Pitch Sessions vs. Small-group Workshops

Pitch sessions provide writers with a three to five minute opportunity to present their “pitch” (the premise, hook and/or logline of their novel) to any number of literary agents for a predetermined length of time, typically two to three hours.

The Backspace Agent-Author Format and small-group workshops provide aspiring authors multiple opportunities to have their work reviewed and critiqued by top literary agents who are actively seeking material in their genre.

We accomplish this goal in two ways:

Through our workshops: Writers are broken up into small-groups of no more than 15 (typically ten to 12 writers) based on their genre. Each group consists of two literary agents actively seeking material in that genre. The writers will take turns reading their query letters (morning) and opening pages (afternoon) and the literary agents will respond in turn, providing honest, objective feedback, critiques and/or reviews of each writer’s work. Should any writer’s query or opening pages catch the interest of an agent, they will either ask to see more, or the writer is encouraged to arrange to send more material to the agent(s).

Writers will read their queries in the morning to two literary agents in each group, and will read their opening pages in the afternoon to two different agents in each group.

Through our informative and educational agent panels: The goal of our Backspace Conferences and Agent-Author Seminars is to educate writers on the realities of publishing, and who better to do that than the literary agents who will ultimately represent those authors and sell their work? We bring together anywhere from four to six top literary agents for an hour of questions and answers ranging anywhere from personal genre likes and dislikes to important information you need to succeed in publishing. Each panel has a theme (example: What Agents Are Looking For Today, or The WOW! Factor: What It Is & How To Get It), and opens up to questions from the audience. We leave up to 15 minutes between sessions and encourage audience members to introduce themselves to the agents on each panel – it may even be a perfect opportunity to pitch an agent who is not in your small-group workshop, but also represents what you write!

Plus, we build plenty of time into the program to give writers an opportunity to network with one another, to speak with literary agents who may not be in their small-groups, and to learn from the critiques and feedback received by their peers during the workshops.

The two-track conference program that follows (Friday, May 27th) provides even more opportunities to learn from and network with top literary agents, authors, and editors, and includes panels and workshops from a host of publishing professionals.

In 2009, ten writers found their literary agent through one of our two annual events. We won’t know the total numbers for 2010 until later this year, but based on initial observations and feedback we expect that number to be even higher!

To learn more about our program and to find answers to frequently asked questions about the Backspace events, click here.

Or, if you’d prefer to speak/write to someone directly, please feel free to contact Backspace Co-founder and Conference Co-host, Christopher Graham:

Email or click here: chrisg@bksp.org
Or call: 732-267-6449