The website of the historical fiction writer.

The Festival of Writing 2013 Part Three: The One Minute, Two Line Pitch

This workshop was led (I have a real dislike of the word ‘facilitated’) by Juliet Pickering from the Blake Friedmann Literary, TV and Film Agency.

The whole purpose of the one minute, two line pitch is to sum up what your book is about in a clear and concise way that also makes it sound interesting to readers (and agents). Starting with the title of the book, this needs to involve the setting, what it’s basically about, what happens to the protagonist and where the book fits in the market. We started off summing up the book in three sentence before adding another about what makes the book unique (and therefore appealing to the market). Then we mixed the two to make it two lines.

Here’s my latest attempt, see what you think:

In the Shadow of the Gods is a the beginning of a series following a Norse family through the generations. Thorwulf is forced into conflict with his friend and adoptive brother, Einar, after a series of prophecies shapes their actions. With action taking place in Norway, Scotland and England, will Thorwulf be able to escape the fate that seems to have been planned for him?

OK, I know that’s three lines and it needs a bit of work but that’s the general idea. It’s also helpful to write a blurb (like what you see on the back of a book) that you can use if you need to elaborate further. These are better than synopses in my view because they do not give away the ending!

This session was very useful as I had two one-to-one appointments with agents so it was handy if I needed to pitch my work. I also spent the weekend telling people what I was writing so, if you go to writing conferences, you will have lots of opportunities to practice!

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