MUSINGS 3/20/16 ~ Writing The Way I See It Part 3: Twitter Pitch Contests.
Tomorrow is the first day of spring and that damn groundhog has some serious explaining to do. After a week of wonderfully warm weather we get hit again with freezing temperatures. I have a mountain of gardening catalogs sitting in my office and my desk at work and I can’t do a thing with them. Well that’s not entirely so, I can order what I need although the seeds will sit around the house for awhile.
Was a bit bummed today. I’m officially on spring break from school so I am finding myself without activities for the first time. I just bought one of those stand-up freezers a few weeks ago and have filled it with all kinds of goodies so grocery shopping is no longer a worry, although I wonder what we would do if the power went out. But after Big Brother and I watched about twenty episodes of Fairy Tail, I felt a bit better.
So if you happened to stop by my Facebook page and looked at my Twitter, I mentioned something that’s kind of been discouraging me lately. Now don’t get me wrong. I give all the authors who obtained representation this way a big Boo-Yah! For those of you who happen to be visiting here and may not have seen it, I spoke of what seems to be a new and rising trend, Twitter pitch contests. I’ve spoken of this in a previous musings from 2/15/15 – wow, a little over a year later Writing the way I see it: Changes in the Industry.
I recently was looking on Query Tracker, and checking to see if there were any new comments when I came upon one where the author had happily announced she’d taken part in a Twitter pitch contest last week and got a full request the next day! Again, I say Boo-yah. But on the other hand I sent a query letter to that same agent back in January and haven’t heard a thing yet. I’ve also seen pitch contest requests get offered representation a few days after the initial request. How do agents go through a full manuscript so fast?
But as to what I printed exactly on Facebook it was:
Maybe I shouldn’t say this but sometimes it’s very discouraging when you take months or even years to perfect your query letter as many an agent and editor has instructed, only to read that someone got a full request at one of those Twitter Pitch Contests on the same day. Meanwhile I and others like me have to wait months or years before we hear any word, if ever. Should we even bother with query letters anymore? I tried a Twitter Pitch contest once and all I got was my work dissed (no, not a critique) by an “author” who didn’t even have anything published or even a web presence as far as I could see. And when I complained to the people that ran it, no response. To add injury to insult, my comments on that person’s novel idea never appeared.
So is the query letter soon to go the way of cassette tapes and floppy disks? Sorry I can’t think of any appropriate examples. Oh wait – the way of publishers who actually accepted unsolicited manuscripts? So are we now all going to have to learn to tout our books in 140 characters or less? Maybe I’m over-thinking it as usual but still – sometimes I feel like the query is being kicked to the curb. And I still have no desire to pare down a 95,000 word book into two sentences.