Rules and Tips for Surviving #PitMad

What time is it? It’s #PitMad time!

Thursday March 7th, 2019, is the first scheduled #PitMad of the year and believe me, you don’t want to miss it. Even if you’re not planning to pitch, watching the whole event unfold is an absolute treat, not to mention extremely motivating to get writing!

From 8 a.m. EST – 8 p.m. EST, the feed will FLY with the most creative 280-character pitches you’ve ever seen in your life! You can tweet your own pitches and support your writerly friends by retweeting theirs (but remember: “likes” are saved for agents and publishers)! It’s also a good opportunity to learn by reading pitches other authors have created.

For those who are new to the Twitter pitch party scene, here’s how it works:

You have twelve hours to tweet a total of three pitches for your completed, polished, and unpublished manuscripts. It’s best to spread them out throughout the day, and YES you can pitch more than one story (but ONLY three pitches each). Your pitch should fit inside one tweet of 280-characters (no threads allowed) and contain the appropriate hashtags (more on that in a minute).

Pictures and links are prohibited unless you’re attaching an illustration for a picture book or graphic novel, and every genre is welcome. If an industry professional favorites your tweet, it’s an invitation to submit to them! Make sure to check their Twitter profile for submission guidelines and always ALWAYS research the requesting agent/publisher to make certain they’re legit (and don’t forget to include “PitMad Request” in the subject of your email)!

New to crafting a pitch? There’s a formula to refer to that will give industry professionals (and future readers!) an idea about your manuscript. Every pitch needs to contain at least three things (minus the hashtags): a set-up of the world you’ve created, the inciting incident, and the stakes. It’s helpful to break down your query (please tell me you have one writtenyou’ll need it for submissions!) and pull what you need from that. Here’s an example of one I’ve used in the past and have had good luck with:

15yo Gwen escapes her fighting parents by summering in NOLA w/rebellious BFF, but not even the big-hearted drag queen or an unforgettable first kiss can bury the life-or-death secret that will change her forever. Looking for Alaska + Just Listen. #PitMad #YA #CON #MH

I’ve included the basic set-up of the story, the inciting incident, and the stakes. I also managed to squeeze in optional hashtags and comp titles, which I’ve been told agents/publishers like to see when possible. (Please note: I’m not an expert on pitches and it takes me awhile to come up with them.)

Here’s another:

An introverted Chicago artist must face her fractured psyche when secrets from the past come back to haunt her. Sybil + Girl on the Train #PitMad #NA #M #T

And now for the hashtags! Including #PitMad is an absolute must along with the age category. Genre/sub-genre hashtags are helpful too, but optional.

Here’s the list:

#PitMad (again, this is required)

Age Categories (this is also required):

#PB = Picture Book
#C = Children’s
#CB = Chapter Book
#MG = Middle Grade
#YA = Young Adult
#NA = New Adult
#A = Adult

Genres/Sub-genres (these are helpful, but optional):

#AC = Action
#AD = Adventure
#BIZ = Bizarro Fiction
#CF = Christian Fiction
#CON = Contemporary
#CR = Contemporary Romance
#E = Erotica
#ER = Erotic Romance
#ES = Erotica Suspense
#F = Fantasy
#FTA = Fairy Tale Retelling
#GN = Graphic Novel
#H = Horror
#HA = Humor
#HF = Historical Fiction
#HR = Historical Romance
#INSP = Inspirational
#MR = Magical Realism
#M = Mystery
#Mem = Memoir
#MA = Mainstream
#LF = Literary Fiction
#NF = Non-fiction
#P = Paranormal
#PR = Paranormal Romance
#R = Romance
#RS = Romantic Suspense
#STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics
#SF = SciFi
#SPF = Speculative Fiction
#SH = Superhero
#S = Suspense
#T = Thriller
#TT = Time Travel
#UF = Urban Fantasy
#VF = Visionary Fiction
#W = Westerns
#WF = Woman’s Fiction

Additional hashtags (also optional):

#POC = Author is a Person of Color
#OWN = Own Voices
#IMM = Immigrant
#LGBT = LGBTQIA+ subject matter
#IRMC = Interracial/Multicultural subject matter
#MH = Mental Health subject matter
#DIS = Disability subject matter
#ND = Neurodiverse subject matter

And finally, these are the scheduled #PitMad dates for 2019:

  • March 7, 2019 (8AM – 8PM EDT)
  • June 6, 2019 (8AM – 8PM EDT)
  • September 5, 2019 (8AM – 8PM EDT)
  • December 5, 2019 (8AM – 8PM EST)

Best of luck with your pitches (I can’t wait to read them) and happy writing!

