Dragons’ Penning with Pat Young – 19 February 2020

Storms Ciara and Dennis may have disrupted lives all over Britain, but neither gale force winds nor torrential rain could stop Pat Young in her endeavours to reach Ayr Writers’ Club. Not even the lack of a computer, printer or an iron for her blouse – Pat prevailed!

A welcome return visitor to Ayr Writers’ Club, Pat came along to the Mercure to encourage our budding novelists to participate in a Dragons’ Pen event and to regale us with stories and snippets from her journey to publication.

And what a journey it has been for Pat.

Blogger Rhona Anderson with Pat Young and a proud display of Pat’s perfectly pitched publications

Many members of Ayr Writers’ Club have already jumped for joy with Pat or listened to her first chapters, or taken part in the legendary Pedantic Pat’s Proofreading Workshops, so it was great to know that a whole new audience would now hear, first-hand, from the author of Till The Dust Settles and three more novels.

It took four years of persistence: writing, editing, courses and workshops before Pat’s first pitching experience, with her winning first novel, at the Scottish Association of Writers’ Conference.

Three minutes (strictly-timed) is all the writer has to capture the attention of the audience, but more importantly, the attention of the publishing agent or publisher. A pitch must be delivered as a snappy, engaging exposition of the plot which captures the novel’s best qualities.
In her usual engaging way, and despite having a sore throat, Pat told us loads about her experiences of networking, appearing at Writing Festivals such as Bloody Scotland, Harrogate Crime Writing Festival and book launches, all essential engagements nowadays for the ‘wanna-be’ best-selling author. Self-promotion is the name of the game. Pat reckons it now pays to be ‘Pushy Pat’.

With our Dragon’s encouragement, and a Tunnocks tea cake to fortify them, the three Ayr Writers’ pitchers were ready for their performance.

Jennifer West’s pitch of her novel, Revenge is Bitter immediately captured the audience with a rhetorical question, used present tense successfully to evoke immediacy and earned the Dragon’s recommendation to send to a publisher.

Marion Husband’s pitch was for a children’s fiction book, The Friendship Bench which introduced the idea of an episodic account set in a children’s playground, but told in an adult’s voice. The main themes were outlined, and the description of the main character, Bonnie immediately caught our attention. Great potential for publication and to promote in schools.

Carey McCabe ‘s pitch of her young adult novel Forgotten included dramatic moments, introduced Marie, the main character and tantalised listeners with the fantasy element of her book. Again, this novel has themes very relevant for today’s Young Adult fiction market.
Thank you to Pat and all the pitchers for an enjoyable evening.

Rhona Anderson

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