What I Learned While Attending My First Writing Conference, Part 6: #Pitchpalooza

When I attended the writer’s conference back in October, they rounded off the festivities with Pitchpalooza! This was an amazing opportunity for writers to pitch their books to judges and receive detailed feedback. The winner received a face-to-face introduction to an agent. (A 13 year old girl won by the way!) Here are my notes based on the judges’ critique:

  1. Keep your pitch to one minute or less.
  2. To me it seems like the pitch is very similar to the query letter. It should contain: voice, tagline, brief physical description of MC, plot arch, twist at the end–but not reveal the ending.
    1. The judges really emphasized streamlining the pitch. “Treat it like a poem,” they said. Every word should matter.
  3. No cliches!
  4. Genre should be obvious.
  5. Show don’t Tell.
  6. No rhetorical questions.
  7. Make us root for your MC.
  8. List two comparable titles to prove you’re aware of the trending market.
  9. If you’re pitching a memoir or non-fiction, establish your authority to write such a book.

And that’s it! Watching the various authors stand up and read their pitches was so inspiring. I wasn’t ready for such a display of my skills–or lack there of–and did not participate directly, but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Have any of you ever participated in Pitchpalooza, or a similar event? I’d love to know what you thought and took away from the experience.

*This is the last installment of ‘What I Learned While Attending My First Writing Conference’. It’s been fun reviewing my notes and sharing my experiences. I hope you’ve enjoyed it too, and maybe even taken away some knowledge that you didn’t have before. Feel free to share your own experiences in the comments section.

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