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The pitch that got me a contract with Prizm/Torquere

Fiction Young Adult Science Fiction Offbeat/Quirky

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#1 missysue

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Posted 16 September 2014 - 12:23 PM

Hi all,

 

So, after sharing my pitch here and getting tons of useful feedback, I submitted my manuscript to agents and small presses. Out of 64 submissions, I received four full requests and two partial requests...and today, one offer from Prizm Books, an imprint of Torquere Press. I signed the contract this morning. Here's the letter-- and thank you again to this wonderful community.

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Gates McFarland’s mother has just been proclaimed brain dead by a neurologist. But fifteen-year-old Gates doesn’t believe it’s true, because she hears her mother’s voice in her head. The command is simple: Find my heart. It’s the last thing Gates hears from her mother before the neurologist pulls the plug.
 
After contacting the Organ Procurement Agency, Gates learns there is no record of her mother’s organ donation. She meets Dr. Ascuitto, her mother’s neurologist. A menacing figure, he threatens to institutionalize Gates if she continues her inquiries.

 

Determined to find the truth, Gates gets help from John Ed, a street-smart, sixteen-year-old recovering addict. Together, they navigate an underworld of body theft, interstellar drug trafficking and doctors who double as dealers. She finds herself attracted to John Ed’s musical talents and emotional strength even as she is drawn ever-deeper into an alien world accessible only by use of a hallucinogenic spore. Hostile and governed by a sinister waif named Penny, the world holds secrets about Gates’ mother’s death…and the key to Gates’ survival.
 

I am special sections editor at Gambit, a New Orleans-based alternative newspaper with a weekly print circulation of 40,000 copies and 275,000+ unique web visitors monthly. I have a monthly fashion segment on WWL-TV, one of the nation’s highest-ranked local television stations, and I have freelanced for xoJane.com, Conde Nast’s Brides, Fodor’s travel guides, Zagat and Google.

 

HEARTS IN ALIEN HANDS is a 62,000-word YA novel with sci-fi elements. This is the first book in a trilogy; the second volume is half complete. This book is unique because it’s a psychedelic-tinged fantasy that touches on very real issues of addiction and recovery. Please find the manuscript and synopsis attached.  This is a simultaneous submission. Thank you for considering my novel.

 


www.missywilkinson.com


#2 LucidDreamer

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Posted 16 September 2014 - 12:39 PM

Congratulations!



#3 missysue

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Posted 16 September 2014 - 12:42 PM

Thank you so much, Vicki! And a HUGE congrats to you for your very successful launch for CROWN OF ICE!  It's certainly off with a bang!


www.missywilkinson.com


#4 sharpegirl

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Posted 16 September 2014 - 04:06 PM

Congrats!! 



#5 missysue

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Posted 16 September 2014 - 04:51 PM

Thank you, sharpegirl!


www.missywilkinson.com


#6 Sinniona

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Posted 16 September 2014 - 06:41 PM

It's one thing to see someone posting their query letter here to be critiqued, and another thing to see that same query letter on this side of the forum!

 

Well done! ;__; I hope I get to where you are now.

 

How long did it take you to craft your letter to that beautiful beast up there? How many drafts?

 

Again, CONGRATS! (I cry for you.)


"In a dark time, the eye begins to see."

--Theodore Roethke

 

I animate, I draw, I crochet, I make videos, I take photos, I sing, I brood, I paint, but, most importantly, I write.

 

Please critique my query letter! I'll do the same back. 

http://agentquerycon...cience-fiction/

Please check out my synopsis and give feedback! Maybe I'll return the favor. ;)

http://agentqueryconnect.com/index.php?/topic/20075-eye-of-the-raptor-feedback/


#7 Cat1dr

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Posted 16 September 2014 - 07:46 PM

That is wonderful!!! Congratulations! Your post is going to help me ... it ha already. I was worried about telling agents that my query would be a multi submission and that my book is a trilogy, but I see it cannot hurt.

Congratulations to you again, much, much success to you!!
keep us posted!


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#8 missysue

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 02:06 PM

Thank you both so much! Sinniona: I am really not sure how many drafts I went through of the query letter.  I did put it up here for critique and got a lot of good feedback. Then I entered it into a query letter contest at a literary conference I attended last fall (Heather Graham's Writers for New Orleans conference) and it tied for first place. So I figured it was ready to go out into the world.

 

Cat: I noticed a lot of publishers are hungry for manuscripts with series potential. The only way I think that could be a turnoff is if the first book does not stand on its own. I always mentioned it is a series because that seems to be a marketable way to go.


www.missywilkinson.com


#9 giffordmac

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Posted 18 September 2014 - 12:36 AM

Congratulations on your success!


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#10 VonAngel

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Posted 18 September 2014 - 08:30 AM

Congratulations, doll!


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#11 missysue

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Posted 19 September 2014 - 01:51 PM

Thank you all so much!


www.missywilkinson.com


#12 Spike_Taterman

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 08:59 PM

A nicely written query. Congrats!! :biggrin:

Spike



#13 emspirit

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 09:31 AM

Congrats, I am jealous and I think I will plot to steal your organs. 

 

One question about your query; what do you mean by this is a simultaneous submission?  Are you letting them know that you are sending it out to multiple agencies?  I have not seen this in queries. 

 

Thanks



#14 missysue

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 05:08 PM

Yes, you are right. "Simultaneous submission" means that I'm sending it to more than one agency or publisher at a time. Technically, you're not supposed to query agents and publishers at the same time (I think because an agent might want to submit your MS to the publisher in the event that he/she signed you).  I did, but the agents I queried were NYC hotshots who wouldn't probably touch the smaller presses that allow unagented submissions.  I am not gonna live forever and I wanted to see this thing get published STAT.

 

Also, the agents who say they don't allow simultaneous submissions? They got my simultaneous submission-- I just didn't tell them they didn't have the exclusive right to sit on my MS for months before rejecting it. LIFE IS TOO SHORT.


www.missywilkinson.com


#15 AncientOne

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 09:08 AM

That is a  great query letter, congrats.

 

About your last post. You are evil, hahaha.


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#16 kljacks

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Posted 13 October 2015 - 12:25 PM

Great letter! Congrats!



#17 Anna.k

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Posted 13 October 2015 - 07:25 PM

Exciting story! Good job and congratulations!







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