Pitching your story to an agent or editor is an essential step for any author. It can be difficult to judge if your manuscript is ready for submission. This is especially true for your story's first page. In many cases, an agent or editor will make their decision based on what they read during the first 250 words.
The Ready-Set-Write crew want to help writers prepare for this important step by evaluating your first page and offering advice on how to improve it. That's where the So You Think You Can Write show comes in. Send us the first 250 words (rounded to the nearest whole paragraph) of your story and we will include it on the show.
Each month, we will award a prize to our favorite entry. The monthly winners will be eligible for a special year-end prize. However, the real benefit of sending in the first page of your story is the feedback you will receive from our panel of published authors. A lively discussion of the flaws and merits of each submission will allow authors an opportunity to polish their manuscripts before sending them out for consideration by agents and publishers.
What are you waiting for? Send those first pages us to at ReadySetWritePodcast@gmail.com. Get the feedback you need on your manuscript, win some prizes, and have fun with our game show format.
Here's how the So You Think You Can Write show works. Each episode will feature the first page of a story. One of the judges will read the entry. The remaining judges listen to the story as it is read, evaluating it based on the kind of writing they represent. If at any point they feel that as an agent or editor they would stop reading the manuscript they will buzz the entry. When a story is buzzed, the narrator will stop reading and give the judge an opportunity to explain his/her action. Then the narrator will continue to read the entry until he/she is finished or the story is buzzed again by a different judge.
At the end of the reading , all of the authors on the panel will discuss the entry and offer their insights as to what worked and what didn't.
The panel and the genres they represent are:
Janette Rallison - Romance, Science-Fiction, Fantasy, and Young Adult Adrienne Quintana - Romance, Thrillers, and Realistic Fiction Brock Booher - Non-Fiction, Contemporary, and Realistic Fiction Aaron Blaylock - Mystery and Historical Fiction, Randy Lindsay - Middle-Grade, Science-Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror
This is what the judges are looking for when they evaluate a manuscript, although not necessarily in this order.
1. A strong opening line/paragraph. 2. Strong writing style/author voice. 3. An unusual premise. 4. Engaging characters. 5. Unusual/interesting setting. 6. An unusual event to start the story. 7. Enough conflict/tension to keep the story interesting. 8. Good pacing.