The Over 50 Writer

AN AGENT RECIPE for the Over-Fifty Middle-Grade Writer by Linda Sammaritan
Tuesday, May 19, 2020 by Patti Shene

AN AGENT RECIPE

foe the Over-Fifty Middle-Grade Writer

Ingredients:

1 childhood filled with imagination

40 years of teaching children ages 10-14

9 years of dabbling in writing fiction

Innumerable memories

Prayer

4-6 elevator pitches

1-10 Twitter Pitch parties

 

Combine the first three ingredients. Gradually add the memories over a lifetime and marinate in prayer. Grill over the hot coals of Twitter Pitch Parties, one party at a time. Baste each party with elevator pitches.

 

Yield: One to one million+ servings

 

(This recipe may be adapted for younger authors by substituting similar

life experiences and number of years practicing the craft.)

 

 

 

As you can see from this recipe, I did not grow up in the era of social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Pinterest, and dozens more that I’ve ignored—they remain a mild mystery to me. I observe them with a jaded eye. The solid, meat-and-potatoes of ink and paper remain far preferable to me than the nebulous soup of cyberspace.

 

 

 

And yet.

 

 

 

I have gained an agent through the phenomenon of a Twitter Pitch party.

 

 

 

What is a Twitter Pitch party?” you may ask.

 

 

 

It’s an opportunity to pitch your book to more than one agent or editor at a time on Twitter.

 

 

Until two years ago, I never heard of it either.

 

 

 

Little Lamb Books gave me my first inkling by promoting their #FaithPitch party. I logged on to Twitter on the specified date and was totally confused by the speed and the seemingly-random tweets. By posting a question to the managers/administrators/(teenagers?) who knew what they were doing, I was graciously guided through the maze of Pitch, Read, and Scroll.

 

 

 

Hmm. Does anyone else hear, “shake, rattle, and roll” from that last line? Never mind. I may be over fifty, but I’m as distractible as a kitten chasing a laser light.

 

 

 

Back to Twitter Pitch parties.

 

 

 

First, are you prepared to pitch your book? Is it polished and ready to send out in a traditional manner? Has someone (besides your spouse, mother, or child) critiqued it? If not, keep working. If yes, go for it!

 

 

 

Next, you’ve got to find them. Simple enough. Search on Google or on Twitter itself. They’ll point you to where you want to go.

 

 

 

There are several possibles. #Faithpitch, which is what I used. But you might find #PitMad, #DVPit, #PBPitch helpful as well.

 

 

 

To prepare for the Pitch Party:

 

1. Read the instructions. Each has specific rules as to how often you can tweet your pitch and how many pitches you are allowed to post.

 

 

2. Research the agents and editors participating if they’re names are posted ahead of time. That lets you know who might be interested in your work.

 

 

3. Write out your 280-character pitches ahead of time. They serve as  your hook, your elevator pitch.  I like to vary my wording or choose a different aspect of the book to zero in on for each of my pitches.

 

 

 

On the day of the Pitch Party:

 

1. Send out one of your pitches every few hours. Most parties last about twelve hours.

 

 

2. Expect to spend a huge portion of the day glued to Twitter, checking for responses to your tweets, and studying others’ tweets on the pitch party page. If you read all the tweets and analyze why some writers earned an invitation (hearts) from editors and agents and others didn’t, you will learn how to create a better pitch.

 

 

3. If you get “hearted,” respond ASAP. Someone is interested! (And due to your previous research, are you interested in them?) If the agent or editor is someone whom you considered to be a good fit, check out their site and see exactly what they want you to send to them. A synopsis? The first chapter? More? And when you do respond, make sure to let them know your query is in response to their invitation on Twitter.

 

 

4. No hearts? Don’t despair. Try again. (Refer to the recipe above.) Sometimes, it’s just not the right mix of agents and editors. Sometimes, it’s something lacking in your pitch. Like any other skill, it takes practice.

 

 

 

My pitch party experiences may be typical.

 

The first one was a total bust. But I was learning.

 

 

The second party attracted no agents or editors either. Galling. Especially since one of my critique partners earned an agent out of that one. At least, it proved a Twitter Pitch party wasn’t a hoax.

 

 

I decided to try one more time. Either I garnered a professional’s interest, or I would trash the recipe.

 

 

 

Three different agents wanted to see my work!

 

If you’ve cold-queried agents and editors with no results, check out the Twitter Pitch venue. You never know who might be looking for your book.

 

 

 

Linda Sammaritan writes realistic fiction, mostly for kids ages ten to fourteen. She is currently working on a middle grade trilogy based on her own experiences of growing up with a deaf sister.

In 2016 Linda blew goodbye kisses to her students and dedicated her work hours to writing. She is thrilled to have signed with Golden Wheat Literary Agency.

Linda has contributed several short stories to anthologies. Dancing Up A Storm is her most recent. Connect with Linda:

Linda’s website: https://lindasammaritan.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/lindasammaritan

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LindaSammaritan

 

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Comments

Linda Sammaritan From Indiana At 5/27/2020 7:50:32 PM

Thank you, Amre and Suzanne for your kind words.

