Sunday, February 23, 2014


Camp Cammoodle
Middle Grades/Contemporary Fantasy

Revised Pitch:

Larry’s sure that going to summer sleep-away camp is his last chance to be popular or at least ditch the label Larry the Loser. Of course, that’s before his mom chooses Camp Cammoodle-where kids learn to doodle. Even the name says a place for dorks! Other kids in his class head to mountains and lakes; Larry’s camp is in a dilapidated building in the middle of the city. Could things get any worse?

But Cammoodle has lots of surprises like trampolines for beds, a mountain in a stairwell, and horses that never need hay. The three guys in Larry’s cabin, Lizard, Ladder, and TG, become his first real friends and allies in adventure. But his awesome summer could come to a swift and terrible end unless Larry can find courage enough to conquer his fears and save TG from the fate of The Chute.

First Sentence:

I don't want to be the biggest dork in the 4th grade--I just am.


  1. This pitch pulled me along smoothly into all the aspects of the story, until the last line. Came screeching to a halt because I'm not sure if The Chute is a person or a place or a situation, or what. So the part of your pitch that really needs to have punch--the stakes and consequences--just fizzles out. I know it's difficult to work within 150 words, but maybe the first paragraph could be tightened up, and the words gained could help with the ending? Good luck!

  2. Thanks! What if the query added the capitalized words: from the fate of the DARK and DANGEROUS Chute.

  3. I think you need to allude earlier to the fact that Camp Cammoodle has a secret (or at least, that's what I presume the chute is). The first paragraph could be tightened a lot to give you the extra words you need.

  4. Judge comment: This is great except for the last line. Because you haven't mentioned these sudden awful stakes. What's the Chute? And why does his friend need saving from it?

  5. I love your description of Camp Cammodle and the names of his friends, esp. Larry and Lizard. This query pulled me right in but I agree with the others that you need a better set up for the Chute. Dark and dangerous isn't enough, we need a hint of what it actually is, to understand why his friend needs to be saved from it.


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