I had just finished up my Middle Grade novel, polished it up and sent it off on a request when I saw something floating past in my Twitter stream. I snatched it up quick before it ran too far down river and here’s what I found. Shelley Watters (@Shelley_Watters) reached some milestones, 100 followers on her blog and 500 twitter followers, and she felt like celebrating. So she roped in the fantasic Suzie Townsend of Fine Print Literary Management to be a judge for a contest. The prize??? A full manuscript request by Suzie. And Shelley will provide query critiques for another lucky five.
The catch? Pitch your book with the same restrictions we have on twitter – 140 characters. Whoa!! There are times I can barely say hello in 140 characters… pitch a whole book?? I thought about sitting this one out, but then decided to jump in the deep end for two reasons.
- A friend dared me (yes, we have Monica Enderle Pierce to thank for my participation in this contest) because I can’t back down from a challenge.
- And the ability to have a short snippet I can pull out and use when someone asks me the question I never cease to stumble over… “What is the book about?” Once I’m in a conversation about my writing, I’m able to discuss fluently, but I always trip over my tongue when attempting to give someone a short summation.
So I signed up and started off on my quest of perfecting a pitch in 140 characters. I had a bit of a slow start but ultimately came up with something I’m almost happy with – I’d like to get a descriptive adjective in there, but may need a shoe horn to do it. Oh, and I thought about tweet-shrinking my pitch, but decided to go for the gusto and complete the pitch without shrinking. Sooooo, here it is:
Title: The Journal of Angela Ashby
Genre: Middle Grade contemporary with magical elements
When her magical journal falls into a bully’s hands, a girl must sacrifice her deepest desire to protect her unborn brother’s happiness
In a nutshell and 135 characters… but, I’ll probably continue to tweak – leave a comment & help me make it sparkle.
With the feedback from below, I’ve been toying with some new pitches, so here is #2
Conjuring a gnome was fun, but when her magical journal falls into a bully’s hands, Angela must recover it before her last wish causes chaos
With her magical journal in a bully’s hands, a girl must sacrifice her desire 2 reunite her parents 2 protect her unborn brother’s happiness
I’ve incorporated Rebecca’s suggestion below for the third version. And hop on over to Shelley’s blog and see all of the other contestants. It’s going to be fun seeing how everyone sums up their books.