Monday, March 28, 2011

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: The Grey Griffins: The Brimstone Key

Happy MMGM. It is my children's spring break this week, so my blogging will be sparse at best.

This week I picked The Brimstone Key (The Grey Griffins: The Clockwork Chronicles #1). I picked this because I had heard fab things about it and thought more MG steampunk: good. So I matched it up against The Clockwork Three for MGMTD.

The Brimstone Key (The Grey Griffins: The Clockwork Chronicles #1)
By Derek Benz & JS Lewis
Published in 2010.

Other books in The Grey Griffins series (and I recommend as prereq reading):
The Revenge of the Shadow King
The Rise of the Black Wolf
The Fall of the Templar

Other books in The Clockwork Chronicles:
The Relic Hunters (May 2011)
The Changelings (or The Immortals)

The Hook: Four friends with extraordinary powers/talents unknowingly release an old villian, The Clockwork King, from his prison and try to stop him from getting The Brimstone Key, a portal to the shadow world.

Why I liked this book: pacing and action. Chalk-full, maybe even too full but they can turn a page. Pretty much anything magical or of fantasy origin is in this book. From Templars to gnomes to EMPs to hologram training decks to faeries to ....(you think of something because I promise it is mentioned in the book). I do give them cred for using automatons well. Other steampunk just has them in there to count as steampunk but this book really uses them for evil...and good...and everything else. It was quick ride and is great for boys. While there are a couple of girl characters in the book, I would only recommend this to girls who love high fantasy and D&D card games.

Oh, and while this says #1 in this adventure, it is really book 4 for The Grey Griffins series. So read the others, before starting this one, for better context and investment in the characters.

For another review of this book, check out Ben Langhinrchs' post at My Comfy Chair.

And check out other great MMGMers:

Friday, March 25, 2011

Best of the Middle Grade Blogs: March 25

This week I picked up Diary of a Wimpy Kid and #5 The Ugly Truth. I haven't read this series yet (blame it on personal interests) but I wanted more examples of 1st person. I read the books in 4 hours. I couldn't put them down. Love the voice. I think they're completely relatable to middle graders. They are loosely plotted but I still enjoyed the random collection of middle grade experiences. I thought I would pick up #2 Roderick Rules today.

Are any of you going to see the movie Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Roderick Rules? It opens today.

Industry & Inspriation



Thursday, March 24, 2011

Conference Recap: Childish Mistakes in Writing for Children

You like meat? Because I'm about to give you the meat. My favorite class from NCW: Childish Mistakes in Writing for Children by Kelly Sonnack from Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Best class ever? Possibly.

The Andrea Brown Agency also participates in The Big Sur Children's Writing Workshop. Shannon Whitney Messenger just went to the March session. They have another in December and I'm seriously considering it. If you want to write for children/MG/YA, then this workshop is going to be nothing but meat and potatoes. I'm sure worth every penny.

Now to the recap.

What I learned about childish mistakes in writing for children:

1. Don't preach or speak down to children. Children are smart and they'll get bored or annoyed if you try to preach morals or talk to them as if they're babies. In Middle Grade, their moms aren't reading to them, so don't write like you're their parent. Now if you want to have a moral in your story, that's fine as long as you make it transparent and invisible to the child.

2. Don't be a copycat. Don't copy bestsellers or classics. Don't write to trends or for the bandwagon. It typically takes 18 months from signing with a publisher till its release. So if you're writing for a trend, it will possibly pass before your book comes out. Instead, figure out what classics do to transcend their lifetimes. Then put a modern or fresh interpretation on a classic style.

3. Don't write about your pet, grandkid, child, or yourself. Kids won't be interested. Make the experience bigger than yourself and your experience.

4. Is your protagonist the right age? In MG and YA, the protagonist should be the age of your intended reader or a bit older. The protagonist should never be an adult and adults should not be rescuing or solving the central conflict. Empower the child.

5. You might be "telling" if you ...
  • Use the words felt or was.
  • Say something to the effect of "His life changed when..."
  • Write: she raised an eyebrow to show how ridiculous it was. Don't tell what you've shown.
  • List character specs. Let the reader discover your characters for themselves.
  • Use a mirror to describe anything. Avoid the mirror.
  • Use full name to describe your character: John Paul Peterson.
Show, don't tell. I know, we hear it everywhere but it is tough to do well. Showing includes emotion, action, and sensory detail. But avoid: rolling eyes, sighing, blushing, face draining, weather reports, tears or crying (a manuscript should not have more than one cry in the book), !!!!ONLY WHEN YELLING!!!!!!!

