5 Pitch Event Tips for Writers

So you’ve decided you’re ready to pitch your novel in an event on Twitter…

For those who might be unaware, there are often events held on Twitter where writers can use specific hashtags and pitch their novels in a single tweet. Literary agents will get involved and like any of the pitches they want to see a query for. There’s speculation on whether pitch events are actually effective and whether they’re good for writers and agents alike, but for now, they continue!

During my time querying, I pitched in several events on Twitter. Today, I wanted to offer my two cents on tips for preparing a pitch and surviving the event itself.

First, let’s start with some tips…

As You’re Prepping, Do the Following…

1. Write Your Pitches Ahead of Time

Okay, maybe you’re thinking, “DUH”…but I’ll have you know I was a person who didn’t do this during my first pitch event. Was it the end of the world? No. But in the future, writing my pitches beforehand helped me stay more organized the day of.

2. Bookmark & Pin Your Pitch(es)

This one is huge…it’s common for writers to help boost each other during the day by retweeting pitches they find compelling. This means if you’re not careful, your own pitch might get lost on your timeline. The very first thing you should do after hitting “send tweet” on your first pitch of the day is pin it to your profile! Click on the three dots on the top right of the tweet to find this option. When you pin a tweet to your profile, it stays at the top and is the first thing people see when they come to your page.

If the event allows for multiple pitches throughout the day, bookmark each one. This will also help you stay organized because at the end of the day, you’ll want to do this next step…

3. Manually Check Your Likes

During my first pitch event, I received three likes from agents. Twitter didn’t notify me of a single one. I have no idea why, seeing as I was notified for everything else…but it’s always smart to look at each pitch tweet after the fact and double check whether you’ve received an agent like or not!

4. Believe in Internet Karma

My policy for pitch events was to spread as much genuine excitement about other people’s pitches as I could! In return, I’ve made a lot of friends through pitch events and a lot of people generously boosted my own pitches.

5. Set Realistic Expectations

Celebrate finishing your manuscript. Celebrate being ready to query. Celebrate making new friends. Whatever you do, DO NOT determine you or your novel’s worth by the results of a pitch event. There are so many underlying factors that make pitch events not work for everyone, and that’s okay. If you don’t receive any likes, it doesn’t mean your pitch is bad, your book is bad, or that you’re a bad writer. It just means your next step will be researching and querying the regular way! And there is nothing bad about cold querying–most writers will tell you they got their agent through cold querying! Pitch event success stories are often the exception to a broader rule.

Writing Your Pitch Tweets

The problem I always ran into when drafting pitches was the urge to try and talk about everything in my book. With only 120 characters available to you (and some of them used by the event’s hashtags), you have to be short and sweet. My personal recommendation for keeping it simple involves the following:

  • Only focusing on the A plot
  • Only naming main characters
  • Identifying the stakes – aka what will happen if your main character fails?
  • If you have fascinating comps, use them to your advantage!
  • Don’t be afraid to highlight tropes
  • Think of it as a snapshot

Is this the end all, be all advice? Nope! But these are things that have worked for me. Depending on how many pitches you can tweet throughout the event, there might be opportunity to focus on more than just the A plot, but the biggest conflict in the novel should be the focus of the pitch in my personal opinion!

In queries, it’s important to comp novels published within the last five years. But in a pitch tweet, you’re looking to catch someone’s eye just enough for them to decide they want more. So if your book can be comped to a movie, a song, or a really popular piece of media, comp it! If you can describe your novel as Jurassic Park meets All Too Well (Taylor’s Version), then I definitely want to know more about it. Hopefully an agent will too!

Tropes are equally celebrated and vilified by readers nowadays…but regardless, I think they’re a great way to help an agent know that your book already contains things they’re a sucker for. Enemies to lovers? I’m sold. Only one bed? Hand it over. Using tropes is not a must, and if you hate them, you don’t have to do it! But I’ve seen them work for other people and it doesn’t hurt to shoot your shot with them.

Lastly, consider your pitch to be a snapshot. You’re really limited with space to explain your plot. Do what you can with the limited characters you have. And remember, some people will look at your snapshot and immediately want to zoom out and see more. Others will see it and keep scrolling past, but if you showed them the whole thing, they’d be interested. (That’s just a really bad metaphor to say pitch contests don’t mean no one is interested in your work!)

Hopefully this advice helps! Feel free to connect with me via social media if you have other questions about pitch events. My DMs are open!


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