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Semi-Finals Post 4 – Auntie Bs Book Club Contest

Wednesday, 3 August 2011  |  Posted by Brenda Drake
Auntie B’s Book Club Contest
Semi-finals Post 4


Here’s post four for the semi-finals of the Auntie B’s Book Club Contest. I thought blogger would never cooperate, so sorry for the delay with this one. Thank you for all your positive comments and I hope you all got something from this blogfest. Next post, we’ll announce the winner and two runner ups of the contest.
So, last up is . . .
Sports Girl: Able to out run all of us on a basketball court. She’s off to Colorado for college in the fall. She loves anything to do with sports and boys. She likes strong female and sarcastic male main characters. She likes more of the edgy stuff. If it’s gross, she’s your girl.
I’m the trouble maker of the group. Actually, I’m a slacker. I never fitted in with other groups  outside of sports. I liked reading with Auntie B because she doesn’t let me get away with things. Actually, she never let any drama happen in the club. You don’t mess with Auntie B. We call her Sugar And Spice because she can be really nice, but if you don’t respect others watch out. I think we all benefited from her insisting that we read and know what we read, and that we treat each other with respect. I didn’t get that lesson at home but I did get it with her. 
Here are my thoughts on your stories. I had a lot of fun reading them, and I hope I see them in book stores or online someday. 
Auntie B’s note: I’m amazed at how much Sports Girl has changed over the years. She was such a bundle of energy when we first started the club and now she’s more in control. She graduated with a 4.3 GPA. It takes a lot of dedication to do that and play two sports. I don’t think it was me, but because of all the sports she’s involved in. She had the toughest time getting her notes done with three basketball tournaments in the month of July. I drove her and my younger niece, who is on her team, to Dallas, Phoenix, and San Diego. She worked on this project on the road and during any free time she had. I’m so proud of her dedication.
My top two . . .
Shelli Cornelison 

Title: What a Girl Needs
Genre: YA Contemporary Realistic
Pitch: London’s third break-up is a definite game changer. Having her heart massacred on aisle nine prompts her to adopt some new personal policies. But going from perfect girlfriend to perfectly independent brings surprising challenges.
You can check out the blog post here: Shelli Cornelison 

My comments: The pitch is perfect. The first 250 words is so awesome and I laughed at London’s actions. I could see myself doing something like she does just to see my boyfriend. I wanted to know what happened next and I would most definitely buy the book.


Title: Son of a (Hired) Gun
Genre: YA Contemporary
Pitch: An assassin’s son goes into witness protection and learns that his secret may not be the biggest one in town.

My comments: The pitch is a little short but it does tell me what the story is about and it caught my attention. The first 250 words is totally awesome and I love Simon’s attitude. He sounds so cool and someone I’d hang out with. I laughed several times at his comments. I’d definitely buy this one.

My honorable mentions . . . 
I had a hard time picking between four entries for my top two. I loved each one and it came down to the pitches. I chose my top two because I felt their pitches were better than the other two. Auntie B agreed that I could have an honorable mention section because I really wanted the two entrants to know how much I loved their stories.
Sarah Wedgbrow

Title: A girl named Jack
Genre: YA Contemporary
Pitch: Jack (15) survives the hallways of mass self-destruction by being invisible. But when her arch nemesis forces her to fight back, her cinematic heroes Bruce Lee and Mr. Miyagi help her overcome high school adversity.
You can check out the blog post here: Sarah Wedgbrow
My comments: The pitch is excellent but I didn’t know how her heroes were going to help her fight back. Were they going to actually appear and kick some butt or is it just because she had watched them and learned stuff from them? The first 250 words is so awesome and I loved it. The voice is right on for a teen.

Ellen Rozek

Title:  The Recruited
Genre:  YA
Pitch:  Two teenage killers are recruited by the government to help bring down an American terrorist organization trying to take over the country.
You can check out the blog post here: Ellen Rozek
My comments: The pitch is really good except it’s hard to believe the government would recruit teens to bring down terrorists. I would open the book to see if the pages would catch me. Sometimes things sound unbelievable but if it’s written right the author can make me believe it could happen. The first 250 words is sick and I could totally relate to running before stretching out. I already like Naomi and she hasn’t said anything yet. I get a lot from the first page, she’s tough, athletic, and has attitude. I would buy this book because she’s a lot like me. I’d hope the story would carry me away enough to believe the government would recruit the teens. 
My thoughts on the other entries . . . 
CP Harkness
Title: Jax and Crispen vs the Beasts of Dartmoor
Genre: MG Fantasy
Pitch: Thirteen year old Jax must save his half brother Crispen from their evil Pixie grandfather. His tools? A magical knife, the beast of Dartmoor and an asthma inhaler. It could be worse. Maybe.
You can check out the blog post here: CP Harkness
My comments: I laughed at the pitch. I think the asthma inhaler as a tool is hilarious. The first 250 words had some cool stuff in it but I felt the Big Bang comparison isn’t one a thirteen year old would use. I so got the enthusiastic hands since I’m always grabbing stuff like that. 
Christy Hintz
Title:  Solstice
Genre:  YA light science fiction
Pitch: Dawn, the only one who can see the deadly shadows, is blamed for the death they cause. She must find who’s responsible for the murderous disease and uncover a cure before authorities find her–guilty.
My comments: I think the deadly shadows causing death is sick, but if it’s a murderous disease how is Dawn blamed for it? Is she a mad scientist or something? The first 250 words was interesting and I like the idea of the secret journal and I wonder what is written inside. The first 250 tells me a lot stuff, but I would rather something exciting happen to her first and then learn this stuff later.
Luis Vendrell 
Title: The Rise of Teddy
Genre: Humor/Satire 
Pitch: Teddy’s fat. He’s fat and he works at a gym. If that isn’t bad enough, he’s in love with his co-worker. To get in her good graces he will do anything, even the one thing he has avoided his entire life: lose weight.
You can check out the blog post here: Luis Vendrell 
My comments: This was in the running for my top picks. The pitch is great and I can relate to it because before I got into sports I used to be chubby and the kids used to tease me about it. I’m not saying I didn’t like the first 250 words, it’s actually written good, I just wished there was some more humor in it. There are a lot of cool details like his belly kissing the steering wheel and about the contract between the muscled guy logo and Teddy’s body. I would definitely buy this to find out if Teddy gets the girl.

