Were you one of the many writers checking out all of the #MSWL (Manuscript Wish List) tweets? I planned to leave the feed up all day, stopping in to check every once in a while and read the latest posts. But that plan went out the window when I got home from yoga and saw 400+ new tweets.
With so much being posted, I knew there was no way I could read it all. So I’d scan the new posts when there were 20 or 40 but when I’d come back and find another 100 or more I simply refreshed the feed.
I know I missed a lot that way but I wasn’t too worried. Toward the end of the day, I searched on a few key words. #MSWL PB. #MSWL picture book. #MSWL STEM. #MSWL nonfiction.
As I found posts that interested me, I took a screen clipping and pasted them into a Word document. All in all, I ended up with 9 leads. Specifically, I was looking for picture books and nonfiction. If I was looking for an agent who does young adult, I’d have had pages and pages and pages of tweets to go through.
There are three ways to see what a particular editor or agent wants.
Go to Twitter and read their feed. This can be tough if it is someone who posts very often.
Go to Twitter and search #MSWL (agent or editor name). This can be helpful if your target agents posts often.
Go to Manuscript Wish List. Once there, search for your agent or editor of interested. On their profile page, in the center column is a button that says “See my latest #MSWL tweets.” Guess what? Click it. I’ve yet to figure out just how the tweets are arranged. Not by date. Not by reversed date. Skim them and see if this agent still looks promising.
You can also like tweets as they are posted. Then you go to your twitter profile and click likes. Everything you liked is going to come up which might be a problem if you like a lot.
If you find a recent tweet that jives with something you’ve written, mention it in your query letter. This is another way to show your agent or editor of choice that you’ve done your research.