Feb 12, 2012

Pitch contest with Tricia Lawrence of EMLA

CONTEST CLOSED! Please comment on at least five entries IF you entered prior to 5 p.m. EST I've been in a classroom until now so will be checking date stamps of entries. If you entered after the time cut-off, at this point you will not be considered by Tricia.

Okay, writers, today is the DAY! You've helped me get the word out, you've researched Tricia Lawrence and read the interview (in case you haven't, check it out here) and you're ready to go.

 Tricia is excited to read the entries of who post their query and first 250 words in the comments below. I've changed my comments to allow replies (assuming Blogger will work!) so please check out at least five other entries and give feedback.  We're all about encouraging each other so constructive criticism only, please! Yeah, I don't have to warn you guys. You're all awesome that way. :)

Tricia will announce a winner next Monday, Feb. 20.   

272 comments:

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Suzi said...

Great voice. Sounds like a fun read. Good luck.

Suzi said...

Sounds interesting. But I really want to know where in Europe this is taking place.

Deana said...

I'm a closet nerd!!! Without the hot bod:)
I've told you before I love the sound of this book and would totally read it!

Deana said...

Wow Jenny! I remember reading this from Jamie's contest, but it seems like you've done some work on that query. Am I right? The concept sounds so cool and your 250 is so vivid. Lovin' it!

ilima said...

I love this MG voice. And I really like the hair descriptions, especially her own-big and ferocious like a lion's mane. Very nice.

Dana said...

Check your last sentence in the 3rd paragraph of your query. Maybe you mean "married to"?

I agree with Anya - you have a very unique premise.

Wonderful voice in your first 250 words!

Good luck!

Deana said...

I love a ghostish kinda story! This one sounds different and cool:)

ilima said...

Agreed about the voice. It's fantastic in the query and carried through in the 250.

ilima said...

This is a very cool premise. And my hands are already sweating in the first 250.

ilima said...

Very nice. Can you package this and send it to me right now? :)

Deana said...

Angel stories are some of my favorites! And I love that you are making the angels fuse with the characters instead of actually being them. I would totally read this Jenny! Good luck girl:)

ilima said...

Yay for night owls :) This voice is amazing. I already love Zoe and Zak.

Deana said...

I know everywhere I go I tell you how much I love this, but it is soooo true! I want to read more:)

ilima said...

Mmmm. Fantasy in Ireland. I can already taste that 'green and salty". Cool premise, nicely done.

Deana said...

Thanks for the comments guys! You all rock:)

Laura Renegar said...

Great query and 250 words. I love that this is not a sappy story and is full of interesting twists.

ilima said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
C. Issy said...

This sounds interesting and your prose is pretty-- I'd be curious to read more (though, as a Jersey girl, I'd honestly consider putting it back on the shelf because I'm now ultra-sensitive to Jersey-bashing.)

Laura Renegar said...

Great writing. I didn't want the section to end!

C. Issy said...

Oh, I like this. Your MC has a unique voice that I like a lot.

MarcyKate said...

Strong premise, strong writing - this is very well done!

However, this is also VERY short. It's half the length of most YA's that fall on the low end of the word count spectrum. That makes me worried that the plot may not be fully developed. Of course, I wouldn't suggest padding the story, but you may need to take a look at ways to deepen the plot, world-building, and characters.

Either way, I'd way keep reading :) good luck!

C. Issy said...

As a fan of the Arturian legends, this definitely appeals to me. I agree with Melanie and MercyKate on the Arthur POV. Somehow, I think I would be more tempted to pick up the book if Gwen's was the first voice that I heard (but I still want to read this :-) )

C. Issy said...

Oooh, just up my alley. The premise is eerie and something that I definitely would read. I don't see enough in the first 250 to really judge the MC's voice, but I'm curious to read on.

C. Issy said...

Finally, a CUTE BOY shows up in a query(sorry, I'm also a 17 year old trapped in an adult body) I love this and I love your MC's voice. Want. More. Please!!!!

C. Issy said...

Honestly, I was skimming through all the queries, saw contemporary, almost skipped yours and then... I caught a glimpse of your 250. Your MCs voice grabbed me from my skimfest and I actually really liked your query.

SStokes said...

I love this concept - kind of like a butterfly effect for YAs. I'm curious to hear all the ways time travel impacts her life, and love your MC's ironic voice about what a pain in the #@$ time travel is.

erica and christy said...

Although I get that Aunt Deb got her out, it's a bit hard to see how she just keeps walking on her own. Hope to find out soon.
erica

Cassie Mae said...

I love this. Pulled me in and I love your descriptions and your entire premise. Good luck! :)

RAD - Dot Painter said...

You've really tightened your query. Nice work! As usual, a pleasure reading your work.

RAD - Dot Painter said...

I really like Arthur's voice. I kept picturing the Sword in the Stone characters. I had a disconnect along with the others. When I read your 250 words I forgot Gwen was the mc in the query. Brilliant writing though.

RAD - Dot Painter said...

Your writing is smooth and tight. I can tell you have worked very hard at making every word count. I'd read this!

andimjulie said...

I'm a sucker for boarding schools, best of luck!

Jenny Kaczorowski said...

I think I read a previous version of your query somewhere and this one is so much stronger! Great job! And I love your first 250. I want to know about that flower! And Logan's hobble.

Laura Renegar said...

I love this! Love that it's not sappy. Love the twists and turns. Nice job!

Deana said...

Alright I commented before and it didn;t work, let's see if it works today:)

I love your query and your first 250 Cassie! And reading your hot love scene in todays blogfest, I lurve it even more!!!

andimjulie said...

What a fresh concept! Good luck!

andimjulie said...

Great query, and your first line is fantastic!

andimjulie said...

The query could use some work, but the first paragraph of your query is as killer hook! Best of luck!

Krista V. said...

Thanks, all! And thank you, MarcyKate, for pointing out the line that tripped you up. I'll have to take a closer look at that.

andimjulie said...

I love the first line of your query, good luck!

Mel said...

I agree that the query needs to be condensed, maybe leave out the backstory and just focus on the main problem. I like the voice in the first 250, but feel like the first two paragraphs are all telling.

Jenny Kaczorowski said...

I love this! The writing is beautiful and I love the setting. I'd read the whole things right now and I don't often go for first person. Great job!

Stephanie said...

Very intriguing premise, and I love your prose. Good luck!

erica and christy said...

I would suggest changing the query to 3rd person. I got just a bit confused by the reference to the mc as "I" and later to yourself as "I". Also, in the first paragraph, your mc has more than one problem, so I'd delete or change that sentence. Good luck!
erica

erica and christy said...

This sounds like a great adventure story! I wondered a little about the age of Wyatt, since readers tend to read up, but the length seems right for readers 8+ as long as the subject content is right for that age. Good luck!
erica

erica and christy said...

I think this sounds great! I just finished reading Never Eighteen by Megan Bostic, which is about a boy righting his wrongs before death, but yours is an interesting twist on the idea. And I love the imagery of your first page. Good luck!
erica

ValerieFM said...

This looks really fascinating! And I agree with Dana, the world building is fantastic.

Good luck!

ValerieFM said...

I love this premise! A nice twist on an old tale

ValerieFM said...

Really nice first 250. It reads smoothly and pulled me right into the story. Good luck!

erica and christy said...

To piggy-back what Krista said, I couldn't figure out why a forest ranger would move out of Montana into a job that leaves his family homeless (and one he could do in Montana!). I'd either clarify or leave that part out. Good luck!
erica

erica and christy said...

I got all of the Spanish sentences except I wasn't sure if "a chola" was a Spanish word or a misprint! (also, you have a typo in the second para of the first page - says "every lie he make up" - I'd just drop the make/made up part since that's what lie means!) Good luck!
erica

Jenny Kaczorowski said...

I love this query & I love your first 250. I don't read a lot of MG, but this makes me want to! I'm certain you'll go far with this and with all your writing. Good luck!

Jenny Kaczorowski said...

I love the idea of gargoyles (I've always been a fan) and I like that this is from a male perspective. Your writing is very clean and I think you'll go far with this. Good luck!