6. Dialogue should always move the story forward. Hey, how are you? Good. Good. Cut mundane dialogue or statements. Boring, no one wants to read it. And in MG, word count is precious. Don't use stereotypical dialogue--it trips the reader and makes your characters seem less smart. Examples: Gawd, like. If your character whines, don't drag out words. Mooooooooom, nooooo, sheeeeez. But mostly avoid whiny kids. Don't talk baby talk either. I go bye bye. Me go home now. Don't talk to the reader, don't be a chatty narrator. Don't you think that's unfair?

7. Don't start your story in a fight. No one wants to enter a room where people are fighting. It makes your character less likable. And your protag needs to be likable. So don't overdo teen/pre-teen angst.

8. The villain needs as much depth as the protag. No cliche villains or snide mustache twirling. The most intriguing villains have as much to offer as the hero. Especially when they don't see themselves as villains.

I told you. Meat. Do you have any tips or rules for writing for middle grade?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

She's Crafty: Plot

One thing I rarely lack is plot. Even though my three manuscripts are completely different adventures (contemporary, fantasy/magical realism, and historical fiction), they all have plenty of action. But is action enough for creating a fabulous plot? What are my character arcs? Are my characters changed by the end? What action changes them?

So while I flip my soon-to-be queried WIP from 3rd to 1st, I day dream about my historical fiction character and her plot. Because I'm a plotter, I like to have the whole story ironed out sooner than later.

My Top 10 Fave Blog Posts on Plot:

Monday, March 21, 2011

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: The Clockwork Three

I found this book from a Publisher's Weekly article on Fall 2010 Flying Starts. I had just finished reading Cassandra Clare's The Clockwork Angel and I was ready for more steampunk. Middle Grade steampunk intrigued me and I added The Clockwork Three to my list.

The Clockwork Three by Matthew J. Kirby
Published in October 2010

Releasing this year:
Icefall (October 2011)

The Hook: Three chidren's lives come together and they must work as a team to find a treasure hidden somewhere in the city's grand hotel.

Why I loved it: Characters and style. Kirby knows how to create living characters. Even the secondary characters breathe intrigue. The three children: Giuseppe, an Italian busker, who discovers a green violin and a possible way to get back to Italy and his family. Hannah, a hotel maid, who works to support her family and ailing father discovers a clue to hidden treasure that if found will support her family and allow her to go back to school. And Frederick, rescued from an orphanage by the clockmaker, is determined to become the youngest member of the clockmaker's guild by creating an automaton man. Each story is intriguing and how it ends will surprise you. Beautifully written and an entertaining story. Great for both boys and girls.

What are your thoughts on steampunk? The term annoys my husband but so does Bollywood. I happen to like both.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Best of the Middle Grade Blogs: March 18

Can she do it? The new Katniss. She wasn't my first pick, but I'm optimistic. She needs to look a lot hungrier.

My Fave MG Blog Posts from this Week:

Industry and Inspiration
M is for March, M is for Multicultural @ From the Mixed Up Files.
2011 Kiddo Award Winners @ My Comfy Chair.
Pregnant Cannibal Teens from Outer Space @ Dystel & Goderich Literary.
Cover Love 7th Grade Style: Sweet Venom @ The OWL. (interesting insight into MGers' minds)
Proof that You're a Writer @ Write About Now.

Avoiding Melodrama by Writing Deeper @ Adventures in Children's Publishing.
J is for Journal or Diary Format @ That's Another Story.

New MG Book Alert: The Black @ Time Guardian Blog.
Inside the Writer's Studio with Michelle Knudsen @ Writer Friendly, Bookshelf Approved.
MMGM: A World Without Heroes @ Shannon Whitney Messenger.
MMGM: The Midnight Tunnel @ Kimberley's Wanderings.

Mega Giveaway

Hungry for more writing links? Check out my round-up at The Writing Bug.

