Day 27 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with mentors, Linsey Miller, Maria Mora, & Jenny Chou
Jun14

Day 27 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with mentors, Linsey Miller, Maria Mora, & Jenny Chou

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, Linsey Miller and Maria Mora … Website | Twitter A wayward biology student from Arkansas, Linsey has previously worked as a crime lab intern, neuroscience lab assistant, and pharmacy technician. She is currently an MFA candidate represented by Rachel Brooks of Bookends Literary. Her debut novel MASK OF SHADOWS is the first in a fantasy duology coming in August 2017 from Sourcebooks Fire. She can be found writing about science and magic anywhere there is coffee.       Linsey’s upcoming release … Coming August 29, 2017 from Sourcebooks Fire A gender-fluid pickpocket named Sal auditions to become a replacement member of the Left Hand – the queen’s quartet of assassins – but must survive the competition while also putting their true reason for auditioning into motion. Revenge. “I love every aspect of this amazing book―a gender fluid hero, a deadly contest, and vicious courtly intrigue. Get! Read! Now!” ―Tamora Pierce, #1 New York Times bestselling author Add it to your Goodreads here! Pre-order it from Amazon here! Pre-order it from Indiebound here! Pre-order it from Barnes & Noble here! Pre-order it from Book Depository here! Twitter Maria Mora is Content Director at Big Sea, and has worked in digital media for 15 years. In her previous role as Parenting Editor at SheKnows, Maria contributed over 300 articles on topics like feminism and women’s health. She writes YA speculative fiction, loves movie theaters with recliners, and will always take the long way home if it involves a lovely view. She was a Pitch Wars ’15 finalist, and is represented by Erica Bauman at Aevitas Creative Management. Linsey and Maria’s Query  Critique . . . AGE CATEGORY: Young Adult GENRE: Fantasy Maria’s comments are in red. Linsey’s comments are in green. Eighteen-year-old Fenna “Fen” Morgan can hijack a ship in under a minute, break fingers with a simple twist, and...

Read More
Day 27 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with mentors, Hannah Karena Jones & Rhiannon Hart
Jun14

Day 27 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with mentors, Hannah Karena Jones & Rhiannon Hart

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, Hannah Karena Jones …   Website | Twitter Hannah Karena Jones has dual degrees in creative writing and history from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and a certificate in publishing from New York University. Serving as managing editor at Running Press by day and merrily scribbling middle grade novels on nights and weekends, Hannah has a combined passion for both the craft of writing and the publishing industry. Arcadia Publishing released her non-fiction pictorial history book, BYBERRY STATE HOSPITAL, in May 2013. She is represented by Kira Watson at the Emma Sweeney Agency. Hannah’s Query  Critique . . . AGE CATEGORY: MG GENRE: Adventure Dear [insert name], Desperate to ditch the family biz, Jimmy [consider adding his age? Just so we get a sense of what middle grade audience you’re going for (upper, lower)] planned a summer that had nothing to do with the research of creepy creatures. [Wait, what’s the family business? This is hinting that it has something to do with research of creepy creatures but…what does that mean? Are they professors or exterminators? What sort of creepy creatures? Bugs? Snakes? Magical beasts?] But when his parents are called off on an urgent mission, [what sort of urgent mission could a professor or exterminator have? More specificity and details please!] he’s forced to ditch his plans [could simplify so it just reads “he’s forced to attend summer camp…”] and attend summer camp with his kid sister.  Despite his desire to distance himself, he’s lured back in [distance himself from what, exactly? The family business? His family in general?] when he learns of an elusive beast, Batsquatch[,] rumored to lurk in the woods surrounding camp. [What sort of woods are these? Since this is nature/creature based, I think it’s important to clarify the setting and where we are in the world geographically.] He enlists the help of his...

Read More
It’s Twitter Pitch Party day!
Jun08

It’s Twitter Pitch Party day!

