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Speed Pitching: NEW for Fall Conference 2007

Saturday, November 17, 4:30 - 5:30 pm - Hospitality Suite, Room 302

This new service gives you the rare opportunity to deliver a face-to-face pitch about your book project manuscripts to agents and editors from New York, D.C. and North Carolina -- and get immediate feedback -- in rotating, three-minute sessions.

You pitch for 90 seconds; they give feedback for 90 seconds. Then you move to the next agent or editor. You get maximum exposure, and develop the confidence and polish to effectively pitch to the people who can publish your manuscripts. A room monitor keeps time and moves people along.

Speed Pitching is still open! First-come, first-serve. Register by a postmark date of Nov. 1, 2007 - either online, or by mail, with $50 payment enclosed. (If registering online, check the last box under Conference Extras on the online registration form.)

Speed Pitching is for Fiction and Nonfiction genres only.

More tips and how-tos About Speed-Pitching

Speed Pitching Agents and Editors

You will spend five minutes with each agent and editor listed below:

Literary AgentsOrganization ...Genres ...
Susanna Einstein LJK Literary Management Historical fiction, literary fiction, Young Adult, narrative non-fiction, memoir
Ellen Pepus Ellen Pepus Literary Agency Nonfiction and fiction including science fiction, Chick Lit, Young Adult
Bess Reed Regal Literary Inc. Southern Fiction, narrative non-fiction especially self-help and women's issues, not memoir
EditorsOrganization ...Genres ...
Stephen Kirk John F. Blair, Publisher Biography, memoir, cookbooks, history, folklore, humor, travel
Sheryl Monks Press 53 Fiction, nonfiction
Lauren Mosko Writer's Digest Books Inspirational, how to
Amy Rogers Novello Press Fiction,nonfiction, anything except poetry or childrens' literature

About Speed-Pitching

At the N.C. Writers' Network Fall Writing and Publishing Conference
Saturday, Nov. 17, 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Hospitality Suite (Third Floor, Room 302)

What is speed-pitching? This is an opportunity for you to speak to industry professionals about your book project and receive instant feedback.

Who should participate? If you have a completed novel or nonfiction book proposal and you're ready to submit, you'll benefit from the session. You should not pitch if you don't have a clear idea of what your book is about or who the audience is-or if your novel isn't finished.

How does it work? When the doors open, seven agents and editors will be waiting for you in pairs of chairs. Their names will be marked on their tables. Get in line for the editor or agent you want to talk with. A room moderator will be keeping time. When the volunteer says, "START," you have three minutes to orally pitch your book project (no paper) and receive feedback. You talk for 90 seconds, the volunteer says "SWITCH," and then the editor or agent gives you feedback for 90 seconds. At the end, the volunteer says "NEXT," and you hop into another line.

Pitch as many editors or agents as you can in the hour-but make sure the editor or agent you're waiting for accepts the kind of work you've written!

Three minutes! How can anything meaningful be said in that amount of time? Agents and editors are so familiar with the market that they'll know within seconds if a particular project is right for them. Consider, too, that three minutes is more time than they're likely to spend on a written query letter, which can only take a minute to evaluate.

How do I know whom to approach? Carefully look over each editor and agent bio on the Writers' Network website (www.ncwriters.org) or the Writers' Network newsletter, and research them on the Internet. See what their focus is and what they seem to be most excited about. Choose the three to five people whose interests best match your book, and rank them in order in your mind so you're guaranteed to at least see your "top" few choices. Remember that it is highly unlikely-or desirable-that you will see all the editors and agents because (1) not all accept the kind of work you've written and (2) you must factor in the time you will wait in line. Be sure to read the bios carefully and prioritize!

What if the line for my chosen editor is really long? Identify backups to your number-one choice. The less time you spend waiting in line, the more opportunities you'll have to pitch.

How do I maximize my time? Pitch only one project at a time. Come ready with your pitch memorized or written down. Give the editor or agent at least a minute to respond and ask questions. Stay focused on your book, market, and audience. Don't talk much about yourself unless it's important to your book. Choose agents or editors who accept the kind of work you've written. Avoid setting your heart on one particular editor or agent, especially if they're a "star," in case their line is full; instead, come with a list of professionals you'd like to see.

Should I bring my manuscript or proposal package? No. Agents and editors are not accepting materials at this conference. If they'd like to see samples of your work, they'll ask you to send them.

If I can't give my materials to an agent here, what's the point? Meeting an agent at a conference and being invited to send material means that yours is now a solicited submission (versus unsolicited material, or "slush"). Congratulations, you've just bypassed the slush pile.

What will I learn from this? You'll finish the session with a better idea of what editors and agents are looking for and how your current project measures up. You'll also have a chance to improve your own pitching ability and receive feedback on your book. Listen to what the agents and editors are telling you -- Is your idea compelling enough? Saleable? Is the market for your work big enough? Is the scope of your project focused enough (or too narrow)?


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