Who inspired you this week?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Conference Recap: An Effective Writer's Platform

If you're sitting on the fence about whether writing conferences are worth it, I have just two words to say: do it. Do it. (Can you reference that movie? Hint: Ben Stiller.) Even if you're not pitching, worth it. Classes great, people great, info great. You really come away smarter. So go, if you can.

One of the best classes from NCW Fort Collins was by Ebeling & Associates on Creating an Effective Platform. Some agents have trouble defining platform and what to do as a writer, but not Kristina Holmes and Michael Ebeling. They understand platform.

What I learned about Building an Effective Platform:

1. Platform is what you do to reach your audience and elevate yourself above the rest. Over 250K books are traditionally published every year. The market is saturated and your audience has a short attention span. So what are you doing to get noticed?

2. There are many ways to build your platform, focus on one or two and do it well. Typical ways to build a platform:
  • Speaking
  • Website/Blog
  • Social Media
  • Appearances in Media
  • Workshops/Seminars
To do this well, time and/or money need to be spent to make it happen.

3. Your goal should be to maximize your audience size AND your appeal. A strong platform is not just numbers but also your appeal. How is your audience receiving your content/identity? How are you communicating it? Sassy, frank, research-driven, extreme, etc. Creative humor can help. Find a way to differentiate and find a niche. What are others not doing that you can do? Where is your passion? Find it and be the researcher, then report. Become the expert. Have patience, success will come.

4. Know your audience. Who are they? What are their needs and desires? What are their dreams and struggles? What causes them pain? How can you help them? Your platform initiatives should allow your audience to speak to you and each other. Create an environment where the community can come together.

5. Find your unique hook and angle, then master your content. Be creative. Be authentic. Follow what others are doing and saying. Talk to other authors and experts. Pay attention to how you present yourself.

I had an ah-ha moment in this class when it came to audience. Right now, my platform is blogging and socializing with other writers and publishing people. While this is still important for networking and hopefully being published, it is not my audience for my stories.

My audience is: middle grade kids, their parents, and librarians.

Now I just need to understand their pain and find my niche for helping this audience. I have ideas. But for now, I need to sleep and channel the tiger blood energy Charlie Sheen has in massive supply. Plan Better.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

She's Crafty: First Person Narration

I had a break through at group people. I got a request for my manuscript. Winning, duh. But at the conference, during the first-page critique, they wanted to see my story written in first person narration instead of third. I don't like writing in 1st but I see their point and I'm willing to put in the work.

A tiny problem, I'm not comfortable writing in 1st. Awkward, cuz I'm doing it right now but this is blog blah not a complex adventure. So I'm currently surrounded by my favorite books written in 1st for help. The Hunger Games is on top. Help me Katniss, you're my only hope.

What style do you prefer writing in: 1st or 3rd? Do you have any great tips for writing well in 1st person?

My Top Ten Fave Blog Posts on Writing in 1st Person POV
  1. Third Person-Style Narration in First Person @
  2. Point of View (POV) @ The Other Side of the Story.
  3. A Few Thoughts on First Person @ Edittorrent.
  4. What does choice of POV mean? How does it challenge a writer? @ TalkToYoUniverse.
  5. Hypothetical Dialogue vs. Inner Monologue @ Plot to Punctuation.
  6. Deep POV: Three Mistakes and How to Fix Them, Part 1 @ The Blood-Red Pencil.
  7. First Person or Third Person? @ Nathan Bransford.
  8. Me or You? Choosing Between First and Third POV @ The Other Side of the Story.
  9. Changing Your Manuscript's Tense, Point of View @
  10. Pitfalls of Introspection...How Much is Too Much? @ Dark Angel Fiction Writing.
Pirate sidebar: Ask and you will receive. My daughter went to a pirate party on Saturday. Now I have a patch for my twitchy eye. Do I look ridiculous? Yes, but it helps a ton.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

MGMTD: The Bracket

Here she is, it was tough to pick just 16 books from the 2010 middle grade fiction list. Honestly, I don't know how librarians do it. Now I stuck to fiction because that's what I write and it's my blog. And I placed them in categories and we'll go from there. I also picked books that I own or want to own. Yeah, I'm going to be doing a lot of reading.

Because I haven't read all of these, I am open to anyone who would like to guest blog, review, and pick a winner. If you're interested, leave a comment stating which match-up you would like to review.

