After a yearlong break and many, many revisions, I’m back in the querying trenches, trying to find an agent to represent my young adult manuscript. I honestly forgot the highs and lows associated with this process; that some days I’m whooping with joy because an agent asked to read more pages contrasted with other days where I find myself tearfully reading an email rejection that states that an agent doesn’t love my book enough to represent me.
When I sent my first query out in March 2021, I got butterflies; re-reading all the materials at least 15 times, and I was very hopeful when I pressed send. Now, after rejections seem to once again be piling up, finding the strength to stay positive can be sometimes difficult. Last night’s rejection email sticks out as a particularly disheartening example: my heart sank since I was really excited about this publishing house and I had difficulty sleeping. I thought I would be used to the rejections by now, but no, it still stings each and every time. But in an attempt to stay positive and not dwell on the rejections, I’m trying to think about some of the small wins I’ve made instead along the way.
Something that’s been really exciting is that for the first time ever, agents and small publishing houses are expressing interest in my pitches during pitch parties on Twitter. I still remember the first time an agent liked my pitch, I ran over to my husband’s home office and started screaming with excitement. I couldn’t believe someone actually wanted to read more of my work! Maybe all of this hard work would finally pay off?
When I’ve told this story to my friends and family, the biggest question I get is, what is a pitch party? Well, on Twitter, there are certain days where a writer can pitch their book and use that day’s particular pitch party hashtag so agents and publishing houses can easily find the pitch. Pitch parties also allow participants to add in specific hashtags to help further identify their book, such as #YA (Young Adult books) or #CR (Contemporary Romance). If an agent or publishing house likes your pitch you can then submit a query and have a leg-up given they actively solicited your submission.
I’ve participated in quite a few pitch parties and am proud to say that I’ve had three agents and one publishing house ‘like’ my pitches. I’m really excited for the upcoming Pitmad pitch party on June 3rd, and I hope that more agents/publishing houses express interest at that time! In the meantime, I’m still plugging away, sending out more queries, trying to not get too fazed by rejections, and crossing my fingers that one day I will receive that triumphant “yes”. Best of luck to all of you that may find yourselves participating in a pitch party whether now or in the future; wishing us all the best!