Roses are red, violets are blue, and boy oh boy, do we have the pitch event for you!
Romance writers unite! This Valentine’s Day we’ve got an event designed especially for you. We’re on the hunt for the next best commercial romance writer and that could be you.
Have you written a brilliant new enemies to lovers rom-com? Perhaps a beautiful regency love story? Or maybe, you like to read and write at the spicier end of the spectrum and have a new 50 Shades that needs to be read?
As a commercial Literary Agency, we want books that are accessible and appeal to the mass market. Titles that are clutched by commuters, tucked into every beach bag, and grace the shelves of bookshops and superstores across the world. Books that will be recommended by readers again and again and have us swooning over your book boyfriends/girlfriends all day long!
Whatever it is, if it’s got the characters, setting, romance, pace and excitement to get readers talking, we want to hear from you. Here’s everything you need to know:
How does it work?
Set your alarm for Valentine’s Day! From 9AM-9PM GMT on Tuesday 14th February, tweet a pitch for your novel of up to 280 characters using the #PitchtoDA hashtag. If we would like to read your first three chapters, we will “like” your tweet.
If we “like” your pitch, please send us your pitch, along with the first three chapters and a synopsis via email to firstname.lastname@example.org and use “#PITCHTODA” in the subject line of your email.
Who can submit, and what can they submit?
We would like to read a pitch from any writer working on a novel for adults who has a finished novel and a synopsis ready to submit. We will consider submissions at an early draft stage, but cannot consider unfinished manuscripts on this occasion. Please note this competition is only open to fiction authors.
As well as requesting submissions from all the pitches that have us hooked, we will be choosing our single favourite pitch of the day. We will request the full manuscript from the winning pitch and offer a Zoom consultation with a member of the Darley Anderson team as a prize. We’ll contact the of the pitch party, so please make sure you are accepting DMs if you’d like to be contacted.
What are we looking for?
Some of the best books can be summed up in a single line. This is what we often work on ourselves when we pitch our authors’ work to Editors! Here at Darley Anderson, we specialise in commercial, page-turning, conversation-starting fiction. We’re talking laugh out loud rom-coms, steamy romances, sweeping love stories, breathtaking romantasy (romantic fantasy) and glamorous regency dramas, to name but a few. If your book fits an existing romance trope (e.g. enemies to lovers, forced proximity, childhood sweethearts, LQBT+) then be sure to let us know in your pitch with the appropriate hashtag.
We want to be immediately grabbed by your concept and desperate to find out more. Draw us into your plot, your characters or setting with a hook we haven’t read before. You can look at our website to give you an idea of the authors and books we love and represent.
Please note this is a romance competition so this needs to be the main theme of the work.
If we like your pitch, be sure to let us know a bit about you and your writing ambitions. We have a full blog post that explores what to include in your cover letter, so do check it out at the link here.
Do also be sure to include any social media accounts that you run that promote your writing and work.
Do I have to have a completed manuscript to enter?
Yes, please have a fully complete manuscript before entering the pitch contest.
Can I pitch multiple novels or novellas or short stories?
No, please only pitch the novel you believe to be your strongest concept that you are most keen to see published. We are not looking for novellas, short stories, or YA submissions at this time.
Can I participate if I don’t live in the UK?
Absolutely! We’re open to receiving submissions from anywhere in the world and represent clients in France, the US, Australia and beyond. We just ask that the manuscript is written in English.
What should I do if you don’t “like” my pitch?
Please don’t be disheartened. This is a very subjective business and some books pitch better than others so it might be that your work isn’t quite commercial enough for us. Other agents may well feel differently so you should keep writing and pitching your work to potential agents.
Can I re-submit a pitch from a previous competition?
If we “liked” your pitch last competition then we ask you not to re-submit the same one. If you have a new novel that you’re working on then we would be happy to read a new pitch.
If you didn’t get a “like” last time and have reworked your pitch then please do feel free to re-pitch it.
If my book was previously published (or self-published), can I pitch it?
We will consider work that has been previously self-published, but cannot consider any work published by a publishing company in any capacity.
What if I can’t be on Twitter on that day?
We advise you to schedule your tweet so that we can view it within the time frame on Tuesday 14th February.
When will I hear back about my submission?
We aim to respond to submissions from your “liked” tweets within two weeks, but please do bear with us