WNBA-SF National Poetry Month Reading and Mixer

The Beat Museum
540 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133

Sunday, April 28, 2019

3 pm: Poetry readings for about 90 minutes, and celebration with noshes and beverages afterward to 6 pm.

Celebrate National Poetry Month with the Women’s National Book Association Bay Area chapter in the heart of North Beach with some of the finest female writers around. Wild Women Poets will gather at the landmark venue, The Beat Museum in San Francisco.  Grab your bongos and wear your beret to what will be one of literary events of the year! This will also be a mixer with food, sparkling beverages and wine. Bring a friend and be ready for an evening filled with poetry, song, wine and a love of literature.

Brenda Knight

Moderator: Brenda Knight, author of Women of the Beat Generation, will read new work and a tribute to “Beat Goddess” ruth weiss. Brenda began her publishing career at HarperCollins. An author of ten books, she won the American Book Award for “Women of the Beat Generation.”  In 2015, she was named Indiefab Publisher of the Year. She is Editorial Director at Mango Publishing and is President of WNBA-SF Chapter.

 

Readers will include:

Claire Scott is an award winning poet who has received multiple Pushcart Prize nominations. Her work has been accepted by the Atlanta Review, Bellevue Literary Review, New Ohio Review, Enizagam and Healing Muse among others. Claire is the author of Waiting to be Called and Until I Couldn’t. She is the co-author of Unfolding in Light: A Sisters’ Journey in Photography and Poetry.

 

Diane Frank is an award-winning poet and author of seven books of poems including Canon of Bears and Ponderosa Pines. Blackberries in the Dream House, her first novel won the Chelson Award  for Fiction and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, Diane lives in San Francisco where she dances, plays cello and create her life as an art form. She teaches Poetry, Fiction and Memoir workshops at San Francisco State University and Dominican University.

 

Sheryl J. Bize-Boutte is an Oakland writer of prose and poetry, having written three books and a contributor to several anthologies. Her latest book, Running For The 2:10, delves deeper into her coming of age in the Bay Area and reviewed as  “A great contribution to literature.”

 

 

Kate FarrellKate Farrell founded the Word Weaving Storytelling Project, in collaboration with the California State Department of Education funded by grants from Zellerbach Family Fund, San Francisco, to train educators at all levels, and published numerous educational materials.  Farrell edited the anthology, Wisdom Has a Voice: Every Daughter’s Memories of Mother  She is co-editor of the anthology, Times They Were A-Changing: Women Remember the ’60s & 70s, 2013—Finalist for Foreword Reviews 2014 Book of the Year Award and 2014 Indie Excellence Award. Farrell is co-editor for the anthology, Cry of the Nightbird: Writers Against Domestic Violence, 2014–Finalist for the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Award and the 2015 Indie Excellence Award.

 

Jeanne PowellDr. Jeanne Powell received degrees from WSU in Detroit and USF in San Francisco. She writes and performs poetry, flash fiction, nonfiction and short plays. Much of her work has been published. Since 1996, her small press has published 20 poets. She teaches English, writing and social studies to youth and adults. Her cultural and film reviews appear at wattpad.com [worddoctor], starkinsider.com, and sidewalkstv.com. Regent Press published CAROUSEL.

 

Beatrice Bowles in her own words:

I tell stories about secrets that nature keeps. 
A spy in Spider Grandmother’s tattered web,
I weave words into gardens and rus
t into silk.

Jennifer Griffith is currently finishing her first book, a mother-daughter memoir, and is launching her podcast in May 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

Writing When It Hurts

4 Perspectives to Make the Process Easier

by Sara B. Hart

How do you write about a difficult thing you’re going through?  And why would anyone want to do that anyway? When I was going through a major downsizing of my home last year, I found I longed to write about it as it was happening.  I thought it might help me get through the stickiest parts. And at some point I decided I wanted to make the writing pubic because I thought it might help others going through the same thing.  The result was my book “The Upside of Downsizing: Getting to Enough.” All of this has happened, and it is gratifying, but it wasn’t always easy. Here are the 4 things I found most difficult, and how I dealt with them:

Some of the feelings involved extremely personal things.  

For example I realized that some of the fear I was feeling was very similar to the fear I felt while I was going through treatment for a life-threatening illness.  Did I really want to make that previous experience public? I had decided I wanted the book to be as authentic as possible, so I did include that experience, but with a broad description and few specific facts.

Did I really want to live through the current experience again by describing it?  

Some of my downsizing moments were painful enough without having to do it all over again. Although I anticipated these difficult writing moments, I actually found that writing about them helped make them less painful.  To my surprise what was painful was reading the description again after the writing was completed.

How could I write about those times and not offend someone if they read what I’d written? 

A few of the things I wanted to write about involved other people who were doing and saying things that were definitely not helpful, and in some cases were hurtful.  Again, I leaned toward authenticity while choosing my words carefully. I also said over and over how cranky I was during this time, trying to blunt the impact of my words by taking responsibility for how I was feeling and behaving at the time.  That said, I discovered later that at least one person was offended. I think you just need to know that may happen if you want an honest description of what you were going through.

Often there were so many difficult things going on at the same time, I wondered what I should write about.  

As many of us often do, I just sat down and started writing, and found that what most needed to be said, came out.  This worked for me. You will have your own way, but as a writing teacher often says to us when we feel overwhelmed or stuck, “What CAN you do?”  And that would be my suggestion to you for those times when you’re feeling overwhelmed with feelings and just don’t know where to start.

Writing about difficult things as you’re going through them can be hard.  It also can be therapeutic and liberating and helpful to others who may be experiencing similar situations.  A crucial decision up front is, “How honest do I want to be?” The answer to that will guide much of what you say and how you say it.


