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2016 Philadelphia Writing Pitch

(a simple writing exercise to help with the emotional flow of your book)

Pitch Schedule:

Jessica Sinsheimer


Geraldine Donaher   -  9:40


 The email listing my pitch schedule was simple and straightforward. Which, of course, was another reason why I loved the 2016 Philadelphia Workshop. Everything was organized, professional, and writer friendly.  


Before I walked into the pitch, I collected my final thoughts on my book. I worked on the 90,000 word novel for about 5 years: re-writing, editing, and rewriting. A small voice in the back of my head nagged, “Maybe too sad. Is it too sad?”


I didn’t mention it to Jessica, but somehow she read my mind, “Number the pages and list the general emotion on the page as negative or positive. Simply put a negative or positive sign to represent the general emotion. A book should flow up and down for the reader. The reader doesn’t want to sit for too long in one emotion.”


That made sense; life never sits for too long in one emotion. And even if we are traveling through sadness at a time of mourning, there are small moments of reprieve.


I needed a little clarification, “But what if a chapter is heavy on sadness? I can’t just throw a happy page in there.”


She smiled, “No, but your writing should be beautiful. If it is written beautifully, then that would be positive.”


“God, she’s right,” I thought, “even in great sadness, there is beauty.” 


And so for the seventh time, I open my novel with notepad and pencil in hand and begin another exercise in writing. I can only hope that beauty is the overall feel of my work. I'm willing to do the work to get it there.


Thanks Jessica!


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The Delaware County Press Club 


'Breaking Out in Social Media'


Thank you to 

Doreen McGettigan, Angie Hilem, and Pat Buchanan

for an informative session on Social Media at the Delaware County Press Club.

Please visit their websites for more information! I've listed a quick summary and a few tips from today's workshop:


Doreen McGettigan is a writer and published author. You can find her at .


Doreen's tips:


Write often and always professionally!

Send people to your blog for answers & make it easy for them (user friendly)!

keep blogs:

to 500-1000 words,

include news of the day,

holidays, recipes

Keep it relevant (new & fresh)


            Don’t trick your readers with confusing post titles

            and make sure you encourage comments.

Just as you encourage comments, be sure to leave comments on other bloggers' posts!

It's a good idea to always post on the same day/time - be consistent.

This is a great way to be part of the writing community.


Back check everything before sharing (ie political views)!


Advertise yourself: Put your website name on a car magnet

And don't forget - Go out and meet people in real life - potential readers are everywhere!



Angie Hilem

What Angie does: helps establish businesses on social media by creating newletters, writing blogs,

creating a presence on social media


Angie shared her tips about:



Twitter really just posts 110 characters

They have a great app for your phone to post videos

Make sure you check analytics on twitter to see where and when you're hitting your target audience

Consider Twitter as lots of parties - which party would you want to be invited to? That's your audience 

(ie: writers= follow agents, publishers, #MSWL, other writers, readers of your genre (#zombies anyone?) etc)

Keep your posts to 70% about others, 20 specifically about your industry, 10 self (ie blog, book)




For an easy way to boost your campaign, Post on your business page than SHARE on your personal page

            Original sharers of information boost your #'s

innovative ideas in your field (whatever field!) will get shared


Instagram – is actually easier than Facebook and worth the few minutes to get started!




Pat Buchanan 

What she does: supports/develops business leaders and builds publicity for their corporation (any size)


Pat shared her tips about LinkedIn:


Social Media Success Summit – weekly newsletter that is worth the read!


LinkedIn has training sessions (click search field – ‘training’ (it’s free)

LinkedIn Social Media Society - $39 a month  


Profile – make sure you fill in all personal info to get highest star rating

Premium account (not really needed, but it is worth additional tools if want to pay)


LinkedIn helps people find you for professional expertise = don’t use "I" or refer to self as 3rd party

Use your name as you're known in you community (nickname is fine) 

Use a professional photo (because your audience is a professional community)


List your company as your brand (even if not part of a company ie: writer  (120 characters into that line)


Publish a post:

             leadership and branding

            'Flag' highlights someone in your network published a post

You can post other people's blogs/posts


Privacy controls:

            Click photo in tool bar to get controls (can change profile/jobs/clean up without getting everything in newsfeed activity feed

            You can select what others see in your profile (don't want to advertise the competition)

            Once you turn off your activity broadcast, you need to take off the check on your picture so it becomes public again


Contacts – once you get 500 contacts they don’t post higher


Personalize the message when inviting others to join your Linked in community


Check out Slideshare  (‘interest’ tool bar) It has great catagories on what is available so don’t have to weed through Google

Check out Publisher – connect with interested publisher


LinkedIn has a great, free, help center - use it!

CRM tool  /Linkedin Sales Navigator ( pay for this use)


App stores free down load LinkedIn Connect – put all your contacts form all social media to Linkedin Connect. Allows you to make notes on people you met at social gatherings, great for reminders


Thanks for reading! Scroll down and leave a comment.

Looking forward to meeting up with you on Social Media!






The Novel’s Pitch


What I learned and The Algonkian 14 shared from the 2015 Algonkian Writer’s Pitch

Gerri Donaher


Notes scribbled around my copybook:

“A novel’s pitch, written as a query letter to agents/editors, is not an elevator pitch.”

“An editor can tell by your pitch how well you write.”

“Don’t argue with an editor. Take what they say and change what you want.”

“Don’t be paranoid. Nobody wants to write your book. We have our own stories.”

“Leave out your poems. Poetry should only be written by poets.”

"A story that is 'too quiet' means no hook, means no book."

"Editors and agents don't want to have more questions than answers by the end of your pitch."

"A self-published book with more than 5,000 copies sold is of commercial value"

"Upmarket is literary fiction that sells"


Specifics on How to Write a Pitch (query)


The Query -  

            length: one to two pages (copy/paste from word document onto email)

                      include in first paragraph:

                                    word length (commercial novel 50,000-100,000           prefer: more than 60,000)

                                    genre, title

                                    two comparable novels – very helpful, explain with short sentence (editor wants to envision where your                                                                         book will sit)

                                    impressive bio points

                                                (if self-published, only mention in first paragraph if sold over 5000)


                        include in second – fourth paragraphs: The Book

                                    an interesting pitch that makes an editor want to read more (entice them with antagonist, odd details)

                                    start strong with where and what the book is about, stay strong to the end

                                    endings should not only be resolved, but be happy

                                    main characters with friends means the protagonist is likable to more than just the reader - a good sign!


                        include in last paragraph:

                                    your credentials – who are you? Education, career

                                    twitter followers – if an impressive # – include it!

                                    Webpage – include it! What is it for? #viewers/#subscriptions

                                    Written other books – include it! You’re committed to writing!

                                    Blog – include it! You're committed to your craft!

                                    If self-published and have under 5000 copies sold - include it! You write because you have to

                                    Memberships – ie: The Press Club, Penn Writers


Best articles to improve your writing:


     Author Jamie Howard on Polishing Those Pages - get ready to query!






Have a comment or question about what you're writing?


                                                 and I'll get back to you!


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