Mingle at Pitch Parties for Writers

In traditional publishing, getting the attention of an agent isn’t easy. Unless you know someone in the industry, you need to hook an agent with a one-page query. Another option is the pitch. Imagine being on an elevator with a literary agent—you have 30 seconds to sell them on your book. While this situation may never actually occur, pitch parties are making these kinds of connections happen.

What is a Pitch Party?

Pitch parties take place via Twitter. Various writer’s groups and publishers host these Twitter parties. Hosts encourage aspiring authors to pitch their manuscripts for a set number of hours on select dates. Agents and publishers watch the feed and “like” any pitches that interest them. Woman utilizing laptopAgents encourage writers they “like” to send them a full query. The advantage is that you’ve already made a connection with the agent. They expect your query and are more likely to give your request their full attention.

Pitch parties are online mixers, a chance for organizers to play matchmaker for aspiring authors and literary agents.

There are rules for each pitch party. Writers need to be aware of how many tweets they’re allowed during the event and which genre is the focus of the party. Keep in mind that Twitter has a limit of 280 characters. Some of these characters will be used by the hashtag required for your tweet to find the right feed.

Are you ready to party?

Get ready before you even consider joining the party. Preparation is vital to success. You need to have a complete and polished manuscript before you go knocking on agents’ virtual doors. Even though Twitter is fairly informal, don’t harm your future chances by being ill-prepared. If you have a project ready, the only thing stopping you from joining the party is a Twitter account.

The pitch perfected

Prepare your pitch days in advance. If the rules of your pitch party allow multiple entries, have a few different pitches prepared. Don’t just recycle the first pitch over and over again. Remember you only have 280 characters and you need to leave room for the party hashtag. Know the rules of your particular party and follow them. Successes come from each pitch party, but not every writer can walk away with a new agent. If you fail to garner any “likes,” don’t worry—take the opportunity to improve your pitch and be ready for the next party.

2019 Pitch Party Events

Here are some of the top pitch parties planned for 2019. Read the rules and expectations for each on their respective websites.

#PitMad
All Genres and Writers
Thu, March 7, 2019
Thu, June 6, 2019
Thu, Sept 5, 2019
Thu, Dec 5, 2019

#Pit2Pub
All Genres and Writers
July 2019 (date yet to be announced)

#IWSGPit
Insecure Writers
July 2019 (date yet to be announced)

#DVpit
Diverse Voices
Oct 2019 (date yet to be announced)

#PBPitch
Picture Books
Thu, Feb 21, 2019

#PitDark
Horror and other “Dark” themes
May 2019 (date yet to be announced)

#RevPit
Pitch to win a manuscript revision from a professional editor
Begins Sat April 6, 2019

Resources

Need help with polishing your query, manuscript or pitch? Check out some of these resources:

Making the Perfect Pitch: Advice from 45 Top Book Agents edited by Katharine Sands

Give ’em What They Want: The Right Way to Pitch your Novel to Editors and Agents: A Novelist’s Complete Guide to Query Letters, Synopses, Outlines by Blythe Camenson

One Perfect Pitch: How to Sell your Idea, your Product, your Business—or Yourself by Marie Perruchet

How to Publish Your Book by Jane Friedman

Formatting & Submitting your Manuscript by Chuck Sambuchino

Chris Blocker

Chris works in Public Services and has been with the library since 2007. He has a great passion for writing, so it's not uncommon to see him helping with library writing events. Chris holds an MFA in Writing from the University of Nebraska, strives to be a successful novelist, and dabbles with graphic design when time allows. His favorite novel is East of Eden. He is fluent in Trek.