About Sara B. Hart

“How will I know when I have enough?”  That is the question Sara Hart asks audiences when talking about her special project called Sign of Enough.  She began her project in the mid 1990’s, and recently her passion has been refueled as the results of our over consumption and greed become more and more obvious.  The idea also became the watch word for her as she completed a major downsizing of her home.  Sara focuses on the emotional side of this process in her book The Upside of Downsizing: Getting to Enough. See her website www.signofenough.com  for more information.

Dr. Hart has been involved in helping to develop leaders and effective teams inside organizations for 30+ years.  Prior to founding her own management consulting company, Hartcom, Sara was in charge of Training and Development for the research division of Pfizer both in the US and the UK.  She has facilitated hundreds of groups and presented to scores of meetings.  Sara loves to go on bike rides, walks, and to attend concerts, opera, theatre, and especially to have dinner with friends.  She lives with her cat, Mr. Bu, in Los Altos, CA.

Popup Pitchfest 2019: Agents & Publishers

Pitch-O-Rama

The Sequel!

Saturday, March 30, 8:00 am – 1 pm
Women’s Building 
3543 18th St #8,
San Francisco, CA 94110
 
We are indeed having a Pitchfest this coming Saturday. We have confirmed agents, editors and publishers who will be taking your pitches, offering feedback and advice on publishing. We will continue to add agents this week.
If you previously registered for March 23rd’s Pitch-O-Rama, you of course attend for free; please let us know you’re coming by registering via the button at the bottom of the page.
 
If you wish to attend this event and did NOT previously register for the 2019 event, we will be taking checks at the door. You may also send the registration fee ($65 WNBA-SF members, $75 non-members) via PayPal to treasurer -at- wnba-sfchapter.org
 
Confirmed agents thus far are:
 
Andy Ross
Michael Larsen
Jill March Soloway
Nancy Fish
Brenda Knight
Lara Starr
Jan Johnson
 
We will also have a few New York agents who will be participating by remote via Zoom video & phone conference, including Anne Marie O’Farrell of Marcil-O’Farrell Literary, LLC, and Roger S. Williams of The Roger Williams Agency, a Division of New England Publishing Associates, Inc.
 
We greatly appreciate everyone’s patience throughout this process and will provide beverages, a continental breakfast with plenty of coffee and snacks. In addition, we will be holding a raffle – every attendee will get a ticket upon registering – for cool books, many signed by the author.
 
We will also the the master marketing class after pitches, starting at noon.
 
Please feel free to ask any questions by emailing president at wnba-sfchapter.org 
Fill out the form below so we know how many to plan for.

Meet the Agents and Acquisition Editors!

 

These impressive publishing professionals bring years of experience, and will provide advice, direction, and next steps for your literary project! 

Michele Crim is the West Coast literary agent for Miller Bowers Griffin Literary Management, a boutique agency based in New York City. They represent authors such as Mark Bittman and Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Cal Peternell and Mads Refslund, co-founder of Noma, and MBG recently signed Moby to do a cookbook for his new award-winning restaurant, Little Pine. They work with chefs, food, and lifestyle writers and also represent fiction and narrative nonfiction writers, worldwide. Among others, Michele now represents Yumiko Sekine, founder of the beloved international brand Fog Linen Work; Allison Arevalo, best-selling cookbook author with a new book, The Pasta Friday Cookbook, coming out in September of 2019; and Charleen Badman, James Beard nominee and celebrated chef-owner of FnB Restaurant and Bar in Scottsdale.

 

Nancy Fish

Nancy Fish: In her long career in publishing, Nancy Fish has worked in almost every iteration of the book business. Having been publicity and marketing director for major houses including  Farrar, Straus & Giroux, HarperCollins and Pereus as welll as small indies, freelance publicist and copywriter, and bookseller at legendary shops on both coasts, Nancy now manages the Path to Publishing Program, and all the writers programs, at Marin County’s three-store treasure trove, Book Passage. Ask her about them. 

 

 

 Jan Johnson is Publisher Emeritus at Red Wheel Weiser & Conari Press acquiring select books for each imprint. Before launching Red Wheel/Weiser, Johnson worked at Tuttle Publishing, HarperOne (when it was known as HarperSanFrancisco), Winston/Seabury Press and as an independent book doctor, rewrite editor and editorial consultant for corporate and independent publishers. Johnson has worked on many bestsellers including Codependent No More, Random Act of Kindness, Oprah pick The Book of Awakening, and Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way.

 

Brenda Knight began her career at HarperCollins, working with luminaries Paolo Coelho, Marianne Williamson and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Knight was awarded IndieFab’s Publisher of the Year in 2014 at the ALA, American Library Association. Knight is the author of Wild Women and Books, The Grateful Table, Be a Good in the World, and Women of the Beat Generation, which won an American Book Award. Knight is Editorial Director at Mango Publishing and acquires for all genres in fiction and nonfiction as well as children and photography books. She also serves as President of the Women’s’ National Book Association, San Francisco Chapter and is an instructor at the annual San Francisco Writers Conference.

