A Fantasy Author's Adventures in Fiction & Life

Tag: Pitching a Novel

Comprehensive Query Letter Tips

Letter flap in old fashioned door with 'letters' on tarnished silver metal, painted black background, white painted wooden panels at all four corners.
Photo by Gemma Evans

There’s a general structure for query letters and query letter pitches, but there are also specifics about which literary agents may have differing personal preferences. In the query letter tips below, I outline what I’ve learnt from giving feedback on an estimated forty queries, and reading a similar number of successful ones. I’ll provide structure and advice on specifics (with tips on how to identify literary agent preferences).

Beginning Your Letter

The Greeting Yes, you want your greeting to be professional, but the formal “Dear Mr/ Mx/ Mz etc” may sound distancing. It also requires you to check a female literary agent’s marital status, and runs the risk of misgendering a literary agent. As a literary agent is a potential partner in bringing your book into the world, I prefer Dear First Name, as do a few literary agents in this thread. If you’re not sure how best to greet an agent, you might like to do a search of their @ on social media, #AskAgent and ‘greeting’ to see if they’ve posted a preference.

If you Prepare Queries for Multiple Agents At Once -make sure you have their name right! Have a system to ensure you fill details like names and personalisation correctly —every submission. I fill in the email subject line for all first, name each, personalisation each, then copy the pitch. Sometimes I alter the bio to suit the agent, then paste my sign off and contact details. Is spelling an agent’s name wrong cause for rejection? Not for Kortney Price -just don’t call her “Dear Sir”.

Line One

I never begin with ‘I am seeking representation for…’ If your query is by email, your subject line will probably read, “Query, TITLE, Genre, Audience Age” -so the agent knows what you want. If you’re submitting via Query Manager —again, they know. Besides, can you imagine receiving a few hundred (or thousand) queries a month beginning with the exact same phrase?

Paragraph One

There is a lot of advice saying that the title, genre, audience age, wordcount and comp title paragraph goes after the pitch. I’ve come across agents wanting to read the pitch first (eg. Carrie Howland & Pam Phonomena ), and agents who don’t mind (eg. Anne Rose). Query Shark insists the pitch goes first. But I’ve also seen advice to put the manuscript title and word count upfront (eg. Susan Dennard).

I include my title, genre, audience age and word count with personalisation. That way, the agent knows my genre (which could be Scifi or Fantasy from my pitch) upfront, and my word count shows straight away that my manuscript isn’t in dire need of editing and isn’t a hard pass on those grounds. (My comp titles go in a separate paragraph after my pitch.)

Personalisation -What Does it Mean and Why Does it Matter?

For some literary agents, a polite greeting by name is enough for personalisation (eg. Maria Vicente, Naomi Davis ). Other agents like to see indications you’ve done your homework about them, or their agency (eg. KT Literary). To see if a particular agent has a preference beyond being greeted by name, do a social media search of ‘@(whomever)’ and ‘personalisation’ with ‘#AskAgent’. If you’re lucky, the agent you’re querying will dislike personalisation sentences altogether (like Jessica Alverez), and you won’t need to bother.

If You Add Personalisation, What Should it say?

Don’t be weird -eg. don’t tell them the dream you had about them. Or gush about how wonderful they are. If you’ve had prior contact, via a conference for example, or if an agent liked your pitch party pitch, that’s worth opening with. (Embed the pitch or paste its text and a link to it above your query pitch).

If you’re keen on a particular agent and research their clients and books, you could mention how either is similar to yours (yet also different -your work not being a duplicate). Alternatively, you could Google literary agent interviews/ profiles to see if your share a taste in books or films (as Peter Knappe likes), or have other shared interests impacting your writing.

What if you don’t fancy researching 50+ agents?

I personally don’t look at interviews and sometimes not even at social media at the query stage. It’s a time consuming investment which I suspect is unlikely to pay off. I check the agent’s long Manuscript Wishlist, and their MSWL tweets, filtered on this site and make a connection between my novel and the agent’s MSWL. If the agent doesn’t have MSWL, I make connections to particulars on their agency or personal website. If that doesn’t turn up much, you might jump straight to the pitch -the most important part- as Mandy Hubbard and Naomi Davis advocate.

The Pitch

The Hook

A concise hook and that packs a punch about your MC (who is ideally a hook too) or something unique about your premise/ story, is an ideal way to begin. You want your hook to say “this book is interesting, original and you want to read my pages.” If you struggle, perhaps write and revise your pitch first, then decide what the hook should highlight. Writing a Killer LogLine by Graeme Shimmin may help.

Orienting the Reader in Your Story

If your querying SFF or a setting crucial to plot that isn’t contemporary Earth (or you query America with a non-American setting) -orient the reader. Begin with a clear indication of time and or location. Example, ‘It’s 1923 at the Bermuda Triangle…” If you don’t state genre until after your pitch, you could suggest it with genre-specific clues (eg. airships signals steampunk), within the pitch.

The MC

Woman with brown floral crown wielding dagger, seated in a green dress.
Photo by Ferdinand studio

This isn’t just an introduction. This is your chance to tell a literary agent what makes your MC different to the many other’s in your genre and their inbox. It’s your chance to show off some of your MC’s personality. You can do this in how you describe them and their job, or their wants or goal in the first line. In introducing your MC, you want to show an industry professional a character they want to spend time with. You’re persuading them to follow that character’s journey throughout the story. Try and show something about your MC which is relatable, invites a reader to make a personal connection and to root for your MC.

The MC’s introduction is also a place to begin showcasing your novel’s voice. To help develop your voice, consider how would your MC describe themself? What would they want others to know about them? What would their friends or family say about them? Is there a key sentence of dialogue or narration you can adapt from your MS into your MC’s intro?

Inciting Incident

This may not be a sentence of its own. It might follow on from the MC intro or even combine with it.

Eg. “College student Lizzie didn’t plan on receiving her education by distance, but when a loan shark’s fists show up wanting the money her absentee uncle owes them, life on the run is suddenly appealing.”

You might also want to include how the inciting incident makes the MC’s initial goal or want harder.

“Lizzie thought balancing part time work with completing a dissertation was hard, but meeting assignment deadlines while dodging armed thugs is a whole new project.”

Conflict & Stakes

Two white birds grappling in mid air.
Photo by Chris Sabor

Clarity & What’s Unique

At this point, it’s crucial to remember that a literary agent has no idea the “government” your “rebels” are rebelling against are aristocratic werewolves, who hunt unsuspecting plebs at full moon. This section of your query isn’t just about making your conflict clear, it’s showcasing what’s unique, and how the protagonist and antagonist interests clash. SFF writers, if you name anything which doesn’t exist outside your story world —tell/ show the reader what it is. I’ve critiqued a few SFF query pitches where “whatever-that-thing-is” is crucial to the plot, and its frustrating reading.

