I want to cover three separate topics today: the Twitter pitch, query critiques and an update on the 100 Stories for Queensland Anthology.
Earlier this week literary agent Jennifer Laughran (aka @literaticat) of Andrea Brown Literary agency decided to have a bit of fun on Twitter. She gave everyone one hour to tweet her a pitch of a (real or fake) manuscript. I LOVE Twitter pitches. You think it’s challenging to condense a 50-100k word manuscript into a 250 word query? Try condensing it into a 140 characters or less pitch. Not only do you need to capture the essence of the main plot of the story, but you have to make it hook too, which really boils down to showing what makes your story unique.
Following her ‘Tweet-a-query’ session, Jennifer Laughran posted her conclusions about Twitter pitches on her blog, stating “…the lessons here are applicable to the regular query process too.” You can find her post here, as well as the four pitches she thought stood out above the rest.
As another follow-up to the Twitter pitch session, teacher and writer Tamara posted on her blog a breakdown of the Twitter pitch. You can find her post here.
Last week I blogged about my endeavour to continually improve my query. As a recap, I’d been writing, revising and rewriting a query for my YA fantasy. I submitted to ABNA as a test for myself to see how effective my query was before submitting to agents. I didn’t pass the pitch round. So I have been revising and rewriting the query some more. In the meantime, I came across author Susan Dennard’s blog and she just happened to be starting a new feature on her blog where once a month she takes on ten queries and critiques them. She then randomly selects two of these queries to also go up on her blog for community critique (either as it is or with revisions following Susan’s critique). I was lucky enough to be one of the first ten to submit my query to her when she opened the gates for queries this month. She gave my query a fantastic critique (my main problem was being too vague, I needed to be more specific). Then, my query was selected as one of the two to be put up for community critique. I’ve received some more great feedback already. You can see it (and offer your own critique if you want to) here.
Susan next opens her doors for queries for critique on the 4th of April. It’s well worth submitting, because Susan gives great critique. You can opt not to be put in the draw for the community critique if you don’t want to, but Susan’s critique alone is worth it. Be quick though, because only the first ten get in each month.
The 100 Stories for Queensland anthology (an anthology to raise money for those affected by the devastating floods in Queensland) was meant to be due for release on the 8th of March. Due to unavoidable circumstances, the release date has been pushed back. At this point I’m not sure when the new release date will be. I do know the anthology has already been edited and formatted and is currently being looked at by proofreaders. I’ll let you know when I know more.