Last Sunday, Amberly and I drove the scenic route through Richmond to Corte Madera, CA for Algonkian’s inaugural Write and Pitch Conference. This instruction-heavy conference focused on preparing fiction writers for pitching viable manuscripts to agents.
Whereas the recent San Francisco Writers Conference was a huge affair with four sessions of packing a ballroom full of writers in a speed-dating environment, Write and Pitch was smaller and more intimate, averaging about one agent per 6 writers. After working on their manuscripts under the supervision of Michael Neff and co, the writers were instructed in preparing one minute pitches for us.
The pitch session was two hours long and uninterrupted, but it went well and seemed to pass quickly. As always, some of the writers were more appropriate in their methods than others. Fortunately, many of the ones I spoke to had researched the agents beforehand and sought me out directly. Writers, I appreciate that. It all but guarantees that your time and mine will not be wasted.
Unlike the staff-regulated 3 minute meetings of the SFWC, these were left up to us to control. The added flexibility proved to be optimal for the education of each individual. I was able to speak briefly with those who did not need much help and go into more depth with those who were struggling. Not every writer got to meet with every agent they wanted to, but that is normal for these events. The general reaction from the writers was one of gratitude and determination to apply newfound knowledge. I like that, too. I always hope to find new clients at these things, but I’m happy just to help writers grow.
I would recommend this conference for those of you who are serious about writing your first novel. You are among over 50,000 Americans currently doing so. If you’d like a leg up on the competition, the folks at Algonkian can help get you started.