Saturday, March 12, 2016

Announcing Diverse Voices Twitter Contest: #DVPit

I have some exciting news:

Fabulous agent Beth Phelan of the Bent Agency is holding a twitter pitch contest for diverse voices.

Time to polish those pitches and shine up your manuscript -- this could be it! The moment your baby catches dream agent's eye.

April 19 from 8:00AM EST until 8:00PM EST.

Please only tweet your pitches during that block of time.

#DVpit is a Twitter event created to showcase work about and especially by marginalized voices. This includes (but is not limited to): Native peoples and people of color; people living and/or born/raised in underrepresented cultures and countries; disabled persons; people with illness; people on marginalized ends of the socioeconomic, cultural and/or religious spectrum; people identifying as LGBTQIA+; and more.

Adults, YA, MG, PB, and Nonfiction.

  1. You may pitch more than one project at a time.        
  2. Please pitch no more than once per hour, per manuscript
  3. Pitch your completed, unpublished manuscripts.
  4. You may use the same pitch, or shake things up by using different pitches for the same project. 
Your pitch must fit the 140-character max, and must also include the hashtag #DVpit.         
Space is premium, but best to include category and/or genre hashtags.       

Please do not tweet the agents/editors directly!        
Agents/editors will <3 your pitch if they’d like to see material from you, so please don’t <3  other authors’ pitches. Please also do not retweet. To show support, you can always reply with compliments.
Each agent/editor will have their own preferences for receiving submissions, so if you get a <3 from someone, please refer to their Twitter feed to see what they ask for, and how you can contact them.
All of these agents/editors are invested in finding more marginalized voices.
If you're comfortable doing so, consider self-identifying in your query. Alternatively, your query can let agents know that the story and/or character(s) reflect your own experience.
This is also a good idea for the pitches -- if you have the space and the inclination.
If you see that multiple agents/editors from the same group have <3 your pitch, please contact them directly for their policy, or reach out to @beth_phelan. She will be happy to find out for you.
Keep in mind that many agents/editors will get sidetracked with their usual work or unexpected crises and may have to revisit the feed after the event is over. So don’t be surprised if you receive s after the period closes!


Please be sure to research any agent or publisher that <3 your pitch. There is no obligation to submit your work to anyone you don’t want to.


The Bent Agency            


  Entangled Publishing            
 *This person will visit the feed after the event has closed due to travel

Want help with your pitch?

A few (amazing) people have offered help with pitches for the marginalized writers participating in #DVpit.
Kayla Whaley (@PunkinOnWheels), client of mine, brilliant essayist, and @DisabilityInLit editor, can be reached at kayla.m.whaley [at] gmail [dot] com for pitch help. If you are as grateful for her help with this as I am, and looking for a way to support her, consider buying her a coffee!
Disabled authors writing YA/MG featuring a disabled MC can also reach out to Marieke Nijkamp (@mariekeyn) for pitch help! Message her through her website and while you’re there, just saying, you should totally check out THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS, her outstanding debut published by Sourcebooks Fire on January 5, 2016. To sweeten the deal even more, literary agent Caitie Flum (@caitief) of Liza Dawson Associates is adding a bonus incentive here: she’ll critique the first 40 queries by writers whose pitches come through Marieke!
You can also reach out to the incredible Natasha Razi (who ALSO happens to be the winner of my Diverse Voices query contest, mind you) for pitch help at @swingingstorm. Marginalized authors who reach out on Twitter will receive her email address via DM.
Nita Tyndall (@NitaTyndall) is a @TheGayYA moderator, @DiverseBooks Social Media Coordinator, and repped by one of the wonderful agents participating in this event—Emily Keyes. LGBTQIA+ writers can contact Nita for pitch help through her website and express gratitude by buying her a coffee!
You can also get help from freelance editor and author coach Julie Sadler (@julie_francess), who has graciously offered free pitch and/or query help to participating disabled writers of YA, NA, fantasy, romance, and memoir. She’s also offering first-come-first-serve editing to any participating disabled writers who want a final polish on their manuscript ahead of #DVpit, for barter/pay-what-you-can. Contact her at sadler.julie [at] gmail [dot] com!
Participating writers, especially those writing gay male protagonists, can seek expert pitch and/or query help from Mark O’Brien (@mobrienbooks). Mark is a YA contemporary writer represented by the Bent Agency’s own Heather Flaherty, and he is also an editorial intern with Entangled Publishing. Worth noting that Mark is a #pitmad and Pitch Wars veteran, so he knows his stuff! Writers can contact him directly at markobrienbooks [at] gmail [dot] com.
Finally, please take Kristen Ciccarelli (@twocentsparrow) up on her offer to critique pitches and queries! Kristen is also represented by Heather Flaherty at the Bent Agency, and she specializes in YA (all genres) and women’s fiction. Fun facts: she was mentored by YA author Franny Billingsley and was Renee Ahdieh and Traci Chee’s mentee during this past fall’s Pitch Wars. You can contact Kristen through her website and you should bookmark this author anyway… She is one to watch!
These are great opportunities from people with invaluable experience! Take advantage of them! (But say thank you however you can.)
For more help with your pitch and etiquette questions, here are some links to read while you wait for #DVpit!
Look here for a post by the Bent Agency’s own Victoria Lowes (@torilowes) that includes some really great tips.
And another writers’ guide by agent participant Carly Watters (@carlywatters) of P.S. Literary can be found here with some illuminating examples.
Sadly, an account of why you should always research and NOT be afraid to decline sending material to anyone you’re uncomfortable sending to can be found here.
Now you must need a pick-me-up, right? Click here to find success stories through Brenda Drake’s incredible #pitmad.


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