Character Role

I’ve critiqued pitches where there’s a big external conflict, and the query pitch doesn’t state the main character’s role in it. No matter how elaborate your external plot and story world may be —character is key. You’ve got to sell your MC at every stage of your pitch. Don’t stop with “MC joins the rebel fight against the evil empire.” Say what drives your MC. If you can, include something unique the MC draws on to fulfill the role only they can play in combating the evil empire.

Stakes

“Or the world will be destroyed” might be your stakes. But the reader doesn’t know much about your world, or its rebels. They’re just vague entities and faceless people the reader has no emotional attachment to. Why should we care if either dies? But if the evil empire demolishes the suburb where dear old grandad, who inspired your MC to join the Justice League lives, and he’s going to die and your MC will be devastated, then we’ll care. ‘Stakes’ can mean external stakes, but if you want to have an emotional impact on the reader -make stakes personal to your MC too.

Complication

Sure, my MC is 16. The uncle they love dearly -their mentor- is dead. Their parents have been abducted and they’re under siege by a vastly more powerful enemy. But what if something else amps up the stakes? Speeds up the ticking clock? There’s already a war between two kingdoms in my novel, but both sides are humans. Until a monster horde unleashed by a third ruler with an unknown agenda rocks up, and the entire continent is threatened.

Examples of this; in fleeing for her life, Lizzie discovers that not only are loan sharks after her uncle’s money, but her uncle has indebted himself to the mafia to pay back the loan sharks. Or the rebel learns the aristocratic werewolves are allied with vampires to dispose of political opponents. You might want to mention how a complication threatens your MC (and their dog for good measure) and makes their role in the conflict more difficult.

End with Tension and or an Impossible Choice

The rebellion needs your MC’s help to fight the vampires who threaten everyone’s families. But it’s the full moon, and a werewolf aristocrat (mistakenly) suspects your MC’s best friend joined the rebels and is after said friend’s blood. There’s no-one to defend said friend, unless your MC abandons the rebels. In other words show how, to fulfil their goal and save the day, the MC must risk or sacrifice something precious to them. Or mention the complicating threat your MC can’t see, which is charging at them sideways, then end with that tension.

Man standing with back pack on, at fork in leaf carpeted forest path, bright trees on the left path, dark shadows on the right.
Photo by Markus Spiske o

The Rest of Query

Business Paragraph

As said above, your title, genre, audience age and word count (if you didn’t share them above) go here. Different literary agents may hard pass on the basis of differing word counts for the same genre and audience age range. This thread by Kelly from Rees Agency gives an indication on certain genres and ages.

Comp Titles

How many do you need? Two seems preferred, as indicated by former Literary Assistant Christina Kaye here. The most common advice I’ve seen on these is published within the last five years, with variations being within the last three. Choosing two such titles shows there is a market for your book and that you know what it is. If you struggle to find a title of a similar style book to yours, you can cite major elements in common.

For example, one of my titles is to comp a complex political and military conflict, while the second is for friendships and mentoring relationships. If you want to use older comps, it’s worth checking if a particular agent is ok with them, as three agents on this thread were.

Finding Comps

I Google (genre), (audience age), top 20/50 books of (2020/ 2019 etc), sometimes including ‘Goodreads’ or ‘Amazon’. Local librarians can be a great help. They tend to be avid readers, so I’d describe your novel to them and see what potential comps they can recommend. If you’re struggling to find a comp (most of us do), bear in mind vague or ill-fitting comps can be worse than none, as Jim MacCarthy warns. For more information about comp titles and advice on how to find them, see this post by An Willis.

Bio

Put it last -you’re pitching a novel, not yourself. So keep your bio brief and highlight why you personally are qualified to write this book. Include any publishing credits or writing qualifications, including life or #OwnVoices experiences related to your MC, their situation, or your audience. For example, I write YA and my bio mentions that I’m a teacher.

If you’re a debut author (I wouldn’t state so), and have participated in a mentorship (eg. Author Mentor Match etc) I’d include that. It demonstrates dedication to your craft and your willingness to grow as a writer. I’d also mention if you’re a member of a writers society, example Society of Children’s Book Authors and Illustrators, for the same reason.

If you don’t have writing qualifications, or publishing credits, you might just mention other qualifications, your day job, family, being a cat’s slave etc. As James Gowan says -simple is fine. Furthermore, this isn’t just the “Why I’m the right person to write my book and a professional writer” paragraph. It’s also the “here’s an insight into what I’m like as a person you may want to work with paragraph.” So you may want to include a fun fact and or show personality in your bio’s writing style.

Sign Off

I wouldn’t worry about, “I have attached x in accordance with your guidelines”. For an email submission -they’ll assume you have, unless you aggravate them by not following guidelines. But do thank the agent/ acquiring editor for taking the time to consider your work.

Contact Details

I‘m not going through Query Shark’s archive to find and link the blog in which she said not to include the words ‘phone no.,’ ‘email,’ ‘twitter’ ‘website’ ect because literary agents will recognise them. I’m just going to say, save words in the precious word count by stating each of your contact details on a new line.

The Query Letter Feedback

I can’t say enough about how important it is to get other writers, with no idea what your novel is about and fresh eyes, to give query letter feedback. If you can’t see the wood for the trees, seek feedback from writers you know, post offering to trade it, or join a Discord Server to trade it. If you’d like to join mine (which is open to all writers for craft & querying discussion), let me know by replying to my posts on Blue Sky or Mastodon or via my contact page.

As with your manuscript, judging when your query letter is ready to submit is a difficult decision. Premature querying is common (tips on avoiding that here). Circumstance with critical readers and my editor prevented me from premature querying not once, but twice.

Author bias can you blind you to ‘obvious’ mistakes or unclear sentences etc. Critical readers have an important role to play in helping ensure your query package is truly the best you can produce without a literary agent or editor’s assistance.

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Further Reading

Patrick Bohan’s Mad Libs Formula Blog Post uses humour in a fictional pitch to accentuate everything your query letter needs to get right. Susan Dennard’s successful query letter is annotated with what to do for each section.

If you’d like to read more about the pitch, see my pitch crafting post.

For a list of resource links spanning Query Letters & Synopsis to Finding and Communicating with Literary Agents, see this post.

What’s Querying A Novel Like?

