Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Pitching Your Book on Twitter Fests

What are Twitter pitch fests?

Twitter pitch fests are limited periods of time (usually one day) during which you can post a 280-character pitch for your book.

Agents are on the alert at these times, and they have the option of "liking" your pitch, and then asking for a full or partial.

If you have a completed, agent-ready manuscript, tweet your pitch! It can't do you any harm, and it doesn't preclude querying agents.

Believe it or not, pitch fests actually do work. Busy agents are often more likely to read and respond to an interesting twitter pitch than they are to a query. It takes less time and a lot less effort.

However, it will not take less effort on your part. Boiling your novel down to a short sentence is loaded with pitfalls. It's surprisingly easy to turn your exciting novel into a one-sentence summary that would bore an elephant to tears. So, I would suggest that you read What's Your Book About? How to Make a Pitch before attempting one of these contests.

A good Twitter pitches will make you want to go out and BUY the book, which is precisely what the pitch is intended for. Contrary to what you may think, a pitch is not really about the meaning, theme, or inherent quality of your book. It is a sales tool. So, think about what would make you want to read a book, and convey that in your pitch. (A hint: Pitches, like queries, follow the story arc of your main character.)

Here is a list of 2021 pitch fests. Like Twitter itself, pitch fests are constantly changing and evolving. There are probably a few that I've missed. And, some of these may vanish by next year, but that is the nature of publishing. It's a volatile industry.

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October 4 -8, 2021

Participating agents give brief feedback on a handful of entries, explaining why they're passing ... or requesting pages! The queries and accompanying feedback are posted on our blog anonymously, which helps querying authors get a peek into agents' minds as they go through their slush piles.

For each round of Pass or Pages, they will only accept entries from one specific genre/category, announced in the weeks leading up to the contest. This ensures that all entries are from a genre/category that our participating agents represent. When the submission window opens, you'll fill out a form on the blog with all the pertinent information (query and first 250 words for the agents).

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#PitDark

October 14, 2021

#PitDark is the first and only Twitter pitch event to highlight literature of a “darker” nature. Importantly, this is not limited to horror works; however, any pitched manuscript must contain an element of horror or darker writing. Examples of such categories include pure horror novels, dark fantasy, murder mysteries, psychological horror stories, non-fiction works about darker subjects, etc. MG, YA, NA, and adult age categories are welcome.
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October 25, 2021 - 8AM - 8PM ET

This event is for un-agented, self-identifying historically marginalized authors & illustrators for children’s & teen fiction/nonfiction. Hosted and moderated by Beth Phelan.

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October 26, 2021: 8AM - 8PM ET 

This event is for un-agented, self-identifying historically marginalized authors & illustrators for adult fiction/nonfiction and for artists & illustrators. Hosted and moderated by Beth Phelan.

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#PBpit

Hosted by Mandy Yates

October 28, 2021

For picture books only.

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#MockPit

November 19, 2021

#MockPit is a Twitter event where writers can practice their Twitter pitches. Authors are invited to tweet the pitch for their manuscript and encouraged to give constructive feedback to other authors. #MockPit is not associated with any other Twitter pitch contests, but authors are welcome to practice pitches they intend to use for other events.

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December 2, 2021, March 3, 2022

Brenda Drake has done more to popularize twitter pitch contests than anyone else. Her contests are well organized, and attract many industry professionals as well as published authors eager to help aspiring writers. Agents keep an eye on her contests, and have signed on writers through their initial pitches. Make sure to read the contest rules carefully.

Note: You may only tweet your pitch three times during #PitMad. Read all about it HERE.

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January 26, 2022 - 8:00 am - 8:00 pm EST

Create a Twitter-length pitch for your completed and polished manuscript and leave room for genre, age, and the hashtag. On January 26, 2022, Tweet your pitch. If your pitch receives a favorite/heart from a publisher/agent check their submission guidelines and send your requested query. All genres.

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#SFFpit

Hosted by Dan Koboldt

February 2022

This contest is for completed, unpublished novels of fantasy or science fiction. Complete means that it’s proofed, polished, and ready for submission. Unpublished means you haven’t self-published it online, on Amazon, or in print. Fantasy or science fiction means speculative fiction: epic fantasy, urban fantasy, post-apocalyptic, space opera.

The contest will happen on Twitter under the hashtag #SFFpit. During a 10-hour window on the chosen day, authors with completed manuscripts who are seeking representation or publication can tweet a pitch for their books (at most, once per hour).

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Summer of 2022 (date to be announced by the end of 2021)


#PitchDis was created to showcase pitches from the disabled community, which has been historically underrepresented in the publishing industry. The event is inspired by the Twitter pitch events #DVpit and #PitMad.

The first #PitchDis will take place on June 22, 2021 between 8am and 8pm EDT. During this time, unagented disabled authors may pitch their complete, polished fiction or nonfiction projects on Twitter. Agents and editors who are interested in seeing more will "like" the pitch. The author can then send the requested materials to the agent or editor.

The event is moderated by Despina Karras.

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