#PitDark – Oct. 2016

Welcome to #PitDark, the only Twitter pitching contest for dark literature!

#PitDark is the first and only Twitter pitch event to highlight literature of a “darker” nature. Importantly, this is not limited to horror works; however, any pitched manuscript must contain an element of horror or darker writing. Examples of such categories include pure horror novels, dark fantasy, murder mysteries, psychological horror stories, non-fiction works about darker subjects, etc. MG, YA, NA, and adult age categories are welcome.

The next #PitDark will take place on October 20, 2016.

You can find the agents and publishers that participated in the May 2016 #PitDark here.


The Basics

The contest will happen on Twitter under a common hashtag (#PitDark). During a 12-hour window on the chosen day, authors with completed manuscripts who are seeking representation or publication can tweet a pitch for their books (at most, once per hour).

Agents and publishers will make requests by marking pitches as a favorite on Twitter. If your tweet is favorited, please follow the agent or publisher’s submission guidelines.

General Pitch Party Rules

  • Pitch limit. Please do not pitch more than once an hour, per manuscript.
  • Time-frame: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern. Please do not pitch before or after this twelve-hour period.

Please follow these guidelines to keep this event fair to everyone involved!

When to Pitch

This event happens annually. The next #PitDark is scheduled for October 20, 2016. On pitch day, we will go from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern.  

What to Pitch

Participants get one pitch per hour, per manuscript.

This contest is for completed, unpublished manuscripts. Complete means that it’s proofed, polished, and ready for submission. Unpublished means you haven’t self-published it online, on Amazon, or in print. For more information on genres, please see below.

Genre mashups, such as dark fantasy, are welcome, as long as you’re not just trying to pass off your book as something that doesn’t contain “darker” themes.

How To Pitch

Your pitch should contain four elements:

  1. First and foremost, the hashtag for the contest, #PitDark.
  2. An indication of the book’s age category.
  3. An indication of the books’s genre in existing terms. See below for hashtags. A genre hashtag is mandatory.
  4. A pitch for your book. Ideally, it should tell us character, desire, obstacle(s), and stakes

You should tweet your pitch no more than once per hour throughout the day. Make sure each tweet is slightly different, as tweeting identical text is a violation of Twitter’s guidelines.

Hashtags for Age Category

Please use these hashtags to indicate the target age group for your book:

  • #MG – Middle Grade
  • #YA – Young adult
  • #NA – New adult
  • #A – Adult

Hashtags for Genre

Please use a hashtag to indicate the genre of your book. The following are example hashtags that may be relevant to your manuscript:

  • #H – horror
  • #PH – psychological horror
  • #GH – gothic horror
  • #CSH – cosmic horror
  • #BH – body horror
  • #CH – comedy horror
  • #DC – dark comedy
  • #DR – dark romance
  • #SFH – science fiction horror
  • #PNH – paranormal horror
  • #ZH – zombie horror
  • #MH – monster horror
  • #GRH – graphic horror
  • #MM – murder mystery
  • #FA – fantasy
  • #DF – dark fantasy
  • #T – thriller
  • #EF – epic or high fantasy
  • #HF – historical fantasy
  • #LF – literary fantasy
  • #AH – alternate history
  • #PN – paranormal
  • #PR – paranormal romance
  • #UF – urban fantasy
  • #MR – magical realism
  • #SF – science fiction
  • #AF – apocalypse fiction
  • #ML – military science fiction
  • #PA – post-apocalyptic SF
  • #CP – cyberpunk
  • #SFT – sci-fi thriller
  • #SH – superhero / superhuman
  • #SO – space opera
  • #DS – dystopian
  • #SP – steampunk
  • #TT – time travel
  • #WW – weird west
  • #SPEC – speculative fiction
  • #NF – non-fiction

Feel free to use two genre tags, as long as they’re compatible (e.g. #FA #DF), but there’s no pressing need to have more than one. For a description and some examples of these subgenres, see the Genre Subcategories post by Connor Goldsmith of Fuse Literary. Please let me know — by e-mail or Twitter — if I haven’t specified your subgenre!

