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State of #pitchdis 2023
I wanted to provide a general update on the current status of the program but first things first:
Unless otherwise posted, #PitchDis is still on for 2023.
I also want to give some insight on what’s been going on and how things *may* change since several variables have come into play.
To be completely upfront, one of the variables is me—specifically, my health and energy. The last half of 2022 brought some health issues that caused me to fall behind on my usual #PitchDis planning. Continuing the event is important to me, as several participants have reached out to me with their success stories. I wanted to expand the program more this year and was thinking about adding another pre-show event. But this has made me put a focus on improving on what we already have, and what works, rather than experimenting with new things.
On top of this, as many of you know, Twitter has a new owner who’s made some changes and they’re…not great. And to be perfectly honest, as I’m writing this in late January, I don’t know if Twitter will be around in June when we have #PitchDis. Our main platform could be gone, and at the moment I honestly don’t know what to do if that happens. Do we move to another platform? If so, which one? Do we switch the program up entirely? If so, how? There’s so much to think about and I truly don’t know how we’ll proceed if Twitter is no longer available to us.
If Twitter is still around we will stay there unless additional changes are made that would make the event unsafe or unfair. One of the proposed changes from Twitter’s boss is raising the character limit from 280 to 4,000. If we allowed 4,000 characters that’s close to three pages of a manuscript, or a full picture book. It’s a fourth of a short graphic novel. If you post that, you’ve basically given away a good chunk of your first chapter, or a short story, and guess what? It would be considered published, and agents and editors don’t normally rep or acquire published works. So IF that change is implemented, I can confirm right now that #PitchDis will still require you to stay within 280 characters* (see below for one caveat). Will people try to bypass this rule? Probably. But remember—the longer the pitch, the more likely someone will skim over it and not actually read it. And to hopefully make things a little easier, we’re going to have a handy dandy form on the site that will allow you to see if you are within the limit.
There may also be other changes in the pipeline that we don’t know about yet so everything is truly up in the air. But if Twitter is in its current state (as of January 2023) the main #PitchDis event will go on as normal.
I wanted to touch on some other things as well.
I am still working on the best way to boost POC voices during the event but as you may surmise from the changes mentioned above, it’s going to depend on if the event will exist in its current state. I promise, I have not forgotten about this. One positive aspect of the proposed character limit change is that we could have a dedicated hashtag for POC authors without affecting the character limit. *Because of this, those who self-identify as a person of color may utilize the #POC hashtag and will be allowed to post 285 character pitches if the Twitter character limit increases. I’m concerned a dedicated hour for POC authors would only confuse other authors and they’d pitch during the POC hour, which would defeat the purpose of uplifting POC voices.
As for the pre-show events, I’m excited to announce that our query raffles will be back for the third year! We have an amazing group of developmental editors and authors who have volunteered this year—some familiar faces and some new to the #PitchDis family. #AskPitchDis will also be back. I’m also hoping to have a few Q&A events but nothing has been confirmed as of yet.
And finally, I just want to reiterate two things that were mentioned in last year’s wrap up. First, retweets and quote retweets will not be allowed again this year. Please show your support by replying to the pitch instead. And second, please do not email, tweet, or DM me asking if your disability qualifies for the event, or if you are “disabled enough.” Those messages will go unanswered. If you self-identify as disabled, neurodiverse, or chronically ill, you are eligible to participate.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, and thanks for understanding what we’re up against this year! As always, feel free to contact me either through Twitter or email with any questions or concerns—or more of those success stories =)
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