Success Story: Lauren T. Davila

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, 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

You can find Lauren on:




Finding Meaning in Publishing

If you’re currently querying, you might be worried about the buzz saying that it’s more difficult than ever before to be in the query trenches. There is no doubt that, at least for the time being, the COVID pandemic has changed publishing at all levels. However, all of us at #LatinxPitch want to everyone going into the pitch event to feel the hope that all of us on the #LatinxPitch committee hold for Latinx creators. And we hope that these words from members of our committee help encourage you to continue on your journey toward achieving publication! See you all on September 15th!

Publishing is about networking and genuine connections but also about learning from one another. That’s why it’s so important to read your peers’ work and help promote it.

Mariana Llanos (Run Little Chaski, Run out now; Vampirita out 2023)

Publishing is all about the long game, so when you’re first starting out focus on building those relationships that will help you get through the inevitable rejections. Build a support network that can both be your cheerleaders and your quality control. Be sure you’re ready to process passes in a way that won’t pummel your confidence but keep you moving forward—community is essential for that. Not only can they cheer you up when you feel down, but they also help you realize that rejection is part of the process and the people whose work you deeply admire are experiencing the same highs and lows. When I first started writing, I queried before I was ready and received a very kind pass from one of those golden ticket opportunities, and it was enough to freeze me up as a writer for over a year. I couldn’t write, I couldn’t query, I was stuck. But as I got to know the industry and built my community, I realized I wasn’t alone. Not only did critique partners and support networks help me refine my work and helped me deal with passes in a more constructive way, but they also helped connect me to others in the industry which eventually led to representation and book deals. Be kind. Be supportive and build that community!

Sara Fajardo (Paka Paka Con La Papa: Alberto Salas Plays Potato Hide-And-Seek out 2023)

Publishing is challenging. We all know this, but it helps to remember and own it. I use this truth to fuel myself—it’s a challenging business, a challenging craft, and by engaging with publishing at all, I’m pushing myself to grow and learn. We can’t control what happens outside of ourselves, but if we are improving, evolving, leveling-up, that matters. That is meaningful. Find your meaning in this wild ride; it’s not a straight road to follow like many other vocations. When things are difficult, when you’re hearing no over and over, when things are unjust or unfair, lean on your own personal meaning and journey.  Keep going for your own evolution as a creator, that meaning and fire that burns deep inside of you that cannot be put out by world events, injustices, or the beast of the publishing business.

Jorge (Zombies Don’t Eat Veggies and XO, Exoplanet (illus.) out now; The Wild Ones out 2023)

We hear the words community and rejection in publishing often because the first one is absolutely necessary to navigate the inevitable second. It’s in the relationships that we will find it’s a path worthwhile. I’m so grateful for the friendships created in this #LatinxPitch group and our conversations have been essential in learning many different aspects of this career and finding opportunities. My advice is to open your circle and engage with latino creators like you, the ones debuting and the established ones. Reach out, follow, connect, boost, request these books at your library, read, explore what is working. Networking and connections in the community are a building block for learning and support that will go far beyond craft and querying. Community will reminds us we are not alone, our stories are valuable and every milestone along the way deserves celebration.

Cynthia Harmony (Mi Cuidad Sings out now; A Flicker of Hope out 2023)

Querying is hard, but cold querying still works! Some rejections stung more than others, and after I’d let myself feel my feelings for about a day, I’d send out more queries. So for every rejection, I’d send out 1-2 more queries right away. It was kind of like, “Take that! I’ll show you Agent X!

Nydia Armendia-Sánchez (Not Far From Here out 2024)

I always like to say that publishing is hard but it’s not impossible! When I first started out, I’d often ask myself, why me? Now, whenever something feels hard, whenever I’m unsure, I ask why not me? When you’re doubting yourself, take the leap, because the reality is we need Latinx and diverse voices more than ever! We need you!

Sandra Proudman (👀)

Success Story: Carolina J. Gómez

We’re excited to share Carolina J. Gómez’s #LatinxPitch success story! The middle grade and young adult author answered some of our most pressing questions about her experience with #LatinxPitch and her amazing work, with which Carolina signed with an agent shortly after the #LatinxPitch 2021 event. Congratulations, Carolina!

