I cannot believe the Philadelphia Writer’s Workshop is a week from Saturday. That’s next week! Not only do I still have to iron out childcare for Friday, not to mention I have no idea how long it takes to get to Philly from Rochester (5 hours maybe?), but the biggest thing is my book is not done.
I can hear a collective but resigned groan coming from you (or maybe that’s just me).
Yes, yes, my masterpiece is not complete yet. Surprise, surprise. So what now?
I go anyway. No brainer there. The challenge is what do I do at my pitch sessions? I have three pitch sessions lined up and I have no completed novel to pitch. Even Hell High (which I shelved for the time being) needs major edits (or if I’m being honest with myself an entire re-write) to get it anywhere near publishing shape (or querying shape, or in any shape for any poor soul other than myself to read).
My pitch sessions are with John Willig of Literary Services, Inc., Eric Smith of P.S. Literary and MacKenzie Brady of New Leaf Literary and Media. Each of these agents specialize in different types of literature. I’m especially excited to meet with John Willig, who represents historical fiction, because that’s the genre I’m working in now (at least that’s the genre title I’d use). Eric Smith just seems like a cool guy, and he has experience writing and representing YA lit (where Hell High would land if I ever finished it). MacKenzie Brady I chose because she seemed affable and she represents upmarket commercial/literary adult projects – which I think conceivably my current project would fit into, but she also likes memoirs, lost histories and “projects with a strong narrative and a female bend,” which I also think my current work could conceivably fall into.
I have little to arm myself with – I have my chapter beats and outline for my new project, and I have a manuscript for Hell High, and that’s about it. I think I’ll approach my meetings less like pitch sessions and more like, well, “meetings.” As in a change to “meet” and connect with these agents, pick their brains a bit, throw out a bit about my concept and see the kind of reaction I get, and hopefully (cross my fingers), get some good advice specific to my project, and if I’m really, really, lucky (and charming, witty and articulate) – an offer to see my work once it’s completed.
So I’m looking on the bright side with the meetings and I’m hoping they are productive if nothing else.
Even though I’m fairly ill prepared, I am super excited. I can’t wait, and I hope I learn some valuable stuff in both the workshop itself and during my “meetings.”