Friday, October 23, 2015

Pitch Slam Hogwarts House Cup - Welcome to Team Slytherin!




There's a crispness in the air and the PitchSlam tag has come alive! You all received your owls and some of your boarded the Hogwats Express bound for Hogwarts! 

Some of you tried your best, but platform 9 3/4 had a spell on it and you couldn't get through. (Darn Dobby trying to protect you!)

So you followed Hagrid, stood in the same chamber we did waiting for it to happen. And then it did! You entered the Great Hall and the Sorting Ceremony began!



The Sorting Hat was placed upon your heads and you found your house! And we welcome you all to House Slytherin! Below you will find your title and converse in the #PitchSlam common room. 

But make sure you have your wands ready! For Hogwarts is under attack! The Death Eaters have returned and taken some of our fellow students and us Slytherins are not pleased about this! We needed them for...things!

Now we must defend our school and the entries stolen by the Death Eaters by cheering for each other in the #PitchSlam common room!

















Find the other Houses here:








Professors (Agents) are free to comment from now until 4:00 PM Eastern on 10/26/15.



NOTE: Only agents may comment during the times listed above. Comments are on moderation so nobody may see what's going on behind the curtains. We want our Professors to have a little privacy while handing out points/spells. ;)

If you didn't make it on a team, please don't take it personally! We could only have 9 per a team and that left many more we wished we could have included, but couldn't. That doesn't mean you're horrible or should feel bad, because you shouldn't! It just means we had to make tough choices and pick those we felt were truly ready for the Sorting Hat and fight with the Death Eaters.

As someone who loves doing contest, I've seen all sides. I've entered and didn't get in. I've entered and made a team, but no love was given. Then there were times I got requests. It's a process that doesn't always lead you to your agent. I'm still querying, which is EXACTLY what you should and need to be doing if you're 100% positive your MS is polished and ready to show the world. Just because you didn't make it, this doesn't make it the end. Contests aren't for everybody and they're not the only path. Keep your head up and keep going! Never give up!

And know, we believe in you!



Pitch Slam Entry 1: Fat Girl on a Plane, YA Contemporary






Title: FAT GIRL ON A PLANE

Genre: YA Contemporary

Word Count: 78,000


Hogwarts House: Cookie Vonn is sure she’d be a Gryffindor. But she’d like to speak with Dumbledore about those old-fashioned robes. Her sketchbook is full of new design ideas that may put Madam Malkin out of business!


Pitch: To be the next great fashion designer, overweight teen Cookie Vonn must take on an industry where thin is “in” and take down a fat shamer who’s after her internship and her crush.



First 250:


Skinny: Day 738 of Weight Watchers
No. You can’t just buy two tickets. That would be easy.

Let’s say you weigh five hundred pounds and know for a fact you can’t fit into a single seat on the plane. It doesn’t matter. One person equals one ticket. You can thank global terrorism for that one.

I watch the fat woman at the airline gate.

She’s in tears, wailing at the flight attendant. “What am I supposed to do? How am I supposed to get home?”

Maybe I should tell her how it works. Two years ago, I was her. Two years ago, I weighed three hundred and thirty pounds. I was too fat to fly.

I would tell her one thing.

You can lose the weight, but you won’t get what you want.

You won’t get home.

Fat: One week before Weight Watchers
Here’s what you have to do. At the airport, you have present yourself to the flight attendants at the ticket counter. They get to decide if you’re too fat to fly.

I’m on my way to New York, to a fashion preview. I’m the SoScottsdale blog’s nod to the brave new world where forty-eight percent of Americans are overweight.

I don’t know if I’m going to make it there.

This is how it starts. There’s a plane change at O’Hare. I get the feeling they’re watching me from behind the counter. I tell myself how paranoid that sounds.





Team Slytherin  Points and Spells





Pitch Slam Entry 2: BFF Guide to Everlasting Friendship, MG Horror






Title: BFF GUIDE TO EVERLASTING FRIENDSHIP

Genre: MG Horror

Word Count: 30,000


Hogwarts House: Hogwarts House: Paige is everything Hufflepuff. She’ll sit quietly and let everyone else speak. No need to let her stutter out and bring unwanted attention to herself.


Pitch: Fifth-Grader Paige finds The BFF Guide to Everlasting Friendship, promising everything she wants. But the longer the Guide’s in her possession, the more it possesses her. It may be the last friend she’ll ever have.

First 250:


Fifth grade recess is all about kickball until Sheri shows-off a bra strap, waiting in line for her turn to kick on Friday, makingMonday a dug-out strap fest.

“Check out my new trainer; it’s just like yours,” Molly Birch says, showing a white strap digging into her shoulder. The rest of the girls follow suit and snap straps on their own shoulders to show how well they copied Sheri.

When I asked Mom to get me a training bra she refused. ”P-please, Mm-mom. Everyone in fifth g-grade has a t-tr-trainer.” My stutter making it difficult to get the importance of my request across. Without a training bra, I’m nobody.

“You don’t need one. You don’t have anything to support, and we can’t spare the money right now.” Like that’s the point of training bras. Mom doesn’t understand anything.


