WHAT HAPPENED TO PITCH APPOINTMENTS?
We did our due diligence, same as we tell you to do before you approach an agent or an editor. We took feedback from attendees, our incredible Pitch staff, and the agents and editors who have been taking pitches at our conference for the last few years. And we think we’ve come up with something better.
Don’t frown like that. We’re not blowing smoke.
Previous Pitch: You go in, sit down, and have eight minutes to describe your story and answer the agent’s or editor’s questions. If what you’re pitching isn’t exactly right for them, you could sit there making awkward conversation as the clock ticks down, and you leave the room feeling defeated.
We don’t want that any more than you do.
Our new format, called Query 1-on-1, worked very well in 2015 and it will continue for 2016. It’s like this: you go into the room armed with two copies of your 1-page query letter. (Standard formatting rules apply—the Query staff is just as diligent as the Pitch staff.) You give the agent or editor your query. After looking over your letter and asking you some questions, you still have the exact same odds of the person saying “That sounds interesting. Send it to me.” But the best part? Even if this isn’t a match made in heaven, the agent or editor is going to give you valuable feedback to make your letter the best it can be. Because what do agents and editors deal with every single day of their professional lives? Query letters. They know what makes a good one. They can tell you what to emphasize, what info might be superfluous, and where you need more details.
No longer will you leave the room with a mere yes or no. With Query 1-on-1, you get a yes or no, plus a brief professional evaluation of your query letter
WHY WOULD I WANT AN APPOINTMENT?
If you’re wondering what an editor might think of your story, looking for some face-time with an agent to see if s/he might be a good fit to represent you, or craving some honest feedback on your writing from an industry professional, then you’ll want an appointment at the next Pikes Peak Writers Conference.
There are two types of appointments offered at PPWC: Query 1-on-1 appointments (detailed here) and Read & Critique appointments.
A Query 1-on-1 appointment is an 8-minute one-on-one meeting between you and an editor or agent, who will review your query letter. This allows the writer and the faculty member a chance to ask questions. The Query appointment is for attendees with completed manuscripts. It occurs on Saturday.
HOW DO I KNOW I’M READY FOR QUERY 1-ON-1?
• Your manuscript is complete. The goal of a Query appointment is to help you better market your manuscript, and potentially get a “send it!” Therefore, to query you must have a finished manuscript. Don’t query if you can’t send the manuscript right away.
• You’ve done your homework. You read up on the editors and agents who are taking query appointments, and made sure you are a good fit for their publishing house or agency. Our conference brochure and website have some information about each editor and agent, but their websites have the most up-to-date information. Also, know where your manuscript fits into the marketplace–where a bookstore would display it. Be able to summarize your project in a way that is catchy and concise.
• You’ve practiced. The most successful writers can confidently talk about their projects and answer questions the editors and agents are likely to ask.
WHAT CAN I DO TO BETTER MY QUERY?
Attend workshops designed to help you refine your query letter. PPW offers a free pre-conference Write Brain session in Colorado Springs that addresses a variety of conference topics. There are also workshops and other programs available AT the Pikes Peak Writers Conference to help you hone your query until it’s perfect. Note that not all PPWC query “prep” opportunities are included in your registration fee, but there is never an additional charge for a Query 1-on-1 appointment or Read & Critique appointment at our conference.
CAN I SIGN UP FOR BOTH A QUERY 1-ON-1 AND READ & CRITIQUE APPOINTMENTS?
• There are a limited number of appointments.
• Signing up for an appointment does not guarantee you will receive one.
• Each attendee is permitted only one Query appointment and one Read & Critique appointment.
• A Query 1-on-1 appointment allows you to request which agent or editor you would like to speak with. An R&C appointment is assigned by genre.
WHAT’S THE COST?
PPWC offers registered attendees appointment opportunities at no additional charge! But appointments are limited and not guaranteed to every registrant. The earlier you register, the better your chances. Don’t miss out!
I WANT AN APPOINTMENT! WHAT DO I DO NOW?
The main thing to do is register for PPWC as soon as registration opens. The earlier you register, the better your chance of receiving an appointment. Prior to registering, figure out what kind of appointment(s) you want, and do your homework on the editors, agents, and authors who are taking appointments, so you’re prepared to indicate your preferences on the PPWC registration form.
Start Here: To learn more about our editors and agents, visit our Faculty Page.