**and I should know since I am Satan's agent.
Yesterday I ranted about why pitch sessions are the spawn of Satan.
Today I'm adding another reason they should not be used at writing conferences ever again.
Pitches by definition require a writer to synthesize"what my book is about" to 25 words or fewer. Particularly if they're giving these pitches orally, most pitches are fewer than 100 words.
Writing short form anything is the hardest kind of writing to do. And by asking NEW writers to pitch, we're asking the least experienced writer to do the hardest kind of writing. Oh and by the way, don't worry, it's just your entire career resting on this.
It's like asking the 9th grade basketball team to play offense against a college team. You might have the height, but you don't have the experience.
Think about how hard you tell me it is to write a synopsis--and that's 1000 words.
Or how hard it is to write those 100-word contest entries here--and those are short little stories, not trying to entice me to read more. And the stakes for those contests are just fun--nothing truly important.
Writing short form enticing copy is an art form and it takes YEARS to get good at it.
It seems pointlessly cruel to ask writers at the start of their career to do this, particularly when there is an alternative available that actually helps them, and still accomplishes what they want to do: tell an agent about their book.
It's time to Stop Pitching!
It's time for conferences to start having agents critique queries, or just read queries at conferences, and be able to offer pointers for improvement.