Pitches from the Pensieve

Hey Pitchslam peeps, We thought you’d like a laugh so the Heads of House, head boys and girls, and prefects are putting up our entries for your viewing pleasure.  Last spring, I posted the first page and pitch that helped me land my agent, along with a first draft of what I was currently working on. So, here is my (incomplete) entry for the not-yet-edited rough draft I’m currently working on. 

I don’t expect you to rave over it (far from it). More, I offer this so you can see some of the things we see when people submit entries that aren’t quite there yet. 

Please note: This pitch is an example of what NOT TO DO.

Name: Laura Heffernan
Genre: Women’s fiction

Title: Not Sure Yet
Word Count: 50,087 words and counting!!
Hogwarts House: Jess is Hufflepuff all the way, loyal to a fault, even when her loyalty overwhelms all common sense. 
Pitch:  When Jess’s husband died, the world crumbled around her. Fifteen years later, she discovers that nothing is at it seemed. Can she recover from the realization that her entire adult life has been a lie?

First 250:

Sweat poured down my forehead. I gripped the armrests and squeezed my eyes shut, trying to remember the mantra I’d been taught. Serenity now. Serenity now. Serenity now. In my imagination, my seat rocked and tilted, any moment prepared to plummet out from under me.
Repeating it in my head didn’t help much, so I said, “Serenity now,” to see if the chant did anything to lessen my utter dread.
“Excuse me?”
I cracked one eyelid. Beside me sat a young woman, probably in her late twenties. 
“Sorry, ma’am. I have a slight… paralyzing fear of flying.” 
Her brow wrinkled, crackling the edges of her foundation and suggesting she’d actually lived a few more years than I originally guessed. “But we’re not even on the plane yet.” 
I nodded. “Yup. I’m so afraid, it starts in the waiting area. I’m sorry. I’ll try to be quiet.”
With effort, I sat up and undid my death grip on the arm rests. At this hour, the terminal was slowly coming to life. Kiosks were opening, people starting to arrive. The hushed atmosphere that permeated the air when I’d arrived at seven, as if no one wanted to dispel the early morning air by speaking, mostly dissipated. In a few hours, it would be nearly impossible to remember this Logan from the bustling hub it would turn into. 

Few people sat by our gate. A group of businessmen in one corner. A family with a toddler sat against the far wall, reading. A few single travelers scattered throughout the seating area. 
Don’t forget to check out the first pages on the other Head of House, head boy and girl, and prefect blogs. Check out #PitcheFromThePensieve on Twitter.
Posted in Blog.


  1. Ack! My hand itches for a red pen. I loved the "is AT it seemed." This is a great example of tiny mistakes you won't see in your own pitch because you know what it should say. Get a second set of eyes on it.
    Thanks for posting this. Seeing things not work in other pitches/250'a has forced my to admit they were also not working in mine.

    • Ha! I actually didn't see that. Thus proving your point. 🙂

      And, maybe, this is why people shouldn't write pitches in 3 minutes at 5:30 am.

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