Ok, so I admit I chose that title because I'm still very squee-ish over this last season of Battlestar Galactica. But this time I'm not talking about cylons...unless these people know something I don't.
Nope, I'm talking about the Pitch Contest and the five finalists! I didn't want to delay with this part of the process, so over the weekend and today I went to work. First, I narrowed the field by about 2/3 - a shortlist of around 16. And then...I sat with my pen and those pitches and made notes and deliberated and moved things around and finally came up with five pitches.
Before I announce the winners, I should mention that the number one thing I looked for was an engaging story that intrigued me. A story where I could see possibilities.
Other things that I paid attention to, but that did not trump story was:
The format of the letter. A nice, brief intro line or two is nice, the pitch, and a thanks at the end is appreciated. I prefer the pitch in the body, not as an attachment, but since I didn't particularly specify that, I didn't really take it into consideration. But, for reference, I do think pitches in the body is the norm of most agents/editors.
And I did look at the writing. If there are a lot of spelling errors, well, I take note. Correct spelling and attention to the sentences and structure show me you've put thought into it. I'm a big spelling freak.
But when it was all said and done, the pitch had to sell me on the story, and these are the five ladies that managed it, without further blathering from me!
These five writers will be sending me their first chapters for a critique, and one will then put up with me for the remainder of the year!
I've had several requests to post the winning pitches, so as soon as I have the go-ahead from the authors, I'll post one a day, with comments on why I chose it, and even what suggestions I may have made regarding the story...
If you sent a pitch and didn't final, I WILL be replying to your pitch with comments, so hang tight. I do hope to get to everyone over the next few weeks.
One thing I'm learning from doing this is putting myself in an editor or agents shoes...it's a reminder of how diligent I need to be when I query - so that I stand out from the pack.
So there you go! Congrats to the finalists!