The Kids and YA Festival: #NSWWC the sour grapes version

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I think for many of us at the Kids and YA Festival, at the New South Wales Writers’ Centre yesterday, the highlight was the Pitch Competition. At the beginning of the day we were able to put our names into a box and at the end of the day six names were to be selected at random and those people were allowed to pitch. What we needed to bring was a one paragraph pitch and the first page of our completed manuscript. I like many others did just that, despite the fact I’m not 100% confident that I have my head around this whole how to pitch bizzo. I found myself crossing my fingers like a four year old hopefully as each name was drawn silently willing my name to be drawn.

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Unfortunately my paragraph and my first page remained unneeded, unnecessary and uninvited in my sweaty, burrito stained lap. Turns out my willpower is not so flash. When the sixth person finished there was a collective sigh. What surprised me was that it was a sigh of relief that their names hadn’t been called, what surprised me even more was that mine was a small sigh of sadness for not being picked. Apparently I have more confidence and belief in myself than I had thought. Perhaps this INFJ (introvert) is becoming an ENFJ. Stranger things have happened. So here is my pitch that I wrote without knowing how to pitch and my first page. It was quite different from those presented. The boring school teacher in me took things quite literally and the first sentence says the genre, target audience and title. I then briefly state what the heart of the story is. I shall have to think of a way to jazz it up!

Chloe Prime: Alien Space Vet is a fantasy adventure ideal for bedtime reading with middle Primary School aged confident readers. It is set on the planet Giovanus in the year 3021, but some things never change – the first day at a new school is nerve wracking, friends are the best and the worst, and nothing motivates you more than needing to go to the toilet. Join action ready Chloe Prime and her best friend, the studious Hippopotati Joshua Suza as they travel through space and school together, learning to communicate with insects, battling the academic wilderness and doing whatever it takes not to get weeed on.

Chapter One: The Night Before the Day After

BANG!

Chloe Prime poked her head out above her blankets and eyed her wardrobe suspiciously. Had it just made a noise? She watched and waited for a few minutes. Nothing. Perhaps it had all been in her imagination. A flight of fancy? She nestled back under her covers.

BANG!

Chloe pulled her covers down again and glared at her wardrobe. Honestly, this was getting ridiculous. She had to get a good night’s sleep for the first day at her new school tomorrow. This just would not do.

BANG!

Chloe vaulted out of bed and stood in front of her wardrobe in a fighting stance. Her hair reared out from her head in crazy curls, ready for action. Her legs were encased in a metallic exoskeleton, which made her look every bit like a miniature cyborg, with medusa hair, at the ready. If there was a monster in that wardrobe she was going to have at it.

‘I came here for a bedtime story and to kick butt,’ ten year old Chloe challenged her empty cupboard. ‘And I already finished my story.’

Whoosh!

Kent Prime came running into his daughter’s room closely followed by her mother. Chloe turned to see her father staring at her in shock.

I’ve just realised the title of this blog is entirely misleading. It really doesn’t have enough vitriol to truly be sour grapes. Hard to get truly bitter about a process that uses random selection and your brother’s best friend from year eight ends up winning. But I made a promise in that title so I really owe it to you to live up to it (if I don’t live up to the promise I have made the reader a certain writing teacher will kick my butt), so I’m going to give it a red hot go!

Darn that Sorting Box. Someone needs to seriously question the impartiality of that box. It clearly had an anti Ravenclaw bias! (I did the sorting hat online and that’s where it put me so I’m assuming this is a solid fact) My daughter played in a box until it broke last week and clearly it was a cousin of the Sorting Box and it used that against me. Darn you Sorting Box and all of your kind! I shall never, EVER, use a box again!!! Shakes fist.

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6 responses »

  1. Hello! Definitely random to bump into your brother’s year-eight English buddy. Or in my case, your year-eight English buddy’s sister. Thanks for your generous support yesterday – I didn’t realise you were in the box too. You were so lovely – not a sour grape in sight. Hoping your name leaps out of the box next time (with your Ravenclaw spell).

  2. The pitch session was quite interesting to me as it wasn’t there when i used to attend many years back. I had heard stories of amazing authors getting snapped up on the spot and a bidding frenzy, but it really was a lot flatter this year. It certainly is nerve wracking but I’m going to share some sour grapes here: I saw some people stand up and pitch a book they hadn’t even written, and yet others, very serious and thoroughly prepared writers, missed out. My only two disappointments were the quality of the pitches I saw and that I couldn’t be in every single session.

      • I was doing the twitter stream during the sessions and noticing that the other was also really good. Aleesah and the center should be very happy with it. A success and a great networking opportunity

      • You know it’s a good festival when you wish you could split yourself in two.

        Must admit I was also tweeting up a storm. So many inspirational quotes. It was like sound bite heaven.

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