Happy Valentine’s Day, dear reader. Don’t you feel special? Three blog posts in one week! And tomorrow we will get to hear from Action/Adventure author Seeley James for our Featured Artist Friday. He seems like a really neat person and has a great sense of humor, so don’t forget to swing by tomorrow and read what he has to say about writing!

ABNA is continuing, but for me and for 8,000 other wonderful authors, the race is over for another year. There is a whole host of feelings and emotions that come with being cut in the pitch phase.

Disappointment. Yes, it stings a little. There can even be a tear or two when you don’t find your name on the list.

Relief. No more biting your nails, pacing, staying up late on the discussion boards, waiting, feeling antsy. You didn’t make the pitch round… you can move on with your life.

Justification. At least it wasn’t your book that got rejected… just your ability to summarize it (and really, if I could tell my story in 300 words or less, I wouldn’t have written 140,000 of them in the first place!)

For those of you who are still smarting from not seeing your name on that list yesterday, a word of encouragement: getting cut in the next round hurts a LOT worse. I survived the pitch round the first year I entered, and I speak from experience that the sting of getting cut in the pitch round is quite mild to the slap in the face that the excerpt round can feel like.

As for me, yes, I experienced the disappointment, relief, and justification at not seeing my name on that list yesterday. But in addition, I am feeling a certain almost excitement. I don’t really enter to win. I mean, yes, I give it my best effort, and I wouldn’t mind $50,000! However, I am so excited about my family’s publishing company and all of the new adventures on the horizon that starting this company is going to bring with it, that I couldn’t get real excited about the possibility of signing any of the rights to my book over to another company.

Will I enter the contest next year? Maybe. I think I’m going to do something totally different with my pitch next year, though. I was thinking a little something like this:

Hi there, you’re probably tired of reading pitches by now, so I thought I’d give you something different to look at for a minute (and if this is the first pitch you’re reading, I guarantee the others will be nothing like this one!). 

My story is a fantasy-adventure that I wrote specifically for families to read together. I know that might seem odd to you, but the market does exist. What is the story about? Well, it takes place in a kingdom that is about to be invaded. There’s a princess, a squire, and some dragons, as well as an ancient magical sword that lies waiting for its rightful owner to retrieve it. There’s also a man: a mysterious warrior upon whom the fate of the world may rest. 

Oh, and there’s a minstrel… he’s extremely important, but you have to read the rest of the series to find out more about him. 

What’s the name of my story? KING’S WARRIOR. Doesn’t that have a nice ring to it? Thank you, I thought so, too. I hope you’ve enjoyed this pitch, and I’d like to thank you for taking the time to read through all of our hard work. I know it can probably get a little mind-numbing after a while, as all the pitches start to run together. Have a lovely day!

What do you think? I think it’s brilliant! At least that way, no matter whether I make it through the pitch round or not, I will know exactly WHY I did or did not make it through. :)

For those of you who did make it through, my most hearty and sincere CONGRATULATIONS! I will continue cheering you all on from the sidelines!

Have a lovely Valentine’s Day, dear Reader.

~ jenelle


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