As a member of a querying writers group, I’ve watched writers wait 6 months to receive full manuscript rejections, or go months without receiving so much as a form rejection for queries. I’ve learned a lot about having realistic expectations and how to tackle the querying process. In these querying interviews, I interview some of those writers, with the aim of giving newly querying writers insights into what to expect on your journey, and advice. And to give those of you already on your querying journey a chance to reflect and possibly tweak your approach to querying.

Where Are You Querying From & Which Genres?

(Scroll right to see Debbie Hadad’s details).

Cheryl
Burman
Alexandrina
Brant
Susan
Waters
Juliana Savia ClaytonMelissaDebbie Hadad
FromUKUKCanadaUSAustraliaIsrael
GenreHistoricalFantasyScifiDystopianScifi
How long for?3 years2 months?5 months7 months (Tapered off July to write second).1 month1.5 years

What did you Think Querying Would Be Like?

Susan Way, way back I thought it was going to be every door slamming before I could get near it, but then when I learned that normal people can get literary agents, I realised I could be one of them. But at any point you get reminded it’s going to be hard and you’re going to get lots of rejections.

Alexandrina This is not my first time querying. This time round I wanted to go in with my excel spreadsheet and make it as ordered as possible. 10 queries at a time, wait 2 months, do another 10. I came into querying with a definite plan. I didn’t stick to it.

Debbie I think I underestimated how disheartening it could be and how much emotional energy it takes to keep going. If only you could just hand it to an agency to keep submitting or if there was an app like Book Tinder! Put your query up and if an agent likes it they swipe right and get your pages!

Melissa I did a lot of research and had an idea of agents taking a long time to respond, or not at all. I knew it was pretty hard to find an agent -if at all. I never planned to write a picture book. I’m not relying on this to get an agent.

It would be wonderful to be traditionally published for that kind of validation…

Cheryl

What has Querying Actually Been like?

Susan's head shot.
Susan’s Querying Experience

I definitely know now that literary agents are normal people. Some of them have giant egos. Some of them are very, very humble. You learn which one you might want to work with.

And Twitter is a good way to see, at least, from what they choose to put out there, what they might be like. You still get an idea of their sense of humour and professionalism. It’s a good place to look for red flags, if nothing else.

Susan Personalisation, I don’t know what to do with that. Eg. “I saw on September 17th that you like spaghetti”. [My blog on query letters will address this later this week, and be included in my newsletter going out Oct 23rd].

Cheryl's headshot
Cheryl’s Querying Experience

In the UK you can only really query agents directly. The big publishing houses don’t take direct submissions, like some of them do in Australia. It’s a really time consuming process, just hunting down agents who potentially might be interested.

“Because that one (Cheryl’s second novel) is totally in my control… I have made the decision to self publish that. It could have been a minimum of four years before Keepers got on the market. I’ll be on my walking frame by then, so I just want to get it out there. I’m not interested in making gallons of money. That would be nice, though that’s not going to happen.

Alexandrina reclining in a hollow tree trunk.
Alexandrina‘s Querying Experience

Every rejection you get is a knock back. That feeling of ‘do I need to leave this for another month? Do I need to hold back on my next batch? And re-work it and look for more querying partners?

Elise Do you feel like you’re overthinking or being a bit too cautious?

I always go by the reactions I have per round. If I haven’t got a reaction out of ten or from agents with similar things on their list then something’s not quite right.

Alexandrina For my third round, I’m focusing on the whole novel, not just what could be wrong in the opening. There’s always a chance I could get that full request, so I want the whole novel to be the best.

Elise How long do you think querying might take and how long are you prepared to pursue traditional publishing?

Alexandrina I could send 100 queries then call it quits. It depends how much feedback I can get.

Debbie wearing a shirt saying 'Just Don't Care.'
Debbie’s Querying Experience

I sent out a few, then waited a few months. It’s like, will you please reject me? I rewrote my first chapter 6-10 times after letting it sit for a year. Then I got a request.

What have been your Biggest Learnings so far?

Alexandrina Be more social. I never actively searched for a critique partner via Twitter. I never found DM groups. Pitch parties… I feel like I have more confidence to say, ‘Hi. I see you’re doing x, y, z. Do you want to swap pages?’

Susan How much you should be ready to put yourself in a box. They want you to be clearly one thing. I wrote a book about an 18 yo, and it’s not really a dystopia… but it might be, and there’s serious situations, and comedy, and I don’t really know how to do comps but please just read this!

Melissa It’s well worth paying for services like Query Tracker. I learnt the value of it when it was discussed in my query group. Looking back, I probably queried prematurely. I had revised a lot. I did have feedback. But I think I needed to go through again.

Juliana’s Learnings

I didn’t make too many tweaks. I know a lot of people make many on their first pages. I think that way lies madness. At some point you have to let your baby go.

About a month in, when I wasn’t getting the response that I wanted I reached out to an editor, @AmQueryingH, and she’s amazing. She did my query and first five pages. I had the bones of the query, but she really amped it up and that was the query that got me a couple of responses.

I didn’t realise how competitive the market is. Its more about being better than good enough. And a million other things that you don’t know about.

That was such an eye opening moment. It wasn’t my writing. It wasn’t that it was a dystopia. It wasn’t that he thought it wasn’t marketable. It was just that he already had that book.

You don’t have all the reasons why (for a rejection). Sometimes that makes it sting a little less. Sometimes the bourbon makes it sting a little less. And cuddling the cats and a very supportive husband…

Debbie’s Learnings

People always say don’t take it (rejections) personally. To pick yourself up after a rejection is hard. After a while you develop fatalism. It’s like “has my rejection come through yet?”

The more I learned, the more I realised I didn’t know. I learned you need to let it (your manuscript) sit. You are completely blind to the first draft. You have to have other eyes on it. When you read for someone else you pick up patterns. You need someone to help you notice yours and break you out of them.

Listen to feedback you trust. Listen to your gut. If you listen to feedback from everyone, you’ll go mad.

Be willing to implement advice. Get rid of things you really like if it improves the story. You need to be confident enough to think you’re good enough and humble.

You’re blind to your manuscript’s faults because you’re so in love with it that you can’t see what’s wrong with it.

Like phrases you use too much. I removed characters and rewrote from third person past tense to first person dual point of view.

What Advice would you give to Writers Beginning Their Querying Journey?

Melissa I don’t put all my eggs in one basket. You can’t rely on one path to get you through. Have a process for dealing with rejections. (Some writers)… have a dream agent or a few dream agents in mind and I feel like that’s setting yourself up for disappointment.

