Spring is in the air! And along with the subtle aroma of tulips, the waft of another pitch comp keeps tingling in my nostrils. Yes, nestpitch is almost upon us! Another glorious pitch competition where writers have the chance to get their manuscripts in front of some awesome agents. I know there are some pitch competition lovers and addicts out there, so get your polished manuscript out, hone that 35 word pitch and let’s do this thing.
I have the privilege of wading through the slush this year along with some other smawesome (<<that’s a new work Nik made up) slush readers. Every one of them are highly talented individuals who I am honored to be working with.
I guess I should go over the rules……but I’ll do that at the bottom of this post.
Heading up our team is the wonderful Sharon Johnston:
As well as her own blog, Sharon also contributes to Aussie Owned and Read and YAtopia. She has earned the nickname #ThePitchWhisperer because of her work mentoring almost every pitch competition that springs to mind! Sharon is also an author and some of her short stories have appeared in The Basics of Life and The Life and Times of Chester Lewis. And if all of those things weren’t enough to keep Superwoman on her toes, Sharon also interns for a publisher AND is a senior specialist for the PR company that she works for. Wow! So you can see, if you want ANYONE to mentor you, it’s got to be #ThePitchWhisperer! Like me, you can always find Sharon twittering to her hearts content over on Twitter.
Slushie numero uno:
‘Tis me! E.L. Wicker
Author of The Bearwood Series and seriously obsessed with New Adult fiction, I’m always on the look out for a new book by a sparkly new author. I very much dislike opening a book to find that the writer has an aversion to contractions and I CANNOT STAND ‘off of’ – just off is sufficient. As well as blogging here, I’m also blog assistant to Sharon Johnston and I’ve just joined the YAtopia team so will be contributing over there soon! You can find me on Twitter or…well, right here!
Slushie numero deux:
It’s J.C. Nelson!
Looking good!! We will all be wading through the slush pile picking out the nuggets of gold. So what will we be looking for? I can only answer for myself.
PRETTY, PRETTY WORDS!!!
Oh, what’s that? I have to be more descriptive? Ohhhhhhh, okay then. If I must.
I want to be immersed into your characters world. I want to see what your character is seeing, feel what they’re feeling. I always feel a little meh if I finish a book and don’t feel like I’ve lived the story. That pretty much means that if you use words that place a filter between me (the reader) and the main character – I’m going to feel the impact. It might seem a difficult thing to do that in your first 300 words, but it’s really not. Just plop me into your story through all the feels, make sure that your grammar is sparkly, and I’ll love you forever and ever.
If your 2500 or more is requested by #TeamEvilBunny then I will be kind in my critique, because I learned some of my CP’ing skills from Kathy who is a slushie for a team who shall not be named 😀 I will point out anything that trips my focus, any errors, as well as anything that catches my attention, and probably offer you a cake or such like along with a pat on the back – ‘there, there – we all do it’. I am totally human and we all make little errors. I have a habit of writing me instead of my and my eyes skip past it every time I do, so I know how it feels to get it a little bit wrong.
And now, the rules!
Just send our team everything you have and we’ll give it straight to the agents. WOULDN’T THAT BE GREAT!!! (I’m gonna get myself in trouble!)
But rules are there for a reason, and as I’m a new slushie – I can’t really go scrapping the rules, nor can I make them up. So – straight from Nik’s blog, which you can also (and should) read here, here they are!
The submission consists of:
(i) A 35-word pitch
(ii) The answer to this question: If your MC was an Easter Egg, what flavour would s/he be? (no more than 15 words please)
(iii) The 1st 300-words of your manuscript*
*1st 300 = if you have a prologue, then your 1st 300 starts from your prologue. If you don’t think your prologue is strong enough then perhaps you need to rethink your prologue.
Finish at the end of a sentence. This is 300-word MAX, so your last word is 300-words. If your sentence finishes on 292-words, submit that. If your sentences run into 30 or more words, then rethink the length of your sentence(s). Broken sentences do no one favors.
Please note that this year’s nestpitch is not accepting PB’s, but do visit Nik’s blog as she has something special planned for PB’s and possibly MG’s.
Two things to add/note:
(1) A condition of entry is any MS #pitch submitted to previous #pitches, which resulted in being selected, in the twelve months prior to April 2015, is ineligible. The only sub-clause to this is #PitchSlam. Please let us know if you have the same MS in #PitchSlam & #Nestpitch, and again if you’ve been selected. Nik has spoken to the Host of PitchSlam & they’ve agreed to work closely on this one.
(2) This year there will be less final selection featured pitches. (Expecting final the number to be around 40). With each Team concentrating on fewer submissions, we can be more hands-on with feedback and mentoring. By doing this, not only will the pitch + 300-words be stronger, but so will the entire MS. This year there will be rounds.
a. Round #1: Last year Nik gave everyone the benefit of the doubt when errors were made in following guidelines. That will not be the case this year, aside from formatting issues (which happen). To get past #1 author’s must be able to follow guidelines.
b. Round #2: This year each Team will select and initial 5-8 submissions and then request more pages/material. Based on the additional pages/material, each Team will drill their selection down to between 4-5 to go to the next round.
c. Round #3: On having picked their final 4-5, each Team will then critique the first 2,500-words and ‘get to know’ the author(s). This is a 3-fold process. Being selected does not necessarily mean being featured. Teams will want to know the author(s) are willing to accept feedback etc. The Teams will work with their author’s for 3 weeks, offering feedback, sharpening pitches, & suggesting improvements. After this, the author’s have a full week to re-read their MS in full & make any final changes; before the agent round.
From the Slush-pile Picks.
Nik’s Team, #Team2Beat, will be hunting through the slush-pile and the reserves, looking for gems that have been missed. We will have the option of selecting between 1-5 pitches (at their discretion) to feature. This is basically a bonus-pick so, you may just get an email after the date, but if you do, expect to work twice as hard as the other author’s as you’ll have less time – so be ready!
So now that I’ve waffled on about the rules – it’s time to wish you all good luck. You have the tools you need, now write!
And one more time, just because……