What Is Pitch Corner USA? by Joan Y. Edwards
History behind Pitch Corner USA
Sherry Antonetti took my Pitch workshop at the Catholic Writers Conference Online in March 2012. In her evaluation of my workshop, she suggested I put an exercise with blind pitches and have the writers pretend they were editors or agents and tell if they would buy or reject the pitches. I already had pitches in my workshop. All I had to do was remove the author’s names and titles to make an exercise work as she suggested.
During the chat session about “How to Write a Pitch That Sells” on Saturday, October 13, 2012, I used Sherry’s idea and showed them pitches without the author’s names or the titles of the works. It was a great success. Therefore, I formed “Pitch Corner USA.” The Pitch Corner Yahoo Group is a panel (team) of people to help me design the surveys and other activities to help you learn more about writing pitches that sell. Pitch Corner USA will help you learn how to write a good pitch for your manuscript. There will be surveys with pitches from writers and pitches from best-selling books and successful movies for you to compare. There may be workshops, chats, and webinars. All kinds of possibilities. You are invited to join in the fun. Editors and agents are allowed to join, too. It will be a fun game, yet a great way to learn. Pitch Corner USA will use this blog as a springboard. If it gets really big, I’ll give it a blog of its own.
Once a month I will upload a Pitch Corner USA Monkey Survey with 10 pitches. Some pitches will be from best-selling novels or hit movies. Others will be from writers like you who send pitches giving me permission to use them on my blog and in the Monkey Surveys. I am not offering publication. No one doing the survey is offering publication. It’s a birds-eye view of what your peers think of your pitch.
Here’s a draft of the questions the survey will have for each pitch. If you were an editor or agent who read this pitch, what would you do?
There will be circles for people to check to the left of each choice.
1. Reject it.
2. This pitch is missing main character.
3. This pitch doesn’t tell what main character wants or needs.
4. This pitch doesn’t tell why main character can’t get what he wants or needs.
5. This pitch is missing emotional hook.
6. This pitch is missing conflict.
7. This pitch is missing change in character.
8. This pitch is missing universal theme.
9. Ask for first 3 chapters and a summary. Why? (Put answer in box below)
10. This is a pitch from an already published book or movie. (Put title in box below)
GUIDELINES FOR PITCH SUBMISSION for the Pitch Corner Exercises in survey format
For Pitch Corner USA until November 30, 2012 I am open for 150-200 word pitches for adult fiction.
Adult Fiction: Romance (No Erotic), Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery
Send your pitch to me at email@example.com. If you submit a pitch to me, you must copy and paste the following paragraph into your letter. If it doesn’t contain this permission paragraph, it will be deleted.
“My name is (fill in your name)______________________________. I hereby give Joan Y. Edwards, founder of Pitch Corner USA, permission to use my pitch as it is written below on her blog (www.joanyedwards.wordpress.com) or in a Pitch Corner USA Monkey Survey forms she creates. I give permission for my name and copyright information to appear on the website and the answer page of the survey. I understand that this in no way constitutes an offer for publication of the book my pitch represents.”
Pitch Corner USA does not accept anonymous submissions. It does not accept submissions without the permission phrase signed by the author. It helps verify the authenticity of authorship when you send the pitch from an email address that has the author’s real name in it to further verify that the email is legitimate.
I suggest that a pitch for adult fiction give the following information. Put your name, title of your book, and genre in the subject line. You can submit it in four paragraphs or four sentences. It may not be longer than 200 words.
1. Your name. Title of book is a (genre) with (number of) words.
2.Memorable main character experiences traumatic events that cause great distress and disruption, inner and outer dilemmas, and failures on the way to a goal.(Emotional hook)
3. Main Character changes to solve his problem and get what he wants or needs or fails miserably.
4. Main character learns a valuable lesson that is universally understood. The story can also teach a different lesson that is universally understood.
In Romance novels, although you may say there are two main characters, I suggest that you the author should choose one to focus the story on. One character will usually be the driving force behind the real story. This may be your main character.
If you are interested in helping me create fun activities to help us learn more about writing a pitch that sells, please join our Pitch Corner USA Yahoo group by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or write me at email@example.com.
Pitch Corner USA Yahoo Group Description: A panel of authors working to improve their pitches and the pitches of others so the pitches sell to an editor or agent. Right now I am limiting our membership to 25 people. I am open to editors and agents being on the panel. We’ll see if any want to join us.
Ingredients of a selling pitch:
Memorable main character experiences traumatic events that causes great distress and disruption, inner and outer dilemmas and failures on the way to a goal (emotional hook). He changes to solve his problem and get what he wants or needs or fails miserably. The main character learns a valuable lesson that is universally understood. The story can also teach a different lesson that is universally understood.
Pitch Corner USA will focus on three lengths of pitches:
- Tweet length of 140 characters.
- One or two sentence pitches (80 words)
- 100-200 summary pitch
November 2012 Adult Fiction: Romance (No Erotic), Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery
December 2012 Children’s Fiction: Picture Book, Easy Reader, Chapter Book, Middle Grade Novel, Young Adult Novel
January 2013 Non-Fiction Adults: Social Studies, Nature, Science, Biography, Memoir, Autobiography, etc.
February 2013 Non-Fiction: Children: Social Studies, Nature, Science, Biography, Autobiography, etc.
We will add other categories and activities as we see fit.
Thank you very much for reading my blog. Please let me know what you think about Pitch Corner USA.
I am a guest on Jen Veldhuyzen’s PetrePan Blog: http://www.petrepan.blogspot.com/2012/10/author-interview-with-joan-y-edwards.html. She asked intriguing questions, such as: “What sound would describe your writing style?” I hope you will read it and leave her a little note. Thank you, Jen.
We have 94 subscribers now. Thanks. Only 6 subscribers away from our big celebration. We are very close. When we reach 100 subscribers, ten lucky subscribers will win a free pitch and 1000 word manuscript critiques. I’ll choose one winner from first ten subscribers, second ten, etc. One lucky person will win a free pitch and 5000 word manuscript critique. Would you like to win? Get your name in the hat, now. Subscribe now by email from the left hand column.
Joan Y. Edwards
Pitch Corner USA
Copyright © 2012 Joan Y. Edwards
Filed under: Marketing, Writing | Tagged: a fun way to learn how to write a pitch for your book, guidelines, how to join, non-fiction, permission paragraph, Pitch Corner USA, Pitch Corner USA Yahoo Group, Protagonist, request for adult fiction pitches, Romance, Romance novel, Science Fiction, Social Studies, United States, What Is Pitch Corner USA, Young-adult fiction |