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#PitMad Successes

It’s time to give a shout out to all the wonderful successes happening during the #PitMad Twitter Pitch Parties. Congratulations to all those who have braved the fast and furious feed and found a match during the party! If you’ve had a success because of #PitMad, we’d love to hear from you. Just email us at pitchwars@gmail.com and we’ll post it here with your information.

And here are some of the wonderful successes as a result of #PitMad …

Carol Barreyre – @cbarreyre 

I couldn’t let the sun set today without saying thank you. Yesterday my publisher released BECKER CIRCLE by Addison Brae, my debut novel. My publisher found me during the June 2017 #PitMad, sent a contract in September, and the book launched yesterday.

Your contests are such a great way to expand our agent/editor search behind what we might seek out. And pitching a story in a tweet is both challenging and smart to help us market our books.

Last night I hosted a book launch party in the way the main character would celebrate – in a bar with themed cocktails, swag, prizes and a Madonna tribute band. Those who know me know I don’t do things quietly. I’m especially proud of the book trailer we debuted at the party. Take a look if you can take a 90 second break. And here’s a short part of the launch party we streamed live on Facebook.

Thanks to you, your contest coworkers and the agents and editors who participate in your contents. Please keep it up!


K. Parr – @kparrbooks
Tweet: “Alone in a foreign land, Rasha’s ready to end it all when she learns her brother is alive. Not only that, but he’s possessed by the vengeful spirit of a fallen god. She’ll risk anything to save him – even her feelings for the princess she once served. #PitMad #YA #F #LGBT #IRMC”
My story: I graduated from Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction program in May of last year, and started to query my thesis novel soon after that, though off-and-on. I l heard about #PitMad from a writer friend, and decided to give it a try. My Tweet was liked by NineStar Press, which was the first time I’d heard of them. I queried and was very excited, since they’re a press that publishes the kinds of stories I love to write. Fast forward a few months, and they offered me publication! Without #PitMad, I never would’ve discovered NineStar Press and been lucky enough to sign a contract. Now I’m about to publish my first book, and I can’t wait!


Dylann Crush AuthorDylann Crush – repped by Jessica Watterson | @DylannCrush | www.dylanncrush.com

Huge thanks to Brenda Drake and all of the authors who have created opportunities for us newbies to get our work in front of agents and editors. I participated in #PitMad in December 2015 and received a few favorites – one of them from Jessica Watterson at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. Here’s the tweet she faved:

Mom & Dad are Christian superstars. When Faith’s secret gig (erotic author) is exposed, she risks losing her family & her guy. #PitMad #R #A

I responded to my requests and a few weeks later my pitch went live on the PitchMas blog run by Jessa Russo and Tamara Mataya. One of the agents who made a request ended up offering representation. I let everyone who had a partial or full know and Jessica came through with an offer as well.

Thanks so much to Brenda and everyone else who’s willing to give a boost up to aspiring authors. Contests work!


JulieJulie Dao @jules_writes

I entered my YA speculative/Gothic suspense inspired by Phantom of the Opera into #PitMad in March 2014. My 140-character pitches got me nine requests from editors and agents, one of whom bumped my 10 pages to 50 pages to a full manuscript request within one month. I tinkered with the book for the rest of the year, then sent the new version to that agent in December. She offered a month and a half later and I am proud to say I’m now represented by Tamar Rydzinski of the Laura Dail Literary Agency!

Thanks for all you do for aspiring writers, Brenda! You’re the ultimate inspiration for paying it forward!


NatashaNatasha Raulerson@RaulersonWrites

#Pitmad December 2014.

The Novel: REDEMPTION is an adult contemporary romance with a bit of suspense thrown in.
The Tweet: Falling in love with a man whose mother was murdered isn’t easy, especially when Molly’s father is the one who kill her.

Then, I saw that Laura Bradford of Bradford Literary gave me a favorite. LAURA BRADFORD! Yeah, I jumped out of my seat in excitement. Cause, again, Laura Bradford! I sent her my query, the first chapter, and synopsis. Ten days later, I got a request for the full! I didn’t sacrifice anything to the literary gods either. I SWEAR!

Eh hem. Anyway. February 5th, 2015 I signed the contract with Laura, and I’m so happy with my decision. She’s amazing and if it weren’t for #Pitmad I may never have had this awesome opportunity.

Thanks, Brenda! You’re amazing!



Rachel Simon@rachelwrites007

March 2014!

I tweeted during #pitmad 3 times.

Twice out into the void and once specifically to an agent named @ecarriehowland who asked to be pitched to her directly if you had a YA or MG contemporary. I tweeted @ her, she favorited and wanted the first 50 pages and a synopsis. I sent them her way March 26 2014 and May 2014 she asked for the full manuscript. A week later, she offered representation and while I had 4 offers I knew Carrie was it for me.


SarahSarah Lovett@s_lovett

#PitMad December 2014 for me was both a rush of excitement and an exercise in sheer terror. Thankfully I scheduled my tweets the night before or I would have chickened out.