Otherwise, I'll reveal the winners at random over the course of the month...and possibly next month or however long it takes to finish. This is for book-nerd fun. So really, if you want to review, I promise, you'll get the gig.

The Middle Grade Mega Throw Down (MGMTD) 2011 Bracket
(must be MG and released in 2010)

Opening Round Match Ups:
[Newbery vs Golden Kite]

Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm


Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine
It's Raining Cupcakes by Lisa Schroeder


Forbidden Sea by Sheila Nielson
Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs


The Secret Lives of Princesses by Philippe Lechermeier
Princess for Hire by Lindsey Leavitt

[Golden Kite Humor Vs Cybils MG Fiction]



The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

[Science Fiction and Fantasy]

Falling In by Frances O'Roark Dowell


The Clockwork Three by Matthew Kirby

Category 1: Newbery/Kite vs Fiction
Category 2: Mermaids vs Princesses
Category 3: Humor/Cybils vs Bestsellers
Category 4: SF/F vs Steampunk

Category 1 vs 2
Category 3 vs 4

Last books standing

Rules: You get a point for ever correct winner you pick. So look over The Bracket, and email me your picks at brookefav [at] gmail [d0t] com.

The beauty of playing is that you don't have to read the books to pick a winner. So let me ask you, do you feel lucky?

The person with the most points will win a copy of the winning book OR a book of their choice from the bracket list.

I'll be reviewing the Steampunk category next Tuesday. Let the battle begin.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: The Ruins of Gorlan (Ranger's Apprentice #1)

I have a crazy week ahead of me. The NCW Conference was fabulous and until I run out of things to say, I'll be posting on Thursdays some conference recaps of the classes I attended. Oh and I finally made my MG Mega Throw Down Bracket. You can make your picks tomorrow.

Now, why we're really here, let's get to MMGM. My pick today:

The Ruins of Gorlan (Ranger's Apprentice #1)
by John Flanagan
Published in 2006

Other Books in the Series:
The Burning Bridge #2
The Icebound Land #3 (personal favorite)
The Battle for Skandia #4 (second favorite)
The Sorcerer in the North #5
The Siege of Macindaw #6
Erak's Ransom #7
The Kings of Clonmel #8
Halt's Peril #9
The Emperor of Nihon-Ja #10

If you love this series, he has a new series coming out this year:
The Outcasts (Brotherband Chronicles #1)
The release date hasn't been set yet, but I am excited.

The Hook: Chosen to be a Ranger's apprentice, 15-year-old Will is unsure about the mysterious occupation. He quickly learns they are the eyes, ears, and first defense against any threats to the kingdom. When strategic lords of the kingdom are assassinated, it is up to Will and his master to track the dangerous creatures responsible and determine the threat from the exiled Morgarath. (Shew. Yeah, don't ask me to pitch that in one sentence. I'm too tired to try.)

Why I uber love this series: Tension and style. Oh, and medieval spies. I'm a sucker for spies. The series is brilliant escapism. The story was a tiny bit of a slow start for me, but after page 20 I could not stop. So if you find yourself in the same boat, plug through, more than worth it. Great writing, fabulous storytelling and tension that rockets with each page.

My sister, who recommended the series, told me to buy more than just the first book. Definitely do this. As soon as I shut the book, I opened the second. Now I've only read through book 6, because I was waiting for 7-9 to release in paperback. My husband keeps nudging me to go get them. He blew through them faster than I did. And I probably read 1-6 in less than two weeks.

This series in 150% boy and perfect for reluctant readers. But not just for any boy. This is definitely upper middle grade/young adult. (Husbands love it too.) You'll find it in MG, but I wouldn't necessarily let my 8-yr-old read it. Why? The creatures they track (or are tracking them) are not for the faint of spirit and younger readers might get too scared. Girls who like adventure may enjoy the series but there really isn't a girl character till book 2.

I'm not a fan of high fantasy, but I licked these up faster than chocolate ice cream.

[Just talking about this series makes me want to start reading them again...right now.]

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Me Likey: Breathless Reads Giveaway

Thank you Myrna for linking to this. I want this...I think more than you. Click the pix below to enter:

Friday, March 11, 2011

Code: dark

I'm going dark today. I'm on my way to The Northern Colorado Writers Conference. Wish me extra tiger blood.

