Online pitch parties

Two weeks from the time of this post, I will be delivering a workshop at the Bournemouth Writing Festival 2024 sharing my experience of gaining a publishing contract through an online pitch party. These happen quite frequently on X (Twitter) where writers are asked to pitch their novel using 280 characters. If the pitch gains a heart from an agent or publisher, this is an invitation to bypass the slush pile and send a submission package directly to someone who can take a manuscript forward.

Why bother with online pitches? 

  • They’re an effective way to get your manuscript under the eyes of agents and publishers;
  • You can use the skills developed to write a brief synopsis;
  • The pitch can be reused in query letters;
  • They’re fun to join.

Online pitches work best when:

  • It’s clear who is the protagonist of the story;
  • The inciting incident is identified;
  • The problem is shared;
  • An element of jeopardy drives the narrative.

Use comparable titles

These are titles of books that are similar to your manuscript and would attract a similar readership. It’s a concise way of summarising where your novel sits in terms of tone, genre and audience. Remember to choose titles or authors that demonstrate there is a market for your book but don’t go for two obvious best sellers.

This is the online pitch for my latest novel which has yet to find a home.


Storms approach and mysterious threats disrupt the calm at an exotic resort. When Ashley is attacked by a hawker, she discovers her husband orchestrated the incident. Now the resort is in uproar and Ashley must take action to prevent further conflict. 

If you’d like to have a go at writing a pitch, do share it in the comments.

1 Comment

  1. This is a great exercise Gail, and lovely to hear you got a deal through one of these events.

    Here’s my attempt at a summary of my novel…

    Desire Lines

    Motherhood is harder than Nora had expected. She misses Sandie. She’s furious with her mum. Her husband always gets called in to work when the kids are at their worst. Stockholm doesn’t feel safe anymore, and Swedish is difficult. Will she find a way to make it through?

    I would love your input.

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