Alex Take on feedback. Actively look for feedback. Know this agent looks for this because of this interview.

Susan Even if you do fit into more than one category, you have to know how to make yourself fit into the boxes the agents want to fit. Accept that you’ve got to follow the established rule for comps. Actually read at least enough of them to understand why you’re comping it. Ask people who have experience with querying… who’ve gotten to have informal conversations with agents (at conferences). Go to any conferences available to you. If not, find people who’ve been there (not stalking ?).

Cheryls’ Advice
Cheryl's headshot

Do not start querying until you are super, super happy with your manuscript. Give it to as many readers as possible and beg for their honest views. Re-write. Re-write.

-Cheryl

Tell them you’re not just interested in where the commas are. You really want to know if the story works and how do the characters come across. So ask questions. [For an example of possible questions, see my chapter one critical reader checklist.]

Think about your comps very carefully. Think about style, tone, voice -is it similar? Don’t be too specific about the story.

Make sure you read the submission guidelines very, very carefully. If they ask for 50 pages, send 50.

In terms of getting your manuscript ready, make sure you’ve actually written it technically properly… point of view… dialogue.. make sure you learn those things from other writers. From reading books like Dave King and Renee Brown’s Self Editing for Fiction Writers.

Because an agent’s just going to throw it out the door… they need just the slightest excuse to move on to the next one.

Juliana’s Advice
Juliana's head shot

After living the rejections, it gets easier. It really does.

By my 80th rejection it was, “well at least I heard back. That was nice.” I had 5 agents say, “That wasn’t for me, but I hope you’ll keep me in mind for future work.” So make sure you read your rejections all the way through, because it usually comes at the end if they say that…

If they say “I’d love to read this”, that means they want the full…

Keep track of it. Query Tracker is a really good website.

For my future queries, I have that sheet with who wanted more and whose responses were kind and personalised. I got a couple that were kind of scathing like, “consider joining a critique group.” Like, I am. I got one that just said, “Thank you. This isn’t for me.”

I can’t emphasize enough: have a support system. Nobody gets it like a writer gets it.

Debbie’s Advice

Seriously, make a list of 50 people. Collect 100 rejections. Treat it as an exercise. Be persistent. It’s a long long process. Finding an agent by Friday is like walking down the street and finding a bag of gold. It’s like going on a first blind date and expecting that person to be the one. You need to date a lot of weirdos before you find the one. It’s the same with querying.

Agents have to practically marry your manuscript to represent you. They’re going to be going over it so many times and pushing it to other people.

I need to make a decision if I’m going to keep querying or self publishing. I really love my books and I think they are publish worthy. I believe they will find a home in readers hearts. You can’t know if there’s a cavern of gold and you’re centimetres away. We don’t know how far we are from the cavern or if there is a cavern.

I kind of want to say don’t give up because you could succeed tomorrow, but you don’t want to be querying forever.

Debbie wearing a shirt saying 'Just Don't Care.'
Debbie Iancu Hadad

Two short stories of mine appeared in the anthology ‘Achten Tan: Land of Dust and Bone (Tales from the Year Between, Book 1)’. Currently querying a couple of YA SFF novels, participating in three different anthologies, writing vss on Twitter and buying way too much stuff on Aliexpress. For my day job I give lectures on humor and serve as a personal chauffeur for my two teenagers. Residing in Meitar, Israel. You’ll find her on Twitter @debbieiancu.

Susan's head shot.
Susan Waters

lives in Ontario, Canada. Her writing, however, usually features her east coast roots, whether by landscape or by culture. Her first novel is an upper YA Speculative Fiction she hopes is the first volume in a series. Currently she’s penning an adult romantic comedy while plotting half a dozen stories, most of which blend science fantasy and humour. You’ll find her on Twitter @storiesbysusan.

Cheryl's headshot
Cheryl Burman

lives in the beautiful Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, UK. Her first novel was a fantasy middle-grade trilogy but she has since taken to adult historical fiction. Her co-authored novel The Shanty Keeper’s Wife is currently being queried and she has also written a  romance set in Australia in the 1950s. Her current WIP uses the Forest of Dean as its backdrop and is a magical realism novel about a young woman who becomes a hedge witch – and a little bit more.At the end: She also writes short stories and flash fiction, a few of which have won prizes. She also writes short stories and flash fiction, a few of which have won prizes. You’ll find her on Twitter @cr_burman.

Juliana's head shot
Juliana Savia Clayton

I write young adult novels and picture books. Currently, I’m working on a YA Romcom. I am an active SCBWI member, serving as the Indiana chapter’s Volunteer Coordinator. I am also a member of the Indiana Writers Center. In my day job, I edit environmental documents, and I have one published non-fiction article in my field. You’ll find her on Twitter @kidlit_writer.

Alexandrina reclining in a hollow tree trunk.
Alexandrina Brant

Raised on a diet of Tolkien, Doctor Who, and Agatha Christie, Alexandrina Brant grew up around the city of Oxford, England. After graduating from the University of Reading with joint honours in Psychology & Philosophy, she hightailed it to London to study a Master’s in Linguistics at UCL, where her focus was sociolinguistics and dialect blending. She currently lives in Yorkshire with her husband and two warring cats. Her short stories have been published in several local anthologies and she is working on a Steampunk novel about a linguist’s journey to rescue her fiancé and a Doctor-Who-esque sci fi about lesbian aliens trying to save a corrupt planet. She keeps up with the bookish community on Instagram @lingua_fabularum. You’ll find her on Twitter @caelestia_flora.

Melissa's headshot
Melissa-Jane Nguyen

is an Aussie freelance writer and editor and mum to two little ones. She has writing published in Kidspot and Essential Baby, she sends out a fortnightly newsletter that combines aspects of writing and parenting, and she runs a short story publication with her sister. Melissa is currently working on querying and writing picture books, planning a middle grade novel, and letting a young adult manuscript marinate for a while before turning it on its head and rewriting the entire thing. Melissa is (sort of) becoming an expert at juggling lots of projects simultaneously. If you can get her to sit down for a chat, she’s partial to any kind of tea and will happily relate all she’s discovered about celebrities and topics she has no real interest in but has researched thoroughly as a result of falling down rabbit holes. You’ll find her on Twitter @MJEditing.

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Related Reading

Querying Your First Novel

Crafting A Quality Pitch

Resource links spanning Query Letters & Synopsis to Finding and Communicating with Literary Agents: this post.


