And the great news is, your PitchSlam entry doesn't have to be either. I mean yes, we're looking for amazing. We're desperately hoping to find the diamonds in the rough of the slushpile. But we're also willing to put in a lot of time and effort to help polish them up.
Because we are fanTAStic. And because just like in life, we don't always get this writing thing quite right the first, second, or even seventh time around. And some of the best moments in life are the second-chance-moments. The ones where someone says, "Close, but not quite." AND THEN LETS YOU TRY AGAIN.
That's what PitchSlam is really about. It's not about impressing agents (even though we have some GREAT ones). It's not about impressing our Directors, Assistant Directors, and Producers (though how awesome would it be if you did?). It's about this amazing process where you get feedback from MULTIPLE industry professionals and acclaimed critiquers, and use it not just to improve your pitch and first 250, but hopefully your writing as a whole.
Quality feedback is one of the dividing lines between "good" stories and "EXTRAORDINARY" ones. We want to help you hop that line. Or applaud you if you already have.
Here on Team Tempo Tantrums, we're not looking for perfection (though if we find it, we shall hug it oh-so-tightly and kick the ass of anyone who tries to take it from us). Basically, Caitlyn and I are looking for entries that make us say:
We're both speculative fiction authors, but we want to see ALL genres of gorgeousness. It comes down to two simple questions. 1) Is the story concept compelling? 2) Is the writing at a high enough level? If your final entry earns a resounding YES! to both of those questions, you are in with a chance, my friend.
But sometimes in these contests, we grab as much gorgeous as our wee little arms can hold and some of it spills out. WE CAN ONLY HOLD SO MUCH. And this is the part where we share our personal experiences with contests.
Kim: Made the agent round in PitchMadness, PitchWars, and Baker's Dozen. Total requests received: 1 pity request from a very kind agent who offered helpful feedback. Queried the same book and received TWENTY-SIX requests. Currently wrapping up an R&R for a FABulous agent.
Caitlyn: Finalist in PitchWars. Total requests received: 1. Queried and found her agent, the amazing Marlene Stringer, who sold her story in a three book deal to Carina Press shortly after. Her first book debuts June 2015. Follow this girl: @CHMcFarland, and check out her blog. The book is GORGEOUS and it's always super cool to be able to say you followed someone BEFORE they became world famous.
We love pitch contests. Authors DO find their agents through them. Our own books are MILES better because of the contests we participated in. But querying remains the most effective way to find an agent. It might be the way to find YOUR agent.
For full contest details, clickety-click HERE. And be sure to follow the action on the #PitchSlam hashtag. For tips and hints, follow me: @Kymburleev, and @CHMcFarland, and the other brilliant directors, assistant directors, and producers who are donating their time to help improve your pitches and first 250's.
Unless they're already perfect. In which case, carry on.