We have six agents and two editors who will meet with participants for 3-minute, one-on-one appointments. Pitch sessions are available only if you are registered for Part II and will be onsite Friday and Saturday. There is no cost for these pitch sessions, but you MUST register for the agent you prefer.
Each agent will meet with a limited number of participants, so register early. MWW agent assistants will contact you about the day/time of the pitch appointments. Each agent will meet with individuals who pre-registered.
Suggestions on pitching to agents:
Preparation is the key.
Before the conference, it helps to do a little homework. Agents are impressed when a writer knows something about their agency and the writers they represent. At minimum, know whether the agent represents your kind of book. Don’t pitch your adult thriller to an agent who handles only children’s books. Know where your project falls in the marketplace. If it’s fiction, is it a romance, a mystery, mainstream? Can you compare it to another published author’s work? If it’s nonfiction, who is the audience? What types of publishers are likely to buy it?
Authors must know about similar books that have been published and why theirs will be different. What category does it fall into, who are the readers, and how will it fit into the market?
Prepare a 3-minute pitch in which you boil down your project down to three to five sentences. Practice that pitch until you can deliver it smoothly. The whole point of the pitch session is to get your writing read. You’re not there to chat, make a new friend, or list the problems you’re having with your writing but to convince the agent to give it a look.
For fiction, divide the pitch into three points: the setup, hook, and resolution. For nonfiction, the title should convey the main concept of the book. Explain what the book is about, why you are qualified to write it, who will read it, and what you can do to promote it.
Agents and editors are not usually willing or able to carry your manuscript home with them, but if they are interested, they may take a brief written summary. Don’t expect an agent or editor to read your synopsis while you wait. Sell the agent on you as a writer and then the book you’re doing. It is much more helpful to convince the agent of your talent, vision, commitment and ability and then hopefully about the book itself. In a short meeting, if the agents are interested, they will usually follow up on the phone later.
2016 Agents: (Read their bios)
- Rachel Ekstrom – Irene Goodman Literary Agency
- Molly Jaffa – Folio Literary Management
- Lauren MacLeod – The Strothman Agency
- Jim McCarthy – Vice President, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management
- Uwe Stender – TriadaUS Literary Agency
- Brent Taylor – TriadaUS Literary Agency
- April Osborn – Associate Editor at St. Martin’s Press
- Liz Pelletier – Chief Executive Officer and Publisher of Entangled