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Did I say “free?” Why, yes. Yes I did. But first you’ll have to put up with some pom-pom waving on my part for a fellow authoress. All the excitement over on Twitter today re Brenda Drake’s cover reveal for Library Jumpers made me get my grateful freak on. Why? Because #PitMad, the quarterly Twitter-pitch event organised and hosted by the lovely Brenda Drake (where does that gal find the time?) was:

  • The reason I created a Twitter account
  • Where I met a passel of fantastic writing friends
  • How I learned how to pitch an 85,000-word novel in fewer than 140 characters
  • The first time one of my books got an agent’s attention
  • And…best of all…the event that made me think I could actually succeed in this writing game

In a strange twist of fate, neither of the books I peddled in last year’s #PitMad was the one that hooked me up with my über-fantastic agent, but that’s not important right now. My Twitter pitches did get a few lovely re-tweets from writers and gold stars from agents, but in the end, I wrote a different book and found representation via a different forum. Had I not, you can bet your sweet patootie I’d have been in the #PitMad trenches again. I’m not the only writer who’s been helped along by Brenda’s contests. Early this year, the talented Missy Shelton Belote announced a book deal. This week, another Twitter friend,Margarita Montimore, signed with her agent. Believe me, their #PitMad entries were fantastic and I’ll never, ever forget them. But a fantastic entry without a place to enter it is akin to a tree falling in a forest with no one to hear it crash. So…in the spirit of giving back, paying forward, and helping authors hone their literary huckstering, I’m happy to announce my first-ever query/pitch critique offer. It’s free. But nothing in life is truly free, so I’ll ask you to do two small things:

  1. Give a nice, big Twitter shout-out to @brendadrake! (I won’t be monitoring this, so you’re on your honour!) If you’d like to include it in your Tweet, here’s the link again to her announcement: http://www.brenda-drake.com/2015/05/cover-reveal-library-jumpers-by-brenda-drake/
  2. Reply to this post with a comment on what you love most about #PitMad, #PitchMadness, or any other pitch contest. Success stories also welcome!

That’s all, folks. I’ll pick a winner at random from the commenters and offer a free critique of your one-page query letter OR your set of four Twitter pitches. Winner’s choice.

My credentials?

  • I write stuff. Books, queries, doctoral dissertations, Twitter pitches, loglines. They seem to work. 🙂
  • I’m a born researcher. If there’s guidance available on querying or pitching, I’ve read it.
  • Two of my Twitter pitches got me offers of representation (yay!) My query letter for Lucky Thirteen earned a few offers (the query text and the stats are at the bottom of this post).

I’ll start the contest when this post goes live and end it on 2 June 2015 at 5 PM Eastern time — a short window, but I’m keeping the date of the next #PitMad in mind (Thursday, 4 June). If it works, we’ll try it again…maybe when Missy’s book hits the shelves!