Event Guidelines


Red background. #moodpitch

The event will run twice a year in the spring and fall from 8am-8pm Eastern Time. Next event dates will be announced soon. We will have a list before each event that will let you know which agents and editors have confirmed participation. This doesn’t mean other agents and editors won’t join in; it’s open to anyone. But please, before submitting your work to any of them who like your pitches, vet them first! #MoodPitch does not assume responsibility for the vetting of agents and editors or publishing houses/presses.

For guidelines for participating agents and editors, click here.

For a list of participating agents/agencies/editors/publishers, click here.

To skip down to the #hashtags, click here.

One of the most important things we’ve learned in participating in other events is that the friendship gained by interacting with and supporting other writers is invaluable! The writing community is a truly wonderful place.

To make sure this event runs as smoothly as possible, please consider the following guidelines:

  • Your manuscript must be completed and polished to the best of your ability, ready for querying
  • Three pitches per completed manuscript between the specified hours
  • One tweet per pitch (i.e. please do not thread your pitch; it must fit inside the 280 character limit)
  • Additional manuscripts are allowed, but each must be completed and polished and follow the same guidelines
  • One moodboard per pitch, and three pitches per manuscript means you can technically make three moodboards if you want to, but this is not required (you can re-use the same moodboard if you like)
  • Please do not put links in your pitch
  • Please use images you have the right to use. For more information check out our Resources page.
  • We encourage participants to support artists’ intellectual property and avoid using AI-generated images that are created by mining art from the internet without consent or compensation (More on that here.)
  • Please use ALT text to describe your moodboard/aesthetic. We are committed to making this an inclusive event. This is an area we are going to be watching for in posted pitches. It is a REQUIRED element so this pitch event remains accessible. Without it, your beautiful moodboards will be called “IMAGE” by screen readers, and that is sad for those who aren’t able to easily experience what the actual image is like. 🙁 We will be gently reminding folks to include ALT text on pitch day if we spot an inaccessible image. For more information on how to use the alt text feature, please click here.

Alt Text:

This is what alt text is for. It tells you exactly what's in the photo in detail: blurry swirls of red, purple, pink, beige-y yellow, and black in the background. Foreground: white text that reads "#MoodPitch"

In this case, it's the Twitter website, so under the image you click on "Add Description" to enter your ALT text and click SAVE or DONE when done.
This is what alt text is for. It tells you exactly what's in the photo in detail: blurry swirls of red, purple, pink, beige-y yellow, and black in the background. Foreground: white text that reads "#MoodPitch"

In this case, it's the Twitter app, so there is a small, black +ALT button in the bottom-right corner of the image; click there to enter your ALT text and click SAVE when done.

On the right, it’s the Twitter website compose tweet window, so under the image you click on “Add Description” to enter your ALT text and click SAVE or DONE when done. You’ll know you’ve successfully added ALT text because it will show a preview of the text below the image. On the left, it’s the Twitter app, so there is a small, black +ALT button in the bottom-right corner of the image; click there to enter your ALT text and click SAVE when done. You’ll know you’ve successfully added ALT text if the + has disappeared in front of ALT on the black button.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are adding animation to your moodboard, you will need to save it (from whichever website or app you’re using) as a GIF instead of a video (MP4). ALT text is unable to be added to videos, but you can add it to GIFs.

There is a known issue with Twitter erasing ALT text and changing the GIF format to a video format on scheduled tweets that are edited before they’re tweeted out. Therefore, if you schedule your animated GIF moodboards and edit them for any reason later, you’ll need to re-upload your moodboard and re-do the ALT text. We know this is frustrating, but this is a problem that we unfortunately don’t have control over as it is a bug in the Twitter platform.

How To Pitch:

Get some tips on how to craft your pitch on Kathleen’s blog post here.

Previously, your pitch had to be 280 characters or less and include the appropriate hashtags (#MoodPitch must be used in order to be visible; other hashtags are below). Now, Twitter is changing their character limit to 4000. This is not ideal for pitch contests.

With Twitter making a switch to allow tweets with 4,000 characters, we became concerned about how that will impact pitch competitions across the platform. We surveyed agents and publishers to learn about their preferences. So, we can tell you now that MoodPitch will adhere to an *approximate* 280-character limit for pitches, even if the 4,000-character tweets are extended to everyone. We realize this will largely be on the honor system, but remember, agents and acquiring editors don’t have a lot of time to read through pitches, so making yours stand out by being compelling and hooky at a quick glance gives it the best chance at success. If they have to scroll down to continue reading a long pitch, it likely won’t receive any love.

