Archive | March 2015

Helpful Info For #NestPitch

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Novel Word Count:

Although we are not going to eliminate anyone w does not match the below, we recommend you try to follow as closely as possible the suggested word-count. The to – from word-count is a guide only and takes into consideration genre variations (for example fantasy genre novels tend to be on the longer side).

 

ADULT:                     70,000 – 115,000

NEW ADULT :          60, 000 – 90,000

YOUNG ADULT:     50,000 – 80,000

MIDDLE GRADE:    25,000 – 45,000

 

Your pitch:

  • Don’t be vague! (remember the slush readers and mentors know NOTHING about your story).
  • Proof read your pitch! (Mistakes could cost you a spot)
  • Get others to read your pitch! (Just like you have beta readers for your story, you should have them for your pitch too).
  • Make the stakes clear and non-generic. (End of the world/death of MC are becoming a bit overdone).
  • Don’t introduce too many character names.
  • But make sure you introduce the MC’s character name.
  • Avoid questions in the pitch – statements are much stronger. Example: Can Mariah save him before he’s turning into a rabbit. Mariah has to save him before he’s turned into a rabbit.

 

 

#NestPitch important dates

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Agent Reveal: March 27th

 

Submission Window Opens April Fools Day (April 1st 2015)

10pm Aust. Eastern Standard Time

7am USA New York Time

12 noon London UK Time

Submission Window Closes Good Friday (April 3rd 2015)

10pm Aust. Eastern Standard Time

7am USA New York Time

12 noon London UK Time

 

Secret Agent Bunny Mask Reveal: April 9th

 

Teams send out requests for 1st 2,500 words Sunday 12th April

Authors reply by Tuesday 14th April

 

Final Selection Sunday10rd May (Mother’s Day)

 

Agent request open Monday 11th May to Tuesday 12th May 2015

Unmask the Agent: Wednesday 13th May 2015 (Amazon Voucher)

 

Agent request(s) sent out to authors Wednesday 13th May 2015

Authors to send requested pages to Agents by Friday 15th May 2015

 

Winner of Most Requests: May 20th or 21st

 

Stats: May 28th or 29th

 

Nestpitch2015 Close: May 31st (follow up blog with success stories as they come)

Hunting in the slush

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Last year we contacted all submissions that had made a mistake or left something out (listing only category or genre for example). This year we will not be so lenient. Aside from formatting issues, authors will be expected to follow the above. All submissions will be read by me (Nikola) first to ensure each submission has followed the above rules/guidelines.

There will be three rounds before final selection.

  1. Round #1: To get past #1 the author’s must be able to follow guidelines.
  2. Round #2: This year each Team will select an initial 5-8 submissions and then request more pages/material. Based on the additional pages/material, each Team will drill their selection down to between 4-5 to go to the next round. Note; author’s may receive more than one request from more than one Team.
  3. Round #3: On having picked their final 4-5, each Team will then critique the first 2,500-words and ‘get to know’ the author(s). This is a 3-fold process. Being selected does not necessarily mean being featured. Teams will want to know the author(s) are willing to accept feedback etc. The Teams will work with their author’s for 3 weeks, offering feedback, sharpening pitches, & suggesting improvements. After this, the author’s have a full week to re-read their MS in full & make any final changes; before the agent round.

From the Slush-pile Picks.

My Team #TeamEvilBunny, will be hunting through the slush-pile and the reserves, looking for gems that have been missed. We will have the option of selecting between 1-5 pitches (at our discretion) to feature. This is basically a bonus-pick so, you may just get an email after the date, but if you do, you’ll be expected to work twice as hard as the other author’s as you’ll have less time – so be ready!

Additional Rules:

  1. Only manuscripts which HAVE NOT been featured in another online competition are eligible to enter. This DOES NOT include workshops, critique groups or similar. It also DOES NOT include twitter pitches or any other tag-line style pitches either. Please feel free to ask if you’re in any doubt.
    1. If you have submitted the same manuscript to #Pitchslam, due to the time-line cross-over, we are accepting these submissions. However, if your submission goes to the final stage of either or both competitions, please advice us and the host of #Pitchslam.
  2. Submissions MUST follow the submission format. We accept that sometimes emails de-format fonts and tabs, what we don’t want is people forgetting to put CATEGORY & GENRE (for example) or not answering the question; that sort of thing.

All pitches that have followed the rules (round#1) will then be forwarded to each Team. After the internal cat-fight, erh discussions will take place and each Team will select their top 4-5 author submissions (round#3). Expect to also see teasers and cryptic clues via Twitter & Facebook (*don’t forget to follow the Mentors and Slushies, lots of fun to be had!)

