Be prepared: you never know what conversation is around the corner.
You’ve all heard the stories, something like…someone talked to a stranger at conference who turned out to be an agent and wanted their book.
It never happens, right?
Actually, it does. It’s happened to me twice.
The first time I was at my second conference.
I can’t remember the cocktail party theme, but I was dressed as a publishing contract.
Squished into the cocktail party I found myself next to someone I didn’t know. Maybe her American accent should have given me a clue, but it didn’t occur to me our guest international agent would be standing alone.
She commented on my costume, we got chatting and after a bit she asked me about what I wrote. I rattled off a short outline of my work-in-progress and mentioned it needed a rewrite, which I’d just started. She immediately pulled out her business card, told me who she was and asked for my manuscript when it was finished.
Fast forward a few years and I was at another conference.
A guest international editor was looking a little lost, so my friends and I asked her to join us for dinner. We had a lovely time talking and laughing about all sorts of things except our writing. At the end of the meal our guest asked us to each pitch her our book. In both instances I was ready to tell my story in two sentences.
Can you tell your story in 25 words?
Of course, the submission process requires more than those twenty-five words. You also need an enticing query letter (no more than 250 words) and a sparkling synopsis (on average 1000 words).
Unsure where to start? Join me in June for my Pitch Like A Professional OWL.
Each week will focus on one aspect of the pitching and submission skillset. As well as learning the secrets to successful submission, you will work with me on your own synopsis, query letter and pitch, with the option for you to practice your pitch with me (in private over skype).
Even if you aren’t planning to pitch at conference, it never hurts to be prepared. Those 25 words could change your future.
Pitch Like A Professional: A Conference Primer with AJ Blythe
RWA OWL Course Dates: 3 to 30 June, 2019
Cost: RWA Member—$55. Non-RWA Member—$88.
Venue: Online – RWA Moodle Platform
For more information and bookings: www.trybooking.com/ZXVZ
AJ Blythe (Anita Joy) is an experienced TAFE trainer and educator who has done her fiction-writing apprenticeship over many years in the close company of some of her favourite published authors. She is that rarest of author-creatures: an author who loves to pitch. She thrives in short-form pitching and thinking on her feet. Since joining RWA in 2008 she been a finalist in the High 5, Ripping Start and Valerie Parv Award and won the Selling Synopsis award in 2013. Find her at www.ajblythe.com and @aussiecozy