#KissPitch 2018: A Guide to Hashtags, Pitches and Etiquette

#KissPitch 2018

#KissPitch 2018 is almost here, and we’ve got the deets! Your All The Kissing admins hope #KissPitch will become an event both writers and industry pros will look forward to year after year. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, many of you have already started building pitches, and a little refresher never hurts. However, for some, #KissPitch might be your first pitch event, and All The Kissing is here to help guide you.

So, let’s jump right in!


Building Pitches

Lucky you, you have 280 characters to pitch in instead of 140. Still, shorter is better—if you need the 280, use it, but remember your hashtags in your character count. Both plot and voice-based pitches have their advantages. When we only had 140 characters to work with it was nearly impossible to include both, but things they are a changin’.

Plot-Based Pitches

The goal of this type of pitch is to convey characterization, plot, setting and stakes. There are several variations, but this a baseline with tons of variations for you to build on:

When [main character] [inciting incident] [result], but [stakes].

Try to be specific when building a plot pitch. What sets your story apart?

Example: SCORPION + THE GAME PLAN. When a shy college jock discovers a cure for cancer his instant fame draws unlimited funding. When drug companies put a price on his head, the high school crush who dumped him becomes his only hope for survival. #KissPitch #NA #CR #HOT.

Hot tip: Comparative titles are a great way to let the pros know exactly where you’ve positioned your manuscript, but try to be original in your selections and remember that comps aren’t a requirement.

Voice-Based Pitches

Often letting your voice shine can come at the expense of the story’s plot and stakes, but It’s easier to combine the two with increased character availability. Voicy pitches are tricky. This one had a great response rate because of the voicy nature, but lacked the plot stakes.

Example: What’s a curvy girl gotta do to get laid in NOLA? Not much if she meets a frontman who prefers women as curvy as his guitars. OWN #DVPit #CR.

Try mixing up your four allotted pitches using both voice- and plot-based styles. Some agents/publishers don’t respond to voice-y pitches at all—they want the facts only—while others love getting a glimpse of your writing style.

Watch your responses the day of the event, decide which is working better for you, and adjust on the fly.

Also, the best place to fine-tune your pitches is with the All The Kissing Facebook community. Test as many pitches as you like, help others fine-tune theirs, and get to know other great romance writers.

Hashtag Importance

Without the proper tags, you’ll eliminate the chance of your pitches being seen. Certain tags are required and must figure into your character limit. Required tags are #KissPitch, category, and romance subgenre.

#KissPitch is, without a doubt, the most important tag. Your pitch won’t show up in the #KissPitch Twitter feed without it.

Category Hashtags

Agents and editors need to know what category your manuscript is. Not the same thing as genre, category refers to the age of your characters and readership. Here are the brief descriptions.

#YA — Young Adult. Mid to late teens facing high school type situations. Coming of age stories with tastes of future experiences.

#NA — New Adult. Late teens to early twenties. Characters experiencing the world as “adults” while facing situations/consequences of such decisions. NA has a more mature voice. Often considered a period of transition from into adulthood.

#A — Adult. Early twenties and up. Characters with life experience whose thoughts and decisions reflect such, who’ve transitioned away from the “first time on my own” issues that NA characters face.

Hot tip: Category is not as easily defined as an slapping an age range next to the moniker. It is often just as important to consider the mental maturity level and life-experience of your characters.

Genre Hashtags
#KissPitch Tags

Photo by LUM3N on Unsplash

These identify the romance subgenre of your work and allow editors/agents to narrow their search, making your pitches easier to find.

#CR — Contemporary Romance set from 1950 to present.

#HR — Historical Romance set before 1950.

#RS — In Romantic Suspense, suspense is an integral to the plot.

#PNR — Paranormal Romance might have vampires, werewolves, shifters, fey, etc. with a story that takes place in our world.

#FR — Fantasy Romance might contain all or none of the paranormal elements. However, setting is key—the story does NOT take place in the world we live in, but a world built around the story.

#SFR — Science-Fiction Romance contains futuristic elements, technology, etc. that you’d typically find in a Sci-Fi novel, with the added element of romantic relationships, sometimes with non-human/alien love interests.

#ER — In Erotic Romance, sex is essential to the story development.

#DR — Dark Romance varies widely because it’s dependent on an individual feeling created in the reader. Villains, anti-heroes, gritty themes, blurred morality. Readers might feel uneasy when they find themselves rooting for a main character with questionable morals.

#GR — Gothic Romance might contain elements of horror combined with dark settings like medieval ruins and castles.

#SR — Sweet Romance would have chaste sexuality to mild sexual contact (i.e., hand-holding, sweet kisses) involved in the story telling. Sweet romances are not necessarily religious in nature, but never go beyond a fade-to-black with sex scenes.

#IR — In Inspirational Romance, spiritual and/or religious elements are key to the love story.

Optional Hashtags

These tags may be used at your discretion to help boil down your story for industry pros, but they aren’t a requirement.

Heat Level

#MILD — Little to no sexual contact.

#MED — Fade-to-black love scenes.

#HOT — Love scenes where the reader goes along for the ride.

#NUCLEAR — Explicit sex and language of a sexual nature. Graphic depictions of sexual acts.

#BDSM — Manuscript contains the presence of Bondage, Dominant/submissive relationships dynamics, and/or sadomasochistic depictions of a sexual nature.

