Writing Conferences: Pitch Templates

Up today, part 3 of the Writing Conferences series, brought to you by my wonderful guest blogger, Maddy!

Check out part 1, Logistics of Pitching, here
and part 2, Writing Your Pitch, here.


If you still need help getting started, here’s a rough template set in a style of pitching I’ve seen used quite often:

[Comp title 1] meets [comp title 2] in [manuscript title], a [genre][series or standalone].
Epic intro, main character intro, stakes, struggles, antagonist, final epic stakes, etc.
Complete at [wordcount], I believe [manuscript title] will appeal to fans of [comp title] and [comp title] (can be different from ones you used at beginning, perhaps more current and with wide fanbase, can also be authors).
Little about self (where you’re living, where you studied/are studying—especially if you studied writing/litearture or a subject relevant to your MS, any writing societies you belong to or published works in major magazines, journals, presses), thank you for your time, etc

Example 1:

Gossip Girl meets Lost in Space in The Space Files*, a YA space opera standalone.

In a universe of elite pink spaceships juxtaposed with a near-depleted lack of food supplies, secrets are currency and trust is a fable. Lydia, a 16 year-old-girl who’s already bored of life, has never wanted anything except her own ship to travel the remains of the collected star systems in search of adventure and the perfect chocolate cake. But when a thief stows aboard her very first vessel, her plans are flipped into anti-grav and…etc. (the main pitch, stakes, main struggle, antagonist). …now she must guide her ship across the outermost system with a girl she doesn’t trust far enough to spacejump with, or risk losing the ship and lifestyle of her dreams in an inferno of galactic decimation. Etc.

Complete at 92K words, I believe The Space Files will appeal to fans of The Starbound Trilogy and The Thousandth Floor.

I graduated from the University of X in 20XX where I studied Creative Writing** and Astrophysics**. I currently live in Seattle, and am an active member of RWA***. Thank you for your consideration.

*Invented as an example, not a real YA book to my knowledge.

**Relevant to writing as well as the book subject, so okay to include.

***Any major writing groups you belong to or previous publishing experience (not typically including small publications like your college newspaper no one has heard of) can be included here.


Example 2:

Lord of the Rings* meets Star Wars* in Eragon, the first in a YA epic fantasy series.

In a kingdom ruled by a seemingly immortal tyrant, Eragon is just a young farmer living on the outskirts with his uncle and brother. But when he finds a mysterious stone on a hunting trip in the mountains, he’s thrust into a world of secrets and magic…etc. Now he must (complete perilous journey) or (all will be lost). Etc.

Complete at 150K words, I believe Eragon will appeal to fans of Susan Dennard and Leigh Bardugo.

I live in Denver where I work fulltime as a dragon whisperer** and write my YA novels. I am an active member of Dragon Writers Anonymous. Thank you for consideration. Do you have any questions for me?***

*Again, don’t use these! Just an example.

**Relevant experience to a dragon themed book—otherwise I could’ve left it out

***You might not even have to ask this, because they’ll probably dive into questions if they have them. If they don’t, start asking your own.

Note: These examples would probably end up being two-minute pitches. Cut down further for shorter pitch versions.


Now that you’ve written your pitch, next week we’ll be covering how to practice for your live session.

If you enjoyed this post or are interested in the rest of this series, you can follow this blog by email or WordPress on the sidebar (or below for mobile), and you can check out Maddy’s site here!

img_8730Madeleine Colis is a YA writer from Chicago who lives in Australia and helps with the Boston Teen Author Festival—so she is perpetually time zone confused. She went to Northwestern University, where she studied English and began her YA fantasy series during her study abroad in Madrid, over espresso and sangria. She now lives in Melbourne: writing, learning martial arts, and failing to resist pretty foreign edition books.
Find her online: Twitter | Website

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