Hello to whoever is reading this, welcome! So, the topic above is EXACTLY what I’m going to be talking about today! This post is a deeper dive into the sheer greatness of Twitter for writers so buckle up.
If you’re anything like how I used to be, you hate Twitter. The thought of ‘tweeting,’ makes you cackle in disgust and you find it to be an unnecessary waste of an app. That is, until you finish your manuscript, have edited it to perfection, and now you’re here wondering what next? Well now, you join Twitter, my friend.
Before you leave this post immediately, hear me out. Twitter to me was as I said, a waste of time until I discovered the advantages that come with it!
- The Writing Community
Now though at first this may not be a big deal to you, don’t knock it. The writing community is filled with aspiring writers just like you who are there to help each other and to keep each other motivated throughout your querying journey. Within the writing community you will find friends, cheerleaders, and answers to your most random of questions. Heck, you may even find an online friend whom you trust enough to read the first ten pages of your manuscript and query letter. You may even find a group chat of writers that you can join where you all keep each other updated on successes and publishing news! Even when you have that fateful day of finding yourself an agent, this writing community will still have your back and cheer you on, some may even look to you for guidance so be ready to reciprocate your knowledge! As I said, this is a community.
2. Literary Agents
I know, crazy right? But it’s true. Being on Twitter is your instant access into the minds of literary agents! Some often post either links to their MSWL (Manuscript Wish List – here is the link to the website for MSWL https://www.manuscriptwishlist.com, you can find exactly what your dream agent is looking for) or they type out a series of tweets that they then ‘pin’ to their profiles for querying writers to look through and see if their story is a match! Agents also tend to post query submissions updates – letting writers know how far behind they are in reading through queries. Other agents offer query tips, how to’s, what to avoid/not to do, and some even offer query critique giveaways. You can even find literary agents who work as editors through Twitter – though for most agents, once they were to edit your materials you cannot query them afterwards because hello, unfair. This is a great way for writers to follow their dream agents while also discovering new and potentially future dream agents that you hadn’t known about before!
Same details as above! Most acquiring editors from publishers – big or small, are actively on Twitter and sharing what they are looking for. Most publishers are looking for agented writers but there are still some publishers out their who will read your submissions un-agented. Sometimes if you wind up scoring a deal with a publisher, you can still query an agent with this offer on the table and it may
4. Pitch Events
Now, we’re getting into why I have such a newfound love for Twitter! A pitching event is exactly what it sounds like. It gives un-agented writers a chance to ‘pitch’ their manuscripts in hopes of receiving interest (likes/retweets/comments) from literary agents, publishers, or sometimes even acquiring editors from publishing companies. The pitch itself that you, the writer, will send out into the event is the length of a tweet and is basically an elevator pitch of your book. What is an elevator pitch? Usually, an elevator pitch is just a short description of your novel – a quick summation that describes what your book is about while adding in your intense hook. An example that I will give from a previous post of mine (https://amandabadillo.com/2020/10/31/my-querying-journey-how-i-got-my-agents/):
My first pitch tends to follow the same idea: MC, stakes, why it’s important. My second pitch introduces my MC by name (some elevator pitches do this, some don’t) and introduces the plot while leaving a sense of mystery for the agents to be enticed. My thought process as to why I believe my second pitch was a little more enticing than my first is due to my comp titles. Comp titles are what you would compare your book to. My second manuscript currently titled Vampires Are the Worst is a blend of the classic Gilmore Girls meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Every single pitch is different! For my first pitch, I stuck to the ‘typical pitching method,’ but for my second pitch, I wrote what my gut told me to write so the best advice I can give you when you do decide to participate in these events is to play with your pitches and participate in the practice pitch events! The practice pitch events are sometimes either a week or a couple of days before the event so keep an eye out!
Now with that word vomit of information, I am going to leave you with a list of links to Twitter-Pitch websites and Twitter Profiles for you to follow and check out. Mark your calendars and be sure to participate, you never know what could happen! Hell, I found my two incredible agents thanks to a Twitter-Pitch event and you can find yours!