My now agent Rachel Brooks @RachMBrooks favorited one of my tweets. I sent her my pages in January. She requested the full and then asked for revisions. I could tell from her suggestions that she really “got my book” so two weeks later I re-submitted and within twenty-four hours she scheduled “the call”. She’s been wonderful to work with, and I never would have known to submit to her if it wasn’t for #PitMad. Thank you, Brenda.


RenaRena Olsen@originallyrena

#Pitmad September 2014

Just finished an R&R and wanted to throw my hat in the ring again. An agent from Dystel & Goderich starred my pitch and asked for the full right away. I signed with Sharon Pelletier on October 22, 2014. Best decision ever. She’s been fabulous.

January 2015 I went on submission. Ten days later I had my first offer of publication. On February 2, 2015, less than five months after the #Pitmad event, I accepted a two book publication deal from Putman (Penguin Random House), and THE GIRL BEFORE will be published in 2016.


SHOR1LN5Keith Willis@kilbourneknight

I’ve said before on Twitter that Brenda Drake is every writer’s fairy godmother, and I’ll reiterate that. Awesomeness Abounds! In Sept 14’s #PitMad event I received a fav from Cassiel Knight, senior editor at Champagne Books. She asked for a full MS, which I sent via cannon about 10 minutes after receiving the request. I didn’t think a lot about it at the time, as I had several other partial and full MS requests floating around agent/editor-land. Then at the end of September I received an email from Champagne requesting a promotional plan. “Hey,” I thought to myself, “this actually sounds like something.” Fortunately I’d already give a good deal of thought to what I would do to promote TRAITOR KNIGHT if and when the time came, so all I had to do was fine tune my document and fire that off. On October 1 I received an email which began “It is with great pleasure that I offer you a contract …for your novel TRAITOR KNIGHT. I enjoyed it immensely.”

I was at work at the time, and my co-workers must have thought I was having a fit or something. After celebrating by dancing the tarantula (I don’t know the tarantella, so have to make do) I sent off emails to the other agents/editors who had queries or manuscripts, telling them I had an offer. I also vetted the publisher and the contract through my attorney and by contacting other authors who were signed with the press. Once my other sources had passed and I was satisfied all around I inked the deal, and TRAITOR KNIGHT will be released by Champagne Book Group in July 2015. I’m currently anxiously awaiting editorial notes and initial cover art, which should start popping in April.


KristineKristine Asselin@KristineAsselin

In the spring of 2013, I had parted ways with agent #2. For the second time, an agent of mine had left the industry. I was sad for her, and for me. And I was determined for lightning to strike again. I immediately threw my hat in the ring again.

I entered a couple of different twitter pitch parties that spring, but #PitMad came in May that year. I also never stopped querying the traditional way. I was lucky enough to get a few requests, but the one that really resonated came from Meredith Rich of Bloomsbury Spark. It took a couple of months, and several conversations. And the book she acquired wasn’t the book that had garnered her initial interest during #PitMad. But the twitter pitch absolutely started that ball rolling.

As a result of my conversations with Meredith, I was also able to increase my query success rate and ultimately signed with my current agent, Kathleen Rushall–who, by the way, is a rock-star agent, and you should query her if you haven’t. 🙂

ANY WAY YOU SLICE IT, the book that Meredith acquired as a direct result of #PitMad comes out in April 21, 2015. I’m beyond thrilled. It might have happened without #PitMad, but I’m 100% positive that the experience sped up the process and made it happen sooner.

Thank you, Brenda!

O8F9RptpMelissa Gorzelanczyk@MelissaGorzela

My first rejection came in 2012. One of 62. To be fair, my book, which I later shelved, wasn’t ready, but I was ready to query and so I did. My plan was to send batches of five to 10 queries, hope for feedback and move on from there. In the meantime, I started writing another book, ARROWS, the story of a girl shot by Cupid’s love arrow who falls in love with a boy who doesn’t love her back. That was January 2013.

In September, I took a shot at #PitchMadness, and my genius mentor Sharon Johnston wrote a few #PitMad tweets to help me out. The rest is kind-of like a whirlwind love story. Agent Carrie Howland of Donadio & Olson favorited my pitch, and within four days, offered to represent me. I accepted. Four months later, she sold ARROWS to Wendy Loggia at Delacorte/Random House. In January 2016, my book will be a real book. Hardcover. All because of #PitMad.

Much love to Brenda Drake and everyone who volunteers to help make writer’s dreams come true.

Agent: Carrie Howland, @ecarriehowland
ARROWS coming from @randomhousekids, January 2016


jawXBHvND.R. Graham @drgrahambooks

I submitted a 140 character pitch for my book ONE PERCENTER to a Brenda Drake pitch contest. @heatherhowland of @entangledpub requested a full. In our email correspondence, I mentioned to Heather that THE HANDLER (Book two in the NOIR ET BLEU MOTORCYCLE CLUB series) was also written and she contracted both. ONE PERCENTER hit bookshelves in February 2015 and THE HANDLER is on its way in April 2015. Offers have now been made for the next books in the series. Following on that success, I also signed a four-book deal with @harperimpulse, so Brenda Drake really helped launch my writing career.

