The Writers Festival was on this weekend. I went to the author session with Camilla Noli (which I'll write about after I finish reading her book) and afterwards there was a pitching contest. I was kind of stunned there were only 12 pitches. I mean how often do you get an open invitation to pitch your book idea to three working publishers? I desperately wish I'd had a pitch to make. I certainly will if it's on next year, but this time around I only found out about it at the session before.
There were a few interesting ones (e.g. insight into the Russia you never knew by someone who lived there one month a year for the past twenty years; two rather funny proposals for novels; non-fiction on how nanotechnology and other scientific phenomenons are going to change our world; a 10,000 word novel in rhyming verse about lawyers). I considered pulling something together (the contest was pretty fun and casual), but when I tried to write an outline I realised that although I have a great idea for an internal character dilemma, I really haven't sorted out at all what her external dilemma/s will be. Can you see why I didn't pitch? Not exactly prepared.
Sadly the $50 cash prize went to an obnoxious thirteen-year-old who was not nearly as funny as he imagined he was. He read us a few pseudo-witty lines from the text he’s completed a whopping five pages of so far, recycled any joke that went down well, and generally made me want to roll my eyes (he first announces that his story is totally unique because it’s about emos, and then tells us that one of the three main characters is a goth, apparently under the impression that they are the same thing). But of course because he was the only kid who pitched they gave him first prize on novelty value. I find that annoying. I know it’s only fifty bucks, but some people really gave an interesting pitch and they deserved a fair shot at the prize, and if you want to encourage a kid it’s perfectly reasonable to do it with an honourable mention.