Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Pitches, and Contests, and Nerves! Oh my!

Oh man, guys. I'm sorry I haven't posted anything lately. (I feel like I've said that the last few posts) BUT this time I kinda of have a reason. I've been in the process of moving from one house to another and it was a lot of work. Plus, it's the end of the school year and that's always a little busier for me with getting everything finished up with my students and getting stuff ready for summer school too. Anyway, on to today's post!

I gotta be honest here, guys. I kind of struggled with deciding to write up this post or not. On one side, I didn't want it to come off like bragging, and on the other side, it forces me to open up and expose myself a bit. Let me explain.

See, the other week, there was a contest on Twitter. It was a pitch contest under the hashtag #WVTP where, within a certain time frame, you could pitch your manuscript to several agents that would be reading the thread. (If you don't know what a pitch is, it's a quick sentence or two about your ms that should entice the reader to it)

(why yes, I found the strangest photo of a pitch that I could. And no, sadly, I am not really a Star Wars fan. But my twin sister--so it's kinda like me-- is, if that makes up for it.)

Well, I randomly saw someone in my feed tweet their pitch and it made me wonder why because at that point, I didn't know about the contest. So I went onto the hashtag and then the host's website and found out more about it. The problem was, the contest closed at 6pm and it was 5:30pm! The contest closed a 1/2 hour after I first learned about it. I kind of debating on even trying. Sooo many people were already entered and I didn't even have a pitch ready!

But you know what? I figured, why not? The worst that could happen is that my pitch gets ignored, right?

This is why it's so important to know your story, fully know it. If you need to reduce 80+ thousand words into just a sentence or two, you gotta know the heart and focus of your story.

So that's what I did. I threw a pitch out there (3 versions actually) and the last one got me the interest of 2 agents! (I feel very blessed and lucky too, because it was literally the last minute of the contest that this happened.)

I was ecstatic and nervous! (Who wouldn't be, right?!) I almost couldn't believe it!

And then I found out about another pitch contest (on YALITCHAT.org A great site for writers. Check it out! I think they're also having another pitch contest in July). This one gave a little more leeway in the length of the pitch. So, I entered that contest too. This one is still kind of going on actually. You can't enter anymore, but the agents are still commenting and such on the entries.

One agent (so far--that I know of) that's participating in this contest has seen my pitch and she asked to see some pages also. Again, ecstatic and nervous! This time I really couldn't believe it. (I may have danced around like a crazy woman each time one of these agents requested pages)

And here's the part where I feel exposed. Because as exciting and amazing as it is to have agents request pages from a pitch, they could still pass on my project. And I don't want to have to follow up with everyone that I told about this and tell them that the agents all passed.

But ya know what? Even if that happens, I'm still thankful for the experience. (And here's the real reason for this post.) I'm so grateful that I entered these contests because it's not just about the agents. THEY ARE AMAZING, don't get me wrong! But through this I've learned how to condense my story into a quick line or three. I've learned how to write a richer pitch that's enticing to read. And I've met some spectacular and supportive people from it that I never would have otherwise! I whole-heartedly encourage any of you out there that have a manuscript that you've edited/revised/polished-the-crap-out-of, and believe is ready for agents to look at, to search online and enter contests like these. Pitch contests, or first few pages/chapters, ect. Doesn't matter! They are an opportunity with multifaceted rewards that are just waiting for you. It's scary to put yourself (and your work) out there, but I believe it's worth the risk.

So go on! And have fun doing it!

(And if you want to know how I handle waiting [like with the responses from these agents] then check out my post on the Tangled blog!)

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on getting interest from agents from your pitch(es)! That's excellent!

    Thanks for tweeting about my contest! New follower :)