There are opportunities to get your project in front of agents and editors, and, I’m learning, ways to do it (and not do it).
Twitter pitch contests — I’m no expert. I’m experimenting and figuring it out. But it’s a chance to get your work in front of agents and editors, so it’s worth exploring. Here’s what I’ve learned so far (my opinion. If you disagree, fine, do what makes sense to you):
1) How to find them — I searched “Twitter pitch contest” and then did the legwork, reading up on the various pitch contests, who runs them, who participates, articles by writers and agents who’ve participated to find the ones I wanted to participate in. There are contests for novels, scripts, etc. There are contests by genre.
2) Crafting your pitch… You’re pitching your project in 140-280 characters. It has to be a complete pitch in itself as the agent/editor might not see your other pitches.
You’ll find articles by agents on what they want to see, and by writers on their experiences pitching, but basically, you include your protagonist, maybe antagonist, and the stakes. I’m still experimenting. Our novel is contemporary fiction (mainstream/women’s fiction), with humor, so the pitches have a humorous tone.
If you had to boil down your project for its essence, like distilling vanilla beans for extract, what is the essential heart of your story?
3) Space out your pitches. you’re usually allowed 3-6 pitches across the day. Remember they’re usually EST (not always, so check), so don’t post your last pitch after 3 pm PST.
4) There are no guarantees. Getting a request depends on the right agent seeing the right tweet at the right time. It’s just an increased chance you’ll be seen. You get between 3-6 tweets across one day.
I’ve done a couple of them so far. First one? Three chances, zero requests. Second? Six chances, six requests. Don’t think that getting no requests means your project isn’t good — it can just mean the right person didn’t happen to see your pitch.
5) If you get a request, do your homework on the requester — just like cold querying an agent. There are hoaxsters and even some legit pitch events don’t vet participants. It’s on you to find out if this person seems legit.
6 If you do get a request? Check out the requester. If s/he seems legit and a good fit, check submission guidelines. Go for it.
7) If you get no requests? Look over your pitches. Look at other pitches. Which stand out? Which are interesting? Learn from the competition. If your pitches are sound, then maybe your person didn’t see them (there can be a LOT of pitches). Get back to querying and be prepared for the next event. This is a marathon, not a sprint.
Hope something here is helpful to you. Any legit chance to get your work out there is worth pursuing, in my book. Show the industry you’re trying to get into that you have what it takes!