Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Bait and Pitch: A Workshop

Note: If you’re here looking for fishing tips, you’ve come to the wrong end of the blogosphere.

Bait and Pitch is a Thursday feature on the blog where we workshop pitches until they are bloody…erm…brilliant…Bloody brilliant!

Here’s how this works...

Every Thursday, I open my blog up for people to post their pitches for critique/feedback. We’ll alternate between Contest Pitches (35 words), Query Pitches (no more than 4 sentences like you would put in your query), and the dreaded Twitter Pitches (140 characters ONLY!)

You post your pitch, you give feedback on other writers’ pitches. And we all grow and learn together. Sounds good, right?

Well, here come “The Rules” to ruin all your fun.

The Rules

Bait and Pitch is open to ALL categories. PB, Kid Lit (early reader, chapter books, etc), MG, YA, NA and Adult. By request we are also including Memoir but please be sure this is clear in your commenting! ALL genres—yes, this will include erotica until you guys make me regret it! ;P (If there’s a strong request for nonfiction we will add you guys, too, comment on THIS post if you write nonfiction or memoir and you’re interested.)

This is open to manuscripts of any status. Shiny and ready to query, drowning in beta reader hell, or just an idea, you do not have to have a finished manuscript to participate. This isn’t a contest. It’s just practice.

One pitch per week. If you have multiple manuscripts in the works, you gotta pick one.

You post, you crit. Critique as a reply to someone else's pitch. At least one critique per pitch you post, though the more crits, the merrier! If you post without critiquing, you can’t play again. Sorry.

You edit, you critique again—Want to make changes based on people’s feedback? Cool. You gotta critique somebody else when you revise.

If you revise, post it as a REPLY to your original pitch. This should not require additional explanation.

Critiques must include AT LEAST one piece of positive feedback. Every writer has strengths.

Don’t be an asshole. This, too, should not require additional explanation. But I’ll give it anyway. Your opinion is just that, and you’re just one writer, who likely does not know everything or you wouldn’t be looking for pitch feedback, eh? Remember this is practice. It's okay to suck here. It's not okay to be sucky.

If you cross the line, *I* will critique your pitch in a similar manner. K? *grinz*

Sharing is caring. Tell other people and invite them to participate. I’ll keep this thing going as long as there’s interest, but I’m not doing this for blog hits. So let’s make like a writing community and commune. Or something.

If you guys play well with others and share and care, I’ll see if I can’t get some community “celebrities” to stop by and offer their insights.

Formatting Your Pitch

NAME: The Wicked Pitch of the East
(Whatever you wish for people to call you here. It can pretty much be anything other than Dannie Morin...or Danny Moron. I know you people.) 

CATEGORY/GENRE: YA/Sparkly-Vampire-Free Paranormal
If you put magical realism and it's not magical realism, I will let Sharon Johnston cut you.


PITCH: This is where you will write your 35 glorious--or not so glorious--words for people to critique. (Or 140 characters, or 4 sentences depending on the type of pitch. You'll have this info at the top of the weekly post.)

Okay, those are the rules for now. Sound good? Questions? Feedback? Hit me up below in comments!

Each week the post will go live at 12AM EST for you to comment with your pitch. You can subscribe to the blog or book mark this page. I'll update as soon as I can. And we'll keep the party going each week as long as there is interest. 

The Wicked Pitch of the East (aka Dannie)

The Schedule

April 24th    Contest Pitches
May 1st       Query Pitches
May 8th       Twitter Pitches
May 15th     Contest Pitches
May 22nd    Query Pitches
May 29th     Twitter Pitches
June 5th    Contest Pitches
August 14th      Query Pitches


  1. I am interested! What would be the time frame for this? I always miss out because of work. Thanks for offering ;)

    1. Good question! All Thursday, every Thursday. Post will go live at 12AM EST and stay open. I'd imagine people will continue to come by throughout the week as time permits. It's not a contest, so no specific window.

    2. Perfect! Thanks! Count me in.

  2. This sounds great, Dannie! I will certainly stop by and read people's pitches!

  3. Sounds like a good time, count me in.

  4. At this point, I'm willing to try/read/critique/submit anything...sounds good

  5. At this point, I'm willing to try/read/critique/submit anything...sounds good

  6. Sounds like a great idea I'm game.

  7. What a great idea, Dannie! I've retweeted. You may see my pitch and me back here some Thursday night... :)

  8. 'This is open to manuscripts of any status.' Ooh. I'm getting kinda sick of pitching my polished MS, so I'll definitely be putting my other MS pitches up to the test. :) Thanks for this!

  9. I think this is a fabulous idea and I will definitely participate. Thanks!

  10. Love, love, love this idea! Count me in.

  11. THE WORKSHOP IS NOW OPEN! http://dcmorin.blogspot.com/2014/04/bait-and-pitch-week-1-contest-pitches.html

  12. I have a memoir I'm getting ready to query and I'm VERY interested!!!

  13. Do you have to submit before you reply/give feedback to others? Do you close past workshops to comments?

    1. All the previous workshops are still open, but it would be expected that when you come to the blog to post, you also crit others while you're here on this week's post. Obviously, if you're the first poster you have to wait for others to post before you can crit, though!

  14. I guess I'm confused. I thought the one today (July 31) was the pitch with 4 sentences, but what I'm seeing posted more often than not is an entire query letter with several paragraphs.

    I'm trying to follow the rules because when an agent asks for something specific, they will reject if you send more or send something different. Is it 4 sentences or your whole query?

    1. You're exactly right, Dottie. I think people are just going overboard with all the PitchWars frenzy and I've not been around today to monitor them. That said, your query pitch paragraph really should not be that much longer than 4 sentences. Your total query should around 200-250 words, including personalization and experience.

  15. BTW, I can't thank you enough for doing this! Feedback is always helpful and this is a grueling process!

  16. This sounds great. I'd love to work on a pitch for the WIP I'm currently drafting. When does this start up again, Dannie?

    1. I'm over there already, and trying to create a pitch. Thanks!