Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The windup and the pitch

On Monday, I got back from the Pacific Northwest Writers Association conference. It was a really good group of writers and I heard a lot of strong pitches. I also heard a lot of pitches in general. I did six 90-minute pitch sessions over two days. Each author had 3 minutes to tell me about their book. (I estimate I heard about 150 pitches, because some slots were empty. But that's still a lot.)

Some authors are just so nervous. I always feel badly, because I'm an anxious person myself so I know the feeling. But there is a lot of pressure to say exactly the right thing. There are workshops about it. Authors practice for weeks.

But the truth is that you don't have to say exactly the right thing. You just have to tell me enough to pique my interest. I've never signed a client on a pitch alone (and I can't imagine myself doing so unless the person was a celebrity and wouldn't actually write the book) because I have to see the writing. So pitching isn't the be-all and end-all, it's just the beginning of a long process.

I like getting to talk to people, and I hope there will be some good projects showing up in my inbox soon. And even if I didn't request more, I hope authors learned something from the experience.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Donald Sobol

I'm very sad to hear about the death of Donald Sobol. It is a great loss for children's literature and literature in general. I recently heard Mr. Sobol on NPR and was reminded how much I loved his Encyclopedia Brown series as a kid.

I don't remember which book it was, or which case, but I do remember once solving the case BEFORE Encyclopedia Brown. (The grass under the bike was green!) And I don't think I've ever been so proud of myself.

I learned a lot from this man. Much of it was about flag etiquette. But I also learned that I could be a teen sleuth if I wanted to be.

And that is an important message for young people, I think.

Here's a link to the radio program I heard a few months ago.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


If you sent me a query, I'm on ones that were received at the beginning of June 2012. If you sent me one before that, then I didn't get it.

If you sent me a partial manuscript: I'm up to about mid-May 2012 (from the date the partial was submitted). Full manuscripts are similar but I do have some from April. Egads.

Next Thursday I will be at AgentFest, here in Manhattan.

The week after, I'm going to the PNWA Conference in Seattle, WA. Come see me!