Thursday, October 25, 2007

Meaningful Procrastination - pitch and paragraph contests

I have been procrastinating on my writing this week... and I blame the agents, damn their oily hides!

Jessica at BookEnds is hosting a ‘perfect your pitch’ blog where authors get to post their novel pitch in her comments section and they will each be critiqued on the blog... of course I had to stop what I was doing and craft a pitch – as I’m not done with my revisions, it was an out of the blue kind of thing and can be termed procrastination in the sense that it detracted from my scheduled work... on the other hand, it helped me really focus on my main plot, which can get lost in all the characters and subplots, so hopefully it’ll help me keep the writing tight and cut where it gets off track... yeah, still procrastination but useful procrastination...

Meanwhile this week, Nathan Bransford is hosting a largely indispensable first paragraph challenge. The entries are past five hundred and the deadline is tonight. I’ve spent large portions of the last two days checking back in to read all of the stellar prose. The prize, for those of you who don’t already know, a partial ms critique and a free copy of a client book of the winner’s choice... there will be one winner and runners up – and the runners up also get the prizes... hazzah...

I was kidding about the oily hide thing, by the way. I think it’s fabulous that these two, very successful and busy agents, would take time away from their schedules and lives to devote to their readership’s work. This is yet another example of why I love the writing community – if you look around just a little bit, you’ll find successful writers, agents, and editors who are happy to help and mentor other writers. It’s a tough business, but sometimes the perks are amazing.

If you haven’t checked out the contests yet, take some time to look around. Even if you don’t want to enter, you’ll find some of the prose astoundingly good on both blogs.


Merry Jelinek said...

I messed up the link for Jessica - the right one is


jjdebenedictis said...

Kristin Nelson also had some pointers on how to write an effective pitch paragraph in one's query letter.

Merry Jelinek said...

Hi JJ,

I've been following pubrants blogs this week, too... some great information from agents right now! Another one I like is Jennifer Jackson, though I don't have a link handy, you'll find it on the blogroll at pubrants and a few other agent blogs.

Nice to see you.

Angela WD said...

Thanks for the great links! I'm not ready for a pitch yet, but I bet I'm going to learn something there anyway.

Merry Jelinek said...

Hi Angela,

Agent blogs are priceless! They're a great way to narrow down your list of perspective agents, too. I like BookEnds because it's a great blog and very informative. Also, JJ linked pubrants above, that one's great and they both blog five days a week so there's always new info there.

I'm not ready to pitch yet, either, but I'm building my agent list as I go, so I'll have a better idea of who I'd most like to submit to by the time I'm ready... and it's fun to discuss the blogs with other writers there - I found Ello's blog through comments in an agent blog... I think I may have found Jaye and JJ the same way.

Nice to see you again, thanks for stopping in.