2016 PitchWars Wishlist

PitchWars

Signing with my agent was one of the best days of my life and it’s something I want you to experience as well. Before I get into all the things that give me grabby hands, allow me to introduce myself.

My Backstory:

My name is Natasha Neagle (that’s Nagel like bagel), but most people on the interwebs call me Nat. Either one is fine. I am repped by Michelle Richter of Fuse Literary. I’m married with two not-so-tiny humans (Evil Genius and Mini Me), four demented cats, and two dogs.

By trade, I am a teacher. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a Master’s in Curriculum & Instruction. I am currently seeking my Ed.S. in Educational Leadership through Old Dominion University (where I also received my BS in Biology). I teach eighth grade physical science (think basic chemistry and physics) and used to teach high school Biology.

This is my second year participating in PitchWars. I didn’t participate in 2015 due to personal reasons.

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YA

No NA or Adult. Sorry folks, maybe next year.

Make sure you have a synopsis available (don’t worry if it sucks) because I will ask for one this year.

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The following will give me grabby hands and fill my heart with happiness.

DIVERSITY & #OWNVOICES

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The novels on our bookstore shelves do not represent the world. They never have. This is a problem.

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Does your book feature LGBTQIA? GIMME.

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I’m particularly interested in bisexual main characters, but if you have any LGBTQIA characters represented in your novel, I WANTS IT.

Does your book feature a physical or mental disability? GIMME.

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These characters are missing from books. If you have them in your novels, I call dibs on your manuscript.

Does your book feature POC? GIMME.

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We don’t look the same and our books need to reflect this.

If you have diverse characters within any of the genres I’m looking for below, I need your novel in my life.

Sci-Fi/Fantasy & Horror.

These will always be my first love. I became hooked on reading fantasy and horror when I bought my first Christopher Pike book from the bookstore when I was 8. My first manuscript was a fantasy that featured alternate histories (drooling for this in my inbox, BTW) and the last one I turned into my agent was a fantasy with romantic elements.

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If you know me at all, you know I’m 100% in love with Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series and the TV show. I even used it as a comp title for my latest novel. Sidebar: If you are an Outlander fan, we MUST follow each other on Twitter!

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If you’ve written anything that meshes time travel with romance and feisty ladies and gorgeous guys (kilts not required), DO NOT PASS GO, DO NOT COLLECT $200. GIVE IT TO ME NOW.

 

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I LOVE supernatural and sci-fi characters thrown into an otherwise normal world. Especially when they are the love interest. As for horror, I want to be afraid. I want to question EVERYTHING…

Thrillers and Mystery.

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Besides writing fantasy, I’ve written a few YA thrillers. I love any story that will make me wonder who dunnit. I enjoy reading books where I refuse to stop reading because I have to know if the characters are going to get out of their current situation. I want to be shocked. I want to keep guessing until the end when you totally pull the rug out from under me. Make me go back and reread, looking for clues once I reach the end.

Contemporary.

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I found that I like to write a bit of everything when I wrote my YA contemporary romance. I’m on a romance kick, so if you’ve written one (especially if your character is diverse), I’d love to read it. As a former band geek and the parent of two saxophone players (one in his school’s award-winning marching band), I’d love to see a contemporary that deals with marching band. I’d also kill for a road trip or summer camp novel. If you’ve written something like this, then I WANT IT.

Your Genre Not Listed?

That’s okay! If your novel is filled with the voice of quirky characters that will make me laugh, ugly cry, or feel ANY emotion, then GIMME. I’m not a huge historical fiction (unless *cough cough* time travel or some alternate reality is involved), but that doesn’t mean I won’t read it. Because I have. It makes me happy when books surprise me, and I love them. If your manuscript has any of the elements I mentioned above, definitely consider me. If you think I might be able to help you take your novel to the next level, consider me.

If you’ve written from a male POV, multiple POVs, have dual timelines, reverse timelines, etc. please consider me for your mentor! I eat that stuff up with a spoon. And not a little spoon, I mean, the big serving spoons!

When in doubt: QUERY ME. PICK ME. LOVE ME.

What You Can Expect From Me:

My feedback will be honest, just like the feedback you will receive once the book is published. I always offer up suggestions when I find an error and turn things into teachable moments (the teacher in me will never die) or ask questions to make you think outside of the parameters of what you’ve written. There’s no sugar coating or ass-kissing here, but I’m not mean either.

If I don’t like something, I will tell you.
If I love something, I will tell you.
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I will help you edit your manuscript and point out the following:

      • lack of voice/internal dialogue
      • plot holes and continuity issues (especially if they are science related)
      • telling
      • passive voice
      • filter words
      • overused words/phrases
      • words/phrases used too close together
      • lack of setting/missing details/pointing out where you could expand a scene
      • grammar

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Pitch Madness

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know today is the day. The submission window opens for Brenda Drake’s Pitch Madness. Do you plan on entering? I did.

