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Pitch Madness / Pitch Wars / #PitMad (Brenda Drake)

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didi768

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I hope this is okay to post. When I'm on Twitter I see this mentioned a lot. It's called Pitch Madness and it's where you can pitch your first chapter etc. and get agents to ask to see more. Here is the link...I really was not sure where to put this so if it's in the wrong place, please correct me. Thanks!
http://www.brenda-drake.com/pitch-madness/
 
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Sage

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Cheering you all on!
Pitch Madness and #PitMad are related contests that are very legitimate. That said, you should do research about any agent or editor participating and requesting from you.
 

Thedrellum

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I haven't taken part in it, but I know people who've both taken part and been mentors. If you're looking to improve your novel et al. while possibly getting in front of an agent, then I think it's definitely worth it.
 

mayqueen

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I have. I've done the twitter pitch thing and submitted to PitchWars. I didn't get picked, though, so I can't speak to that experience.
 

Putputt

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I've been on the other end of PitchWars, where I interned for an agent who requested 6 partials based on the pitches. He divvied the 6 up between me and another intern and told us he wants us to read them FAST. Out of those 6, 4 were rejected, and 2 became requests for fulls. Out of the 2, 1 was rejected, the other 1 got an offer. It all happened fast, like within a couple of weeks or so, so if you're looking for a speedier turnaround, things like PitchWars work well. If you have a novel ready to be queried, I don't think it can hurt.
 

SuperKate

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I did Pitch Madness a few months ago. That's different from Pitch Wars in that it doesn't have a formal mentoring component (though there were feedback opportunities, if I'm recalling correctly). I had a great experience with it. I met a ton of people, got some agent requests, and came away amazed at the incredible supportiveness of the writing community. I'd say go for it.
 

oceansoul

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One of my critique partners has been a Pitch Wars mentor for quite a few 'seasons.' She really enjoys doing it and I think her mentees have gotten quite a few requests. She puts in a lot of work with her mentees -- several manuscript passes, extensive editing notes, line edits.

You don't have anything to lose by trying. At the worst, you don't get in. At the best, you make an experienced writer friend, attract an agent and land a publishing contract!
 

WendyN

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I made it in as an "alternate" two years ago. I got a few requests (actually was offered rep on a different novel before anything came of them, though), but I think the best part of the experience was connecting with my mentor. We've kept in touch and her advice and encouragement has been invaluable.
 

kclaw

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I've been kind of on the fence about whether or not to go for pitch wars this year, but all of your stories about the value of the mentorship and community are starting to make me think I should go for it! Thanks!
 

Filigree

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I think all of these contests have value...as long as the participating authors really research every invitation, favorite, and 'win'. It seems like the pitch wars system is now crawling with new, incompetent, or downright predatory agents and publishers.
 

Sheryl Nantus

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I think all of these contests have value...as long as the participating authors really research every invitation, favorite, and 'win'. It seems like the pitch wars system is now crawling with new, incompetent, or downright predatory agents and publishers.

But, to be fair - EVERY writer should be doing this.

I didn't go the PitchWars route but I did plug my book at #AdPit - for Adult Novels. Got me not one but two agents, Rachel Brooks from the Perkins Agency and Louise Fury from the Bent Agency. They got me a three-book deal with Samhain (yes, I know - but a better contract than before!) and have been working for future deals ever since.

Do your research... but don't be afraid to step out and see if the odds are, maybe, in your favor.

;)
 

stephsco

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Full disclosure: I'm a Pitch Wars mentor this year (and was last year too). I maintain I learned more than I passed on to the writers I worked with, though they were both really gracious. I met so many writers through PW and 2 manuscripts I passed on working with got agents shortly after not getting picked for the contest. Both of them I suggested they go ahead and query b/c they seemed ready.

I think all of these contests have value...as long as the participating authors really research every invitation, favorite, and 'win'. It seems like the pitch wars system is now crawling with new, incompetent, or downright predatory agents and publishers.

I *think* you mean #pitmad for this, the twitter pitch free-for-all. The Pitch Wars agent round agents should all be from credible agencies with sales information available on Publisher's Marketplace. The twitter pitch stuff there has been some recent issues with agents of varying credibility requesting work, mainly because how can you regulate a twitter hashtag? It's open to anyone. I'm a bit leery of the twitter pitch process myself. Regardless, in any contest, authors should be the ones ultimately in control and you don't have to send materials to everyone who requests it. I've advised against sending a few times to people for different reasons.
 
