As the second round of Son of a Pitch wraps up, I sit here smiling…tired and my mind a bit frazzled, but very happy.
I read 51 entries, which included a query and the first 250 words of the manuscript. I hosted eleven of them on this little blog! It was an honor. I read some once, others…after revisions were posted…twice, and some more than that. I gave all my opinions. I squeed at some of the words. I smiled at others. I gasped. I laughed. I sighed. From horror, to fantasy, to sci-fi, to romance, to women’s fiction, to literary…YA, NA, and adult…everyone brought something different to this event. Everyone came to learn. Everyone united to help.
Son of a Pitch is my favorite writing competition. Everyone gets feedback. Everyone participates. Everyone is involved. #sonofapitch has been my favorite hangout these last few days.
I am so proud of how hard the critiquers worked! I am so proud of how hard the participants worked to listen, to absorb, and then took the comments and revised! Seriously, some of these queries went from confusing or vague to clear, concise, and unforgettable. How many first 250 passages went from pretty good to HOLY WOW GIVE ME MORE PAGES NOW!
Today is the day we, the critiquer/judges vote. I will post my vote in the comments of my chosen five. Yes, five. And I get to pick two alternates, which will remain secret for tie breaking purposes. I am going to post my winners and links to them here. In a second…
For as I write this I still haven’t quite decided. This isn’t a whose query is better, who used the best words kinda thing. There’s no formula. This is all subjective. And I, being me, am drawn to certain things. The weird. The magical. The creepy. So even though plenty of words were pretty darn shiny, though so many queries made me want to read the manuscript, I will choose what I am drawn to. Everyone will. That’s how art works, an untamable beast.
Okay…I might have figured this out. Let’s not be shocked that my chosen are YA in the horror, suspense, and fantasy genres.
In no specific order…
ASHES, ASHES… Go read it here.
I chose this one, because I COULD NOT STOP THINKING OF IT. The premise just stuck in my head. The first 250 had me…AH, PEOPLE, THE WORDS. The revised query…really good! Chills. Baby. Chills.
LUCID… Go read it here.
Yes, another one from my team…I might be prejudice, so shoot me. But again, the premise! The query might still need help, but it’ll get done. The first 250 had me. I was so sad when I came to the end. The character Marlowe is super intriguing. She could be one of my favorite evil characters!
THE BOOKSHOP… Go read it here.
Dude. I am a sucker for a unique fantasy. And if you know me and what I have written, a sucker for ways into other universes. Again, the concept made me bounce in my little chair…or large sofa. The first 250 was intriguing and mysterious. I want the whole story.
NEFFERS… Go read it here.
Really, Kathy. ANOTHER from your blog? YESSIREE! I like horror. The idea of these Neffers, made my creepy, dark soul shiver. After the first line of the query…I WAS READY TO GO! The query has evolved, and is much clearer. The first 250 had so much weird! How could I not love this.
SILVER AND ICE… Go read it here.
The query was good when I read it, but the author has improved it. The idea of silvertongues…those who can control minds with their voices…YES PLEASE. The first 250 set up the mc, promised me a cool world and HELLO QUEEN WHO IS SO COLD ICE CRYSTALS FORM ON THE FLOOR. Dude.
I went back and forth on quite a few. Reread many queries and first words. But had to go with the ones that had left the biggest impression on me. Now we wait to see who makes it into round three and will get their chance in front of the publishers participating. *bites fingernails*
Just because the entry isn’t in my top five, doesn’t mean I didn’t like it. I liked a lot of them. We have done a lot of work over the past few days. Everyone should feel proud. I am proud.
It has been an honor to be involved, thanks to Katie for inviting me! I hope all my new friends keep in touch and tell me how all the words are going.
That is the end of my crazy Son of a Pitch week…or few days…or whatever. I have no idea what day it is. I had a great time.