Thursday, January 27, 2011

One-Line Pitch: Don't Leave Home Without It, and a Contest!

The SCBWI Winter Conference in NYC (and yes, you can just show up on Saturday and register as a walk-in!) kicks off tomorrow with the writer's and illustrator's intensives, and I am EXCITED! And one thing every writer - whether you're attending the conference or not - needs to have ready is a one-sentence pitch for their book.

But how can I condense my whole, complicated, 70,000-word book into one sentence, you ask?

Well, let me show you.

First, take out a piece of paper and write on it three headings: Main Character, Conflict, Stakes/Resolution. So for example, for one of the picture books I'm pitching, I've written: Penelope, huge hair overshadows all her achievements, figures out how to do something even bigger than her hair.

Then you just connect them all together:

PENELOPE'S HAIRY PREDICAMENT is about a kid who hates that her huge hair overshadows everything else she does, so after several failed attempts to make it less noticeable, she finally figures out how to out-do her own 'do.

Remember: it's one line. There's no room - and no need - for subplots and secondary characters. Focus on the heart.

Which brings me to the contest!

Post your one-line pitch in the comments below by MIDNIGHT on FEBRUARY 4th, and my favorite will win a query critique OR first 5 pages critique OR full picture book manuscript critique by yours truly.

If I get more than 50 entries, I'll offer TWO PRIZES! So, tweet and blog away! (Although this is a contest, so you won't get any extra entries for tweeting or blogging, but you WILL double the amount of prizes, thus increasing your chances of winning something.)


  1. Oh, LOVE your pitch Ishta. Now I really want to read the book! Good luck at the conference.

  2. I'd like to read your book too!! I will get to polishing my pitch.

  3. I would totally read that book! Great pitch! Unfortunately mine is in no shape to be shared right now being...*cough*...nonexistent.