Twitter-Pitch Pages and Websites to Check Out/Follow
Pitch Wars isn’t exactly a Twitter-Pitch Event. Pitch Wars is something that you apply for in a sense. There are fellow authors that volunteer to become mentors to un-agented writers. Un-agented writers submit their query letter, opening pages, synopsis, etc (whatever the volunteer is looking for) and hope for a request for more material as they would for an agent. If the ‘mentor,’ decides to move forward with a writer, the writer becomes their mentee and the two of you work on your manuscript and other submission materials to put together for an agent showcase in hopes of landing the un-agented writer an agent.
I will link a couple of different blogs that list all of the different pitch events as there are A LOT of them!
This blog post created by Emma Lombaurd gives an updates schedule for 2020’s Twitter-Pitch Events: https://www.emmalombardauthor.com/post/twitter-pitch-party-calendar-for-2020
Another blog post created by iWriterly which also details dates for 2020’s Twitter-Pitch Events: https://iwriterly.com/pitch-contest-calendar/
I will do my best to create my own separate post with a list of dates and other Twitter-Pitch Events that are new and up and coming!
A Few Things to Note
When it comes to these Twitter-Pitch Events it’s important to remember a few things. Where receiving likes and recognition from agents and editors is absolutely incredible, it does not happen for everybody and you have to remember that that is okay! Pitching in contests like this is very difficult! To summarize your book in the length of a tweet is not an easy task so the fact that you would even participate in doing this is amazing! Also, remember that not receiving a like may not be because of your pitch itself but because of how many people are participating! Some incredible pitches wind up getting lost in the shuffle of other incredible pitches! Next, remember to participate in encouraging your fellow writers! Encouraging other participants will also encourage them to encourage you! Commenting and retweeting each others work (if the rules allow) can really help to increase your pitch’s performance! With that being said, however, if you are following almost all writers, be prepared for your newsfeed to become FLOODED with pitches! Finally, remember that even if you do not receive a like from an agent, in most cases that does not mean that you cannot query them – unless of course they are closed to unsolicited manuscripts. Some un-agented writers use this opportunity to peruse Twitter by using the hashtag and to see what agents are participating! These Twitter-Pitch Events are truly a great asset to the un-agented writer!
Another note when it comes to these Twitter-Pitch Events is to do your homework. Unfortunately, not all ‘agents’ who participate are who they say they are so it is important to do your research and look up any and all agents who like your pitch and request your materials – the same goes for publishers! Use sites like Querytracker (membership to query tracker is free and it is a great tool to use while querying as you can stay up to date with agent responses to other writers i.e. you can see how quickly the agents respond to query’s or you can see how backed they are) or Publisher’s Market Place (Publisher’s Market Place has a membership fee of $25 per month. I personally have it just to stay up to date with everything but I understand how expensive it is!). Also be sure to check out sites like Writer’s Beware and when all else fails google or ask your fellow writers on Twitter! Try and join a Twitter group if you can! Another name that I would recommend following on Twitter would be literary agent Beth Phelan (https://twitter.com/beth_phelan) she is definitely an agent that I have seen stand up for what is right as well as help un-agented writers by either giving advice or making them aware of fake agencies in her past tweets.
One final note – have fun with Twitter. Although Twitter can be a dark hole of endless poor news it is also filled with an incredible writing community that is there to cheer you on every step of the way – and I mean that. If you are querying – be sure to use hashtags like #amquerying #amediting #WIP and participate in fun events like #favelinefriday and other events! Remember to cheer on others on their successes and to put out your own dose of updates and positivity. I, personally, have made a bunch of new writing friends. Though I only know these friends virtually, there is definitely a bond there that only writers can fully understand!
So, basically? Heed my words of advice and JOIN TWITTER NOW!
By: Amanda Badillo
Need help editing? I’m now on Fiverr for the time being: https://www.fiverr.com/share/DQkzBN