Pitching Guidelines

Here are some general guidelines to ensure fairness and respect during the contest.

Please DO:

  • Pitch completed, unpublished manuscripts that represent your best work.
  • Include the contest hashtag, #PitDark.
  • Use appropriate hashtags for age category and genre/subgenre.
  • Pitch your book once an hour to give everyone a chance to see it.
  • Make sure that your tweets are not identical. Twitter will block multiple instances of the same tweet, so be sure to move the hashtags around or change a character each time.
  • Follow submission guidelines. Scroll up in an agent or publisher’s tweets to see what they are, and be sure to follow them.

Please DON’T:

  • Pitch more than once an hour, per manuscript. This ensures that no one spams the hashtag, and gives everyone a fair shake.
  • Pitch directly to agents or publishers (unless invited to do so). In other words, don’t use @ at the beginning of your pitch.
  • Use weird formatting or images to get attention. No ALL CAPS or multiple lines. These are annoying.
  • Use the hashtag to self-promote. This is not the place to hock your e-book, editorial services, etc.
  • Favorite other pitches unless you’re an agent or publisher. There’s nothing more disappointing than getting notification that your tweet was favorited, only to find out it was just another author.

Who Is Participating? 

See below for a list of a few of the participating agents and publishers. This is not an exhaustive list as some participating agents have asked to not be listed, and since #PitDark is a public event, many more agents and publishers are likely to join in on the day! Please be sure to research any agent or publisher that likes your pitch. There is no obligation to submit your work to anyone you don’t want to.


Bond Literary Agency

Brower Literary & Management

DeFiore and Company

Don Congdon Associates, Inc.

Dystel & Goderich Literary Management

Eric Ruben Agency

Gelfman Schneider/ICM Partners

Harvey Klinger Inc.

Holloway Literary

ICM Partners

Inklings Literary Agency, LLC

JABberwocky Literary Agency

Janklow & Nesbit

Jane Rotrosen Agency

Kimberley Cameron & Associates Literary

The Knight Agency

KT Literary, LLC

The Lark Group

Liza Royce Agency

The McDermid Agency

McIntosh & Otis

Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, LLC

The Tobias Literary Agency

Transatlantic Agency

TriadaUS Literary Agency

Trident Media Group

Writers House


Curiosity Quills Press


Pandamoon Publishing

Radiant Crown Publishing

REUTS Publications

Sands Press

Skyhorse Publishing

Management Companies

If you are an agent, editor, or publisher who would like to be listed as a #PitDark participant, please contact me.

Pitching Tips & Advice

The following are a few great articles for Twitter pitching advice:


  1. This looks like a fantastic contest! You mentioned that #PitDark is open to MG as well, but I didn’t see the MG hashtag in the age category. Is #MG still applicable during the contest or should middle grade manuscripts be labeled #YA? Thank you for clarifying! 🙂

  2. I’m very interested in joining, as I write Dark Romance, but I dint see it here. Dare I say there isn’t room for it? Or agents looking?

  3. Chrissy — Unpublished novels in a self-published series can be a tough sell for agents, but they can be pitched if they are truly stand-alone.

  4. Dawn — Paranormal suspense is too specific a hashtag; overly specific hashtags generally are not helpful as agents tend to use broader hashtags like Paranormal and Thriller to filter.

  5. Fiona — Dark Contemporary is certainly allowed, but it is too specific for its own hashtag. I would suggest using a combination of other genre hashtags.

  6. Marna — Chapter Books is not a specific category but can be pitched if they qualify as middle grade.

  7. So, now that I want to do this for some strange reason I can’t connect to twitter. It worked fine last night. It says the DNS cannot be found. Anyone have suggestions?

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