Ready, set, pitch! Got a book idea? Head to this speed-publishing event

The Brooklyn Paper
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Book ideas are like belly buttons — everyone has one. But not everyone knows how to make a solid book pitch.

Enter Pitchapalooza, the “American Idol” of books that is coming to Greenlight Bookstore in Fort Greene on March 30. Then, author hopefuls can pitch to a panel of publishing experts, where they’ll get feedback.

The good ones will get more.

“In the real world of publishing, for an unknown writer, you’re lucky to get a minute in front of a great agent or publisher,” said David Henry Sterry, who wrote “The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published” with his wife, Arielle Eckstut, and has brought Pitchapalooza to over 20 cities since starting it last fall.

No matter the city, the game is the same: “contestants” are randomly picked out of a hat and then have one minute to do their pitch, which then gets critiqued by the panel including Sterry and Eckstut — is there too much plot? Too little? Not enough characterization? Marketplace potential? The person with the most promising pitch gets introduced to an agent.

Kurt Christenson will be among the Pitchapalooza hopefuls trying for his shot at literary gold. The Clinton Hill-based writer hopes to pitch his book, “Tower of Brahma, a “part pulpy adventure, part Beat Poet novel” about his journey from late 20s suburban office worker to 30-something writer in New York City.

“My work is often too ethereal and poetic to be considered by most publishers, so I’m looking for one that might be more along my lines,” said Christenson.

Greenlight owner Jessica Stockton Bagnulo had people like Christenson in mind when she decided to bring in Pitchapalooza.

“Part of our mission as a bookstore is to be a community resource, and a place where people can come together over books; offering a fun way for authors to get connected to potential publishers and readers seemed like a perfect fit for us,” she said. “And it’s always exciting to host a contest!”

Pitchapalooza at Greenlight Bookstore [86 Fulton St. between S. Elliott Place and S. Portland Avenue in Fort Greene, (718) 246-0200], March 30 at 7:30 pm. For info, visit

Updated 5:23 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Suzanne huesby from Not sure, I live in CA says:
I want to write a book about being a stay at home mom who use to be a 3rd grade teacher before she had kids. My oldest child is 10years old ... My youngest is 4 1/2. I feel like I drink too much, but I don't think it's enough to be an alcoholic, but enough to not be healthy. I am totally aware of how much I drink. It has been going on 3 years now. I would love to write a book about my struggles to not drink for over 3 days which would be titled
either, It's Everywhere (meaning alcohol) or I'm Not an Alcoholic ... But I kind of think I am.
Jan. 15, 2012, 1:35 am
Dan from Warwick RI says:
Until now I have not had any idea as to how different and difficult my life has been. Born into an alcoholic and physically abusive family I have the physical and mental pain and scares to show.
As the fourth child and second son born to the best mom, Rachel LaPlante, and my dad, Albert LaPlante Jr. Mom was mom. She protected us, but payed the price with a beating. It wasn't until I was a teenager that I started to stand up to my dad and truly feel his rath. My mom, my queen, was beaten and defeated. My sisters were destroyed. I felf alone. My teachers listened to dad and I was labeled a bad kid. Confused, I continued on, playing football, baseball and cross country, I never felt the feeling of anyone cheering me on.
Now, as I am ready to turn 50.My family and friends tell me it is time to tell my story. Even though I will never feel worthy, my struggles and hardships have been helpful and saddenind to my friends. They tell me that my story has to be heard and there is so much more. I've been disabled and lost my home and family. Now I pray that someone connects with my story. I am an open book, and am reaxy to tell my story. There are so many stories that are unbelievable yet substantial. My family is behind me and I need to reach out to people that have no idea what my life was like.

Thank you!

Nov. 5, 2012, 4:27 am

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