For more help with your pitch and etiquette questions, here are some links to read while you wait for #DVpit!
Sadly, an account of why you should always research and NOT be afraid to decline sending material to anyone you’re uncomfortable sending to can be found here.
Please don't forget to like this video and subscribe to Claribel's channel–she's consistently posting helpful tips for writers.
Here are links to the invaluable posts from our first blog hop:
A thorough beginner’s guide to Twitter pitching, Jalissa Corrie blesses us with her #DVpit Game Plan: Organization is Key.
After pitching comes pages! Eric Smith from P.S. Literary writes about how Your First Chapter Is A Promise To Your Reader: Great Opening Pages In Diverse YA, on Dahlia Adler’s blog, The Daily Dahlia.
Three editors (Patrice Caldwell from Disney-Hyperion, Kait Feldmann from Scholastic, Stephanie Stein from Harper Children’s/HarperTeen) and two agents (Jim McCarthy from Dystel, Goderich, & Bourret, and Saba Sulaiman from Talcott Notch) break down everything you need to know about world-building in a three-part discussion at patricecaldwell.com. Here is Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.
Next up is advice for shaping your stories using time as an anchor: The Passage of Time in Your Novel, by Pete Knapp, literary agent at Park Literary. Hosted by Writer’s Block Party.
Also on Writer’s Block Party is an interview with #DVpit creator Beth Phelan. She talks with her clients (and Writer’s Block Party contributors) Kat Cho and Mara Fitzgerald.
We understand that condensing a manuscript to just 140 characters is difficult, and we want to help your pitch stand out in the feed. We’re happy to offer free options for getting help with your pitches ahead of the April 2017 event. Here's how you can find critiques:
Rebecca Barrow (@RebeccaKBarrow) writes stories about girls and all the wonders they can be. A lipstick obsessive with the ability to quote the entirety of Mean Girls, she lives in England, where it rains a considerable amount more than in the fictional worlds of her characters. She collects tattoos, cats, and more books than she could ever possibly read. YOU DON'T KNOW ME BUT I KNOW YOU is her first novel. Writers of YA who need pitch help can contact her via her website.
J.S. Fields (@Galactoglucoman) is a nonbinary author of nonfiction and science fiction, and signed with a publisher during the first #DVpit. Fields has backgrounds in woodworking, wood science, and organic chemistry, and would be well suited to helping you integrate your science background into any adult speculative fiction pitches. Contact J.S. Fields via Twitter.
Lana Wood Johnson (@muliebris) has a degree in history, a background in IT, and way too many cellphone ringtones memorized. When not writing YA, Lana works with a local youth crisis shelter. Her stories reflect her personal history with mental health and sexual identity in both contemporary and fantasy settings. A #DVpit veteran, she signed with her agent Bridget Smith of Dunham Literary as a result of the October 2016 event. If you'd like Lana's help with pitches in any category/genre you can mention her on Twitter or use any of the methods available at lanawoodjohnson.com/contact.
Judy I. Lin (@judyilin) is a YA writer with a love for the creepy, spooky and strange. Born in Taiwan and currently living in Canada, she navigates the in-between by writing stories about girls who also have hyphenated identities. Please contact her on Twitter if you would like help with YA or Adult twitter pitches.
*Open September 16-25 only* Yvette Yun (@BrendaYun) is a #DVpit alum with a PhD in Creative Writing; she teaches college writing and literature in Honolulu and is represented by Rachel Brooks at BookEnds Literary. She is offering critiques for Adult fiction (any genre). To enter:
1. Follow her on Twitter. (She follows back.)
2. DM her with your email address, query letter, and draft of your #DVpit pitches (up to 6) — in that order.
3. She will provide feedback via email in the order received. Expect to hear back between September 21-30.
*Open now until September 25 only* Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar (@JenniferZeynab) is a Syrian American writer, a member of the Radius of Arab American Writers (RAWI), and the author of the forthcoming debut novel THE MAP OF SALT AND STARS (Touchstone/Simon & Schuster 2018). Her short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in The Kenyon Review, The Saturday Evening Post, The Normal School, and elsewhere. Jennifer participated in the first #DVPit event in April 2016, after which she signed with her agent, Michelle Brower of Aevitas Creative Management, via a referral from a #DVPit participating agent. She is happy to critique #DVPit pitches in any category or genre, though she has the most experience with Adult and YA. You can reach her at jenniferjoukhadar.com/contact.