Twitter Pitch Parties & Pitch Tips

Twitte Pitch Parties + Mentoring Programs

I will no longer state how many pitch parties are on Twitter or have moved elsewhere, because as Twitter falls apart the number is constantly changing. In this post I’ll try to include updates on pitch parties current locations, links to their current websites and note when parties have been discontinued. I’ll give detailed advice on effective pitch and party preparation and on making the most of #WritingCommunity support. (Hint, RTs are the beginning -not the end!).

But First… Is your book Ready to Query?

Have you edited your MS for every aspect of character, conflict, story tension etc you’ve read up on? Have you received constructive feedback from critical readers focused on making the book a better reading experience? Did you edit again and possibly get a second (and third round) of critical readers? (Especially if you’re a fellow pantser ?). Is your query letter up to scratch? Have you researched its contents, how to ‘sell’ the book to literary agents or acquiring editors in your pitch, and received critical feedback?
If not, see this post to kick your query letter into shape!

Which Pitch Party is for Me?

#IWSGpit Most fiction. January 25, 8am-8pm EST, 2024 TBC. IWSG

#KidLitPit Children’s books from PB to YA. January 26th 11.59pm in your time zone (all/ any), 2024 TBC. Website

#SFFPit Fantasy, Sci-fi, Speculative Fiction. August, 8am-6pm EST (Not yet scheduled for 2023. Its unclear if it will continue).

Savvy Authors Pitchfest begins 9am Feb, June & Oct 2024 TBC. This event is by registration on their Savy Authors Site.

#PBPitch -Picture Books- February 16th 2023, June 15th & October 26th, 8am-8pm EST, 2024 TBC. PBPitch Website.

#PBParty Picture Books. March 1, midnight to 1am EST OR 6pm -8pm EST via Google Form. 2024 TBC. PBParty Website.

#WMPitch -Picture Books through to YA- April, 8am-8pm British Time Cancelled? Website no longer exists.

#MoodPitch Fiction, all audience age ranges and genres. November 2023 cancelled. The organisers are hoping to deliver an April 2024 party, but are currently unsure on which platform. Moodpitch website.

#Smoochpit Romance. This is pitching to a mentorship program, not literary agents. 8am-9pm EST May 12th 2024, TBC. Website

#SWANAPit writers from South West Asia & North Africa (countries listed on website). May? Cancelled? Website no longer exists and Twitter account inactive since 2022.

#APIpit Asian and Pasifika Writers, May 5th 8am-8pm 2022. No 2023 dates. Cancelled? Website not updated since 2022. APIPit Website.

#Pitmad Most fiction & non-fiction. (2022 TBC): March, June, September, & December, 8am-8pm EST. Pitmad Website Pitmad is discontinued as of 16/02/2022.

#LGBTNPit Authors in the Queer Community, special focus on trans & non-binary authors. April 14th 2022, 8am-8pm. LGBTNPit Website. Discontinued as of May 2022.

#CanLitPit for Canadian authors. Cancelled 2023. The organiser aspires to move to a new platform in 2024 and has left Twitter. CanLitPit Website.

#PitchDis for authors with a disability & neurodivergent authors. Post-poned till 2024. PitchDis Website.

#DVpit -Marginalised Writers- August children’s and YA, Adult has moved to Discord (announced here, as of May 2023). Discord invites will be delivered via their newsletter. DVpit Website.

#KissPit Romance. 9am-9pm EST, May 6,. Discontinued as of July 2021.

#PitDark Dark Fiction. May 25th & Oct TBC, 8am-8pm EST, 2024 TBC..

#JoyPitch The opposite of Pitdark, for ‘light hearted feel good fiction and non-fiction’ of all categories and age ranges. June 1st, 8am -8pm, 2024 TBC. Joypit website.

#FaithPitch -Christian Fiction- September (2022 TBC). FaithPit. website Discontinued as of March 1st 2022.

#QueerPitch LGBTQIA+ Authors, August 1st, 2024 TBC. Queer Pitch Website.

#LatinxPitch -For Latino Writers of PB-YA Fiction- September, 8am-8pm CDT, 2024 TBC. Latinx Pitch Website.

#PitBLK For black authors, has been postponed to Fall (date tbc, announcement here). PitBLK website.

Indie Book and Author Parties

#ReadGala All authors, genres and categories. Thursday, May 25th & Nov ? 2023. Website

#SelfPitch For upcoming or recently released self-published and indie-published books. 7am-7pm PDT 13/7/23 Adult, 13/7/23 for Kidlit. Website

Preparing For Pitch Parties

1. Read Pitch Crafting Advice & Successful Pitches

If you haven’t taken this step, chances are there’s a lot you don’t know or understand about how to write a successful pitch. If you don’t know where to find tweet pitch advice, mine is here for starters.

Reading as many strong pitch examples as you can also helps. To find them, search the pitch party hashtag and the hashtags you plan to pitch on. The ‘top’ feed may have some great examples, but it also has rather ordinary pitches by people with lots of rts them, so I also suggest skimming ‘latest’ too.
A third source of inspiration and understanding is successful query letter pitches. Here’s a spreadsheet of 600+ successful query letters by genre.

2. Comparison Titles & Formatting

Use comps in your pitches. They can indicate more about tone, setting and themes than you have room to indicate in your pitch. For party pitches, you’re not limited to books published within the last 5 years (unlike query pitches). Film or tv series and older books are ok. Ideally your comps will be recognisable to agents and publishers, and or contrast with each other (e.g. my MG tweet pitch comps were MATILDA X kids INCEPTION).

Alternatively, you could have a notable twist on a comp, e.g. gender-swapped (fairytale/ well-known story) or for example Downton Abbey —with witches. Putting your comps in ALL CAPs at the top of your pitch can help them stand out and encourage industry folks to read and pay proper attention to your pitch.

3. Party Hashtags

Agents and publishers will search genre, audience age and marginalised writer hashtags to find pitches of interest to them. Parties like SFFPit have their own official hashtag lists, which aren’t always the same. So whichever party you’re pitching in, check if it has its own hashtag list and if so, use hashtags from that list, so your pitches are seen by industry professionals. I’ve linked every pitch party I know of’s website above.

As you’re identifying the main relevant hashtags for your pitch, and having already chosen comp titles, now is a good time to type your pitch and hashtags into a post or do a character count to check each pitch with comps and hashtags fits the platform or specified party character limit. If you’re struggling with this, you might want to skip to step 4.

4. Get Feedback on Your Pitches

There are a few options for doing this.

