Writer Wednesday: Pitch What?
Good morning authors and welcome to the middle of the week! After a fantastic week, kicking back and letting Alys Murray take over to hype up The Almost Queen, I am back with your regularly scheduled writerly bites of info. Every once in a while I like to pull together an author resource post, such as Mentorship Programs to watch for or a deep dive into the pros and cons of NetGalley for indie authors. These posts are meant to help newer and veteran authors in the field. Writing is a large, ever changing space. Very much like the young lady in this stock photo, it can be frustrating trying to keep track of it all and, aside from the FOMO, some aspects of publishing might work better for you than others.
Today we are talking about a more recent advent in the field of publishing and that is the introduction of Twitter Pitch events. Now twitter pitch contests are not exactly NEW. #PitMad is usually credited as the first and most well known, established around 2012 to coincide with Pitch Wars, the massive volunteer mentorship program involving veteran authors coaching and helping new authors fine tune their manuscript for success. But since then, well over a dozen pitch events have cropped up annually with varied attendance from agents and publishers. There are several existing lists out there by tireless bloggers and authors who have curated them all together for easy access, which I will include in the Resources & Further Reading below. What I want to expand on here is why some of these pitch contests might be for you and some may not be. Not every pitch contest is for every writer. Some are much more genre oriented such as #KISSpitch for Romance or #SFFpit for Science Fiction & Fantasy. Some are specifically for marginalized voices or a specific marginalized group. First a word on 'comps' or comparable works. You will see this word floated around a lot in pitch events and queries. A good comp can draw the eye to your pitch, especially if you tap into a particularly fire piece of pop culture like Stranger Things or The Witcher. Comps usually fit in at the beginning of a pitch or query to set up an expectation. If you are pitching Stranger Things X Ninth House I am expecting some absolutely bonkers creepy monsters running around in a Dark Academia setting or something along those lines. The important part about comps is to make sure the titles you choose do in fact line up with the vibe of your manuscript.
What's Out There
#Pitmad: The Grand Mother of all pitch contests, heavily tied in with Pitch Wars, though also this pitch contest has evolved into an event of its own. #Pitmad usually has a decent attendance of agents and publishers, even nine years on. #PitMad is open to all genres and age levels, but its popularity might also make it difficult for the novice or veteran author to catch an agent/ publisher's eye in the deluge. (This is why so many agents and publishers invite open queries around these events) #PitDark: One of my personal favorites. This pitch party takes place a couple times a year. I believe at its inception it happened with more frequency but cut back to a couple times a year to avoid pitch party burnout. #PitDark is the pitch event for all fiction dark and strange. It's open to most genres, with the primary requirement being 'make it dark'. This is a great place to pitch horror, dark fantasy, thrillers, even dark romance. This event has gained ground and popularity over the years and remains fairly well attended. #DVpit: This is a big one. #DVpit or Diverse Voices Pitch is a two day pitch contest created and moderated by literary agent Beth Phelan back in 2016. #DVpit was one of the first big twitter pushes for diverse voices in the pitching arena, creating a space for historically marginalized authors to pitch their stories. The two day event breaks down to age categories, the first day geared towards Children's / YA fiction and non fiction while day two is Adult fiction and nonfiction. #DVpit aims to create a safe space for marginalized authors, stating 'any decisions about eligibility are yours to make'. #DVpit has garnered international attention and remains a well attended pitch event. This one is coming up NEXT WEEK, Oct 25th to the 26th! #RevPit: I mentioned this pitch event in my author mentorship programs post but #RevPit or Revise and Resub is an event tailored to editors. It can be an invaluable resource for authors looking to fix manuscripts that need that extra boost to achieve cohesion.
#10Queries: To go along with #RevPit, #10Queries is one of their mini pitch events focused on tweaking and revising queries (which often feel harder than writing the book itself). Another huge resource pitch contest for authors struggling to fine tune their querying package. These events are great to keep an eye on, including the hosts twitter feed, because they offer a lot of information in their tweets alone for everyone.
