Tag Archives: querying

Pitch Contest Approaching!

It’s been a while. And though I have been busy that’s not really my excuse for neglecting my little blog here. I swore I wouldn’t ditch this thing a few months after I started it, that I’d keep it going no matter what even if I didn’t feel like it, that I would blog daily and like it! Well guess what happened?

Yeah.

I am sorry.

But I’m back because I want people to know about the upcoming pitch contest on Twitter. It’s slated for March 25th so that’s ten days to write and polish your 140 character pitches.

I’ve talked about these before. I think they are really great. Basically you tweet out your pitches for your completed manuscript and agents or editors who are watching the feed on that day will favorite your pitch tweet if they want to see more of your manuscript. A favorite is a request.

You should still query and not rely solely on contests, but this thing is great for taking chances, getting pitch practice, meeting other writers, and becoming familiar with matters and people in the same boat as you.

I’ve done it and received a handful of  ‘favorites’ each time. One even led to a full request after the initial partial request. So don’t let this opportunity slip by. There are success stories out there. (Scroll down and click to read the pitch wars success stories) You might just find your agent.

Mind the rules. You must condense your pitch for Twitter’s character limit while also including the hashtag and your manuscript’s genre. DO NOT favorite other writer’s pitches. That’s for agents/editors only. DO retweet other pitches to show your support for them. DON’T overload the feed. Only post twice per hour. When I did it, I pitched two novels. So I tweeted a pitch for each every hour. No more.

Click here for the guidelines.

If you want to practice your pitches, post them below and we can work on them. Here are examples of some of the ones I used previously:

Cameron shows up next door w/ more bruises than suitcases. As she learns more, Maddie is forced 2 confront her own insecurities YA Contemp #Pitmad

Kidnapped for ransom alongside 4 classmates, 17yo Ezra Winchester will either fight for their freedom or die a hostage YA Thriller #Pitmad

*Notice how I had to abbreviate to make use of the limited space?

You want your pitch to convey the stakes and the obstacles in your MC’s path. When _______ happens, Main Character must _______ in order to ________. What drives the story? How does it affect your MC? What must they do? What are they trying to overcome?

Alright. There it is. Good luck with your pitches. I hope to see you on the Twitter feed on March 25th.

And expect some new posts soon. I’ll catch you up on what I’ve been up to these past couple of months and what I’m working on now.

Keep writing!

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Should These Pitches be Ditched? Part 3

This is my third installment of this, and I’ve only just realized I obviously missed the mark the first two times around. If you remember I originally did these as part of a school assignment where we were creating pitches for our work. The class never really explained what pitches were or how to go about doing them. We were just instructed to pitch our books in 3-4 sentences. Well, I ended up focusing on the 3-4 sentences part and trying to squeeze as much a possible into that. The end result was that my pitches sounded more like jacket summaries and were much too long.

Then a contest via Twitter came to my attention. It was called #pitchmas and the idea was to do the same thing: pitch your novel. Only this time I had much less room to work with because of the character limit and the requirement of adding the genre and hashtag into the pitch as well. It forced me to really cut, tighten, and perfect my pitches so that they were clear, concise, and hooking. Finally, I understood pitches.

The reward for the contest was that agents/editors/publishes watched the feed and would favorite the pitches they liked. This equaled a request for more material. At the end of the day-long contest I received three favorites aka three requests to see my work. I was shocked. Coming from someone who didn’t understand pitches and who had really just begun writing them, I was surprised mine got any interest. Now there were other writers who got many more. I heard of 14 from one and 20 from another. It was a great opportunity to not only write pitches but read other writers’ pitches as well. And I always learn from reading and seeing other examples. I also retweeted a lot of pitches I would actually really love to read the corresponding full books on. I hope they get published one day as well.

If this sounds really fun or helpful and you’re upset you missed out, don’t worry. Another pitch contest is being held on Jan 8th called #PitMad. Check out the info here. Work on your pitches and head over to Twitter on that day and see what happens! You have nothing to lose and only experience and good things to gain.

Here are some of my tightened up pitches.

Book 3 Pitches

*There are a lot of things Ezra Winchester didn’t see coming: his mother’s death, becoming a millionaire, and getting kidnapped. Now he sees things clearer: he’ll either fight for his freedom or die a hostage.

*Being a hostage was not part of Ezra’s plan for junior year. Now escaping with his life is the only thing that matters.

*Ezra is kidnapped for his money. His friends are taken because they’re witnesses. Together they’ll fight for their freedom or die captives.

Book 2 Pitches

*What if the bad boy is actually a gentleman and the good girl has a dark side? Can opposites attract if no one is who they say they are?

*Maddie knows how to take orders, not make choices. Cameron can take a beating, not give trust. Love will change them both.

*Maddie Carlisle and Cameron Dawson shouldn’t be together. She’s the lapdog for her popular clique, and he’s the defiant transfer student overflowing with secrets and bruises. When she trades ‘forbidden’ for ‘freewill’ opposition erupts everywhere.

And the Pitch I wrote in Part 2 for my current WIP I now realize could have been completely cut to just the first sentence:

*When eighteen-year-old Oliver Reid’s girlfriend dies and mysteriously appears as a ghost, he embraces the haunting, disregards the impossible, and sets out on mission to put the love of his life back together again.

What a difference!

For this post I’ll offer to help hone and critique anyone’s pitches. If you want to participate in #PitMad but need an extra set of eyes before next Wednesday, post your pitches in the comments, and I’ll give you feedback. I’d be happy to get a conversation going here!

Or if you see any issues or possible improvement for my pitches above, feel free to post that as well!

Happy pitching!

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