Kelley said...

Gosh, this is AWESOME. I'm gonna watch though, even though I feel like I'm there. I'm totally freaked out...yet want to know what happens. Like I'm peering through the cracks between my fingers covering my eyes :)

Kelley said...

Ooo. Each time I read this I love it more. And more. And more :) Good luck Jenny!

Kelley said...

Ooo Boy Contemp YA. Very, very cool :)

Kelley said...

Ah! I just took a trip to Ireland!! I would totally be all over this story. So cool!

Sara said...

I think the voice is your strongest point here! Good job!

Sharon said...

I loved your opening! Fake it? Why does she have to fake it? I'm intrigued.

I happen to disagree with the comment above about "telling." I love that you give us a taste of the character and the feelings she's grappling with before you throw us into the scene. You have to ground us somewhere, after all!

erica and christy said...

Shoot, all my comments seem to have disappeared! I did leave you one earlier today or yesterday. Starting over. . .

Most kids "read up", so I can see the problem of having 2 protags so far apart in age. I do like the beginning and the adventure part of the query - but the short length makes me think 8+ years (which makes me wonder if it's okay contents - sorry!). Good luck!
erica

Melissa said...

I've been giving a lot of thought to this one. I'd be curious to hear what other people have to say, but for me, the query doesn't work while the opening page does.

I think it has to do with the setting in Africa and the elephant trail. Never been to Africa, don't know much about elephants, so it fascinates me. And following Danika along the trail, you want to find out where she ends up.

The query doesn't mention Africa and perhaps that's not the main setting of the story, but I feel as if it's too scattered and has too many elements. Tighten the focus of the query and I think it'll be a lot better.

One other thing, there appears to be a typo in the third paragraph of the query, as well as a typo in first sentence of the opening page. You write, "Danika Kaller" instead of "Danika Keller." A typo isn't a big deal, but if there's one in the query and one in the sample page, I worry that there will be a lot more going forward.

Good luck! I know I have a lot to say, but it's because I really liked your opening page and I want you to do well.

Melissa said...

I've been giving a lot of thought to this one. I'd be curious to hear what other people have to say, but for me, the query doesn't work while the opening page does.

I think it has to do with the setting in Africa and the elephant trail. Never been to Africa, don't know much about elephants, so it fascinates me. And following Danika along the trail, you want to find out where she ends up.

The query doesn't mention Africa and perhaps that's not the main setting of the story, but I feel as if it's too scattered and has too many elements. Tighten the focus of the query and I think it'll be a lot better.

One other thing, there appears to be a typo in the third paragraph of the query, as well as a typo in first sentence of the opening page. You write, "Danika Kaller" instead of "Danika Keller." A typo isn't a big deal, but if there's one in the query and one in the sample page, I worry that there will be a lot more going forward.

Good luck! I know I have a lot to say, but it's because I really liked your opening page and I want you to do well.

Jenny Kaczorowski said...

I love your query and you really hit 250 words at a great spot! I'd love to read more. Good luck!

Jess Stork said...

Hey just wanted to let you know that I tagged you for 11 Questions on my blog! Good luck with the Pitch Contest all.

Hope Roberson said...

Great query, captivating first 250, awesome job Cassie! This is an amazing story!!

Hope Roberson said...

Very smooth query, great story concept too! Your writing is beautiful, I felt like I was standing next to her! Nicely done :)

Hope Roberson said...

Your query sets up your story perfectly and shows the stakes well. I love the revisions you've done on the first 250, your story is awesome!

Hope Roberson said...

Awesome concept! Great query and I loved your first 250 words! Have you read Torn by Erica O'Rourke? It could be a good comparison title for your query letter :)

Hope Roberson said...

Her abilities to help others secretly and having an angel to help her, perfect! Can't wait to read more :)

Hope Roberson said...

Smooth query letter Kelley, you are so good at writing these! And I know I've said it before, but your descriptions are awesome, feels like we're sitting right there with her!

Hope Roberson said...

Oh I love this concept! The voice in here is amazing! Makes me want to read more :) Nicely done and good luck!

Sara said...

This sounds great! Wish you all the best!

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