#PitchDis 2022 was bigger than I anticipated, with our hashtag being the #3 trend in the US for a while! *photo proof at the bottom of this page* That’s all because of you and your amazing pitches. I’m so happy that our little event has resonated with so many. It goes to show that there is definitely a market and a need for our stories.
Participation from agents and editors also grew this year, with a minimum of 43 agents and 8 editors/publishers joining us that day (These are all very unscientific numbers, as I just scrolled through the feed and made notes =) I promise to try to do a more formal count next time). 43 agents and editors made at least one request, but most made many more. We’re still a young event, so while I’d love to see more, I’m very pleased with these numbers. And just like last year, I hope that this number grows as our event grows.
If you read the 2021 Wrap Up, our 2022 Wrap Up will take on a similar format. I’m going to be very transparent and tell you about what won’t change, what will change, and what we can improve on.
Things That Won't Change
This is something that was requested last year by several people, and the positive response was overwhelming. We don’t want to do anything that would create the illusion of #PitchDis being a popularity contest, nor do we want to clog up the feed and see the same pitches over and over and over again. Commenting on the tweets instead not only helped solve these two problems, but people seemed to appreciate comments on their pitches more. It’s just more personal and nicer to let someone know why you like their pitch. This change really seemed to resonate with many, so we are going to continue our no retweets or quote retweets rule for now.
We talked about it briefly last year, but it was mentioned in this year’s survey so I wanted to make sure everyone understands why this rule is in place.
While there is still a great need to see AUTHENTIC disabled characters in books, this is not why #PitchDis was created. #PitchDis’ goal is to help disabled writers, whether their characters are disabled or not. Disabled people make up nearly a quarter of the U.S. population, yet we’re one of the most underrepresented groups in publishing. This needs to change, and I hope #PitchDis is just one of many tools that can help do that.
Because of this, we will not be changing our main qualification of participants self-identifying as disabled, neurodivergent, and/or chronically ill. Family members and friends of these individuals cannot participate unless they self-identify as disabled, neurodivergent, or chronically ill themselves. Again, please look into the other pitch events that occur throughout the year to see if you are eligible to participate in those.
Oh, how I wish I could change this one. I got a lot of comments this year about having #PitchDis twice a year. I’ll never count this suggestion out, but right now my life only allows for an annual event. There’s a lot of prep that goes into the event and pre-show events, and only so much time and energy I can give to it. I really, truly, wish I could do more.
We also had a suggestion of splitting the event into two days so agents and editors can find genres they’re looking for. Currently, I don’t see a need to do that quite yet. As long as your pitches use the proper genre hashtags, agents and editors will know how to search for genres they want. But depending on if and how much the event grows, we’ll come back to this in the future.
Things That Will Change
Replies to Messages About Eligibility
I touched on this a few days before #PitchDis, but I wanted to explain my reasoning to everyone so you will hopefully understand why I had to do this.
Self-identifying is a very personal thing—hence the word ‘self’. #PitchDis invites authors who self-identify as disabled, neurodivergent, and/chronically ill to participate. This can mean physically disabled, mentally disabled, or emotionally disabled. This can mean having a visible disability or an invisible disability.
I cannot tell you if you self-identify as disabled. I cannot make this decision for you.
This year, I was inundated with DMs and emails from people asking if their disability qualified. I also received many asking if they were “disabled enough” to participate. I tried to answer every single message, but honestly? It got to the point where I had to copy and paste my generic reply because there were just so many messages asking a question I simply couldn’t answer. During the week leading up to #PitchDis I did something I’d normally never, ever do—I stopped replying to those messages. With other questions coming in at all hours, I had to focus my energy on things I COULD answer.
You have no idea how much that bothered me. I always try to do my best and get back to everyone. But something had to give.
So, everyone, this is one thing that is going to have to give. I’m so sorry, but I will no longer reply to any message sent asking if a certain disability or illness qualifies, or if a certain disability is “enough” to qualify. I’m not doing this to be mean, but I can’t answer that question for anyone.
This has been mentioned on the site, but I will make sure it’s more prominent in the weeks/months to come.
I’m putting an asterisk to this because it’s something that MAY change.
Y’all were very split about pre-show event timing! A few people said they’d prefer having all the pre-show events closer together, while others said they’d prefer if they were more spread out throughout the year. I see the appeal of both suggestions. With the exception of #AskPitchDis, I have a group of volunteers that help with the events, so I have to take their availability into consideration as well.
We added some events this year and our #AskAnAgent sessions were a big hit (thank you to our amazing agents Ann Rose, Cortney Radocaj, and Hannah VanVels Ausbury!) On a different note, #PDMatch wasn’t very popular so we probably won’t bring that back next year. That way, we can focus more on the events that participants found more valuable. And maybe we can come up with a new event? Hmmm… =)
Things We Can Improve On
Uplifting POC #PitchDis Participants
There were a few comments on helping boost POC authors during #PitchDis, as POC authors seem to get the least amount of likes during the event (and other pitch events). I can’t give you an answer on how we will do this now—whether it will be a hashtag, a devoted hour during the event only for POC authors, or something else entirely—but this WILL be addressed for 2023. I plan to reach out to a few people to get their input on the best way to do this. This is something that’s going to require a lot of thought and possibly some time to get right, but please know I’ll be working on it in the next few weeks/months and I’m listening. I welcome any suggestions via email or DM.
What Happens Next
#PitchDis will be back in 2023. Again, the date will be announced sometime in December or January, but plan for sometime in June or July.
We’re always looking for volunteers! If you’re an author, editor, or agent who would like to help us with our query critique raffles, or an agent who would like to participate in #AskAnAgent, please send us an email or a DM. Got any ideas for a new event? Let us know!
We’ll be posting news on Twitter, but you can sign up for the #PitchDis newsletter to stay informed on event dates.
And as always, keep in touch! We want to hear your success stories and we want to help disabled authors any way we can. The #PitchDis DMs are always open.
Take care, and see you in 2023!