MWW Agent Fest, March 13-14, 2020 ~ Ball State Alumni Center, Muncie, IN

Friday – March 13, 2020

Alumni Center floor plan

  • AH = Assembly Hall
  • MR1 = Meeting Room
  • MR2 = Meeting Room
  • BR = Boardroom
  • CR1 = Conference Room 1
  • CR2 = Conference Room 2 (Query Letter “Drop-off”)
  • CR3 = Conference Room 3 (Faulty Green Room)
  • Library = Pitch Practice

12:30-1:00 pm   REGISTRATION, [Conservatory] [coffee]

1:15-1:30 pm

  • Welcome, Introductions [Assembly Hall]

1:30-2:30 pm

  • AGENT PANEL: Q&A (including “Common Pitching Mistakes”) [Assembly Hall]

2:45-3:45 pm

  • #1 Pitches to Agents: Eric Myers [MR2a], Kerry D’Agostino [MR2b], Jennifer Grimaldi [BR], Amanda Luedeke [MR1b], Abby Saul [MR1a] — 3-minute pitches
  • “Rookie Submission Mistakes (and how to avoid them)” Learn about common pitfalls of queries and first chapters, along with a crash course in best practices for catching an agent’s eye. Whether you’re just starting to prepare to seek an agent or are looking to troubleshoot a query that’s not working, this session offers tips and tricks to help take your submission materials to the next level. – Patricia Nelson, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency [Assembly Hall A]
  • “How to Write A Non-Fiction Proposal” — Dani Segelbaum, New Leaf Literary & Media [Assembly Hall B]
  • Pitch Practice: [Library]

4:00-5:00 pm

  • #2 Pitches to Agents: Ian Bonaparte [BR], Patricia Nelson [MR1b], Dani Segelbaum [MR2a], Loan Le [MR2b] — 3-minute pitches
  • “How Much Is Too Much in YA And Middle Grade?” A huge range of topics, once considered taboo, are now part and parcel of YA and Middle Grade literature. Yet there are still certain limits.  Eric will discuss current publishing-industry views on the matter, and will encourage audience members to share excerpts of their own work–in a totally non-judgmental, non-critical atmosphere–so that we can discuss how it may or may not fit the demands of the gatekeepers. – Eric Myers, Myers Literary Management [Assembly Hall A]
  • “Please Read My Manuscript: Quick Tips for Query Questions” — Abby Saul, The Lark Group [Assembly Hall B]
  • Pitch Practice: [Library]

5:00 – 5:30 pm

  • Cash bar – ice breaker – Meet & Greet

5:30-6:45 pm

  • Dinner With the Agents – Italian Buffet (optional / additional $22)

7:00-9:00 pm

“First Page Read – Love It or Leave It, “Okay, Stop” – with all agents [Assembly Hall]

(Moderator: Larry Sweazy). This is a chance to get your first page read (anonymously — no bylines given) with our 9 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 bring a page to the event for this session, and 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 top right.)


Saturday – March 14, 2020

8:30-9:00 am      Coffee & community – [Conservatory]

9:00-10:00 am

  • #3 Pitches to Agents: Jennifer Grimaldi [BR], Abby Saul [MR1a], Dani Segelbaum [MR2a]– 3-minute pitches
  • “Six Steps from Query to Publication” – This session provides a general overview of the publication process, with steps that are broken down into the following: The Query; Signing with an Agent; Submission to Editors; Negotiating the Contract; Preparing for Publication; and finally, Publication itself. Tips for understanding and navigating each stage are included. — Kerry D’Agostino, Curtis Brown, Ltd. [Assembly Hall A]
  • “Capturing the YA and MG Voice” – Agents and editors often say that they’re looking to “fall in love with the voice” when they’re considering a project. But what does that even mean? What is voice, and how can you make yours stronger? In this session we will focus specifically on honing a voice that jumps off the page for the competitive young adult and middle grade markets. – Patricia Nelson, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency [Assembly Hall B]
  • Pitch Practice: [Library]

10:15-11:15 am

  • #4 Pitches to Agents: Ian Bonaparte [BR], Eric Myers [MR2a], Patricia Nelson [MR1b], Loan Le [MR2b]– 3-minute pitches
  • “Finding, Working with, and Keeping an Agent” — Abby Saul, The Lark Group [Assembly Hall A]
  • “When to Self-Publish” – When is it time to give up your pursuit of traditional publishing and go indie? And how do you know if you have a true chance at indie success? Self-published author and literary agent Amanda Luedeke unpacks what it takes to be a successful indie author and when to make that leap. — Amanda Luedeke, MacGregor & Luedeke [Assembly Hall B]
  • Pitch Practice: [Library]

11:30 am-12:30 pm          DELI BUFFET (provided) [Assembly Hall]

12:45-1:45 pm

  • #5 Pitches to Agents: Ian Bonaparte [BR], Jennifer Grimaldi [MR1a], Amanda Luedeke [MR1b], Loan Le [MR2b]– 3-minute pitches
  • “The Do’s and Don’ts of Querying Agents” — Dani Segelbaum, New Leaf Literary & Media [Assembly Hall A]
  • “Subsidiary Rights” – This session explores the range of rights that can be involved in any one publishing contract, including print rights, digital rights, foreign language rights, UK rights, audio rights, and dramatic rights. Learn what each of these rights represent, and learn about the advantages of granting them to a publisher versus the advantages of reserving them. — Kerry D’Agostino, Curtis Brown, Ltd. [Assembly Hall B]
  • Pitch Practice: [Library]

2:00-3:00 pm

  • #6 Pitches to Agents: Eric Myers [MR2a], Patricia Nelson [MR1b], Abby Saul [MR1a], Kerry D’Agostino [MR2b] — 3-minute pitches
  • “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 [Assembly Hall A]
  • “When You Can’t Find Time to Write” – There will always be an excuse not to pursue the things that you love. So how do you make those things—especially writing—a priority? Amanda Luedeke is a literary agent, podcaster, writer, freelancer, wife, and mother of two kids under the age of 3. She knows what it’s like to feel overwhelmed while your life’s calling seems to be taking a back seat. In this session, she will host an open and honest discussion about the difficulties of juggling life and the reward that can be found in making the things you love a priority. — Amanda Luedeke, MacGregor & Luedeke [Assembly Hall B]
  • Pitch Practice: [Library]

3:15-4:15 pm

  • #7 Pitches to Agents: Kerry D’Agostino [MR2b], Amanda Luedeke [MR1b], Abby Saul [MR1a], Dani Segelbaum [MR2a] — 3-minute pitches
  • “The Editor/Author Relationship” – Loan Le [Assembly Hall A]
  • “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. – Eric Myers, Myers Literary Management [Assembly Hall B]

4:30 pm   CLOSING [Assembly Hall]

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.