This year there will again be an Amazon Gift Voucher Prize for the submission with the highest number of requests and another for Matching the Agents with their Masks (more on that at agent reveal).

 

This entry was posted on March 24, 2015. 1 Comment

#NestPitch2015 – is your manuscript pitch ready?

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For those who don’t know what Nestpitch is, here’s a quick run-through.

There’s a special Easter tradition throughout central and northern Croatia – making Easter Nests for the Easter Bunny. On the afternoon or eve of Easter Saturday children go out into the garden and collect leaves, grass, twigs, flowers and then make a “nest” for the Easter Bunny – that’s where he places his Easter-Egg-Presents. The children go to bed that eve wondering if the Easter Bunny will like or love their nest, because the best nest gets the best and biggest eggs!

And that’s the basis of Nestpitch, but the ‘nests’ are the author’s pitches and the ‘Easter Bunnies’ are the agents – get it? Great!

How does Nestpitch work?

This year we have changed things a bit, therefore even if you participated in Nestpitch 2014 you will still need to read the below.

This year we are NOT accepting Picture Books or Memoirs. We are accepting MG, YA, NA and Adult FICTION ONLY.  We are accepting all genre’s within these categories. If your novel is either Erotica or Christian, please state this. For example: Adult Romance (Erotica) or YA Historical Romance (Christian).

We support diversity and strongly encourage authors with GLBT, geographic, cultural and/or social diversity within their manuscripts to submit. Having said this, we DO NOT support sexual violence, violence against children, bigotry and racism, paedophilia and/or animal cruelty. While it is true that violence and cruelty features within some genres, horror for example, or racism in a historical fiction set in the time of slavery, we will not accept manuscripts that support or promote, directly or indirectly, racism, misogyny, rape, sexual, physical or emotional violence.

Teams:

This year there are nine Teams made up of one Mentor & two Slushies. The Teams are listed here.

Guidelines:

The Pitch window will be open for 48 hours, thereby allowing everyone, regardless of where you live in the world, to prepare and submit a pitch.

The Pitch will be made up of three parts.

  • a 35-word pitch
  • answer to a question (in your main characters voice)*
  • the first 300-words of their manuscript

*QUESTION: If your MC was an Easter Egg, what flavour would s/he be? Keep your answer to NO MORE than 15-words.

How to submit your Pitch:

On April 1st the submission window will open. Please follow the guidelines as set out below. Last year some people put their first 300 words at the top or mixed up the order. Please do not do this. There is a reason for the order and failure to follow the below will likely mean your submission will not pass Round#1 (refer below).

Send the following in your email:

In the Subject line: Nestpitch2015 Sub and your name/author name

In the body of the email type these words: 

By submitting this pitch + first 300 words I agree to allow the Nestpitch blog and/or any other affiliated blogs to post my submission on an open forum for the purposes of critique and feedback.  I understand this can be for the life of the blog(s). 

Manuscript Title:

Category/ Genre:

Word Count:

35-word Pitch:

QU (in your MC’s voice), if your MC was an Easter Egg, what flavour would s/he be?:

*First 300-words of your MS:

*1st 300 = if your MS has a prologue, then your 1st 300 starts from your prologue. Also, finish at the end of a sentence. This is 300-word MAX, so your last word is 300-words. If your sentence finishes on 292-words, submit that. If your sentences run into 30 or more words, then you might want to rethink the length of your sentence(s). Broken sentences do no one favours.

Example of a Submission:

Subject line: Nestpitch2015 Sub – Nikola Vukoja

By submitting this pitch + first 300 words I agree to allow the Nestpitch blog and/or any other affiliated blogs to post my submission on an open forum for the purposes of critique and feedback.  I understand this can be for the life of the blog(s).

Manuscript Title:     Easter Bunny goes to Vegas

Category/ Genre:      MG/ Fantasy

Word Count:             26,000

35-word Pitch:                      

After loosing all his eggs in a card game to March Hare, the Easter Bunny heads for Las Vegas where he plans to win enough money to buy back the world’s Easter eggs.

If your MC was an Easter Egg, what flavour would s/he be?

I’d be every flavour, colour, shape and size imaginable; I’m the Easter Bunny… geez!

First 300-words of your MS:

Easer Bunny Blah Blah…

Send your submission to: Nestpitch@outlook.com (please note the submission window below, submissions sent prior or post those times/dates will not be accepted)

Formatting:

Either Times Roman or Arial (we are aware that there may be issues with some email accounts regarding font, please do your best to use either Times Roman or Arial, or something as close as possible to these two)

No indentions. Single Spacing. One space between each Paragraph.

