PitMad IWSGPit DVpit PBpitch
Did I drop some Scrabble tiles? Spill a bowl of alphabet soup? Actually, these are some of the Twitter pitch events (also known as pitch parties) that take place throughout the year.
If you’re not familiar with Twitter pitch events, the idea is that you tweet a short pitch for your book, and then if an agent or editor wants to see more, they will like your tweet.
You still have to query them the regular way, so is it worth participating?
I think so for several reasons:
– Although we do our best when researching agents to query, these pitch parties get your work in front of publishing professionals who might not be on your radar.
– Your query basically gets festooned with flashing neon lights because the agent/editor requested it.
– You meet a lot of wonderful writers! During the pitch party, leave encouraging replies on tweet pitches you like. I made many writer friends over the years because we connected through our pitches.
If you do decide to participate, now comes the hard part – writing the pitch! Fitting your entire book into 280 characters is tough. Especially because you also have to leave room for the event’s hashtag, plus possible genre and age category hashtags to help agents find the type of book they’re looking for.
The key elements of a strong pitch are:
The protagonist (described in 2-3 words)
Their goal (the thing they want should drive the pitch)
The antagonist (described in 2-3 words)
The stakes (what happens if your character doesn’t reach their goal)
And maybe the setup if your world or time period is unusual
Then you put these together in a zippy way that makes people want to read more. Totally simple, right?!?
Actually, I could write a whole other blog post detailing the elements of a strong pitch … and I have! Check it out here: (https://kaitlynleannsanchez.com/2020/06/22/bulletproof-pitching-guest-post-by-jocelyn-rish-for-kidlitzombieweek-2/)
I also created a series of videos breaking down the elements of a pitch, which are available in my Facebook group, where we practice pitching and support each other during pitch parties. If you’re interested, join here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/transmediamutts
I also recommend searching the pitch party hashtags to find tweets with lots of likes, analyze why those pitches worked, and use what you learn in your pitches.
Tips for participating in pitch parties:
– Never like a twitter pitch! Likes are for agents and editors, so if someone sees a like on their tweet, they get all excited thinking a publishing pro wants to see more. Then when they see it’s not a publishing pro, they hear the sad trombone sound. Show your support through comments or retweets.
– Don’t get mad at people who like your tweets that are not publishing pros. Not everyone knows the rules, and it means they enjoyed your pitch, so take it as a compliment.
– Speaking of the rules, make sure to read the instructions for each specific pitch event before participating because they all run things differently. The rules specify tweet frequency, whether retweets are allowed, and whether you can include images. Some list out specific genre and category hashtags. Make sure to follow an event’s guidelines – you want to stand out because of your amazing pitch not because you broke the rules.
– Pin your pitch tweet to your profile so people can easily find it to support you.
– If you don’t get any agent/editor likes, please try not to be upset. The tweets fly by, so it’s possible they didn’t even see it. Even if they did, your pitch is not your story. You can still query the participating agents the old-fashioned way.
– If you do get agent/editor likes, DO YOUR RESEARCH! Make sure the publishing pro is legit and is also a good fit for your work. Just because they liked your tweet does not mean you’re obligated to send a query. And, unfortunately, some scammers use these events to prey on writers.
– Also, if you get a like, check their Twitter feed because they will usually have a tweet about how to query them if they liked your pitch. If they didn’t tweet specific instructions, then just follow their normal query instructions and mention in your query that they liked your tweet. I always included my tweet pitch within the query letter to remind them.
These are the Twitter pitch events that I know about for the rest of the year (but it’s likely not all of them, so double check).
May 1: #WMpitch – https://write-mentor.com/2020/04/19/wmpitch/
May 4: #APIpit – https://apipit.com/index.php/rules/
May 6: #kisspitch – https://allthekissing.com/kisspitch/
May 20: #PitDark – https://jasonhuebinger.com/pitdark/
June 3: #pitmad – https://pitchwars.org/pitmad/
June 17: #PBpitch – http://www.pbpitch.com/pbpitch-twitter-event.html
June 22: #PitchDis – https://www.pitchdis.com/rules-guidelines
September 2: #pitmad – https://pitchwars.org/pitmad/
September 30: #faithpitch – https://www.faithpitch.com/guidelines
October (dates not yet posted): #DVpit – https://www.dvpit.com/rules-guidelines
December 2: #pitmad – https://pitchwars.org/pitmad/
#IWSGPit (https://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/p/iwsg-twitter-pitch.html) and #SFFpit (http://dankoboldt.com/sffpit/) happened earlier in the year, so look for them at the start of 2022.
Have fun and good luck with your pitching!
Jocelyn Rish is a writer and filmmaker who loves exploring the magic of stories in all their formats. Her short stories have been published in Highlights for Children and The Post & Courier, and she previously wrote for the MTV News website. Her debut Battle of the Butts will be published in the fall of 2021 by Running Press Kids, an imprint of Hachette. It’s a nonfiction picture book about ten animals that do weird things with their butts. When Jocelyn’s not writing or doom scrolling social media, she tutors elementary school kids struggling with reading through Reading Partners. Jocelyn lives outside of Charleston, SC.
You can find Jocelyn online at: