Last month, hundreds of thousands of writers around the world tried to write a novel in 30 days. National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is the event that pushed me to write my first novel. I love the community aspect of it more than anything. Writing is such a solitary activity, so it’s great to have so many brothers- and sisters-in-arms pursuing the same goal at the same time. Here’s how it went for me:
I had a steadier output this time, and I give some of the credit to Dannie Morin whose #Plan4WriMo prep series motivated me to outline and plan the book in advance. This year was my 6th consecutive victory. A totally new project, near-future sci-fi, that I outlined in advance and am SO excited about.
Recovering from NaNoWriMo
With 50K in the bag — or at least a valiant attempt made — those of us who participated in NaNoWriMO can return to civilization, and do things like:
- Re-acquaint ourselves with friends and family
- Catch up on housework, chores, bill-paying, etc.
- Sleep and/or shower
- Get back to blogging or editing or other writing-related work that was shunted mercilessly aside.
If you’re a writer who participated or just happen to live with one, rejoice! It’s over for now. And in case you missed it, Red Sofa Literary Agency (my agency) did 30 posts in 30 days about writing, authorship, publishing, etc. This is their way of supporting the crazy authors of NaNoWriMo, and it also happens to make for great reading.
Pitching Contests: #PitMad and #SFFpit
With NaNoWriMo out of the way, we can shift our attentions from writing to pitching.
This Thursday (12/4) is Brenda Drake’s #PitMad, a Twitter pitching event that’s open for all genres. My friend Diana Urban, who landed an agent through #PitMad last year, is running a pitch practice event on her blog. Please head over there if you’d like feedback on your pitch, or have some time to critique pitches by other authors.
Next Tuesday (12/9) is the second #SFFpit Twitter pitching event on Twitter! From 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Central Time), authors of completed science fiction / fantasy manuscripts can pitch their work to agents and editors using the #SFFpit hashtag. Last year we had over 500 authors participating, and (by my count) 26 literary agents from 20 different agencies. We’re hoping for an even bigger turnout this year!
If you’re planning to pitch your work to agents/editors in #PitMad, here are a few tips.
- Write a few different pitches. Variety is important, and increases the odds that a pitch will sing to those on the other end
- Schedule them in advance using a tool like Hootsuite, but make sure each one differs slightly (i.e. move the hashtag). Otherwise Twitter may not post them.
- Decide if you want to query agents or editors. You might get favorites from both, and generally you should choose one path or the other.
- Get feedback on your pitches from critique partners or author friends
- Give us character, conflict, and stakes. Be SPECIFIC and avoid cliches.
See also my Twitter pitching guide for some detailed advice on pitching your work.
Please Help Us Spread the Word!
Please consider tweeting one of the tweets below to help promote our contest!
|Click to Tweet A Twitter pitching event for agents, editors, and authors of sci-fi & fantasy. #SFFpit by @DanKoboldt on 12/9: http://dankoboldt.com/sffpit|
|Click to Tweet Science fiction & fantasy writers: Pitch your novel to agents & editors on Twitter! #SFFpit by @DanKoboldt is coming December 9, 2014.|
|Click to Tweet Coming December 9, 2014: The #SFFpit event for sci-fi/fantasy writers, hosted by @DanKoboldt. Spread the word! http://dankoboldt.com/sffpit|
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