You want to be an ace pitcher, no screwballs allowed. You want to make it to the major leagues as a writer, so your pitch matters! The best place to warm up is in pitch contests, such as Pitch Mad or lurking in Pitch Wars! The contests are held on twitter and if nothing else, writers gain experience in honing a pitch to 140 characters or less!
These great events are run by the fabulous Brenda Drake who has a YA debut, LIBRARY JUMPERS coming out this spring. Contests run both March and September with the latest edition played as the board game Clue. Brenda explains it all here. Some of the fine folks over at the Sub It Club have also participated and they will help you perfect that perfect pitch ahead of time. That’s another way to warm-up for all you farm team newbies!
Some of the Sub It Club members over on FB generously shared their experience with this GROGer. Although picture books were not an category in the Clue edition, all genres were included in #PitchMad
From Sub It Club members themselves:
- “Your pitch should be the hook of your story, not an excerpt of the text. So, you're not publishing any portion of your work in that situation. Go ahead and pitch! I actually sold my book through connecting with an editor via a twitter pitch contest, so I can attest that they really do work!”
- "The STEM Girls Take Off when an errant science fair project leads them on an out of this world adventure.” #CB #PitchMad (This pitch was favored.)
- This was my first time and was really a trial run for a MG novel that has been my heart and soul the last few years. Gotta finish the thing, and then... Anyway, I learned A TON yesterday about pitching and also about how the community worked.”
- “It fueled my determination and made me recognize my own potential…She was incredibly kind in pointing out why she passed and stated that she believed I had a great deal of talent which is such an incredible compliment from such a wonderful agent.”
- “Until the first time I participated in #pitmad I had no idea how to write a pitch. I was writing full-blown paragraphs that read like book jacket synopses. I didn’t understand the ‘formula’ or how you needed to be short and captivating at the same time.”
- " I absolutely love reading other pitches and showing support for ones I find intriguing. There are so many novels I want to read based on the pitches I’ve seen.”
- “It’s a great way to collaborate, meet other writers in your same situation, and just network and be a part of a thriving community.”
- “The last thing pitching on twitter taught me was to believe in myself. I never expected to receive one star and now I’ve gained multiple ones.”