Hen&inkblots: A Literary Blog

OPEN COOP FIRST FRIDAY November 4, 2016, noon to midnight, Pacific Time

October 26, 2016 by Erzsi Deak

Hen&ink Literary Open Coop First Friday is all about CRACKING GOOD IDEAS and VOICE.

Send us your one-page 12 pt type double-spaced CRACKING GOOD IDEA pitches in the body of the email submissions  a  t  henandink  dot com. Limited to ONE CRACKING GOOD IDEA PER PERSON. Everything else will be deleted, so save your manuscripts for another day (please). 




WHO? Great characters and their helpers — and their fabulous antagonists. Characters are not one-dimensional, so think about their good and bad natures, what they look like, what they do, what they care about, who they care about. What are their names?

WHO’S THE STORY FOR? 9-year-olds that love animal adventure? Angsty teens? Tweens looking for love? Fantasy for all?

WHAT HAPPENS? Follow the Call to Adventure in whatever guise it adopts and take your characters and the readers on a story-ride to remember. And read again and again. Keep the action pumping and the pages turning: Something has to happen in each scene.

WHERE? Places we know? The unknown? Setting is an integral character in storytelling — give the reader a strong visual and emotional sense of place.

WHEN? It’s about time, it’s about space…when does your story take place?

WHY? Why is does your character need or want what s/he does?

WHY NOT? Why can’t s/he have it? Discovering this and the choices the characters make is key to telling a good story.

THAT LITTLE THING CALLED VOICE. Whether you write the CRACKING GOOD IDEA in first person or third (etc.), in your one-page CRACKING GOOD IDEA presentation, give us a sense of the narrator’s VOICE. Show us your CRACKING GOOD IDEA imbued with the VOICE of your character and the work.

Is your CRACKING GOOD IDEA already written? Yay or Nay?

Include your name and contact info and send it to Hen&ink on November 4, 2016, from noon to midnight, Pacific Time.

Tip #1: Remember the reader: This reader likes a little light in her dark, a little levity amidst the sad or the heavy. Smart humor is a plus. Tears of joy welcome. Basically, make us feel, but don’t force us to feel. If you know what I mean. 

Tip #2: This isn’t officially a query; it’s a pitch, so don’t include a cover letter or your biographical info at this time. 

P.S. Extra special note to those attending the 2016 MidSouth Agents’ Day in Memphis on November 12th: Attendees are invited to submit sample pages from their completed work (picture books, chapter books, middle-grade and YA fiction; narrative nonfiction for all ages). Details at the event! Sign up here: https://midsouth.scbwi.org/events/2016-scbwi-midsouth-agents-day-in-memphis/