Welcome to the Pitch Wars Workshops with some of our amazing past and 2019 mentors. From a lottery drawing, we selected writers to receive a query or first page critique from one of our mentors. Each mentor has graciously critiqued a query or first page from our lucky winners. We’ll be posting some of the critiques leading up to the submission window. Our hope is that these samples will help you all get an idea on how to shine up your query and first page.
We appreciate our mentors for giving their time to do the critiques. If you have something encouraging to add, feel free to comment below. Please keep all comments tasteful. Our comments are set to moderate, and we will delete any inappropriate or hurtful ones before approving them.
Next up we have …
Pitch Wars Mentor, Sarah Remy …
Sarah Remy/Alex Hall is a nonbinary, animal-loving, proud gamer Geek. Although Sarah reads widely across the Adult genre their passion is SFF (in all its forms, epic to urban, angst to fluff) and LGBTQ+ fiction. Their work can be found in a variety of cool places, including HarperVoyager, EDGE and NineStar Press.
Sarah’s first page critique . . .
New Adult: Contemporary
A droning The silence from the living room and bedroom beyond all but mocked her, reminding Megan of what awaited on the other side of the front door. Pausing at the front door, she turned back. The memory of each empty night seeped into her chest and pile up and weighed upon on her heart. Such girth may soon bring everything down. But the evening was young. A puckish feeling gave She had hope the astute furniture would accommodate more than one. Someday. If everything went her way. Even if briefly. A dalliance before she closed the bedroom door behind them. Or should she leave it open?
With a hand on the doorknob, a hint of doubt flashed before her. Doubt flared. Trotting back to the bedroom, she gave her simple outfit — a close fitting blouse and snug low-rise jeans— one last glance in the full-length mirror adjacent the door. A close fitting blouse and snug low-rise jeans stared back. [Don’t give inanimate objects human actions.] Eyeing her waist, The shirt did little to cover the pound or two she tried purging shedding with each visit to the gym. Twisting, The denim amplified her curves below. That should attenuate any unsightly bulge above. A smirk of anticipation glared Her refection smirked at her from the mirror. It The outfit would make an ample a good impression.
Pleased, she sauntered out and back through the loft, passing by the simple furnishings within: a futon, two cushioned chairs for company, spartan multimedia center, coffee table, scanty desk, table for two in the meager kitchen. With her salary, she couldn’t afford much more yet and still live close to work. Located upon the second floor of an eighty–year–old building, it the apartment faced a typical downtown street. Similar buildings stood across the way, housing They too housed lofts set above various stores, offices, coffee shops, restaurants, art galleries dotting the downtown. [Are you describing her apartment or the buildings across the street in the final two sentences? The apartment, I think? If so move them up before you describe the buildings across the street] Only the hardwood floors and original brick walls remained of the small title and loan office once there decades ago. The appliances, lights, phone, cable, internet and central air shoehorned therein gave the octogenarian building modern comforts.
Nice beginning! I really want to know more about your MC and what she’s up to. I empathize with her immediately. You have a great lyrical style, but some of your adjectives are just a tiny bit off. ‘Ample’, for instance, refers to size rather than impact. Does she want to make a large impression or a favorable impression? Just things to think about.