Friday, March 15, 2013


#PitchMadness is a contest run by the fantastic/wonderful/hard-working/must-be-crazy Brenda Drake. You can read a great deal more about it on her blog. The contest submission window opened at 6am this morning and closed at noon. Here's the thing, a bunch of my favourite people in the Twitter Writing Community are involved, either as Blog Hosts and Slush Zombies, or Agents (4 of my Top 10 list of agents are involved!!!).

After some prodding from my friends in the community I made the jump and entered. The time of my submission? 6:05am. No, I didn't get up that early just to submit (there was no cut-off, and after 11am is more my style), I was up for a hockey tournament.

Even if I don't make it to round 2, this is an experience, and I'm meeting a fair number of new people at a similar stage in their writing aspirations. So it's a win no matter what happens.

The submission requirements were: A pitch of no more than 35 words (which is a LOT harder than you think, YOU try summarizing your favourite book in 35 words or less while sounding original AND grabbing attention), and an excerpt of the first 250 words.

Here's my submission:

Genre: YA Fantasy
Word Count: 100,000

Flynn, a talented young thief, is the prime suspect in a series of grisly ritual murders. He’s also the kingdom’s best chance to find the real killer. He’ll just need to pull one last heist.

A sharp crack broke the silence of the cavernous Inner Sanctum of the Praetorian Order, echoing off the vaulted ceiling and the stained glass dome at its centre. A small segment disappeared from the scene depicting the Goddess, her four Scions, and her Adversary. Pale moonlight, mostly from the Other, the brighter of the two moons at that hour, struck downwards to light a small circle on the mosaic near the centre of the floor in the great library. The larger moon, Ambrosia, having just crested the horizon, wasn’t bright enough to lend its pink hue.

The black rope uncoiled down the shaft of moonlight with a soft whisper. Flynn vaulted into the gap, and dropped along the rope’s length, matching the speed of its fall. He grabbed on to slow himself only at the last instant, and touched down soundlessly.

Looking back up at the hole in the stained glass, he could make out the silhouette of his mentor, Martin, framed against the glowing white spectre of the Other. He couldn’t make out any of Martin’s features, backlit as he was. Flynn knew there would be a scowl set deep in the older man’s lined face. Martin worried too much.

Crouched in the centre of the great library, Flynn turned in a slow circle to get his bearings. He mentally compared the layout with the map he’d memorized in the days before. Spotting one of his landmarks, he set off into the concentric rows of heavily laden bookshelves. 

Long years of practice meant the only sound Flynn made was the faint ripple of the air past his close fitting, mottled-grey outfit. 


  1. Oh, hey! I remember you from Cpseek. Nice to see the whole entry. Looking good :-) Good luck!

  2. You had me at heist!

    This was really good! The first 250 flows really well. The descriptions were nice and you seem to have a knack for world-building.

    Best of luck in the contest and thanks for posting!

  3. Ahhhh!!! Love it! Again, you're fantastic! The changes you made are great. Looking forward to the rest!

  4. The pitch is great. I'm obviously no expert, since I'm querying alongside you, but I had a bit of trouble with the last sentence of the pitch. It seems disjointed.

    I would definitely keep reading. The adjectives, I think, could be significantly pared back to loosen the flow and quicken the pace. For example, 'soft' doesn't necessarily add anything to 'whisper.'

    Thank you for sharing this, and please take my comments with a grain or several of salt! Best wishes on all your endeavors!