May 27 Agent-Author Day program


PLEASE NOTE: While the following schedule has been confirmed, due unforeseen circumstances, individual program parts are subject to change

NEW!  Bella Stander and Ron Hogan will teach their always popular “Polish Your Pitch!” workshop May 27 from 6-7:30 p.m. The workshop is an intensive 90-minute course that covers the principles of formulating an effective and concise pitch for your book. Eight participants will be randomly selected to have their pitches individually critiqued in class. Cost for the 45-minute workshop is $45.

Thursday, May 27

9:00 – 10:15 “Query Letters That Work” – agents panel

10:30 – 12:00 Query Letter Workshops

12:00 – 1:00 Lunch

1:00 – 2:00 “The ‘Wow’ Factor” – agents panel

2:00 – 4:00 Opening Pages Workshops

4:00 – 4:30 break w/refreshments

4:30 – 5:30 Keynote Address – Lorenzo Carcaterra

6:00 – 7:30  “Polish Your Pitch!” – workshop – Bella Stander, Ron Hogan


Workshop Assignments and Format

The format for the morning query letter and afternoon opening pages workshops is the same: In small groups of no more than a dozen authors, two agents react to the author’s material as the author reads aloud as though they’d received it as a submission, stopping the reading when the material stops working for them, and then explaining why.

Authors should be prepared for honest, objective feedback. Naturally, if an agent loves the work, authors are welcome to submit their material at the agent’s invitation. But if suggestions for improvement are offered, as is most often the case, authors should not be discouraged. Because these are workshops and not pitch sessions, authors whose materials were not as well-received as they had hoped can apply the suggestions that resonate and submit to these same agents later, according to the agents’ regular querying process.

At the end of each small-group workshop, there will be an opportunity for general discussion and questions. Additionally, the 15 minutes between program parts, and the half-hour mixer provide plenty of time for registrants to speak with all of our attending agents. There’s no need to be shy about approaching agents – remember, agents come to our conferences because they want to help writers, and because they’re looking for great projects!


What to Bring

Each registrant should bring 15 copies of their query letter and 15 copies of their opening two pages to their assigned workshops.

Query letters should be one page. For the purpose of this workshop, you may begin with the generic “Dear Agent.”

Opening pages should be double-spaced, with one-inch margins. You may start the text at the top of the first page, rather than dropping down a number of lines to begin a chapter in standard manuscript format. Please staple each set of pages together.

All materials should be in 12pt Times New Roman. Be sure to include your name, book title, genre, and contact information on BOTH your query letter and opening pages. Agents frequently bring their copies back to their offices for further review, and they need to be able to get in touch with you if your project catches their interest.


Where to go

floor plan

The seminars will take place on the Radisson’s second-floor conference level.

Ballroom A/B is our main conference room.

Workshops will take place in Ballroom A/B, Ballroom C, Herald Square A, Herald Square B, Greeley Square, Chelsea A, Chelsea B and the PC Boardroom.

Registration begins each day at 8:00 a.m. in the second-floor lobby. When you enter the hotel, turn left, take the elevator to the second floor, and turn left again.