PubCrawl Podcast: X Meets Y, or The High Concept Pitch

This week JJ and Kelly are back to their regular format and discuss X Meets Y, or The High Concept Pitch: what it is, what it entails, and whether or not you need it. Also, the difference between “commercial” and “literary” (if any), and as always, what we’re reading and enjoying this week!

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Show Notes

“High concept” is really just the ability to distill your premise down to one or two sentences. It can encompass the “X meets Y” pitch, but a high concept pitch is really the kernel of a story—the handle, as JJ’s old boss used to say—you can pick up and hand to someone else (i.e. sell).

  • “Commercial” vs. “literary” is a false dichotomy; they are writing styles, not concepts. You can have the exact same idea and write it in a commercial way, or write it in a more literary manner.
  • The Art of Writing Copy by JJ

Name that Book/Movie/TV Show!

  • The children of Greek gods go to summer camp.
  • A retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma set in 90s Beverly Hills.
  • A retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice as told through a neurotic British woman’s diary entries.
  • A retelling of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew where Katrina is a 90s riot grrl.
  • Children battle each other to the death on reality television.
  • House of Leaves meets Battlestar Galactica (bonus: this is a PubCrawl alum’s book!)
  • Labyrinth meets Amadeus (we’re giving this one to you)
  • A girl who can’t go outside falls in love with the boy next door

What We’re Reading/Books Discussed

What We’re Working On

  • Kelly is working on an old YA project.
  • JJ is setting aside her middle grade for the moment and focusing on an adult project to get ready to send her publisher for her option book.

Off Menu Recommendations

That’s all for this week! Next week we’ll talk about CRITIQUE GROUPS! If you have any questions you would like us to answer, send us an ask or leave a comment!

2 Responses to PubCrawl Podcast: X Meets Y, or The High Concept Pitch

  1. Dixon Gillette Jan 28 2016 at 3:40 pm #

    I think that most work by Michael Ondaantje, that being both adult and literary, can be distilled into a high-concept for example, The English Patient.

  2. Stephen Kittel Jan 23 2019 at 1:45 pm #

    I still don’t know how to express my particular book, though. Either I pick something that’s ultra-generic to compare it to, or I express it in terms of a work that doesn’t really align with what my book is. There just don’t seem to be appropriate comps.

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