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’ll never forget how #LatinxPitch got me my first ever full manuscript request. Before then, I felt as if my voice was drowning in a sea full of so many creative books and wonderful pitches. But #LatinxPitch created this space only for us, for Latinos! And that was perfect for agents who love our stories and wish to raise our voices as they have never been before. I like to say that Tricia (my agent) found ME. She fell in love with Milo (my character) and his culture and background before I even hit that send button to the query. 

2. What was your recipe for the perfect pitch? 

This might be an unpopular opinion, but I LOVE WRITING PITCHES. (So, if you are a querying writer, feel free to hit me up! I always love to help other writers with their pitches/queries! @seriouslywrite on Twitter!)

It’s all about the ✨hook✨ For my math people out there, think of it this way: WHO + WHY + HOW. If you cover these questions, you’ve got yourself a good structure. Keep it simple and clear, gente. Also, use comps if you can! They are very eye-catching and give a sense of your story right away.

For reference, here’s my pitch:
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON x Avatar: LoA Finding missing pets is easy, right? 12yo Mexican Milo Martínez would say otherwise, especially when a girl from another world asks for help. An evil wizard is turning animals into monsters and only Milo can save them #LatinxPitch #MG #F #OWN

3. What would you say to Latinx writers who are querying?

Well, to start, please be my friend! I want to support your journey and lift your voices!

¡Amigxs! ¡Sigan luchando! The perfect agent for you is out there. It will take time, mental and emotional breakdowns, and a whole bunch of self-doubting, but it’s all going to be worth it when Latinx kiddos all around the world see your book at bookstores and find themselves represented on the pages. You WILL get there. Don’t be afraid to shelve a project, write the next thing, read more books. And reach out! You’ll find lots of help in the community! (Again, @seriouslywrite pa’ la banda.)

4. What does an event like this mean to you as a Latinx writer?

Is “everything” too obvious an answer? Because it honestly means that, everything! Whenever [I tell] someone I was born and raised in México and English is my second language, [it] puts me at a HUGE disadvantage with so many intelligent and eloquent writers out there. So, when I found out about #LatinxPitch I wanted to cry (of happiness). I felt like my voice might not be so small after all and that I am surrounded by an amazing Latino community. I am so thankful for this movement! And I can’t wait to share my stories with the world. 

5. Finally, tell us what you can about your manuscript and the stories that you write!

I mostly write picture books right now. I write either really funny and adventurous MG books or very dark and deep YA books. The book that I got my agent with is called MILO MARTÍNEZ AND THE MISSING PETS, and as you read on the pitch above, it’s about a Mexican boy who searches for missing pets and accidentally gets caught up in an evil wizard’s plans to turn animals into monsters. It’s very voice-y, funny, and whimsical. Right now I’m also working on a YA Horror based in México that’s very spooky. My saying is that I write serious books. Because I do. Or do I? 

Carolina J. Gómez is an author, Computer Science and Business student, and artist. She was born and raised in Monterrey, México but is currently lost in fictional worlds and novels, living vicariously through her characters and wondering the “What-if’s” of the real world.

When not writing, reading; and when reading, living.

Carolina J. Gómez is represented by Tricia Lawrence at EMLA

You can find Carolina on:



Moving Past Rejection

Rejection in publishing may be commonplace but it is also one of the hardest things to get used to and move past when you start querying. You’ll often see writers celebrating their first query rejection online and sporting it as a badge of honor. Which it totally is! It means that you’re putting yourself and your project out there. But this is no easy feat to come to terms with when you’re quite literally asking professionals within the industry to cast their opinion on your project. A project that you might have spent years perfecting. That might cover personal traumas. That is personal any way you put it. Sometimes, moving past rejection is easier said than done and it can definitely take a whole lot of time to master.

The reality is, though, most likely if you are pursuing traditional publishing you will be inundated with rejection during every stage of the process. Not just while you’re querying. But once you go on submission, once you request blurbs, once you start receiving trade reviews. Learning the ability to move past rejection is as valuable as learning proper pacing. 

And it’s not impossible.

Moving past rejection for you might involve celebrating passes. Perhaps every time you get a pass, you indulge in a chocolate or small treat. Or it might involve learning to completely forget about passes, quickly deleting them from your inbox as if they never existed and letting them fleet away. It might involve venting to a writer friend or someone in your family and having their kind words of encouragement comfort you. It might also involve realizing that when publishing professionals say that the industry is subjective, it’s because it is. Not all projects resonate with every agent or editor, nor should they. Could you imagine if every agent or editor wanted every project? It’d be chaos! And it is also a saturated market. Recent conversations abound with how overworked agents and editors are at the moment because they’re receiving pitches for more books than ever before. Querying isn’t easy right now, nor is being on submission. This is one of the reasons #LatinxPitch was created—in order to help Latinx writers during this difficult time, yet vital one when it comes to adding more diverse voices to publishing.

