Long time, no see, huh? I have definitely let this blog fall by the wayside in the past few months. It’s been a hectic time for me. Fortunately, I haven’t let my writing fall off track too much. (Though I did talk about some of my struggles in this video). I’ve been writing a lot and really trying to push forward in the next steps toward obtaining representation for my adult contemporary novel, affectionately nicknamed Project Sunflower. Part of this included me participating in #PitMad. If you’re interested in my experience with this writing contests, keep reading.
What is #PitMad?
Pit Mad is a 24-hour Twitter pitch event where writers will tweet about their completed manuscripts. During the day, agents and editors scroll through the hashtag (#PitMad) to see if anything interests them. If it does, they will “heart” (or like/favorite) the Tweet. If an agent does like your tweet, it is basically them giving you the go-ahead to query them. In the query, it’s recommended to mention that in the query. Basically, if gives writers more visibility for their book.
In order for agents to see your tweet, you should include #PitMad. It’s also required to include a hashtag for the age category. For more information on hashtag uses, check out this link. For me, beside the required hashtags, I also used #BVM which stands for Black Voices Matter, which is meant to amplify and uplift black authors.
You also shouldn’t include any links in your tweet. And, of course, since you’re using Twitter, the biggest challenge is creating a compelling pitch within the allowed character limit. You also are only allowed to post three times per manuscript.
My #PitMad Exprience
Throughout my posts discussing my writing, I’ve been quite vague. However, since the tweets are public, I will share my first tweet and the one that was the most successful:
Eeek! It feels so strange to put what my story on here. But here it is! One tip I heard from doing research on #PitMad was to make your first tweet your best pitch. Most people prefer to create three different pitches as opposed to use the same one for all three opportunities. I definitely felt this pitch was my strongest, and it obtained the most retweets (from users showing there support) as well as a like from an agent!
You can see I used the required hashtags — #PitMad and #A (for adult) as well as #BVM and #CON (for contemporary). I also wanted to point out that I used a movie as an older comp title. Since this is an informal event, it’s okay to use older comps and even famous ones, though this isn’t recommended for query letters.
I felt super inspired by seeing all of the other writers’ stories! It was so amazing to see what people have been working on and what they come up with. I even saw a few people’s pitches that had similar elements to me. Additionally, I found new people to follow and have even began chatting with a few of them. Getting more immersed into the Twitter writing community is a goal of mine and I feel #PitMad helped me do that.
As far as strategy, I heard some conflicting things. One piece of advice I do agree with is that people’s first tweets did tend to do better than subsequent ones. Knowing when to post is a lost trickier. I heard not to do it when it first opens and wait until the afternoon. Others said to get all your tweets about before lunch (EST). Ultimately, I opted to do one in the morning, a couple hours after it first started and I believe this worked out well for me. Though, I don’t believe my afternoon tweets were as successful. Perhaps they just weren’t as eye catching, but I do feel people were more burned out by that time in the day.
While I didn’t get an agent out of #PitMad (the one who liked my tweet I decided not to pursue, though I’m really grateful for the interest), I don’t regret participating. As I mentioned, it was a great opportunity to connect with other writers and practice honing my skills in condensing what my story is about!
PitMad occurs quarterly and the next one will take place on December 3, 2020. As of the time I’m writing this post, I’m in the waiting period after submitting my PitchWars application. PitchWars is a mentoring program for writers hosted by the same organization as PitMad. I will definitely do a write-up of my experience with that. Whether I get a mentor or not, I have a lot to say about preparing and submitting everything. So stay tuned!