#PitMad Twitter Pitch Party Today . . . After the Madness!

twitter-pitmad

See the official #PitMad page here.

There’s a twitter pitch party on the Twitter hashtag #PitMad today, March 23rd, from 8AM to 8PM EST.

Get your twitter pitches ready and make sure to include all the appropriate hashtags, especially #PitMad, in your 140 character tweet-pitch. If you need help creating the perfect pitch, there’s a post about it on my website here: PITCHING ON TWITTER . . . 140 CHARACTER LOGLINES!

Or on Brenda Drake’s site here: The 35-word Twitter Pitch . . . Simplified

THE RULES . . .

Be polite and don’t say anything mean about a writer’s pitch. Please, don’t “like” any pitches. That’s only for agents. If you want to show support, reply with a comment or re-tweet the pitch. You can quote the tweet with your support or praise, or just re-tweet without quoting.

Any genre can be pitched. Pitch up to three times per day, per manuscript. It helps to pitch when you see an agent on the hashtag (throughout the day for a better response). Add #YA, #MG, #NA, #A, or #PB in your pitch to help the agents find the ones they represent. For more detail with your hashtags, see all of the hashtags here!

If your tweet is “liked” (or hearted) by an agent, please confirm they are a legitimate agent, search the agent’s feed, and see what the agent would like #PitMad participants to send them. Then send the requested materials.

QUESTIONS? Tweet or DM me at @HeatherCashman

For added fun, get some popcorn and scroll through the #fakepitmad pitches.

ALL INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS ARE WELCOME TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS EVENT.

For those of you who follow me on Twitter and don’t want to hear all my #PitMad hosting mumbo-jumbo, feel free to Mute #PitMad from your feed and you won’t hear almost anything from me all day.

From the Twitter Help Site

How to mute words and hashtags

From the Twitter for iOS app:

  1. Go to your Notifications tab 
  2. Tap the gear icon 
  3. Tap Muted words.
  4. Tap + Add muted word or phrase.
  5. Type in the words or hashtags you’d like to mute.
  6. Tap Save.
  7. Tap Done.
  8. You will see the mute icon  next to each entered word or hashtag.

From the Twitter for Android app:

  1. Go to your Notifications tab 
  2. Tap the gear icon 
  3. Tap Muted words.
  4. Tap the plus icon 
  5. Type in the word or hashtag you’d like to mute.
    Note: Entries can only be added one a time.
  6. Select whether to enable this in Home timeline or Notifications, or both.
  7. Select whether this is Anyone or From people you don’t follow (for enabled Notifications only, tap Notifications to adjust).
  8. Tap For how long? and choose between Forever, 24 hours from now, 7 days from now, or 30 days from now.)
  9. Tap Save.
  10. You will see the muted icon  and the mute time period next to each entered word or hashtag.

Via twitter.com:

  1. Click Settings and privacy from your profile image drop-down.
  2. Click Muted words.
  3. Click Add.
  4. Enter the word or hashtag you’d like to mute.
    Note: Entries can only be added one a time.
  5. Select Home timeline if you wish to mute the word or phrase from your Home timeline.
  6. Select Notifications if you wish to mute the word or phrase from your Notifications.
    1. Specify From anyone or From only people I don’t follow.
  7. Under For how long? choose between Forever, 24 hours from now, 7 days from now, or 30 days from now.)
  8. Click Add.
  9. You will see the mute time period indicated next to each entered word or hashtag.


Via mobile.twitter.com:

  1. Go to your Notifications tab 
  2. Tap the gear icon 
  3. Tap Muted words.
  4. Click +Add muted or phrase.
  5. Type in the word or hashtag you’d like to mute.
    Note: Entries can only be added one a time.
  6. If you wish to mute that word or phrase on your Home timeline, check the box.
  7. If you wish to mute that word or phrase from your Notifications, check the box.
    1. Select whether this is From anyone or From only people I follow (for Notifications only).
  8. Under For how long? choose between Forever, 24 hours from now, 7 days from now, or 30 days from now.)
  9. Click Save.
  10. You will see a muted button  and the mute time period next to each entered word or hashtag.

Pitching on Twitter . . . 140 character loglines!

I apologize in advance for the length of this post. But . . .

Loglines are important in every step of the publishing process. Writers use them to get agents. Agents use them to snag editors’ interest. Editors use them to sell the book to their marketing/acquisitions teams. Publishers use them in publicity to the reader.