Feeling brave, I pull the top of my shirt over my shoulder to show my undershirt strap. My strap is like a spaghetti noodle where the other girls have thick, padded lines under their shirts. Nervous of being seen as a training-bra-fraud bring out my stutter. “Mm-mmm-mee too.” My face contorts to get past the ‘m’ sound.

Molly bursts into laughter, and then everyone else does too. I catch Molly twisting her mouth, mocking me. When someone turns around, she smooths out her face.I walk alone to the only tree nearby and the sound of fading laughter. The closest I’ll be to ‘popular’ is sitting under this poplar tree.



Team Slytherin  Points and Spells

Pitch Slam Entry 3: Catnapped, MG






Title: Catnapped

Genre: MG

Word Count: 30,000

Hogwarts House: Gryffindor. Although Max starts out as being somewhat of a scaredy cat, he overcomes his fear in order to venture into the deep, dark forest to rescue his best pal, Chevis (the cat). This shows true courage, and the obstacles he encounters along the way help him grow and also shape his character in very unexpected ways.



Pitch: Young puppy Max turns detective when the family cat disappears, but finds himself up to his muzzle in trouble in a forest overrun by genetically-modified apes intent on snatching the nine lives of stolen cats.


First 250:


I am Maximilian the Stealthy, on the trail of a trickster cat with a weird sense of humor and no tact.
Max’s nose twitched with excitement as he followed Chevis’ fresh minty scent. Hide ’n Sniff was as easy to play as eating. No wonder Chevis hadn’t taught him the game sooner.

Because he knows my nose is sharper than his sharpest claw.
At the laundry room door, Max slouched to the floor and snuck up on the spicy aroma coming from the dirty-clothes basket. He took aim and jumped.

His face rammed into the side of the basket, which fell over. Clothes spilled out: Doug’s school shirts, Mom’s dresses, Dad’s gym stuff. The ache from the basket slam vanished as he pounced and pranced, bit and rolled. His ears tangled themselves in his paws and—

Hey! Chevis isn’t here.
Max shook himself in disgust and his ears whipped him across the face. Tricked again!

I am Maximilian the Hunter, resistant to distractions. Always.
“Meeoooow. That you, Max?”

“Chevis?” Max dashed up the stairs. What a dumb thing to call out before the end of the game. But Chevis had sounded scared.

The living room and bathroom were empty. That left the kitchen. Max skidded to a stop against the refrigerator. A strange smell prickled his nostrils and his hackles rose. He sniffed the floor: rust and grime, mingled with a metallic, sweaty odor he’d never encountered before.

Someone had broken into the house and Chevis had meowed to warn him.

Wait! Where was Chevis?




Team Slytherin  Points and Spells

Pitch Slam Entry 4: Ride the Line Eternal, Speculative YA Thriller






Title: Ride the Line Eternal

Genre: Speculative YA Thriller

Word Count: 89,000 words


Hogwarts House: Claire would be in Gryffindor because she fights for those she cares about and fights even when all hope seems lost. Justin's street smarts and no-nonsense attitude would land him in Slytherin.


Pitch: Teenage runaways Claire and Justin fight to escape a train that never stops and take control of their lives while battling shadow creatures trapped between life and death.


First 250:


Chapter 1-Claire


An inhuman cry bleeds through the train car’s wall from the black night beyond, and I feel a pang of sympathy when little Andrew shivers at the sound. I see him shudder in my peripheral vision.

I’m taking my life in my hands, looking out the window like this, but sometimes I just need to remind myself there’s a real world past those train windows. The second the inky shadow blots out the bone-like branches beyond, I snap my gaze back to the boy tucked into bed and sit down at the foot of the musty mattress.

“What were you looking at?” he asks, his voice fighting sleep.

Lying isn’t an option—he’s only been here a couple of years, but he already knows me too well for deceit to be an option. “Nothing we haven’t seen before.”

But I shouldn’t have been looking. The last thing this train needs is another attack. I’ve got to do what I can to protect Andrew from the shapes that stalk us.

“Stupid monsters,” Andrew says. He clutches the sheet in his fingers and I lean down, make him lock eyes with me.

“You’re brave. Say it.”

He screws his face up, trying to look like a little man, and my heart breaks for him. Andrew was nine when he boarded. Now he’s trying so hard to look twelve. He reminds me so much of my little brother. He has that same determined look in his eyes. “I’m brave,” Andrew says.




Team Slytherin  Points and Spells

Pitch Slam Entry 5: Awake And Dreaming, Adult Contemporary Fantasy






Title: AWAKE AND DREAMING

Genre: Adult Contemporary Fantasy

Word Count: 99,000


Hogwarts House: Emme would probably be sorted into Hufflepuff, because she's exceptionally loyal and dedicated, and breaking any sort of rule leads to much inner turmoil. She could definitely be sorted into Gryffindor though -- except she'd probably use Harry's tactic and ask the hat not to, mostly because she doesn't always recognize her own courage and bravery.


Pitch: Emme creates fully-customizable Dreams for clients, but when her own Dream causes a murder, she becomes a weapon for two revenge-obsessed rivals. Customizing this Dream will mean deciding who to trust -- and who to kill.


