I’ve received some lovely emails these last few days from writers whose pitches I reviewed and workshopped until I thought they were strong and unique enough to catch an agent’s or editor’s attention in the mad #PitchMAS feed last week. I noticed with undeniably smug satisfaction that some of the pitches I said were winners received requests. Not all of the pitches I critiqued got starred, which made me a bit sad, but out of twenty-something writers, it looked like about 14 received requests.
Those aren’t bad odds. It kind of makes me feel like a fairy godmother, except I know I’m not.
Now that the #PitchMAS Twitter party is over, it’s really just the start for these authors. A request from a pitch party is nothing more than an opportunity to move your query to the top of the pile. It’s not a guarantee of an offer of representation or publication. Yes, agents and editors have shown interest in the general concept, but you can only get so much across in 140 characters. A pitch is like a teaser promise: It’s supposed to hook the reader into the story. So now that an agent or editor is intrigued, it’s time for the writer to deliver on that promise.
To carry the Cinderella metaphor further, the pitch gets you to the ball. Whether or not Prince Charming falls in love with you is entirely on you.
I lucked out with my first Twitter pitch party event. My pitch not only caught an agent’s eye—it caught the agent’s eye, the agent I knew I wanted to represent me while I was still researching her. But here’s the thing: Not every story lends itself to 140 characters. Some stories require that full three- to five-paragraph query letter to grab an agent’s attention. And all stories require a well-written text.
So I hope each of the writers whose pitches I reviewed finds a good home for their manuscripts. I hope they find agents—and ultimately editors—who love their novels and are as passionate about them as their respective authors are.
And when the next pitch party rolls around, I’ll show up beforehand to offer help to anyone who asks.