The pitch: 18-year-old Tienne is pulled back into the deadly world of outlaw bikers after she vows to avenge… (I removed the last part because it’s a spoiler now that the book is published).

I hope your publishing dreams come true too.


v6u51sUPGina Denny@ginad129

I’ve entered several pitch contests, including PitMad, over the last couple years. In 2014, I entered my novel SANDS OF IMMORTALITY in PitMad, where it was favorited by Kirsten Carleton. Over the next few months, I did PitchWars and Kirsten moved agencies, but she eventually offered representation in January of 2015!


qtyf1x24_400x400Kristy Acevedo@kristyace

Thanks to #PitMad on March 11, 2015, I received a two-book deal for my YA sci-fi series with Jolly Fish Press TEN days later!

Editor TJ DaRoza favorited my tweet, and the rest is history.

Thank you Brenda Drake!

See more details at http://kristyacevedo.com/2015/04/20/how-pitmad-2015-led-to-my-two-book-publishing-deal-with-jolly-fish-press/


GinaGina Denny@ginad

I entered #PitMad in the summer of 2014 with my Sleeping Beauty retelling. My pitch was:

Her mother’s cryptic journal. An ancient spell. A prince on the run. Waking Sleeping Beauty was simpler when it was just a dragon

This particular pitch was favorited by Kirsten Carleton and Hannah Bowman. Kirsten required an exclusive, which I couldn’t give. After PitchWars, Kirsten was working for a different agency and no longer required the exclusive. I sent her my query with the PitMad tag. She followed up the next day, asking for a partial, and the next week asking for the full. I signed with her in early 2015!


214AONWaJenna Penrose – @Jenna_Penrose

I entered #PitMad June 2015. I had just finished revisions and was getting ready to start querying. On June 3 a friend reminded me #PitMad was the next day. So I sat at the kitchen table until nearly midnight composing tweets. I managed to write half a dozen tweets and scheduled them through tweetdeck to run the next day. I tried not to watch the feed all day on the 4th, but it was hard to look away!

When this tweet ran Rachel Brooks favorited it: Diplomatic Security agent falls for local paramedic. Can adrenaline junkies find happiness together or will job risks end it? #PitMad #CR

And so started the craziest two weeks of my life. I queried with 10 pages as per Rachel’s guidelines. She requested a full. Then she sent me an email wanting to set up time to talk. Then I got THE CALL. Yes, it was very exciting times in the Penrose house :-)

So, Brenda, THANK YOU for all you’ve done to bring writers together with agents and editors. I’m so excited to see where RUNNING HOT goes from here!


zBE9A0o1Megan Grimit – @MeganGrimit

I participated in #Pitmad in March of 2014, and at the end of it I had half a dozen favorites, including one from the oh-so-fabulous Mandy Hubbard. I’d already planned to query her on my own but I was stalling and being a wimp about hitting send.

But after she favorited, I sent her that query and the first chapter. Four days later that got bumped up to a full, and then a couple weeks after that she came back with a revision request. It took me a few months to complete that and send it back to her, but then she offered representation! I signed my contract on the 4th of July!! (Those fireworks were all for me, baby!)

Sometimes the best thing about #Pitmad and contests like Pitch Wars is the way they allow writers test the waters. I don’t know how long it would have taken me to get the courage to query Mandy if #Pitmad hadn’t taken that fear out of the equation. She had already signed off on the concept and sometimes that’s the hardest part.

I can’t thank Brenda enough for her part in me finding the perfect agent. If you’re on the fence about throwing your book into those very crowded #Pitmad waters, get off that fence and go for it. You won’t be sorry.


0ZGigR-r_400x400Jennifer Hesse – @JenniferHesse3

I had read a blog post about #PitMad and was intrigued. So, after sending traditional query letters for several months without success, I decided to give it a try. In fact, I joined Twitter for the sole purpose of participating in Pitch Madness! I did my research, installed TweetDeck, and scheduled various tweets throughout the day on 9/9/14. By the end of the day, much to my pleasant surprise, I had received three favorites—including one from the fabulous Rachel Brooks (@RachMBrooks).

The day after sending Rachel my query letter and first twenty pages, I received her request for the full manuscript. And just a couple weeks after that… she was my agent. I had an agent! I was so thrilled. And I was even more thrilled, I must say, when she landed me a 3-book deal with Kensington Books. 🙂 My debut cozy mystery, MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S MISCHIEF, comes out in the summer of 2016.

Thanks, Brenda Drake!