First 250:

Once someone's decided you're a hooker, there's not much you can do to convince them otherwise. Years of weekly interactions with Patty, my client's hyper-attentive security guard, had taught me as much.

I'd mistakenly mentioned her hatred of me to Albert Gibbons after one of her more intense glare-filled interrogations at the wrought-iron gates of his estate, and now the start of every appointment turned me into a liar.

Al ushered me down the hall of his guesthouse, gleaming white-tiled floor serving as roadmap to the back bedroom. "I trust you had no issues at the gates today?"

"None at all."

His deep laughter echoed against the barren walls. "You can be honest, Emmeline."

"No really. I mean, she still thinks I'm a prostitute, but that is totally fine."

It was totally not fine.

It might've helped, egotistically speaking, if I could convince myself Patty thought I was a high-priced escort, but everyone knows high-priced escorts don't drive Toyota Camrys.

I followed him through the bedroom doorway. "Better a prostitute than the truth, from a jail-time perspective at least. So anyway…should I be using the side entrance from now on?" Patty had been delighted to pass on the message that I shouldn't use the front door as I normally did.

A frown tugged at his lips. "No, just for tonight."

"Okay. We can get started then." I shivered as a blast of the arctic-level air conditioning nipped at my exposed skin. "Safeword for tonight, Mr. Gibbons?"




Team Slytherin  Points and Spells

Pitch Slam Entry 6: Little Black Box, YA Contemporary






Title: Little Black Box

Genre: YA Contemporary

Word Count: 56,000


Hogwarts House: Gryffindor because my MC goes for the underdog and wants to see justice served.



Pitch: As the school’s secret Advice Doctor, 16yo Charlie prescribes cure kits after reading a patient’s symptom sheet. But when her BFF’s sheet reveals she kissed Charlie’s crush, revenge jeopardizes Charlie’s anonymity—and chance at love.



First 250:

Charlie

I’d had to tell Luke about my double life. It was the only way he’d agree to chauffeur me around town while I made my special deliveries.

“How well do you know Penny?” Luke asked from the driver’s seat. He stayed well within the speed limit as we passed Taco Bell and headed to the Valley.

“You’re not supposed to use real names,” I said.

Luke smiled, the dimple in his cheek only a shadow in the dimness of the car. “You know we mute real names.” He glanced at the video camera secured on his dashboard. “We’re almost there, black box at the ready.”

“For the record,” I said to the camera, “this excursion is brought to you by Joan Jett and all the girls out there who are through putting up with shit—”

“Language. I have to mute that, too.”

“Bad Reputation,” a favorite of mine by Joan Jett, blared on the speakers, and I sang along in my throatiest rocker voice until Luke laughed.

In payment for his chauffeur duties, I’d agreed to let him film tonight: a documentary featuring me as the doctor, prescribing various forms of cheer to people after life had knocked them on their asses. Even if that meant a cupcake—or two.

Penny’s house sat at the end of the street, perfect for a ding dong ditch. Luke parked behind a tree with branches so low they almost touched the roof of the car.




Team Slytherin  Points and Spells

Pitch Slam Entry 7: A Heart Divided, NA Historical Romance






Title: A Heart Divided

Genre: NA Historical Romance

Word Count: 83,000


Hogwarts House: Hufflepuff because she is very honest and unwavering



Pitch: In 1920’s Georgia, white parishioner’s daughter, Ginny falls for the black farmhand Pete. With her childhood sweetheart seeking her hand, and the KKK looming, Ginny and Pete’s hearts and lives are on the line.


First 250:

The steam engine slows to a halt, brakes squealing under the weight of the locomotive and carriages, the noise cutting through the quiet of the peaceful Georgia town. Outside the window, steam swirls around the platform. I stumble to stand, the jolt putting me off balance, and grasp the back of the chair in front of me. Going home for the summer isn't really going home when my father up and moved after my mother's death. Straightening my traveling coat over my dress, I am suddenly surrounded by young men rushing to help me with my bags.

"Thank you," I say softly, as a young lady of my background should. If I learned nothing else at boarding school, I had at least learned how to be gracious.

Following three young men out of the carriage, I step down from the vestibule. A hand flies out and catches mine to help me. With a quick glance, I smile at the kindly round face of my father.

"My sweet Ginny." He opens his arms for me.

I fall into them, resting my head on his chest. "I missed you, Pa. How are you holding up?"

"Oh, it's been difficult without your mother." He gives me a firm squeeze, then slips my arm through his. "I'm glad you're here with me now. Settling into a parish is always hard."

"Especially when you were at the last one for ten years." We stroll along the platform toward the gates, the sweet, fresh scent of oaks ad new grass filling my senses.





Team Slytherin  Points and Spells

Pitch Slam Entry 8: A Taste Of Darkness, YA Mystery






Title: A TASTE OF DARKNESS

Genre: YA mystery

Word Count: 74,000


Hogwarts House: Our main character would belong to Gryffindor because she constantly stays brave, even in harsh situations!