Angela Scott

Title: Desert Rice
Genre: YA Contemporary
Pitch: Samantha Jean Haggert isn’t thrilled with hiding the fact she’s a twelve-year-old girl, but her older brother, Jacob, will do anything to keep Sam safe from male attention and hidden from the law.
You can check out the blog post here: Angela Scott
My comment: The pitch is okay but it could use something more exciting to catch a reader’s attention. The 250 words on the other hand is very exciting and I’m so curious to know what happened to their mother and how will they get out of this situation. I like the voice very much. I can see me grossing out and not wanting to see the dead mother’s face. I don’t know if I would be thinking about how it felt to touch a dead body in the moment. I’d probably be too freaked out to think those things. It would be better just to have her give in and pick up the body and say how it feels than to wonder how it will.
Maribeth Graham
Title: The Graveyard Five
Genre: Middle-Grade 
Pitch: When Christopher “Bags” Bagolino and his friends get caught skipping school at the town cemetery they are given an assignment they will never forget. They discover that buried secrets have a way of resurrecting.

My comments: The pitch needs something added to make it more exciting. I think the title is sick. The 250 words is really good and I wanted to read more to find out what would happen to the friends. Kids aren’t as polite to each other in these kinds of situations as you have in the opening. We would say something like “Penny, you idiot, I said this was a bad idea.” We wouldn’t say “wasn’t a good idea” we’d say “was a bad idea”. We’re negative like that. 

Auntie B’s note: Reminder: sick means good. Just making sure you all know that. I’m very pleased that she’s not using her usual word “dope”. She usually says “That’s dope”. 

Alison Miller

Title: Envious 
Genre: YA Paranormal 
Pitch: Seventeen-year old Becky’s best friend kills himself without leaving a single clue. Yet as memories of that fateful night emerge from her subconscious, she suspects she may have had something to do with his death.

You can check out the blog post here: Alison Miller

My comments: The pitch is awesome except for leaving a clue part. I think you should change it to reason (without leaving a reason or leaving a farewell note). Leaving a clue makes it sound like she thinks its a mystery to be solved and not a suicide. I like everything ( I mean everything) about the first 250 words except for the name Mookie. The poor guy had to be picked on because of that name. If this is a nickname, I don’t think any of the guys I know would let anyone call them that away from home. It’s just my opinion.  By the end of the excerpt, I wanted to read more and I would definitely buy this book.

Georgia Summers

Title: Subtle Deceptions
Genre: YA contemporary science fiction
Pitch: After escaping from a human experiment facility, Callie joins a super-powered rebel group planning to take it down, while she combats feelings for a fellow escapee and an illness that threatens to devour her.
You can check out the blog post here: Georgia Summers
My comments: The pitch is really good and I wanted to read the pages. The first 250 words starts with a daydream (I think), which was done well but I would rather actual things happen. The rest of it is awesome and I like Callie and her voice a lot. I would most definitely keep reading this. 

Thanks everyone for participating. The winners will be announce tonight at 8PM EST. Come back and check it out.

Filed: Misc

  • Thanks Sports Girl, Brenda, and all the other girls! I can’t imagine the amount of time and energy you put into this. I appreciate all the feedback, on mine as well as the other entries. It’s great to get your take on our writing. (And I loved learning a new way to use the word sick! LOL!) Best of luck in sports and college! Keep reading, Christy

  • Margie says:

    Okay, just so you know, I let out a squee when you picked me. Thank you so much, Sports Girl.

    This has been so helpful and educating. You girls did an amazing job in your analysis and it’s been such a pleasure.

    And thank you, Brenda for thinking up this amazing opportunity for us all.

    Margie, the wishwryter

  • This was a fantastic idea. Thanks to you all for the work and time involved.

  • So, writers must be a little bit delusional to do the job (imho). With this in mind, I am chuffed to bits that you picked me as an honorable mention. That’s dope. It feels like I’ve won (the delusional part)!! What matters most to me is getting feedback–this contest is absolutely unique. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. xx

  • This is absolutely killer. I read every ounce of it, no scrolling or anything. Great critiques sports girl.

  • Robin Weeks says:

    I’ve loved reading everyone’s comments–thanks so much for taking the time to do it, Sports Girl! I’m amazed you could accomplish so much while playing so hard at sports. You Rock!

  • Wow, Sports Girl! Thanks so much for choosing my entry! It’s awesome to get positive feedback, but especially from someone I know regularly reads YA. You made my day! Congrats on finishing so strong in high school. Your juggling classes and sports is an inspiration — even to an old chick like me. 🙂 Go rock college! And have a blast with whatever sports or rec activities you choose!

  • Aww, thanks for the love Sports Girl and congrats to those who’ve moved on to the final round!

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