Stephanie Haefner

Stephanie Haefner – @StephaniHaefner

My #PitMad success story happened all the way back in August or September 2012! I can’t even remember when exactly it was, I just know it was around that time! I had been on the query-go-round for years, but I just KNEW that book would be the one to get me an agent. I received three Favorites during #PitMad and I was ecstatic. But two of them were agents from the same agency. So I had to pick. I felt it was fair to go with the one who had Favorited it first. So I sent it off. And it was rejected a few weeks later. Fast forward a couple months. I found out agent #2 had left the agency and was starting her own. So I contacted her, reminded her about #PitMad, and asked if she’d like to see it. She said yes! A week later she asked for the full. A few more weeks later, Brittany Booker of the Booker Albert Agency offered me representation! She sold TRY ME ON FOR SIZE to Simon and Schuster for their Pocket Star imprint with a two-book deal. It released in August of 2014, with book 2 releasing June 2015. They then asked me to write a 3rd in the series, and it will release in June of 2016!



A. Suiter Clarke – @asuiterclarke

I entered #pitmad in March 2015 and Sharon Pelletier of Dystel & Goderich Literary Management favorited one of my tweets. I sent her the first 50 pages of my ms and she requested the full a few weeks later. She initially passed on the project, telling me some concerns she had about pacing. She invited me to resubmit in the future if I chose to revise.

After a few months of revision and some invaluable feedback from a CP, I sent it back to Sharon, and a couple months later, she offered me representation! I am so thrilled to be working with her and can’t wait to see what’s next for this manuscript. Thank you to Brenda for running this contest, without which it may have taken me another year of querying to find the right agent.

Full story, for anyone interested, is here: http://www.asuiterclarke.com/how-to-get-a-literary-agent/



Kat Shehata – @KatShehata

Thanks to #PitMad 2015, I received a three-book deal from Limitless Publishing with this tweet: RUSSIAN TATTOOS Falling in love isn’t a crime, but falling in love with a Russian mob boss could get tennis star killed #PitMad #NA #S

Virtual fist-bumps to Brenda Drake for her positive energy and for helping authors, agents, editors, and publishers find their perfect match. Find details about my #Pitmad success story here: http://www.katshehata.com/#!PitMad-Success-Story/c1yw7/560ac4150cf2a7bb74bd857a



Brittney Coon

Brittney Coon – @FatalKiss19EV

#PitMad September 2015

Thanks to PitMad I received a two-book deal from Limitless Publishing. At first they requested a full of SHADES OF SYDNEY and then they sent me a contract! All thanks to Brenda Drake and this tweet: #Pitmad Sydney thinks love should only be in fairy tales. Until Jason comes along & makes her wonder if a boy could be more than a fling #NA

#PitMad works and it’s full of wonderful people to connect with!


BK RiversB.K. Rivers – @WriterRivers

I entered my NA Contemporary Romance novel into #PitMad Sept. 2015 and received a few favorites by the end of the day. It was thrilling to say the least to participate and then flattering too see someone favorite my novel—eep! I received a request from Limitless Publishing four days later for my full manuscript and then an offer to publish a week later. I signed a contract with Limitless two weeks after #PitMad and I know without a doubt that it works and I am so very grateful to Brenda Drake for orchestrating such an amazing opportunity!

Here was my pitch: 20 y/o emotionally caged Jemma finds her walls crumbling as she helps rehab her rockstar crush while falling 4 hunky firefighter.#PitMad #NA


DJDavisD.J. Davis – @djdavisauthor

I took part in the September, 2014, pitmad event. This was also my first foray into the land of Twitter. I was pitching my 2013 NanoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) novel. One of my tweets was favorited by Champagne Books. I sent the required query and then they requested a full. A contract followed and I was in writerly heaven! My debut novel, Courageous Cain, was released September 7, 2015.

Thanks so much to Brenda Drake for helping a new author’s dreams come to true.



Maria Mora – @MariaMelee

I entered #PitMad this June 2015 and was starred by Amy Sherwood with Samhain publishing. After revising and resubmitting over the summer, my paranormal romance ROGUE MAGIC has been signed for a summer 2016 release.

My pitch was:

#PITMAD #PR #LGBT Byron’s job is to convince people that mages are terrorist threats. Then he falls for a slacker waiter with magic.



Elizabeth Roderick – @LidsRodney

I participated in the September, 2015 #pitmad contest. One of my novels, a LGBT erotic thriller, got two stars from small publishers. After researching them a bit, I sent the query and requested partial to both of them. Two days later, they both requested fulls, and less than a week after that, I had an offer. The other publisher indicated they had an offer in the works, as well but, after more research and discussion with trusted professionals, I decided to go with the first offer. I’m proud to announce that Love or Money will be released on January 12, 2016 with Limitless Publishing. Thank you, Brenda Drake!


nathan croftNathan Croft – @neophytegod

#pitmad FTW! September of 2014 did the trick for me.

