So... Any of you working on NaNoWriMo novels? The month's halfway over, which means you should be rounding on 25,000 words, right? Well, now that you theoretically have some idea of what your novel is actually about, here's something you might want to consider:

Tonight, Powell's is hosting an event called "Pitchapalooza," where aspiring authors pitch their book ideas to a panel of judges—Tin House's Lee Montgomery, Bookslut's Michael Schaub, the Mercury's me, and Pitchapalooza creators Ariel Eckstut and David Henry Sterry, AKA "The Book Doctors," authors of The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published. Twenty authors are selected at random and given one minute to present their book idea; the judges critique each pitch, and the evening's best snags a free half-hour consultation with Eckstut and Sterry. This thing was billed to me as "American Idol for Books;" Michael Schaub and I are still in negotiations as to who gets to show up wasted and who has to fake an English accent.

Here's a writeup of a recent New York installment of Pitchapalooza (posted, it should be noted, by Eckstut and Sterry's editor), for some idea of what kind of shenanigans you can expect tonight. All the fun goes down at the Burnside Powell's at 7:30 pm—maybe I'll see you there.