Friday, March 28, 2014

Nest Pitch Introductions - A pitching contest with an Australian and Croatian flavour

There’s a special Easter tradition throughout central and northern Croatia – making Easter Nests.  On the afternoon or eve of Easter Saturday children go out into the garden and collect leaves, grass, twigs, with which to make a “nest” for the Easter Bunny – that’s where he places his Easter-Egg-Presents. The children go to bed that eve wondering if the Easter Bunny will like or love their nest, because the best nest gets the best and biggest eggs!

#NestPitch is based on this idea where an author’s ‘pitch’ is the nest and the Easter Treats are the Agents (SECRET BUNNY AGENT) requests.  Why Croatian I hear you ask? Simple the Host Nikola Vukoja was born in Croatia.

However, as Nikola was raised in Australia, she couldn’t help but bring a little Aussie into the fold… more on that later.
So how does it work?
The submission window will open on April 1st
For those who haven’t been watching/listening carefully, this is how #nestpitch will work.  On April 1st, you will send us your 35-word pitch + the first 300* words of your polished and ready manuscript. 

NOTE; for Picture Books, it’ll be the first 100 words. 
Go here for all the rules and conditions, and please follow the rules & submission guidelines.

Once Submissions are closed, our team of Slush Bilbies will pick the top 100-odd.  For more information on the Slush Bilibies, go to here.

What’s a Bilby?  It’s a super cute Australian Native Animal. Easter Chocolates in Australia are also made in the shape of a Bilby.

From there our Team of Bloggers, yep, I’m one of them, will each pick their favourite pitches to post on their blogs.  The selected pitches will be notified via email also.  For Blogger info go here.

This year there are NINE BLOGGERS, that’s 72 opportunities!
I’ve also added a list of the other Bloggers.  Once the pitches are posted, the Secret Bunny Agents will hop from nest to nest and leave a chocolate treat.

For example:

Golfer Bunny has left you 1 Box of Caramel Eggs – for all the *TREATS* got to here.

You’ll need to know what Easter Treat equals what request so I suggest you save a copy of the Easter Treats request items to your desktop; or better still, print a copy off.

At the end of the Easter Egg Treats day… you will be sent a second email with a list of agents who made a request.  If any agents have given specific email addresses, this will be added to your email. If not, please email to the Agency Website but remember to follow the guidelines with regard to what to write in the Subject Line.
For a quick list of the agents refer below.

But wait; there’s still more! We also have MAGIC BUNYIPS!
Magic Bunyips are Agents who, like their name-sake, will be lurking around the blogs.  If they see something they like, they’ll leave you a “treat” also.  What’s a Bunyip?  Well here’s a little bit more of that Aussie influence.  Bunyips are mythical creatures who live around billabongs (ponds).  They are very shy and secretive, a little strange-looking, but not all that mean and nasty. Sorry, we can’t tell you who the Bunyips are because, frankly, we’re not sure they’re real...

Now, because we know EVERYONE likes a reward for all their hard work, there’s going to be some prizes too.  The pitch that gets the most over-all requests as well as the pitch the gets the most FULL requests will each receive an AMAZON Gift Voucher. 
There are three gift vouchers up for grabs:

(i)             Most overall requests (for selected pitches only)
(ii)           Most FULLS requested (for selected pitches only)
(iii)          First correct Match the Agent to the Mask (everyone             can play!)

How this works:

Each of the agents has taken on a Secret Agent Bunny Mask and your job is to identify who is wearing which Mask. (you’ll find the Agent List here.

There’s an Amazon Voucher in it for the first correct answer.  For more info, go here

Remember all of the above winners will receive an AMAZON Gift Card 

Go to here for more information.

Now to the Bunny Masks, and in no particular order Da-Daaaah!!!




Oh, and don’t panic if you don’t see your genre or category, these are TOP agents who work for AWESOME agencies, eight agencies to be accurate, trust me, their colleges are watching, and waiting, and intending to leave treats under these Bunny Masks.

List of Agents:

Pam Van Hylckama – C0-founder /Agent - Foreword Literary 
Melissa Jeglinski- Agent - The Knight Agency
Pooja Menon- Agent - KimberleyCameron & Associates 
Gina Panettieri  – President - Talcott Notch Literary
Jordy Albert – Co-founder & Senior Agent - The Booker Albert Literary Agency 
Camilla Wray –  Agent - Darley Anderson Literary (UK) 
Sarah Negovetich – Junior Agent/PR Team Leader - Corvisiero Literary Agency  
Cate Hart – Junior Agent - Corvisiero Literary Agency 
Dr. Uwe Stender – President  - TriadaUS Literary Agency

For Agent bio’s go here.

Finally, here’s a schedule, so you don’t miss any of the fun:

Mar 30th           Post on Twitter submission window to open April 1st
Apr 1st -2nd        Submission windows open 1st April NOON USA EST - 11.59am 2nd April USA EST

Apr 3rd -10th     1st Round – Slush Bilbies select top 120 nests*

Apr 12th           Unmask the Agent window open NOON USA EST until 8.00pm Apr 12th USA EST.

Apr 11th -15th  2nd Round – Nest Bloggers  pick their 72 nests*

Apr 16th              3rd Round – Nest Bloggers post their top choices

Apr 17th -19th   4th Round Secret Bunny Agents  stock *nests

Easter Sun.     

Stocked *nests* revealed/Secret Bunny Agents identities revealed

Apr 21st           Unmask the Agent Winner Revealed

Apr 30th           Additional surprise revealed!