Amre From Idaho At 5/21/2020 5:45:03 PM

Hi Linda, Thank you for your recipe and insightful blog!! Will have to add those ingredients to my future endeavors!!! Many thanks and God bless you! :)

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Amre. Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment for Linda.

Suzanne Bratcher From Hot Springs, AR At 5/20/2020 3:42:11 PM

I’ve never heard of pitch parties. Thanks so much for sharing this information in step by step format. I look forward to reading your books when they are published.

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Suzanne. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment for Linda.

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9/4/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR CONNIE MILLER PEASE
Patti Shene
8/19/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR JOHNNIE ALEXANDER
Patti Shene
8/5/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR TERESA POLLARD
Patti Shene
7/16/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR GAIL SATTLER
Patti Shene
7/9/2015

WEIGHT LOSS DEVOTIONAL FREE ON KNDLE
Patti Shene
6/20/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR YVONNE ADERSON
Patti Shene
6/5/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR SHERRI STONE
Patti Shene
5/21/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR MARIANNE JONES
Patti Shene
5/6/2015

REVIEW OF INDEBTED BY BRAXTON DeGARMO
Patti Shene
4/29/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR DEANNA K. KLINGEL
Patti Shene
4/17/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR TERESA IVES LILLY
Patti Shene
4/2/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR PEG PHIFER
Patti Shene
3/19/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR DARLENE FRANKLIN
Patti Shene
3/4/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR MICHELLE GRIEP
Patti Shene
2/20/2015

NEGOTIATING THE LEARNING CURVE
Patti Shene
2/6/2015

WHEN ENCOURAGEMENT COMES YOUR WAY
Patti Shene
1/30/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR SANDY NADEAU
Patti Shene
1/14/2015

I AM A WRITER--OR AM I REALLY?
Patti Shene
1/1/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR GEORGE DUNCAN
Patti Shene
12/3/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR MARTHA ROGERS
Patti Shene
11/21/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR EDITH EDWARDS
Patti Shene
11/6/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR GAIL KITTLESON
Patti Shene
10/16/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR CAMILLE EIDE
Patti Shene
10/2/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR FRANCES SUSANNE BROWN
Patti Shene
9/18/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR AVA PENNINGTON
Patti Shene
9/4/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR LILLIAN DUNCAN
Patti Shene
8/21/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR CYNTHIA TONEY
Patti Shene
8/6/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR CARRIE STUART PARKS
Patti Shene
7/16/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR & PUBLISHER TRACY RUCKMAN
Patti Shene
7/3/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR JANET SKETCHLEY
Patti Shene
6/18/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR ANE MULLIGAN
Patti Shene
6/4/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR REBECCA CAREY LYLES
Patti Shene
5/15/2014

DARK BIOLOGY BY BONNIE DORAN
Patti Shene
5/1/2014

BY THE WATERS OF KADESH BY CAROLE TOWRISS
P
4/17/2014

WHERE HOPE STARTS BY ANGELA D. MEYER
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4/3/2014

THE CHARM BRACELET BY SUSAN PAGE DAVIS
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3/20/2014

Love Redeemed by Kelly Irvin
Patti Shene
3/5/2014

Shadows of the Past by Patricia Bradley
Patti Shene
2/20/2014

WELCOME WRITER DELORES LIESNER
Patti Shene
2/5/2014

The Heartbeat of the Novel by James R. Callan
Patti Shene
1/15/2014

Don't Let Bible Contradictions Rob Your Faith
Patti Shene
1/2/2014

Welcome Author Lilliann Duncan
Patti Shene
5/30/2013

Confessions of a Reluctant Reader
Patti Shene
5/9/2013

WELCOME AUTHOR LENA NELSON DOOLEY
Patti Shene
5/2/2013

WELCOME AUTHOR KATHI MACIAS
Patti Shene
4/24/2013

Review of Congo Dawn by Jeanette Windle
Patti Shene
4/18/2013

I'm back
Patti Shene
4/11/2013

Welcome Author JoAnn Durgin
Patti Shene
2/14/2013

Welcome Award-Winning Author Susan Page Davis
Patti Shene
2/7/2013

Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks
Patti Shene
1/30/2013

Introducing Jeanette Windle and Congo Dawn
Patti Shene
1/23/2013

Author Carole Johnson on Perseverance
Patti Shene
1/17/2013

The Value of Social Media
Patti Shene
1/9/2013

A Glimpse Into the Future
Patti Shene
1/2/2013

Welcome Author Jo Huddleston
Patti Shene
12/20/2012

Give Some Holiday Hope for Just $3.99
Patti Shene
12/14/2012

Great Christmas books from Lena Nelson Dooley
Patti Shene
12/7/2012

Welcome to Author Jude Urbanski
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

A Writers Journey Part IV
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

Interview with Author Kelly Irvin
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

Whose prophecy do you believe?
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

Welcome Author Michal J. Webb
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

Meet Author Sharon Shrock and the Women of Valley
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

Welcome Author Lillian Duncan
Patti Shene
11/13/2012