 

 

Michael Larsen Michael Larsen co-founded Larsen-Pomada Literary Agents in 1972. Over four decades, the agency sold hundreds of books to more than 100 publishers and imprints. The agency has stopped accepting new writers, but Mike loves helping all writers. He gives talks about writing and publishing, and does author coaching. He wrote How to Write a Book Proposal and How to Get a Literary Agent, and coauthored Guerrilla Marketing for Writers. Mike is co-director of the San Francisco Writers Conference and the San Francisco Writing for Change Conference. An update is at larsenauthorcoaching.com/

 

 

 Anne Marie O’Farrell [Remote via Zoom] has been a literary agent for the past 29 years. She has been invested in growing and shaping the careers of the many talented and creative people with whom she has worked. She has accomplished this through her business as a literary agent and in her capacity as co-creator and owner of two other highly successful companies: a theatrical production company and a continuing education school in New York City. In 2008 she partnered with Denise Marcil to form Marcil-O’Farrell Literary, LLC. Anne Marie specializes in the nonfiction areas of human potential, personal growth, health and fitness, business, spirituality, sports, cooking, travel, gift, and quirky books. She is interested in representing books that convey and promote innovative, practical and cutting-edge information that will help people increase their self-understanding, maximize their careers, health and relationships, and expand their creativity and fulfillment.  Anne Marie sees the books she represents as a reflection of her personal values and taste.  Anne Marie proudly represents the world-renowned, best-selling Seth books including Seth Speaks and The Nature of Personal Reality by Jane Roberts. These books have sold more than eight million copies and have been translated into over fifteen languages.

 

Andy Ross Andy Ross opened his literary agency in January 2008. Prior to that, he was the owner for 30 years of the legendary  Cody’s Books in Berkeley. The agency represents books in a  wide range of subjects including: narrative non-fiction, science, journalism, history, religion,  children’s books, young adult,  middle grade, literary and commercial  fiction, and cooking. However, he is eager to represent projects in most genres as long as the subject or its treatment is smart, original, and will  appeal to a wide readership. In non-fiction he looks for writing with a strong voice and robust narrative arc by authors with the authority to write about their subject. For literary, commercial, and children’s fiction, he has only one requirement– simple, but ineffable–that the writing reveal the terrain of that vast  and unexplored country, the human heart. (AAR).  www.andyrossagency.com,  www.andyrossagency.wordpress.com  

Jennifer March Soloway is an Associate Agent with the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, an agency that specializes in children’s literature. She enjoys all genres and categories of children’s literature, such as laugh-out-loud picture books and middle-grade adventures, but her sweet spot is young adult. Although she mostly represents children’s literature, she is also open to adult fiction. Jennifer adores action-packed thrillers and mysteries or conspiracy plots. But her favorite novels are literary stories about ordinary people, especially those focused on family, relationships, sexuality, mental illness, or addiction. Prior to joining ABLA, Jennifer worked in marketing and public relations. With an MFA in English and Creative Writing from Mills College, she was a fellow at the San Francisco Writer’s Grotto in 2012. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, their two sons, and an English bulldog. http://www.andreabrownlit.com/

 

Lara Starr has made her mark in publishing starting at Collins, Conari Press and Chronicle Books. A bestselling author of several books, she is also a producer to KGO Radio. Starr is a creative professional with expertise in public relations, marketing, media production, and special events.

 

 

Roger S. Williams [Remote via Zoom], founder of The Roger Williams Agency, a Division of New England Publishing Associates, Inc., has worked in publishing for over thirty years as a bookseller and sales director at Bantam Doubleday Dell, and Simon and Schuster. His background has spanned a broad range of successful positions from many publishing industry perspectives. He has been involved in sales, marketing, merchandising, editorial, and product development. He has run, and owned successful bookstores (both corporate and independent),  he has sold to traditional and special sales accounts, national retail, wholesale, mass market, and independent channels. Roger handles both fiction and fiction including narrative nonfiction and memoir. 

 

 

Featured Member Interview – Judy Bebelaar

Interview by Susan Allison

WNBA Featured author, Judy Bebelaar, has been writing for seventy-two years. Yes, that’s right, seventy-two years! She remembers writing her first story in first grade and then a poetry collection in third grade. Judy loved her teachers so much that she decided to become one. She taught in San Francisco public high schools for 37 years, especially loving smaller classes and encouraging her students to publish their creative writing.

Judy invited many poets from California Poets in the Schools into her classrooms, and she wrote with her students when she could. She believes she is the only classroom teacher to be named an honorary CPITS Poet Teacher. For twenty years Judy produced a multicultural literary arts calendar with her students, as a way of helping them publish their work in a way that people would read. She always published their poems in the school arts magazine, which was enjoyed by students, teachers and parents.

On a national level, Judy has received recognition for her success in helping students find joy in writing. Her students won many awards, including eight from Scholastic Magazine on the national level. Judy was honored on the national level as well, by State Farm, the Good Neighbor Teacher Award in 1996 (one of 8 nationally); by Business-Week/McGraw Hill in 1994, for innovative practices in teaching; and by Scholastic, The Whitehouse Women’s Leadership in Teaching, in 2002. For ten years she has been co-host of a reading series, Writing Teachers Write sponsored by the Bay Area Writing Project at UC Berkeley, which partners writers from the Writing Project with those from the Bay Area Writing Community and beyond.

In terms of publication, Judy’s poetry has been published widely in magazines and online, and has won many awards, most recently a first prize, two thirds, and the Grand Prize in the Ina Coolbrith Circle Poetry Contest. Her work is also included in many anthologies, among them The Widows’ Handbook (foreword by Ruth Bader Ginsberg) and River of Earth and Sky. Walking Across the Pacific is her first poetry chapbook. Judy’s poetry evokes myriad feelings in its beautiful simplicity:

The Moon and the Room and the Windowsill

that September night as we lay sleepless,
the moon spilled into the room,
soaking the rumpled clothes on the floor

so that hard words spoken
melted as we did, into one another

and the moon and the room
and the windowsill
and us there, still breathing

Her highly regarded non-fiction work, And Then They Were Gone: Teenagers of Peoples Temple from High School to Jonestown, is about the students from Peoples Temple that Judy and co-author Ron Cabral came to know before most were sent to Jonestown. Of the 918 Americans who died in the shocking murder-suicides of November 18, 1978, in the tiny South American country of Guyana, a third were under eighteen. More than half were in their twenties or younger.

