When I look at my twitter feed right now, I see:
Like any good writer who uses twitter, I’ve considered all these contests. They’re all great, all different, all run by the loveliest of lovely people, all gone about with wonderful sentiment. I’ve participated in some of them before, but…
…not this time around.
See, I’ve learned a few things from twitter pitch contests. These are strictly my own opinion, so take them with a grain of salt if you’re so inclined.
- I see a lot of the same people entering the same works in these contests. To my mind, this is both good and bad. It’s good because people aren’t giving up! I assume they’ve been working on their manuscripts, taking the feedback received from earlier entries, and refining. It’s bad because as these manuscripts get accepted into all the contests over and over, there’s less room for the ones who haven’t been through the wringer before.
- I am not good at distilling the essence of my story down into 140 characters (minus character space for the contest name and genre hashtags).
I am, however, filled with admiration for people who can do it well. I’m actually fairly adept at doing this for other people, but hell if I can do it effectively for my own work.
- In my heart of heart I believe there’s something to be said for not saturating the decision-making market with one of my books over and over. I don’t have any problem doing things the old-fashioned way: querying, using all the connections I have, pulling any and all strings, and making sure my letter and synopsis are water-tight.
I’m happy for everyone entering these contests. Blessed be, best of luck, go conquer, live long and prosper. I’m trying to stay on top of what my twitter friends are doing, but I’m also trying hard to finish my editing and rewriting, tighten up my query, finish getting my beta feedback, and moving forward independently.
Who knows? I might make the exact opposite decision next time around. Good luck! As always, if there’s anything I can do for any of you, just ask.
And before I go: what are you working on, and how do you feel about pitch contests? Leave a comment and let me know so I can cheer you on, no matter which path you’re taking.
You can find me on twitter at @gwynnejackson and occasionally under the hashtags #amwriting and #amediting.