Monday, March 11, 2013

A New Contest - Pitch Us Your Story!

by Stephanie Morrill

The paperback version of Go Teen Writers: How to turn your first draft into a published book is finally available! You can find it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and while it likely won't be on the shelves of your local bookstore, they can order it for you, if you like.

To celebrate, Jill and I are launching a contest. We want you to pitch your story to us! You have 25 words or less to tell us about your story.

Your pitch should create a compelling mental picture that implies an entire story. It should say something about who your characters are, what kind of dilemma they're facing, the tone of the story, and a clue about the intended audience. (A one-line for a regency novel will sound different than a one-line for a romantic comedy.)

Be sure that you're pitching us your story and not giving us a tagline. A tagline is something you might find on a movie poster. The tagline for my upcoming release, The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet is, "Don't just get even - write a novel." A pitch, however, would be, "A teen writer uses storywriting to cope with her cruel friends, never dreaming that they’ll find out and make her pay." See the difference?

Here's how the contest will work:

1. Sometime between now and 1:00pm (Kansas City time) Friday, March 15th, you can fill out the form below with your pitch and the title of your manuscript. If your manuscript is not yet titled, please make up a title. The title is going to act as your password, basically, because you won't be putting your name on your entry. Since Jill and I are the ones doing the judging, we want this to be anonymous.

2. After the contest closes, Jill and I will read through the entries. We will pick our favorite 10 to 20, depending on how many entries there are.

3. On Monday, March 18th, Jill and I will post the pitches that finalled. You will not be receiving an email that you finalled, you'll need to check back on the blog to find out. We will not be posting titles though, so when you claim an entry belongs to you, you'll have to confirm the title with me so I can be sure.

4. To determine the top three entries, we will open up voting for four days. (From Monday the 18th to Thursday the 21st.)

5. On Friday the 22nd, we will announce who the top three are. The top three will receive a copy of the Go Teen Writers book. If they already have a copy of the book, we'll work out an alternate prize.

This contest is open to all ages and all countries. One entry per person please.  

Questions? Leave them in the comments section or send me an email.

65 comments:

  1. I just worked on my pitch a few weeks ago and was really hoping GTW would do a contest like this!
    Thanks, Stephanie!
    ~Sarah Faulkner

    www.inklinedwriters.blogspot.com

    P.S. Oh rats! I just realized my pitch is 29 words. Sigh. . .

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    1. Mine always start out around 60 words, so I feel your pain! :)

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    2. 60!? Okay, I feel much better about having to tailor my 37 words... :)

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  2. That's a cool idea, but my book is no where near done enough to have a pitch. Sigh! Oh, well. I might try it for the awful book I wrote when I was 11, because at least it's done, and there's not actual writing involved. :P

    And YAY!! The print book! Ordering that today if at all possible. :D

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    1. We don't care if it's complete or not, Amanda. Pitch whichever you like!

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    2. Oh, but I mean it's not done enough even for me to know what I'd write in a pitch. xD I entered the other one.

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  3. Awesome contest! I'm so totally entering!

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  4. What a great idea!

    My story is still a work in progress... Even if it's not complete, can I still compete? =]

    Blessings,
    Sarah

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  5. Oh this is a great contest Stephanie and Jill! Let me see if I can figure out a nice pitch for my current story

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  6. Thanks so much, Stephanie and Jill! :)
    Question... do hyphenated words (first-rate, garden-variety, etc.) count as one word or two?

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    1. MS Word counts them as one, so we do too :)

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    2. Hurrah! :D Thanks!

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    3. I can just imagine my pitch going something like this:

      My-book-is about-a-girl who knows-what-it's... =)

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  7. O live how creative you got with making it anonymous :). Is it 21 & under?

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    1. All ages. Pitch away, my twenty-something friend!

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  8. Mine was 28... got it down to 23. I just entered!

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    1. Way to go, Zara! Those last few words are always the toughest to widdle down.

