Querying an agent can be exhausting and terrifying. There are a multitude of ways to query an agent, ranging from writers’ conferences to emailing a submission. But there is another way to query that is not as well-known: Twitter pitch events.
Twitter pitch events are a virtual opportunity for unpublished authors to pitch their manuscripts to literary agents and/or editors. If an agent or editor likes your work, they will request more material from you. And, hopefully, this will lead to a deal.
In this blog post, we share the benefits and drawbacks to querying through Twitter pitch events, as well as include three of the most popular pitch events that take place annually.
Participation in a Twitter pitch event can help you test interest for your story. You can search through other Tweets, learn about books within your genre, and determine if there is a market for your story.
Pitch events are a great means to make connections in the writing world (and as we frequently reiterate, connections are the best way to land a book deal!) A pitch event allows you to get opinions on your work from other writers. And if you’re searching for a beta reader or critique partner, you might find someone within your genre.
A Twitter pitch event will also help you improve your pitching skills. Twitter allows only 280 characters per a Tweet. So, you will have to play around with a single sentence or two short sentences that accurately represent your story—and make you stand out from the crowd.
If you’re unable to share the premise of your story in a single sentence, or two sentences, then you might need to reconsider your work. A pitch should be short and to the point. And your story should be easily explained in a short amount of time. Agents are short on time, and are looking for strong opening hooks that will inform them of the most important information in your story.
The most obvious benefit to a Twitter pitch event is the potential to land an agent or editor. If an agent or editor is interested in your work, they will like or favorite your Tweet and then request more material.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of people participate in Twitter pitch events. Throughout these events, thousands of Tweets will be published. And if you’re not active on Twitter prior to the event, then the algorithm will work against you. It is difficult to get seen if you’re not active on Twitter.
A low success rate is another drawback to pitch events. Because thousands of Tweets are published, and because only a few agents and editors participate, it’s challenging to land a deal. You might have a wonderful manuscript that gets buried beneath other Tweets.
Even if you do land an agent or editor, they might not be the right fit for you. This can be frustrating since you spent time and energy constructing your query. But there is no guarantee that you will land a deal, much less land an agent or editor who are the best fit for your book.
List of Twitter Pitch Events
If you decide to participate in a Twitter pitch event, consider the following.
#PitMad: This event is for unpublished works in need of an agent or editor. All genres are welcomed in this event, but no published works are allowed. These events occur quarterly and the next one should take place sometime in May.
If you decide to participate there are rules that you must follow. Your manuscript must be completed and polished. Non-fiction works, memoirs included, must have a polished proposal, and must be completed as well. Your pitch has to fit into Twitter’s 280-character box (and you cannot Tweet more than once!). You must include #PitMad and an age category hashtag. For a more comprehensive list of the rules and what you need to know, follow the link here.
#DVPit: This event is exclusively for marginalized writers, including: “Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC); people living and/or born/raised in marginalized, underrepresented cultures and countries; disabled persons (includes neurodivergence and mental illness); people on marginalized ends of the cultural and/or religious spectrum; people identifying within LGBTQIA+; and more.” Usually, this event occurs once a year and the 2022 date has not yet been released (but you should expect a date in the fall).
If you choose to pitch in #DVPit, then you will follow similar guidelines as #PitMad. You will pitch your work in a single Tweet, include the #DVPit, and you must include an age category hashtag as well. For more information on specific requirements, follow the link here.
#PassOrPages: This event is not used to land an agent or editor, rather, it’s an opportunity to see how agents pick or pass on querying manuscripts. Similar to other pitch events, your submitted manuscript should be polished and completed. A random selector tool will choose five entries from the submitted manuscripts to give to the participating agents. Even if your manuscript is not chosen, you can still read about why an agent would pick or pass on a represented manuscript. This can help you get into the mindset of an agent for your next querying opportunity! The next selected dates are in June.
Unlike the other two events, #PassOrPages requires a blog form to be completed. In this form you will include your contact information, your query, and the first 250 words of your manuscript. This submission should be treated as a normal query letter and should include a word count, title, and can include comp titles as well. For more information on the specifics, follow the link here.
If you’re submitting manuscripts, give a Twitter pitch event a try! You might not receive any interest, but it’s a great opportunity to fiddle with your pitch and learn from others.