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Pitch Perfect

It’s been a busy couple of weeks – months actually.

Last weekend I attended a course on pitch writing with Claire Craig from Pan McMillan.
The take away message: The simpler the better. Using the best words in the best order. Deconstruct, delayer and get to the core of the story, then write a pitch that is concise, dense with meaning and elicits an emotional response.
It was a very timely course as I’ve submitted two pitches this week in time for the SCBWI Conference as well as sending a couple of manuscripts out into the word. I’ve included the ‘quick pitch’ of my YA novel Surviving Sam at the bottom of this post.

I also attended the CBCA shortlist presentation at Gordon library. It was fascinating to hear how the shortlist was chosen. One of the things I found most interesting was that most of the YA shortlist was made up of debut authors, whilst all of the Picture book authors were very well established, prolific writers. I have a pile of shortlisted YA books by the couch that I am looking forward to delving into over the next week or so.
As an aside, what a wonderful job they have done renovating Gordon Library, it really does feel like a wonderful creative space, and is clearly very busy, which is fantastic!

My wonderful critique group, Picture This, has been busy with successes too, with Penny Morrison launching the latest two books in her HEY! series. The event was in Willoughby and had a fantastic turnout. Here’s a picture of my little man Harrison, AKA The Book Thief, taking off with one of the books which he loved so much whilst Penny was reading to the group. You can’t get a much bigger compliment than children trying to steal your books 🙂 I’ve also had to read it twice every night since!

Penny's launch

Also from Picture This, Ramona Davey has been shortlisted for her picture book in the CYA competition, with one of my favourite stories :). Kylie Fornasier has presented at Penguin Live in the lead up to the launch of her YA Novel Masquerade. And me and the girls have had a working bee to fill all of the 150 delegate bags for the upcoming SCBWI conference in July, which was a great fun filled afternoon – if a little back breaking!SCBWI working bee

My writing focus has been on my YA novel Surviving Sam, which feels like it is really taking shape now. I have a couple of editor consultations lined up at the SCBWI conference, and hope to be ready to start submitting it off the back of that feedback towards the end of the year.

Too much writing. I’ll stop there! Have a wonderful weekend All!!
Surviving Sam Pitch below…

Surviving Sam is a contemporary romance YA novel, served with a side of psychological thriller. A story of young love that is interrupted by a sociopathic runaway teenager.

“I’m poisonous!” Said Sam. “Even the mozzies know better than to mess with me.” Katie laughed, but as she did she felt a chill penetrate every nerve in her body.

Katie and Eddie are falling in love and are oblivious to the danger facing them when they swear to Sam that they will safeguard the secret of her runaway.
As they spend lazy days hanging out by the river, cracks in Sam’s story come to the surface.
Are they strong enough to withstand the force of Sam’s malicious personality and her torrid retribution?

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When I’m a famous author….. (I live in hope)

…. I want to be like Markus Zusak!

I don’t mean I want to be as successful as Markus – although obviously that would be nice! I mean I want to remain grounded, generous and honest.

I’ll elaborate…. Last night Catherine and I were lucky enough to attend the ‘In Conversation with Markus Zusak’ Evening at the Australian Society of Authors in Ultimo. Markus was amazing, so laid back and humble, he could have been speaking to any one of us on a one on one basis in his living room, such was his demeanour, he’s also pretty funny too. One of the things that I loved was that he didn’t build a mystique around his writing process, or make it sound like a higher art, he doesn’t consider himself super intelligent, or ridiculously well read, he is just very passionate and dedicated to what he does, clearly very talented and he has worked very hard. And he is still working very hard. It took him 7 years to get published, but he knew it was the one thing he really wanted to do and he stuck at it.

Catherine and I hung around to get our books signed at the end and Markus chatted to us for a good 15 minutes, he didn’t have to, we grilled him, it was all take an no give, but he was happy to give – I hope I can remember his generosity in years to come, when I’m pressed for time, have a book to finish and want to get home to the kids, but have two aspiring authors soaking up my every word. (Again, I live in hope 😉 ) I may sound like I’m gushing, but I suspect if you asked any of the attendees last night, they would all be gushing too! Thank you Markus! Now back to my novel!!

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