Pitch Slam: Even Agents Want in on the Dream!


Up for a quick creative exercise that doesn’t actually involve writing? Good! Close your eyes and imagine yourself pitching your book to an agent. Be in the moment. Picture the agent sitting across from you, and listen to yourself as you advocate for your work.

How did you do? If what you imagined looks intimidating or you aren’t seeing a confident version of yourself, you might be thinking of the Pitch Slam all wrong! In fact, that fear is what tends to keep writers in the holding pattern of will-I-or-won’t-I pitch this year. And too often, it means missing out on a preferred Pitch Slam slot—or even a chance to pitch at all.

Read agent Veronica Park’s story of her experience at the 2015 Pitch Slam and be encouraged:

WD 2015 was the first conference I attended as an agent, and the first big pitch slam I was a part of. I remember how overwhelming it felt for me at first, meeting all those people and trying to figure out their stories in such a short time--I could only imagine how much more nerve-racking it was for the writers. But even though it was a bit loud and crazy, the best stories came through so clearly. I walked away unable to forget those pitches I'd connected with, and ended up signing three of the authors I'd met that day. Which just goes to show, I think, how finding an agent isn't about competition. It's about connection. You don't have to be the loudest voice in the room, you just have to be authentic and tell your story from the heart.

Thanks for letting me be a part of the dream!

Veronica Park, Corvisiero Literary Agency

Check out how it all works here, but take heart: If you’re ready to put yourself out there, an agent is ready to listen.

So You’ve Been to a Writer’s Conference. What now?

If you’ve been to a writer’s conference, you know that the days and weeks that follow are marked by exhilarating highs—the advice, the contacts, the inspiration—and the  frustrating road blocks—why didn’t I write that down, It’s all part of the experience and all perfectly normal. So normal, in fact, that WD asked super-agent Irene Goodman for her advice on how best to capitalize on this amazing opportunity.

Read her take about what to do and what to avoid following a conference. And just like that, you’re set for your trip to the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference in New York this August. Well, not quite. You still need to register. But lucky you—Early-Bird rates are here until February 14!

Getting Published Doesn’t Have to be Guesswork

We recently came across a timely article, written by Writer’s Digest Conference speaker Susan Shapiro. In it, Shapiro (who’s also a writing professor at the New School and the author of Unhooked), discusses why some writers are coming out of writing programs well-versed in the craft of writing, but struggling with how exactly to get published. Not all of us will make a full-time career of writing, but publication still remains a very viable path to success for many writers.

But how do you get there?  A trip to the Writer’s Digest Conference in New York is one very tangible step you can take to get closer to your publication goals. It’s the chance to be around people who can speak your language. You don’t have to explain to anyone there why you want to write—it’s simply understood.  

And you don’t have to be shy about your ambitions. At last year’s event, a woman introduced herself to me at the registration desk by telling me her name and that she would be the next New York Times bestselling author coming out of this conference. That’s an affirmation we can get behind! Ambition is not a dirty word here. Yes, we are a craft-intensive conference—we want you to write well—but we’re also here to help you meet your goals, with publication-focused sessions, networking events and, of course, the Pitch Slam.

It’s the New Year. Take a moment for yourself to consider where you want to be a year from now. Is your bestseller waiting to be introduced to the world? Is something holding you back? We’re at the ready with practical answers and on standby with encouragement. Publication is not a dream—it’s possible. But first you have to get here. Register by February 14 to lock in your best rate all year. 

Pitch Slam Success Story

I've met hundreds of authors over the years, and probably just as many come from conferences as do the slush pile. But this is a story how the right pitch can lead to great things.

Registration for 2017 Writer’s Digest Annual Conference is now open!

What’s your writing goal in 2017? To write better? Maybe your dream of getting published is finally in sight. How about building your network and increasing that always important who-you-know quotient? Writer’s Digest can help you get there.