Monday, October 1, 2012


Workshops for Get Your Pitch On will start on today October 1, there is no date deadline for the workshops.

Name: Meagan
Country of residence: United States
Genre: YA Contemporary
Word-count: 75,000

Pitch:  Sixteen-year-old Bianca's best friend Yessica fell to her death
from a ledge at the Grand Canyon. Everyone thinks it's an accident,
but Bianca knows the truth. They made a pact to jump. When Yessica's
ex, the lovable nerd Harvey, finds Yessica's suicide note, he asks too
many questions. If Bianca doesn't come clean about the pact and face
the consequences, Harvey might spill it for her.

Meagan, you have my attention, I really want to know why two teenage girls would make a suicide pact.  I think if you added what some of the consequences are or at least the main one(given the limited word) it will give more impact. Below is just my suggestion. It's difficult since I don't know the story but here's goes anyway.

Sixteen year old best friends Bianca and Yessica made a suicide pact one in which only one girl keeps while the other tries to maintain their secret. Things unravel when Harvey Yessica's ex-boyfriend finds her suicide note and threatens to reveal their secret. 

I think getting rid of things like lovablenerdy, where Yessica jumps from gives you more space to add pertinent info that will draw the reader in. In my opinion you want to make your pitch jump off the page grab you reader push them to the edge of their seat and just dangle them there, even after the book ends. Just my opinion I hope it helps. 
Please feel free to offer your opinion on how to make Meagan's pitch stronger, thanks for stopping by.


Important Rule: If you want to participate in a workshop, you must be prepared to comment on at least one other pitch.
How to submit: Email your draft pitch to and include PitchOnWS and the title of the manuscript in the subject line. Pitches must follow the formatting as specified for the Get Your Pitch On contest. If you missed if before check out this post here and you can see the list of blogs participating here.

Interview with Commissioning and Managing Editor of Hardie Grant Egmont, Marisa Pintado, will be coming up soon, so that you have an idea what she's looking for before she takes your pitches both here on Down Under Wonderings and on my group blog YAtopia on October 15th. The exact contest opening times will be included in that post.

ADDITIONALLY, there is an opportunity for you to win a ten page critique from some of the blog hosts: "Make sure to check out all of the workshop host blogs to critique more pitches. For each critique you leave in the comments, you get an entry into the drawing to win one of eight 10-page critiques from our contest host Sharon Johnston and workshop hosts Larissa HardestyStephanie DiazCatherine ScullyJodie AndrefskiPaula SangareTalynn Lynn and Kaitlin Adams, "Also, Sarah Nicolas will be giving away three query critiques!"

  Please use the exact same name for all of your critiques. The opportunity ends 10/14/2012." 

Stop by and visit all participating blogs and lend your critique. Listed below are links to all blogs. You can find a list of all the participating blogs HERE


Anonymous said...


I need to know why they made a pact, and why one girl broke it, and what the real consequences for not telling the truth are? If you could add some of these insights you will really draw the reader in. Harvey finding out doesn't feel like a real consequence. Good luck with your pitch, I think the subject is a fascinating one and sadly suicide very real with teens in particular.


Emilyann Girdner said...

Hi Meagan,

This sounds like such a gipping premise, something I would read. I thought you did well delivering the situation, but others mentioned it felt like the stakes weren't entirely clear.

I am speulating that perhaps Bianca doesn't want Harvey to tell 1) because she feels guilty and 2) she doesn't want her own suicidal thoughts revealed?

I had to speculate a lot to decide that though, and I'm not certain I'm on the right track. Maybe do a little more to clarify that, but otherwise I think the potch is really attention grabbing and clear.

Good luck Meagan :)

Stacey Nash said...

Hi Megan,

This sounds like a good story. I agree with Paula that it would be stronger and show more voice if you dropped the adjectives. Which will also give you more room to play.

Good luck :)

Laurie said...

I need to know a little more. I want to feel more tension, too. There is the potential for some great tension with this premise. Also, the nerdy boyfriend seemed to really contrast with someone wanting to commit suicide. Felt disjointed to me. Great premise, though. Good luck!

Ellie Heller said...

Hi, I'm big on showing sample of what I mean. I apologize for their lack of polish.

I'd up the tension and focus on the fact that no one knows it was a suicide so there's multiple things she's hiding, right? The pact, the truth of the jump.

Sixteen-year-old Bianca knows her best friend's death wasn't an accident, it was suicide because Bianca made a pact to jump too. Her secret seems safe until a suicide note from her friend is found. Threatened with the truth Bianca must decide if she (has the courage to face the censure and shame) (can tell the truth or if she'll let others talk for her again). (has the courage to tell all the secrets she holds).

It's the stake at the end that's not clear. If it's her coming clean about her own thoughts then you need to make it clearer in the query she's still CLOSE or NEAR to the mental state. Actually you might want to focus all on her mental state IF that's a strong theme in your story:

Guilt almost overwhelms Bianca when her best friend dies. She knows the death wasn't an accident, it was supposed to be a dual suicide, but she stopped herself. Now she wishes she could have stopped her friend. Her secret haunts her until a suicide note from her friend is found. Threatened with the truth Bianca must decide if she (has the courage to face the censure and shame) (can tell the truth or if she'll let others talk for her again). (has the courage to tell all the secrets she holds).

A very courageous topic to take on, I hope you find a home for this.

As always take what works for you and 'pitch' the rest!

Katie Teller said...

I think the premise is strong, but the language doesn't reflect the intensity it feels like it needs. Why did they make the pact to jump? Why will it be bad if he spills about it being a suicide? Why didn't she just admit it in the first place? Right now it lacks... conviction I guess?

Meagan said...

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. I have a revision -- but honestly, the common thread in the comments is seeking an answer about why they would make the pact, and that won't be included.

Sixteen-year-olds Bianca and Yessica make a pact to commit suicide at the Grand Canyon. Only Yessica follows through, and the lingering guilt haunts Bianca daily. When Yessica's ex finds a suicide note, his questions circle the truth. When he threatens to reveal Bianca's secret, she'll have to decide if it's worth it to keep her pain hidden anymore, or if she should finally accept help.

Paula Sangare said...

Hi Meagan,
I will post your revision, I totally understand not telling the why for the impact... I am curious to read and find this info out.

I don't think everyone is suggesting you say it out right, but maybe elude to it. It sounds like the reason for the pact is the basis of your ms. Use it to show the conflict behind the why(they made the pact), this may prove to be the cliffhanger you need. Hope this helps

Thanks for stopping

Paula Sangare said...

*correction* pact not impact