And Then They Were Gone begins in San Francisco at the small school where Reverend Jim Jones enrolled the teens of his Peoples Temple church in 1976. Within a year, most had been sent to join Jones and other congregants in what Jones promised was a tropical paradise based on egalitarian values, but which turned out to be a deadly prison camp. Set against the turbulent backdrop of the late 1970s, And Then They Were Gone draws from interviews, books, and articles. Many of these powerful stories are told here for the first time. In recognition of their work, co-authors, Ron and Judy, were recently honored as Library Laureates of 2019 by the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

Now that Judy is retired, she misses teaching and her students at times, yet remembers that she was often too busy to write. Now she can focus on her own work, and also has suggestions for other women writers, “In terms of publishing poetry, I’ve found submitting to anthologies is a great idea, and connects you with writers (and readers) who care about what you care about. Poetry readings can bring lots of people, too.” For every genre, Judy suggests joining a group, “Fellow writers in the many writing and response groups I’ve been in – or hosted myself – gave me good feedback and encouragement.”

And finally, Judy offers her truly sage advice: “I think for all writers I’d say: Don’t give up if it’s something you care about passionately. Think about your reasons for writing a piece or a book. Many times during the twelve years Ron and I worked on And Then They Were Gone, I thought it would never be published. But because I wanted to honor those young people who died, and those that had the courage to go on living in spite of great tragedy, I kept on.”

Judy has kept on the writer’s path as well. She is currently sending out a poetry manuscript and doing readings and talks with book groups for And Then They Were Gone. She will be moderating a panel, “Turning Tragedy into Hope: Teaching Transformation Through Writing,” at the 2019 AWP Conference in Portland, Oregon, Friday, March 29 at 10:30. The panelists include three other writers and survivors of Jonestown: Deborah Layton, John Cobb and Jordan Vilchez, as well as renowned educator and writer Herb Kohl.

Find out more about Judy Bebelaar at:
www.judybebelaar.com

Tips for World Building Your Memoir

Tips for World Building Your Memoir

by Nita Sweeney

It might seem odd to see “world building” and “memoir” side-by-side. Many writers think of world building as a tool used only in science fiction and fantasy. The red scarves in The Night Circus or light sabers in Star Wars come to mind. But a compelling story, regardless of genre, should be set in a specific world, a world the writer must build.

Like the novelist, a memoir writer can shape and mold the world the reader experiences. The main difference between world building in memoir and fiction is that the memoirist builds the world from known things, details chosen from the memoirist’s life. Memoirists are limited by reality, but the options are still plentiful. The memoirist carves from reality what the reader sees, feels, hears, tastes, and smells using what already exists.

In nonfiction, world building is sometimes referred to as creating a sense of place. But thinking of it as world building reminds the writer that the process is a series of choices, the same decisions novelists make. A fictional world might include magic, space ships, or time travel, but even in those worlds, the writer chooses which elements to emphasize. No matter how far in love a writer falls with the world she creates, she can’t include every detail.

How shall the writer choose?

Phases of World Building in Memoir:

In Bird by Bird, Anne LaMott referred to an unnamed friend when she explained her process:

“Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere. Start by getting something — anything — down on paper. A friend of mine says that the first draft is the down draft — you just get it down. The second draft is the up draft — you fix it up. You try to say what you have to say more accurately. And the third draft is the dental draft, where you check every tooth, to see if it’s loose or cramped or decayed, or even, God help us, healthy.”

World building follows the same phases.

The Down Draft:

Some writers outline and plan before attempting a first draft. As a “pantser,” someone who writes by the seat of her pants, outlining and planning equals stalling. I head right to the page.

Like LaMott, my first draft is the “down draft.” Using “writing practice,” a term coined by best-selling author Natalie Goldberg, I set a timer and “go” for a specific amount of time. The world that appears in early drafts arises from what Goldberg might call “first thoughts,” the initial detail I remember as I tell the story to myself. I don’t worry about setting the scene. I just get the story on paper. If I get caught up in describing the pattern of bark on the sycamore, the reader may never find out whether I finished that twenty-mile run. It’s more important to finish the initial draft.

As I write, I make notes in the text. I use two “at symbol” marks (@@) to note places where I have forgotten something or if the backdrop feels shallow. Later, I can search for “@@” and fill in the detail. I repeat the timed writing until I have a full first draft.

I trust this organic “down draft” process for three reasons. First, there’s science behind it. A brain structure called the reticular activating system (R.A.S.), filters out the details I don’t need and focuses on the ones that have meaning. The R.A.S. is at work when you buy a new car. You choose the power blue Pinto because it’s special and different. Then, when you pull out of the lot, you see powder blue Pintos on every street. Did they appear out of nowhere? Of course not. Your RAS had filtered them out. Not intentionally. You just didn’t need to see them yet. Our minds cannot handle the number of sensory stimuli we actually receive. When you are creating the world for your memoir, your R.A.S. is also at work. Start with what you automatically notice and easily remember. The result often surprises me. I didn’t know what I remembered until I wrote it down.

The second reason to trust this seemingly random process is because it taps into each writer’s unique take on the world. The lens through which she sees the story is what makes the book special. That writer’s filter will separate her book from the flood of similar works in the market. Head to the memoir section of your local bookstore. Scan the titles. How many books trace the author surviving childhood? The fact that Mary Karr wrote about harrowing family circumstance in The Liar’s Club didn’t stop ‎Jeannette Walls from penning The Glass Castle. While these two memoirs contain similar themes, each book describes a vastly different world, the world each author lived. These sensory images are ripe fruit just waiting for the writer to pluck them off the branches.

