My Shot at a Pitch Contest (Entangled Publishing on NA Alley)

The awesome folks at NA Alley are hosting a pitch contest from Entangled Publishing.  NA Ally are a group of people who have been or are in the writing/publishing biz and who are focused on the New Adult genre. If you haven’t heard of NA, it is a genre that bridges the gap between Young Adult and Adult. This is my favorite time of life to focus on as a writer – that transition from teenager to adult.

NA Alley does an incredible job of bringing us followers a mix of articles that range from helping define the genre, focusing on upcoming writers/publishers in this genre, and even bringing in publishers in this space and giving writers a chance to pitch to them. Love NA Alley!

So a pitch contest… This was a new concept to me. As an independent author, I haven’t really started getting into the long haul of trying to get my book(s) accepted by a publisher (large or small). I do plan to make a concentrated effort in the fall after my MBA is done. On NA Ally, a pitch contest is when they bring in an editor or editors from a publisher, give you a list of rules on how to make your pitch and what they are looking for, and then they review all the submissions and pick winners who then get to submit a full manuscript. This is a great way for writers like me to know that someone is at least seeing and considering my pitch. It has “opportunity” written all over it.

Click here to see the details of this particular pitch contest with Entangled Publishing. They key part here is that I had to write my pitch. And I was only limited to 3 sentences. So what did I do? First I researched how to write a pitch. I found a great article by Nathan Bransford. The key part I pulled out of it was that a pitch should have 3 elements and go something like this: When OPENING CONFLICT happens to CHARACTER(s), they have OVERCOME CONFLICT to COMPLETE QUEST. And then make sure to add a splash of spicy to spark the interest of the editor.

After that I figured the blurb for my book was a good place to start. But – from what I can tell – blurbs should be a little more on the vague side, and pitches slightly more specific. Besides which, my blurb was more than 3 sentences so I had to re-write it anyway. I won’t bore you with the 10 different re-writes I did to create my pitch. I will say that I had my mother – who was a high school English teacher – check and make sure my very long sentences were properly structured.

Below is what I finally submitted for Blue Violet. Thanks to NA Alley and Entangled Publishing for the opportunity. And cross your fingers for me!

Blue Violet (Svatura, #1) – Pitch:

When Ellie Aubrey leaves her only remaining family and comes out of hiding after over a hundred years on the run, she knows she is risking her life, but she can’t turn her back on the Jenners, a small family of people who, like her, possess extraordinary abilities. At first she keeps her identify a secret even from Alex Jenner, though she desperately hopes he might turn out to be her fated soul-mate. But when Ellie’s worst nightmare comes true, and the Vyusher – another clan who massacred her own very powerful family of Svatura – threaten to destroy everything she holds dear, she must sacrifice herself to save those she loves most by revealing a terrible truth… sometimes not all monsters are make believe.

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