Moving past rejection might take time. Or it might come naturally for you. It might hurt or make you feel like an imposter. 

Whatever your feelings are, it’s important to distinguish passes from failure. Every time you get a pass, it’s a stepping stone. For every stone you throw down, you’re forging your path toward reaching your publishing goals. Not being able to sign with an agent or making a sale from your first manuscript on submission isn’t failure. It means you’re trying. It means that you care enough for it to bother you, which means that you’re in the right place, trying to make your publishing dreams happen one way or another and not letting possible rejection stop you. 

Which is to say, pa’lante.

The Anatomy of a Query Letter

Updated August 17, 2022.

If you are pursuing traditional publishing, your road to signing with an agent will likely begin by writing a query letter. But what should you include in your query letter?

Read on for all kinds of query letter help!


Your first paragraph should include your character’s age if you are writing for kidlit, something about their personality, and what they want and are dealing with at the beginning of your story.

The body section of your query letter should include your inciting incident, turning points that progressively up the story’s stakes, and finally, what’s at stake if your character fails and what do they get if they succeed that ties back to growth from what they want from the first paragraph.

Your final paragraph(s) should include information about the manuscript, including your title, age group it’s written for, word count (rounded up or down to the nearest thousand), comp titles, and any other fact about it you would like to highlight. This includes if you want to highlight that you share a marginalization with your main character. You can also include a couple of sentences for your biography, though, your biography usually shouldn’t be longer than any of the body paragraphs. Finally, don’t forget to thank the agent for their time!


13-year-old Gabe doesn’t care about being a brujo protege when he rather be reading and engaging with his followers on book TikTok. But when his mama becomes seriously ill from an ailment that seems to be coming from the commission dedicated to protecting brujx, he must shelve his TBR list and dust off his wand to save her.

With the help of his followers, he gets closer to a cure and the truth—the commission headmaster, Antonio de la Rivera, is seeking to be the only brujo left standing. Now he must band together and meet some of his long-time followers and friends in person to defeat the brujo. Including his TikTok crush, Ruby, who turns out to be a seasoned bruja.

Though success is easier said than won when they must fight off fantasmas, evade a nosey detective trying to show that brujx are real, and make sure Gabe’s little brother doesn’t fall under the curse as well. If Gabe doesn’t succeed, all of humankind might fall under the brujx spell, not just brujx. But if he can save the day, he might just realize his abilities aren’t the curse he’s always thought they were and finally find a home within the brujx community, offline.

BRUJO is a middle grade contemporary fantasy featuring a Mexican American main character. It is 45,000 words long and will appeal to fans of WITCHLINGS by Claribel A. Ortega and Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova.

Like Gabe, I am Mexican American. I live in California with my husband and newborn. Per your submission guidelines, please see the first ten pages of the manuscript below.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration.

Sandra Proudman

(Contact info)


1. ELIMINATE THE WHY?/HOW? Eliminate any chance for an agent to ask why a certain fact is how it is. Or why a certain character makes a certain choice. i.e. Luna is a vampire with a soul who goes on a secret mission. Well: Why is she going on a secret mission? And what is this secret mission? A better sentence would be: After vampire Luna loses her soul going after a human slayer who curses her, she ends up on a secret mission on behalf of the slayer who promises to give her back her soul in exchange for a leaf from the tree of life.

2. DON’T BE VAGUE: This one definitely lends itself to cracking Tip #1. There’s no reason to be vague in a query. Being mysterious isn’t really a good thing. It’s okay to reveal some juicy info that a reader won’t find out until the last chapter to an agent/editor you’re trying to hook. And you want to be as specific as you can so that your query makes sense.

3. IT’S OKAY NOT TO INCLUDE EVERY STANDARD PART OF A QUERY: Don’t stress out about a bio. It’s okay not to include one at all! Focus on telling an agent about your story. Especially if you’re submitting through Query Manager, there will likely be other other sections in your submission that you will be able to talk about yourself. You also don’t have to include a note on why you’re pitching said agent unless it’s on their submission guidelines. Always follow their guidelines!

