[Another post I scheduled before leaving for Italy.]
In response to an email I received last week from a woman who has registered for the 2010 Oxford Creative Nonfiction Conference (I’m one of three co-directors) about how to prepare to pitch her work to the agents and editors at the conference, I shared a three things with her:
1. At this conference, you don't make appointments ahead of time with individual agents or editors or publishers. During the pitch fest, the agents, publicists, editors and publishers will be sitting at tables in a room, and everyone gets in line to pitch to whichever person they want to. If there's time, you can pitch to several. In 2008, I pitched to an agent, an editor, and two publishers. Someone will "monitor" the session, being sure that everyone moves to the next person in 5-10 minutes.
2. Here's a good article by Vicki Britton (who has a great blog with writing tips) at Suite101.com on “How to Pitch a Novel at a Writers Conference."
3. I was encouraged to prepare a "one-pager" which I took with me, along with business cards, to the 2008 Conference. The last paragraph in this article (#10) from a 2009 issue of Writers Digest explains what a one-pager is. You can leave the page and card with the agent, etc. Don't offer to hand them a manuscript unless they ask for one.
A couple of months ago I did a blog post, “Choosing, Prepping and Networking,” which also might be helpful if you’re a first-time workshop or conference attendee.
So, whether you’re coming to the CNF Conference in Oxford or another writer’s conference, I hope this information and the links have been helpful. What other tips do you have to share with fellow writers who are attending a workshop or conference? Please leave a comment!