If you are interested in writing, there are a lot of cool contests out there. And Twitter is an exciting, up-to-the minute way to learn about what is going on in the writer community.
One contest I learned about from author K.L. Kranes is called #PitMad. PitMad is one-day of “pitch madness” on Twitter (quarterly). It’s Brenda Drake‘s brainchild. Writers whittle their book pitch down to Twitter’s 141 characters and post it with the hashtag #pitmad and the hashtag of their book’s genre. Participating literary agents search for #pitmad and the genre they’re seeking. It’s basically a matchmaking service for books and agents. If an agent likes the sound of a pitch, they like your tweet. A like on your pitch’s tweet is a request for a submission of that book. Maybe a match! (And like dating, there are no guarantees if you participate in #pitmad; it’s a contest.)
The Pitch Wars contest is more in-depth than #PitMad. First of all, it’s only once a year. If your submission is selected and you become a Pitch Wars “mentee,” you will spend the following two months working with your mentor, a participating agent or published author, to improve all the elements of your book, from your query letter, to the synopsis, to the manuscript itself. Following two months of mad editing, your manuscript comes out on the other end with a new attitude. You are ready for agent rounds, the final stage of Pitch Wars, where mentees submit their improved manuscripts to participating literary agents for the chance to get published. Again, no guarantees.
But Pitch Wars is more than just a speed dating contest for your manuscript. It’s a deadline! When you’re pursuing a dream, you might not have included a deadline in your dream. For many, it’s just what’s needed to help a writer kick things into high gear. And–the bonus–it’s a deadline towards which you are working within a smart, funny, creative, determined, and encouraging community of other writers. And it’s great fun. (Did I mention it’s also a chance to share hilarious gifs?)
One of the most lauded elements of Pitch Wars is making new writer friends. People find critique partners, match up with other writers to write when they write (cough, #5amWritersClub, cough), share a thread on writing elements like world-building or character development, post links to helpful articles, or just support your writing, give you a pep talk if you need it, commiserate when you’re in the trenches of editing, and retweet exciting moments such as securing a literary agent or getting your book published.
Today, August 2, the submission window opens for Pitch Wars 2017. I’m going to submit and I am excited about it. Working with all the wonderful writers on the way to this deadline has been a fun adventure. Cheers (I am raising a mug of hot tea) and good luck to all the participants. To the mentors, thank you for offering your time to this creative endeavor.
Pitch warriors, it’s go time!