PITCH: Seventeen-year-old Tessa Gill and seven other teens are picked to compete in a high-stakes international culinary competition; but the elusive host, the Chocolatier, might be holding secrets from the competitors. Willy Wonka’s whimsy meets Chopped.


First 250:

Tessa Gill stood on the brink of a human stampede, furiously scouring through her frayed coin purse. The merchant before her looked dull, his apron and shoes speckled with corn flour. He huffed, as if tired of his own business, and crossed his arms over his broad chest.


“Look, lady, I can’t keep waiting for ya. Either gimme the money, or scram.” Before Tessa could respond, he gestured for the next person in line to come forward.


“No, wait, I have it,” Tessa said, scrambling through her purse still. Behind her she heard pellets of shouts and swearing, bodies pressing in on her. She was at the front of the crowd, just in front of the merchant’s booth. The merchant, an old man nicknamed Pot because of his full belly, sold spare vegetables, herbs, and any other food he could get his hands on. Tessa looked back, seeing a rattled throng of Harkwood residents, each face as angry as the one before it. Because it was approaching Saturday evening, the square was overflowing with people. If she’d come an hour earlier, she might have missed the rush.


“What’s the hold up? Come on!” someone shouted. Tessa turned back around, her hands trembling in her purse, and fished out the rusted coins.


Discounts were few in Harkwood. The lights of New York City dwindled from afar, yet Harkwood remained a poor, pitiable town. It was as if all the dust and hopelessness of New York had condensed into one solid town that had become Tessa’s home.





Team Slytherin  Points and Spells

Pitch Slam Entry 9: Love Spell, NA Romance






Title: Love Spell

Genre: New Adult Romance

Word Count: 50,000


Hogwarts House: My main character would be Gryffindor because she’s loyal and brave at heart.



Pitch: Twenty-year-old Tabitha Foster’s Selection Ceremony divines enigmatic Hunter Black as her true love. He must fall in love within a year or she’ll lose her magic forever. PRACTICAL MAGIC meets WITCHES OF EAST END.


First 250:

Oma lit the remaining candles in the room, including the black flame candle. The inky flame danced, rebelling against stillness of the air. Oma had covered most of her Victorian house in dark cloths and shadowy colored lace. If my whole life wasn’t about to change, I would almost enjoy the ambiance.

"Tonight is the night, Tabitha," Oma said ominously. "It's the beginning of the rest of your life." She tucked her long silver hair into her scarf and flashed me an affectionate smile. Since I was little, she'd always said things like that, just a little too dramatic and with ample thrashing of her arms, her many rings on her fingers clanking. We were all witches, but none of us were as dramatic as Oma.

I stared down at my lap; my hands were trembling.

This was it.

Tonight, after twenty years, I would learn the identity of my true love. And I would have exactly one year to win his heart or suffer the terrible consequences. I tried not to think about it but lately, it was the only thing occupying my mind.

My sisters had been so calm, so confident during their Flamma ceremony. Why did I feel so scared? They'd been through the Selection. All of them, except for Esmeralda. She still had a few more years.

Aunt Griselda took her seat at the table and ran her long, bony fingers across the velvet wine-colored tablecloth. "Are we ready? It's time. I can feel it.”





Team Slytherin  Points and Spells

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Pitches from the Pensive

So my team decided to join in the fun and show our mock entries to #PitchSlam! Below you will find my "rough" pitch and first 250 of my current WIP. And  just know, I too was nervous hitting publish so you are not alone!


****



Title:
Mad Season (WIP)

Genre: YA Psychological Thriller

Word Count: (Still growing.)


Hogwarts House: Addie values justice and is very loyal so she's totally a Huffelpuff. Her stalker ex-BFF, Eirwen, on the other hand is very cunning and everything about her screams Slytherin and the Sorting Hat would agree.

Pitch: Someone's murdering girls and if 17-year-old Addie Delgado doesn't suck up her fear and get close to her stalker ex-BFF to gain information to the killer's identity, she'll join the dead girls club next.


First 250:

Two-thousand two-hundred and forty-three. No matter how many times I’ve tried to will that last number to change, it refuses. I reach out and lightly trace the white paint making sure not to touch the ugly green surrounding it.

“Three. Bet it’s not counting us though.” I snort and quickly duck my head, hand falling to my side as the wave of shame washes over me. Goosies tickle the back of my neck. I know, Mom. It’s just stupid small town crap.

“But still…”

A mockingbird lands on a nearby tree branch and rings out it’s good morning song. And in a flash a tiny glow awakens in the sky. I check my watch. Six-thirty already. Even though I’ve done this every day since I got home from camp, I can’t shake the fake surprise when the world remains the same as yesterday.

I’m a mile away from home. Just a far enough walk away to clear my head, but not make me want to hurl from overdoing it. My moms will be getting up a little over an hour from now, something I’ve managed to use to my advantage. The humid stickiness of no air conditioning could rip anybody from a comfortable bed in the dead of summer. Luckily I’ll be in the shower by then, foe-dirty breakfast bowl in the sink, and we’ll dance around each other for the rest of the day.