Pitch Feedback Parties

#Mockpit (their website hasn’t been updated since 2021) and #Practpit used to exist, and be practice pitch parties run on a particular hashtag, day and time. I’ve deleted my Twitter account, so I can no longer search the above two hashtags to see if these parties are still running, but you’re welcome to search both stags on Twitter and see if you can find recent tweets on them. If they are still running, they’re a great way to get pitch feedback if you’re new to Twitter and have few contacts, or want additional opinions on pitch revisions.

Asking For Feedback

Alternative to the above, you can tweet/ post on other platforms asking for feedback, or search your pitch party’s hashtag for anyone offering feedback. Or you can or do a search of ‘Discord’ and ‘#AmQuerying’ to look for servers which may have pitch feedback channels. If you’d like to join my Craft & Query Discord Server (which has pitch, query letter, synopsis & beta reader channels), let me know by replying to my posts about it on Blue Sky on Mastodon, or via my contact page.

5. RT or Comment Lists

Tweeting offering to add writers to a twitter list where you can RT or comment on each other’s pitches is a good way to encourage each other and to boost your pitch visibility. With so many people pitching in parties, its also an increasingly popular idea. If you don’t want to make your own Twitter list (which stores handles of people pitching so you can check their feed or pinned tweet), I suggest searching the pitch party hashtag for people offering to put writers on their lists.

6. Join a DM Group

Pitch parties can be lonely, stressful and discouraging affairs on your own. Creating or joining a Group DM on Twitter, or a Discord Server to share pitches for RTs and comments, and to chat, commiserate, celebrate successes and cheer each other on makes Party Day much more enjoyable. It gives you a community, whereas spending time on the party’s hashtag feed on your own may give you the feeling of being a drop in the ocean.

If you’re new to pitch parties or have questions about anything, including agents or publishers who like your pitches, a DM Group gives you a bunch of people to ask directly. And as many people in my DM groups have said: pitch parties are more fun in a DM group!

To find people creating DM groups, search the pitch party hashtag in the Twitter search bar. (Alas, having left Twitter I can no longer offer to add you to the dying pitch group dm that was once a great place I pitched in parties with company in).

The easiest way to share your pitches in a DM is to hit this button

Twitter Pitch Parties & Pitch Tips

on the bottom right of your tweet after you pitch it. Then select ‘Send via Direct Message’ and select the name of the DM group from the menu. On computer, you can also copy the url from your browser, paste it in the DM and hit ‘enter’ to share it in the group.

7. Tweet to Explain Pitch Party Etiquette

It never hurts to tell your followers you’re pitching and that they can support you by boosting your impressions and visibility on hashtag ‘top’ feeds to industry professionals (you may like to include a mood board for your wip in this tweet). Your followers can boost by comments (which are more effective for Twitter algorithms) and RTs (which make your pitch more visible to writers, who can then comment on them). If you don’t have many followers and aren’t getting many comments or RT’s, the other hashtag feed industry professionals can search is ‘latest’, which shows up EVERYONE’s pitch at the time they tweet it.

The other important thing to tweet is the explanation that during a pitch party a ❤️ is how literary agents and indie publishers request submissions, and that non-industry likes cause disappointment, or leave us fighting hope as we sift through tens of ❤️ ‘s wondering if even one is an actual request.

8. Mind Set

2021 March’s #Pitmad saw over 570k tweets on the hashtag (yes this includes LOADS of RTs). Its possible your pitches won’t be seen by industry professionals and its VERY common not to get industry requests. Some agents and publishers made under 20 requests -period not just per genre- in March’s 2021 Pitmad. But if you go in expecting nothing from the industry, and prepare with the goal of improving your pitch craft, making writer friends, and of testing how your pitches are received by fellow writers to learn what works well for future parties and query editing- you’ll be all set for a positive experience.

9. Decide Which Pitch to Tweet First

This is important because your first pitch will get the most impressions, as people who are supporting pitching writers are most likely to retweet and comment during the first hour. So try to identify which pitch sells your character best, makes your conflict and stakes the clearest and most engaging, and ideally also the pitch which has the most voice.
To get maximum retweets and or comments -pitch it in the first 1/2 hour. If you’re not sure how to write a pitch, or don’t know the difference between a pitch, a log line or a blurb (book pitches are different to both and must include certain things to be successful), here’s my post on tweet pitch crafting.

But when do you tweet your other pitches?

Hourly for some parties, but only 2 or 3 pitches max for others. Parties tend to get increasingly quiet after 1pm -especially in the finale hours- so you may wish to tweet all your pitches by as early as 1-3pm. That said, I saw a few agents tweeted that they were beginning to check Pitmad pitches in the last few hours of March 2021’s Pitmad, so if you are online during the party, checking when agents are online is your best way to decide. You’ll sometimes find their ‘I’m checking out (insert party)’ tweets on the party hashtag’s ‘Top’ feed, including agents searching party hashtags the day after the party. If you have particular agents or publishers in mind, you could also check their twitter profiles, as they will normally tweet when they start checking pitches.

9. Schedule Your Pitches on Twitter

Yes, you can use Tweetdeck or Hootsuite, but now you can use Twitter to schedule, so everything is in one place. Whether you’re home all day and awake during a party, sleeping because your timezone isn’t compatible with the US east coast, or working -or both- scheduling pitches takes pressure off you during the party. If you’re online, scheduling lets you focus on retweeting and or commenting on others pitches.

To schedule pitches on Twitter

1. Hit ‘tweet’.

2. Type your pitch.

3. Select this button (beside the emoji button).

Twitter schedule log

4. Select your time and date.

Timezones: If you’re not on US EST time, most parties run on it, so check your party’s times above (its often 8am to 8pm but again, not always) and convert them to your timezone! If you’re pitching from Australia or New Zealand, remember it’s often the date after the party because we’re a day ahead!

5. Hit ‘confirm’ (top right).

6. Then you’ll see your pitch again. Hit ‘schedule’ (bottom right).

10. Pin your Pitch

This is so writers you know and kind random strangers can easily find and retweet it -if you’re also retweeting other writers and your feed is cluttered with RTs. I’m hearing a lot about how comments do more for Twitter’s algorithms, so I suggest commenting on pitches if you can and asking others to do so for you. (Bear in mind this only works if they’ve got time and it isn’t midnight or 2am in their timezone -fellow Aussies -and Kiwis- I feel your pain!)

To pin your pitch to the top of your profile, after its tweeted, hit the top right ̇ ̇ ̇ then select ‘pin to your profile.’

11. During the Party

Get in your DM group and or the party’s hashtags to comment on each other’s pitches. When you find pitches of writer friends, associates or pitches you like, reply saying what you like about them. We’re all nervous, so acts of kindness like words of encouragement can really make people’s days. And yes, hopefully you will get some of what you have given -and you will have earned it.