4. ASK A FEW PEOPLE TO READ YOUR QUERY LETTER: Feedback can be vital to getting your query ready to send off. You may think you’ve written the perfect query and then someone will spot a mistyped word you’ll be shocked you missed!

5. FOCUS ON YOUR STORY: A query is a professional cover letter. Don’t make strange comments to the agent you’re querying. And don’t be rude or mean or demeaning to someone you’re asking to consider you for a business partner. Even if they pass.

6. COMP TITLES: Comp titles will not make or break your query! You do not have to include comp titles at all unless an agent has asked for them in their submission guidelines. If you do have to include them, or would like to, you’ll be surprised how comp titles start coming to you when you read and keep track of books within your genre. You can also compare your writing to that of another author. Even a feeling another book gave you, a movie, show, or even a song. It’s perfectly okay to say your MS is written in a similar voice as X, Y, and Z.

7. ONLY USE THE NAMES OF THREE CHARACTERS: Only using the names of three characters tops will help agents keep up with what your story is about more easily. These are usually your MC, your antagonist, and your romantic lead. This helps you figure out Tip #8!

8. CHOOSE ONE STORYLINE: How do you condense a novel that’s 35,000-120,000 words down to one page? UGH! So hard sometimes! The biggest thing is to focus on your turning points. Set the stage with your MC, who they are, and what they want. Then describe the turning point that sends your MC down their path and mission. And then describe the challenges your MC faces to get their mission done. And finally, describe the consequences your MC will face if they fail. And what they’ll get if they’re victorious.

9. IT’S OKAY TO DESCRIBE YOUR WORLD FIRST: A lot of people will tell you to start with your main character. But there are times when you NEED to describe your world first so that the rest of your query to make sense. That’s OKAY!

10. LOOK AT YOUR QUERY LAYOUT: It might not be something you’ve thought about before, but the readability of your query in terms of how daunting it looks can make a difference in the way it’s read! Try keeping each paragraph only a few sentences long, and breaking long paragraphs up, so that they’re easy to follow for agents who are very much overloaded.

11. FOLLOW SUBMISSION GUIDELINES INCLUDING QUERY MANAGER SECTIONS: If you’re sending a query through Query Manager, you might notice that some agents also ask miscellaneous questions! Adding a couple of sentences into these sections (even if you are querying as an illustrator) might go a long way if an agent decides that they’re interested in learning more about you and your work. These are areas outside of your standard query that you can use to talk more about yourself and your work!

12. KEEP TRACK OF WHO YOU’VE QUERIED: In the age of Query Manager, if an agent is on the program, they can easily tell when someone has sent in the same submission already. Using a spreadsheet, folders, or even notes to keep track of what agents you query, what the status of each query is, and what agencies you’re querying at once, can help aviod any mishaps.

13. ILLUSTRATORS: If you’re querying a picture book, be sure to have your dummy for that project ready to go. In terms of your portfolio, don’t miss out on getting feedback from friends and other industry professionals before you query to make sure you’re putting your best work in your sample. And make sure that your sample shows inclusivity. For graphic novels, it’s always great to have a few spreads of sample work to show. And even though illustrators don’t have to do a general query as much, writing a paragraph or a few in your submission through email or Query Manager, will help agents get to know you.

14. USE YOUR QUERY TO REALIZE YOU MAY NOT BE READY TO QUERY: If you’re finding you can’t make your query concise enough any way you turn it, it’s time to relook at your manuscript. And it’s a good thing to do this before your start to query!

Querying can be one of the most challenging and stressful things for writers since it’s such an important factor to achieving representation from an agent. We hope that this blog post has given you the confidence to refine your query for #LatinxPitch and beyond!

The Agent Call & 10 Questions to Ask

Your querying journey will likely culminate in “The Call,” which is when an agent that you’ve sent your full manuscript to invites you to hop on a phone call or video chat with them, which most often leads to an offer of representation.

If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! It’s no small feat and should be celebrated to the fullest.

Although The Call can cause all kinds of jitters, it doesn’t have to be stressful. During The Call, you’ll likely hear the agent gush about your project, want to know more about what you’re working on next, and overall sell you on themselves and their agency.

It’s important to note that even if an agent invites you on a call and offers you representation, you do not have to accept it. Be ready to interview them as much as it might seem they’re interviewing you. Before the end of The Call, be sure to ask to be connected to two or three of their clients prior to making your decision to sign with them and their agency. It is also standard practice to ask for two weeks to consider their offer of representation (you can ask for more time as well, if necessary) during which you can reach out to other agents with your fulls, partials, or query and see if they’re interested in offering representation.   

