We have posted the WINNERS at the bottom. Before you scroll down, here’s how it was worked out. Each judge chose their top 3, and we assigned 3 points for a 1st, 2 for 2nd, 1 for 3rd and then tallied across the judges. This is how we arrived at our winners and why there are more than 3.

We will also publish a separate post with all the shortlisted pitches on it, as we know you’ll be dying to read them!

Here’s our judges individual choices.


Jo Gatford

1. Al-Most Haunted by Emma Dykes

Straight to the point. Plenty of conflict, hints at humour and a strong YA tone. From this short pitch you already get a sense of the protagonist’s voice/attitude and a suggestion that her plans will end up far more complicated than they first appear. An intriguing take on dealing with the subject of death with a reassurance that there will be a redemptive ending based on a family’s love. 

 

2. Weirdos Of London by Ellie Lock

An intriguing pitch with lots of unexpected elements and twists and turns, while still covering all the main elements of the plot: a character with a clear goal and the complications he needs to overcome to achieve it. I particularly like the concept of discovering your inner weirdo! 

 

3. I Wouldn’t Start from Here by Sheila Adamson

This one is minimalist and a little vague but it still manages to give a really effective sense of the story, the main character, and the originality of the plot. The last line is a clever little technique that makes us want to know more while hinting at the flaws of the protagonist and the challenges she will face. It’s also interesting to see a time travel story that is focused on a personal, domestic issue rather than saving the world/universe. The subject matter is important, too – and the slight removal of setting it within a sci-fi story could be a really effective way to deal with difficult issues.

 

Sarah Lewis

1. Weirdos Of London by Ellie Lock

Love the idea of celebrating your inner weirdo, and OF COURSE we want to be ghost hunting rather than school.
 

2. The Book Boyfriend by Jeanna Skinner

Great pitch, although the title isn’t my fave, who doesn’t want their book boyf to be an actual boyf?
3. Ghosted by Scarlet Noire
Lots of potential for cyber darkness and fun.

 

OVERALL WINNERS

1st Place – Weirdos of London by Ellie Lock ( 5 points)

2nd Place –  Al-Most Haunted by Emma Dykes (3 points)

3rd Place – The Book Boyfriend by Jeanna Skinner (2 points)

Joint 4th Place – I Wouldn’t Start from Here by Sheila Adamson and Ghosted by Scarlet Noire (1 point)

Well done to the WINNERS but also well done to all those short listed, long listed and those took part in the Twitter pitch section, too. Hopefully with the feedback offered, every single participant has gained something from #PeerPitch, whether it’s a more polished pitch, several new writing friends or overcoming the scary step of putting your story out there.

Once again, we want to thank you and wish you luck with your writing, whatever you do next. Speaking of which, remember our judges run the Writers HQ courses and have several discount offers going on, so follow them on Twitter for more details. You already all have a 10% one to use.

Remember to check back for the post of shortlisted pitches.