Friday, March 22, 2013

Moving Forward, Never Backward

For those of you following me on twitter, you should know by now that I didn't make it into PitchMadness.

Am I sad? Yes.
Am I disappointed? Definitely.
Am I mad? No.

I refuse to get angry. Because...why? Why get mad that I didn't make it and others did? Seriously. There is no point. Pitchmadness is an awesome competition that draws a lot of writers and agents. I've seen some of the pitches and they are amazing. I can't wait to read the ones that made it once they are posted.

I want to personally thank Brenda Drake for setting this up. She is an awesome person with a lot of amazing insights. Follow her. Read her blog. Also, included in thanks are the awesome people hosting things: Shelly, Sharon, Summer, Erica, Marieke, Fiona, and Dee.

And let's not forget the legion slush readers who spent hours agonizing over the immense number of entries. You can view them here. I know, and follow several of them and they are wonderful and awesome people. I've done slush reading before and I know it isn't easy. So thank you tall the slush zombies. You guys are wonderful and I love you all.

So, what happened? Well, probably a lot of things. I don't have an insider's knowledge about why I didn't get picked and to be honest, that's fine. I did get some feedback and it got me thinking.

From what I've heard, some of it may have to do with language. Hate Jacket is, technically, a YA book as Julius, the main character, is 17. However, some of the language that he, and others use throughout the book may be a little much for some people. As the writer, I actually struggled with the language. It wasn't easy to write and I'm guessing, it might not be easy to sell because of it.

There may have been other reasons besides the language, but I haven't heard.

So here is what I sent.

Genre: YA Contemporary
Word Count: 64,000 words

Log line:
Abandoned by his mother, Julius Moore hates everything about his life, but if he wants a chance at happiness he must fight for love or lose it all to his father's rage.


I should have my own chair in here with bright neon letters that say, “This seat belongs to Julius Monroe, asshole.” Ms. Stevens. Sorry, Dr. Stevens, vice-principal extraordinaire, is staring at me with her usual bitchy, disapproving look. Word has it she was supposed to be the principal. Guess the good ‘ol boys found someone they liked better and now she’s stuck at low woman on the totem pole. So she takes it out on me and anyone else with the misfortune of screwing up.

She stops talking because I’m not paying attention. She glares at me, the lines around her mouth deepening.

“What?” I ask in my best I don’t give a fuck voice.

If I push it enough, I wonder if I’ll get a vein to pop out of her head. That would be so awesome. Maybe breakup the monotony of staring at the pictures of her kids on her desk while she rambles on about appropriate behavior and attire. I could have my ass exposed and my pants around my thighs and nobody would care, but wear a jacket that expresses the hatred in the world, and I get shit on. Hell, turn on the TV and you’ll see it. Kids getting murdered and raped on the way to school. Bombs blowing up families in war-torn countries. Guess people don’t want to be reminded that hatred is well and alive in the world.

“Mr. Monroe, that jacket is simply unacceptable.”

“It’s a personal expression.”

I try to keep my face calm as she presses her lips into a thin white line.

So what do you think?

'Till Next Time.


  1. great job jumping in and giving it a try. the first pitch contest i dove into made me realize that i needed to work on my pitch writing skills. it's a good thing you received some helpful feedback - that's another great reason to do these things. it's also important to remember that all opinions are subjective.

    1. Yup! That too. And the language is something that will turn off some agents, so it's good to have someone say that now.