NestPitch submissions NOW OPEN!

The submission window for NestPitch is NOW OPEN!

It will remain open for 24 hours, from noon on 1st April to 11.59am 2nd April (USA EST). That’s 24 hours from this post going live, folks.

There’s no cut off number for entries. Everyone who submits during the window will make it into the contest. All entries will receive an email receipt. If you don’t, check with Nik Vukoja on Twitter @nestpitch and/or @nik_vukoja

Send your entries to nestpitch @ outlook .com (no spaces)

For formatting instructions and rules check this post out (although an excerpt is contained below).

NestPitch is a contest where participants email their 35-word pitches together with the first 300 words of their finished manuscript (or 100 words for picture books).

The selected pitches will be featured on these blogs (show them all some follow love — you know, if you want to):

Brooke Powell | Kimberly P. Chase | Jeffe Kennedy | Tina Moss | Amanda Foody | Dannie Morin | Sharon M Johnston | Sharon Bayliss | Stacey Nash

Then agents, identities hidden, will leave a request for pages, partials or fulls of the featured pitches.

Entries must be embedded within email (no attachments) with following:

Name: YOUR NAME
Title: TITLE OF MANUSCRIPT
Genre: Category/Genre of Manuscript (i.e. NA Romance)
Word Count: (round to the nearest 1000)
PITCH: 35-word (maximum) logline
Answer to this question in one sentence of no more than 15 words: If my Main Character were an Easter Egg, what flavour would he or she be and why?
First 300-words of your manuscript. If the 300th word falls in the middle of a sentence, go to the end of the sentence. For picture book submissions please only submit 100-words. If the 100th word falls in the middle of a sentence, go to the end of the sentence.

Please ensure:
(i) your manuscript has not been featured (you can have entered but can’t have been a finalist) in another pitch competition in the past 12 months – that’s ANY pitch competition (excluding Twitter pitches) from the period April 1st 2013 to 31st March 2014
(ii) your manuscript IS NOT published. This INCLUDES self-published.

Our Slush Bilbies (Cass: that’s me!) and Nest Bloggers will read through the pitches and pick the top 72 pitches for the agent round: April 17th – 18th

We’ll try to get a good mix of various genres, but the writing comes first. Basically, if the submissions aren’t ready, it’s in your best interests that we pass. The last thing anyone wants is your manuscript to be old and tired from “doing the rounds” before it’s ready.

Drafy Nest Pich Logo last stage


Writing loglines

In just over 24 hours, NestPitch submissions open. Submitting writers will provide details about their manuscript includuding their logline and the first 300 words, which will then go through slush readers (or slush bilbies) for shortlisting before being chosen by the nest bloggers.

Finally, the chosen pitches will be posted to hopefully get scadloads of agent requests. We’ve got ten agents participating from nine agencies. It’s exciting stuff.

Aboriginal BilbyI’m one of the slush bilbies for NestPitch. (I like to imagine a shy marsupial drinking an iced treat through a straw. Who’s with me? Anyone? Anyone?)

I’ve blogged before about how hard shortlisting for these sorts of contests is. But I know from experience that as hard as it is to judge them, it’s just as hard to muster the courage to enter in the first place. I’ve been there. Believe me.

So if, like me at this point before a submission window opens, you’re in a last-minute agony of indecision about whether you’re ready to go, here are my tips for writing an awesome logline.

What’s a logline?

It’s the answer you give when someone says, “So, what’s your book about?”

In 35 words or less. Easy, no?

No.

Tips for writing a logline

There are three things you need your logline to do:

  • describe the main character (you don’t need to name them)
  • describe the antagonist (or main challenge)
  • describe the stakes

What you don’t want to do is describe the ending. You want to hook the reader, make them want to offer you representation/a contract/money/booze.

If you’re struggling, one thing I’ve found really handy when writing loglines and query letters is to use the when/then structure. When X, then Y.

For example, here’s my logline for Lucid Dreaming, the new adult urban fantasy I’m currently querying:

When half-Oneiroi dream therapist Melaina banishes a nightmare spirit from a client, she unleashes the wrath of an enemy who targets her job, her best friend, her family and her life.

I’ve had a few different versions of this, where I’ve toyed with how to describe the Oneiroi (dream spirits) — because, unlike vampires and werewolves, they aren’t a particularly well-known supernatural beastie. In this version I’ve tried to make sure the dream context is clear from the rest of the pitch.

You’ll note I didn’t reveal who the antagonist is, because one of the story’s elements is the mystery of who is actually behind the attacks. If that weren’t the case, I’d add it in there: jealous ex-boyfriend or demon-spawn shopkeeper or cheerleading cyborg. You get the idea.

I saw an awesome quote about loglines that I’m going to claim as though it were my own:

Don’t tell the story, sell the story.

Good luck, folks. See you in the slush pile!

Drafy Nest Pich Logo last stage


Introducing NestPitch

There’s a special Easter tradition throughout central and northern Croatia – making Easter nests. On the afternoon or eve of Easter Saturday children go out into the garden and collect leaves, grass, twigs, flowers and then make a “nest” for the Easter Bunny – that’s where he places his Easter egg presents. The children go to bed that eve wondering if the Easter Bunny will like or love their nest, because the best nest gets the best and biggest eggs!

NestPitch is based on this idea where an author’s ‘pitch’ is the nest and the Easter Treats are the Agents requests.

Aboriginal BilbyThe submission window opens on 1st April.

Once Submissions are closed, firstly the SLUSH BILBIES will go through the submissions and pick the top 100-120. Then the NEST BLOGGERS will each pick eight of  their best and brightest NESTS and post on their blogs.

After that, the SECRECT AGENT BUNNIES will jump from blog site to blog site and leave their Easter treats.

Why am I telling you all this? Because I AM A SLUSH BILBY! (A bilby is an adorable, long-eared, endangered Australian marsupial. You can of course see the resemblance…right?) You think I’d have learned from the madness that was Pitcharama how hard it is to choose between a whole bunch of awesome pitches. But no, apparently not.

In just over 24 hours, the Pre-Pitch Post clinic starts, for those of you that want to have someone look at your pitch. The details are here. And the rules for NestPitch are here.

If you’re wondering why the mix of Croatian and Australian, that’s because the host of the contest, Nikola  Vukoja, is exactly that. Running these sorts of contests is hard, so show her the Twitter love here, mkay?

And if anyone wants to send me masses of chocolate on 1st April, I’d appreciate it. 🙂