Identifying Hashtags

Your conscience should be your guide when identifying with any of the following tags. They should be used with discretion and sensitivity for the group(s) you hope to identify with.

#LGBTQ — The story contains LGBTQ characters, elements and/or situations.

#OwnVoices (or #OWN) — The story features marginalized main character(s) and is written by an author who knows what it’s like to walk in their character’s shoes. Authors are not required to disclose any personal information they are not comfortable with.

#POC — The story’s main character(s) is/are people of color.

For more info on the appropriate us of identifying tags, marginalized voices and using the tags appropriately, please refer to www.DVpit.com.

If you have any questions about hashtags you can comment below or contact any of the All The Kissing administrators through our Facebook group. If you prefer a private message, I’m available on Twitter as @tlynne67.

#KissPitch 2018 Event Etiquette

It’s important to us that #KissPitch 2018 is an enjoyable experience for everyone. Please don’t abuse our four pitch limit or pitch agents/editors directly. They will let you know if they want to see your work by favoriting your tweet. Any manuscript you pitch should be completed, polished and query ready. You may only pitch your work between 9 a.m and 9 p.m. EST on February 14, 2018.

It’s your responsibility to vet every industry professional before you send requested materials. All The Kissing and its administrators can’t be held responsible for favorites you recieve, or lack thereof, or any interaction you have with agents/publishers as a result.

Please, leave the ❤️s (favorites) for requesting editors and agents. DON’T favorite your friend’s tweets. Many Twitter users ask their regular followers not to favorite any of their tweets for the day to alleviate confusion. Please, don’t use graphics, screencaps or links to works published elsewhere. Let your pitch speak for itself.

Be kind and considerate. Publishing is a small community with a long memory. Hateful, disparaging or inappropriate comments/tweets will not be tolerated. Please report abuse to Twitter and an All The Kissing admin immediately. Full #KissPitch 2018 rules can be found at AllTheKissing.com. Bending the rules may result in us asking you to remove your pitches and/or elimination from future All The Kissing events/contests.

To report serious issues and abuse the day of the event, contact any of the All The Kissing administrators through their Twitter accounts.

Shannon Caldwell: @zen_shannon | Gwynne Jackson: @gwynnejackson | Tricia Lynne: @tlynne67

Alexa Martin: @AlexaMBooks | Maxym Martineau: @maxymmckay

… and finally …

#KissPitch Agents 
Bookends Literary Agency
Amanda Jain
Moe Ferrara
The Booker Albert Literary AgencyJordy Albert
Corvisiero Literary AgencyMarisa Corvisiero
Cate Hart
Saritza Hernandez
Veronica Park
Kelly Peterson
Donaghy Literary GroupStacey Donaghy
Dystel, Goderich & BourrettAmy Bishop
Michael Hoogland
Ann Leslie Tuttle
Emerald City Literary AgencyLindsay Mealing
Fuse LiteraryMargaret Bail
Gallt & Zacker Literary AgencyLinda Camacho
Harvey Klinger Literary AgencyAndrea Somberg
Jane Rotrosen AgencyJessica Errera
Amy Tannenbaum
Marsal Lyon Literary AgencyJill Marsal
Prospect AgencyCarrie Pestritto
Red Sofa LiteraryStacey Graham
The Rosenberg GroupBarbara C. Rosenberg
Sandra Dijkstra Literary AgencyJessica Watterson
Talcott Notch Literary ServicesGina Panettieri
Saba Sulaiman
Writer's HouseSamantha Wekstein


#KissPitch Editors 
Avon ImpulseCarolyn Coons
Nicole Fischer
Elle Keck
Erika Tsang
Carina PressKerri Buckley
Alissa Davis
Angela James
John Jacobson
Carrie Lofty
Kate Marope
Heather Monroe
Ronan Sadler
Mackenzie Walton
Daphne Watson
Crimson RomanceTara Gelsomino
Julie Sturgeon
Jessica Verdi
DreamSpinner PressSue Brown-Moore
Entangled PublishingTera Cuskaden
Heather Howland
Erin Molta
Alycia Tornetta
Forever/Forever YoursMadeleine Colavita
Lexi Smail

Agents and editors listed above have confirmed they will read pitches, but they aren’t required to make requests. We also don’t require that agents/editors “commit” to participate because you could miss out on some fabulous love from industry pros who decide to drop by! Editors and agents may favorite your pitches any time after the pitch window closes.

Check back between now and February 14 to see if agents or editors are added to our list! We wish you all the best of luck, all the ❤️’s and Valentine’s Day love, and All The Kissing ?.

Tricia Lynne
Tricia Lynne is fluent in both sarcasm and cuss words and has little filter between her brain and mouth––a combination that tends to embarrass her husband at corporate functions. A tomboy at heart, she loves hard rock, Irish whiskey, and her Midwestern roots. She’s drawn to strong, flawed heroines, and believes writing isn’t a decision one makes, but a calling one can’t resist.

A member of the Romance Writers of America, she lives in the North Dallas ‘burbs with her husband, and three goofy dogs. Her debut, Moonlight & Whiskey, is slated for release Spring, 2019 with Random House/Loveswept.
Tricia Lynne on FacebookTricia Lynne on InstagramTricia Lynne on Twitter

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