The tweet: Alchemical A.I. & a flying kitten, vie for = rights in Atlantis’ Chinatown. Also their afterlife needs saving. Contemp #NA #fantasy #pitmad

@WhampaChick le head cheese at Curiosity Quills Press hit the star and hijacked the thing from the acquisitions dept. She read it in less time than it took me to decide yes, yes I did want them to publish my book. And it just came out this last August!

It’s just a typical kitten saves the afterlife story.

me: @neophytegod
my thing http://www.nathancroft.com/

so much thanks to @brandadrake this of course changed my life!


Katherine FleetKatherine Fleet – @KatherineFleet

They say that the third time’s the charm! September 2014 was my third time participating in a #PitMad event. I’d received several favs for my YA contemporary each time, but none turned into an offer. I was frustrated because I’d been so close with this book for over a year. I’d had lots of interest and positive feedback (including initial interest from PitchWars mentors), but no one ready to commit. So when I received a fav from Karen Grove at Entangled, I submitted a partial but wasn’t feeling overly optimistic, but then she asked for my full.

In February, she told me Entangled was interested in publishing my story! In the meantime, I’d been talking to Carrie Pestritto, an agent from Prospect Agency, who’d given me an R&R, so I immediately told her about Entangled. When the offer came through, she agreed to represent me, and I was over the moon.

In the end, I learned that you need to find an agent or editor who is absolutely in love with your story. This can happen quickly or it can take time, and I’m glad I kept pitching that book. Working with Karen has been an amazing experience, and I’m proud to say that THE SECRET TO LETTING GO will release from Entangled Teen on February 2nd! Thanks to Brenda…without #Pitmad this wouldn’t have come together like it did. 🙂


okyK_Cd6_400x400Rebecca Rae Halsey – @rae_becky

#PitMad June 2015. I rewrote all my previous twitter pitches and got favorites from both agent Rachel Brooks of L. Perkins Agency and editor Amy Sherwood at Samhain Publishing, both of who I’m now working with to release my debut novel Notes of Temptation coming Feb 16, 2016.

The tweets that worked:

  • Will depravity behind stage at a notorious Hollywood nightclub be the ruin of a sweet-voiced choirgirl? Jazz Age #HF #A #R #pitmad
  • Ingénue discovers what happens behind closed doors at a Hollywood nightclub. Can the man she loves save her? Jazz Age #HF #pitmad #A #R
  • An ambitious bandleader. A small-town girl. Together they take the stage. Together they defend it to the death. Jazz Age #pitmad #A #HF #R


Jenna Grodzicki – @jennawritesPB

I participated in the December 2015 #PitMad Twitter party. My pitch was favorited by eTreasures Publishing. This was the pitch: Pixie the curious cat sneaks outside for an adventure. But when exploding thunder arrives, will she ever see her family again? #PitMad #PB

I submitted my picture book manuscript later that day and by the end of January, I received an offer for publication! My debut picture book, PIXIE’S ADVENTURE, is now coming out on October 10, 2016.

Thank you so much, Brenda, for organizing this pitch party. This book would have never landed in the hands of eTreasures Publishing if it wasn’t for you!


Tobi Doyle

Tobi Doyle – @tobidoyle

I’m so excited to be a part of the #PitMad success stories. On Dec. 4, 2015 I pitched: She says he’s an avenging angel, but he’s more devil and he wants her for keeps. #pitmad #R #CR #A 51K, mafia, baby and by January 21, 2016 I SOLD TO HARLEQUIN DESIRE!!! It absolutely wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t received an offer through PitMad. Adrianna’s Avenging Angel (working title) will be published March 2017.

Thank you so much for organizing this! It’s amazing and you’re phenomenal to help out so many authors!


jessika fleckJessika Fleck – @jessickafleck

#PitMad December 2015

The Pich: #PitMad An island of castaways,a bloody war,time travel: Olive runs from bullies & lands in a worse trap. Mean Girls+Lord of the Flies. #YA

Editor Theresa Cole ‘favorited’ my pitch (she also checked out my website and asked to see another manuscript, so HINT: spiffy up those webpages because you never know who’s checking them out and it *might* just lead to something amazing!)–yay! I submitted the manuscript through Submittable to her/Entangled Teen.

Two months later she told me she loved it and was going to send it up to acquisitions.

Four months after that I got ‘the call’=an offer of publishing and I. Am. Beyond. Thrilled.

So, thank you, thank you, thank you, Brenda for #PitMad! My YA Fantasy, THE CASTAWAYS, was picked up by Entangled Teen thanks to the amazing, wonderful, awesome Theresa Cole (editor) for giving my little #PitMad pitch a chance. <3



Kate Miller – @WriteKateWrite

I participated in #PitMad in March 2014 for my urban fantasy novel, KARMA PATROL. I received two agent favorites and one publisher favorite. One agent and the publisher ultimately passed on the full manuscript, but Jen Linnan of Linnan Literary requested the full manuscript, fell in love with the story, and offered representation! Here’s the tweet she favorited:

#pitmad All karma cop Jade wanted was a fairytale romance. She meant Disney. She got Grimm Brothers by way of Jack Reacher. #pnr

KARMA PATROL was published by Curiosity Quills Press in April 2016, and the sequel, KARMA CHAMELEON, is slated for release in October 2017. I’m working on the third book now, in no small part to Brenda and #PitMad! Thank you for all you do.


