Happy New Valentines Day With Memoir Pitching Tips

Not quite the jaunty start to 2020 I hoped for, but at least I can wish you a Happy New Year and Valentines Day at the same time.

One reason for my absence is my self-imposed, many-weeks long assignment to study, learn and act upon the querying process for memoir submissions. I’ve included a few links for anyone in the same boat. Or out at sea, as I have been, storm or otherwise.

Before the bad weather hit last weekend, I took a walk by the sea. A literal calm before the storm in the late afternoon.

It helps process thoughts in a writerly brain such as how to write a good elevator pitch.  Razzle Dazzle: The Art and Craft of the Elevator Pitch by Ruth Harris gives some great pointers.

Hard to imagine how hard it can be to find a few good words with this view…

Nice to see life carrying on at this ‘Number 10’ by the sea. No mention of politics or the ‘B’ word here…

This surfer had the right idea…

Not so sure about these…then again, as the wind picked up…

Writing a synopsis, an approximately 500 word, chronological summary of your entire book revealing the key plot with major twists, is no easy task either. Writing the Dreaded Novel Synopsis? These Two Simple Hacks Will Help by Anne R Allen gives great advice.

The snyopsis reveals the ending, unlike the blurb which keeps us guessing.  Looking at this full moon in a clear, winter sky kept me guessing about the storm heading our way.

This starfish seemed wisftul gazing out at the horizon, wondering if the rumours were true…

I wondered, too, about the query (cover) letter. Do I have to submit my completed memoir under non-fiction guidelines, or can it go like a novel, since it’s a story, albeit true, not subject-led?

Jane Friedman’s excellent article,  The Complete Guide to Query Letters pinged into my inbox just in time…

‘This post focuses on query letters for novels, although the same advice applies to memoirists, because both novelists and memoirists are selling a story. Nonfiction book queries are addressed here.’

The Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook 2020 is a fantastic resource, packed full of agent and publisher submission advice.

I hope this is helpful, and if anyone has any memoir submission tips, I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Storm Dennis is on its way this weekend (storms didn’t used to have names, did they?), but no seaside shots this time; I’m holding out for some snow…

Happy New Valentines Day!

Love Sherri x


About Sherri Matthews

Sherri is a writer with work published in print magazines, anthologies and online. As a young British mum of three, she emigrated to California and stayed for twenty years. Today she lives in England's West Country, a full-time carer within her family. Her current WIP after completing her memoir is a psychological thriller.
This entry was posted in Memoir and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to Happy New Valentines Day With Memoir Pitching Tips

  1. Tom says:

    Hi Sherri. Happy New Year to you too… it”s been a while! 🙂
    Love the photos – the starfish and the Moon are my favourites.
    Enjoy Storm Dennis or the snow or both if they arrive at the same time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Tom, great to hear from you! It has been a while, hope all is well with you, I will be undertaking a massive blog catch up in the week! Glad you enjoyed the pics, thank you! Yes, I was especially pleased with Starfish 🙂 Storm Dennis continues but we don’t have it as bad as some parts, hope you’re safe and sound in your neck of the woods.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Mary Smith says:

    Happy New Year, Sheri. Thanks for the tips, which I’ll certainly take a look at – need all the help that’s offered. Great photos. Now you should probably batten down the hatches before Storm Dennis arrives. I think naming them has been a big mistake – gives them ideas of grandeur!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Mary, and thank you! ❤ Glad to help, it's been a minefield at times. The query letter link also has others links including writing a non-fiction proposal. My absence here is due to working on a proposal, as it seems most agents still want one for memoir, even though it is complete. At least, a chapter outline. That took a while. I have a lot of catching up to do, as per! Hope you're safe and sound as Storm Dennis blows through into Monday. Ha…yes, ideas of grandeur indeed 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful photos and narrative, dear Sherri. I hope you find the right muse/inspiration for writing your synopsis. Good luck through the storm. Hope it’s not Dennis The Menace. 😯 xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Genny says:

    Happy New Year and Happy Valentine’s Day Sherri! Love your beach photos. Mom, Jess and her boys and my family are all going to Cambria this weekend. We will be thinking of you and all our fun times by the sea. Wishing you good luck with your submissions! Lots of love, Genny

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Genny, and thank you so much! Always wonderful to hear from you. Oh I am with you all in spririt in Cambria, such treasured, happy memories with you all by the sea. Have a fab time, as I know you will, and much love to you all…and I will keep you posted! ❤ xoxo


  5. restlessjo says:

    And there we were, thinking that writing the book would be the hard part, Sherri! Little did we know… some of us 😦 If I’d ever thought seriously about it I’m pretty sure I’d fall by the wayside at this stage. The very best of luck to you, lovely, and I hope you had a beautiful Valentine’s Day 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha…now I know, Jo, that was the easy bit!!! When I realised I had to write the proposal as well, I knew it would take a big chunk of time and thought. And then of course, left with hoping I’ve done it right, or as right as I can. I definitely had no idea! Thank you for your lovely wishes, Jo…and I hope you too had a beautiful Valentine’s Day 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Gorgeous photos! I went there a few weeks ago. Love it! Xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Mike M says:

    I’m with Tom the starfish and moon are tremendous – and any time you write you take us on a wonderful journey!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Charli Mills says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day weekend! It makes me wonder about the combined impact of love, a full moon, and a storm on Fred? It’s always a joy to go on a walk with you, to see what you draw our attention to. Thank you for sharing your studies with us. I learn much about memoir and its process from you. Wishing you continued success on your journey to get published! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Norah says:

    Love the photo tour, Sherri, and your comments on them. Thanks for the pitching advice. I’m sure it will be useful for many. Best wishes with yours.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Happy New Year, Happy Valentine’s Day, and (now) Happy President’s Day (which is a regional holiday in the U.S. with secondary schools being closed but not state offices). Anyway 🙂 Love your photos. I’d have a hard time sitting down to write with that kind of landscape beckoning me to wander. And thank you for the tips!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha…love it, thanks so much, Marie, and the same to you! That’s some holiday all rolled into one 🙂 I remember President’s Day when my children went to school in California. It was always a nice excuse to take a long weekend to the snow…happy memories for me 🙂 So glad you enjoyed the photos. A walk by the sea certainly blows away the cobwebs…the writing can wait, right? Hope the tips prove helpful! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi Sherri. Hope your querying is going well. It’s a daunting process isn’t it. But hope you hear some good news. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thought I recognised the views…
    Good luck with it all, Sherri. Hope all is well with you

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Ms D. says:

    Helpful! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

Lovely to chat...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.