We know you probably have some questions, especially if you’ve never participated in a pitch event before. We’re here to answer those questions. Take a look through the frequently asked ones below to see if that helps. If you’re still wondering about something, feel free to reach out to us on our contact page
Q: What is a pitch? What is a moodboard?
A: See our resources page here to get more information on pitches and moodboards.
Q: Do I have to include a moodboard in order to participate?
A: Including a moodboard with your pitch will increase your chances of getting seen by agents/editors. We’ve got a great line-up of participants who are eager to see your amazing aesthetics, so why not give it a try? It’s not as hard as you might think. 😉 Check out our Resources page for some helpful tips and places you can go to make them. However, if for whatever reason, you can’t include a moodboard, perhaps a single image or gif that can visually depict the vibe of your book could suffice. We strongly encourage the use of a moodboard of some sort to enhance your 280-character pitch, since that is what this pitch contest is all about!
Q: Can I post a link to my Pinterest page instead of making a moodboard?
A: No, unfortunately we don’t allow Pinterest board links in your pitches for two reasons: first, as this is a moodboard pitch contest, people will be putting effort into creating a collage of only a handful of images, so posting a link that leads to potentially hundreds of images wouldn’t be fair to those posting moodboards with just a few images. And second, we want to make this as easy as possible for agents and editors. They are spending their valuable time scrolling through your pitches, so a link will make it more time consuming for them. Additionally, if they see a link instead of an image, they are probably not likely to click on it because they are excited to see the moodboards in the pitches themselves. Thank you for understanding!
Q. Can I use AI-generated images in my moodboard?
A: Great question! Unlike alt text, which IS obvious and can be (to some extent) enforced as we spot missing text on pitch day, we don’t plan to enforce an official prohibition on AI art at this time. We’re unable to spot AI-generated art at a glance, and we don’t have the expertise in digital art to judge if/when art crosses a line that devalues the work of human artists. So we recommend you use your best judgment. However, it probably goes without saying that you shouldn’t use art that has its origin in AI for commercial purposes. We recommend the same approach to fair use images found elsewhere on the internet.
Q: When will the #MoodPitch contests happen?
A: We host two events per year: the first Thursday of every April and November from 8am-8pm Eastern Time. In 2023, this means April 6th and November 2nd.
Q: What agents and editors are participating?
A: There are a TON of agents and editors around the world who we’ve worked tirelessly to contact. We generally go by the list in Query Tracker and agents/editors who have reached out to us through word-of-mouth. Those who have responded saying they’ll participated are listed in the Event Guidelines tab here. This list is growing as the responses come in, so check back later to see more! This list is not exclusive; some agents and publishers will be lurking even though they haven’t confirmed participation with us, so you never know who might see your pitch and be interested!
Q: What do I do if an agent hearts my pitch?
A: Check out their Twitter page first. They usually tweet specific instructions pertaining to what to send them. But generally speaking, if an agent or editor likes your pitch, congratulations! This means you are welcome to skip the slush pile and send your query (usually with sample pages and sometimes a synopsis included) directly to that agent/editor. If you can’t find a tweet regarding what material they’re looking for, don’t be shy–reach out to them to thank them for their interest and ask what they’d like you to send.
Q: What are the times of the pitch contest?
A: You may pitch your project(s) between the hours of 8am and 8pm Eastern Time. This twelve-hour window will hopefully allow anyone living outside that time zone to get their pitches in. We suggest scheduling your pitches (even if you live in the ET) and spacing your pitches out throughout the morning or the day, but this isn’t required.
Q: Is there a best time to pitch?
A: Some stats show the morning is the “best” time to pitch because it will help them get the best traction and visibility, and you absolutely can use that to determine when you’d like to pitch. Keep in mind that you never know when agents and publishers are going to take the time to peruse the pitches. We recommend spreading out your pitches a little bit (no one wants to break the Twitter! 😉). Some agents will hop right on in the morning, some over lunch, some in the afternoon, and some, depending on their schedules, might look after the event is over to give everyone a chance to get their pitches out. Regardless, pitch at whatever time works best for you!
Q: What if I’ve never heard of the agent or editor before?
A: Always vet agents and editors! We cannot stress this enough. It is your responsibility to research the agents and editors who like or comment on your pitch so you can be sure you’re sending your precious material to a legit agent/editor. Google is your friend. Query Tracker is your friend. Writer friends are your friend. And Victoria Strauss keeps a Writer Beware website that lists shady agents and editors and other useful information, so be sure to check that out. There are usually people that peruse pitch contests and like a whole whack of them and they just don’t seem like legitimate agents. Trust your gut! If you’re wondering about a suspicious looking “agent” or “editor” and you don’t see them listed on Victoria’s website, reach out to her. She’s wonderful! You can also ask around your circle of writer friends for their input. We can’t prevent the shady ones from participating, so make sure you do your research before submitting materials.
Q: Can I tag people in my pitch?
A: No, please don’t do this.
Q: I don’t live in the ET. Can I still participate?
A: Yes! The contest is open to anyone worldwide and will have agents and editors participating from everywhere, too. Just be sure to tweet your pitches during 8am-8pm ET (we recommend scheduling your pitches if this is the middle of the night or work day for you).
Q: The book I want to pitch has already been published. Can I enter the contest?
A: No, sorry. The pitch contest is for unpublished, ready-to-query manuscripts.
Q: I have a literary agent but I’m considering going with a different one. Can I enter the contest?
A: No, sorry. The contest is only open to authors who do not currently have a literary agent. (If you’ve previously been agented but have parted ways, you are more than welcome to participate.)
Q: Can I link to my author website in my pitch?
A: No, please do not include links in your pitch. This takes up precious real estate for the actual pitch.
Q: Am I obligated to send material to an agent or editor who has liked my pitch?
A: Absolutely not. You are not required to respond in any way to a requesting agent or editor. If you research them and don’t feel they’re a good fit for you, you don’t need to send material to them.
Still need help? Reach out to us here.