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EN 227: AYA Literature & Book Pitches


  • Don’t reveal the ending. Ever.
    • The pitch works as a teaser. It is meant to pique the interest of the reader, not spoil them.
  • Only discuss the main characters, not all of them.
    • Your book is about your main character, not the side characters.
    • If you have multiple point-of-view characters, you’ll mention the ones most important to the plot.
    • If you have a romance, you’ll mention the main couple or main character and love interest.
  • Stakes. Stakes. Stakes. Don’t forget the stakes.
  • Don’t get bogged down in side plots or extraneous details.
    • Remember, you only have 300 words.


  • Start with your character. Think about who they are, and what they want most in the world.
    • Then think about the worst thing that could happen to them if they don’t get that thing.
    • Then brainstorm a scenario that is perfectly suited to destroy them. That forces them to rise to the occasion and change as a person.
  • Pick up your favorite book and read the back cover.
    • How did it get your interest? What about this book made you want to read it?
  • Draw inspiration from your favorite stories or from your real life.
  • Comps.
    • Start smashing your favorite books and movies and fairytales together. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown meets They Both Die at the End = Vampires, Hearts, and Other Dead Things.
  • Market research.
    • Recently published books are the best indicator of what’s trendy.
    • Epic Reads, Goodreads, YA Books Central, Melanin in YA, Publishers Weekly.
    • Recently adapted to film is also a good indicator of what’s about to get trendy again.