We have five agents 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 it represents. 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 three-minute pitch where you boil 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 and get into the book stuff.
Read “Pitches that Worked” by Rita Rosenkranz.
2014 Agents: (Read their bios)
- Laura Biagi, Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency Inc.
- Peter Knapp, Park Literary Group
- Beth Phelan, The Bent Agency
- Katharine Sands, Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency
- Bridget Smith, Dunham Literary, Inc.
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