Jennifer Ann Richter
My winter is winding down on an angry note. Okay, maybe not angry—just mad.
Let me explain…
Last Thursday I took part in a #PitMad pitch party. That’s where writers tweet pitches for their novels on a specific day using a specific hashtag that agents and editors will be following. A ‘like’ means they’re interested. Pitch parties have been on my one-day-maybe list for a while now, and I got more interested after a writer friend participated in one last year. Even though hers turned out to be a dud, I figured I had nothing to lose by just trying. So when I found out about the #PitMad event taking place on March 5, I decided to throw caution and pride to the wind and go for it.
Planner and strategist that I am, I wrote out my three allotted pitches well ahead of time, thought about them during just about every waking hour over the next couple of weeks, then tweaked them the night before based on feedback from my husband. I also plotted how I would space them out. The next morning—you guessed it—I tweaked them some more.
I had Thursday off from my day job, so I could dedicate the whole day to #PitMad. Although that sounded great at first, I quickly realized that meant I had the whole day to stress about it with no one to talk to except two cats who would be fast asleep by mid-morning.
Anyway, I tweeted my first pitch at 8:40 a.m., forty minutes after the official start. My first shock came when I refreshed the page to see if my tweet displayed correctly. In the seconds it took me to do that, there were at least 10 pitches that appeared after mine! The other shock was a pleasant one: within minutes I had a handful of retweets and one ‘like’ (although unfortunately, that ‘like’ turned out to be from a sketchy account that definitely was NOT an agent or editor).
After a few more retweets things calmed down, and then radio silence.
So I left my phone downstairs and headed up to the bedroom to iron while watching a King of Queens marathon on Lifetime. I checked throughout the morning between ironing, other housework, and binge-watching. More retweets, but no more ‘likes.’ At 1:40 I sent out my second, slightly re-worded tweet, and at 6:00 I sent my final one.
By the time this was all over, my house was sparkling.
Here’s how it all shook out: Altogether I got 15 retweets on my first pitch, 6 on my second, and 12 on my third—including two positive comments from other writers. Okay, I will not lie. I was pretty bummed that I didn’t get one agent or editor ‘like.’ But as I searched around online and read #PitMad-related tweets the following day, I came across a number of writers who said they participated multiple times without getting one ‘like,’ but still ended up finding an agent or editor through other means.
And two other positives came out of it: I now have a pretty decent tweet to pin to my Twitter profile, and I made a connection with a local kidlit writer.
By the way, here’s the third pitch:
A science nerd and proud of it, Priscilla resents an “airheaded” pop star tagging along on the first student trip to the moon. Upon arrival, a publicity stunt involving the two not only threatens to ruin Priscilla’s trip, but forces her to confront old wounds head-on.
I may try #PitMad again, but for now I need to focus on my next mad adventure. Starting Monday I’ll be participating in a Madness Poetry tournament, where I’ll be competing against children’s poetry writers from around the country. This is my first year and I’m up against a veteran “authlete,” so I’ll be thrilled if I can manage past the first round.