The good news? We’ll allow the 280 characters to be solely for the pitch itself (including comp titles), with hashtags being above and beyond that limit.

The purpose of keeping the pitch length to approximately 280 characters is because this is an opportunity for writers to practise their elevator pitching skills. These need to be short and sweet. You need to know exactly what the most compelling parts of your story are not just for pitch events, but for marketing and publicity later when it’s going out into the world. The quicker you can get to the heart of your story, and the more hooky it is, the better!

On the day of the event, between 8am-8pm ET, you can pitch three times per completed, polished, ready-to-query manuscript. It’s important that your story is ready to send to agents because if they like your pitch, you need to be ready to send them the best version. Requested materials vary from agent to agent, but in general, you need to have a query letter, a synopsis, and a completed manuscript that has been revised and critiqued and edited til it shines. (Get some helpful tips and how-to’s by starting here.)

We’ve chosen to make it only three times per manuscript because, from experience, we know how time consuming and stressful it can be to sit there all day long in front of your computer pitching once every hour AND supporting your writer friends by comments and retweets. We suggest scheduling your pitches to remove that stress, at least.

Only one moodboard per pitch, please (don’t include multiple separate images in your tweet).

The pitch event is open to anyone, anywhere, in any age category or genre.

Please do not critique others’ pitches in the comments. A live pitch event is not the time or place to suggest changes to someone’s pitch. (Yes, we have seen this done before.) We do suggest championing pitches you like by leaving positive comments and wishing the author good luck!

Save space at the end of your pitch for the appropriate hashtags. To be seen in the event, you need to use the #MoodPitch hashtag. Also, use one age category and at least one genre as well as any additional hashtags that apply to you or your story to enhance visibility. These are important because if an agent is searching strictly for YA fantasy written by a POC author, for example, you want to specify that in your tweet or it may get missed.

We won’t tell you not to “like” a pitch, but please keep this in mind: every time a pitching author sees someone has liked their pitch, their heart races thinking it’s an agent or editor who’s interested in their work. So when they go and investigate a like and find out it’s not from an agent or editor, it can cause them to feel disappointed. However, getting likes on a pitch can help it get noticed AND can also be validating for a writer who’s maybe nervous about getting their idea out there (think imposter syndrome). So with that said, we’ll leave that up to you to decide. But typically, likes are reserved for agents and editors. Additionally, not having a lot of likes to sift through makes it easier for the author to spot the agent and editor likes. You can show your love of a pitch simply by commenting, re-tweeting, and quote-tweeting.

Please don’t use the #MoodPitch hashtag on the day of the event unless you are pitching. Reserving the hashtag for pitches makes it easier for agents to sift through the thousands of pitches that will be tweeted out during the event.

HASHTAGS

Below is a list of the hashtags to use. Please select one from the age category and at least one from the genres, and add any others that apply. Please ensure you use #MoodPitch so it is visible in the event.

AGE CATEGORIES (select only one):

#PB = Picture Book
#C = Children’s
#CB = Chapter Book
#MG = Middle Grade
#YA = Young Adult
#NA = New Adult
#A = Adult

GENRES:

#AC = Action/Adventure
#AF = Auto-Fiction
#COA = Coming-of-Age
#CF = Christian Fiction
#CLI = Climate Change
#CON = Contemporary
#CH = Cosmic Horror
#CNF = Creative Nonfiction
#CR = Contemporary Romance
#D = Dystopian
#E = Erotica
#EF = Epic/High Fantasy
#F = Fantasy
#FIC = General Fiction
#FTA = Fairy Tale Retelling
#GF = Gothic Fiction
#GN = Graphic Novel
#H = Horror
#HA = Humor
#HF = Historical Fiction
#HR = Historical Romancee
#LF = Literary Fiction
#LH = Literary Horror
#MR = Magical Realism
#M = Mystery
#MEM = Memoir
#MYTH = mythology/myth retelling
#N = Novella
#NF = Non-fiction
#P = Paranormal
#PM = Poetry Collection
#PR = Paranormal Romance
#R = Romance
#RC = Romantic Comedy
#RS = Romantic Suspense
#STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics
#SF = SciFi
#SH = Superhero
#SHRT = Short Story Collection
#SPF = Speculative Fiction
#S = Suspense
#SN = Supernatural
#T = Thriller
#TC = True Crime
#TT = Time Travel
#UP = Upmarket
#UF = Urban Fantasy
#W = Western
#WF = Woman’s Fiction