Nest Bloggers: 
Tina Moss    

Slush Bilbies:

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Saturday, March 22, 2014

#PitMad Twitter Party Workshop

First up, thank you so much to everyone who gave Team Smartie support during Pitch Madness. It was such an awesome ride again. You can see my team listed on this post here. Please read each one and give them some love.

Now, if you plan of entering the Pitch Madness Twitter After Party, aka #PitMad, then you need to hone your pitches. Yes, PITCHES. Don't just have one. You can post twice an hour so vary it up.

If you'd like help you can find it here on my blog, but here's the rules:

  1. You need to post your full query and your draft pitches (130 words including #PitMad). 
  2. You MUST comment on at least two other entries to provide feedback.

So, here's an example of the process.

My query for my YA SciFi Dirty Rainbow:

Cyborgs freak out Jenna McBride. Her mother and

her bestie, Hetty, assure her cyborgs are simply 

mindless drones used for labour since men became 

extinct. As the Australian head-of-state, Jenna's 

mother should know.

When Hetty has a horrific fall, cyborgs take her 

mangled body away for treatment. Her mother 

attempts to alter Jenna’s memories to ensure she 

doesn’t learn the truth: Hetty will never return. With 

the help of her neighbour, Ashley, Jenna 

investigates why her mother would take such a 

drastic measure. But Ashley has a secret too; she’s 

on Australia’s most-wanted list. Falling for Jenna is 

hazardous for their health.

In her search for answers, Jenna discovers the 

grisly truth about Hetty’s disappearance, cyborg 

creation, and her mother’s role in it all. But she also 

puts Ashley in danger. Jenna must choose: family 

loyalty, or save Hetty and Ashley from the woman 

who raised her.

And here's a sample of just some of the pitches I created from that.

Your mum should love you, care for you and protect you. 

Not erase your memory and arrest your girlfriend. But 

Jenna's does SciFi

Cyborgs shouldn't freak out Jenna. They are just mindless 

drones created for labour after the extinction of men, right? 

YA SciFi (Scored a request)

Extinction of men didn't stop women. They perfected  

procreation, developed drone cyborgs for 

labour&created Utopia, at a price. YA

When Jenna finds her GF's name on her mum's 

undesirable list with a capture order she must decide 

between family and love YA SciFi (Scored a 


Men extinct? No worries, use drone cyborgs for manual 

labour. Mindless androids devoid of feelings. Then one 

waves at Jenna YA SciFi

Don't be an imperfect. Don't be scared of cyborgs. Don't 

fall for the country's no.1 wanted when your mum is the 

leader YA SciFi

Another example using my debut novel SLEEPER.

The Blurb:

A new heart should mean new life, not a living nightmare. 

Mishca Richardson’s life is at an all-time high after her heart transplant. With new boyfriend, Ryder, the two of them have the perfect summer romance. Even the nightmares that have been plaguing her sleep since her operation can’t dull the high she’s on. 

Things start to unravel as Mishca develops superhuman abilities. She does her best to hide them so as not to end up a science experiment in a lab. But she can’t ignore the instant attraction she experiences when she meets her university professor, Colin Reed. 

Torn between the blossoming love and the obsession, Mishca must decide if she wants Ryder or Colin. But the organization responsible for her changes and her connection to Colin, is moving to secure Mishca so that she can be the weapon he always intended her to be. If Mishca can’t resist her programming she’ll have a lot more to worry about than romance.

Some potential Twitter pitches:

After a heart-transplant Mishca turns into regular superhuman. She tries to hide them, but how long until her maker finds her #PitMad NA

A new heart should mean new life, not a living nightmare. Mishca is about to find out just how evil love-at-first-sight can be. #PitMad NA

Mishca discovers love-at-first-sight is no fairytale, it’s a living nightmare, when she falls for her uni professor. #PitMad

So add your query and draft pitches below and I'll give you some feedback. Don't forget to Pay-It-Forward with others.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Pitch Madness Clue edition...Game On

It’s been a long week of reading through all the amazing pitches. Our wonderful readers have narrowed the slush, and your game hosts have chosen sixty pitches for the game. For those of you not familiar with Pitch Madness, it’s a contest where agents compete in a game against their peers for pitches. This time the game is Clue logo2. To meet the slush readers, agent insiders, and the blog teams go here. And you find out more about the amazing agents playing the game on this post here.

Clue Study

Welcome to the Study!

You are cordially invited to a private gathering at the Pitch Madness manor, where your presence would be most welcome in the solution of a murder most foul. Villainous deeds abound as the culprits are killing to get their hands on the most valuable pitches. At the bottom of each pitch's post, there will be a clue to solving the dastardly deed for that pitch. The agent who out sleuths the other agents will win the request. The agents guess what weapon was used in the crime to make a request. All requests are partials, but if more than three agents try to solve the crime, the request becomes a full. To find out more about how the game will be played go to this post here.

Scroll down to view all 15 picks for my blog. 

Comments are set to moderation so the agents won’t see their competitors’ bids. Please no comments other than those from the agents. After the game we’ll release the moderation and let you all comment on the entries. We'll reveal the agent requests on March 20 at 12:00PM (that's noon) EDT.

Please note: We will email submission details for all requests by the agents. After the contest, agents will make requests to us for the pitches they loved and did not win.

Congratulations to those who’ve made it into the game! For those who haven’t made it (and whoever else wants to join us), we are hosting a Twitter Pitch Party on March 25 from 8AM to 8PM EDST on the hashtag #PitMad.

How do you twitter pitch? You can find all the details here. Go to the other hosts’ blogs to read all the winning pitches …

Rebecca Weston   Happy sleuthing!  
















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