by Carly Bornstein-Hayward

IT'S TIME FOR PITCH TO PUBLICATION 2016 Y'ALL! Okay, I'll stop with the all-caps; I know it is obnoxious (as was the 'y'all' since I'm from Connecticut). I just get very excited about this event.

Last year was really fabulous. I was overwhelmed by the inspired writing I found in my inbox. It was so full of potential that I ended up picking two manuscripts; I couldn't choose. I also ended up requesting too many partials because I couldn't narrow it down enough. This year I am going to try and be a little stricter with my time, because I know the amount of talent you guys have.

Here are some tips to make the submission process go easier for you.

First of all, don't stress about the personal questions. Most of us take a look at those at the end. Unless you say something like "I hate editing and think it is useless," it probably won't turn us off. All I look for in those is personality compatibility. It helps me find a friend, someone fun to work with.

Next, focus on your first ten pages. If your voice is apparent, if your characters are strong, and if you show your writerly personality, I will want to read more.

Second in importance is the actual query. Again, personality, personality, personality! If you are funny, make me laugh. If you aren't funny, please don't try (it will come across as awkward). Give me as much of a synopsis as you can, but don't give the whole thing away. Intrigue us! Make us have to request partials so that we can see what happens! Nothing draws me in more than being unable to get the questions out of my head. What is going to happen? I can't wait to find out!

But most of all: show us who you are as a writer. Make sure that everything you submit shows us your best self.

Here is a glimpse at my #MSWL, I'll be tweeting more from @fromcarly with #MSWL and #p2p16 :
  • A tumultuous love story (particularly LGBTQ or anything that I haven't seen before)
  • A classic retelling of mythology or fairy tales (with a fun twist, of course!)
  • An exciting quest (I love adventures, especially when they involve books!)
  • Magic! This can be in a middle-grade/YA or adult story, but lots of magic is always fun!
  • Historical fiction/romance (with lots of fun clothing and frippery!)
  • Erotica that actually has a fascinating storyline
  • Characters that start at level one, but advance beyond their wildest dreams
  • A video game story (think Ready Player One or Scott Pilgrim)
  • Time-travel (I'm obsessed, and I'm not ashamed)

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