Pitches from the Pensive - Rebecca Waddell

Title: A Different Kind of Awesome

Genre: YA Contemporary

Word Count: 57,000

Hogwarts House: Flynn is definitely a muggle, but he’d be at home in Ravenclaw where his thirst for riddles and puzzles would be much safer to solve than the one ruining his life right now.

Pitch: After regaining consciousness inside a locker, fourteen-year-old Flynn’s sure life sucks. When an anonymous video goes viral, branding him the Zombie Bomber, he has to find who's behind it before they destroy more than his reputation.

First 250:

I come to in pitch black. The air is too close, too musty to breathe easily. Everything smells like old banana peels and my mouth tastes like I’ve been using a car key as a chew toy. “Where am I?” I can’t remember how I got into this dark place. “I was running.” Thin strips of light filter through the vents cut into one wall. I reach for them; it’s not a wall at all. “Am I in a locker?” The only other illumination comes from the glow-in-the-dark letters on my “Zombies Happen” t-shirt.

The green lettering is still brightly lit. I can’t have been in this upright coffin for longer than a few minutes. Flashes of memory hit my aching skull like one of my dad’s ancient vinyl records skipping on the player. There was a gigantic guy after me. “I was running from Brandon.” My heart thuds as I remember the twisted rage that filled his eyes.

“There was an open locker.” My voice sounds strange bouncing off the metal walls. Closing my eyes, I try to picture it. Everything is scrambled. Something digs into my shoulder. Another flash of memory. “There was a latte.” I shake my head, a bad mistake, the world spins. If I could fall over, I would, but there isn’t room in the locker.

The thing digging into my shoulder is a hook. “How did I get in here?” My brain yields no further clues.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The PitchSlam Sorting Ceremony is Now...





Get your final revised 35 word pitch & First 250 together because the FINAL WINDOW is now





The window will remain open until 11:59 PM Eastern on Wednesday October 21!

Find submission details here!

Good luck!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Pitch Slam Submission Window is Now...



Get your first 250 words in because the #PitchSlam submission window is totally






You have from now until 12pm Eastern tomorrow (October 19th!) to get your first 250 words in to us for feedback! Find the guidelines here! (Click the word here.)

Good luck!!

Friday, October 16, 2015

The Pitch Slam Submission Window Is Now....



Get those 35 word pitches in because the #PitchSlam submission window is totally




You have from now until 12pm Eastern tomorrow to get your 35 word pitches in to us for feedback! Find the guidelines here! (Click the word here.)

Good luck!!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

#PitchSlam - First 250 Words Critique's

First 250



Below you may post your first 250 words of your finished and polished manuscripts for critique.

Rules: There's only two rules.

1.) If you post your first 250 words for critique you MUST critique at least two others.

2.) Be honest, but don't be cruel. (I shouldn't have to explain what this means.)


Note: The Pitch Slam Team will NOT be critiquing these here. We will only critique/send feedback during the official rounds. If you want our feedback, please check the #PitchSlam tab for how to enter and all of the rules involved. 

If you have questions, please don't post them on this post. This post is ONLY for your first 250 words and critiques. (I'm wanting to keep this clean and easy for everybody to post and reply.) Either ask on the Pitch Slam post, the #pitchslam twitter tag, or the FB group. (Or tweet us. We don't bite!)

Comments will remain open until the team posts are live. Then comments will be on moderation so ONLY the Professors/Agents to make requests/play.

Good luck!!

#PitchSlam - 35 Word Pitch Critique's

35 Word Pitches




Below you may post your 35 word pitches for critique.

Rules: There's only two rules.

1.) If you post your pitch for critique you MUST critique at least two others.

2.) Be honest, but don't be cruel. (I shouldn't have to explain what this means.)


Note: The Pitch Slam Team will NOT be critiquing these here. We will only critique/send feedback during the official rounds. If you want our feedback, please check the #PitchSlam tab for how to enter and all of the rules involved. 

If you have questions, please don't post them on this post. This post is ONLY for pitches and critiques. (I'm wanting to keep this clean and easy for everybody to post and reply.) Either ask on the Pitch Slam post, the #pitchslam twitter tag, or the FB group. (Or tweet us. We don't bite!)

Comments will remain open until the team posts are live. Then comments will be on moderation so ONLY the Professors/Agents to make requests/play.

Good luck!!


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

PitchSlam Q&A!




PitchSlam will be on Whiskey, Wine, & Writing TONIGHT at 8 pm Eastern to answer questions and talk all things PitchSlam!

That's right!

Three of the four Head of House will be there checking out the #wwwriting and #pitchslam tags to answer all of your questions! So get ready, we're coming your way!!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Pitch Slam - Introducing Team Slytherin!

As you've already seen it's Pitch Slam time again! As our theme is Hogwarts Cup, (Yay!!) each captain has chosen a house and has moved in with our selected Head Girl/Boy and Prefect(s). Today, I am here to introduce you all to which house I'm heading and my two fellow cunningly ambitious teammates! (Ignore the title and pretend I didn't already tell you, okay? Good.)


And the house I am heading is.....


Gif by Deathly Hollowes



Yes! That is right. This Pitch Slam I am proudly House Slytherin's Head of House!