The third and most important reason to do a “down draft” is that you can’t edit a blank page. Before I discovered this process, my perfectionistic, anxious mind made writing nearly impossible.

The Up Draft

In the revision phase, I start by searching for the “@@s” and filling in what I thought was missing. Next, I read the entire work with an eye solely for building my world. I ask questions: Where am I? Who am I with? What am I eating, wearing, talking about, thinking about? Was I aware of any tastes, smells, sounds, or feelings? What matters to me? I also think about what else was going on in the world. This could be as complex as the international political scene or as simple as a neighbor child’s bake sale. I ask what is happening outside my world. If I don’t know the name of something, this is the time to look it up.

The following tools help bring memories to the surface:

  1. Eyes Closed: I put myself in the scene again and imagine walking or running or driving through.
  2. Eyes Open: Since I can’t remember everything, I open the laptop or head to the library and research. Again, I trust my gut. Skimming an article about the Olentangy River might remind me of a day the water was so high we couldn’t cross the trail.
  3. Go: If I can, I visit the place. When I was writing a memoir about the last year my father was alive, I couldn’t remember details about a raptor sanctuary I visited. Research gave me an excuse to make the pleasant drive to Yellow Springs where it is located.
  4. Perk Time: I let it percolate. I take the dog for a walk, go for a run, or go to a movie with my husband. If I can distract myself enough to let go of the scene, the best image will often pop into my head.

Using this new information, I weave and polish and add and subtract to transport the reader into my world.

The Dental Draft

Now it’s time to make sure the world serves the story. No matter how lovely, if my “darling” images do not convey meaning, show character, or move the plot forward, they must die. The world I’ve created must put the reader exactly where I want the reader to be.

For example, in one scene in an early draft of my running memoir, I wrote in great detail about the lush vegetation along the Olentangy Trail. I adore the trail, spend hours there, and practically breathe in the green. After many revisions, I mention only the poison ivy. Eighteen miles into a twenty-two-mile run, I could only see the scarlet leaves. When I pointed those out to my running partner, she reminded me not to touch them. I’d forgotten about the rash and itching that would result if I did. Narrowing the focus in this way shows the reader how fuzzy my mind gets on a long run. This choice creates the world I want the reader to experience.

We each have our own writing process and world building is no different. I’ve given you a glimpse of mine. It might sound inefficient, but I afford myself a lot of breathing room to do it the way that works for me. I hope you’ll allow yourself the same space to discover the best method for you.


About Nita Sweeney

Nita Sweeney’s articles and essays have appeared in magazines, journals, and books including Buddhist America, Dog World, Dog Fancy, Writer’s Journal, Country Living, Pitkin Review and in several newspapers and newsletters. She writes the blog, BumGlue and publishes a monthly e-newsletter, Write Now Newsletter, which features a short essay, a schedule of the classes she teaches, and a list of central Ohio writing events. Her forth-coming memoir, Depression Hates a Moving Target: How Running with My Dog Brought Me Back from the Brink, was short-listed for the 2018 William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition Award. She was recently interviewed for the radio show and podcast Word Carver. When she’s not writing, Nita is running and racing. She has run three full marathons, twenty-six half marathons (in eighteen states), and more than sixty shorter races. Nita lives in central Ohio with her husband and biggest fan, Ed, and her future running partner, the yellow Labrador puppy, Scarlet (aka #ninetyninepercentgooddog).

Pitch a Publisher! Insider Secrets to Getting a Book Deal

 

Pitch a Publisher! Insider Secrets to Getting a Book Deal

Friday, April 5, 2019
12:00pm to 2:00pm

Location:

 

 

57 Post Street San Francisco, CA 94104
4th Floor Meeting Room

Admission: Mechanics Institute Members $35 Public $45

Brenda KnightFrom the outside, book publishing can seem mysterious, but from the inside it is really quite simple.

Publishing veteran Brenda Knight will teach you how to sell yourself and your book idea, who you are really selling, the importance of “comp titles,” how to craft the perfect proposal, and trend tracking.

In her own words, “I have acquired over one thousand books in my career, including a few New York Times bestsellers. One of the great joys in my life is helping authors get their work into print and published successfully.” Brenda Knight currently acquires both fiction and nonfiction and will listen to your pitches in the second half of the session. Bring your best ideas!

 

What you’ll learn from this session:

  • How publishers think
  • Who the decision makers are at any publishing house (prepare to be surprised)
  • Platform-building tips and marketing strategies that will work for you<
  • The art of the book “hook;” the one line that might sell your book
  • How to ask the right questions and the one question every editor is waiting to hear

Brenda Knight began her career at HarperCollins, working with luminaries including Paolo Coehlo, Marianne Williamson, Mark Nepo and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Knight was awarded IndieFab’s Publisher of the Year in at the American Library Association in 2014. She is the author of Wild Women and Books, Be a Good in the World, and Women of the Beat Generation, which won an American Book Award.

Knight is Editorial Director at Mango Publishing and also serves as President of the Women’s’ National Book Association, San Francisco Chapter.

 

register-now

Pitch-O-Rama 2019 presents a Master Class in Book Marketing

*** SOLD OUT! ***

Pitch-O-Rama

One of the most exciting features of this year’s Pitch-O-Rama is a post-pitch session with a panel of promotional and marketing experts who are there to give you highly effective bookselling tips and tools. Everyone who signs up will receive a proprietary marketing guide in advance filled with the most up-to-date secrets to social media, booking print and radio, including NPR, and the art (and science) of selling your book.

