#PBPitch: An Awesome Twitter Pitch Contest for Kidlit Writers!!

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Twitter pitch parties have been gaining in popularity in the last few years.

What is a Twitter pitch party, you may ask?

Well, if you’re a writer and are seeking a literary agent or a publisher, they are amazing opportunities. If you have finished and polished manuscripts, just make an engaging (and short) pitch via Twitter. Add the hashtag #PBPitch, and presto, your pitch will be seen by a select group of literary agents and editors! If the agent or editor in question likes your pitch, then you can send it to them and cross your fingers.

The guidelines can be found in the official website, posted below.

I recently sat down with author and #PBPitch co-founder Pj Mcllvaine for a chat. Hope you enjoy our Q & A:

When did the #PBPitch contest start?

In 2015.  It was right after #PitMad, my first foray into participating in a pitch fest. It was exciting and fun but my picture books received no love. My fellow picture book authors and I were commiserating on our lack of agent “hearts” in a Facebook writing group when a fellow writer Mandy Yates brought up the idea of starting our own pitch party exclusively for picture book writers and illustrators. Debra Shumaker and I immediately jumped on board and we’ve been going strong ever since, with the fabulous Mette Engell creating our distinctive logo and art. We didn’t know if anyone would show up to our first pitch party, but we were thrilled and delighted at the turnout. And it’s only gotten better!

Was it conceived before Twitter pitch contests got popular?

I think it was right around that time that people began to realize the potential in Twitter pitch parties. We weren’t the first, but we stayed true to our original goal and haven’t strayed from it: three parties a year just for PB writers and artists.

On average, how many editors and agents stop by?

 It varies, but we have on average 5-10 agents/editors and sometimes more. Debra and I personally invite agents that we know are looking to represent this genre, but we also have agents who stop by on the fly because they’ve heard about it and are curious. Also, agents have been known to check out the Twitter feed after the event is over.  We know that life and a million other things can get in the way, so we appreciate an agent who takes the time to come by regardless. Never forget that this is a business, and agents want to find the next great picture book as well.

PJ McIlvaine

How does this compare to traditional querying and submitting?

 Well, with traditional querying, you sometimes wait forever for a response, and sad to say, often no response is a response. That can be disheartening and frustrating. With a pitch party, you send your pitch into the social media world in real time and hope that an agent responds and connects to it in a much speedier way.  But I tell writers all the time, even if you don’t get love in a pitch party, and you feel that your material is right for an agent, query anyway! It’s a numbers game, and it only takes one yes.

What is the basic structure of an engaging pitch?

Short and sweet is my motto. We have several success stories at our website, click HERE to see them. Debut author Ashley Franklin found an agent and a book deal (NOT QUITE SNOW WHITE, Harper Collins, 2019) with her pitch:

‪#PBPitch Will Layla still wear her hijab with pride when challenged by the sun and moon?”

 

What makes this a terrific pitch?  It’s easy to visualize the story and the illustration potential.

Do you see a trend on what kind of pitches tend to get more likes?

It’s hard to say because tastes and interests change. I’m a big believer of writing to your passion. If that passion connects with an agent at the right time, you’ve made a match! It’s pointless to write to current trends because what’s in today may be out tomorrow. Another axiom: publishing crawls at a turtle’s pace.

Any words of wisdom for the writers who participate and eagerly check their Twitter notifications every five minutes after tweeting?

Since I’m also on the hunt for a new agent, I do the same thing!  For me, it’s about focusing on what I can control, which is my writing. Everything else is just filler, noise and distraction. Hone your story and pitch until it shines like a diamond. With a little bit of luck (and magic), hopefully you can be the next #PBPitch success story.

The next #PBPitch Twitter event will be Thursday, February 22nd, 2018 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.

For more information, please visit http://www.pbpitch.com/.

GOOD LUCK TO ALL!!

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5 thoughts on “#PBPitch: An Awesome Twitter Pitch Contest for Kidlit Writers!!

    Kevin Weinert said:
    January 23, 2018 at 11:48 am

    Is this for just author/illustrators, or can authors without artistic ability participate?

    Like

      lydialukidis responded:
      January 23, 2018 at 2:34 pm

      BOTH! I would say it’s mostly authors who apply. Good luck.

      Like

        Kevin Weinert said:
        January 23, 2018 at 5:52 pm

        Thanks!

        Like

        lydialukidis responded:
        September 3, 2018 at 8:17 pm

        Hope it’s useful and good luck 🙂

        Like

    Debra K Shumaker said:
    January 22, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    Great interview, PJ and Lydia!

    Like

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