12. After the Party

Celebrate, commiserate -ask how writers how they fared and share anything you learnt or ideas you have for next time with anyone likely to participate again. If you pitch in a future party, try and connect with the writers you’ve met this time and see if you can continue supporting each other in future. This is also a great chance, via DM group, Discord or tweet, to offer to trade query letter and synopsis feedback with querying writers.

Whichever pitch parties you participate in, Good Luck!

If you’d like a concise PDF of most of these steps, you can download it on the right. (Note: this pdf isn’t post death of Twitter updated).

Pitch Parties By Calendar Month

(To see them listed by type as above, select here)

January  #IWSGpit, #KidLitPit & (#AuthorMentorMatch -mentoring).

February #SFFPit???, #PBPitch, Savvy Authors Pitchfest

March #PBParty

April #MoodPitch?, #Revpit (Revision & Editor Mentoring).

May #APIPit???, #Smoochpit, #PitDark

June #JoyPitch, #PitchDIS???, #PBPitch, #CanLitPit???

July  

August #LatinxPitch???

Sept #SFFPit???, #PitBLK???

October #PitDark, #PBPitch. #DVpit?, Savvy Authors Autumn Pitchfest

November #MoodPitch?

Dec

*All party dates on this post are correct as of November 2023.*

MORE Pitch Parties.

My Pitch Crafting Tips

For a list of resource links spanning Query Letters & Synopsis to Finding & Communicating with Literary Agents, see this post.

Writer Mentoring Events

There are three mentoring programs which involve matching writers with mentors, who will provide manuscript editing notes and help writers hone manuscript for submission, #Pitchwars mentors also help with query package edits. For #AuthorMentorMatch and #Pitchwars the mentors are authors, for #Revpit they are editors.

#AuthorMentorMatch, is run by @AuthorMentorMatch in February.

#Revpit is Revision & Editor Mentoring for MG, YA & Adult Fiction, which begins with pitching on Twitter in April. For more details, visit the Revpit Website.

#RogueMentor is a new mentoring program offering mentorships in Northern Hemisphere Summer, Spring and Fall. For more details, visit the Rogue Mentor Website.

#Pitchwars mentors profiles can be viewed and the submission window for writers to submit via email opens in September. For more details visit the . Discontinued in 2022.

Critique. #PassorPages by @OpAwesome6 is for query critiquing. For details on which genres and audience ages you can receive feedback on and when visit their website. Round one is in February, with rounds throughout the year, the last in October.

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Bird's eye view o long bookstall tables with books arranged across it, sellers seated  on one side, buyers standing on the other.
Am I selling my book to the best of my ability? Photo by Maico Pereira 

Whether you’re pitching to hook literary agents or readers, either way, you want to do it WELL. This blog focuses more on pitches for literary agents and publishers who take unagented work, but there’s still plenty for querying writers and indie authors both to learn. (And indie authors will have more wriggle room than this blog implies. It becomes ‘know the rules and know why you’re breaking them’ more for indie authors than traditional publishing pursuing writers).

Book Pitch vs. Blurb

On Twitter, you will see people use ‘pitch’ and ‘blurb’ interchangeably. A pitch is NOT a blurb. A pitch aimed at literary agents or publishers will not get you requests if it doesn’t include specific ingredients, address them clearly and well (see below). Pitches often conform to particular formulas, like ‘Character is X, but when Y happens character must A or else incur terrible C.’ There are variations, which include essential pitch ingredients (see below). Whereas, a back-of-book blurb may or may not include all the essential ingredients of a pitch. A blurb may also include bonus details to appeal to readers, like thematic statements. (Thematic statements are mostly NOT included in pitches because they take up limited space and are usually not what sells a book to industry professionals).

Book Pitch vs. Log lines

You may see people advising, ‘Don’t name characters in pitches. State their role or what makes them unique instead. Definitely state their uniqueness, but I suspect this advice confuses log lines with a pitch. A log line is generally telling the audience (eg. at the movies) they’re in for a wild ride or a fun journey. It’s not trying to get a literary agent or publisher to care about or take interest in a main character. Its not trying to persuade busy agents and editors that they like this character so much or relate to them so well that they want to spend their limited time reading about this character. ‘Little Timmy’ is more likely to generate sympathy or to be relatable than ‘little no-name’. So I advise against log lines in Twitter pitches (in a query letter it may work), and for either, I say name your main character!

Basics

Over the past year, I have critiqued an estimated 100+ tweet pitches for various parties (not including revised pitches). This has helped me note patterns in essential ingredients and maximise opportunities to hook a reader. However, quality ingredients don’t guarantee a quality end product. So I won’t just list ingredients, I’ll explain why it’s important to address them well, then give advice on how to do so.

Essential Book Pitch Ingredients

Main Character
Inciting event, central conflict & stakes
Character growth that must occur for the MC to resolve conflict and avoid stakes or impossible choice the MC must make

Before we dive in

Remember that your pitch isn’t just saying ‘this is a great novel’. You’re telling an industry professional why they want to represent your novel. So how does your novel differ from others in your genre? What is unique about your character, inciting event, conflict, stakes & character growth? As you draft and revise your pitch, keep checking that it highlights what is most unique and compelling about your novel. Try to be as specific as you can in your pitch.

Note For SFF & Multiple POV Writers 

It’s tempting to write an opening which introduces the wonderful world you have created -but don’t. In a tweet pitch and even in a query letter, you aren’t selling your fantasy or scifi setting. You’re selling an intriguing character, with a compelling personal role to play in a conflict involving significant personal stakes. This is why it’s so hard to pitch multiple points of view. Its also why, if your novel has multiple points of view, I recommend giving the main characters a pitch to themselves, to do justice to each character’s arc. You may also write like to attempt a 2 pov pitch. A two pov tweet pitch normally has a sentence to introduce each character and a third sentence explaining their roles and stakes in the conflict.

Character

Seated, brunette woman wearing fancy red headdress, black lipstick and a green silk, floor length dress wielding knife curved, jagged silver bladed knife.
Photo by Ferdinand studio 

Your main character is your hook. Your goal is to introduce them that piques interest and or invite a literary agent or publisher to connect with them. (Do name your MC- thats a mental hook for details about them to hang on and makes more sympathetic than ‘random, un-named office worker’.)
A character description could be a single adjective, or a job title. Ideally, it will show or state what your character draws on to help them confront the conflict and be specific to your character.
Eg. fear of swimming from near-drowning as a child, in a story of personal growth in which she sees a child drowning offshore at a deserted beach. However you introduce your character, consider: what is the most unique thing about them? What helps them resolve the conflict and what are the most engaging word choices to show or describe that?