 At the post-pitch session, “Twitter Queen” Cathy Turney will guide you on how to grow your following and tweet your way to the top! Brenda Knight will share insider secrets from big-house publishing to create preorders for your book, how to master metadata and much more. Returning to Pitch-o-Rama by popular demand are top publicist Eileen Duhne and Jim Azevedo, who is marketing director for Smashwords, the world’s largest distributor of ebooks. New to Pitch-O-Rama this year is Cristina Deptula, a former science and technology reporter and also the publisher of Synchronized Chaos Magazine.

This panel alone is worth the oh-so-reasonable ticket cost. 

Building your platform and book promotion can sound daunting, even overwhelming. How can you do that and still have time for the creativity or writing? Turns out, marketing is a creative art as well. From achievable marketing plans, promo ideas that fit your book, and tips for ruling social media, this panel of experts will provide highly effective tools for marketing your writing, your book, and yourself.

More about the panel:

 Jim Azevedo is the marketing director at Smashwords, the largest distributor of self-published ebooks, serving over 130,000 independent authors, publishers, and literary agents.

 

 

 Eileen Duhné is a publicist and publishing consultant who has worked with everyone from New York Times bestselling authors to self-published books by first time authors. She knows what publicity actually sells books. Eileen has worked in or with the media since she began her career as a radio announcer in the SF Bay Area. The former Director of Publicity and Marketing at a book distributor in Northern CA, for 25 years she has worked on books from Quincy Jones, the creator of Aveda, the founder of The Shift Network, the SF Giants, award-wining photographers, and #1 New York Times bestselling author Mark Nepo, one of Oprah’s favorite writers, as well as dozens of books and projects by individual authors and indie publishers in both traditional and new publishing platforms. She specializes in mind/body/spirit, new sciences, and non-fiction titles. 

 

 Cathy Turney is the author of Get 10,000+ Twitter Followers—Easily, Quickly, Ethically. A self-described right-brain creative, technophobic Luddite, she sweated bullets to just make Twitter work and shares her simple method to build platform and amass thousands of followers in only five to ten minutes a day. Her first book, entitled Laugh Your Way to Real Estate Sales Success, won the 2015 American Business Award’s Best Business Book of the Year Award. Cathy is an award-winning humor journalist and has served on the boards of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter. 

 

Cristina Deptula is a former science and technology reporter and also the publisher of Synchronized Chaos Magazine, which showcases art and writing from around the world. Literary publicity is a way for her to serve others while satisfying her implacable curiosity! Authors, Large and Small helps authors to find their audience where the people already gather and reach them how they already communicate. We develop individualized outreach plans for each author’s project and continue working until we land mutually agreed-on results. As a large, national team we welcome all genres of writing and work with both traditionally published and self-published authors over traditional and social media. 
 

Brenda Knight Brenda Knight worked at HarperCollins in the sales and marketing division and brings both the tried and true tactics as well as the latest secrets for success.Pitch-O-Rama 2018 participants will receive handouts including a comprehensive “Author’s Guide to Social Media” complete with a timeline for building preorders for your book so it launches as a bestseller!

 

Pitch-O-Rama 2019: Agents & Publishers

WNBA-SF Pitch-O-Rama: Meet the Agents & Editors, March 31, 2018

You will be sent a copy of this form. This will be your ticket to the event. Please print it and bring it with you. Thank you!
  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
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  • Price: $65.00 Quantity:
    Includes Continental Breakfast and early morning coaching on how to pitch, one-on-one pitch session, plus a panel discussion.
  • Price: $75.00 Quantity:
    Includes Continental Breakfast and early morning coaching on how to pitch, one-on-one pitch session, plus a panel discussion.
    Includes Continental Breakfast and early morning coaching on how to pitch, one-on-one pitch session, plus a panel discussion.
  • PAY ONLINE WITH CREDIT CARD OR PAYPAL as of March 26th.
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We're sorry, we're sold out!

* * *SOLD OUT! * * *

Women’s Building

Meet the Agents and Acquisition Editors!

Pitch-O-Rama 2019,
Saturday, March 23, 8:00 am – 12:30 pm.

These impressive publishing professionals bring years of experience, and will provide advice, direction, and next steps for your literary project! 

Whatever your genre, you’ll find an agent or editor to fit your project: from prestigious agencies that represent fiction of all genres, including YA and children’s books, to non-fiction and New Age titles. There are publishers that specialize in eBooks, in hybrid business models, and a non-profit publisher with a local focus. 

 

We're sorry, we're sold out!

 

Lisa Abelisa-abellera-200llera joined Kimberley Cameron and Associates in 2013 with a background in management, marketing, and finance. Lisa responds to well-crafted prose with strong hooks and high personal stakes, to idiosyncratic, sympathetic characters, to a tangible sense of place, to multicultural aspects and international settings, to page-turning twists, and to emotionally immersive fiction that explores the human condition, especially within family and close relationships. She is seeking to represent upmarket fiction, women’s fiction, historical fiction, mystery/suspense/thrillers (especially if it has a dose of science or the supernatural), science fiction, fantasy, most speculative fiction except for paranormal fantasy (no demons, angels, vampires, zombies, werewolves, etc.), romance if it’s an element or part of another genre, NA, YA and middle grade.

 

 

Emmerich Anklam is assistant to the publisher and an editor at Heyday, a Berkeley-based house that has been publishing award-winning books about California for forty-five years. He joined Heyday in 2015. For Heyday he is looking to acquire nonfiction for a general, national audience in the following subjects: history, social justice, nature, and California Indian studies (with a strong preference for Native authors). Recent Heyday titles include The California Field Atlas by Obi Kaufmann, Biddy Mason Speaks Up by Arisa White and Laura Atkins, Bird Songs Don’t Lie by Gordon Lee Johnson, and Foucault in California by Simeon Wade.