  FOR ALL THE RULES: See the official #PitMad page. There’s a twitter pitch party on the Twitter hashtag #PitMad today, June 8th, from 8AM to 8PM EST. Get your twitter pitches ready and make sure to include all the appropriate hashtags, especially #PitMad, in your 140 character tweet-pitch. If you need help creating the perfect pitch, there’s a post about it here: The 35-word Twitter Pitch . . . Simplified THE RULES . . . Be polite and don’t say anything mean about a writer’s pitch. Please, don’t “like” any pitches. That’s only for agents. If you want to show support, reply with a comment or re-tweet the pitch. You can quote the tweet with your support or praise, or just re-tweet without quoting. Any genre can be pitched. Pitch up to three times per day, per manuscript. It helps to pitch when you see an agent on the hashtag (throughout the day for a better response). Add #YA, #MG, #NA, #A, or #PB in your pitch to help the agents find the ones they represent. For more detail with your hashtags, see all of the hashtags here! If your tweet is “liked” (or hearted) by an agent, please confirm they are a legitimate agent, search the agent’s feed, and see what the agent would like #PitMad participants to send them. Then send the requested materials. QUESTIONS? Tweet or DM @brendadrake or @HeatherCashman For added fun, get some popcorn and scroll through the #fakepitmad pitches. ALL INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS ARE WELCOME TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS...

Read More
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.]...

Read More
RULES FOR THIEVES by Pitch Wars mentor, Alexandra Ott … release day!
Jun06

RULES FOR THIEVES by Pitch Wars mentor, Alexandra Ott … release day!

Publisher: Aladdin/S&S Release Date: June 6, 2017 Genre: Fantasy Ages: 8-12 Pages: 320 ISBN-13: 9781481472746 ISBN-10:  1481472747 Rules for Thieves Now Available! After twelve-year-old orphan Alli Rosco is cursed with a deadly spell, she must join the legendary Thieves Guild in order to try and save herself in this high-stakes debut. Twelve-year-old Alli Rosco is smart, resourceful, and totally incapable of keeping her mouth shut. Some of these traits have served her well during her nine years in Azeland’s orphanage, and others have proved more troublesome…but now that she’s escaped to try her luck on the streets, she has bigger problems than extra chores to contend with. Surviving would be hard enough, but after a run-in with one of the city’s Protectors, she’s marked by a curse that’s slowly working its way to her heart. There is a cure, but the cost is astronomical—and seems well out of her reach. Enter Beck, a boy with a gift for theft and a touch of magic, who seems almost too good to be true. He tells Alli that the legendary Thieves Guild, long thought to be a myth, is real. Even better, Beck is a member and thinks she could be, too. All she has to do is pass the trial that the King of Thieves will assign to her. Join the Guild, collect her yearly reward and buy a cure. Plus, Alli hopes the Guild will be the home—the family—that Alli has always wanted. But when their trial goes wrong, innocent lives are put in danger, and Alli has to decide how much she can sacrifice in order to survive. Purchase: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Books-A-Million | IndieBound | Simon and Schuster Target.com | iTunes | Kobo | Google Play Praise for Rules for Thieves … “Alli’s southern European–inflected fantasy world is built carefully and tightly, complete with class structures, customs, and a patron saint–centered culture. The ending isn’t squeaky clean but provides a sense of closure as Alli makes a meaningful discovery about her heritage. A smooth debut.” —Kirkus Reviews (See full review here: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/alexandra-ott/rules-for-thieves/) “This debut novel introduces readers to a fantastic world of orphans, thieves, magic, and adventure. Characters are well developed and balanced… The plot is fast-paced and addresses ethical dilemmas… This compelling debut fantasy novel with complex themes, lots of action, and a good cast of characters will appeal to fantasy readers across the spectrum.” —School Library Journal About the author … Alexandra Ott writes middle grade and young adult fiction. Her debut middle grade fantasy novel Rules for Thieves was published by Aladdin/Simon and Schuster in June 2017. A sequel will follow in 2018. Alex graduated from the University of Tulsa, where she studied English. She is...

