and Emily’s Query Critique . . . AGE CATEGORY: Adult GENRE: Fantasy Not even Razsha the Ruthless is surprised when nobles call for her death. What does surprise her is the accusation of killing two chieftains. Now she must keep her wits as sharp as her swords to get the elimination order rescinded. [Great opening paragraph. Tension, character motivation, a little wit, and immediately comprehensible conflict] Since a noble can roam a person’s mind the way tall ships roam the sea, Razsha approaches a noble to barter for his mediation with the clans. [Mind-roaming is a very cool idea—clarify though the connection to mediation. Is it mind-reading or mind-manipulation?] Krovdan’s not just any noble; he’s the enforcer of the most powerful clan. [Why does Razsha go to him? Because he’s the enforcer? Is there another...

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