Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Why I Will be at the BEA pitch slam this year

This is my client Alysia Sofios.
She's standing in front of Pocket Books, which will be publishing her book WHERE HOPE BEGINS on 9/15/09.

I took that picture when we visited her editor, the incomparable Abby Zidle, and her publicist two weeks ago.

A year ago, I'd never heard of Alysia Sofios, and she'd never heard of me.

That all changed at the Writers Digest Pitch Slam at BEA last May.

If you've got a project, you'll do well to think about attending the conference this year.

Normally I loathe pitch sessions. Loathe.
There's one good thing that can happen at a pitch session that can't happen as easily anyplace else. You can TALK to the writer.

That's how I figured out Alysia didn't have a true crime book, and she didn't have a story about murder and desperation. Yes, there are those elements in the book but this book is about perseverance, and hope, and taking risks.

I never would have seen that in a query letter, and Alysia would have never written a query letter to me. She'd never heard of me before the fateful day she heard a bunch of people laughing and decided to see what all the fun was about.

Here's the link to the Pitch Slam website.

Maybe it's time for you to take a risk and sign up.
If you do, you darn well better come over and say howdy.


jdcoughlin said...

Wow, Thanks!

That's right where I'm at. I went to BEA LA, saw five agents, received five requests, but all passed after partials saying the writing is good, but still not for them. So I've been debating going. It's tough, putting yourself out there over and over. I keep telling myself it's just one big book club, only with friends I haven't met, but I'm not quite up to registering yet.

Hopefully, with this push, I'll get there.

Margaret Yang said...

Um...just a little correction. Loath means unwilling or reluctant. Loathe means to detest greatly. I think you meant the latter.

We all make typos sometimes but words are our tools. You might want to fix.

Kwana said...

Now I want to really come so I can at least say hi I even if I don't get signed. Thanks for the link. Money is tight, but maybe I'll make it my mother's day gift. since I just finished my edits on my YA.

moonrat said...

woohoo! I'm so excited for Alysia. (and you too, i guess. ;)

DebraLSchubert said...

Thanks to you, I'm now more than $400 poorer (conference and hotel.) I'm already attending the Backspace Conf. which is 5.27-5/29, so I figured, why not? I mean, if you're promising me I'll come out of there looking like Alysia (that is what you're promising, right?) then I figure it's worth four-hundred bucks.

Seriously, thanks for the "reminder." I'm looking forward to it!

Janet Reid said...

Thanks Margaret! I did type loathe with an e at first, then looked at it and thought "no that looks wrong." I should have checked!

Of course, I should KNOW, but clearly didn't!


Kristin Laughtin said...

Great to hear! I was fortunate enough to get to go to BEA in LA last year (it was local, so my library sponsored me), but had to work during the pitch slam and my manuscript wasn't quite ready anyway. I'm glad it worked out for someone, though.

Anonymous said...

Face it; you're doing this to taunt me, aren't you? Ah, the one that got away....

Heather Wardell said...

I will indeed come over and say howdy, since I have now signed up. Must practice my pitches!!

Michelle said...

Thanks for sharing a positive story. We hear so much about things that don't work, that it's reassuring to hear that pitch sessions CAN work.

P.S. I referenced this story in one of my blog posts this week (

Thanks again.