I love watching Twitter pitch parties.
When I first came upon them, they were a curiosity. I pored over other writers’ pitches, boosted the ones I liked, and longed to be far enough along in my publishing journey to pitch a manuscript of my own. Then that coveted day came! I participated in my very first pitch party, PitMad… and met my agent! Even though I don’t need to participate in them anymore, I still drop in to read and signal boost clever pitches.
A Twitter pitch party is a one-day event where writers can use a designated hashtag to pitch their manuscripts to agents and editors. Nowadays there are several pitch parties of varying focus: #pitmad, #pbpitch, #dvpit, #pitdark, #adpit, #kidpit. Every pitch party has its own rules and requirements, so be sure to research before you participate!
The latest PitMad was held on September 7, and in the myriad pitches that scrolled by on my feed, I noticed one striking graphic novel pitch. It made me realize a couple of things about pitch parties: there aren’t very many graphic novel pitches, and there’s no reason why there shouldn’t be more. Most pitch parties focus on prose manuscripts, and there’s not a lot of info out there for people who want to pitch a book that’s largely visual. So, let’s discuss pitching graphic novels for Twitter pitch parties!
Graphic novel submission preferences can vary between agents and editors, but in this post we’re going to focus on the main elements you need for a pitch-perfect graphic novel Twitter pitch!
A completed graphic novel proposal
What constitutes a complete graphic novel proposal depends on whether you’re pitching as a writer, writer/artist, or a writer/artist team. For instance, if you’re a writer/artist, or you have an artist attached to your project, then you should include character designs as well as a few completed comic pages. You should also include a partial script, but if you’re pitching solely as a writer, a completed script may be required. Whatever your situation, make sure you have your submission complete and ready to go in the event that an agent or editor faves your tweet!
A pitch in 140* characters or less
Let’s be frank; your pitch is definitely going to be less than 140 characters. That’s the character limit of a tweet, but you’ll also need to include your pitch party’s designated hashtags. Optimistically, you’ll probably have 128 characters or less to craft your pitch. Focus is key, here; your pitch should introduce your lead characters and include the main conflict(s). Your goal is not to tell the entire story, but to compel agents and editors into wanting to read more. And remember, you don’t need to use just one pitch. In most pitch parties, you can tweet your pitch multiple times a day, so it’s a good idea to craft more than one pitch!
I highly encourage you to search pitch party hashtags to check out various pitches and all the various ways they can be written. And just as you would a manuscript, it’s a good idea to get feedback on your pitch. A number of pitch parties have developed critique programs that run before each pitch party. For instance, DVPit has a warm-up period called #PreDV. You can find more info on the website’s resource page.
A #pitmad graphic novel pitch by KaiJu.
*Note: this post was published before the Twitter character limit increased to 280. The important takeaway is that your pitch should be brief and fit neatly within Twitter’s limit!
The right hashtags
The key component of every Twitter pitch party is its hashtags. They are what enable agents and editors to track all pitches tweeted during a pitch party and find specific types of pitches that match their client lists. For instance, if you’re participating in PitMad, then you’ll absolutely need to include #pitmad in your tweet. Then, you’ll also need to include hashtags for your pitch’s category and genre; for graphic novels, you’ll want to include #GN, and maybe also “young adult” (#YA), science fiction (#scifi), non-fiction (#NF), and other such descriptors. Make sure you know which hashtags you’re allowed to use (this list will be on the pitch party’s official website).
Art, if applicable
You’re pitching a graphic novel! If you’re a writer/artist or you’re working with an artist and your graphic novel submission includes art, then by all means, include art in your Twitter pitch. Nowadays, adding images does not detract from your character count, so there’s no reason to leave art out of your pitch when it’s such a vital part of your submission.
A note: if you wish to include art in your pitch that’s not a part of your submission, I advise strongly against it. Art is most appropriate for artists who are pitching visual submissions such as picture books and graphic novels. If you are a writer pitching a prose submission or script, including an illustrated image can confuse agents and editors at best and set up the wrong expectations for your submission at worst. You should only include art if an artist is involved in the project and you have that artist’s express permission.
Once again, please research the pitch party you’re interested in and review their rules and guidelines before you participate. They vary from party to party. And be sure to research any agents and editors who express interest in your pitch before submitting to them.