Hello, writers. Are you thinking about entering Brenda Drake’s Pitch Wars? Are you nervous about the effectiveness of your pitch? Would you like a little help before the contest begins?
If you answered yes to any of the previous questions, I believe I can help.
I’m offering four Pitch Wars hopefuls query critiques and one grand prize winner an additional first chapter critique. All you have to do is type your query in the comments below.
Who am I, and why would you want my help?
I’m glad you asked, but know that I really don’t like tooting my own horn. It makes me feel like a douche. Anyway, I’m an author of horror and dark fantasy, who is represented by Gina Panettieri, of Talcott Notch Literary Services, and also recently signed a three book deal with Permuted Press. My short story, COVERT GENESIS, will be featured in Snafu: An Anthology of Military Horror, available July 11th, from Cohesion Press. My work was also featured in Volume 11 of The Siren’s Call e-magazine and will appear in The Dark Carnival anthology this fall from Pen & Muse Press. Plus, from July through December of last year I interned for Inklings Literary Agency evaluating full submissions. And on top of all that, I was an alternate mentee in Pitch Wars two years ago.
I learned everything the hard way, by rolling up my sleeves and getting my hands dirty. I also spent six years in the United States Air Force as an Aircraft Fuel Systems Specialist so I know the meaning of hard work and effective communication. If you’re looking for a pat on the back, or sugar coating, I’m not the guy you’re looking for. If, however, you’re looking for honest feedback from an author who will treat you the way they would like to be treated, then you came to the right place.
I would say I specialize in genre horror for adults, specifically horror. I’m also an avid fantasy reader. If you’d like some help with your pitch and you think I may be able to help, please type your query in the comments below. I’ll accept entries until midnight EST, July 4th. I’ll announce the top three winners on July 6th, at 8AM EST. My top choice will also receive a first chapter evaluation (if they so choose).
I am by no means an expert when it comes to queries or sample pages, but I’d like to think I know my way around the block. I’d be leery of anyone claiming otherwise. All entrants should also remember that the business of publishing is subjective. Just because one person likes your pitch doesn’t mean a literary agent will, or anyone else will. There are no guarantees, only hard work.
DISCLAIMER: All opinions are my own and are totally independent of my agent. I am not affiliated with Brenda Drake’s Pitch Wars contest in any way, shape, or form.
RULES: This contest is open to any writer thinking of entering Pitch Wars. Keep in mind I specialize in genre fiction for adults, specifically horror. Things like MG and romance probably won’t appeal to me. I’ll provide a sample entry below. The contest is open from right now, until midnight EST on July 4th. Winners will be announced July 6th, at 8AM EST. This will give winners enough time to receive feedback before the submission window for Pitch Wars officially opens.
SAMPLE QUERY: Please format your query as follows…
Name: Brian W. Taylor
Genre: Adult Horror
Word count: 92,000 words
Email address: BlahBlah@gmail.com
Every family has secrets. Mitsuko Nakamura’s may be the death of her. She has no idea angel blood courses through her veins. But when an unholy alliance of fallen angels and vampires kick down her door, murder her best friend, and infect her mother with tainted vampire blood, their dark intentions are clear: They want back into heaven and believe she holds the key.
Thrust into an age old war, Mitsuko forges her own alliance with the head of the vampire nation and the remnants of the angelic race. Their goal is simple: suppress the vampire rebellion and keep the fallen angels from taking back heaven. But nothing is as it seems and all factions have ulterior motives, even Mitsuko, who seeks the forbidden fruit of knowledge to cure her mother’s vampirism. Outnumbered, surrounded, and betrayed, Mitsuko must find a way to embrace her heritage and discover who, or what, she really is before heaven and earth fall, and humanity is harvested for its most precious resource—blood.
Complete at 92,000 words, my book, BETWEEN SHADOWS AND DARKNESS, is equal parts horror and fantasy. This book could either be a standalone project or the start of a series and will appeal to fans of “The Strain Trilogy,” by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan, and “The Blood Gospel,” by James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell. Thank you for your time and consideration.
With warm regards,
Brian W. Taylor
PRIZES: Three winners will be plucked from the slush and receive query critiques. One grand prize winner will receive a query critique, and a complete first chapter critique. All winners will also receive a critique of their revised query letter.
It should be pretty self explanatory after seeing that. Don’t worry about your sample yet. If your query letter does its job and interests me, then we’ll talk about sample pages. I hope everyone is clear about the rules and formatting. Feel free to send any questions you may have my way and I’ll do my best to answer them. My contact information can be found under the “Contact” page. Good luck to everyone entering. You’ve got a week. What have you got to lose?