Read More
YA Beach Reads Giveaway … Enter to win a box full of books!
Jun05

YA Beach Reads Giveaway … Enter to win a box full of books!

The contest runs June 5-12.  Here’s the link to...

Read More
Day 19 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query & First Page Workshop with mentors, Rebecca Schaeffer & Sharon Johnston
Jun02

Day 19 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query & First Page Workshop with mentors, Rebecca Schaeffer & Sharon Johnston

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 Rebecca Schaeffer Twitter | tumblr | Goodreads Rebecca Schaeffer is a Canadian expat and compulsive nomad who has lived in Peru, Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Her debut novel, Not Even Bones (HMH Fall 2018) is a Young Adult contemporary fantasy about a girl who dissects monsters and sells their bodies on the internet. Rebecca can generally be found in a cafe on the other side of the world, writing about villains, antiheroes, and morally ambiguous characters.   Rebecca’s Query Critique… AGE CATEGORY: YA GENRE: Fantasy Dear (Insert Name), According to your agency’s website you’re actively seeking young adult and new adult fiction, so I’m pleased to introduce my novel, Heart—Book One of the Broken Realms. [ I know a lot of query sites will tell you to open with an introduction like this, but unless you are very very skilled, it just ends up looking a touch awkward. I highly recommend just jumping right into the query because they’re going to skim this first bit anyways. I’ve always got more requests without this first bit. If you do decide to keep this in here, then I definitely recommend stating your novels word count upfront there, as well as genre — based on that first line, I don’t know if this is YA or NA, nor do I know if it’s contemporary, fantasy, romance, a contemporary fantasy with romance or something else entirely. Tl;dr: I recommend cutting this, but if you keep it, add a bit more contextual information] The story follows two royals forced into an arranged marriage in the hopes that it will garner friendly relations between the two kingdoms. They discover that with time and actively making the decision to open up to one another that love can happen even with the odds stacked against them. [I recommend just cutting this. It tells your story, and you...

Read More
Day 19 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with mentors, Katherine Fleet, Kara Leigh Miller, & Meredith Ireland
Jun02

Day 19 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with mentors, Katherine Fleet, Kara Leigh Miller, & Meredith Ireland

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 Katherine Fleet . . . Twitter | Website Originally from Newfoundland, Katherine Fleet gave up the cold winters of Eastern Canada for the year round warmth of the Caribbean. The slower pace of island life has given her time to pursue a long-time goal—becoming an author. When she’s not writing, she spends her time baking, chauffeuring her three amazing, talented kids around, and having sun-filled adventures with her husband and wonderful friends in Curaçao. She is also a very thankful breast cancer survivor. In 2007, she joined RWA and has enjoyed the support and camaraderie of the YARWA and OIRWA writing communities. She’s participated in NaNoWriMo since 2012 and is an active supporter of the associated Young Writers Program. She is represented by super-agent Carrie Pestritto of Prospect Agency. The Secret to Letting Go is her debut novel.   Katherine’s recent release . . . Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes One summer can change everything… Haunted with guilt after his girlfriend’s death, Daniel Hudson has no interest in committing to anyone. At the end of the summer, he’ll be leaving Florida for a new start in college. If only he could avoid the mysterious new girl in town, who seems every bit as naive and eccentric as she looks. Trouble is, she’s hard to ignore, with her beautiful piercing eyes, pitiful-looking dog, and unsettling tendency of finding trouble. Clover Scott lived her whole life off the grid and arrives on the Gulf coast in search of her grandparents. She never expected to nearly drown, or get caught in a hurricane, or fall in love with the boy who rescues her. Now, she has a chance to rewrite her life’s story, to finally fit in somewhere, but Daniel wants answers about her past. When the police start asking questions about the disappearance of her...

