- Vague pitches.
- Not having strong enough stakes (or stakes missing altogether).
- Using rhetorical questions.
- Not using all/most of the 35 words.
- Me not being able to understand the pitch.
- Not having a killer opening sentence.
- Opening lines focusing on the weather when it's not a plot point.
- Opening with info dumps.
- Telling instead of showing.
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Pitch Madness in review
My team was made up of friends who I knew had impeccable taste in books: Fiona McLaren, Meagan Rivers and Lauren McKellar. They all have some sort of publishing industry experience as well. I really valued their input and we worked as a team to ensure we had the best writing across a range of categories and genres.
In the end, every single entry we chose received at least one request from an agent. Most got multiple requests and some had agents fighting over them to be the ultimate winner of the pitch.
For those who didn't make it through, some of you were just unlucky as I had to whittle my list down, while others need to workshop their pitches or writing more to make it sparkle.
Some common things that prevented me from shortlisting entries were:
I hope that helps those of you who are interested in being part of pitch contests. I will be judging/hosting for #LAV (Like a Virgin) and #NestPitch in the next couple of months and for #PitchMadness again in September. I hope to see your work in the slush.
Sharon M. Johnston is an author and public relations specialist who lives in sunny Queensland, Australia. She has been a Pitch Madness host for the past few years, and is also a Pitch Wars mentor. Her New Adult Sci Fi Romance, DIVIDED: An Open Heart Novel Book 1, is out now with City Owl Press.
14th -- Jennifer Galasso
16th -- Chris Bedell
22nd -- Rosanne Rivers
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