A few ways you can prepare for The Call include knowing about the agent and agency in terms of who they represent that you’re familiar with and any recent deals they might have brokered, thinking about what future projects are on your queue you can chat about, and preparing questions.

Below are 10 questions to consider including in your list:

  1. Are you planning to represent just this project or my career? How do you typically develop a writer’s career? And are you willing to represent books I write for age groups and genres outside of your norm? Career building and planning is definitely something that your agent should have some idea on. A lot depends on what happens with project one, etc, but you can get an overall idea from them. These questions will give you an idea if the agent usually represents writers per project or for their career. If an agent will only represent you on a project-by-project basis, having a long-term idea of when you will need to possibly start looking for a new agent can save you lots of heartache in the future.
  2. Are you an editorial agent? Why or why not? Meaning, will they revise the manuscript with you beforehand or just do small edits and send it off to editors. Both have their pros and cons, and one might matter to you more.
  3. How many clients do you have and how do you juggle your workload with your clients? You can also ask: On average how long does it take to get a project on submission?
  4. What is your communication style? And how fast are you able to reply to client emails? If you’re someone who expects day-of answers on questions or issues that might arise, asking a potential agent how quickly they respond to requests from clients will give you an idea on whether their communication style matches your expectations.
  5. How does your agency support you? Feeling supported by your agency is just as important as feeling supported by your agent. Especially if the agent you’re speaking to is newer to the industry, knowing their support and mentorship system is important!
  6. What are some projects you’ve recently sold or signed? If you write sci-fi and all they’ve sold recently are contemporaries in a different age group that’s good to consider!
  7. What changes do you think my manuscript needs, if any? If there are things you are not willing to change that the agent mentions, better to have the conversation before. Many agents won’t tell you everything, so you can always mention some things you don’t want to change, too.
  8. Do your clients talk to one another? Does your agency do any type of conferences or events for writers within the agency to meet? Are you a social person? Networking within your agency can always be helpful.
  9. How does your agency handle foreign and television/movie rights? This is a business and knowing that a potential agency has access and experience with other avenues that can make you income is awesome!
  10. How does your agency support marginalized writers/writers of color? Knowing beforehand how your agency supports their Latinx clients, can help you feel more at home even if the agent you sign with isn’t Latinx.

There are many other questions you can ask based on what’s important to you as a writer. These can be regarding an agents list, editorial eye, or even contract questions.

Now that you’re more familiar with The Call, whether it ends in an offer of representation or not, we hope that you’re feeling better prepared to take a massive and important step toward reaching your traditional publishing goals.

Preparing #LatinxPitch Submission Materials

LatinxPitch Submission Materials - Twitter Literary Pitch Event

You’ve saved the day to your calendar, you’ve finished your manuscript(s), but what else should you have ready before participating in #LatinxPitch?


Most of—if not all of—the time you’ll need to submit a query letter with your manuscript sample pages. We recommend having a few people read and offer feedback to help you with a final version.

Although less commonplace, some agents might also want a synopsis, or a short version of a story outline that shows your character’s complete arc. Having one already handy that has also been read by a few people is also a good idea!


If you’re participating as a writer looking for an agent, whether you get one like from agents or thirty, one easy (and free) way to keep track of requesting agents is to organize a folder on your desktop for the event. Inside of it, you can add a folder with the names of each requesting agent and add in copies of the materials they’ve requested. This will help keep varying requests separate from one another and help you avoid sending the wrong files. Having this type of filing system also allows you to keep track of who you’ve queried by color tagging files and folders and it gives you room to move agent folders around as you hear back. Even if you’re participating as an unagented writer, it’s also good to have a file that includes the names of any editors that interact with your pitch for the future!


Having these two files prepared before participating in #LatinxPitch can save you time later on—a full manuscript and a 50-page partial (the most common partial). Spruce up your manuscript files up by adding in a placeholder page for your query letter addressed to each requesting agent at the beginning of your file, making sure your pages are numbered, and ensuring that your manuscript uses standard fonts and colors (you can never go wrong with Times New Roman).


You’re allowed to pitch each manuscript once in the morning and once in the evening during #LatinxPitch. Like your query and synopsis, be sure to try to get feedback on your Tweets before sending them out to get the most out of your experience. Once you’ve finalized the two (per project), you can always use a scheduling tool like TweetDeck to have them ready to go on September 15th if you won’t have time to send them out in real-time the day of.