Read More
Day 18 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query and 1st Page Workshop with mentors, Claribel Ortega, Kat Cho, & Kate Foster
Jun01

Day 18 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query and 1st Page Workshop with mentors, Claribel Ortega, Kat Cho, & Kate Foster

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 Claribel Ortega and Kat Cho . . . Claribel Ortega got her start editing student’s often times hilarious ads and ramblings on the back page of SUNY Purchase’s Independent Newspaper. From there, she became a small town reporter, where she enjoyed going to board of education meetings and texting the town mayors about the line at Starbucks. Today she’s busy turning her obsession with eighties pop culture, magic and video games into books. She lives in New York with her motorcycle-riding poet boyfriend & her suspiciously intelligent yorkie, Pancho Villa. She is represented by Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary. You can find her at claribelortega.com & as @claribel_ortega on Twitter. Kat Cho used to hide books under the bathroom sink and then sneak in there to read after bedtime. Her parents pretended not to know. This helped when she decided to write a dinosaur time-travel novel at the tender age of nine. Sadly, that book was not published. She loves anything that encourages nerding out, including reading, blogging, K-dramas, K-pop and anime. Currently, Kat writes YA sci-fi and fantasy and is represented by Beth Phelan at the Bent Agency. You can find her at katchowrites.com & as @KatCho on Twitter. Claribel and Kat’s Query  Critique . . . AGE CATEGORY: Young Adult GENRE: Contemporary Mystery Dear, I read that you’re searching for a young adult mystery with diverse characters, so I hope you’ll enjoy my 80,000 word YA Contemporary GIFTS TO THE RIVER. [ CO: I would move this to the last graf and open with something more engaging. KC: Since we’ve heard advice both ways on where to place this information. We’d recommend paying attention to anything specific an agent says in their query preferences. Otherwise, format it to your preference.] When bodies keep appearing in the local river,[ Instead of “bodies keep appearing,” I would just...

Read More
Day 18 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query and 1st Page Workshop with Brenda Drake and mentor, Micheal Mammy
Jun01

Day 18 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query and 1st Page Workshop with Brenda Drake and mentor, Micheal Mammy

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 Brenda Drake . . . Brenda’s Query  Critique . . . Age Category: Adult Genre: Romance Dear Agent, [One personalized sentence] [So I’d like to say that this is an amazing query already. You’ve done such a good job at clearly setting up your world and characters. Really well done! So everything I’m going to say is a bonus. Nitpicking here.] Helen, an aspiring philanthropist who recently acquired magic from a shaman ceremony, casts a spell to stop the epic dating fails and make the universe manifest her soul mate—but her choice unleashes occult forces that could break her heart or strike her dead. Brian, a mega-famous English rocker, makes a mixed first impression on Helen. [This switch to Brian makes me think your book is in dual POV. If it is, great! But mention that in the TITLE paragraph. If it’s not, keep it in Helen’s POV. For example: When Helen meets a mega-famous English rocker, Brian, he makes a mixed first impression.] He’s arrogant and his pick-up lines are spawns from hell, but his insights on fame and music intrigue her. Brian wins Helen over, but the problems don’t end. A dangerous secret makes him distrust all things occult, so he withdraws when he learns of her mystical abilities. When a spell to save her faltering philanthropy organization nearly turns deadly and the lovers’ troubled pasts threaten a delicate bond, Helen must figure out how to contain the menacing energies she’s unwittingly summoned—and decide whether her and Brian’s love is worth fighting for. [Your stakes here are good. Can you connect them back to the first paragraph? Or possibly leave “break her heart” in the first paragraph and then amp up the stakes here with “strike her dead.” She has to decide whether her and Brian’s love is worth fighting for or what? We know she’ll...

