A lot of these pitches I think actually are Speculative Fiction. But people don't seem to know what that is so here's an article on it.
My biggest turn offs when going through subs were:
- Word count - 75K is not MG. Nor is 100K. There were the reverse problems too. YA should be 50K minimum (except countries like Australia who accept 45K) [edit: For MG I'm talking straight MG here. Upper MG is more towards the YA word count. Yes, there are exceptions like Harry Potter. But for the purpose of this contest I was going by industry standards. There's links in the comments at the bottom, which include posts by people in the industry, on the word counts.]
- MC age wrong for genre - Generally 13 - 17 MCs are YA, 13 and younger is MG.
- Vague pitch - Some pitches didn't make sense to me and I can't champion something I don't understand.
- Connection - I'm naughty and I don't have any contemporaries. I really wanted one, but none connected with me.
So here's my final list:
#1 YA Sci-Fi - this one I stole from the maybe pile because I loved what the MC was so much!
#2 MG Historical Fantasy - Something that repeatedly came up in the agent wish list was Historical and MG, not necessarily together though, but I still thought this one would catch an agent's eye. It's got links to my day job, but it's not the same one I original picked.
#3 YA SciFi - Looks like it deals with another SciFi concept I love (even though my husband tells me that a story line based on that concept almost killed Spiderman).
#4 YA Paranormal - I'm not convinced the author has this genre right. Personally, I would class it as Speculative Fiction based on the pitch. I snavelled this one before the others even got a chance to look at it, it's that good.
#5 New Adult SciFi - If you can't tell by now, I have a thing for SciFi and I think it's making a comeback. And this one has starships! (Guess who did a lot of Star Wars make-believe as a kid. I made my sister be an Ewok so I could be Leia).
#6 YA Historical Thriller - Again I think this is actually Speculative Fiction (my first genre love!) because of the cross genre components. But I know not a lot of people know or understand the genre. However, this pitch and concept totally sold me.
#7 MG Adventure - What every child needs - a fantasy adventure book that also has elements of my day job. Lets see if anyone can figure out what industry I work in.
#8 Adult Mystery - I kept coming back to this one, drawn in by the MC's occupation.
#9 YA Thriller - I loved the pitch and the concept, but the MC sold it for me. No white wash here!
#10 New Adult SciFi/Horror - Mixing genres can mean Speculative Fiction, but I'd have to read more of this one to know for sure. I really wanted a horror and the MC concept rocked.
#11 YA Fantasy - YA Game of thrones anyone? Great stakes and fantastic opening.
#12 YA Steampunk - Do I need to say anymore?
#13 YA Paranormal - This was one I saw earlier on and it kept calling to me "pick me, pick me." Again, a multicultural feel to the pitch. Excited about this one.
#14 Historical Romance - Another one that's potentially classified incorrectly. But the historical/fantasy mix reminds me of The Falconer (not released yet people) and I think these novels will be one of the next trends.
#15 YA SciFi - This could be Speculative Fiction too! I think SciFi authors need to double check their genres.
For those of you who didn't make it, don't despair as there's a #PitMad Twitter pitch party on September 13 from 8am to 8pm EST. And I'll be announcing a new pitch contest on September 20. All YA genres will be accepted, possibly MG. Look out for the #PitchOn and follow here for more details.