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I’m almost always late to the party — the one who finds out something zany like #PitMad exists one day after it happens, missing the window entirely. This time, serendipity alerted me several days ahead of the March 11th event. I not only have a chance to jump in today, I had time to prepare. And I’m not sure I like it. Because it’s everything but easy.

For those who don’t know, #PitMad is the hashtag associated with one day of “Pitch Madness” on Twitter, a concept developed by Brenda Drake @brendadrake. For 12 hours on a specific date, writers throw down to capture the attention of lurking agents who will star any 140-character pitch they think shows promise. Stars are invitations to query — a kind of golden ticket to the top of the slush pile. Occasionally, authors score and come away with contracts for their books, thanks to this initial spark of connection.

It’s madness.

It’s the pits.

It’s harrowing. To the author. Trying to decoct an entire novel down into an elixir potent enough to justify a favorited tweet.

And that, I discovered in the process of preparing, is the gift. Whether or not I’ll hook an agent in this flurry of hashtags and earnestness, I have grown sharper, more confident, smitten with my book and determined to convey it clearly to the world. I have honed my pitch — and honed it again — and I am ready for the next logical step:

representation.

Wish me well!  

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