Pitch me a fast one, me hearties!

The internet is brimming full of pitch (also called a logline) contests right now. The Authoress on Miss Snark's First Victim recently held two critique contests for loglines, and will be holding another one this week (here's her post from last Friday), in preparations for her Baker's Dozen Agent Auction in December. (Note - the MG/YA category has been bumped from 40 up to 80 submissions.)

How important is it to have a logline ready? Pretty important. Knowing your logline ahead of time can give you a foot in the door when conversing with agents, and an agent who chooses to represent you may also use that same log line when trying to interest publishers.

Also, a lot of writing contests require a logline to be submitted with your work, including WRITERS DIGEST's seventh "Dear Lucky Agent Contest" (which ends November 3rd - YA genre only - you still have time to enter!), judged by Ms. Tamar Rydzinski of The Laura Dail Literary Agency. In this contest, a logline must be included in the entry of the first 150-200 words of your novel. (Quick side note: I am entering this contest, and was very excited to learn that Ms. Rydzinski belongs to the agency that represents Bonnie Hearn Hill, YA author of The Star Crossed Series. Ms. Hill is actually from where I live, and a few fortunate writers, including myself, received a quick critique from her a few months ago at my local RWA meeting! Kind of crazy that I'm now submitting the exact same thing to her agency!)

The ladies at the Operation Awesome blog are holding a one line pitch mystery agent contest (ends soon), so if you have one and it's for a novel in the genre they're looking for, head on over there!

For those of you who've spent countless hours of blood, sweat and tears trying to write a query or synopsis, the one sentence pitch is yet another opportunity to claw your eyes out (or, if you're a fan of Snip's poem, chew your own feet).

But what IS a one sentence pitch, exactly? Well, to put it simply, it's the summarization of the plot of your book in one sentence - a way to grab an agent, suck them in, and make them beg to read some (and hopefully all) of your work.

If you're wanting to learn more about pitches, here are a few links to check out:

* Holly Bodger's (who is helping critique Authoress's logline submissions) Loglines

* Angelica R. Jackson pointed out in the comments of Operation Awesome's contest that another good place for info on pitches is on Kristen Nelson's (of Nelson Literary Agency) blog, Pub Rants.

AND, JUST ADDED: Agent Miriam Kriss's post on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog - The Perfect Pitch.

So there you have it. Another feat to accomplish in the writerly world. (They never stop coming, do they?) After spending so much time working on mine (it's far from "good", but I'm going to keep trying), I've learned that from now on, before I even begin to write a book, I'm going to write the pitch first. Not only does it help give perspective on the plot and MC's goal as you're writing, but it also saves a lot of time when you're done and trying to figure out how in the world to put this story full of discoveries, twists and turns into a mere sentence or two!

Have any of you written a pitch for your current MS/WiP? Feel free to share them in the comments - I'd love to read them!


Katrina L. Lantz said...

Awesome! I knew about some of those contests (hee hee, esp Operation Awesome), but not all of them! Great opportunities! Thank you so much for the linkage. Happy writing today. You're doing nano, right?

Jessica L. Brooks (coffeelvnmom) said...

I am Katrina, though I won't be making my way over there until probably Wednesday =( And gee, wonder how you knew about OA? *winks*

Elisabeth Black said...

I have written one but it needs some work. Sounds like a cool contest!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

One sentence is certainly a challenge!