Metaphorically #DVpit becomes water. Likewise, I could say Twitter is some type of container–a canteen maybe–something tethered to your belt. Whether you’ve been slinging a sledge hammer to break rocks or ripping callouses off your hands for grip on a climb, you’re exhausted and you could use a drink. What you need is opportunity and energy to keep climbing, to keep breaking those rocks.
I’ve said this a number of times on my blog. One of the biggest obstacles for minority writers is opportunity. There can be a number of reasons why you might not see much diversity at your writer’s conference. Questions race through our minds. Where am I going to get the resources to attend? Who’s going to take care of my kids? Will I lose my job? How will I pay my bills? And those are only a few of the questions. Economic disparity for minorities is not a new topic. It’s easy to see how avenues for success can close down for a minority writer seeking to give voice to the voiceless, to represent her community in a genuine way.
Little did I know #DVpit would be an environment for such opportunity. I read their website (www.dvpit.com) and I jumped onto their Twitter (@DVpit_). I understood the concept and was hopeful. The event was started by Beth Phelan and what grabbed me was the description:
“#DVpit is a Twitter event created to showcase pitches from marginalized voices that have been historically underrepresented in publishing. This includes (but is not limited to): Native peoples and people of color; people living and/or born/raised in underrepresented cultures and countries; disabled persons (including neurodiverse); people living with illness; people on marginalized ends of the socioeconomic, cultural and/or religious spectrum; people identifying within LGBTQIA+; and more.” — Beth Phelan.
After reading the description, I marked it on my calendar and started to prepare my pitch. I wasn’t sure of what was to come of this “Diverse Voices Pitch” event, aka #DVpit, but I knew I had to try.
What happened was this: I started to get “likes” or clicks which are hearts on Twitter. This is a good sign because a “like” means, “Hey, send me a query; I like what you’re writing.” So that’s what I did. I had five agents click so I sent out five queries and I received five requests for manuscripts (two full and three partial). All five were from large literary agencies in New York and California. Oddly enough two of the agents were from the same agency so they worked out who would read the manuscript.
Long story short, I signed with an agent. It took one week to filter through the process, and when I had to pull my submissions with the other agents they emailed back saying their congratulations. One of the agents read the full manuscript even though she wouldn’t be representing the novel. She was very kind and generous with her compliments. I am completely humbled by it all.
In this, I must give a big thank you to Beth Phelan for creating a space where minorities can navigate environments they might not otherwise be able. I highly recommend minority writers to seek out #DVpit for 2019. After looking into this event I also ran across other Twitter events which offer similar opportunities for writers, like #Pitmad, #PitchWars, #PitDark, and #PBPitch. I recommend writers to look into which pitching event fits your genre and participate. Take the time to develop your pitch, as well as your book (the market is still competitive and there is no guarantee).
I’ve saved the best for last: I’m proud to announce I’m rep’d by Allie Levick of Writers House Literary Agency. I can’t say enough about how excited I am. My palms have ripped through callouses getting to the next hold, and having Allie on my side makes me optimistic about the next climb. She is now representing my novel, UNSETTLED BETWEEN. You can find her via the Writers House website, www.writershouse.com, her personal website, www.alexandralevick.com, or her Twitter, @AllieLevick.