Welcome to The Ready Room, where I explore random topics to help you kick off your week.
This week’s topic explores the crazy Twitter contest, #RevPit, and what it’s really all about (from the hopeful perspective). Hopefully this handy quick-guide will point you in all the right directions and help you determine whether or not #RevPit’s right for you.
#RevPit is both an annual contest and a series of mini-events run by the editors at Revise & Resub. For the sake of brevity, we’re only going to focus on the annual contest in this post. So here’s what you need to know:
- Contest rules are found here. With any contest, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with how things work, what your role is as a hopeful, and what to expect from submission to choosing day to the final agent round.
- The annual contest is for completed, polished, and unpublished fiction manuscripts only. To find the editor that you feel may be the best fit, check out the Revise & Resub Manuscript Wish Lists.
#RevPit is also a community of writers and editors. Some of us know one another from last year’s contest, from the 10Queries mini-event, or from hanging out #OnThePorch. One of the things we love to do on the hashtag is talk about our books. A lot.
Whether you’re new to the scene or from when dinosaurs roamed, here’s a couple ways to win at #RevPit before the contest ever starts.
- Stop by the hashtag and say hi. We love connecting with other writers and professionals in the larger community.
- Watch for editor games and get involved (or start a game of your own).
- Follow the editors & other writers.
- Join in the Blog Hop and connect with other hopefuls.
- Swap queries & first pages with your peers. (I personally recommend someone in your age & genre categories)
- Make a friend or find some critique partners.
Basically, get involved. Because whether you get chosen for the final event or not, the friends and connections you make now are going to stay with you in the months and years to come. They’re an amazing support system when you’re ready to set your book on fire and feed off the ashes.
Your Professional Brand
Here’s a solid truth about #RevPit and every other Twitter contest: your Twitter presence, your book and your pen name are a brand. From this point on, you’re no longer a person who’s written a story, you’re a professional brand.
- As you chat with others Twitter, on your blog, or generally talk about your book, keep something in the back of your mind: what does your presence say about you? What do you want your brand to look like today? In five years?
- Be professional. You’re not only representing your book, you represent who you are and how you work.
- From submission day to choosing day is very stressful – on both writers and editors. Here’s how to protect yourself and your brand:
- Be professional. Whatever you’re feeling inside—and there may be a lot of feelings—always think about your outward facing appearance. What do you want people to see in your tweets?
- Take your grievances offline. Tweeting ‘nobody loves me’ or ‘no fair’ or ‘how come nobody requested mine’ often look like one thing: whining. Is this what you want people to see in your brand?
- Be an activist, not a deactivist. If someone says something you like, show your support with a like or retweet. However, if someone tweets something you don’t agree with, don’t deactivate another person. Your brand is not about them, it’s about you.
* * *The annual #RevPit contest is fun, it’s exciting, and a fantastic way to grow your network of friends, followers, supporters, and someday readers. If you’re on the fence about entering, all I can pass along is the amazing advice Katie McCoach gave me (paraphrased of course): if you find an opportunity to skip the slush pile straight to an agent reading your work, seize it.
Have any helpful advice or thoughts I didn’t touch on in this article? Feel free to post comments below. I’d love to hear from you. 🙂