The pitch sessions to agents and editors were the main event for most attendees at the PNWA writers conference. Each session had dozens of aspiring writers pitching their manuscripts, trying to get a request for sample pages.
People start gathering an hour before each pitch session. Right before we’re allowed to enter the auditorium, it looks like this:
Inside, people line up in front of the desired agent or editor. Each aspiring author is given four minutes to pitch. When the bell rings, that aspiring author has to leave and is then free to go to another line, while the next person in the original line walks up to pitch.
Again, each pitch lasts four minutes. The description of the book that you’ve worked on for a year or more should take less than a minute, then the rest of the time is spent answering the professional’s questions.
One agent I thought would be a sure thing said my manuscript of The War of the Worlds and Fairies wouldn’t be right for her. I was stunned but made sure not to show it. However, she said someone else in her agency might like it, so she gave me that person’s name. I’ve submitted sample pages to that other agent, saying the first one recommended me.