Jill KeeneJill Keene – @jillkeeneauthor

Writing with her sister as Makenna Snow – @maksnowwrites

I just wanted to take a moment to thank Brenda for all the support she offers other writers. Because of #pitmad, our manuscript CHILDREN OF NEPTUNE (a collaboration with my sister Jodi) will be published by Champagne Books under the pen name Makenna Snow. This would not have happened without #pitmad and Brenda’s efforts on behalf of other writers. I just wanted to send our heartfelt appreciation for the work she does.

All best,
Jill Keene


F7yDSi51_400x400Melissa Volker – @MissyAnnV

I entered #Pitmad (and #PitchWars) in 2014 with another manuscript (that I thought was AWESOME). I tweeted, I queried, I cried and I begged, but it was to no avail. So I did some thinking, I took the lessons learned from the contests and the gems gleaned in the rejection letters and I polished them up, nice and shiny so they could shed some light on the way forward. I started a new manuscript and took 2015 and early 2016 to complete it, have it edited and beta read, and then had a go at #PitchWars. I got the nicest rejection letters from the mentors, including a particularly encouraging one from Kristin Lepionka, and I realized I had something. It may not be perfect, but it was better than the MS of 2014. If nothing else, I had learned and improved. Then I entered #PitMad on September 8, 2016. I tweeted once:

Bored by small town,Lexi aids newcomer: dark fracking geologist ? ?They stumble on hidden crime, then not just greenies threaten #pitmad #rs

I got 3 favourites, One of them, the Denver based press, Literary Wanderlust, offered me a publishing contract in early October. My book, (working title: A Fractured Land) will be published in the fall of 2017. I cannot thank Brenda Drake and the Twitter writing community enough. I have learned so much from all of you about plotting, querying, pitching and most importantly, never giving up.


Lindsey Frydman

Lindsey Frydman – @LindseyMF

I entered #PitMad in June, 2016 after a long time of querying and entering previous contests. Jenn Mishler, an editor for Entangled Publishing, liked my tweet. *Cue the flailing* I’ve owned books from Entangled for years. In fact, some of my favorite authors are published by them!

This is the tweet Jenn liked: #PitMad Audra gets her heart donor’s brother to help finish his sister’s bucket list, but he won’t help unravel the mystery of her death #NA

Fast forward a few months: Jenn LOVED my voice and my story. Now, THE HEARTBEAT HYPOTHESIS, a NA contemporary romance will be published through Entangled’s Embrace line Spring, 2017. I can’t put into words how happy I am. And I can’t thank Brenda Drake and the rest of the writing community enough. <3

You can read my full blog post about the experience here: http://www.lindseyfrydman.com/single-post/2016/11/11/How-I-Landed-My-Book-Deal



Sara Baysinger – @sarambaysinger

I had participated in #PitMad twice before and got no likers. The third time I participated was in January 2016. I almost didn’t bother because of the lack of interest the first two times, but I thought, what could it hurt? I wrote up a quick pitch for my scifi/romance novel and posted it. I got a TON of positive feedback on that ONE tweet! I submitted a query and sample chapters to all the likers, and got five full manuscript requests and three contract offers. Entangled Publishing was one of the manuscript requests. Unfortunately, I ended up refusing the contract offers and withdrew my manuscript from Entangled because I wanted to pursue a different project first. (Risky, I know!) Eight months later, after self-publishing my dystopian book Black Tiger, I resubmitted my scifi/romance manuscript to @SMAEvans at @entangledpub, asking if she would be willing to take another look. She was! She liked the story, and I signed with Entangled Teen November 2016.

Thanks so much Brenda Drake and Entangled Publishing for making this happen! And for future #PitMad-ers, if you don’t get any interest the first time you participate in this event, don’t get discouraged! Just revise your tweet and try again next time. Like I said—it wasn’t until my third participation that anything happened. <3



Micky O’Brady – @DocOBrady

#PitMad in September 2016 was my second #PitMad. I had gotten a couple of favorites and requests the first time, but they all ended in “not the right fit.” Sigh. It was a rollercoaster of emotions: Wooo, they like my story! :o)) Aw, crikey, they hate it. :o((

So I picked my trampled heart off the floor, spoon-fed it with Nutella, and worked on the manuscript some more. Come September I put on my big girl panties and tweeted my 140 characters of hope out into the world once more:

First Daughter is the perfect cover for a spy in the White House. When Alix’s dad is attacked, she hopes she is good enough.

And—yay!—I got a couple of favorites again: One of them from Lisa Gus at CuriosityQuills! Insert a whirlwind of emails and ideas bouncing back and forth, and boom, before I knew it THE PRESIDENT’S DAUGHTER found an awesome home at CuriosityQuills, for publication in Fall/Winter 2016! How amazing is that?!? By the way, if you see typos in this text, it’s because I’m writing this while *still* happy dancing..!