So next week, I'll do a super charged round up of MG, I'm still working on my Mega Throw Down Bracket. I had no idea what I was getting into. Picking just 16 is tough. But it is coming...maybe on Tuesday.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

She's Crafty: Developing Characters

I have two manuscripts finished. With both stories, plot came to me first, then I had to develop the characters. I have a 3rd story in progress, but mostly just the characters. This time my MC came to me first. I haven't quite figured out the details of her plot.

When you find a story to write, what comes to you first: plot or character?

Top Ten Blog Posts on Developing Characters
My favorite character right now is Katniss from The Hunger Games series. I'm so excited for the movie, and they don't even have a cast yet. Who's your favorite character from a book?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

MG March Mega Throw Down

So I just found out about The Morning News' Tournament of Books. They created a March Madness bracket for the best books of 2010, then starting today, they'll compete head to head. I'm rooting for Room, Super Sad True Love Story, and The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake. I love the whole idea of this. So I'll be creating my own Middle Grade March Madness Tournament.

If you read a MG book published in 2010 that you think is worthy of the Best MG Book of 2010 title, leave a comment.

Otherwise the list will be of my own design (which means it will be really random and questionable). But it's my blog, so yeah, let's do this.

I'll post the bracket on Thursday. And then starting next week, the MG March Mega Throw Down will begin. I think there should be a giveaway for whoever can get the most points. Because it's always about points.


Monday, March 7, 2011

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: The Lost Hero

Happy MMGM. My pick this week:

The Lost Hero (Heros of Olympus Series #1) by Rick Riordan
published October 2010

Pre-req reading: The Percy Jackson Series
Upcoming sequeal: The Son of Neptune releases Oct 2011

The Hook: A new brat pack of heros, Jason, Piper and Leo are sent on a quest to save Hera and stop the awakening of a new bigger-(& older)-than-titans threat.

Why I loved it: Action and tension. Riordan is a master when it comes to page turning adventure. In true Riordan fashion, buckle up for a ride that starts in chapter one. He does rely on the reader knowing the half-blood lingo and all of Percy's friends. So you may want to read the whole Percy Jackson series before you start this one. Riordan's bi-polar Greek/Roman Gods twist is fun and a bit tricky to keep straight. But he sets up the new series nicely, and I'm sure we'll see Percy as a major character in the next book. Son of Neptune (wink). This is a great adventure for boys (and girls will love it too).

Want more? See a video interview of Riordan. Or read an interview and FAQ on his website.

Other MMGMers:

Friday, March 4, 2011

Best of the Middle Grade Blogs: March 4

Happy Dr. Seuss birthday week (or at least happened this week). I love that the schools celebrate this day. And I love the kids that dress in the full Cat in the Hat garb. While it isn't MG, my favorite Seuss is My Many Colored Days. So simple, so beautiful. I love the black day, I always scare my kids when I howl & growl at every cloud. Today is definitely a yellow day.

What's your favorite Seuss?

My Fave Middle Grade Blog Posts

Industry & Inspiration

In a completely non-MG sidebar: is anyone else following Charlie Sheen on twitter? The man is crazy. A sincere train wreck. But I'm addicted. I don't really follow celebs but my husband hooked me on the tiger blood. Winning.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Writing Conference Dos and Don'ts

The conference is coming and I'm really excited. Mainly because I just received my new business cards in the mail. They look good. I feel good...well except for my pitch. I might throw it out there for opinions sometime next week.

So here's my list of dos and don'ts at a conference. Probably nothing new, but it definitely applies to me.

When attending a writer's conference...