#IWSGpit: You may or may have not seen the #IWSGpit hashtag floating around. The Insecure Writers Support Group is exactly what it says it is, a support group to help authors who may find themselves floundering in the quagmire of pitch events. Writing is a daunting business and the existence of this event warms the cockles of my heart. They even included a very informative How to Pitch post on their site. This is an event I would also say is a good author resource because whether or not this has a high agent/ publisher attendance, it is a good place to fine tune pitches, get feedback from the oft supportive writing community, and gain confidence in putting yourself out there as an author. This is another pitch event open to all genres and age ranges. #SFFpit: Now we are getting into more genre specific ones. #SFFpit is for Science Fiction & Fantasy and all the genres in- between. As a more tailored to genre event, it could be right up your alley, but pitching against so many other fantastic sci-fi and fantasy stories it can be tricky to make your pitch stand out. Remember to focus your pitch on the pieces that make your story different from other stories out there, and that your comps are on point. #KISSpitch: Like #SFFpit above, #KISSpitch is an event tailored towards a specific genre. Romance is a booming industry and its not surprise it has its own event. Though having a pitch contest specifically for romance gives these books a chance to shine and possibly find the right agent/ publisher who is looking for this genre. Romance pitches often catch eyes if included tropes are mentioned since this is such a large part of the genre, such as second chance romance or the ever popular enemies to lovers.
#FaithPitch: This pitch contest is specifically for Christian fiction. If you are an author of Christian fiction this is the pitch contest for you as it is very tailored to the genre. However, if you are pitching from another religious perspective, this is not the pitch contest for you.
#PBPitch: Picture Book Pitch! I adore reading through these pitches. This is a specific one and a special one. Pitching kids books is often one of the harder genres, and in the more generalized pitch contests these gems can really get swallowed up. Having an event tailored just for this genre is something of a necessity and one to definitely keep an eye out for if you write in the genre. The next #PBPitch is happening next week, Oct 28th, so hone your pitches.
#WMpit: To follow up #PBPitch is #WMpit, hosted by Write Mentor, another big mentorship program I've highlighted before. #WMpit is focused on children's fiction, from Picture Books to Young Adult. #WMpit really fine tunes the hashtags for authors to help their pitches stand out, including #STEM, #ND (Neurodiverse), #Dis (Disability Subject Matter), and #LGBT (for LGBTQIA+ subject matter). Write Mentor has established itself through mentorships and agent showcases, this is a great event for children's fiction authors.
The following Pitch Parties are more recent additions in the past year and are focused on specific marginalized communities. While #DVpit welcomes all these communities, #DVpit is also huge, lending a level of demand for these community tailored pitch parties.
#APIpit: This pitch event was for Asain/ Pasifika authors and illustrators back in May 2021. The original host site was deleted and details around the event can now be found here.
#LatinxPitch: This one is aimed at creators of children's fiction in the Latinx community from picture books to Young Adult.
A small caveat for the next two pitch events: these pitch events are meant to give an author in a traditionally marginalized group an extra leg up in the pitching arena, however in matters of safety or comfort, you do not have to disclose your marginalized identity to gain a publishing contract.
#PitchDis: Inspired by #DVpit and #Pitmad, this pitch event was created for authors in the disabled community. #PitchDis will have their next pitch even in summer 2022. This pitch event states on site that it is for authors who self identify as disabled, (which includes neuro-divergent or chronically ill.)
#LGBTNpit: This is a pitch party for queer, trans, & nonbinary authors, providing another arena for these stories to be seen by agents and publishers.
And that's it. That's the full list. Maybe? Hopefully? This list specifically focuses on the more twitter based events so I left off very cool events like Savvy Authors Pitchfests, other RevPit Events, and more. That's a whole other list. As with every resource list, there is always something new out there, and you may find another pitch event cropping up by the time you find this post.
Resources & Further Reading
Pitch Event Calendars & How To's
SOME Pitch Event Specifics