Get Your Pitch On!: SAVING SARAH

Welcome to another pitch critique! Several blogs are doing workshops for pitches in the contest. The host bloggers will critique the entries and allow others to critique in the comments, and the entrant will revise their pitch for the contest itself. Read the entries, leave your critique in the comments, and travel around to the other blogs to critique as well! If you're an entrant, don't forget you need to critique at least one other entry.

You can find the other blogs on contest host Sharon Johnston's website.

Name: Dee White
Country: Australia
Title: Saving Sarah
Genre: Contemporary YA
Word Count: 58,000

As a small child, 17-year-old Sarah exposed a dark family secret that wrecked her parents' marriage and led to her brother, (Take this comma out) Ed's drug addiction. (Take out the space here. It's a short pitch, there isn't really room for multiple paragraphs.) Not even a brutal attack by drug dealers can stop her trying to save Ed and make up for the past. But how far will she go to bring her fractured family together? And will Sarah realise Ed's not the only one who needs saving?

 I like the premise for this one, and it sounds like it could be a really strong, dark story. My biggest concern are the last two sentences. Whether it's pitches or full query letters, in my experience questions are a bad idea. I'd like it better if the last two sentences were definite statements, something like, "Sarah has to decide how far she'll go to bring her fractured family together--and realize that Ed's not the only one who needs saving." It gives the ending a strong punch.

The main conflict here is definitely Sarah trying to keep her family together. And I realize there isn't a whole lot more room to work with, but I feel like some things here are too vague--the dark family secret, for example, or the means she uses to keep her family together. Right now I understand her situation and motivations, but I really want to feel something for her. And I think knowing just one or two of those details would help on that front.

This sounds like such a great premise. Good luck with the contest!

Don't forget to leave your thoughts/critique in the comments!


  1. Thanks Francesca for your very helpful feedback.

    I can see how making things more specific and definite will make this stronger.

    I really appreciate you taking the time to read my pitch:)

  2. This sounds like you have a very intense book, I'm interested.

    The first sentence is very strong and really drew me in right away.

    Like Francesca, the last two sentences just didn't flow right for me. I think her suggestion is really good. The drug dealers heighten the sense of danger which I think is a good thing, but I'm wondering if you can briefly merge that fact into the final sentence.

    It's looking like a great start. Good luck :)


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