Monday, March 20, 2017

New #Pitmad Thursday March 23

by Susan J Berger
PitMad is coming up on March 23rd 2017. 8:00AM to 8:00 PM EDT
What is PitMad? I am so glad you asked. It's speed dating for authors.

This information is from Brenda Drake's site.
#PitMad is a pitch party on Twitter where writers tweet a 140 character pitch for their completed, polished, unpublished manuscripts. ANY Genre

New Rules:  you may only tweet three (3) pitches (they can be different pitches or the same pitch) per project for the day. You may pitch more than one project. I suggest every four hours or so tweet a different pitch. Or tweet during breakfast, lunch, & dinner breaks.

The pitch must include the hashtag #PitMad and the category (#YA, #MG, #A, #NA, #PB etc.) in the tweet. The “#” is important to include. It will sort the categories to make it easier for the agents/publishers.

For more information about Twitter Pitching visit this post by agent@carlywatters here and this post by #PitMad alum @DianaUrbanhere. And here find a post from Diana on how to filter out spam from the #PitMad feed.

What an opportunity.  3 pitches per project. Each of the three tweets must be slightly different. (easy way? Change the position of the hashtags in the post. Put them on a spreadsheet.)
First job. Compose your enticing tweet. approximately 126  characters (You have to leave room for the hashtags #pitmad #YA  That's 13 characters right there.
I searched the internet for advice on how to compost a great tweet. On Ava Jae's Blog I found this:
By the end of your Twitter pitch, readers should know a few key things about your novel: 
  • Who your MC is. 
  • What’s at stake. 
  • Essence of plot. 
  • Genre. 
  • Bonus: What makes your story unique. 
  • Bonus: Conveying the voice. 
Her example: 
Cade is unaware a secret society has been watching since he killed his gf w/ a kiss—now an assassin isn't his biggest problem #PitMad YAPar

I got more examples from Literary Agent Carly Walters' Guide to Twitter contests.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
When escaping WWII 4 children go to magical, tyrannical land through wardrobe to fulfill prophecy & save both worlds. #PitMad #SFF

The Three Little Pigs
Brothers devoured by a killer known as Big Bad Wolf, third pig fights for his life with a pile of bricks between him & death #PitMad #A

Alice in Wonderland
Girl abducted by rabbit from family picnic to fight war in magical dimension. When put on trial for her life, will she wake up? #PitMad #YA

I hopped on over to Twitter to check their lengths and try one of my own.
For composition purposes, I suggest putting your hashtags first. Then you will know how much space you need. By the way, if you are an author/illustrator you can include a picture.
I am setting up mine in buffer now.

#PITMAD 1 sound easy reader. When Nat the Rat disses Fat Cat,
 Fat Cat brings in his enforcer -Matt, the Bat! Is peace possible? #PB #HA

#PITMad #MG #IRMC. Can wishing on a statue fix a broken family? Or is friendship the real magic?
(This one's awful I have to fix it. Mind scrambling for answers. Coming up blank.)

Here are the Hashtags …Age Categories:
#PB = Picture Book
#C = Children’s
#CB = Chapter Book
#CL = Children’s Lit
#MG = Middle Grade
#YA = Young Adult
#NA = New Adult
#A = Adult
Genres/Sub-genres:#AA = African American
#AD = Adventure
#CF = Christian Fiction
#CON = Contemporary
#CR = Contemporary Romance
#DIS = Disabilities
#DV = Diversity
#E = Erotica
#ER = Erotic Romance
#ES = Erotica Suspense
#F = Fantasy
#H = Horror
#HA = Humor
#HF = Historical Fiction
#HR = Historical Romance
#INSP = Inspirational
#IRMC = Interracial/Multicultural
#MR = Magical Realism
#M = Mystery
#Mem = Memoir
#LF = Literary Fiction
#NF = Non-fiction
#R = Romance
#P = Paranormal
#PR = Paranormal Romance
#RS = Romantic Suspense
#S = Suspense
#SF = SciFi
#SPF = Speculative Fiction
#T = Thriller
#UF = Urban Fantasy
#W = Westerns
#WF = Woman’s Fiction
How to set up your Pitchmad day.
Practice your tweets on the twitter app.
Move your final tweet to an excel spreadsheet or word doc.
Copy/past it three times. Change the position of your hashtags on each tweet so that you have 3 different tweets.
Save and repeat with the next project you plan to pitch.

Start the process now. It's not that easy coming up with the tweets. If you have time, run your tweets by your critique group. They will help you.
You can set up and schedule tweets.
Step 1
Open TweetDeck, then select your Twitter account. Click the clock icon to the left of the Send button.

Step 2
Enter the date and time that you want the first tweet to post. Click "Set Time" to schedule the tweet.

Step 3
Type your tweet into the entry field, then press Enter to send the message at the scheduled date and time. Repeat for each tweet that you want to schedule. Stagger the publish times to if you have tweets that need to be published in a particular order.

Remember many of the people you want to reach are on the East Coast. So I suggest scheduling to match their 9:00 AM, noon and 4:00.

Do a few minutes off those exact times.

There are a number of tweet scheduling apps. here's another. (ten free tweets a day)

Come on. Try it. What have we got to lose?

PitMads for 2017

March 23, 2017 (8AM – 8PM EDT)

June 8, 2017
September 7, 2017
December 7, 2017
Other pitching opportunities: You can find a complete list of 2017 pitch opportunities on author John R Berkowitz's site.
Also don't forget to check #MSWL on Twitter. You can always find agent's wish lists there. Happy selling.


Monday, March 13, 2017

Dispatch #62: Oh Say, What Do You See?

by Lupe Fernandez

In the early New Mexico light, I visited The National Museum of Nuclear Science and History. Cold, clear day. Vapor streams from my warm breath. Bundled in multiple sweat shirts and jackets. Inside was warm. The museum guide is bright and cheery. The floors polished. Once section gleamed with a giant sized Periodic Table of Elements.

Then I came to the “gadget.”

What do I see? Do I see the ingenuity to create this complex device, the first of its kind? The men and women of the secret Manhattan Project sweat in the mountains of Los Alamos, tweaking the boundaries of physics to liberate tremendous energy by an impossible deadline. Do I hear the goosesteps across the Atlantic in Nazi Germany’s fortress Europe, developing their own atomic program? Do I hear Einstein drafting a letter, scratch of pen to paper, to President Roosevelt warning of the potential energy contained in the atom for use as a weapon?

Do I hear the shriek of air as the “gadget’s” cousin, Fat Man, plummets toward Nagasaki? The flash, heat and blast. Flesh incinerated. Ash falling. Twisted screams. Sizzling metal. The stink of putrefaction. The cries of widows, orphans and the surrendering voice of Japan’s Emperor.

Do you hear me go “Gee Whiz! It’s the gadget! I read all about it in history books.” Meanwhile, my stomach cramps, sour taste in my mouth at the sight of this bomb.

What am I to think? As a writer, I’m fascinated by the creation and the destruction. The use and abuse. As a citizen, imagine seeing a mushroom cloud on TV and hope fall like burnt leaves as I shake my head, thinking “all is lost.”

Perhaps I should see further.

I’m one hundred and two and visit a museum – virtual, nano-size, who knows – and see children cluster around metallic curiosities. “These were weapons we used to hurt each other.” My breath smells like used wax paper. “These things we feared and we idolized at the same time.”

The mouths yawn. Eyes are rubbed. Somebody shoves somebody. A quiet protest of quit it.

Finally, an eye roll. “Well, that’s just stupid.”

And on to the next exhibit.

So what, oh see do you?