The road to Pitchapalooza, part 2

If you read The Road to Pitchapalooza, part 1, then you know that Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry, aka The Book Doctors, the authors of The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published, are coming to Malaprop’s this Friday, June 22, for Pitchapalooza. The event offers a chance for budding authors (who purchased a copy of the book from Malaprop’s) a chance to pitch their manuscripts. The best pitch, as selected by a panel of judges, will “receives an introduction to an agent or publisher appropriate for his/her book,” according to an event press release.

“Perfecting Your Pitch” is a six-page section in Chapter 3: The Perfect Package. It starts with the elevator pitch — Eckstut and Sterry suggest “using Hollywoodesque combos, like the following: The Catcher in the Rye with Asperger’s (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time).”

Suggested formulas include “The __ with/without ___” and “The __ for __.”

After giving it some thought, I tried out a few combos that came up short. Here’s an example: Papaya & other dirty words is Rumor Godden’s The Peacock Spring for the 21st century, with fewer parental characters and more rubber flip-flops” … because, does anyone even know what The Peacock Spring is about?

Finally, I settled on an elevator pitch (and under-one-minute summation) for my manuscript, Papaya & Other Dirty Words: A Memoir of Love, Travel and Tropical Fruit. Here goes:

Papaya & other dirty words is Eat Pray Love meets The Thorn Birds as told with all the insouciance of Igby Goes Down.

This truth-is-weirder-than-fiction tale of love, language gaffes and tropical fruit follows a college senior on her semester abroad in Sri Lanka where, sneaking away from her school group, she meets a Buddhist monk, also in his early 20s. The two pursue a relationship, traveling the country and hiding in monasteries and guest houses willing to protect their secret. But this is a dark romance, slashed through with the dangerous beauty of south Asia, clashes of culture and religion, and the cautionary road markers of hard travel.

Your feedback is welcome. Are you intrigued? Do you get a sense of what the book is about? Do you want to know more? And, most importantly, if I told you this book was on the shelf at Malaprop’s, would you buy it?

Pitchapalooza starts at 7 p.m. You must have purchased a copy of Essential to sign up to pitch. For those not interested in pitching, the event is free.


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About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall has lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. She is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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One thought on “The road to Pitchapalooza, part 2

  1. Margaret Williams

    I’d pick it up at the bookstore and read the first few paragraphs!

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