One of the great things for writers about social media and blogs is the proliferation of pitch contests. You can hop on Twitter at appointed times and scatter your 140 (minus the hashtag) character pitch in front of everyone watching the #pitmad or #adpit hashtag, including agents and editors. Or you can get involved in a blog-based pitch contest like Pitch Slam, Pitch Wars, or Query Kombat and have agents compete over your query and manuscript, with the added bonus in some of these contests of having other writers mentor you.
But what happens if your dream agent is checking out the contest in which you are participating and they do not indicate interest in your project?
Well, it sort of depends on which contest you’re talking about. If you’re pitching in a Twitter contest, there is a decent chance that your dream agent just didn’t even see your pitch. In this case, no response is definitely not a no and you should go ahead and query.
If your contest is posting only your first 250 words or only your query, you are not going to get the same thing across in the contest as you would in a full query, so you can go ahead and give it the old college try. If it is reasonably certain that they saw your entry, it is probably best to acknowledge this in your query and perhaps say a (very short) bit about why you decided to go ahead and query.
If your contest is posting your query and first 250 and an agent is able to request at multiple levels you might simply be out of luck, particularly if the agent requested an entry just before or after yours. However, if you revise your query and/or writing sample after the contest, you can try to query; just make it clear that you’ve done revisions in case they did consider your work in the contest and decided to pass.
Regardless of whether or not you get requests, any sort of pitch contest is a good way to continue to hone your work, whether your query, your opening lines, or your elevator pitch.
Get writing, and then get pitching!