Even though I'm a proud Hufflepuff and sometimes Slytherin I am so pumped to head this house! I actually love this house and can't wait for the sorting hat to sort you all so I can find the best students to win this!

#TeamSlytherinFTW!


And for those who think Slytherin can't win, I have one thing to say.



And what does Snape have to say about a Hufflepuff taking over as Head of House?

Let's just ask him!




Awesome!

See? You know you want to be sorted into Slytherin. After all, our team is Snape Approved!

Okay, I'll stop.

For now.

You're here to learn a little about #TeamSlytherin and I won't keep you waiting any longer.


So now a little about me and my teammates who I am sure you're dying to know more about.


Head of House: Jamie Corrigan (Me!)


Sorry in advance for writing this in 3rd person.

Jamie Corrigan lives in Texas with her husband. When she's not being a house wife she's busy writing or playing games with her hubby. (Final Fantasy XIII/XIII-2/XIII-3 anyone?) She grew up loving music and books and dreamed of one day becoming a singer or author. Even though the singing thing didn't work out, she's not totally heartbroken since she gets to live a different life every time she writes a new story or reads a new book. 

Her writing style ranges from fantasy to contemporary, but it always has a touch of grit mixed with wit and a dash of southern flare. While she writes mainly Young Adult, she'll read anything from MG to Adult. (She may read some Picture Books too. Shhh.)

She loves contests and has been on both sides as a contestant and host.  Jamie has been has been with Pitch Slam from the start and has fallen in love with diving through the slush and helping her fellow authors shape their craft. The banter with her fellow hosts and their amazing teams brings a smile to her face even when she's stressing over who will end up on her YES list. 

Jamie's drawn to twisty thrillers and mysteries right now, but a lighthearted story or kickass fantasy could always catch her eye. Her motto is as long as it's well written and grabs me and won't let go, I'll totally read it! 

At the moment she's in the query trenches, but she looks forward to meeting her agent soon. If you have questions for her or just want to say high, feel free to tweet her. (I promise I don't bite!)






Head Girl: Brandi Lynch




Brandi Lynch writes YA paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy, and contemporary. She’s an anime fan and a casual gamer—she loves an RPG, but wouldn’t dare put her skills up against someone else. In games and books, fantasy and science fiction steal her heart every time. A Halloween fiend, she loves to create her own Halloween costumes.

What Brandi's looking for: Overall, I’m looking for a kickass story backed up by an awesome voice. Fantasy and Sci-fi are my faves, but I dig anything that makes me go, “Ooh!” So if you’ve got a killer contemporary, I’m definitely going to take a look!






Prefect: Rebecca Waddell




Rebecca Waddell writes Young Adult and Middle Grade novels set in the real world or places born in her brain. When not petting wolfacorns or eating chocolate with her family, she blogs poetry. Rep’d by the completely awesome Jessica Schmeidler of Golden Wheat Lit.

Rebecca will be looking for entries that stand out like unicorns against the darkness of the forbidden forest and phoenixes because fire is hot.




And there you have it, #TeamSlytherin aka #TeamAwessssome! We really look forward to reading your entries and having a few of you in our house. (We wish we could take you all, but alas, not everybody can be a Slytherin.)

Feel free to drop by the #PitchSlam tag and see the other teams and join in the fun. And don't be afraid to follow #TeamSlytherin and say hi, we'd love to hear from you! (Look below the last gif to find the other houses.)

Now go shape those pitches and get that manuscript into the best shape and make that first 250 shine! Just know that we're cheering for you!!






Click the names below to learn more about the other houses!







Monday, September 28, 2015

Introducing Pitch Slam - Hogwarts Cup!


Here are the details straight from Pitch Slam's creator, L.L. McKinney!




As I write the title of this post, I can’t help the giddy excitement that threatens to take over. I have been a Harry Potter fan since I was a freshman in high school, and when I started Pitch Slam all that time ago, I knew then one of the themes would be based in the Wizard World. Now, the time has come!





Yes! So thrilled! Okay, folks are here for details, not my unabashed fangurling. So, on to the nitty-gritty.

This season, there will be four teams. Not hard to guess what those are gonna be, I’m sure. Professor McGonagall introduced the Hogwarts Houses to the world that fateful evening, and I feel it’s suited she do so this time:


“The four houses are called Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin. Each house has its own noble history and each has produced outstanding witches and wizards. While you are at Hogwarts, your triumphs will earn your house points, while any rule-breaking will lose house points. At the end of the year, the house with the most points is awarded the House Cup, a great honor. I hope each of you will be a credit to whichever house becomes yours.”

Oooh that takes me back… Now then, just like at Hogwarts, our House Cup competition will have captains or Heads of House leading each team. These captains will select entries from the submission pool of eager hopeful students to fill their houses for the upcoming school year. These students will be showcased so Professors, agents, can make requests by assigning points to their house.

The contest will play out in the following rounds:


Diagon Alley – Round one is where writers submit their first 35 words for critique if they wish. The Prefects (slush readers), as well as a Head Boy or Head Girl chosen by each Head of House will offer feedback on up to 150 entries. The window for entries will open October 17th, at 12:00 AM Eastern time. The window will remain open for 12 hours, closing at 12:00 PM on the same day. If we receive less than 150 entries, everyone will receive feedback. If we receive more, 150 random entries will be chosen and critiqued.


