I am very thankful to have learned about #pitmad created by Brenda Drake because it opened the door for me to look into more twitter pitch opportunities. If you are like me and are unable to attend a lot of the writing conferences and workshops because they are usually held in larger cities, then it can be tough. But thanks to social media there are growing opportunities. In case you have never heard of a twitter pitch contest, then I will explain it to you.
How it Works
On a given day an agent, editor or sometimes an author will organize a date in which prospective literary agents, small presses and editors can scout for manuscripts they may be interested in representing.
This is a great opportunity for authors who are new to querying because anyone who has ever had to go through the painstaking process of putting together a query letter, synopsis and sending off your precious baby knows that it isn’t always easy.
How to Prepare
In a pitch contest the catch is the plot of your book has to be distilled into 140 characters or less including a few hashtags like #pitmad, #dvpit, #pitdark.. etc. depending on the name of the contest. Then there are the labels like is it #MG middle grade, YA, young adult, NA new adult, A adult and then genre you are writing in #F fantasy, #S suspense and so on. I will provide a link down below that goes into more depth on the proper hashtags.
140 characters is not a lot of room, but make sure you are conveying these following things. Stakes, what is at stake? The characters life, marriage, soul? Conflict, what is the issue? An arranged marriage? Flesh eating virus? Who is the main character? Make sure to be specific. What makes them different from every other protagonist in a story. Why should the reader care about your characters? While you should have tweets that are clear on the stakes, conflict and main character make sure to have some fun and mix it up.
Not every pitch should sound like the same one reworded. I learned the hard way during #adpit. Be creative, be humorous, show some voice, and knowledge of comp titles like Alice in Wonderland meets Charlotte’s Web.
How long it usually Lasts
Most pitch contests are 12 hours some 6 hours and usually one pitch is allowed per hour for each manuscript. So you could pitch two books that same day. If you work or are busy that day and don’t have time to be on twitter then you can preschedule your tweets with apps like Hoot Suite for that day. If an agent is interested in your pitch they will favorite it, but beware of people who do not understand what the contest is and favorite your tweet.
Always research an agent, editor or publisher before sending your work to them and do not feel obliged to act impulsively or even send it if you do not want to.
My Personal experience with Twitter Pitch Parties
The last pitch contest I participated in was #DVpit created by Beth Phelan and I did get a few favorites from agents interested. One of the pitches I crafted was one I just had a little fun with. Sometimes you never know. The most important thing is to enjoy it regardless if you land 0 or 60 favorites.
Brenda Drake #PitMad
Tips for writing the perfect pitch by literary agent Carly Watters
Upcoming pitch events 2016