Thank you, Brenda, for upping the chances for us writers (#PitMad!! #PitchWars!! #PitchMadness!!) and helping us succeed!!


Melissa Eskue Ousley

Melissa Eskue Ousley – @MEskueOusley

I participated in #PitMad a number of times and got likes from agents and publishers, which was encouraging. During the December 2016 event, Filles Vertes Publishing (FVP) liked my tweet for my suspense novel, Pitcher Plant. This was the pitch: Buying a seaside fixer-upper seemed like a great idea until Tawny unearthed a murder victim. Now she’s next. PITCHER PLANT #PitMad #A #S
FVP requested the full manuscript, and soon after, I signed with them. The book comes out April 2017. Thanks so much to Brenda Drake for organizing these events, and to the agents and publishers who participate. And thanks to all the writers out there who encourage each other–community is one of the best things about #PitMad.



Keith Yatsuhashi – @KeithYatsuhashi

If the comments above don’t tell you how effective Pitmad is, I don’t know what will. It worked for me. I pitched in the summer of 15. By the fall, Laura Zats of Red Sofa Literary contacted me and we had ‘the call’. I agreed to her offer pretty much during the call and couldn’t be happier. I also received a nibble from Angry Robot Books, who I ending up signing with, thanks to Laura!


LL4yNhkk_400x400Lynn Veevers – @LynnVeevers

I am writing to thank you for hosting #pitmad and every other contest and pitching event you do for the literary community. Today I had a dream come true! I signed a publishing contract because of a pitch that I had posted during the pitch party. This was the pitch:

” Vengeance spurs Kaya to kill her parent’s killer before it finds her, but the killer looks & acts a lot like the man she loves. #pitmad #YA”

I could not have asked for a better home for my career to begin in or a better woman than Stephanie Taylor of Astraea Press (Clean Reads) to work with. She is just amazing! Thank you for all you do I am eternally grateful!

All the best,
Lynn Veevers


4ed5f91f847c0fec338eff2056753c3f_400x400Lindsey Duga – @LindseyDuga

After participating in various online contests and twitter pitch parties, my YA Fantasy #pitmad tweet was favorited by Judi Lauren (@Judi_Lauren), editor’s assistant for Lydia Sharp (@Lydia_Sharp) at Entangled Publishing. Three weeks after I sent in my submission to Entangled, I received an email from Lydia asking for three-page synopsis, and then a week later I received another email with news that they wanted to take my book to acquisitions with some slight alterations.

A week after that, Lydia emailed me that their acquisition meeting was next Tuesday. Somehow, I went to work all Tuesday without checking my inbox and at the end of the day I found out I was going to be an author! I couldn’t be more thankful to Brenda Drake and her contests that create amazing opportunities for aspiring authors.

The tweet that got me the book deal:
To Princess Ivy Green, kisses are used as weapons and Love is a fairytale. But one prince is desperate to prove her wrong.

A ROYAL’S KISS is coming out July 3rd, 2018 with Entangled Teen.


Deeba Zargarpur – @deebazargarpur

I entered my YA contemporary fantasy into #PitMad in September 2017. I had just finished a very light first round of edits when I threw my hat in the ring with this tweet: 
16yo Farrah must stop a fire-jinn’s plan to revive his kingdom on Earth or her city & family will burn to the ground ? #PitMad #YA #F #own
This ultimately was the little book that could. The drafting process was so immensely difficult but with the love of my CPs to push me, I knew I had to give #PitMad a shot. I was not expecting the 56 total likes my 3 tweets generated. That same night I sent out over 30 queries and ended up with 25 full requests. The rest was a whirlwind of emails, starting with an offer of rep only 3 days after sending my first full. I ended up with multiple offers and within 3 weeks, I accepted my now agent’s offer. I’m so happy to start this journey with Elana Roth Parker at the Laura Dail Literary Agency and I’m so grateful to Brenda Drake and her fabulous team for organizing this event!


Sarah Shotwell – @saraheshotwell
In September of 2017, I took a chance and threw my hat into the ring for #pitmad. I was very new to Twitter, and it was my first attempt at a writing event/contest. I entered 3 pitches for my YA adventure debut, COLD SMOKE. During the day, I received two agent requests for queries. I was so surprised! I followed up by querying both of these agents that week and providing the requested writing samples. Within a few days, both agents responded with a full request. Within a week or two, I received one R&R and one request for a phone call. When that call came, I was completely thrilled: Zoe Sandler from ICM partners offered me representation!! Since the moment Zoe noticed my #pitmad entry, she moved into my number one spot on my agent wish list: I loved her agency, her diverse and talented client list, her take on my story, and her encouraging and kind (and super pro!) insights. I didn’t feel the need to draw things out; I said yes on the spot! All in all, my querying journey took a total of 3 weeks — a process I’d anticipated would involve months or years. I could not be more thrilled to be wrong. Here’s to Brenda, Zoe, the Twitter gods, and dumb luck!
Lindsay Leslie – @LLeslie
(THIS BOOK IS SPINELESS, Winter 2019, Page Street Kids)

A HUGE thank you to Brenda Drake and Heather Cashman for their relentless support of the writing community and for creating opportunities for writers to connect with publishers, editors, and agents.

