Agent Fest Online 2020: November 18-21

Wednesday – November 18, 2020

[ALL SESSIONS EASTERN TIME] [Agent pitches/query letters throughout the day]

9:30 am, ET – 11:00 pm, ET  

  • Welcome, Introduction of agents/editors. ALL AGENT PANEL: Q&A (including “Common Pitching Mistakes”)

11:15 am, ET – 12:15 pm, ET

  • Practice Pitch (read your pitch and receive input!)

1:15 pm, ET – 2:15 pm, ET 

  • Working With Your Agent:  Eric will explore the process from start to finish:  How to construct an effective query letter, what to expect when an agent starts pitching your book, what you can expect from a deal and, once the deal is closed, going forward with your agent through the ins and outs of the publication process. He will discuss what you can expect from your agent, and how you can make and keep yourself one of your agent’s most cherished clients. Feel free to bring a draft of your query letter, which you can read aloud and we can discuss in a non-judgmental atmosphere.Eric Myers, Myers Literary Management  

2:30 pm, ET – 3:30 pm, ET 

  • Agents/Author Conversation: How an agent works with an author — Agents Cherry Weiner and Latoya Smith and author Larry D. Sweazy

7:00 pm, ET – 8:30 pm, ET

  • First Page Read – Love It or Leave It – with Latoya Smith, Alice Speilburg, Shannon Kelly. (Moderator). This is a chance to get your first page read (anonymously — no bylines given) with our attending agents/editors commenting on what was liked or not liked about the submission. Get expert feedback on your incredibly important first lines and know if your writing has what it needs to keep readers’ attention. (All attendees are welcome to SUBMIT BY EMAIL BY NOV 13th. We will choose pages at random for the workshop for as long as time lasts. NOTE: page MUST be in Standard Manuscript Format. Include the genre in the top right.)

Thursday – November 19, 2020

[ALL SESSIONS EASTERN TIME] [Agent pitches/query letters throughout the day]

9:30 am, ET – 10:30 am, ET 

  • Practice Pitch (read your pitch and receive input!)

11:00 am, ET – 12:00 pm, ET

  • The Do’s and Don’ts of Querying Agents — Amy Stapp, Wolfson Literary

1:00 pm, ET – 2:00 pm, ET 

  • The Nonfiction Book ProposalAlice Speilburg, Speilburg Literary

2:30 pm, ET – 3:30 pm, ET

  • Working With An Agent: Writers will learn the tools needed to successfully partner with the right agent. This includes:  Preparing Your Written and Verbal Pitch.  Finding the Right Agent.  What Your Agent Should Bring to the Table.  How You Should Use Your Agent.  Building Your Platform. When to Part Ways With Your Agent. — Latoya Smith, LCS Literary Services  

4:00 pm, ET – 5:00 pm, ET  

  • Building Your Author Platform to Elevate Your Career: Whether you’re brand new to publishing or a seasoned veteran, it is important to have an online presence in order for people to learn more about you and your book(s). While there is no one book marketing strategy that works for every author, there are many proven strategies that work well in order to elevate your brand and market your books. This session will help you identify your marketing goals, align these goals with a custom plan, and share proven best practices from literary agents. You will leave with action items that you can immediately start implementing. — Jolene Haley, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency 

7:00 pm, ET – 8:30 pm, ET

  • First Page Read – Love It or Leave It – with Eric Myers, Cherry Weiner, Alice Speilburg. (Moderator). This is a chance to get your first page read (anonymously — no bylines given) with our attending agents/editors commenting on what was liked or not liked about the submission. Get expert feedback on your incredibly important first lines and know if your writing has what it needs to keep readers’ attention. 

Friday – November 20, 2020

[ALL SESSIONS EASTERN TIME] [Agent pitches/query letters throughout the day]

9:30 am, ET – 10:30 pm, ET 

  • Practice Pitch (read your pitch and receive input!)

11:00 am, ET – 12:00 pm, ET

  • Ask the Agent: whatever you want about publishingCherry Weiner, Cherry Weiner Literary Agency

1:00 pm, ET – 2:00 pm, ET 

  • What an Editor Wishes Every Author Knew: Shannon will talk through the typical road to publication from an editor’s perspective, and go through the key lessons at each stage (while your agent is submitting your project, while you’re considering an offer or offers, when it’s time to announce the deal, during the editorial process, when you connect with marketing and publicity, when you’re seeking blurbs or contributors, in those final days before publication, after the book is released, and when it’s time to write the next book) that many first-time—or even repeat!—authors don’t know. These are the pieces of knowledge that can help make the publication journey as smooth as can be and give the book the best chance of success. — Shannon Kelly, Associate Editor at Abrams

2:30 pm, ET – 3:30 pm, ET

  • 360 View of the Path to Publication: A look at the full process of publishing a book from a current literary agent and former book scout and editor. This session will cover what you can expect from the submission process, the selling and retaining of rights and subrights, the marketing and publicity a traditional publisher can offer, and what comes next.Jennifer Grimaldi, Charlberg & Sussman

4:00 pm, ET – 5:00 pm, ET  

  • HAPPY HOUR – hang out with attendees, breakouts

7:00 pm, ET – 8:30 pm, ET

  • First Page Read – Love It or Leave It – with Jennifer Grimaldi, Jolene Haley, Amy Stapp. (Moderator). This is a chance to get your first page read (anonymously — no bylines given) with our attending agents/editors commenting on what was liked or not liked about the submission. Get expert feedback on your incredibly important first lines and know if your writing has what it needs to keep readers’ attention.

Saturday – November 21, 2020

[ALL SESSIONS EASTERN TIME] [Agent pitches/query letters throughout the day]

9:30 am, ET – 10:30 am, ET 

  • Practice Pitch (read your pitch and receive input!)

11:00 am, ET – 12:00 pm, ET

  • Agent/Author Conversation: How an agent works with an author — Agent Alice Speilburg with author Angela Jackson-Brown

1:00 pm, ET – 2:00 pm, ET 

  • How to Create a Believable World in SFF: pitfalls, starting points, and everything in between — Jennifer Grimaldi, Charlberg & Sussman

2:30 pm, ET – 3:30 pm, ET

  • You’ve Got A Book Deal, Now What?: Writers will learn what happens after they’ve been offered a deal (per traditional publisher standards). This includes: Contract Negotiation Points.  Welcome Materials from Your Publisher. The Editorial Process.  Importance of Cover Art and Cover Copy. Publicity and Marketing Strategies. Sales and Distribution. Useful Tips. — Latoya Smith, LCS Literary Services

4:00 pm, ET – 5:00 pm, ET  

  • CLOSING/WRAP-UP
Speakers and program sessions subject to change
Every effort will be made to adhere to this schedule; however, all programs and times are subject to change.