Saturday, August 10, 2019

Beth Phelan - Pitching on Social Media: Finding the Right Pitch Party for Your Story, Plus Strategies for Perfecting Your Pitch

Gallt & Zacker Literary agent Beth Phelan
Beth Phelan
Beth Phelan has been an agent at Gallt & Zacker Literary since 2017. She represents authors of middle grade and young adult books and gravitates toward stories and characters that inspire, and anything with a touch of humor and the bittersweet. Beth is also the creator of #DVpit, a Twitter pitch event for marginalized creators, which she launched in April 2016.

Beth Phelan once tweeted that her brand is "transparent anxiety," and while there's a solid nugget of truth at the core of that joke, her brand is also "barrier-crashing agent of positive change." It's no accident that Publisher's Weekly named her a 2019 Star Watch Honoree.

#DVpit (which stands for Diverse Voices Pitch) is exclusively for writers and illustrators of historically marginalized backgrounds, and it's been a roaring success at placing querying writers with agents and publishers It's thoroughly validated Beth's suspicion that flipping the existing agent-querying paradigm on its head would be an effective way to get a more diverse range of voices into the world of kidlit.

The logo with a link to the DVpit website
There's a pretty big range of online pitch events today, and they're generally modeled as contests, with volunteer mentors working with the winning mentees to polish a manuscript and create a short pitch. Agents and editors are then invited to make requests on those pitches, often with a short period of exclusivity granted to those requesters.

Follow Beth Phelan and #DVpit on Twitter, and get more info at the #DVpit website.

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