A good logline is essential to garnering attention for your novel. Pitching is the delivery of your logline to someone else. It takes practice, good form, and fortitude just like . . .

pitching

Answer all of the following questions, then narrow things down to your 140-character pitch. As you’re going through, don’t worry so much about length as ideas. You can cut and reword later.

 

Components of a logline . . .

Main Character

What do they want, their goal or intention?

This can be internal or external, or both if you’re extremely clever.

If you use a name, you’ve wasted a description. What is the primary description of your character? Make sure it pertains to the main plot/theme of the story. And with pitching on Twitter, using ages is also a waste (in my opinion) because you’re tagging with an age category already.

Girl wanting to be seen as herself . . .

A queen desiring world peace . . .

A scientist hoping to cure all disease . . .

(P.S. The first is one of my book, but the others I’m making up as I go.)

Description

More adjectives add to setting, character, genre, and plot.

Be as specific as possible without using words that apply to only your story (like horcrux), because people won’t understand.

Daughter of a wealthy scientist wanting to be seen as herself . . .

A crippled princess desiring world peace . . .

A dying scientist hoping to cure all disease . . .

hmm

Main Conflict (Antagonist/Antagonistic Situation)

And how are they in the way of the protagonist getting what they want?

Daughter of a wealthy scientist wanting to be seen as herself, dies, and her spirit is engineered by a techno-cult to use a living host . . .

A crippled princess desiring world peace must face the prince of an invading country in one-on-one combat . . .

A dying scientist hoping to cure all disease is sabotaged by a pharmaceutical company . . .

Plot Synopsis

What makes the story unique?

Especially for science fiction or fantasy, set up the world and what makes it different.

Daughter of a wealthy scientist wanting to be seen as herself, dies, and her spirit is engineered by a techno-cult to use a living host. When she meets her polar opposite, the key to immortality is revealed.

A crippled princess of the underground colony of Sector 3, desiring world peace, must face the prince of an invading country in one-on-one combat . . .

A dying scientist working at a children’s hospital, hoping to cure all disease, is sabotaged by the pharmaceutical company who provides his meds . . .

good

Emotional hook

The emotional hook might already be included by this point. If not, make mention of it somehow.

Daughter of a wealthy scientist, wanting to be seen as herself, accidentally dies trying to get her father’s attention. Her spirit is engineered by a techno-cult to use a living host. When she meets her polar opposite, the key to immortality is revealed.

A crippled princess of the underground colony of Sector 3, desiring world peace, must face her childhood love, the prince of an invading country in one-on-one combat . . .

A dying scientist working at a children’s hospital, hoping to cure all disease, is sabotaged by the pharmaceutical company who provides his meds . . .

In the last one, I think the children’s hospital is the emotional hook. We know he’s a good guy trying to save children.

Stakes

If they don’t overcome conflict and get what they need, what is going to happen to them, their community, and/or the world?

Daughter of a wealthy scientist, wanting to be seen as herself, accidentally dies trying to get her father’s attention. Her spirit is engineered by a techno-cult to use a living host. When she meets her polar opposite, the key to immortality is revealed, and if they’re captured, the cult will use them to create an army of shifters capable of taking over anyone they choose.

A crippled princess of the underground colony of Sector 3, desiring world peace, must face her childhood love, the prince of an invading country, in one-on-one combat to the death. If she doesn’t win, her subjects will have their legs torn off and be left to rot in the sun.

A dying scientist working at a children’s hospital, hoping to cure all disease, is sabotaged by the pharmaceutical company who provides his meds. Unless he stops them and finishes his work within the week, his funding will run out and the living producers of his cures will die, only weeks before himself.

Try Adding Comps

Think of a character or story that fits one of the phrases you have in your pitch. As many similarities as possible. The main idea is to have the compared work explain the primary idea. If you’re an editor, the comp needs to show a good sales record and potential market. So if you can give this to the agent, they’ll be very happy.

Book comps are always better than movie comps. Published within the last two to three years is best.

Daughter of a wealthy scientist, wanting to be seen as herself, accidentally dies trying to get her father’s attention. Her spirit is engineered by a modern Dr. Frankenstein to use a living host. When she meets her X-men-like polar opposite, the key to immortality is revealed, and if they’re captured, the cult will use them to create an army of shifters capable of taking over anyone they choose.