Hogwarts Express – Round two is for the first 250, without the pitch. This way the writing stands out. Premise had its time to shine in the first round. Once again, feedback will be provided for up to 100 entries. Students do NOT have to enter the first round to enter this one. The window will open October 19th, at 12:00 AM Eastern time. Like before the window will remain open for 12 hours, closing at 12:00 PM on the same day. If we receive less than 100 entries, everyone will receive feedback. If we receive more, 100 random entries will be chosen and critiqued.


The Great Hall – Round three is for the 35 word pitch and first 250 to be submitted together. This is the pool the Heads of House will select their students from. Students do NOT have to enter either of the previous two rounds to enter this one. The window will open October 21st, at 12:00 AM Eastern time and will run the ENTIRE day, closing at 11:59 PM on the same day. There is no entry cap on this round. All entries will be read and considered.


The Sorting Ceremony – Entries chosen to advance to the final round will be displayed on the Heads of House’s blogs starting October 23rd at 8:00 AM Eastern time. At this time, the Professors (agents) will be free to make requests! ALL REQUESTS WILL BE HIDDEN UNTIL THE REQUEST ROUND IS COMPLETE. The Sorting Ceremony round will run from October 23rd 8:00 AM eastern time to October 26th 4:00 PM Easter time. All Professors are free to make as many requests as they please using the following House Points system:


10 Points – Query and first 10 pages
25 Points – Query and first 25 pages
50 Points – Query and first 50 pages
100 Points – Query and first 100 pages
200 Points – Query and full



For some added fun, there are seven secret horcrux entries scattered across the teams. The Professor who “finds” (randomly requests) the most horcruxes will win a $100 gift card to the online bookstore of their choice! If there is a tie, there will be a special tie-breaker play to decide a victor.

At the end of the request round, the house boasting the most points will win bragging rights until the next Pitch Slam competition! Which is going to be just as awesome as this one, we already have most of the details hammered out.

Throughout the week leading up to the Sorting Ceremony, there will be daily games to play on various twitter hashtags, but for general shenanigans, do join us on #PitchSlam across all social media, including all sorts of chances to rep your house pride.

That is it, my Pitch Slammers. Details on the Heads of House, Prefects, and Head Girls and Boys will be posted very soon, along with a list of the ever-growing Professors participating this season. This is going to be so much fun, and I cannot wait for it all to begin. Let’s make some magic!




Me too, Harry. Me too.


***



And there you have it! We really do hope you'll join us this Pitch Slam. We're excited to dive into the slush and dose of crits. 

Are you excited about this year's Pitch Slam theme? Are you going to enter Pitch Slam? Let me know in the comments!




BONUS!!!

If you'd like early eyes on your 35 word pitch and first 250, then please come join us on the Pitch Slam Writers Facebook page. While the team hosts may not crit you there, (but you never know. I make no promises,) your fellow authors will gladly lend a hand in helping you craft a pitch and first 250 you're really proud of!


BONUS #2!!!

When the first two Pitch Slam rounds open, I will have a post where you can post your pitch and first 250 for critiques. I will NOT be critiquing them, but your fellow authors will. If you post your pitch/250 for crit, you must crit at least two of your fellow authors. You can of course do more, but that's the least you can do.

I'm opening my comments on these posts open for all of you who wants extra eyes and for those who don't use Facebook. (We all have our preferred platforms and I don't want anyone left out who might want critiqued, but doesn't want Facebook just to get one.)

So starting on the first Pitch Slam window, I will have TWO posts available for you to posts in the comments for critiques. One will be for your 35 word pitches and the other will be for your first 250. This way it's easier to keep track of things and a little cleaner.

I really hope you all will join us! Come say hi in the Facebook group if you use Facebook. If you don't, then hit the #PitchSlam tag on twitter. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Pitch Slam Tinsel Town - Welcome to Team Scarlett Streetcar!



It's that time again for Pitch Slam to roll out the red carpet and reveal our chosen stars of tomorrow! My fellow directors along with our AD's and producers combed through the slush in search of the shiniest words. With each of our teams only allowed 8 cast members per team, it was tough to choose! Believe me when I say I wish we could've had way more.

As usual with Pitch Slam, there were tears and bribes offered during negotiations. We thought a few times we might die, but in the end we came to an agreement and formed our teams that we love so much.




Below you will find Team Scarlett Streetcar:











You can find the other teams here:








Critics (Agents) are free to comment from now until 5:00 PM Eastern on 4/15/15.


NOTE: Only agents may comment during the times listed above. Comments are on moderation so nobody may see what's going on behind the curtains. We want our Critics to have a little privacy while handing out ratings. ;)

If you didn't make it on a team, please don't take it personally! We could only have 8 per a team and that left many more we wished we could have included, but couldn't. That doesn't mean you're horrible or should feel bad, because you shouldn't! It just means we had to make tough choices and pick those we felt were truly ready for prime time.