Prologues:

Your prologue is where your first 300 words begins.

Word Count:

Rounded to nearest 1000. For example, 86,000 not 85,798

Keep bouncing back here because upcoming posts to come include:

  • The Selection Process & Additional Rules
  • Dates
  • Helpful information

Cover Reveal: Sweet Madness

SWEET MADNESS
Coming September 18, 2015 from
Merit Press


Lizzie Borden took an axe,
And gave her mother forty whacks.
When she saw what she had done,
She gave her father forty one.
 
 
BLURB: 
Who
was Lizzie Borden? A confused young woman, or a cold-hearted killer? For
generations, people all over the world have wondered how Andrew Borden and his
second wife, Abby, met their gruesome deaths. Lizzie, Andrew’s younger
daughter, was charged, but a jury took only 90 minutes to find her not guilty.
In this retelling, the family maid, Bridget Sullivan, shines a compassionate
light on a young woman oppressed by her cheap father and her ambitious
stepmother. Was Lizzie mad, or was she driven to madness?





Mark

it to read on Goodreads
Preorder Sweet Madness:
 
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
 
Trisha Leaver lives on Cape Cod with her
husband, three children, and one rather irreverent black lab. She is
a chronic daydreamer who prefers the cozy confines of her own imagination
to the mundane routine of everyday life.  She writes Young Adult Contemporary
fiction, Psychological Horror and Science Fiction and is published with FSG/
Macmillan, Flux/Llewellyn and Merit Press. To learn more about Trisha’s
books, upcoming shenanigans, and her quest to reel in the perfect tuna, please visit
her website: 
www.trishaleaver.com
 
 
 
 

Lindsay Currie lives in Chicago with her
three awesome children, husband, and a one hundred and sixty pound lap dog
named Sam. She has an unnatural fondness for coffee, chocolate and things that
go bump in the night. She spends her days curled up in the comfortable confines
of her writing nook, penning young adult psychological horror, contemporary
fiction and science-fiction and is published with Flux/Llewellyn, Merit Press
and Spencer Hill Contemporary. Learn more about her at www.lindsaycurrie.com

To celebrate, we are giving away four AMAZING books from our publisher Merit Press. 

 

Get Ready for #nestpitch

Welcome to #TeamEvilBunny. It’s been an exciting week in the #NestPitch world—we now have 10 agents (and counting) who will be perusing the winning entries chosen by us. The submission window opens on the 1st of April, so it’s time for you to hone your 35 word pitch and cast your eyes over your finished and polished manuscript one last time before you send it out into the world.

The rules for #Nestpitch can be found below, but first allow me to fully introduce you to my team.

#TeamEvilBunny.

evilbunny

Mentor: Sharon Johnston
 
sharonMy day job is as a senior specialist of public relations, but I write and blog in my spare time (along with interning for a publisher). I have short stories in anthologies: THE BASICS OF LIFE and THE LIFE AND TIMES OF CHESTER LEWIS. My short story Karma was also runner-up in The Australian Literary Review’s short story competition. I regularly co-host Pitch Madness and am also involved in Pitch Wars, Nest Pitch and Pitcharama.
As well as blogging here, I also blog with YAtopia and Aussie Owned & Read, where I contribute to discussions on the love of literature and the publishing industry in general.

Slushie #1: E.L. Wicker
 
EmE.L is, in her own words “mildly (massively) obsessed with New Adult”. If she’s not reading it, she’s writing it. Among her favourite pastimes is hunting out new books by sparkly new authors. Author of the Bearwood series, contributer on YAtopia and blog assistant to me (& now Slushie too), Emma is a lover of the contraction, a hater of the ‘off of’ & like the rest of us, a writer doing her thing. You’ll find E.L on Twitter or on her blog.

 

Slushie #2: J.C. Nelson
 
jcJ.C is a born Texan living in the Pacific Northwest. Software developer by day and by night, an author and herder of Children and chickens. J.C. writes Urban Fantasy blended with fairy tales, such as the Grimm Agency series. You can find J.C. on Twitter or peruse his web page.

 
 
 
 
As promised, here are the rules straight from Nik’s blog, which you can also (and should) read.

The submission consists of:

(i) A 35-word pitch

(ii) The answer to this question: If your MC was an Easter Egg, what flavour would s/he be? (no more than 15 words please)

(iii) The 1st 300-words of your manuscript*

*1st 300 = if you have a prologue, then your 1st 300 starts from your prologue. If you don’t think your prologue is strong enough then perhaps you need to rethink your prologue.

