In January 2023, Bookouture hosted a one-day Twitter event where writers of commercial fiction from under-represented backgrounds pitched their novels directly to the editorial team.
Taking place on 5th January between 9am-9pm, aspiring writers were invited to pitch their novels to the team using the hashtag #DVPitchBookouture.
Forming part of Hachette’s Future Bookshelf programme, the event had a specific focus on diverse voices, including those who are often under-represented in publishing, and was therefore open to writers of colour, LGBTQ+ writers, writers with disabilities and neurodiverse writers. The five winning writers, with the tweets judged to be the best commercial novel pitches, were chosen for a 30-minute conversation with an editor about their writing and publishing goals.
The #DVPitchBookouture initiative was in addition to Bookouture’s existing open submissions policy, which invites unagented writers to submit at any time. The event was created to highlight Bookouture’s accessibility as a publisher and encourage writers from diverse backgrounds to submit their work.
As well as the winners, Bookouture also contacted any additional writers whose pitch they were interested in and invited them to submit their manuscript.
Jenny Geras, managing director, said: ‘It’s important to everyone at Bookouture that our publishing reflects the diversity of the world we live in, and we are always keen to hear from writers from under-represented backgrounds. Last year, our first ever Twitter pitch event was a huge success and I hope we can reach even more writers with #DVPitchBookouture.’
Congratulations to the five winning pitches:
BY INVITATION ONLY
The exclusive opening of Highland Loch House
Among the journalists and photographers, four strangers with four secrets
The red ribbon on the door is barely sliced open when one disappears
They’re not strangers at all…
One young woman.
One inherited Victorian villa.
Ten suspicious deaths.
The eleventh will be her own unless she can uncover the mysterious past of HUMBLE HOUSE, where the darkest secrets are buried closest to home.
2 Dares of Christmas: chronic worrier Eve is sent a mysterious box on the 1st of December, with 12 challenges to accomplish by midnight on her birthday, Christmas Eve. Only then will she find out who cared enough to set them & help conquer her fears.
He died three days ago. The news said he jumped from a bridge in the middle of the night and he was found by a dog walker in the early hours. He was the fourth man to jump from the same bridge this year and Olivia knew every one of them.
HEX x OLIVIA DADE He’s a 10 but at midnight he becomes a vampire! Fake dating Prince Charming gets hella messy for fat swordsmith Pumpkin when he starts thirsting for her blood. Can she put a stake ON his heart & forge a HEA? Human Sunshine/Grumpy Immortal!
Bookouture had 303 individual pitches enter in total. As well as the five winning writers who had a call with an editor, they also invited 36 additional entrants to submit their full manuscripts directly to the publisher.
Huge thanks to everyone who took part and a big congratulations to the winners! Bookouture will be running more events like this in the future, so watch this space.