ADDITIONAL HASHTAGS (optional):

#BVM = Black Voices Matter (to be used by Black creators)
#DIS = Disability subject matter
#FP = Fat Positive
#IMM = Immigrant
#IRMC = Interracial/Multicultural subject matter
#JV = Jewish Voices
#LGBT = LGBTQIA+ subject matter
#LX = Latinx Voices
#MH = Mental Health subject matter
#MU – Muslim Voices
#MV = Marginalized Voices (umbrella for all historically marginalized or underrepresented voices)
#ND = Neurodiverse subject matter
#OWN = Own Voices
#POC = Author is a Person of Color
#TV = Trans Voices
#ESL = Author is International/writing English as a second language
#SW = Senior Writer

Please note: the aim of #MV is to lessen the “character tax” on marginalized authors with a two-character tag that can be used as a big umbrella term for a variety of underrepresented authors, and doesn’t necessarily spotlight folks if they don’t want to use more specific ones. #MV refers to marginalized voices including but not limited to BIPOC, LGBTQIA, neurodiversity, mental health, disability, and religious minorities. You can still use any other identity-specific tags if they pertain to you, but this one encompasses any marginalized or underrepresented writer.

Don’t see one here that you need? Let us know about it here and we can consider adding it to the list.

Please see our Resources page for some additional tips and articles about crafting pitches and moodboards.

Agent and Editor Guidelines

Thank you so much for your participation in our pitch event! We truly appreciate your time. Please read the following guidelines to help you navigate the pitch contest smoothly.

Firstly, please post (and possibly pin) a tweet on your Twitter page that tells authors you’re participating, how to submit materials, and what materials you’d like to see. An example:

“Hello, #writingcommunity! I’ll be perusing your fabulous pitches in today’s #MoodPitch, so if I like your pitch, please submit (requested materials) by sending it to me at (email, Query Manager link, etc.). I look forward to seeing all your beautiful moodboards!”

Once the contest begins (8am-8pm EST), browse through the pitches using the #MoodPitch hashtag and heart the ones you’d like to see submissions from.

To narrow down your search, use Twitter’s Advanced Search option to look for an age category hashtag and/or genre hashtag(s). i.e. for Adult Contemporary Romance, search #MoodPitch #A #CR. Hashtags used in this pitch contest are posted above. You can search the specific date, too, so you don’t get other tweets that aren’t pitches in your search results.

Liking a pitch does not mean an author is obligated to send in materials. It is up to the author to research each agent or editor that likes their pitch to decide if they think it would be a good working relationship based on many factors. Thank you for your understanding.

Please be advised this event is not for freelance editors looking to pick up paying clients. When we use the term editor, we are referring to acquisitions editors in publishing houses who are seeking manuscripts for potential book deals.


April 6, 2023 Confirmed Participants

We are currently gathering confirmed participants so please check back often! Our lists of confirmed agents and publishers from April and November 2022 are below to give you a general idea of who has participated before (but remember, these lists are not exclusive, as any agent or publisher can participate without letting us know).

Writers, when we say that other agents and publishers can participate without confirming with us, we’re not kidding! This time, we counted 50 other agents and editors/publishers in addition to who’s listed above, and that’s only what we’ve noticed so far! We were shocked and honoured to see editors liking pitches from Mira, TOR, MacMillan Kids and MacMillan Teen, Simon Kids and Simon Teen (Simon and Schuster). We also had agents from Madeline Milburn Agency (UK), JVNLA, Irene Goodman Agency, , Martin Literary, DG&B, The Tobias Agency, Rees Agency, Andrea Brown Agency, Writer’s House, Speilburg Literary, Kate Nash Literary (UK), Janklow Nesbitt, Olswanger Literary, Fox Literary, Kimberley Cameron & Associates Literary Agency, BookEnds Literary, Copps Literary, Indigo Literary Pub (hybrid), Emerald City Literary, Azantian Literary, Bell Lomax Literary (UK), Belcastro Literary, New Leaf Literary, Metamorphosis Literary, The Blair Partnership (UK), HG Literary, Birch Literary, and more!

This goes to show that you truly never know who’s going to be sifting through pitches looking for something that inspires them to request material. Even if you don’t see their names on our list of confirmed participants, it doesn’t mean they’re not participating. 😉


November 2022 Confirmed Participants


April 2022 Confirmed Participants