Hot Pitch Opportunities

No, this isn't a post about escalating the hot candle wax trick from 50 Shades of Gray by using hot pitch. It's about some opportunities to pitch your book to agents!

But first, some of my own news on that front. Queries for Crow's Rest were sent out last week, plus I made it through to the agent round of Brenda Drake's Pitch Madness--407 people entered, but only 64 were picked. Ha ha, I missed out on some of the decision-torture by being clueless that the judges were tweeting about entries by genre; I went back and looked later and apparently mine was up against a YA paranormal romance and ultimately won the slot. But it was close! I generally don't have as much confidence in my one-line pitches (and this one had a max of 35 words) as my queries, so I think it was the first-page sample that swayed them. Here's the pitch I sent:

Avery wants to evict the creature who has taken residence in her boyfriend's body, but preventing the corbin from fulfilling his mission will plunge the world into another Dark Age.

Our pitch and first page go up tomorrow (mine will be on S.M. Johnston's blog) and agents will be placing blind bids. Then on March 28 they'll reveal the winning bids, plus any ties. It all sounds very complicated, but it's exciting and maddening to be a part of these contests!

If you didn't make it into this one, or found out too late to submit, you can still get in on some of the fun by participating in the Pitch Madness Twitter Party with the hashtag #PitMad on March 29. "So get your 140 character twitter pitch ready. Make sure to include the hashtag #PitMad and try to fit the genre (YA, MG, Adult, NA, and so on) in the pitch. We've had some success stories come out of our previous PitMads so shine up the pitches!" says Brenda.

The other upcoming pitch opportunity is Operation Awesome's Mystery Agent Contest on April 1. Details of the agent's wishlist will go up on Operation Awesome tomorrow, so look for that.

These are a great way to see how your pitch compares to others in your genre (does it stand out, or does it sound too similar?), so I encourage you to enter these pitch contests!

Way back when I joined my regional SCBWI chapter, one of the first things I did was sign up on their "looking for a critique partner" list. And I lucked into a group of great writers, yay!

One of those great writers releases her first book today, Arrow of the Mist:

2010 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest

Terror strikes the Celtic inspired kingdom of Nemetona when barbed roots breach the land and poison woodsmen, including 15-year-old Lia’s beloved father. Lia embarks on a quest to the forbidden land of Brume to gather ingredients for the cure. She relies on her herbal wisdom and newfound gift as a tree mage through a land of soul-hungry shades, trickster creatures, and uncovered truths about her family.

“Ancient magic and herbal lore mark this engaging, fast-moving fantasy with a botanical bent. Lia, 15, is a winning heroine, discovering and wielding her magical gifts. Smoothly crafted writing conjures up a wondrous world where trees impart wisdom and dwarves tend ancient and powerful crystals. Well-developed characters, elegant dialogue, trickster creatures, exciting scenes of mystic battle and intriguing riddles stir up a powerful potion that will charm readers.” –Publishers Weekly

“Arrow of the Mist is an intriguing, well crafted fantasy novel for young adults. It abounds with magic, mystery and adventure. Lia is a girl whom the reader will cheer on as she labors to save her beloved father.” ABNA Expert Reviewer

“Lovely work! Fantasy is one of my favorite genres, and this is exceptionally well done. Dialogue is natural and the characters are warm and lively. The idea of a sinister region that is encroaching on the ordinary world is a familiar theme, but this author has a fresh voice and her characters make the tale unique.” –ABNA Expert Reviewer                                                                                                               

“A fresh voice in the YA fantasy genre, Mercer blends a delicious mix of Celtic lore, herbal remedies, threatening foes and the romantic tension of first love. Arrow of the Mist takes you on a coming of age journey with heroine Lia, leaving you breathless in the battle scenes and soothed in the tender moments.” –Susan Salluce, MA, Author of Out of Breath

I'll be featuring an interview with Christina on Operation Awesome in mid-April, but I just couldn't let this momentous birthday pass without sharing!

Pens for Paws Auction Starts Tomorrow!

The madness starts tomorrow! Well, madness for me and goodness for you, with the start of the Pens for Paws Auction to raise money for Fat Kitty City, a no-kill animal shelter in El Dorado Hills, Ca.

I volunteer there, and we have over 100 cats at the sanctuary, plus more in foster homes. We rescue dogs too, as foster homes allow, and currently have listings for 7 dogs. So if you're looking to adopt, check out the adoption page.

But if the timing's wrong for adoption, you can still help the sanctuary while helping your writing self at the same time! Going up for bid are critiques by agents and authors, signed books, swag, etc. Including an amazing critique, book, and swag package from Operation Awesome!

So tune in to the Pens for Paws Auction site starting Tuesday the 12th, with new items going up every day through the 16th. For a list of what's to come, see the teaser page.

OA Today & Carissa Taylor's Pitch Factory

I'm over on Operation Awesome today, with a post on where to get eyes on your query. This is a followup of my post a few weeks ago on query resources.

And speaking of Operation Awesome, we do a Mystery Agent Contest on the first of every month, and the most common pitch the agents want is one-sentence in length. This is the length I have the most trouble with (I'll take a full query any day, thank you) but help is on the way!

Carissa Taylor created a Pitch Factory--forms where you enter in your pertinent story details and it generates some pitches for you. I tried it with Crow's Rest, and while some of them were unintentionally funny, the others definitely got my wheels turning.

Could be a secret weapon for the next Mystery Agent happening April 1 (no joke).