Pitch Madness

At the beginning of the month, I entered a contest called Pitch Madness, organized by the lovely Brenda Drake. Writers sent in a 35-word pitch, and the first 250 lines of their manuscript. This year, there were something like 520+ entries, and slush readers went through to choose the top 60 as finalists. Tomorrow, these finalists will have their entries posted on host blogs where participating agents will stop by and “bid” against each other to see pages.

I’m going to be honest. I thought I didn’t have a chance. I love my little book, but it’s a little weird. I have two POVs, and the one who opens the book isn’t the cheeriest person on the planet. And 520 entries is a lot. That meant only about 11% of the entries would final.

Still, when they announced the finalists one by one last night on Twitter, I was on the edge of my seat. And then my title popped up: The Madmen’s City. Much excitement commenced.

So, tomorrow my excerpt and pitch will go up on Team Library’s blog, and I’m both nervous and excited that tons of random people on the internet as well as some wonderful agents are going to be reading my work. Eep. But no matter what happens in the agent round, I’m so incredibly happy that my pitch got chosen to final. Fingers crossed.

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Londontown

This past week, I took a trip to London for my PhD. As a social scientist, I have to do fieldwork aka data collection. My chosen method is interviews, so I’ve been meeting people out in the field at festivals, conferences and other events.

While I was there, I got to do a bit of sightseeing and visit Big Ben, which is even more gorgeous in person than in photos.

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I also got to visit Platform 9 3/4 (again). And I’m glad I went again because this time it was different! They’d moved it inside by the Waterstones bookstore and had a whole thing set up where a guy handed you the House scarf of your choice and held it out behind you to make it appear as if you were running.

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So. Much. Fun.

I also went to a Neil Gaiman reading in Westminster Hall. He read the entirety of his new book, Fortunately the Milk, for an audience of 2.5 thousand, with the artist drawing sketches behind him and several actors and comedians and musicians joining in. It was funny and inspiring, and I loved every minute of it.

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And then to top it all off, on the long train journey to Aberystwyth, I pulled out my Macbook and wrote the entire way back. There’s just something about trains that both relaxes me and gets my creativity going.

All in all, it was a great trip. I hit a few snags with the fieldwork, but still managed to get some great interviews, saw a literary hero, saw some sights, ate some great food and made progress on my WIP.