Hey, guys. I know it’s been a while since I’ve updated this site. I’ve been busy teaching and have FINALLY been writing again on several different projects. Lately, I seem to be really in the mood to write picture books of various ilk – from non-fiction STEM topics to cute little dancing animals. It’s been a welcome reprieve from everything else that’s going on, and I’ve decided to start querying some of my stronger manuscripts, because I’d really like to have an agent on my side for my long-term writing career.
Having learned a lot from the last round of queries that I sent out for my now-published novel, The Elect, I immediately went straight to Twitter to see what agents are looking for. What’s so great about twitter? Well, the hashtags. I touched on this in a previous post, but I want to go a bit more in detail. So, I’ll explain my favorite five below.
- #MSWL (manuscript wishlist) is your best friend while querying. It allows you to see an enormous amount of agent wishlists as they dump them on twitter. You can filter through them with an additional hashtag (#ya for young adult, #pb for picture books, etc)
- If you want to just skip Twitter and still get this info, there are 2 websites that already filter it and categorize it for you: www.manuscriptwishlist.com and www.mswishlist.com; both are super valuable.
- On that same topic, if you’re querying and aren’t already on www.querytracker.net, stop now and go register. You’ll thank me later.
- #amquerying – Want to see how many other people are in the query trenches with you? Use this hashtag, and you can all weep together as you await that fateful *ding* in your inbox signaling an agent reply. People can be really funny on this thread or really, really morose. Throw in something to make everyone laugh, and you’ll be a hero.
- #querytip – Exactly what it sounds like… agents and editors place their best query advice in 140 characters or less for your benefit. If you’re new, this is a great place to start.
- #tenqueries or #10queries – These go right in hand with #querytip. Agents filter through their slush pile and list ten responses to ten random queries on Twitter. You can see what makes them accept a query and what makes them say no thanks.
- #pubtip – Self publishing or wondering how publication works? Use this hashtag to get insight from editors in particular about what works and what doesn’t.
I also can’t talk about Twitter without mentioning my favorite contests. After all, I was published after submitting to a small press (shout out to Clean Reads!) who “liked” my pitch.
- #pitmad – Organized by Brenda Drake, #pitmad is an opportunity for writers to pitch their 140 character tweets to dozens of agents and editors who swing by. If they favorite your tweet, congratulations! It’s an invitation to submit an official query to them. It can turn into a bit of a frenzy, and you’re now only allowed to pitch three times per project during the day. The next #pitmad is scheduled for March 8. See here for more information: http://www.brenda-drake.com/pitmad/
- #pbpitch – this is like PitMad but is specifically for picture book writers. The next round is on February 23. Find out more information here: http://www.pbpitch.com/picture-book-agents.html
- #adpit – Another pitch party, but this one is geared towards writers of adult and new adult novels. The next round is on April 5. https://heidinorrod.wordpress.com/adpit-and-kidpit/
- #kidpit – Yet another pitch part, especially targeting writers of all kidlit from board books to young adult fiction. The next round is on April 5, at the same time as #adpit, which makes sense considering they’re hosted by the same person. Learn about #kidpit here: https://heidinorrod.wordpress.com/kidpit/
- #pitch2pub – This is where I found my publisher, and it’s specifically geared towards finding a publisher, not an agent. If you feel like you can wade the waters of publication (or jump straight into the deep end) without an agent, go for it! I owe my success to this party. I’m not sure when the next round is, but when I find out, I’ll update this page.
So there you have it: 10 hashtags that will hopefully make your editing and querying life a little bit easier. Good luck querying! I’ll see you in the trenches!