We made the NYT!

Hi Writers,
The New York Times posted an article about our conference/ pitch slam, if you want to know how a pitch slam goes. This reporter was actually in the room Kevin and I moderated, “Tough Sell for Writers at NY Literary Speed-Dating.”

Here’s an excerpt:
Several dozen agents and editors were taking pitches at Wednesday’s “pitch-slam” at the end of a one-day seminar that also included workshops on writing the perfect book proposal.

“Don’t feel like you’re a failure if you don’t come out of here with a contract,” Lauren Mosko, editor of writers’ guide “Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market,” told her workshop.

Brief note to The New York Times: I know you’re busy covering world affairs and such, but it would have been lovely if you would have mentioned in this piece that you were at the BEA/ Writer’s Digest Books Writer’s Conference.

You know that whole Who, What, When, Where, Why thing you learned in J-School? The Where part is kind of important.

Keep Writing,

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3 thoughts on “We made the NYT!

  1. The Writer Mama

    Hi Maria,

    I posted some more photos from post-writer’s conference and the WDB BEA booth in my blog, The Writer Mama, in case your readers are interested.


    Re. the NYT article, I think, generally speaking, journalist can be pretty cynical about writer’s conferences.

    I think Julia Cameron would have a thing or two to say about this, but I’ll be diplomatic and not say any more.

    On another note, in response to the previous comment, I think a good rule of thumb for what agents and editors want to know is this:

    1. Why THIS book?
    2. Why this book NOW?
    3. Why this book now BY YOU?

    If you can cover all of that in a little dramatic story that grabs the listener from the first line and hauls them all the way through and leaves them wanting more then…

    That’s a good pitch.

    It takes focus, practice and lots of refinement to pitch. And it takes a team of knowledgeable coaches to help just about anybody pitch well.

    But it feels really good when you nail it. That’s how I got Jane Friedman’s attention for Writer Mama.


  2. JohnOBX

    It doesn’t really answer the question of what a good pitch slam entails.

    Is it just a oral recitation of your synopsis?

    Is it a verbal regurgation of your query letter?

    Are you able to put the agent in a figure-four leg lock and scream "To be the man, you gotta beat the man…woooooo!" until he or she submits and agrees to publish your book?

    On a serious note, is there a lot of give and take where the agent/publisher asks a lot of questions or are they just there to listen to the proposal?



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