HELP! Successful Pitch Examples

MonicaDePaul

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I am wondering if there are any examples of successful pitches from past PitchFest events. I have already read the Pitch Rules page from beginning to end, but it only provides a single example of what a pitch may look like, and I'm having trouble applying it to my own story. My own attempts at writing pitches in the past have never proven successful. Examples of what has already worked for various agents and editors would be amazing.
 
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Leslie

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I am wondering if there are any examples of successful pitches from past PitchFest events. I have already read the Pitch Rules page from beginning to end, but it only provides a single example of what a pitch may look like, and I'm having trouble applying it to my own story. My own attempts at writing pitches in the past have never proven successful. Examples of what has already worked for various agents and editors would be amazing.
Hi Monica and welcome!
We take down the pitches after the pitchfest results are posted to ensure the privacy of the folks involved. So we can't share any of those pitches. We're pretty careful about ensuring that what you post here always belongs to you. :)

That said, there are some resources that I can post here. I'll need to pull them out of the archives, but I am happy to do that. Give me a day and I'll have some resources for you.

Happy pitching!
 
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gphurley1

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Hi Monica and welcome!
We take down the pitches after the pitchfest results are posted to ensure the privacy of the folks involved. So we can't share any of those pitches. We're pretty careful about ensuring that what you post here always belongs to you. :)

That said, there are some resources that I can post here. I'll need to pull them out of the archives, but I am happy to do that. Give me a day and I'll have some resources for you.

Happy pitching!

Pardon my ignorance, but two of the lines suggested for stating what your book is, are as follows:

Currently Looking for Tags: YA Fantasy
Genre: Middle Grade Urban Fantasy

Now, if the book in question is a MG Urban Fantasy, what is the "currently looking for tags" bit all about? Is it to say 'these are other tags that might suit my work?' Sorry if I'm being a little dense, this is new to me.

Thanks,

GP Hurley
 
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Leslie

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Pardon my ignorance, but two of the lines suggested for stating what your book is, are as follows:

Currently Looking for Tags: YA Fantasy
Genre: Middle Grade Urban Fantasy

Now, if the book in question is a MG Urban Fantasy, what is the "currently looking for tags" bit all about? Is it to say 'these are other tags that might suit my work?' Sorry if I'm being a little dense, this is new to me.

Thanks,

GP Hurley
Not dense at all! thanks for asking the question. The "Currently looking for" tags are what the Pub Pros are looking for. So if you have a book that is MG Urban Fantasy and the PubPro has MG Urban Fantasy on their Current Looking for List then you should pitch to that Pub Pro! We're trying something new to help match the best story with the best Pub Pro.

Let me know if this does not make sense!
 
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gphurley1

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Not dense at all! thanks for asking the question. The "Currently looking for" tags are what the Pub Pros are looking for. So if you have a book that is MG Urban Fantasy and the PubPro has MG Urban Fantasy on their Current Looking for List then you should pitch to that Pub Pro! We're trying something new to help match the best story with the best Pub Pro.

Let me know if this does not make sense!
So as mine is MG DF TT FA, should I pitch to pub pros that are very similar? Or look for exact matches?

Obviously I'm not going to look at pitching to Adult Romance, YA High Fantasy, etc.

But as my MG FA [etc] is very dark and gritty should I risk sending it to a YA FA? I'd say it is very close to being a YA FA. It could also be classed as MG Urban Fantasy.
 
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Leslie

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OK so here are the promised examples. Well, not exactly examples, but links to good content that has been recommended in various pitchprep classes:

Also, this is a formula from Miss Snark's blog:
X is the main guy; he wants to do_____.
Y is the bad guy; he wants to do_____.
They meet at Z and all L breaks loose.
If they don’t resolve Q, then R starts and if they do it’s L squared.
 
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Leslie

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So as mine is MG DF TT FA, should I pitch to pub pros that are very similar? Or look for exact matches?

Obviously I'm not going to look at pitching to Adult Romance, YA High Fantasy, etc.

But as my MG FA [etc] is very dark and gritty should I risk sending it to a YA FA? I'd say it is very close to being a YA FA. It could also be classed as MG Urban Fantasy.
In our experience, most pub pros are looking for specific content to fit a specific set of criteria. One of the biggest complaints we get from them is people pitching outside of what was requested. So, based on what we hear, one of the biggest things you can do to improve your ability to sell is to fit the currently described genre/age/sub-genre criteria. And have a drop-dead amazing pitch that accurate describes your story of course. :)

If your story is very close to a genre or age, then maybe, but also realize that close may not be good enough. This is a judgement call, and the more you know about what the agent or editor is looking for, the better you can decide if your pitch makes sense based on that person's criteria.
 
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MonicaDePaul

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OK so here are the promised examples. Well, not exactly examples, but links to good content that has been recommended in various pitchprep classes:

Also, this is a formula from Miss Snark's blog:
X is the main guy; he wants to do_____.
Y is the bad guy; he wants to do_____.
They meet at Z and all L breaks loose.
If they don’t resolve Q, then R starts and if they do it’s L squared.
I think I'm misunderstanding something here. Should the pitch be one sentence, or should it be as long as a back cover blurb? These are two very different lengths. Or is it something in between? I just want need someone to be interested in my story, so knowing what's correct for this specific event would be ideal.

This is what I have so far based on a one-sentence pitch. It hardly covers the whole story, but I doubt that's possible in one sentence:
When a nerdy, transgender teen turns into a vampire, only she can stop Count Dracula’s trio of undead werewolves from destroying her town.
 
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Leslie

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I suppose I'll just guess from here. My best understanding is that it's somewhere between a back cover blurb and a single-sentence pitch. I probably won't get picked anyway. I never am.
We always suggest a three-line pitch but many people find this too restrictive so we have expanded that to less than 250 words. Crafting an effective pitch seems to get the key conflict condensed into simple phrases. IMO this is hard and if I cannot write a decent pitch for my story, that means that I do not have the main conflict fully understood in my head. But that's me. :)

That's why we like this format. It drives out those elements:

(Character) desperately wants _______ in order to ___________ but s/he is prevented by _______________until he _____________ to overcome obstacle.

So you can do this in three lines or 5 but as long as it's succinct and has the conflict that drives the story, it seems to be effective. @RJ Garside and @Dawn_McClure you want to weigh in here?
 
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