Emily Gref – Lowenstein Associates – Based in New York, Emily says she is looking for speculative fiction, science fiction, and fantasy for middle grade, young adult, and adult. She has a special weakness for historical fantasy, steampunk, and unique fairy tale retellings. In any novel she is hoping to find a strong voice, stellar world-building, surprising twists, and main characters that represent diverse experiences.
Berta Treitl – Grosvenor Agency – Based in Washington, DC, Berta is looking for historical and high-quality mysteries. Berta focuses on projects that present a counterintuitive or fresh viewpoint and that feature unusual communities, travel and foreign locales, and female main characters.
Don’t miss out on this opportunity to meet one-on-one with a literary agent looking for the next big name.
Pitch sessions are for registered conference attendees only.
Be prepared! There are some key elements that you need to know before pitching your novel to a literary agent.
1. Be confident about your story. If you come off as not being confident you are devaluing yourself in their eyes.
2. Do your homework. Each agent specializes in specific genre. Don’t pitch your science fiction novel to a historical fiction agent. Not only will they look at you like you’re crazy but they’ll talk about you to their agent friends about how unprepared you were.
3. Give them a BRIEF one liner on the story.
Editor Laura Backes shared a technique for creating a story line that works perfectly for condensing the essence of your book into one sentence.
Fill in the blanks:
My story is about ___ (character)_________that wants more than anything to _____(goal)_________ but can’t because ____(conflict)_______.
Here is an example using the Wizard of Oz:
This story is about a teenage girl from Kansas named Dorothy who wants more than anything to go home, but can’t because she is stuck in a strange land.
Notice there is no mention of a tornado, munchkins, witches or a cowardly lion. That information can come later, but this is the basic premise of the novel in just one sentence.
If If you give the agent more than they want you will bore them and they won’t care what the book is about by the time you are done.
4. Practice your pitch. If you need to you can even have a small note care with key words on it so you will remember, but be sure to practice so you have it down.
5. Professionalism counts. Don’t think for an instant that you can just come to a pitch session wearing day old, wrinkled clothes or don’t need to take a bath or brush your teeth in advance. These are professionals in the industry so show them the courtesy of presenting a professional appearance to them.
6. Relax during your pitch. You’re just telling your story to someone so don’t let your nerves get away from you. Once you have seated yourself in front of the agent be cordial and calm. They are people too and are just looking for someone to tell them a good story. If you have practiced your pitch and have a good story to tell they will get it.
7. Don’t get upset if they don’t ask you to send them your manuscript. Your story may not be the one they are looking for but don’t burn your bridges. Just because it isn’t right for them doesn’t mean it won’t be right for another down the road.
8. Send a thank you. The thank you card to follow up after your pitch session is important. Keep your lines of communication open. You might run across them later one and you want them to remember you as being gracious and open.
So are you ready to pitch? Then what are you waiting for? Sign up for the Creatures, Crimes and Creativity conference and don’t forget to sign up to pitch your story to one of the agents listed above.