A year-and-a-half ago on a whim, I entered a little contest (under exaggeration there) called Pitch Madness. Amazingly I got in and had all kinds of interest, all of which led to an offer of representation! Woo hoo!!
Brenda Drake is one of the most giving authors I’ve ever encountered, and I owe her a lot, so today I want to do some giving back of my own. If you haven’t heard, Pitch Madness is open for entries TODAY! Right up until 11:59 EDT. All entries time-stamped before that time will be considered (no cut-offs!). You can find more information HERE. But seriously, if you are seeking an agent, you should enter. Really.
Now, I am not claiming to be an expert, but I have had a lot of success with my past pitches, SO . . . as a way to give back, from now until 4:00 PM EDT (of Monday, March 10th), I am offering to critiquing/helping with anyone’s pitch who wants help.
Simply send an e-mail to rjljohnson (dot) janet (at) gmail (dot) com with PITCH CRIT in the subject line, and the pitch you want critiqued in the body (remember, the pitches can only be 35 words). Feel free to ask any specific questions there, too. I will respond in the order they’re received.
Please spread the word, and wishing all the Pitch Madness entrants the best of luck!
Holy Cow, has it really been a MONTH since I posted?!
Unbelievable. So I stayed busy doing this:
Over the years, I have lived in many a rented house. Though it is not always my preferred state of things, I have learned a few things:
I’m sure you’re wondering why I’m rambling on about my housing likes and dislikes. Here’s the thing. It kindof reminds me of critiquing . . .
When you critique someone else’s work, it’s easier to see the problems. And it’s easier to see what is well-done. It just is. You aren’t married to it like you are with your own work, and you can use a more discerning eye.
Personally, I can’t tell you how much I have learned about my own writing by critiquing others’ work. Both from the good and from the bad. Critiquing is not just helping someone else, it’s helping yourself.
Do you have critique partners? What have you learned from critiquing others’ work?
This past weekend, I went to my local SCBWI region’s annual conference. I had a great time, and my head is swimming with all the great advice and inspiration shared by the speakers.
I was reminded that agents and editors are nice, normal people, too. When you find yourself in the query trenches, it’s easy to forget that. And same goes for award-winning authors.
Also, I got to meet Caroline Tung Richmond who blogs at Adventures in Space. This is the first time I’ve met a fellow blogger in person (and of course, I didn’t have a camera), but we had a great time visiting!
Anyway, over the years, I have attended several conferences, and I wanted to impart a bit of advice to anyone considering going to one.
In short, my advice is to participate as fully as possible. There’s nothing like a conference to boost your writers morale and get you inspired to finish your WIP. The more you put in, the more you get out. (cliché, I know, but still true).
Have you ever been to a conference? What was your experience?
Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to go to France for two weeks as a tour guide. No, I am not French scholar. And Yes, it was a LOT of work to get ready.
This iconic building fascinates me. It was built for the Paris Universal Exposition of 1889. It was meant to stand for 2 years before it would be dismantled. Then they upped its life to 20 years, and finally, with the coming of the radio and its usefulness assured, they decided to keep it.
It’s hard to imagine, from our current frame of reference, that the French would ever have considered taking the Eiffel Tower apart. But back then it was something of an atrocity to many. Modern art at it’s worst, so some people thought.
Now we can look back and breathe a sigh of relief that they revised their plans. Somehow, Paris just wouldn’t be Paris without it.
Writing can be a bit like this. We lay out our plans. We set our goals. We write our books and think that’s the end.
And then the first critiques come back.
We revise our work and sigh with relief that that’s done.
And then the next batch of critiques come back. I’m sure you get the idea.
What’s important to remember though, are the breathtaking results from your efforts.
Oh wait! How’d that get in there? I meant to post these . . .
So when you’re working on that next draft. Just think of the Eiffel Tower and all the future audiences you will wow.
It will be worth it.
For all of you writers of YA and Adult fiction, Vicki and I will be giving away a 10-page critique by the fabulous Sarah LaPolla of Curtis Brown as part of our upcoming Brawl ‘n Haul Contest from March 28 to April 1. And there are plenty of other great prizes for those who aren’t into writing. Trust me, you don’t want to miss it!
If you aren’t yet, be sure you’re following both my blog and Vicki’s. And though she’s on a blogging break until April 6, go check out Sarah’s blog where she publishes novel excerpts, short stories, flash fiction, memoirs, and personal essays.
(And if you want to enter but don’t have a way to follow, contact me via my handy-dandy “Contact Me” tab. Vicki and I are low stress.)
T-minus 5 days and counting until the fun begins!
I know! Who wouldn’t want someone standing by you for three-months, helping you through this lonely and crazy writer’s world we navigate? This contest is open until Wednesday, September 29, so go check it out.