Making the Most Out of the #LatinxPitch Experience

There’s a whole community behind the #LatinxPitch event and we want you to be a part of it!

One common question that new writers and illustrators, or even writers and illustrators who have been around on Twitter for a while, ask is how to make more connections and build a stronger presence within the publishing community.

A way to do this is by making the most out of Twitter pitch events like #LatinxPitch.

So how do you do that?

#LatinxPitch is a great way to find critique partners! You can search the day of and connect with others who write in your same genre and for the same age group. Simply comment on their tweets and mention that you want to connect. It’s normal to start by exchanging three chapters (or a PB book draft) of a work in progress with a potential/new critique partner to see if you both connect with one another’s work and critique style.

If you end up with minimal or no likes during the event you can still connect with agents or editors by searching for other projects/artwork they liked that are similar to yours. This is a great way to build a cold querying list. Even if you get likes from agents or editors this is still a way to supplement your list and cast a wider net when querying (and when you eventually go on submission to editors).

A third way to make the most out of the event is to connect with established writers and illustrators beforehand. Or even during the event when many writers and illustrators hop on to uplift and support those who are pitching.

Have a question? Use the hashtag #LatinxPitch or send a tweet to @LatinxPitch and we’ll help!

Beyond Twitter, we also have other online resources on our blog where you’ll find lots of useful information to help build your industry knowledge base. Some of our other blog posts include the agent call as well as how to put together a strong query letter.

We hope that #LatinxPitch is as social as it is helpful for Latinx writers and illustrators of all levels. Our aim is to not only make it easier for editors and agents to connect with Latinx writers and illustrators, but also to make it easier for the Latinx publishing community to find each other, unite, and move toward more kidlit books being published by Latinx writers and illustrators.

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?

A QUERY LETTER AND A SYNOPSIS

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!

A WAY TO KEEP YOUR QUERIES ORGANIZED

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!

A FULL MANUSCRIPT AND A 50-PAGE PARTIAL

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).

PREPARING AND SCHEDULING YOUR TWEETS

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!

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!

What’s a Twitter pitch?

A Twitter pitch is a short and catchy “what my book is about”. Think of it as an elevator pitch but with the word count constrains of Twitter. For our event, #LatinxPitch, you also need to leave room for hashtags for your genre (#PB, #CB, #MG, #GN, #YA) or if you are #Agented.

Quick tips:

  • Remember to add our hashtag #LatinxPitch either at the beginning or end of your tweet.
  • Your manuscript should be ready to go when you participate on this event. Sure, you could still polish it and make revisions, but the story has to be finished. We’re not pitching ideas, but complete manuscripts.
  • Write your pitch several days in advance and include hashtags to see how many characters you have. Twitter allows up to 280 characters including spaces.
  • You may want to use Twitterdeck to keep track of likes and retweets of your pitch. Learn more HERE
  • Polish your pitch and keep it simple. Your tweet should capture the heart of your story and present it in a compelling way.
  • When an agent or editor favorites your tweet, go to this person’s page and look for their guidelines for submission.
  • Keep in mind that even if an agent or editor picks your pitch, there’s no guarantee they will offer you a contract. But at least you would have a opportunity to show your work.
  • Have fun! Get to know other Latinx writers, follow their work, and if you can, buy their books (or request them at your library). Representation works only when we work actively towards it!