The Page a Day Writers Group

Faith & Fiction

Posted on: June 10, 2010

I’m pretty excited. Next weekend I’ll be attending the annual Faith & Fiction Retreat http://www.faithandfictionretreat.com/ – here in Atlanta. I’ll have an opportunity to hang out with some of my favorite authors such as: Sherri L. Lewis, Kimberla Lawson Roby, and many more! But I think what I’m most excited about is that I’ll be able to pitch my new story to four big time agents – two of which are on my VIP list! Last year one of them graciously rejected my first manuscript, but I’m convinced that one of these days (hopefully sooner than later) she will say, “How about a three book deal?” A girl can dream can’t she?

Since I’ve never pitched a story before, I was a little nervous. But all is well now since Tiffany Warren, author of numerous YA books, and several adult fictions, including The Bishop’s Daughter, hosted a conference call to discuss the Faith & Fiction pitch session. She gave some wonderful advice, and now I feel ready…well I will be by next weekend! Though most of what Warren shared was specifically in regards to the Faith & Fiction pitch session, she did give some information that could probably be used during other pitching opportunities. Listed below are a few.

A great website/resource for those of us who are new at pitching and marketing our work: http://www.writing-world.com/promotion/index.shtml

A few things learned from the site:

• Sale yourself then your book

• Conquer your nerves

• Accept constructive criticism

• Use note cards if you must

A few other things that Warren shared:

• If conference organizers say you have 5-7 minutes to pitch your work – respect that (of course if they’re asking you questions – stick around and answer them)

• Use the first minute to tell who you are and the rest of the allotted time should be about your work.

• If you see an agent /editor after you’ve pitched & during the retreat – try not to harass them. If you’ve made an impression…they’ll approach you. And if they do approach you – be prepared!

• If asked, be prepared to share why you feel your story is unique.

• And one of my favorites – remember that they are just people (agents & editors).

If you have any more advice about pitching a story, please share! I have one more week to get myself together!

Sharon C. Cooper

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5 Responses to "Faith & Fiction"

Sharon, this is wonderful! It sounds like the perfect opportunity for you. My gosh, all you have to do is flash that gorgeous smile of yours and they’ll be eating out of your hands. It’s okay to be nervous as long as you can get your message across, too. You’ve got your elevator pitch prepared, so bait the hook with that and reel them in. I just know I’m going to see your novels on the bookstore shelves one day soon. You go, girl!

Thanks, Kirsten! You’re too kind! I wish I could get by on my smile 🙂 – I’d be cheesing all the time! As for my elevator pitch…boy do I need to practice! I keep fumbling through it. They are going to think I’m a blubbering idiot…with a smile!

Keep practicing! you’ll do great, I know it.

I can see you presenting at this retreat in the future, as a published author. This is your niche!

Ahh, Ondine, listening to you and Kirsten bring back memories of when we all first met (smile). You guys are wonderful cheerleaders who make me feel like chanting…I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. Thank you for the continued support (and kind words). I’m going to give it my best shot!

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Who are we?

The Page a Day Writers Group is a diverse collection of wonderful writers based in San Diego, CA. We've been meeting monthly since 2004. Our primary function is in-depth writing critique, marketing and brainstorming, but there's usually some wine, chocolate and ribaldry involved too. We write fantasy, humor, literary fiction, nonfiction, romance, thrillers and YA. Join us on our journeys to publication and the wonderland beyond!

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