How to Write a Successful Twitter Pitch

NB: this was originally posted on There And Draft Again in July 2013, but I have tweaked it slightly to share with you again today.

Hello gentle reader,

#PitMad is tomorrow! Organised by Brenda Drake (@brendadrake), it’s a great opportunity to “pitch” agents and editors on Twitter, with a 140-character tweet presenting your manuscript. You may know my agent found me thanks to a Twitter Pitch Party like this, so I can only encourage you to participate if you have a completed manuscript ready to query.

However, I know summing up a 80k novel in 140 characters is very hard. So here is my recipe for a successful Twitter pitch. Ready?

1 – Inciting Incident

2 – Main Character

3 – Plot

4 – Stakes

If you can fit it in:

5 – Category and Genre (ie: YA F for Young Adult Fantasy)

6 – Voice

Here are two examples of the pitches I used during the last Twitter Pitch Party I participated in:

1862: When dark magic throws London into chaos, a 16yo flower girl must sleuth through Whitechapel to save her job & city YA F

A flower girl in Victorian London tries to save the city from dark magic. SOMETHING STRANGE & DEADLY meets THE INFERNAL DEVICES YA F

It’s best to have at least 3 different pitches and to vary them throughout the day. It’s also advised to tweet only one pitch per half hour. Make sure to always include the hashtag in your tweet.

If an agent or editor likes your pitch and wants to request it, they’ll favorite it. As a result, don’t favorite pitches you like: you’ll give false hope to a fellow writer! Instead, show your support by retweeting their pitch.

Best of luck if you’re taking part in #PitMad tomorrow!

I’ll be around most of the day to support you, so don’t hesitate to ask for help with your pitches if need be!

Writing Contests Round-Up (Autumn Edition)

Hello gentle reader,

The lovely Natasha M. Heck asked me if I could write a post about writing contests for querying writers. There are many coming up, which I have listed below. Hoping this helps!

NB: The contests I mention here are for unagented writers with a finished/polished manuscript. Their goal is to offer you the chance to get your writing on an agent’s desk.

So without further ado, all your autumn writing contests… in one place!

Contest: Trick or Treat with Agents 2013

Date(s): Submissions on Tuesday 22d October

Organised by: Kimberly P. Chase, Brenda Drake and Dannie Morin

Open to: MG,YA, NA, and Adult. (No Erotica or Memoirs)

How to enter: 3-sentence pitch + first 250 words + answer 2 questions

Cost: Free

More info: http://kimberlypchase.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/trick-or-treat-with-agents-2013.html

Contest: 2013 Baker’s Dozen

Date(s): 29th to 31st October for Adult submissions, 5th to 7th November for YA and MG fiction

Organised by: Miss Snark’s First Victim (aka Authoress)

Open to: MG and YA (all genres) – Adult (all genres except erotica and erotic romance)

How to enter: a logline (= a 1 to 2-sentence pitch that encapsulates your story & makes us want to read it) + first 250 words

Cost: $10 entry fee

More info: http://misssnarksfirstvictim.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/the-fourth-annual-bakers-dozen-facts.html

Contest: Mystery Agent

Date(s): 1st of each month

Organised by: Operation Awesome

Open to: Depends on the judging agent

How to enter: one-line pitch or 250 first words

Cost: Free

More info: http://operationawesome6.blogspot.fr/

Contest: Secret Agent contest

Date(s): November (date TBA)

Organised by: Miss Snark’s First Victim (aka Authoress)

Open to: Depends on the judging agent

How to enter: first 250 words

Cost: Free

More info: http://misssnarksfirstvictim.blogspot.co.uk/p/secret-agent.html

Contest: Pitch Wars

Date(s): December (date TBA)

Organised by: Brenda Drake

How to enter: TBA

Cost: TBA

More info: http://brenleedrake.blogspot.co.uk/

So tell me: are you going to enter those contests? Are there any other contests this autumn I haven’t heard about? Feel free to leave me a comment below!