Tom Kerevan won the Pitch Factor at the recent London Screenwriters Festival. I'm not a submissions receiving person, but listening to excited authors trying to pitch their ideas to me sounds like a special kind of hell. If this article can make it easier for editors and agents to get through life, I consider my work done:
For those of you [who] aren't familiar, The Pitch Factor is one of the Festival's highlights. It consists of a stage, 7 high-profile judges, an audience of around 200 writers, 90 seconds and a microphone. Prizes are awarded for Best Pitch and Best Idea. Last year I won with Wreckers and so I knew I had to pull something special out the bag. I pitched my TV comedy Insiders (in development with co-writer Alex Lawrence) and was lucky enough to be voted for Best Pitch by the judges.
Wait, what - he won two years in a row? Tom goes over some of his tips for pitching. Obviously this relates specifically to screen writing, but there may be some useful information for short story or novel pitching in here for you; perhaps it will help you write a better synopsis.
Tom focuses on these points:
1. Your pitch is a script
2. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse
[more insightful stuff]
3. Tell the story of the story
In other words, don't just tell the story! Tell us about the story. I don't want to get too technical because each pitch is different, but I tend to structure my pitches into 3 sections, 3 acts if you like. You obviously need to open with a hello, a smile, your name, TV/feature, genre and title. Then dive into...
Listening to someone called Tom giving you advice is a good skill to learn. Just sayin'.
Read the details of each of his steps here: http://www.tomkerevan.com/blog/read_65157/lswf-special-the-pitch-factor.html