 

 Jim Azevedo is the marketing director at Smashwords, the largest distributor of self-published ebooks, serving over 130,000 independent authors, publishers, and literary agents. Since 2008, Smashwords has helped authors around the world release more than 470,000 titles and distribute their work globally to top ebook retailers, subscription services and public libraries. Prior to joining Smashwords in 2011, Jim built his career in marketing & PR for high-tech companies. Although Smashwords is a self-publishing platform, Jim loves helping authors sharpen their pitches and book descriptions. He credits his journalism education when it comes to guiding authors, and himself, to “get to the point” with messaging.

 

 

Peter Beren, Literary Agent and Publishing Consultant, is a member of AAR. Formerly publisher at Insight Editions, Sierra Club Books and VIA Books, he has also been an acquisitions editor for Jeremy Tarcher. He specializes in nonfiction in the categories of self-help, pop culture, body, mind, spirit, how-to, illustrated books (art or photography) and narrative nonfiction. His best-known clients include: photographers Art Wolfe (Earth is my Witness) and Frans Lanting (Into Africa), graphic novelist Jack Katz (The First Kingdom), Chakra expert Anodea Judith (Eastern Body, Western Mind), and Taoist Laurence Boldt (Zen and the Art of Making a Living). He is also the author of seven books, including The Writers Legal Companion, California the Beautiful and The Golden Gate. He has nearly 50 years experience in the publishing industry as a Publisher, Marketing Director, Author and Agent. www.Peterberen.com

 

Michael Carr is a literary agent with a background in editing and writing, working from a home base in San Francisco. He represents writers in a variety of genres, with a special emphasis on historical fiction, women’s fiction, mystery and suspense, and science fiction and fantasy. Michael works carefully with clients to produce the cleanest, most professional manuscripts and enjoys teaching at workshops and conferences to help develop emerging writers. He speaks Spanish and conversational French and before joining Veritas had professions as diverse as programming simulators for nuclear submarines and owning an inn in Vermont.

 

 

Associate Agent Karly Caserza was born in the Philippines and immigrated to Northern California as a child. She obtained her Business Marketing degree and has been a Freelance Graphic Designer for over 10 years. In addition to designing a wide range of print and web promotional material for clients, Karly creates book covers for Short Fuse and promotional graphics for Fuse authors. Professionally, Karly began her career in the publishing industry as a reader for Tricia Skinner at Fuse Literary. Her responsibilities quickly grew and she was promoted to Literary Assistant, a role that also included a spot on the production team of Short Fuse. Karly is also the Marketing Coordinator of the San Francisco Writers Conference. In her spare time, Karly is an Adobe Technical Trainer, freelance graphic designer, Young Adult author, video game geek, and art noob. Karly has a deep love for characters with a strong voice and seeks out stories she can get lost in. Diversity in genre fiction is a major bonus. She specializes in middle grade and young adult genre fiction (fantasy, science fiction, and contemporary).

Cristina Deptula is a former science and technology reporter and also the publisher of Synchronized Chaos Magazine, which showcases art and writing from around the world. Literary publicity is a way for her to serve others while satisfying her implacable curiosity! Authors, Large and Small helps authors to find their audience where the people already gather and reach them how they already communicate. We develop individualized outreach plans for each author’s project and continue working until we land mutually agreed-on results. As a large, national team we welcome all genres of writing and work with both traditionally published and self-published authors over traditional and social media. 
 
 

 Suzy Evans is a literary agent, attorney, and author who holds a Ph.D. in history from UC Berkeley. In the adult market, she’s looking for narrative nonfiction, history, science, big idea books on controversial social issues, riveting, elegantly-written memoir (recent favorites include Barbarian Days and When Breath Becomes Air), self-help, parenting (bonus points for humor!) and small quirky books that make her smile and think about the world in new and surprising ways. On the children’s front, she’s seeking MG nonfiction, YA fiction that tackles difficult issues in bold, daring ways, and graphic novels that bring history, literature, and fascinating historical figures (think Socrates! Machiavelli! Hamilton!) to life. She’d also love to find a thriller that has “MOVIE!” written all over it. As an author herself, her books include Machiavelli for Moms (Simon & Schuster) and Forgotten Crimes: the Holocaust and People with Disabilities. She’s also a ghostwriter for a #1 New York Times bestselling author with 25 million copies in print and her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Parade, Forbes and The London TimesSandra Dijkstra Literary Agency 

 

Nancy Fish

Nancy Fish: In her long career in publishing, Nancy Fish has worked in almost every iteration of the book business. Having been publicity and marketing director for major houses including  Farrar, Straus & Giroux, HarperCollins and Pereus as welll as small indies, freelance publicist and copywriter, and bookseller at legendary shops on both coasts, Nancy now manages the Path to Publishing Program, and all the writers programs, at Marin County’s three-store treasure trove, Book Passage. Ask her about them. 

 

 

Tory Hartmann is the force behind Sand Hill Review Press, an award-winning small publisher. SHRP is currently looking for mystery, historical fiction and literary fiction with religious themes. www.SHRPress.com

Sand Hill Review Press is an off-shoot of The Sand Hill Review, a literary magazine published in Palo Alto, California for the last 16 years. They are royalty publishers who give authors much leeway in the creative process, cover design and content.

 

 

Brenda Knight began her career at HarperCollins, working with luminaries Paolo Coelho, Marianne Williamson and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Knight was awarded IndieFab’s Publisher of the Year in 2014 at the ALA, American Library Association. Knight is the author of Wild Women and Books, The Grateful Table, Be a Good in the World, and Women of the Beat Generation, which won an American Book Award. Knight is Editorial Director at Mango Publishing and acquires for all genres in fiction and nonfiction as well as children and photography books. She also serves as President of the Women’s’ National Book Association, San Francisco Chapter and is an instructor at the annual San Francisco Writers Conference.