Now that you have a good idea on what you might need after #LatinxPitch is over, make sure to join the community during our pitch practice day on Wednesday, September 1st. Members of #LatinxPitch and the writing community at large will be able to offer comments on your Tweets, so be sure to take advantage of any chance to get feedback!

How to Research Agents Prior to Querying

How To Research Agents Prior to Querying

One of the biggest steps a new writer will take on their path to publication is finding an agent to represent their manuscript and/or career. It’s exciting! But it can also be stressful to make such an important decision without a whole lot of information regarding agents available. And without having met someone who will become your business partner before, and sometimes even after, you sign with them.

How do you research agents prior to querying? Or after you’ve queried and have gotten a full request or offer of representation?

Here are five ways you can learn more about an agent before signing with them:

  1. Look at the agent’s track record

Some agents will have the books they’ve represented on their website or available elsewhere like on Publisher’s Marketplace (though PM is a paid option). If you’re looking for something unpaid, you can also do some research on an agent’s clients (if that list is available) and gather information on their client’s releases. This is a wonderful way to see if your project will fit with the projects they represent. Worth noting, however, that new agents might not necessarily have made a lot of deals. In this case, you can always take a look at the agent’s agency.

  1. The agent’s agency (especially if they are a new/newer agent, this can be super handy)

Signing with a new agent isn’t a bad thing. There have been many new agents that have excelled in their field in a matter of a couple of years and now have sizable lists and great track records. It might also mean that your project and career will have more attention from an agent that doesn’t have a wide list yet. What you might want to look at is whether or not a new agent who is interested in representing you has the resources, toolkit, and mentorship available to them at their agency. Are they being taught the trade by a senior agent that has experience in your age group and genres? Is the agency that they’re at legitimate, well-known, and without red flags?

  1. Reach out to current clients or to writer friends 

There has been some controversy the past year on whether or not querying writers should reach out to an agent’s clients outside of those an agent connects them with after The Call. Although it’s true that different writers will have different experiences with the same agent, therefore, a writer might critique an agent based on personal business preferences, it’s also important to be as comfortable querying an agent as possible. If this means talking to current clients (respectfully so) or seeing what information is out there about an agent, you are completely within your right to do so.

  1. Look at QueryTracker

QueryTracker is a paid yearly subscription database that allows you to keep track of the agents you’ve queried and your query status for each. Because it’s a shared database, it also gives you a timeline of responses per agent and lets other writers share their statuses and experiences with you. This is a great way to see how long an agent usually takes to respond, where you might be in their queue, and see if there are any negative notes from other querying writers left regarding the agent.

  1. Find interviews online

Some agents will participate in cons or panels that are later posted on YouTube or made available online. Seeing an agent and getting to know them on video is at least second best to getting to meet and pitch to them in person. You might also be able to find online interviews that don’t contain videos but will still allow you to learn more about an agent, their style, and what they’re looking for! 

It’s important to remember during any pitch event that you don’t have to send your query or manuscript to all the agents who request it. When it comes to choosing representation, remember to go with your gut and to do your due diligence. Only query the agents who you would be happy about getting an offer of representation from. And who you are sure are legitimately in the business. Knowing how to learn about agents prior to querying can help you narrow down your list and make signing with an agent so much less stressful!

The Different Types of Agent Responses from Querying

You’ve done it! You’ve sent away your first queries (or are planning to send some soon) and are now patiently (or not so much) refreshing your inbox for any news from agents.

What are some of the responses you might hear back?

Read on for some of the most common.


Let’s get the not-so-fun responses out of the way first. You might receive a pass on your query within a few hours, a few days, or even months down the line after sending your pitch to agents. The majority of agents still respond to every query, but some don’t have the bandwidth to do so. Likely these agents will have a timeline posted on their submission guidelines that will let you know how many weeks after you submit to them can you consider their response a pass. Passes at the initial querying level are typically generic, with the agent simply stating that they didn’t fall in love with the project, that the pitch just wasn’t for them, or even that they already have something similar on their list. It’s important to not take passes to heart. Though this is difficult, publishing is a very subjective business. All it takes is one yes, so keep querying!


There might be times when an agent passes on your manuscript but invites you to submit your next project to them. Or even asks you if there is another project that they can look at from you at the moment. Among the many reasons you should be professional when messaging agents after passes, this is a big one! Agents don’t offer to look at more projects from you unless they’re truly interested. This kind of pass might also keep you motivated to keep writing and working on your next project.


