If you’re a writer, there’s a reasonable chance that you’ve had conferences on the brain. I’m heading to OWFI in Oklahoma this week, while many friends conference it up at DFW Con in Texas. Registration for ThrillerFest, Bouchercon, RWA and other fests are ongoing, all of which provide opportunities to mix, mingle and potentially pitch to literary agents.
As some of you know, I met my agent at AgentFest—the pitch portion of ThrillerFest, which takes place annually in New York City. My pitch was not polished, memorized or anywhere near perfect. I rambled a bit, stumbled over a word or
700 two, and probably spoke faster than ideal. But you know what? I had fun, relayed the gist of my novel, and my now agent saw something worth further considering.
While it’s awesome to prepare for pitches, and conferences in general, what seems most important to me is being ourselves while we’re there–whether we’re anxious, excited, shy, outgoing, blurty, loud or fill-in-the-blank.
An agent/author relationship is a close and valuable one. If we don’t mesh personality-wise, that’s a problem. Enthusiasm is a great thing, even if it makes us bumble around a bit. And no one is expecting the most eloquent speech ever recited. As my agent wisely said, it’s their (agents’) job to pitch stories to publishers; writers’ primary job is to write. Keeping that in mind might help remove some of the pressure. (I suppose I’m sharing what I wish someone had told me pre-pitch.;))
Most of all, I want to wish all of you who’ll be pitching this weekend or later on this year GOOD LUCK and heap loads of fun. If you are, you may find the following links helpful:
ThrillerFest.com: Something Did Happen (How I landed my agent)
Write It Sideways: How to Slam Dunk Your 90-Second Pitch, by Debra Eve
The Other Side of the Story with Janice Hardy: Is the Agent Pitch Session an Effective Tool or Could it use a Tweak?, by Guest Agent Sara Megibow
What writers’ conferences are you looking forward to? Heading to OWFI or DFW Con? Will you be pitching? Any tips or challenges to share?