We’re excited to share Lauren T. Davila’s #LatinxPitch success story! Lauren answered some of our most pressing questions about her experience with #LatinxPitch and her amazing work, with which Lauren signed with an agent after the #LatinxPitch 2021 event. Congratulations, Lauren!
1. Tell us a little bit about your experience with #LatinxPitch – where did you hear about the pitch event from, how did you feel the day of the event in terms of expectations, and how did the event lead you to sign with your agent?
I sent out my #LatinxPitch tweets sporadically throughout the day in between classes and work! So I probably wasn’t as nervous as I could’ve been considering I wasn’t super online. I had heard about it through my Latinx writer friends network and just on my timeline on Twitter. I have always loved pitch contests and think they are amazing! So I loved being able to try my hand at one specifically for the Latinx/Latine community! I had some really great responses to my pitches for my YA Latina supervillain book, which my agent ended up liking. I had eight agent likes and one editor like for my pitch, which was seriously amazing!
2. What was your recipe for the perfect pitch?
Here’s my tweet just for posterity’s sake!
I had quite a bit of engagement on this tweet and I think it boils down to the comps and the high concept. When this was tweeted WandaVision had just come out and it was allllll over social media with commentary and edits and theories. Great time for the superhero genre honestly. It was kismet I was able to focus in on a story which was about female trauma and relationships and expectations in an authentic way. My biggest advice would be to find comps that work but don’t be so stressed about finding the perfect ones! You can also pick and choose elements from certain things too: “the trauma exploration from X with the found family from X” or “the slow burn romance from X with the political dystopia elements from X.” Don’t be afraid to be inventive!
3. What would you say to writers who aren’t sure if they should pitch?
My advice is always to go for it! Often, we are our own worst critics so don’t count yourself out. Even if the agent or editor engagement is low, these are great opportunities to find beta readers or CPs for future projects. And most importantly., to find friends in the industry! I have made some life-long friends just by simply interacting through pitch contests.
4. What does an event like this mean to you as a Latinx writer?
At the end of the day, it’s about celebrating us and our stories and our lives. It’s representation at the base level. These diverse pitch contests are opportunities to finally close the gap in the querying process. It’s an opportunity to find “our people,” so to speak. With something as wide and vibrant as these pitch contests, we have the ability to get our stories in front of the masses and start drumming up support even before finding agent rep! #LatinxPitch is one of the best ways I have found to widen and deepen my personal writing community! And I found my amazing, wonderful, supportive agent through this process!
5. Finally, tell us about the project(s) you signed your agent with!
It’s a bit nontraditional! So while Susan liked my YA supervillain manuscript, that isn’t what she signed me with. Right now, I am in the process of a rewrite for a novel titled AT THE STILL POINTE. It is an adult standalone gothic/speculative MS that follows three professional ballerinas at a cutthroat dance academy with nothing in common but competition. When soloists start turning up dead, they decide to try to uncover the killer before they become the next victims. It just so happens they have a little help with the addition of some unexpected mythical powers – furious, vengeful powers.
Other than this MS, I am also working on a short story collection, the YA supervillain series, and multiple YA and Adult anthologies. I have been an anthologist in the indie sphere for a bit but I may be cooking up a few projects for the more traditional publishing world as well!
Lauren T. Davila is a Pushcart-nominated, Latina author, anthologist, and editor. She has edited multiple short story anthologies. Her poetry and short fiction has appeared online at Granada Magazine, The Paragon Journal, Ghost Heart Literary Magazine, Peach Velvet Mag, Voyage Journ Lauren is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in English at Claremont Graduate University. She holds an MFA in Fiction Writing from George Mason University. After completing her studies, she plans to teach at the collegiate level while working in publishing.al, Second Chance Magazine, Headcanon Magazine, In Parentheses, and Poets Reading the News.
She lives in the greater Los Angeles area where you can find her swimming, walking her golden retriever, and drinking one too many rose lattes.
Lauren T. Davila is represented by Susan Velazquez Colmant at JABberwocky Literary Agency
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