Monday, October 1, 2012

Get Your Pitch On-Ignite

The #PitchOn activities are underway. If you meant to enter the workshops and lost track of the date, don’t panic. You still have time. You only need two things, a completed YA manuscript that’s ready to be pitched to agents, and a 50-70 word pitch to go along with it. Information about how to enter can be found right here.
Do you want to know what you’re up against? You can check out the other pitch’s that have been entered in the workshops by visiting the host blogs.
Entering your pitch shouldn’t be your only interest, you also need to wander around to the participating blogs and leave a comment. For every comment you leave, you have a chance to receive a 10 page critique from one of these great people.

To date, I’ve gotten 1 pitch.

YA Paranormal Suspense

In the care of WitWatch—a top-secret witness protection bureau operated by supernatural agents—seventeen-year-old Alison Summers and her fire-wielding Watcher are determined to discover who murdered Ali’s grandmother and prove she’s not crazy. But, when a discharged agent with an antibody to eliminate powers learns Ali possesses the element, Water, she becomes next on his to-cure list.

I’m going to start off by saying that I like the idea behind this story. Based on the premise, it’s something I would pick up and read. However, and this is just my opinion, the pitch could still use some work. To me it’s kind of muddled, and a tiny bit confusing. My favorite part of the pitch is the final sentence, which seems to be the heart of the pitch, though I’m not sure about starting the sentence with but. I think it would be just as good if you started with when a discharged. 
My big problem with this pitch is the first sentence. I think it needs to be rewritten. This is just my opinion, but I think you could drop the part about WitWatch, and launch into how Alison Summers is trying to solve the mystery of her grandmother’s murder, and add a few words about how she’s going about it, and the challenges she’s encountering, attach that to your current second sentence, and have a powerful pitch.
Good luck!


  1. Hello,

    This is a really great pitch and also a wonderful critique Jess.
    I have a couple suggestions:
    1) Like Jess mentioned, I would maybe leave out the information about WitWatch completely or move it further into the pitch. That information felt a little unimportant to me but my attention was grabbed when we got past that to talking about the protagonist.
    2) speaking of the protagonist, I would maybe try to fit in a little more taste of the character. You did an excellent job setting up the situation but I didn't get much feel for her personality (though I realize it is really difficult to do in 70 words and trust me I am no expert ;)
    3) it seemed like the way her ability to handle water was worded a bit oddly. I rework that a little.

    My favorite thing about this pitch i learning that she can control water, that is exciting information. The idea sounds really neat. Good luck to you :)

  2. Thanks SO much for the feedback!! I've revised a bit based on both comments/critiques.

    What do you think about this?...

    Seventeen-year-old Alison Summers is branded with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after her grandma’s death: a murder she witnessed. But no one believes that part. Except WitWatch—a top-secret witness protection bureau. And Ali and her fire-wielding Watcher are determined to find the killers and prove she’s not crazy. When a rogue agent with an antibody to eliminate supernatural abilities learns Ali possesses a power over Water, she’s next on his to-cure list.

    I know it's a bit long and probably needs more I will keep tweaking!

    1. I need some time to think about your changes. My first impression is that it's a great deal clearer than your first pitch, and at 72 words you're only two words over the maximum word count. I'll get back to you after my brain has had some time to mull over your changes. I really do like the idea behind this story.

    2. Okay, one of the reasons for the delay was I needed to check with some other writers about using but & and for the start of sentences. The general consensus was that when it comes to pitches you should avoid using them.

      I understand that WitWatch is important to your story, but based on your pitches, I'm not sure that you need to include them in your pitch. I'm also not convinced you need to mention the watcher. My advice would be to try to write your pitch in such a way that emphasizes why everyone thinks Alison is crazy, and try to build on some of the tension between her and the rouge agent. I know, it's easier said than done, good luck. I'm more than happy to read any other variations you come up with. I think you have a great idea.

  3. Here is my 2 cents, for what it's worth. I just love the premise and hope you can tighten this pitch because it will be amazing, I'm sure:)

    Allison Summers is traumatized after witnessing her grandmother's murder. But she hasn't gone crazy like everyone says. She is determined to find the killer. Her destiny is hampered by the antibodies discovered to cure her elemental power of Water.

    Well, that just sounds bad, but maybe you can add the right plot details that I don't know! I hope it gives you an idea of how to stream line things. The suggestions I received for my pitch was to include the:

    Opening event/the change which comes into her life
    The GOOD change that happens along with drawbacks
    The removal of the change and the BAD which will now happen because of it.

    Hope this helps! My pitch is up on 2000 Words at:

  4. Thank you for ALL the feedback. I will be revising and posting soon!! =)

  5. Thanks for all of the help so far from everyone who has commented. Here is my updated pitch based on the feedback I've received.

    Branded with PTSD after her grandma’s murder, seventeen-year-old Alison is desperate to find the killers and prove her sanity. With the help of a fire-wielding Watcher from a secret protection agency, Ali is led to a discharged scientist determined to eliminate supernatural abilities. When the agent learns Ali possesses a power over Water, she’s next on his to-cure list.

    Any better??