A crippled princess of the underground colony of Sector 3, desiring world peace, must face her childhood love, the prince of an invading country, in one-on-one combat to the death. If she doesn’t win, her subjects will have their legs torn off and be left to rot in the sun. A BUG’S LIFE meets MAD MAX

A dying scientist working at a children’s hospital, hoping to cure all disease, is sabotaged by the pharmaceutical company who provides his meds. Unless he stops them and finishes his work within the week, his funding will run out and the living producers of his cures will die, only weeks before himself.

For the last one, I got nothing. You can add some in the comments if you like. For any of these actually.

nothing

Other Things to Keep in Mind

The more irony in the logline (and your story), the better.

Use action words.

Add descriptive imagery if there’s room.

Don’t use cliches.

Reflect the genre in the words and voice.

Add a countdown to ticking time-bomb if you can.

MOVE AND REARRANGE AND CUT AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE

If this is a twitter pitch, you’re going to have to choose your most important components. Not everything will fit in 140 characters. 😦

SAMPLE 1

Daughter of a wealthy scientist, wanting to be seen as herself, accidentally dies trying to get her father’s attention. Her spirit is engineered by a modern Dr. Frankenstein to use a living host. When she meets her X-men-like polar opposite, the key to immortality is revealed, and if they’re captured, the cult will use them to create an army of shifters capable of taking over anyone they choose.

For a query . . .

Accidentally dying to get noticed, a girl is engineered by a modern Dr. Frankenstein to use a living host. She must find her X-men-like opposite and reveal the key to immortality, or a techno-cult will use them to take over the world and she’ll lose herself forever.

For a pitch contest . . .

Accidentally dying to get noticed, an invisible girl uses a living host. She must find her opposite or lose herself forever. #PitMad #YA #SF

SAMPLE 2

A crippled princess of the underground colony of Sector 3, desiring world peace, must face her childhood love, the prince of an invading country, in one-on-one combat to the death. If she doesn’t win, her subjects will have their legs torn off and be left to rot in the sun. A BUG’S LIFE meets MAD MAX

For a query . . .

A crippled princess of Sector 3 colony must face her childhood love, the prince of an invading country, in one-on-one combat to the death. If she doesn’t win and gain the world peace she’s always wanted, her subjects will have their legs torn off and be left to rot in the sun. A BUG’S LIFE meets MAD MAX

For a pitch contest . . .

Crippled ant-princess must face invading, childhood-love in combat to the death or her colony will perish. BUG’S LIFE x MAD MAX #PitMad #A

SAMPLE 3

A dying scientist working at a children’s hospital, hoping to cure all disease, is sabotaged by the pharmaceutical company who provides his meds. Unless he stops them and finishes his work within the week, his funding will run out unless he finds some money. Otherwise, the living producers of his cures will die, only weeks before himself.

For a query . . .

A dying scientist hopes to cure disease and save his patients at the children’s hospital. When he’s sabotaged by a pharmaceutical company and his funding runs out, the living producers of his cures will die alongside his patients and himself.

For a pitch contest . . .

Dying, children’s-hospital scientist is sabotaged by a pharma co. Cures will die with his patients unless he steals quick cash. #PitMad #A

Notice that I had to add what the scientist did, his actions that propelled the story. Otherwise, he’d just seem sad. The hero was missing in action!

formula

Using A Formula

If you use a common form, it will work. But allowing yourself to cut and trim and work with your words, more of your voice will come out in the pitch. The most common form is:

When [INCITING INCIDENT OCCURS], a [SPECIFIC PROTAGONIST] must [OBJECTIVE], or else [STAKES].

For science fiction, fantasy, or unique world-building, sometimes it’s better to use that unique quality to propel the pitch forward.

In a world where people are grown in test tubes . . .

For more ideas about how to make a pitch, see Pitch Wars: The 35-word and Twitter Pitch … simplified

 

 

GOOD LUCK PITCHING EVERYONE!

 

 

H2: MG Mystery: FOOD TRUCKS AND FIREWORKS

TITLE: FOOD TRUCKS AND FIREWORKS

AUTHOR: Julia Maranan

AGE CATEGORY: Middle Grade

GENRE: Mystery

WORD COUNT: 49,400 words

PITCH:

When fourteen-year-old aspiring chef Natalie helps family compete on a cooking reality show, she must uncover a nasty saboteur before Boston’s food truck community is ruined—even if that means risking her chance to win.

FIRST 250 WORDS:

Perched on the edge of a kitchen stool, I kept a smile plastered on my face, but my fingers itched to grab the knife resting on the cutting board.

“You’re awfully quiet tonight, Natalie,” Aunt Donna said from the fridge, loading her arms with vegetables.