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Filigree

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No, sadly, I have to include Pitch Wars in that caveat. Just because an agent or publisher shows up on Pub Marketplace doesn't mean they are completely legit or without issues. (The names I have seen listed, ouch.)

But yes, open twitter pitches are madness. Entertaining, too.
 

lianna williamson

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Anyone in particular from this year's roster to wary of? I've been researching them one by one, but quite possibly not effectively. Is searching the agents and/or agency names on this forum enough to uncover what I need to know?
 

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I just wanted to chime in and say that the community support is really fantastic (particularly for Pitch Wars). Through the tag, sometimes other writers will offer to do critiques or give feedback for queries/pitches/first pages, and I found that pretty helpful last year.

For Pitch Madness, I don't have any specific examples to be leery of, but I saw some newer publishing companies were pretty active in favoriting tweet pitches, so that can be a bit risky, just because they don't have an established reputation yet, and you don't know what you're getting into.
 

oceansoul

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I think all of these contests have value...as long as the participating authors really research every invitation, favorite, and 'win'. It seems like the pitch wars system is now crawling with new, incompetent, or downright predatory agents and publishers.

I've had a look at the lineup for this year's participating agents and they look pretty solid! Of course, writers should definitely be doing their own research, but there are a lot of good agents. I'm probably less worried about the predatory editors/agents in the #pitchwars contest than in others ,because each of the writers get a mentor to help them and it's not as random as twitter favourites.

I did #pitmad and #sffpit when I was querying last. I got a few great requests and one that seemed hella sketchy. Kind of a mixed bag, but that's twitter.
 

SBibb

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I've done both #pitmad and #sffpit, and I quite enjoyed the experience. It's a good way to see which of your log lines is favored. I had a couple agents interested (who ultimately rejected the query I sent) and a couple small presses that I looked over and decided to pass on submitting to. I'm not doing Pitmad now that I plan to self-publish, but I had fun when I did participate. I've heard of people finding their agents through Pitmad, though, so it can be a viable way of getting attention to your query, even if it might have been rejected before.
 

Krista G.

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No, sadly, I have to include Pitch Wars in that caveat. Just because an agent or publisher shows up on Pub Marketplace doesn't mean they are completely legit or without issues. (The names I have seen listed, ouch.)

As someone who's organized multi-agent contests in the past, I'll say that it's extremely difficult to ensure that every agent in the contest is of the same caliber. That said, I've always tried to make sure that at least the agency has a proven track record with recent, reputable sales. As long as an agent--or his/her agency--is selling regularly to reputable publishers, it comes down to personality types and working styles, which are as subjective as tastes in manuscripts. A working style that suits one client might not suit another, but that doesn't mean the agent is a bad agent. It just means that agent isn't a good fit for that writer.

Unless you can specify which agents in this year's Pitch Wars are illegitimate or have issues, I think this is kind of a blanket statement that might not be as helpful as you think.

Disclaimer: I'm a friend of Brenda's and have worked with her on multiple contests in the past, though I'm not involved in Pitch Wars this year.
 

Filigree

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I didn't see any issues with this round's lineup, Krista. I have, in the past.

As far as blanket statements, I'm keeping it on the level of a general warning that all authors should heed, anyway. For anything to be specifically useful, it might also be litigious. Been there, done that; it's why I have Filigree's Rule now, and don't directly step between naive authors and problematic publishers or agents.
 

Krista G.

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I didn't see any issues with this round's lineup, Krista. I have, in the past.

As far as blanket statements, I'm keeping it on the level of a general warning that all authors should heed, anyway. For anything to be specifically useful, it might also be litigious. Been there, done that; it's why I have Filigree's Rule now, and don't directly step between naive authors and problematic publishers or agents.

Fair enough, Filigree!
 

kclaw

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Thanks for the heads up and discussion on this topic, guys! It's really helpful. I'm pretty impressed with the calibre of this year's Pitch wars agents -- many of them are on my to-query list anyway. It's worth noting too that an agent who might request materials (during Pitch Wars or any other contest) might be a good agent for that specific project, but maybe not for the writer's whole career. As someone who writes in multiple genres, that's definitely something on my mind while I'm querying/pitching.
 

Smiley0501

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Just here to say I got my agent by tweeting during #PitMad. I wasn't going to do it but my CPs suggested I do it, so I threw a few out. I got 2 requests, and one of the agents ended up offering...I got 3 more offers after that but kept going back to the #PitMad requesting agent.

So I always say - do the online contests. You never know :)

My other suggestion, especially for #Pitmad, is to research the agents and editors.
 
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