If you had one minute to pitch a story to get it published, what would you say? That was the challenge for some aspiring authors participating in the first annual Pitchapalooza at Anderson’s Book Shop.

More than 300 people packed into Anderson’s in the hopesof getting their book idea heard, but only 25 people were chosen from a raffle.

Some book ideas ranged from true stories, young and adult fiction, and sci-fi thrillers. After every pitch a panel of publishers would give tips and advice to the contestants.

“Don’t talk about yourself, talk about your book,” said Source Books Publisher Dominque Raccah. “Pounce on the places that make your story different, and find an idea that I haven’t heard before.”

Only one winner was selected to get their book published, and that was Jessica Wisniewski’s idea about a middle school melodrama. Her idea was about a 7th grade outcast and her journey to be the hero of her school.

“I am trembling with excitement,” said Romeoville resident, Jessica Wisniewski. “I can’t wait to find out what comes next. I am scared to find out what comes next but I am so thrilled!”

Even though there was just one designated winner, with all the advice given from the panelists, some people walked away feeling victorious.

“I learned to do something to differentiate your book,” said Aurora resident, Jennifer Weiner. “You have to find out a niche and something that makes your book stand out from the crowd.”

“I was just thrilled to hear all the different stories,” said Naperville resident Antonia Harlan. “Imaginations can run wild and you can take that imagination out on paper.”

Wisniewski’s next steps are collaborating with the publishers and to find an agent that is just right for her.


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