Tuesday, March 17, 2015

#Nestpitch 2015 Teams – Simply Smawesome!

A couple weeks ago I was asked to be a slushie reader for an upcoming query/pitch contest, Nestpitch. The event's organizer, Nikola Vukoja, writes NA and adult contemporary. Her work often has a dark slant, a historical setting, a social message, or in the best cases, some of all three. I couldn't be happier to participate, to do what I can to help get good, creative work in front of editors and agents.

I'm going to let Nikola tell you more about the contest, and how she came up with our SMAWESOME catch-phrase!

I guess it would be no big revelation if I said I make stuff up, given my chosen profession. The thing is I also make words up, usually by accident. That’s what happened yesterday morning. I was working on the Nestpitch Team bio’s and as I got further along, it hit me at how amazing this years Mentors and Slushies are.

I also talk to myself. Well that and the cats, which is kind of the same thing. So there I was, working on the Team bio’s talking to myself when my brain, which often works way faster than my mouth (and that’s saying something!), was thinking “these teams are Super, Magical, Awesome” – and what came out of my mouth (literally) was smawesome - & that’s what these Team are – SMAWESOME!

So I’m coining the word as my own and who knows? It might just catch on :)

Below are the Teams and when you read them you’ll agree, they are smawesome, but before you look through the Teams, I wanted to run through the selection process. Now, don’t freak out too much as a full list of dates, rules and conditions will be posted on the 23rd / 24th of March. For now just mark March 23rd /24thand April 1st (submission date).

The submission consists of:

(i)                 35-word pitch
(ii)               Answer to this question: If your MC was an Easter Egg, what flavour would s/he be? (no more than 15 words please)
(iii)             1st 300-words of your manuscript*

*1st 300 = if you have a prologue, then your 1st 300 starts from your prologue. If you don’t think your prologue is strong enough then perhaps you need to rethink your prologue.
Finish at the end of a sentence. This is 300-word MAX, so your last word is 300-words. If your sentence finishes on 292-words, submit that. If your sentences run into 30 or more words, then rethink the length of your sentence(s). Broken sentences do no one favours.

This year we will not be accepting PB’s – I have something special planned for PB’s (and perhaps MG’s) for December 2015 assuming I can get all my ducks in a row J

Two things to add/note:

(1)               A condition of entry is any MS #pitch submitted to previous #pitches, which resulted in being selected, in the twelve months prior to April 2015, is ineligible.   The only sub-clause to this is #PitchSlam. Please let us know if  you have the same MS in #PitchSlam & #Nestpitch, and again if you’ve been selected. I have spoken to the Host of PitchSlam & we’ve agreed to work closely on this one.

(2)               This year there will be less final selection featured pitches. (Expecting final number to be around 40). With each Team concentrating on fewer submissions, we can be more hands-on with feedback and mentoring. By doing this, not only will the pitch + 300-words be stronger, but so will the entire MS. This year there will be rounds.

a.      Round #1: Last year I gave everyone the benefit of the doubt when errors were made in following guidelines. That will not be the case this year, aside from formatting issues (which happen). To get past #1 the author’s must be able to follow guidelines.

b.      Round #2: This year each Team will select an initial 5-8 submissions and then request more pages/material. Based on the additional pages/material, each Team will drill their selection down to between 4-5 to go to the next round

c.      Round #3: On having picked their final 4-5, each Team will then critique the first 2,500-words and ‘get to know’ the author(s). This is a 3-fold process. Being selected does not necessarily mean being featured. Teams will want to know the author(s) are willing to accept feedback etc.  The Teams will work with their author’s for 3 weeks, offering feedback, sharpening pitches, & suggesting improvements. After this, the author’s have a full week to re-read their MS in full & make any final changes; before the agent round.

From the Slush-pile Picks.

My Team #Team2Beat, will be hunting through the slush-pile and the reserves, looking for gems that have been missed. We will have the option of selecting between 1-5 pitches (at our discretion) to feature. This is basically a bonus-pick so, you may just get an email after the date, but if you do, you’ll be expected to work twice as hard as the other author’s as you’ll have less time – so be ready!

All of the above, together with dates and other conditions will be posted on March 23rd / 24th in an information post – so keep a look out of that post.

And now bathe in the smawesmeness of our Teams!

Liv here...I'm only sharing the deets for my team, but you can jump HERE for Nikola's post with the complete list... 

Stacey Nash - Mentor #Team Eggsellent
Twitter: https://twitter.com/staceynash
Blog: http://www.stacey-nash.com/
Author of YA & NA (HarperCollins), and fellow Aussie, 
Stacey is also part of the blogging Team at 
AussieOwnedAndRead. When not writing, Tweeting or 
Facebook- ing, she can be found spending time with her family.

Kathy Palm – Slushie - Magic-wielding, TARDIS-traveling,     
stay-at-home mom, and YA fantasy/horror writer Kathy 
recently signed with REUTS Publications, her debut DOORS 
to be released in winter of 2016. She loves chocolate and all 
the weird, creepy, and fantastical words.  
You’ll find Kathy on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/KathleenPalm

You know what I look like..

Liv Rancourt – Slushie – Liv writes romance: m/f, m/m, and v/h, where the h is for human and the v is for vampire…or sometimes demon. She writes funny, not angst. When not writing Liv takes care of tiny premature babies or teenagers, depending on whether she's at home or at work. She decribes her husband as a soul of patience and her dog as the cutest thing evah(!)
You’ll find Liv on Twitter here: ttps://twitter.com/LivRancourt

So that's my Nestpitch story. If you've got a project that's ready to query, make a note of these dates. I'd love to see your work come through my slush pile. 




  1. Sounds like a fun event in which to participate, Liv :)

  2. Thanks Mike. I'm looking forward to it.