Read More
Day 17 (Part 2) of the Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with mentors, Kelli Newby and Mary Ann Marlowe & Heather Ezell and Rachel Griffin
May31

Day 17 (Part 2) of the Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with mentors, Kelli Newby and Mary Ann Marlowe & Heather Ezell and Rachel Griffin

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, Kelli Newby and Mary Ann Marlowe Twitter | Website By day, Kelli works as a part-time English Professor, teaching composition, dramatic lit, fantasy lit, and fantasy writing.  By night, she writes novels, though she’s occasionally waylaid by bouts of theatre. She has an MFA in fiction from Bennington and have been published in The Mind’s Eye (Spring 2006 and  2015).  Her short plays have been produced by Main Street Stage in North Adams, Massachusetts; Berkshire Theatre Festival’s Late Night Story Time; and WAM/MOPCO’s 24 Hour Theatre Project. She also works as a playwright for Barrington Stage’s Playwright Mentoring Project. Her novel EX, EX, OH (recently retitled to THE GOOD GIRL’S GUIDE TO FANTASY AND ADVENTURE) is a finalist in the Joyce Henderson RWA Contest and was chosen for #PitchWars 2016. Other 2016 accomplishments include her contemporary romance MOUNTING THE MARQUIS winning Fire and Ice and finaling for The Molly. She’s the secretary of the Capital Region RWA chapter in Albany and is represented by Rena Rossner of the Deborah Harris Agency. Twitter | Website Mary Ann lives in central Virginia where she works as a computer programmer/DBA. She spent ten years as a university-level French professor, and her resume includes stints as an au pair in Calais, a hotel intern in Paris, a German tutor, a college radio disc jockey, and a webmaster for several online musician fandoms. She has lived in twelve states and three countries and loves to travel. Mary Ann’s recent release … Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Audible In this sparkling debut novel, Mary Ann Marlowe introduces a hapless scientist who’s swept off her feet by a rock star—but is it love or just a chemical reaction?…Biochemist Eden Sinclair has no idea that the scent she spritzed on herself before leaving the lab is designed to enhance pheromones. Or that the cute, grungy-looking guy she...

Read More
Day 17 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query & First Page Workshop with mentors, McKelle George and Jenny Lundquist
May31

Day 17 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query & First Page Workshop with mentors, McKelle George and Jenny Lundquist

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. Next up we have … Pitch Wars Mentor McKelle George Twitter | Website McKelle George is a reader, writer of clumsy rebels, perpetual doodler, and reference librarian at the best library in the world. She mentors with Salt Lake Teen Writes and plays judge for the Poetry Out Loud teen competitions (but has no poetic talent herself). Her debut young adult novel Speak Easy, Speak Love comes out from Greenwillow/HarperCollins in 2017, and she currently lives in Salt Lake City with an enormous white german shepherd and way, way too many books. McKelle’s upcoming release … Book Info: Speak Easy, Speak Love September 19, 2017 Greenwillow/HarperCollins Goodreads | Amazon | Indie Three girls. Three boys. By the end of a summer filled with romantic misunderstandings, witty machinations, and daring escapades, they’ll either all be enemies, or they’ll all be in love. This sparkling retelling of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing is an uproarious battle of wits with a 1920’s twist. McKelle’s Query Critique… AGE CATEGORY: YA GENRE: Speculative Fiction The ideas in this query are great—and incredibly interesting. The sentence-level writing is strong and makes me think the writing in the manuscript would be equally up to the task! The main issue is a structural one—and it’s a bit long, as is. But you’ve made a great start. I would read this book! Sixteen-year-old Alex dreams of fire and ash every night in a country already controlled by Martial Law. [Modifier issues. Change to: In a country controlled by Martial Law, sixteen-year-old Alex dreams of fire and ash every night.] When those dreams become reality [Word choice here… ‘dreams become reality’ doesn’t necessarily suggest that her dreams told the future, which is I think what you’re trying to imply? Or maybe her parents aren’t hiding her away because of her dreams, but just because the world is awful and dying?], her parents shove her into a tiny safe room...

Read More