For pitch help: Writers of all genres are welcome to join the Sub It Club Submission Support Group where you can post pitches for feedback.
We're hosting another Twitter Q&A during which writers thinking of participating in #DVpit can tweet questions using the hashtag #askDVpit. Our industry pros will answer!
Meet our pros:
Nafiza Azad (@Nafizaa), YA Author & #DVpit Alumna
Stacey Donaghy (@DonaghyLiterary), Literary Agent and Founder at Donaghy Literary Group
Saraciea Fennell (@Sj_Fennell), Freelance Publicist & YA Writer
Sarah Guan (@Sarah_Guan), Associate Editor at Orbit & Redhook / Hachette Book Group
Ashley Hearn (@AshleyHearn), Associate Editor at Page Street Publishing
Thao Le (@ThaoLe8), Literary Agent at Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency
Need a warm-up? Come practice your pitching at #PreDV with other #DVpit hopefuls and get feedback from peers and volunteers.
Post your pitch using "#PreDV" in place of "#DVpit" and volunteers will provide critiques. Participants are also encouraged to provide feedback to other pitches!
This is a great opportunity to practice before the big day, get feedback to improve your pitches, and make some friends!
Hosted by Kat Cho (@KatCho)
September 11th 2017
Let’s Talk About Voice: A Roundtable Discussion (Part 1, Part 2), hosted by Disney-Hyperion editor Patrice Caldwell (@whimsicallyours) on Pub(lishing) Crawl (@PubCrawlBlog). Featuring Jennifer Azantian (@jenazantian) of Azantian Literary, Tiffany Liao (@Tiff_Liao) of Henry Holt/Macmillan Children’s, & Saba Sulaiman (@agentsaba) of Talcott Notch Literary Services.
September 13th and 14th 2017
Writer/#DVpit alum Claribel Ortega will host and moderate a LIVE video panel with industry professionals on her YouTube channel. Suggest questions anonymously using this form. Or, hold questions until the time of the event and tweet your questions using #DVpitLIVE; our panelists will try to answer as many as they can at the end. Panelists include:
Sylvan Creekmore (@SylvanCreekmore) is an editor at Wednesday Books & St. Martin's Press where she works on a range of high-concept fiction and nonfiction, with a particular passion for queer YA across genres & women who do things they're not supposed to.
John M. Cusick is an agent with Folio Jr. / Folio Literary Management, representing picture books, middle-grade, and young adult novels. He is also the author of GIRL PARTS and CHERRY MONEY BABY (Candlewick Press), as well as a regular speaker at writers conferences. His clients include New York Times Bestselling authors and award-winners. You can find him online at JohnMCusick.com and on twitter, @johnmcusick.
Claribel Ortega (@Claribel_Ortega) is a former reporter who writes YA & MG fantasy inspired by her Dominican heritage. When she’s not busy playing video games or reading, she’s filming videos for her YouTube channel or making GIFS for her small business, GIFGRRL. She is represented by Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary.
Quressa Robinson (@qnrisawesome) joined the Nelson Literary Agency in 2017 after working at a previous agency and as an editor for five years. She represents a wide range of literature in the adult and YA market and is actively building her client list. Quressa was an acquiring editor at St. Martin’s Press, where she edited both fiction and nonfiction. Her acquisitions include Certain Dark Things (a Publishers Weekly Fall Announcement Top 10 Pick, B&N Staff Pick, a 2017 Locus Nominee, and longlisted for a 2017 Sunburst Award) and The Beautiful Ones, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia; Spells of Blood and Kin (which received a starred PW review and is a shortlisted for a 2017 Sunburst Award) by Claire Humphrey; and The Atlas of Forgotten Places by Jenny D. Williams. She is an alumnus of the University of California Santa Cruz, and Columbia University’s MFA program.
Stacy Whitman (@stacywhitman) is the founder and publisher of Tu Books, an imprint of Lee & Low Books that publishes diverse middle grade and young adult fiction. In 2013, Stacy founded the New Visions Award, which honors a new unpublished writer of color (deadline Oct. 31; details here). Stacy holds a master’s degree in children’s literature from Simmons College. You can find her on Twitter at @stacylwhitman.
Writer Kat Cho will be moderating a Twitter chat with some of the other #DVpit successes! Tune in to #DVChat, where the alumni will be talking about writing, Twitter pitching, and diversity in publishing! Use #DVChat.