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  9. Stephanie,is the book also available by The Book Depositery? I think that will save me some money...;-)

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    1. Yes, it will be! It will likely take a couple more weeks, though.

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  10. Okay. I'm not sure whether to buy the Kindle or the paperback edition. Maybe I can decide it when the Dollar-Euro rate is positive...;-)

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    1. I got the paperback so I could write in it. =)
      I almost went for Kindle so I wouldn't have to wait...

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  11. Can we pitch an idea that we haven't gotten around to writing yet?

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  12. What a neat idea! I'm looking forward to trying it.

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  13. Yay! Another contest! Is it ok if we enter more than once?

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  14. I've came up with an idea for the a novel and wrote down some ideas, but I haven't actually started writing it. Can I still enter this competition?
    Thanks! :)

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  15. So excited! Just entered. I think my pitch came out horrible, but who cares. It was fun to write.

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    1. It's great practice anyway. Good for you, Kelsey!

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  16. This sounded so exciting, so I had to enter my pitch. Can't wait to see the finalists!

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  17. My first writing of the pitch had 65 words... ouch! managed to get it down to 25 somehow... I like this contest.

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    1. thank you! the funny thing is I always had a basic idea, ever since I started this WIP

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  18. My pitch is awful, but oh well. Gives me some incentive to work on it at least ;)

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  19. Oh! Yay! I've slowly been working on my pitch for the past several weeks. This is a good incentive to stop procrastinating and figure that thing out! :)

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  20. Definitely entering one for my current WIP. This is a really cool contest!

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  21. I love these contests! Especially seeing the winning entries. :D

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  22. This can be more than one sentence, just not more than 25 words, right?

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  23. Love contests! I was waiting for the next one to come out!
    So can we include the name of our main character in it?

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  24. Oh, this is exciting... I sent in my pitch. At first it was 26 words (drat...) then when I altered the structure of my sentence it went down to 24, so I was able to squeeze back in one word I really wanted to use! Hurrah! I'll definitely be back to see the results. :)

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  25. If the title is just so the entries remain anonymous but identifiable later, can we just make it something we'll remember, but isn't anything like a book title? Sorry, that didn't make much sense, I can't quite word what I'm trying to ask.
    I mean, could we just put FantasyBook1052 as our title or something random like that?

    Definitely entering, though!

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    1. Yep! So long as it doesn't involve your name, it can be whatever you want!

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  26. Done! I've just realized how small of a number 25 is. After writing my pitch I had to cut it down to 25 word by word...

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  27. Can this be a pitch for a series or does it have to be for one book?

    ~Robyn Hoode

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    1. It can be for a series, sure. Whichever you think is the stronger pitch (series versus the first book.) Like the Hunger Games would be stronger pitched as one book, but the Lord of the Rings trilogy might be be better pitched as a series.

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  28. Thanks for the contest, guys! It'll be really fun to see the winning pitches. Now, if only it could be thirty words (and here I was, thinking I wasn't wordy ...). Technically, I have mine down to 25, but it's not as good as it -maybe- could have been. Thanks again!

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  29. This is perfect timing! I just started a new project that I actually managed to write a pitch for and it's under 25 words. Well, exactly 25 word :) It might be total bleh, but it's something. Thanks!

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  30. To claim the pitch, do you do it through the comments or e-mail? Thanks!:)

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    1. I'll include instructions on Monday, but it'll be through email.

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    2. Thanks! I can't wait!

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  31. First of all, thank you so much for this contest! What fun. I just submitted my pitch - man, narrowing it all down to 25 words is very hard! Especially when you just told the story in over 100,000. :)

    Thanks again!

    A Fellow Writer,
    Patience

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    1. It's a VERY difficult thing to do! Thanks for entering!

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  32. It's so interesting how writing a pitch forces you to choose the very most important theme or plot. NO subplots make it into 25 words! :) Thank you so much for doing this.

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