Uncle Rick stirred the potatoes and onions sizzling madly on the stove. “She’s probably tired from her trip, love. Let her settle in a bit.” He winked at me.

I sat on my hands and smiled wider. “Thanks for making me dinner. It smells amazing.”

And it did—especially his famous coffee-rubbed brisket—but it felt weird to be in a kitchen while cooking was happening without me. At home, I ran our kitchen.

“Are you sure I can’t help with anything? I could make the salad dressing.”

Or fry up some bacon to go with those potatoes, which would take them over the top.

But there would be no bacon this trip, even though my aunt and uncle had to realize they’d sell more on their food truck if they used pork and shellfish. Especially here in Boston, home to the best seafood I’d ever tasted. But even though they didn’t keep full kosher, those restrictions mattered to them, so I could survive with bacon-less potatoes for a few weeks.

“Don’t worry, there’ll be plenty for you to do tomorrow during lunch service.” Aunt Donna plunked the vegetables down next to the sink and came over to hug me for the zillionth time since they’d picked me up from the airport.

H10: Adult Speculative Thriller: THE NURSERY

TITLE: THE NURSERY

AUTHOR: Roark Arnett

AGE CATEGORY: Adult

GENRE: Speculative Thriller

WORD COUNT: 82,000 words

PITCH:

When Kenleigh Maize learns a mysterious DNA sequence is the cause of her infertility, she’s invited to participate in a misleading clinical trial. It won’t treat her infertility but may explain the origins of life.

FIRST 250 WORDS:

Twin boys playing beside a toy bin in the clinic’s waiting room reminded Kenleigh Maize of her haunting discovery. She and her deceased mother were identical twins. Part of her wished she hadn’t found her mom’s cryptic journal entry stowed away in her jewelry box, so none of these family secrets would’ve ever surfaced.

Kenleigh couldn’t resist the urge. She opened the photo library on her smartphone and reread her mother’s entry from May 5, 1992.

The pregnancy tests came back positive. All ten of them!
How the hell did I get pregnant without having sex? I found
one possible explanation, but it’s disturbing.

“Kenleigh,” the receptionist called from behind the counter.

Phone off, she followed the woman into the doctor’s office and braced herself against the door.

Her confidential medical records were pinned to Dr. Sahoo’s office wall with thumbtacks and pushpins, connected by zigzagging bands of red and yellow string. The shrine looked similar to an evidence wall used by detectives in crime shows. A couple sticky notes adorned her MRIs; others were pinned to her intake forms and prescription history. It should’ve been an alarming sight, but Kenleigh couldn’t help admiring the abstract features of the medical wall. There was an unintended artistic quality to the arrangement, like the color splatter on a painter’s apron. The meticulous nature reminded her that Dr. Sahoo’s examination of her medical condition, as unorthodox as it may seem, was, indeed, an investigation. Maybe today’s appointment was more than just a consultation.

WINNER of Query, Synopsis, and First Chapter . . . Raising Spirits!

As a writer, editor, and agent intern, I understand how hard it is to get someone to look at your work. I hope that in some small way, I’ve brought hope and joy by giving back to the community that supports me.

I could only pick one winner but there is always the offer of a free synopsis and first ten pages assessment given by Michele Rubin. She’s my boss, a brilliant lady, and is the Chief editor of Cornerstones US, was an agent for Writers House for twenty-five years, and will give you some really good feedback as to what you could do to help those first ten pages shine. Just see the link below.

And the winner is . . . 

abby

Abby Cavenaugh

I’m a writer who loves romance, ghost stories & mochas. Marvel, Star Wars, LOTR & Harry Potter fangirl

If you’re interested in the ten page assessment, please SUBMIT YOUR MATERIALS HERE

The advice you can receive from seasoned professionals is invaluable!

#PitchMadness WINNERS!

I am so proud of all the Pitch Madness entrants! You’re putting yourself out there. You’re trying your best. And someday, that will be good enough.

The amount of talent out there is astounding! There were so so many entries I wished I could’ve recommended to the agent I work for. We had to be picky! Nit-picky! This was the most fierce competition and highest quality submissions I’ve ever seen. So if you aren’t one of the people chosen, please remember that you’re probably close! Keep trying!