  1. Before pitching, learn everything about and talk to the agent to make sure it is a good fit. See my sad but positive story about pitching last year.
  2. Talk to people. Network is everything. And guess what? Most people want to talk. Of course do not stalk agents, especially in bathrooms or elevators. But they are fair game if they're sitting at the bar or mingling before dinner.
  3. Bring business cards. It is a great way to easily exchange relevant info with other writers, agents, etc. No scraps of anything required.
  4. Dress (at least) corporate casual but no prom dresses. I've seen the full spectrum. Keep it professional, even if it is a long day.
  5. Pitch. Have a manuscript complete first, but definitely pitch. Great practice, great advice, great opportunity. Do it.
  6. Bring a laptop if you got it. I scribbled on a regular-non-tech notepad last year. So yeah, I just barely dusted it off a few weeks ago. I had forgotten many of the great tips I had learned. This time, I may blog as I go. Much easier way to manage and categorize for later access.
  7. Volunteer. If it is a small conference, they often need help. This year, I'm a session volunteer which means I assist the speaker for the session. Does that mean getting them a water or something? Probably. But it makes my face familiar and it's an easy way to talk without it feeling forced.
  8. Bring mints and/or candy to keep it fresh and share with those around you. Fresh breath and a great ice breaker for meeting people. Who could resist my red vines or junior mints? Yeah, those might be a bit bulky...

I do do. (for all the 30 Rock luvas)

Don't (absolutely not. no thinky about doing.)
  1. Ask agents about what boy potty talk slang words you can use in MG. Arrrgh. I know, I did it. It was wrong. A bitty backstory: my husband and I were at a stale mate on whether you could use the term butt nugget in a MG novel. (I know.) I didn't think you could but I decided to ask the agent just to get a ruling. Horrible, awful, no good choice. It was like asking an overweight person when their baby was due. The agent's mouth dropped a little and said, "absolutely not." Yeah. Don't do this. Very bad, no no.
  2. Walk in late to a session. If it is a popular session, you may be out of luck because there will not be any seats. Plus, then there's no time to talk to others around you.
  3. Miss out on mingling before dinner, lunch or the keynote. Prime time to meet with agents in a friendly, less pitchy way.
  4. Hide out during session breaks. I saw a lot of writers doing this. I know it is hard to talk to people you don't know but you paid the money and there is nothing to lose.
  5. Dominate a conversation. Your job is to get information and or build relationships--not pop off about yourself. Be a great listener. If you've read How to Win Friends and Influence People, then you know. This is a key characteristic. Sadly, I have to work on this. I don't dominate but I over-empathize...which means I constantly interrupt to make a connection. Interrupting is just rude.
And now you know. And knowing is half the battle.

Do you have any tips for attending a writer's conference?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

She's Crafty: Pitching

With only 9 days till the Northern Colorado Writers Conference, I'm feeling confident about my manuscript and I'm ready to pitch. Last year I pitched a different story to an agent and I felt confident about my pitch--only it was the wrong story for the agent. I thought he was a good fit based on his profile but didn't really understand what he was looking for until I went to his class on Boy Books and The Middle Grade Market. This was after I pitched, of course. Blurg. Knowing whom you're pitching to is just as important as the pitch.

One of the writers I met last year had a similar problem. The night before our pitching session, she had the opportunity to chat with the agent she was planning to pitch to. Based on his profile she felt he was "the one." But after talking with him for just a few minutes, she realized he was wrong for her manuscript and quickly changed her pitch session to a different agent. Smart move and she got a request because of it.

What I learned: network and talk to the agents on a personal non-pitchy level. (Preferably before you meet at the pitching session.) It speaks volumes. I plan to chat with my prospective agent at the cocktail hour before dinner (the night before). Keep in mind, I don't plan to even mention I'm a MG writer unless asked. I just want to learn more about her and what she's really looking for.

My Top 10 Fave Blogs on Pitching at a Writer's Conference
  1. Pitchcraft @ Kidlit.
  2. Loglines & Loglines, Part Deux @ Random Notes from Holly Bodger.
  3. 11 Questions for Crafting a Pitch @ Rachelle Gardner.
  4. How to Maximize Pitch Sessions @ Nathan Bransford.
  5. Conference Round-up: The Art of Pitching @ Adventures in Children's Publishing.
  6. Agent Miriam Kriss On: The Perfect Pitch @ Guide to Literary Agents.
  7. Mastering the Elevator Pitch @ BookEnds.
  8. The Elevator Pitch: First Floor, Second Floor, Third Floor @ Rachelle Gardner.
  9. The One Sentence, One Paragragh, and Two Paragraph Pitch @ Nathan Bransford.
  10. The Difference Between Pitch and Query @ Janet Reid.
  11. Bonus: Pitch Killers @ Pub Rants.
Have you ever pitched to an agent? If so, what was your experience? Do you have any tips?