Based on your query and sample pages (if applicable) an agent might ask for a partial of your manuscript, which is usually fifty pages or so, or they might go straight to requesting your full manuscript. It’s a good rule of thumb to include your query letter at the start of the Word document before sending it to agents. And make sure that your manuscript is a standard, 12 pt., black font. A partial might also turn into a full request, so be prepared to send your full manuscript in a timely manner.


You might have heard the term R&R before but haven’t been entirely sure what it means. R&R stands for Revise and Resubmit. This is when an agent passes on but also invites you to revise your manuscript based on their feedback (which could be extensive or a sentence or two) and send your manuscript back to them if you choose to make their changes. An R&R is completely optional! You should definitely believe in the changes being offered before tackling an R&R. If you choose to complete an R&R, it’s also good to keep in mind that it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll receive an offer of representation, but it is an opportunity to potentially make your manuscript stronger with the feedback from an agent!


The most exciting thing that can happen once you’ve sent an agent your full manuscript is hearing that they’re interested in hopping on a call! This might be a phone or video call, the latter of which has become more commonplace since the pandemic started. The Call might be an offer of representation, which the agent might tell you about beforehand, or it could be to discuss changes before offering representation. Rarely, but it does happen, The Call might be a pass with the intent of offering feedback on a more personal level. It’s important to not jump to any conclusions about The Call, but to also be prepared! The Call is as much about you as a writer getting to know a potential agent and interviewing them as it is the other way around. Have questions ready to go, and maybe a celebratory meal planned for the best possible outcome.

Although this isn’t a full list of agent responses you might hear on your querying journey, we hope it has helped prepare you for five of the most common. Whatever responses you receive from agents, remember to celebrate that you have gotten this far. Querying is not an easy road or process, and just having the confidence to send out your work is a major step in becoming a traditionally published writer!

Managing Twitter Pitch Event Expectations

You’ve surely heard that no publishing journey is the same and it’s so true! Some writers will query for the first time, find an agent in days, and land a six-figure deal within a week. Although these are unicorn cases, they’re often the stories we hear most often and daydream about. Meanwhile, the reality is that most published writers will have queried and gone out on submission with multiple projects before finding a home in traditional publishing. Both cases are absolutely okay and can lead to successful writing careers. So much about the publishing industry revolves around managing expectations and doing so for pitch contests isn’t any different than for any other part of the process.

Whether this is your first time participating in a Twitter pitch day or your 10th, here are three realities that might help you manage Twitter pitch event expectations:

  1. You might not receive any likes or retweets. As recent years have gone by, Twitter pitch events have gained momentum and popularity. Although this means that more agents and editors are participating in events, it also means that lots of writers have adopted this as one of their favorite methods of gauging interest from agents/editors prior to sending out queries and pitches for their manuscripts. The most popular pitch events are reaching tens of thousands of posts. This is a lot of writers pitching on an extremely fast-moving thread, especially when the target audience doesn’t have the bandwidth to review all the tweets sent out. TIP: In order to make the most out of your Tweets, schedule them at least an hour apart so they appear at different places in the event thread.
  2. Agents and Editors might react differently to your pitch once they receive your query letter and sample pages. 280 characters is not a lot of room to completely pitch your manuscript, so it’s understandable that agents and editors might react and be more or even less excited once they receive your query letter and sample pages. TIP: Double-check that your pitch matches the content in your query letter, and that your query letter matches the content in your sample pages if applicable. Consistency can be extremely helpful in keeping agents/editors interested in your project based on what they read about it in a Tweet. 
  3. The number of likes/retweets you get on a pitch don’t necessarily matter. This one might seem contradictory; however, the reality is that you can get one like from an agent that amounts to a full request that might turn into an offer of representation, or you might get ten or thirty with the same outcome. Or an adverse outcome. TIP: More than worrying about the number of likes you might get, concentrate on celebrating that you’re putting your manuscript(s) out there and the many ways you can take advantage of a pitch event!

It’s impossible not to think of the possibilities that come with a Twitter pitch event. This might be what leads to you finding the perfect representation or even house for your project, and that’s a big deal. Hopefully these realities of what pitch events can be like, though, help you navigate the realities and what is likely to happen during the event and focus on the most important part of it all: The simple fact that you believe in your manuscript enough to participate is already a win!