NaNoWriMo is over. Now what? Opportunity.

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Flickr by Vicki Clark

Breathe

Celebrate

And perhaps set aside the shiny new words for a few days… or for a lot of days.

But make note of opportunities…

Several pitchfests are on the horizon for authors with completed manuscripts.

PitchMad   PitchMAS   Pit2Pub   SonofaPitch!

These online events vary in requirements, but share similar goals… one being to help authors make connections with agents, publishers, and other authors. Really, it’s a win : win.

But showing up for these contests without a polished pitch, first chapter (or completed ms) is akin to showing up to a swim party without a suit. (This post does not address optional clothing parties.)

Before joining the festivities, bounce ideas off your CP’s. (Wait, what are CP’s? Need a resource for finding Critique Partners? The Write Life )

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Flickr by Hans Splinter

Hone your pitch – Does your 140 character spiel grab attention? Do you reveal your genre and audience? Want help with this? Try these resources: Carly Watters,  Ava Jae, and Gina Denny.

And don’t forget to edit your work. You know – slay the passive verbs, remove vague references to the word it, offer more showing than telling, and use adverbs sparingly  🙂

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Flickr by Nick McPhee

Don’t be pressured to dive in if your work is not ready, but stay informed. Visit the posts / feeds to see what worked for other authors, build your network, and perfect your approach.

Opportunity dances with those who are ready on the dance floor. – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

(Check out Carissa Taylor’s informative post for more events.)

Motivation Monday: Progress involves risk

Photo Credit: Flickr by BK, Quote by Frederick B. Wilcox

Photo Credit: Flickr by BK, Quote by Frederick B. Wilcox

 

For those of you with polished manuscripts, there’s a on March 11 from 8AM to 8PM EST. For more details, check out Brenda Drake’s info page here or follow her on Twitter @brendadrake.

Fishing at #PitMad

Photo Credit: Bill Gracey

Photo Credit: Bill Gracey

Pitching your story to the publishing world and fishing share a common goal. Beyond the technicalities of location and line weight or genre and USP (unique selling point), it all comes down to the bait.  If you want them fighting over your hook, offer enticing bait.

Brenda Drake has organized another pitching event called PitMad on twitter. Tomorrow (January 8th) from 8am until 8pm various agents and publishers will stop by to see if anything at #PitMad catches their eye.

In 140 characters you must include your genre, the #PitMad hashtag and plot blurb that will stop traffic. It’s like packing for a monthlong trip in a shoebox…but it can be done. And while you are crafting one pitch, craft a second and a third. Test the waters with each, but keep in mind there are rules about pitching frequency. You’ll scare all the fish away if you overdo it. Pitch limit is usually 2 per hour.

So if you have a completed and polished novel, try #PitMad and test the waters. You may just get a bite!

Check out the following websites for helpful tips on writing and honing your pitch:

http://blog.janicehardy.com , http://avajae.blogspot.com  , http://thereanddraftagain.wordpress.com

And for more information, always start at the source: http://www.brenda-drake.com/pitmad/

Good luck!