Hello everyone! If you spend any time on the book side of Twitter, you probably know how hectic this week is. Saturday marked the start of #RevPit, a contest during which writers submit their work to editors in hopes of winning a free critique of their entire manuscript. Although winners and runners up will not be announced until next Monday, the editors are busy sending requests for more materials and posting #10queries critiques on Twitter (tweet-length critiques of queries they received during submissions). These #10queries fill the Twitter feed with examples for all writers to learn from, whether they submitted or not.
On top of #RevPit, a Twitter pitch event called #DVpit occurs this Wednesday and Thursday. #DVpit is a pitch event for marginalized writers and illustrators, including but not limited to native peoples and people of color, disabled people or people living with an illness, and people falling on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. Literary agent Beth Phelan created this event as a way to boost the voices of historically underrepresented writers. Just like any Twitter pitch event, #DVpit will fill Twitter feeds with hundreds of pitches from a variety of writers hoping to secure representation.
Twitter pitch days are a flurry of activity and excitement, but they can also be stressful and disappointing. If you are a writer that has never participated, you might be wondering why you should bother pitch your manuscript on Twitter. In honor of this week's events, here are five reasons to participate in Twitter pitch events:
1. Practice Formulating a Concise Pitch
Participating in a pitch event requires you to have at least one concise pitch of your manuscript, but preferably more. Considering these events happen through Twitter, concise now means within 280 characters. There are many resources for perfecting your pitch, but a favorite resource of mine is writer and editor Meg LaTorre, who consistently posts articles and videos about the writing and publishing process. She has a video on her YouTube channel about How to Write a Twitter Pitch for Your Manuscript.
Formulating your pitch benefits you in more ways than simply supplying you with a pitch to use. It forces you to think through your manuscript's main character, primary conflict, and stakes--but in a very concise way. You must break these aspects down to their barest components yet still catch the eye of anyone perusing the feed. If you cannot think of distinct ways to characterize your main character in the length of a tweet, perhaps you need to develop your MC more. If you cannot think of the personal stakes your MC faces, perhaps you need to heighten the stakes of your manuscript. Formulating a pitch forces you to think through your manuscript in this way.
2. Meet Other Writers
Twitter pitch events or contests might seem purely competitive, and you can make it that way if you choose, but that is not how it should be. These events bring writers together in an act of sharing their work. Some participants of #RevPit created a Facebook support group that now has 167 members. I have met other writers through practice pitch events, and now I am invested in their own writing journeys because I like them as people and I am interested in seeing their stories come to life. Meeting other writers also creates a group to build you up during pitch events, since retweeting each other's pitches boosts those pitches in the feed.
3. Get to Know Agents and Editors
You will quickly learn after joining Twitter that literary agents and editors are amazing, spectacular people. I would love to be friends with them all. They are funny and supportive, and many of them give a lot of their free time to answering questions and helping aspiring authors. Participating in Twitter events allows you to engage with these agents and editors, and find people you want to follow. Regardless of how the event turns out for your own writing, following these agents and editors fills your Twitter feed with resources and lively personalities.
4. Learn from Other Pitches
Writing might seem like an isolated hobby or profession, but if you want to improve, it most definitely is not. Not only do Twitter pitch events allow you to meet other writers, but they help you learn from those writers' pitches. Depending on the writer, these pitches become examples of what to do or what not to do. If a writer's pitch really caught your attention and got you interested in his/her/their story, what about the pitch made it do so? How can you incorporate those techniques into your own pitching? If a writer's pitch bogged you down or confused you, why? How could that writer improve such a pitch, and how can you learn from that mistake?
5. Potentially Be a Success Story
This step seems necessary to include, since it is the main reason people pitch their stories. Writers want to be offered representation from literary agents, and Twitter pitch events are another opportunity to link writers and agents together. If you pitch on Twitter and an agent likes it, you then send that agent a query and any other requested materials. Just like with any form of querying, there is no guarantee of success. However, according to Beth Phelan, #DVpit has created 65 success stories, including 27 book deals. These successes happen, and if you keep working towards it, you can become one someday too.
Those are my five reasons for participating in Twitter pitch events, but I'm sure there are many more. For anyone participating in #RevPit or #DVpit this week, I wish you the utmost luck. I hope to write blog posts soon about knowing when to pitch and how to formulate a pitch, so stay tuned for more content about pitching both on and off Twitter. If you are looking for industry professionals to follow, head over to the #RevPit website to read about the amazing participating editors. If you want to stay on top of the dates for pitch events, check out Meg LaTorre's Pitch Contest Calendar.
I write YA fantasy and contemporary fiction. This blog is dedicated to thoughts and advice on writing and publishing, as well as various interests related to the world of Young Adult.