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THE CONTEST: 

Pitch Madness is a contest where agents compete in a game against their peers for pitches. This time the game is Clue logo2. If you haven’t been a part of a Pitch Madness challenge before, please check out this post here for more information. The slush readers will read through the pitches and pick the top 60 pitches for the agent round starting on March 18.

SUBMISSION WINDOW: ALL DAY Monday, March 10 (12:01 AM EST – 11:59 PM EST)

THE FORMATTING: 

The email for submissions is brendadrakecontests@gmail.com – NO ATTACHMENTS – All pitches must be embedded in the email.

Email subject line: Pitch Madness: TITLE OF MANUSCRIPT

Name: Your name
Title: TITLE OF MANUSCRIPT
Genre: Category/genre of your manuscript (ie. YA Fantasy)
Word Count: Word count (round to the nearest 1000th – ie. 70,000)

Pitch: 35word (max) logline. Do not go over even one word. Single spaced. Times New Roman 12pt. No indentions.

Excerpt: The first 250 words of your manuscript. If the 250th word falls in the middle of a sentence, go to the end of that sentence. Your pitch should be Times New Roman 12pt, single spaced, one space between paragraphs, no paragraph indentions. Make sure the formatting is done correctly, but if the email transfer messes it up we will still take it.

The Agents: For all of the agents information (twitter, website, etc click here)

  • Maria Vincente
  • Jessica Sinsheimer
  • Uwe Stender
  • Laurie McLean
  • Carrie Howland
  • Peter Knapp
  • Melissa Jeglinski
  • Christa Heschke
  • Sean McCarthy
  • Jordy Albert
  • Lara Perkins
  • Rena Rossner
  • Mr. Boddy (aka Secret Agent)

Good luck to everyone that enters!

PitMad Results

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Pitmad flew by and wow, what another amazing day. I went in with my three original pitches and half-way through the day one came to me that captured Carri’s voice so well, I pitched it the rest of the evening. When all was said and done I walked away with 6 favorites. 

I’ve started the traditional query process as well, which has started off exceptionally well with my first query landing me a full request.

This is me:

One On One Contest

I love twitter and blogs in the writing community because there are so many opportunities to get your work in front of an agent. It’s like attending conferences without having to pay the high costs and never leaving your office chair. I love it. Thanks to twitter, I discovered another contest that will be taking place BEFORE PITMAD or SUNVSSNOW, called the One on One Contest.

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This contest gives you the opportunity to win 30 minutes to talk one on one with agent,  Pooja Menon from Kimberley Cameron & Associates if you are one of 10 chosen from the first 50 that submitted their query on Jan 4. Go polish your queries and set up that email! Mine’s ready and waiting. See the details of Mike Anthony’s contest here.

 

First Chapter Critique Opportunity

Run don’t walk to Melanie Concklin’s website where you can enter for a chance to win a first chapter critique on your MG or YA novel. Get the full details here.

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What you have to do: 

Email Melanie your name, title, category, genre and query to melanie dot conklin at mac dot com. She is even giving feedback on the queries she’s getting as well and will then contact you if you win the full critique form her.

When does it end? 

You have until Midnight on Dec 23rd. So hurry!

 

I’ve already submitted mine! I hope you do as well.

 

#PitchMAS Success

Well #Pitchmas has come and gone and I have to say I am pleasantly surprised with the interest I received from agents and editors. I completely botched up the first half of the contest, which was a blog pitch, so it was no surprise to me that my 35 word pitch didn’t get selected. I created three pitches and scheduled my tweets to publish (BTW, if you’re a follower, sorry you had to put up with all my pitch tweeting). All I had to do was wait.

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Until all at once, the requests came in. Some through favorites, others simply told me they liked my material. Which lead me to do this:

Breakfast Club Dancing

And at the end of the day, I walked away with 5 requests, one of which has already turned into a full submission.

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Now the problem I’m having is #pitchMAS withdrawal. It was so much fun and I made so many amazing writers attempting to hook an agent or publisher as I am. None of it would have been possible without the genius idea of Jessa Russo and Tamara Mataya and for them I am thankful.

Preparing for #PitchMAS

Thanks to the amazing efforts to @Pitchmas, there is an amazing contest about to take place for authors seeking representation and publication. I’ve been working all week to hone my twitter pitch for the upcoming #PitchMAS and I think I’m going to test the waters with these three.  You have to tweet your novel in less than 140 characters while including the genre and the hashtag #PitchMAS

PITCH1:

Hell wants to open the gates of Heaven & spark the end of days, leaving Carri & her Guardian Angel to stop a war or die trying. #PITCHMAS YA

PITCH 2:

17yo Carri & her Guardian Angel boyfriend are banned from heaven, but it’s up to them to prevent Hell from breaking in. #PITCHMAS YA/UF

PITCH 3:

Banned from Heaven for who she is. Wanted by Hell for what she can do. An ancient plot makes her a danger to both. #PITCHMAS YA/UF

 

Which (if any) are your favorite? Pitch 3 is my favorite

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