Things To Do (And Not Do) Before A Twitter Pitch Party

I owe a lot to Twitter pitch parties. They helped me understand good hooks, and after participating in #PBPitch in February 2021, they helped me acquire an agent. Thanks to #PbPitch, I received an offer for representation, which turned into multiple offers for representation, which turned into signing with my agent.

This is not a post about the basics of Twitter pitch parties. There are other sources for that! WriterCommunity.ca has the complete list of pitch parties for 2021 and here is a great resource from Sub It Club that blocks it into your calendar. But for those of you who are a few pitch parties in, and need some motivation, here are a few lessons I learned along the way.

Things To Not Do:

Be Your Own Critic
I wasn’t sure I wanted to participate, because let’s be honest pitch parties are emotionally taxing. In previous pitch parties, I never included illustrations. But by February 2021, I had a portfolio of work. I knew I had to go all-in, but taking that step to share my art was terrifying. I was a nervous ball of self-doubt. Finally, I decided if I don’t believe in my art, why would I expect anyone else to? So I tweeted as an author, illustrator.

Follow A Trend
I wasn’t going to pitch the story that got me my agent. I thought no one wants such a niche-specific story. To my surprise, niche experiences were getting all the likes! So in the final hour, I shared my Ramadan story. I was completely humbled by the love I received from editors, agents, and fellow creators.

Things To Do:

Draft Tweets Using the Hook Formula
This is the hook formula in it’s simplest form:

Hero + Goal + Problem/Obstacle + Theme (what they learned from experience) = Hook

Examples from Literary Agent Carly Walters’ Guide to Twitter contests.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
When escaping WWII 4 children go to magical, tyrannical land through wardrobe to fulfill prophecy & save both worlds. #PitMad #SFF

The Three Little Pigs
Brothers devoured by a killer known as Big Bad Wolf, third pig fights for his life with a pile of bricks between him & death #PitMad #A

Alice in Wonderland
Girl abducted by rabbit from family picnic to fight war in magical dimension. When put on trial for her life, will she wake up? #PitMad #YA

Author Brittney M Morris, breaks it down further.

Show Off Your Wordsmith Skills
This is a writing event; take the time to show off your writing chops. The tweet that brought me pitch party success didn’t have a traditional story arch. So I focused on my lyrical style.

MOONS FIRST FRIEND x NIGHT OF THE MOON In the purple veil of twilight, Moon smiles at Earth. Her sliver of silver signals the start of Ramadan. Moon observes a month of old & new traditions as she changes from waxing crescent to full moon to waning crescent. #pbpitch #own #C #L

Pitch Party Image

Build A Community (Before)
My first pitch party, I knew very few people in the writing community. By my last pitch party, I belonged to several writing organizations, such as SCBWI, 12×12, and Storyteller Academy. These communities are not just great for feedback but also amplifying content. Prior to #PBPitch, I found other members of my 12×12 writing community who were participating. We helped each other with pitches and also commented on tweets the day of the event.

Check Out Agents and Editors Participating
Before a pitch party, I checked in a few times to see which agents and editors were participating. It’s easy to do, just look at the hashtag the morning of. Don’t stalk or overwhelm agents or editors! But if they have a tweet announcing their participation in the party, it’s totally OK to like it.

Learn The Rules and Etiquette
There are many great resources out there to learn about individual pitch party rules, and most have their own rules page.

Pro Tip: When I first joined pitch parties, creators would RT posts from other creators. It really made it difficult to highlight my own pitches when they were buried behind other pitches. Now, creators comment instead of RT. It makes much more sense and still amplifies.

Good luck, everyone!
Natasha

Published by Natasha K

Natasha Khan Kazi was born in Bangladesh and grew up in Texas and Pennsylvania. She is a writer and illustrator of children’s books (https://www.natashakhankazi.com). Natasha shares Islamic educational and cultural resources for kids on her blog entitled “IslamiMommy” (https://www.islamimommy.com). She currently lives in California with her family.

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