Team Peppermint Forest with Wade & Timanda

candycane

The Candy Cane Conspiracy
The Hiders and the Seekers
The Seven Skies
Divine Architects
Silver and Ice
Pantheon of Nearer Stars
Taco Girl
Darkheart
The Last Story
Spooky Girl

Team Lollipop Woods with Rebecca & Marieke

lollypop

SUMMER OF L.U.C.K.
THE LUCKIEST GIRL IN THE WORLD
I AM DRAGON
STARS AND SHADOWS
DEVASURA
BLUFF, RAISE, FOLD
FEET MADE OF STARS
HIDE ME AWAY
UNQUEENLY
A MATTER OF MUMMIES

Team Ice Cream Sea with Brenda & Monica

gumdrop

YA Fantasy – FACING DEMONS
MG Contemp/Magic – GIRL OF THE BIG ISLAND
Adult Mystery – THE POISON SEASON
YA Fantasy – THE EVENTIDE
MG Fantasy – THE NINE GRAVES OF GERALDINE GREY
MG Fantasy – SO MUCH FOR PRINCE CHARMING
Adult SciFi – INVADED
YA Contemporary – THE COLD PLACE
YA Paranormal Romance – A RAVEN’S CRAVING
Adult Upmarket Contemporary – SPEEDBUMP

Team Licorice Castle Sharon & Jeyn

licorice

MG Magical Realism: Wok Magic
A Gothic SciFi: L’Abatteur
A Paranormal: Specter of a Chance
MG Magical Realism: The Deepest Lake
A Historical: The City With Three Names
YA SciFi: Under The Sea
YA Thriller: GIRL IN RUINS
YA Fantasy: THE MERCIFUL CROW
YA SciFi: Rogue
YA Horror: Neffers

Team Peanut Brittle House with Pintip & Darcy

peanut-brittle

Intergalactic Backpack – Jared Agard
Nightbringer – Allison Dillon
Things We Weren’t Supposed To Know – Lucy Hallowell
Derailed – Mary Keliikoa
Flesh and Blood – Amy MacMullin
Four Meets Fortune – Nikhita Prabhakar
Sixth Grade Secret Service – Jason Frank
For Whatever We Lose – Robyn Lucas
Your House, My Rules – Marie Garay
Moonlight & Whiskey – Tricia McKee

Team Gumdrop Mountain with Nikki & me!

gumdrop mountain

Vitium – YA Fantasy
Food Trucks and Fireworks – MG Mystery
A Plague on Both Your Houses – YA Contemporary
The Nursery – Adult Speculative Thriller
All the Stars in the Ocean – YA
Book of Miniatures – YA Contemporary
EVERY CINDERELLA HAS HER MIDNIGHT – YA Modern Day Fairy Tale
The Last Relic – YA Sci Fi
Designer You – Adult Women’s Fiction
BOOGERMEN, HOODOO, AND HAINTS – MG Paranormal

And our extra bonus surprise team!
Team Candy Castle with Samantha & Mary Ann

candy castle

UPSTAGED
TEMPING FOR DEATH
THE GODDESS CANDIDATE
GRAVITY ROAD
ETERNAL CUCKOO
SAVING SOPHIE
THE FIRE BEFORE
SLEEPLESS
LUCKY
CURSE OF SILVER LAKE

 

Happy revising everyone!

Pitch Madness Submission Window is OPEN!

The Pitch Madness 2017 submission window is now open!

To submit your manuscript pitch into the contest, use this form on Brenda Drake’s post here.

What is Pitch Madness?

It’s a contest to win a request from one or more of the participating agents. (See who they are here.)

The submission window is open from NOW and until 11:59PM EST on February 24th. You should have plenty of time to get your submissions in. Make sure to perfect your entry. If you make an error, you may not resend. What do you need to enter? A 35-word (max) pitch and the first 250 words of your finished manuscript. If the 250th word falls in the middle of a sentence, go to the end of the sentence. If you’ve entered this manuscript into contests before, you CAN still enter Pitch Madness.

There will be 60 finalists moving onto the agent round. Pitch Madness will accept Middle Grade, Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult (never before published) fiction only, novel length (no novellas) completed and polished manuscripts only. All genres (i.e. fantasy, contemporary, sci-fi, and so on) are welcome to enter. Only one entry per writer.

Each blog host will have a co-host helping them choose their top 10 entries. We have a team of first readers who will check for formatting, grammar, and content and put their top picks through to the hosts and cohosts.

This year’s first round readers and teams can be found here.

The agent roundwill be on March 16 and 17. To see our amazing line up agents go to this post here.

All the twitter fun will happen on the hashtag #PitchMadness! Hope you’ll enter and good luck!

 

 

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