Character Intro Examples

“17 YO Jorden’s specialties are baking apple pie, hand to hand combat and leaping before he looks.” -Debbie Iancu-Haddad @debbieiancu.

“Elective mute Ashari remembers nothing before the void in her mind.” -Halla Williams @hallawilliams1.

If you’re struggling to find space for an engaging character introduction, you could use the inciting event as your hook and frame your introduction with it, as I have done here. “Thrust to power by death in the family, peace-born Ruarnon…” -Elise Carlson.

Inciting Event and Tension

You might like to frame your character introduction with ‘when’ to lead into the inciting event. ‘When’ is a good opening to lead into a collision of worlds, desires or wills etc. It amplifies the fact that the character we’ve just met and connected with is about to have their world turned upside-down and leaves us wondering how and what the outcome will be. (Try not to use the phrase ‘turned upside-down’. This phrase is common to many stories and can sound generic. If you use it, highlight the way in which that character’s life is changed. Or their emotional response/ reaction, to keep the focus on what is ‘unique’ about your story). Ending with a clash of wills with another character, or clash of morals between the character’s beliefs and actions -with an obstacle to their goal or resolution of the conflict- is a good way inject tension.

Inciting Event Examples

“His suicide mission: Build a bomb, destroy a space ship and save the world.” -Debbie Haddad.

“Having lost her memory in a storm, she chooses the unlikely safety of becoming a mercenary for the enigmatic Captain Westorr.” -Halla Williams.

“Monsters live under beds, but Julie is sure there’s one in her ceiling.” -mine.

Conflict

Two white birds grappling in mid air
Photo by Chris Sabor on Unsplash

An important thing to note with conflict is that in a pitch you don’t create conflict by saying ‘there’s a war on.’ Conflict here doesn’t refer to external plot events. It refers to your main character’s personal struggles within those events. Or to struggles in relationships necessary to achieve story goals, or to moral or ethical dilemma’s your main character faces. Again, inclusion of these personal elements creates opportunity for readers to connect emotionally to your character and story and for your pitch to hook them.

Of pitches I’ve critiqued, I would estimate that half do not clearly state the external conflict and or the main character’s role in it. Author bias really kicks in here. You know your story so well that your subconscious fills holes in your pitch. But critical readers can point them out, so you can fill holes and clarify that pitch for industry professionals. This is where I highly recommend trading pitch feedback with other writers.

Conflict Examples

“But falling in love wasn’t part of the plan…” -Debbie Iancu-Haddad.

“There’s only one way to find out and stop being scared -climb the tree beside the house and meet the THING!” -my picture book pitch.

Stakes

Once you have introduced a character and conflict which has hooked our interest, we need to know not only the external stakes, but the personal stakes your character faces. A pitch in which the stakes are ‘or the world will be destroyed’ is generic. Also, the world/ fantasy kingdom x’ is an anonymous entity the reader knows nothing about, so it has little impact on us. A character however, is someone we can connect with, so when you threaten that character, we feel something. If external conflict is key to your story, be sure to state the character’s role in it and the personal stakes their role entails.

(Conflict and) Stakes Examples

“…completing his mission means sacrificing the girl he loves.” -Debbie Haddad.

“But ‘safe’ is a relative term. For both of them.” -Halla Williams.

Character Growth and Impossible Choice/ More Tension

Perhaps the greatest place to hook a reader into your pitch emotionally is when you state how your character must grow or develop to overcome the conflict. If main character Jane hates estranged uncle Tom, but his knowledge is crucial to preventing granny’s murder, and Jane must forgive Tom’s past mistakes to enlist his help in saving Granny -that adds tension.

Specific demons from your character’s past (or other obstacles/ shortcomings) they must overcome to resolve the conflict are often what makes me lament your book not being in print yet. Think about how your character must change to overcome the conflict they face and try to include it in your pitch. If you struggle to identify how your character changes (I did in my first Pitmad), this may be a sign that your novel isn’t ready to query. It may signal that your main character’s arc needs another structural edit (as mine did.)

Impossible Choice Example

“…she must use her voice or let her captain perish.” -Halla Williams.

But Wait, There’s More

The Save the Cat Formula features an addition that may be difficult to fit in a pitch, but can make a pitch highly engaging to read. This final ingredient to kick your pitch up a level is adding a complication to your character’s ability to resolve the conflict. Then indicate how this complication raises the stakes. What factor makes it even harder for your MC to achieve their goal? Does a friend betray them? Do they lose an asset crucial to success at the eleventh hour? Can you jam this complication and an indication of how it raises the stakes into your pitch?

“When a monster army invades…” (the second conflict in my novel).

Tweet Pitch Examples which got Agent Likes

The above pitch elements may seem like a lot, and you may only fit some of them into each pitch -which is why it’s great you get 3- so you can highlight different elements in each one. Here’s the pitches I’ve referenced above -each reference is often sections of 2 different pitches.

Debbie Haddad’s Pitches (You’ll find her website here.)

Crafting a Quality Book Pitch
Tweet: The day teen eco-terrorist Jorden Lund left Earth he had 4 months left to live.
His suicide mission: build a bomb, destroy a space ship and save the world.
But falling in love wasn't part of the plan and completing the mission means sacrificing the girl he loves.

Halla William’s Pitches . You’ll find her website here.

Late June 2020 update: Halla is now agented -congrats Halla!

How Do I Achieve All This in a Book Pitch On My Own?

You don’t. Whether you’re writing pitches, a query letter or book blurb, you can post on social media asking who’s happy to trade pitch feedback (which will get you more response than asking and not offering to return the favour).

Most of what I’ve learnt about pitch craft came not from reading blogs like this, but from reading MANY tweet pitches. It also came from reading query letters -critically- and providing feedback to help other writers strengthen their pitches. Not all of this knowledge applied directly to my own pitches (to date), but all of it has given me valuable insights.

If you’d like to join a Discord Server focused on querying and including tweet pitch and query and synopsis feedback channels, let me know by replying to my posts about it on Blue Sky on Mastodon, or via my contact page.

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More Book Pitch and Related Resources

I’ve listed the pitch parties I’m aware of, which months they’re held in and links to Pitch Party websites here.

You’ll find resource links spanning Query Letters & Synopsis to Finding and Communicating with Literary Agents, in this post.

If you’re new to social media Writing Communities, see my Social Media For Writer’s post, or Blue Sky Newby Guide to help you get started.

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