 

 

#PitDark is almost here! Are you ready?

pitdark-october-20

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of dark literature. Authors like Edgar Allan Poe, Shirley Jackson and Stephen King have had a profound affect on me, and at times have kept me up late into the night. Their books will always have a place on my shelf. I don’t seek out disturbing stories to read, but those are the ones that seem to catch my attention at the book store. Call me morbid, I guess! And when I decided to attempt writing stories of my own, suspense and sinister is what I found myself typing.

How ironic my debut novel is a romance!

So when I heard about #PitDark I was instantly intrigued. #PitDark is the first and only Twitter pitch event that is specifically designed for authors of darker literature. According to its description, #PitDark is not limited to works of horror, but the pitched stories must contain elements of darker writing.

Following in the footsteps of #PitMad, a writer can tweet a 140 character pitch for their completed, polished and unpublished manuscripts, while agents and publishers search for stories that sound appealing. Middle grade, young adult, new adult and adult age categories are all welcome. And mark your calendars because the next #PitDark happens October 20th, 2016!

The rules:

  • This event takes place from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern. Please do not pitch before or after this twelve-hour period.
  • Participants get one pitch per hour, per manuscript. 
  • This contest is for completed, unpublished manuscripts. Complete means that your manuscript is proofread, polished, and ready for submission.
  • Do not, and I repeat, DO NOT favorite another author’s post. Agents and publishers will will make requests for authors to contact them by marking pitches as a favorite on Twitter. If your tweet is favorited, please follow the agent or publisher’s submission guidelines. Please be sure to research any agent or publisher that likes your pitch. There is no obligation to submit your work to anyone you don’t want to.

How to pitch:

  1. First and foremost, you must include the #PitDark hashtag to enter the contest. This is mandatory. It’s how industry professionals will find you.
  2. An indication of the book’s age category.
  3. An indication of the book’s genre. See below for hashtags. A genre hashtag is also mandatory.
  4. A pitch for your book. Ideally, it should tell us the character, desire, obstacle(s), and stakes. I know, I know — you don’t have many characters left to work with. Be creative!

Hashtags for age categories:

Please use these hashtags to indicate the target age group for your book:

  • #MG – Middle Grade
  • #YA – Young adult
  • #NA – New adult
  • #A – Adult

Hashtags for genres:

Please use a hashtag to indicate the genre of your book. The following are example hashtags that may be relevant to your manuscript:

  • #H – horror
  • #PH – psychological horror
  • #GH – gothic horror
  • #CSH – cosmic horror
  • #BH – body horror
  • #CH – comedy horror
  • #DC – dark comedy
  • #DR – dark romance
  • #SFH – science fiction horror
  • #PNH – paranormal horror
  • #ZH – zombie horror
  • #MH – monster horror
  • #GRH – graphic horror
  • #MM – murder mystery
  • #FA – fantasy
  • #DF – dark fantasy
  • #T – thriller
  • #EF – epic or high fantasy
  • #HF – historical fantasy
  • #LF – literary fantasy
  • #AH – alternate history
  • #PN – paranormal
  • #PR – paranormal romance
  • #UF – urban fantasy
  • #MR – magical realism
  • #SF – science fiction
  • #AF – apocalypse fiction
  • #ML – military science fiction
  • #PA – post-apocalyptic SF
  • #CP – cyberpunk
  • #SFT – sci-fi thriller
  • #SH – superhero / superhuman
  • #SO – space opera
  • #DS – dystopian
  • #SP – steampunk
  • #TT – time travel
  • #WW – weird west
  • #SPEC – speculative fiction
  • #NF – non-fiction

For more details on this event and to find out which agents and publishers are planning to participate, please visit author and #PitDark host Jason Huebinger’s website to learn more!

Do you plan to pitch? Leave a comment below if you do. Best of luck and I hope to see you there!