Any aspiring author who is actively seeking either literary agent or publishing representation knows the struggle that comes along with working towards their dreams. Spending weeks editing and revising your manuscript, reviewing your query letter, searching then researching agents and houses that may consider your work. Then, the waiting. The endless, endless waiting. And then, the responses. Chances are, a lot of them will be rejections. No one gets a yes right away, and it takes time, effort, and resilience.
Some authors, agents and houses understand the struggle new authors are facing, and in turn, have taken it upon themselves to make access to the other side of that fence a little easier. Online social media pitch events, usually featured on Twitter, are hosted by agents or houses, prompting either form entry or pitches of 140 characters or less along with a hashtag for agents to review. If your pitch peaks their interest, a favorite will be starred, and you are then to follow their submission guidelines in the hopes that it is your opening to an agent.
I have taken part in several of these events, and they have opened doors to experience, connections in the industry and more, so I figured I would share a few here for other writers to consider entering.
Held every March, and hosted by young adult author and friend of the struggling writer Brenda Drake, Pitch Madness is an event where writers submit a form to be considered to win requests by participating agents. Entrants use a 35 word pitch, and the first 250 words of their novel, and hope its striking enough to get the agents attention. There are four teams, all hosted by a reader and agent, and 60 writers are put in to these teams to be mentored over time. Agents compete for more pages, and eventually a full manuscript.
Curtis Brown literary agency is one of the top agencies in the UK, hosting best sellers and countless popular authors. Taking their own spin on the Twitter pitch event craze, #PitchCB allows writers to pitch their work to agents at the house through 140 characters. If an agent from the agency favorites your tweet, follow their submission guidelines, submit to THAT agent, and wait to see if you’ve made a connection.
Pitch to Publication is a little different, although still a Twitter based event. Hosted by Samantha Fountain, this event is for FULLY COMPLETED MANUSCRIPTS who are looking for the chance at editor review. Using a form for entry, entrants submit their work with a query letter and the first five pages. There are approximately ten agents reviewing the entries, and you can follow along with their progress through the hash tags #p2p16 and #tenqueries. In this event, make sure you review the manuscript wish lists of each editor to make sure you are submitting to the most appropriate. You only get 3 options to review your submission, so make sure its fitting! If they choose your work, they will request a partial manuscript to review further. Then, they pick the one they feel has the most promise, and that author gets a whole month of revision and guidance from an experienced editor. Once all the edits are made, there is an agent round where the manuscripts are considered by literary agents for representation!
There are obviously so many more options for pitch events….so many so, it would be impossible to list them all. But these give you a little overview to consider the options out there. Be sure to follow these hash tags and learn from the tweets that are present now to see what you’re up against and gain insight in to this type of querying!
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