As someone who loves doing contest, I've seen all sides. I've entered and didn't get in. I've entered and made a team, but no love was given. Then there were times I got requests. It's a process that doesn't always lead you to your agent. I'm still querying, which is EXACTLY what you should and need to be doing if you're 100% positive your MS is polished and ready to show the world. Just because you didn't make it, this doesn't make it the end. Contests aren't for everybody and they're not the only path. Keep your head up and keep going! Never give up!

And know, we believe in you!

Pitch Slam Entry 1: Devil's Playground, YA Historical Fantasy

Title: Devil’s Playground

Genre: YA Historical Fantasy

Word Count: 66,000 Words


Pitch: Elizabeth, a witch in Salem, uses her forbidden powers to save innocent people accused of witchcraft. When she accidentally curses the village, she must figure out how to reverse the curse before Salem is destroyed.


250 Words:

I shiver as my bare feet hit the wood floor. It’s too early to be awake. It’s always too early. An incessant throbbing behind my eyes tells me I ought to be back in bed.

“Elizabeth, are you ready to go?” Mother calls from the kitchen.

“Yes, I’ll be right there,” I lie. With a tired shuffle I make my way to the large chest at the foot of my bed and grab the first dress I see. It doesn’t matter much when my choices are the black dress, the dark black dress, or the other black dress. Shall I wear the one with the hole, the one with two holes, or the one the mouse chewed through?

“Elizabeth! We’re going to be late, we need to leave.”

“Just a minute,” I say. After exchanging my white nightdress for the dark black dress the mouse chewed through, I tie a white apron around my waist, attempting to hide the hole. Before walking out the door I realize my cap is missing.

With a sigh I quickly pin my hair back before covering it with the white cap, a symbol of my purity. I now look like every other girl in Salem village, just how it should be. It seems a shame to let my curls go to waste and I can’t help but pull a few forward.

After double checking that everything is in order, I walk to the front room where Father, Mother, and my younger sister Anna are waiting.

Pitch Slam Entry 2: A Kiss of Blood and Gunpowder, YA Contemporary LGBT Thriller

Title: A KISS OF BLOOD AND GUNPOWDER

Genre: YA Contemporary LGBT Thriller

Word Count: 77,000


Pitch: When a coup erupts in newly sovereign Esteria, seventeen-year-old Bostonian Tanner's gap-year takes a harrowing turn. Tanner must help rebels take down the US Embassy in exchange for medicine to save his British-Indian boyfriend's life.


250:

46 DAYS ACD (AFTER Coup D'├ętat)
25 miles outside of Esteria Capital

It was the faint whistling of bombs in the distance that shattered Tanner’s sleep. Even though the symphony of gunfire and the explosive rumbles were several miles away, that gave him little comfort. Those were explosions, and they were close enough that in the seemingly endless early morning skies, they illuminated the edges with vibrant hues of copper and gold. It was an ironically beautiful reminder that despite everything he had been through the past 46 days, he was still no closer to getting home than he was before.


The rusted feeling of his joints hadn't disappeared. Flexing his fingers hurt. Pushing himself up into a sitting position hurt. Everything hurt. A twinge in the back of his mind reminded him it was too early to be awake. He should be pissed, but in the larger scheme of things, he woke up. That was more than he could say for others.


It took him a few moments for his eyes—correction, his right eye—to adjust to the dim light. His body resisted his command to wake, but eventually the stressed limbs and swollen joints caved to his orders. His vision was, thankfully, perfect. As much as one eye could be. His olfactory senses worked just fine, confirmed by the tangy scent that brought tears to his eye and made his stomach crawl up his throat. Tanner scowled. He should have done a better job burying the body.

Pitch Slam Entry 3: Dirty Limerick, YA Historical (80's)

Title: DIRTY LIMERICK

Genre: YA/Historical (‘80’s)

Word Count: 55,000


Pitch: Mean limericks about popular kids still went viral in the ‘80s. When 15-year-old Ricki’s best friend outs her as the author, her social-life plummets, until she uses her rhyming skills in an enterprising way.


First 250: 

There once was a girl with a crush
Seeing Mike was a rad freakin’ rush
But he never looked her way
Never had nice things to say
So the girl’s heart was a big bowl of mush.

Omigosh, omigosh, omigosh. I’d stood on my best friend’s porch for five minutes with my fist pitched in the air and ready to knock on the door. Honestly, she wouldn’t care if I just walked in. But, what if I walked in and saw her totally making out with Mike? No. She’d never do that to me. It was a miracle that Mike had agreed to attend her party at all. I still tried to wrap my head around the fact that we’d be in a room together, all…night…long.

My fist inched closer to the door, but then I rolled my eyes and dropped my hand to check that my shirt was tucked in straight and my cute belt was centered and my jeans were still pegged and the pennies in my loafers were still shiny.

“I’m a total basket-case,” I said to myself. “Stop it.”

I knocked quickly – wrap, wrap – then lightly touched my bangs to double-check they were teased and unmovable, just the way I liked them. But, would Mike like them that way? Feet pounded down the carpeted steps on the other side of the door and in a second, Katie whipped the door open. She rushed outside, slamming the door behind her, and gave me a squishy hug.