This past week, I attended a terrifying and exhilarating event called PitchFest. It is part of the ThrillerFest conference held in New York City.
PitchFest is a two and a half hour event similar to speed dating, except your date is a person who can help you sell your masterpiece. Optimistic authors stand in lines to speak to one of over fifty agents and editors hoping to excite interest in their work.
Prior to the event, the mere mention of the word pitch would make my stomach queasy. Pitching has always strained my nerves, and I had a recurring image of me passing out in the middle of the room while determined authors stepped over my prone body.
Standing in line waiting for the dash to begin, I made special note of the closest Rest Rooms.
I have to tell you, each member of the crew running
PitchFest was awesome and the setup worked beautifully. They had three conference rooms with the names of each agent and editor posted outside. The lines were not bad. If you found one too long, you could move on to another. There was no pushing or shoving.
The conference literature had every agent and editor listed with their preferences and what they didn't want. So, before you pitched, you could make sure that the person would be interested in your genre. It was perfect.
Standing in line, I did what I love. I schmoozed with the other authors. By the time I'd learned what everyone around me had written, it was time to speak to the agent. After the first jolt of fear, I found the agents to whom I pitched to be helpful and caring. Even after they had been in those rooms for hours, they were encouraging and kind.
And, guess what! Five agents asked for pages, two wanted the whole thing. I left there wanting to hug everyone I met.
My friend Jane had the same wonderful experience. She'll be sending out pages and two fulls also.
Is PitchFest worth it? Oh, yes. If you think you might be interested, look for it next July. But beware, the conference and rooms fill up fast. Register early.