Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pitching isn't the pits afterall

I had planned to pitch to one agent. My appointment was set for 3:45 on the first day of my conference. During the wait, I watched other friends go to their appointments and eagerly awaited the results. Some good, some not so good.

What I found out ahead of time was there would be five other writers and we would all sit around a round table. Whoever sat to the right or left of the agent or editor would go first. One could read her pitch, or wing it or wait for the agent/editor to ask the questions.

So okay. I checked my watch a lot and looked on the map provided to find the proper room. Lower lever--in the kids area.

I was the second person to enter. The agent left for a break as I passed through the doorway. Yeah--they looked like their blog picture. Check. I had the right room.

A few other writers filtered in and we exchanged pleasantries. I was freezing in my light weight blazer. Why hadn't I packed sweaters? I shivered and twisted my One Sheet in my hands.

The agent started with a young woman to her right. I sat somewhere dead center.

But then agent's next sentence took away my fears."I'm not looking to agent any new writers for about a year due to the economy."

Ugh. I wanted to pack up my paperwork and head upstairs. Why hadn't we been told this news? Why had I wasted my only pitch session on someone who I need not impress? I could see similar thoughts jump around the table. But instead of standing and excusing myself, I stayed like everyone else did and listened.

To some really good advice.

What I thought was a waste of my time turned out to be a moment of gaining some valuable advice about my work. The genre.

When I finished there, I headed back to the registration desk and managed to slip into a slot with Wordserve just because I wanted to meet another name I've read about and admired.

None of your time is a waste at a conference.

Check back to my next post where I share about my other appointments and the results.

Again--as you read this, I should be flying back over the country to sunny, WARM Florida where once I get my sleep back, I will be catching up with you all:)

29 comments:

Andrea said...

I am thankful you had a great trip. We are blessed to be reminded our time is not wasted. We need to absorb all GOD puts before us...not fret b/c it is NOT what "we" wanted it to be. Hope you have safe travel.
Blessings, hugs, and prayers,
andrea

Krista Phillips said...

Anxious to hear about the results of the other appointments and your conference as a whole! Sounds like you had a good time and it was well worth it!

Now, get some sleep and enjoy sunny Florida:-)

Emily said...

That would be a disappointing thing to hear at a pitch session, but I'm glad it turned out!

As someone who's reading from Wisconsin, I have to say I'm jealous about getting to return to Florida. ;)

Heckety said...

I can imagine the slump feeling, but I'm glad that you received some good advice from someone who knows. Its all 'input' as I frequently tell my students! Even if you would prefer it to be achievement and success!!

Wendy Paine Miller said...

Oh, you did a nice job of building suspence in this and looking at the positive.

So glad you enjoyed your time.
~ Wendy

Lynda Schab said...

Great attitude, Terri! You're right...there's always something we can learn. Glad you enjoyed the conference and look forward to hearing more.

Jennifer Shirk said...

wow, I would have been a little depressed at that pitch session, but you're right. You learned some things and it was probably good practice, too.
Can't wait to hear more!

Lin Floyd said...

you can learn from everything even failures...

Jan Cline said...

I thought we all did pretty well. The small group thing wasnt as bad as we anticipated. I almost think I would prefer it. You get feedback from the others at the table. Glad you will be home - get to work on all you learned! Im drooling over the Christian Writer's Guild conference in Feb 2011 in Denver. One can dream!

Georgiana said...

Oh my. That would have been important information to let conference attenders know beforehand. It's awesome that you were still able to glean information.

Heidi Willis said...

That is a great attitude. I'm glad you found the silver lining, but I would agree that the conference should have told you ahead of time!

So now I'm very curious...who did you pitch to that wasn't taking on clients??

Julie Jarnagin said...

I agree. If you go in with an open mind, you get so much more out of the conference.

Keli Gwyn said...

Even though the pitch session didn't turn out as expected, I'm glad you got some good info from the agent. I look forward to hearing more about your conference experience.

patti said...

ooh, how cool! I love your comment that no time was wasted. Think that's how God views things.

Blessings for a safe trip and sleep!
Patti

Melissa Marsh said...

I'm so glad you got some good advice. I think you're right - time is never wasted at something like a writer's conference. There are always nuggets of information to learn!

Diane said...

The suspense!!! :O)

Paul Greci said...

I look forword to hearing about your other pitch session and I'm glad you learned some things in the first one.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Terri -

Even our disappointments can contain value if we look hard enough. Some difficult meetings pushed me to re-write, tighten, and improve my craft.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan R. Mills said...

I love that you can take something disappointing and turn it into something good. We all should do that. Have a safe trip home!

Amy Tate said...

I can't wait to read the other half of this! Have a safe trip, Teri!

LeeAnn said...

Terri, thanks for leaving some of your Florida sunshine behind for us! You wouldn't need a sweater here today (at least not in north Idaho). Those pitch sessions were extremely informative, putting my own dreams and delusions in perspective, and motivating me to get serious. So glad to have met you at the conference.

Jessica Nelson said...

Cool! I love that the agent stayed and shared with you all. So...is it bad news for contemporary romances? :-( I hope not...

Looking forward to your next posts! And I hope you're home now.

Journaling Woman said...

I always learn from everything I do. I'm sure you came away with helpful information.

T

Karen Lange said...

Hooray for learning all the time. Our steps are ordered and everything has a purpose. Have a safe trip home!
Blessings,
Karen

BECKY said...

Hi Terri! You always have great info to share! Looking forward to more, of course! :)

Kathryn Magendie said...

YES! I once went to a conference where I thought "I'm hearing the same old thing; what a waste of my time and money" but then, later, I recogized how something good came out of that conference - I made a contact, and a good friend, from the conference *smiling*

Although, I do think they should have let y'all pitch to someone who was looking - since that was the "purpose" of the pitching...still, I'm glad you received something good and positive from it-that's what's important! :)

(I hope you like the book, Terri - I still get butterflies when my colleagues read my stuff!)

Nancy said...

Oh, I'm so dissappointed you didn't get to deliver your pitch, but so glad you had a good time and used it well.

Elana Johnson said...

I'm so glad it was a great experience. How did the pitching go?? I'm dying to know.

arlee bird said...

Any experience can be good experience if you take away something positive with you. That had to be kind of a tense room though.

Lee
May 17th FIFTEEN FANTASY ISLAND FAVORITES