Finish at the end of a sentence. This is 300-word MAX, so your last word is 300-words. If your sentence finishes on 292-words, submit that. If your sentences run into 30 or more words, then rethink the length of your sentence(s). Broken sentences do no one favors.

Please note that this year’s nestpitch is not accepting PB’s, but do visit Nik’s blog as she has something special planned for PB’s and possibly MG’s.

Two things to add/note:

(1) A condition of entry is any MS #pitch submitted to previous #pitches, which resulted in being selected, in the twelve months prior to April 2015, is ineligible. The only sub-clause to this is #PitchSlam. Please let us know if you have the same MS in #PitchSlam & #Nestpitch, and again if you’ve been selected. Nik has spoken to the Host of PitchSlam & they’ve agreed to work closely on this one.

(2) This year there will be less final selection featured pitches. (Expecting final the number to be around 40). With each Team concentrating on fewer submissions, we can be more hands-on with feedback and mentoring. By doing this, not only will the pitch + 300-words be stronger, but so will the entire MS. This year there will be rounds.

a. Round #1: Last year Nik gave everyone the benefit of the doubt when errors were made in following guidelines. That will not be the case this year, aside from formatting issues (which happen). To get past #1 author’s must be able to follow guidelines.

b. Round #2: This year each Team will select and initial 5-8 submissions and then request more pages/material. Based on the additional pages/material, each Team will drill their selection down to between 4-5 to go to the next round.

c. Round #3: On having picked their final 4-5, each Team will then critique the first 2,500-words and ‘get to know’ the author(s). This is a 3-fold process. Being selected does not necessarily mean being featured. Teams will want to know the author(s) are willing to accept feedback etc. The Teams will work with their author’s for 3 weeks, offering feedback, sharpening pitches, & suggesting improvements. After this, the author’s have a full week to re-read their MS in full & make any final changes; before the agent round.

From the Slush-pile Picks.

Nik’s Team, #Team2Beat, will be hunting through the slush-pile and the reserves, looking for gems that have been missed. We will have the option of selecting between 1-5 pitches (at their discretion) to feature. This is basically a bonus-pick so, you may just get an email after the date, but if you do, expect to work twice as hard as the other author’s as you’ll have less time – so be ready!

Pitch Madness … Game on!

sorry
 

Welcome to the Yellow  Team aka Team Dark Side! It’s been a long week of reading through all the
amazing pitches. Our wonderful readers have narrowed the slush, and your game hosts have chosen sixty pitches for the game.


To meet the slush readers, agent insiders, and the blog teams go to this post here. And you can find out more about the amazing agents playing the game on this post here.


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For those of you not familiar with Pitch Madness, it’s a contest where agents compete in a game
against their peers for pitches and you can find the instructions here



This Pitch Madness the game is brand

Scroll down to view all 15 picks for my blog or click on the links to each post.



SJ1 THE DRAGON’S PEARL

SJ2 JELLO JAMIESON AND THE SISTER RECYCLING MACHINE

SJ3 I WANT TO BE FREE

SJ4 ASHES ON BRADY STREET

SJ5 BLOOD AND BONES

SJ6 BLEED THROUGH

SJ7 BEST CHOCOLATE CAKE AND OTHER DRAMATIC DISASTERS

SJ8 CAUGHT IN THE SHADOW OF A LIE

SJ9 THE ROAD BACK FROM BROKEN

SJ10 SWEET JANE

SJ11 THE BEATLES FAN

SJ12 THE LAST SUMMER AT SHADOW LAKE

SJ13 THEN YOU WIN

SJ14 SPIRIT QUEST

SJ15 A BRIEF REVIEW OF WHY I LEFT

SJ16 HOODLUM

SJ17 DESCENT



Comments are set to moderation so the agents won’t see their competitors’ bids. Please no comments other than those from the agents. 



After the game, we’ll release the moderation and let you all comment on the entries.

We’ll reveal the agent requests on March 4 at 12:00PM (that’s noon) EST.

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Please note: We will email submission details for all requests by the agents. After the contest, agents will make requests to us for the pitches they loved and did not win. 



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Go to the other hosts’ blogs to read all the winning pitches …


Brenda Drake’s
blog

Rebecca Coffindaffer’s blog

Summer Heacock’s
blog

All the twitter fun will happen on the hashtag #PitchMadness

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Congratulations to those who’ve made it into the game! For those who haven’t made it (and whoever else wants to join us), we are hosting a Twitter Pitch Party on March 11 from 8AM to 8PM EST on the hashtag #PitMad.

How do you twitter pitch? You can find all the details here.

 


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