Judge the Judges: Sample PitchSlam Entry

Image result for stars

Hey guys! I’m helping out with PitchSlam again this year. Seriously, reading the slush and discovering up-and-coming writers is one of my favorite things. You’ve gotten our feedback, and now it’s time for revenge. 😀 Kim has written a marvelous introductory post here, so go check that out. She’s also got links to several other team member’s entries.

While I find this a bit nerve-wracking, I also look forward to sharing my own stuff, because nothing helps me improve like good feedback. In the past I think I’ve posted the beginnings of books that are already published, so I knew no matter what people said they couldn’t actually be that bad. This is a brand-spanking-new unfinished WIP. These pages have only been seen by two of my alpha-readers (and are currently awaiting feedback from betas). And the title is a working title, as I don’t really settle on a name for my books until they’re finished.

Anyway, it wouldn’t be fair if I told you more (though my nervous desire to ramble is strong), because it’s not like you get to tell the judges or agents more. So, without further ado, here it is!

NOTE: I  am blog-ican’t change the font to Times New Roman without changing the font of my entire blog. But YOUR entry MUST be in 12 point Times New Roman.

Name: Caitlyn McFarland

Genre: YA Fantasy


Word Count: 75,000

If your main character could be any Star Wars character, who would they choose and why?: Evangeline would be Han Solo–so cocky she’s clearly overcompensating for something. Piper would be Rey, because she hasn’t quite come to terms with her own power.

35 Word Pitch: Seventeen-year-old Zodiac Guardians Piper and Evangeline are closer than sisters—they’re blood-bound warriors. When they capture the man whose death will abolish dark magic, Piper’s empathy and Evangeline’s ambition could tear them—and Earth—apart.

First 250 Words: 

Piper glared at the diamond points of starlight that dulled and faded in the quickening sky. A purple gleam flashed across the eastern horizon, the angle of the not-yet-risen sun catching the energy of the darklight shield where it arched over the stratosphere.

A hook of longing set in her chest and dragged at her as the stars disappeared. She wished they would stay gone. Or undergo some sort of cosmic shift while they were out of sight. If a catastrophic event knocked the constellation Leo out of place, maybe the power granted by the unlucky timing of her birth would disappear. Maybe she’d become an ordinary. Find the family she’d been taken from at less than a year old.

Be normal.

Normal, Evangeline’s voice was in her head, affectionate and mocking. You don’t want normal, Pi-face. You just think you do.

Piper wrinkled her nose and leaned through an open window into the back seat of the Jeep, knocking empty water bottles, chip bags, and a pair of Evangeline’s dirty jeans off the tan upholstery to the floor. She extracted the crumpled paper from the pocket of a denim jacket—stashed purposefully at the bottom of the pile—and leaned against the dusty white door.

Mountainridge University marched across the top of the page in stern, gray caps. Piper smoothed out the pamphlet on the leg of her torn jeans, then peeled it open, keeping her back to the truck stop where Evangeline was grabbing caffeine and ice.


That’s it! Please leave your crits in the comments and hop back to Kim’s blog for more links!

P.S. Today is the one-year anniversary of the release of book #2 in my trilogy, SHADOW OF FLAME!

Shadow of Flame Final

To celebrate, here’s a link to #1, SOUL OF SMOKE! It’s only $1.49. If you like fantasy and romance, check it out!

About Caitlyn McFarland

Mom of three girls, writer of fantasy novels.
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1 Response to Judge the Judges: Sample PitchSlam Entry

  1. Pingback: YA Near-Future Sci-Fi – INTO THE DEEP – Cindy R. Wilson

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