I’ve participated in #PitMad a couple of times and each time wondered whether picture books would get lost in the scrolling madness of the #PitMad day. But I felt I needed to make the most of every opportunity available, and I’m glad I did. In March 2017, Kristen Nobles, publisher at Page Street Kids, favorited my pitch. That “favorite” turned into an R&R with associate children’s editor Charlotte Wenger. That R&R turned into a book deal. That book deal helped me secure an agent of my dreams—Stephanie Fretwell-Hill, Red Fox Literary. And with my agent, I’ve recently signed two additional book deals with Page Street Kids. Leave no stone unturned.

Here is the pitch: THIS BOOK IS SPINELESS & has no sense of adventure. Yet it feels, hears, sees, smells, & tastes something lurking on its pages #PitMad#PB

Andi Ramos – @andiramosauthor
I wanted to share my story with everyone at #pitmad and thank them for the amazing opportunities they provide. I also wanted to share this story with all trying to find the courage to take a chance. I had just put the finishing edits on my debut novel and knew that #pitmad Dec 7, 2017, was on the horizon. I was gearing up and mentally preparing. It was about 4:00pm and I bounced on twitter. As I began to browse, I realized #pitmad was that day! OMG, I nearly missed the  hole day. I don’t have my 140 characters ready. I’m gonna wait for the next one. NO! I’m gonna do it! I got a pitch ready and pressed enter without thinking. Here is the tweet:
#PitMad #RS
Sheagan’s new detective agency landed a missing person’s case that turned out to be much more than she anticipated. She’s out to prove she can hang with the pros, despite the constant reminder of her amateur status from a condescending yet annoyingly hot FBI agent.
I was favorited a couple times, one by Sharon Pickerel of Tirgearr Publishing. I was asked to submit a full manuscript. I took the chance and I am happy to say I signed a contract with Tirgearr Publishing this week for my Debut novel, Gumshoe Girl. I found the perfect fit for my work. Thank you #pitmad, I am so happy I took the chance.


Leah Heilman Schanke – repped by Allison Remcheck  @LeahSchanke
I almost didn’t participate in #PitMad in December 2017, but then I thought about what I say to anyone who wants to pursue something – if you do nothing, you already know the outcome. So I threw my hat into the ring.
Allison Remcheck of Stimola Literary Studio liked both of my tweets:

Daisy and her mom move to New York City in the 1950’s, escaping Jim Crow but not Daisy’s fear of dragonflies. She meets an ailing dragonfly and discovers more than courage.

Harlem Renaissance poet, Anne Spencer, discovers what sustains her and how an African-American woman can make a difference.

I submitted my query letter and both picture book manuscripts through the online form as directed. Allison replied the next morning. When I saw the opening words of her email in my inbox, “Thank you…”, I thought it was another rejection, thanks but no thanks.

Once I opened the email and saw the length of the reply, I realized it couldn’t be a form rejection. I was elated not only for a positive response but because I felt Allison gets my writing and what I am looking to accomplish.  We spoke that week on the phone, and her editorial feedback confirmed my initial impressions. I signed with Stimola Literary Studio in January 2018.

Heartfelt thanks to Brenda Drake and #PitMad team!
Elizabeth Keysian – @EKeysian
I wanted to thank you, and let you know that some of my stories have already found a home with Entangled Publishing as a result of doing PitMad.
Luckily for me, editor Nina Bruhns was on the prowl during PitMad in June 2016, and she liked a couple of my pitches, then asked if I had anything else. I have a HUGE back catalogue, because I’ve been trying to get published for decades, so I said “yes” and ended up with a 3-book contract, writing for their Scandalous (historical romance) imprint!
A little later, there was a gap in the schedule, and I was asked to submit 2 longer books, for the Entangled Amara line (also historical romance). So I now have 3 books out with a 4th hitting the shelves in April and one more Amara book still to come.
My debut, DISTRACTING THE DUKE, has been picked up by a Japanese publisher, which is pretty awesome, and will shortly be on offer via a BookBub ad.
I am so thrilled and excited that this has finally happened. My characters were getting impatient to have their stories told lol! And it’s all thanks to #PitMad! ❤




We're thrilled at the different ways those in our Pitch Wars community are giving back—and we encourage them to do so. However, please keep in mind that Pitch Wars is not affiliated with any of these various contests, promotions, etc., including those of our mentors and mentees. Promoting any such opportunities via our social media channels doesn't imply endorsement or affiliation. We encourage you to do your research before participating.

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