Day 44 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query and First Page Workshop with Mentors Amelinda Berube, Alicia Clancy, and Juliana Brandt
Jul11

Day 44 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query and First Page Workshop with Mentors Amelinda Berube, Alicia Clancy, and Juliana Brandt

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 Amelinda Berube Twitter | Instagram | Website Amelinda Bérubé is the author of UNDER THE ICY LAKE, a YA ghost story coming from Sourcebooks Fire in 2018. She’s spent the last ten years as a writer and editor with the Canadian public service, prior to which her career path meandered through academics, carpentry, and administrivia. Amelinda is a passionate fan of YA, SFF, and all things spooky and is delighted to be on the other side of the contest curtain for the first time!   UNDER THE ICY LAKE by Amelinda Berube A former dancer’s grip on sanity starts to slip when she begins to think a dark entity is stalking her and craves her life. Coming 2018 from Sourcebooks Fire. Goodreads     Amelinda’s Query Critique . . . AGE CATEGORY: Adult GENRE: Romance Thanks to Brenda, Heather and the PitchWars team for a chance to share some thoughts on a query! My suggestions are in [square brackets] below. To the courageous author: As with any critique, my comments and ideas are yours to take or leave or adapt as you see fit. Query writing can be exhausting and horrible (I lost count of my own query swaps somewhere past 20) but try to keep an open mind and a willingness to play with it. You got this! Dear Agent, (One personalized sentence) [I’d recommend adding any personalization with the “housekeeping” at the bottom. I’ve seen multiple agents saying personalization isn’t actually that important to them, so I’d get right to the part that they’re most interested in, namely the story, and include this less critical info further down. The one exception might be if you’re responding to a specific MSWL tweet or a contest request, but you can often flag that in the subject line anyway. It can feel really weird and counterintuitive to just jump into your pitch...

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Day 44 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query and First Page Workshop with Mentors Amanda Rawson Hill, Cindy Baldwin, & Sarah Nicolas
Jul11

Day 44 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query and First Page Workshop with Mentors Amanda Rawson Hill, Cindy Baldwin, & Sarah Nicolas

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 Amanda Rawson Hill and Cindy Baldwin … Website | Twitter Cindy Baldwin is a Carolina girl who moved to the opposite coast and is now gamely doing her part in keeping Portland weird. As a middle schooler, she kept a book under her bathroom sink to read over and over while fixing her hair or brushing her teeth, and she dreams of someday writing just that kind of book. Where the Watermelons Grow by Cindy Baldwin . . . Add it to Goodreads HarperCollins has acquired Where the Watermelons Grow, a debut by Cindy Baldwin. In this middle-grade novel, 12-year-old Della will do anything to cure her mother’s schizophrenia and keep her family together – even if it means asking for help from the eccentric Bee Lady, and making up from her worst-ever fight with her best friend. Publication is slated for summer 2018. Website | Twitter Amanda Rawson Hill grew up in Southwest Wyoming with a library right outside her back gate (which accounts a lot for how she turned out.) After graduating high school, she attended Brigham Young University where she recieved both her MRS degree and her bachelors degree in chemistry. Today, Amanda lives in the central valley of California with her husband and three children. She loves to homeschool, garden, knit, play the piano, sing, and embarrass her family when she dances.   Amanda and Cindy’s Query Critique . . . Cindy is in red. Amanda is in blue. AGE CATEGORY: Adult GENRE: Fantasy When unrepentantly single programmer Hammond falls in love with a woman named June July August, he learns that Summer is a place where magic still lingers. I’m torn on the efficacy of this logline. I don’t really feel like it is doing the work you need it to and that it’s creating confustion later on in your query. June enjoys sketching while naked, loves waffles, and was...

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