 

 

Georgia Kolias is an Associate Acquisitions Editor with New Harbinger Publications, the foremost publisher in proven-effective psychology and personal growth books for adults and teens. Before joining New Harbinger, she worked in nearly every other aspect of the book world, including: literary management, publicity, book selling, the public library system, and teaching creative writing. She is actively acquiring books in the areas of psychology, self-help, spirituality, and social justice. She is always interested in work from authors who are emerging leaders in their fields and actively engaged with their potential readers. She welcomes proposals from LGBTQ+ queer, POC, and all other underrepresented voices interested in making positive change. Georgia holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Advocate, Role Reboot, The Manifest-Station, and various anthologies.

 

Michael Larsen Michael Larsen co-founded Larsen-Pomada Literary Agents in 1972. Over four decades, the agency sold hundreds of books to more than 100 publishers and imprints. The agency has stopped accepting new writers, but Mike loves helping all writers. He gives talks about writing and publishing, and does author coaching. He wrote How to Write a Book Proposal and How to Get a Literary Agent, and coauthored Guerrilla Marketing for Writers. Mike is co-director of the San Francisco Writers Conference and the San Francisco Writing for Change Conference. An update is at larsenauthorcoaching.com/

 

 

 Dorian Maffei began https://larsenauthorcoaching.com/at Kimberley Cameron & Associates as an intern in 2013. She has since become a junior agent and is now actively building a client list of her own. She is interested in magical realism, fabulism, reimagined fairy tales, speculative fiction, literary science fiction, upmarket women’s fiction, unique voices, and innovative storytelling. She values work that provokes a deep-rooted connection after the last page and explores the peculiar within the mundane.

 

Andy Ross Andy Ross opened his literary agency in January 2008. Prior to that, he was the owner for 30 years of the legendary  Cody’s Books in Berkeley. The agency represents books in a  wide range of subjects including: narrative non-fiction, science, journalism, history, religion,  children’s books, young adult,  middle grade, literary and commercial  fiction, and cooking. However, he is eager to represent projects in most genres as long as the subject or its treatment is smart, original, and will  appeal to a wide readership. In non-fiction he looks for writing with a strong voice and robust narrative arc by authors with the authority to write about their subject. For literary, commercial, and children’s fiction, he has only one requirement– simple, but ineffable–that the writing reveal the terrain of that vast  and unexplored country, the human heart. (AAR).  www.andyrossagency.com,  www.andyrossagency.wordpress.com  

 

JenniferSoloway Jennifer March Soloway is an Associate Agent with the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, an agency that specializes in children’s literature. She enjoys all genres and categories of children’s literature, such as laugh-out-loud picture books and middle-grade adventures, but her sweet spot is young adult. Although she mostly represents children’s literature, she is also open to adult fiction. Jennifer adores action-packed thrillers and mysteries or conspiracy plots. But her favorite novels are literary stories about ordinary people, especially those focused on family, relationships, sexuality, mental illness, or addiction. Prior to joining ABLA, Jennifer worked in marketing and public relations. With an MFA in English and Creative Writing from Mills College, she was a fellow at the San Francisco Writer’s Grotto in 2012. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, their two sons, and an English bulldog. http://www.andreabrownlit.com/

Featured Member Interview – Kathleen Archambeau

Interview by Susan Allison

WNBA featured author, award winning and successful writer, Kathleen Archambeau, has a storyteller’s ear, and has loved to listen and record the stories she’s heard since childhood: “I grew up in an extended Irish Catholic family in San Francisco, which gave me a head start on my love of words and stories. I distinctly remember visualizing myself when I was twelve, writing at a round oak table with a flood of light on a blue vase of flowers. Until college, I mostly listened. Everyone had a story to tell, like my grandmother, who was out dancing until 5:12 a.m. when the 1906 Earthquake hit, to my mother who played Judas Iscariot as a sympathetic character to a standing ovation.”

Kathleen not only loved hearing family stories, but found herself fascinated by the tales of co-workers at Hewlett-Packard where she was Employee Editor. “On many cross-country business trips, I began writing my first book, Climbing the Corporate Ladder in High Heels, published in 2006. I had the good fortune of securing endorsements from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Chair of BareEscentuals, Leslie Blodgett. My publisher, Career Press, hired a Boston agency and garnered coverage in Fortune magazine, more than 15 NPR radio stations, Dallas Morning News and more. The book sold well for a first-time nonfiction author whose name was not Michelle Obama.”

A year later, Kathleen was asked to contribute to the collection, The Other Woman, edited by Victoria Zackheim. Her essay, “Seized,” ran alongside Pulitzer Prize winner Jane Smiley and other famous writers, leading Publishers Weekly to comment, “The main attraction…is the top-drawer writers….”

Despite not having time to write the great American novel due to a demanding day job, (writing audio, video and Web content, marketing and advertising copy, writing executive speeches and traveling extensively), Kathleen enjoyed a creative and far-ranging career in the written word. This helped her when she could finally put down the corporate scepter and pick up the pen full-time. She was used to deadline pressures and editorial constraints, so being a full-time published writer felt normal to her. During her corporate career, she fed her love of words by studying poetry with Adrienne Rich, Elizabeth Woody and Derek Walcott. “In various workshops, conferences and classes, I honed my craft. And always, I read and read and read.”
In 2016, at a WNBA pitch event, Kathleen met Brenda Knight who asked to publish a collection of profiles she was writing. In 2017, Mango published her book, Pride & Joy: LGBTQ Artists, Icons and Everyday Heroes. This book benefited from a Foreword by Dustin Lance Black, Academy Award-winning screenwriter of Milk. This compilation tells stories of success, happiness and hope from the LGBTQ community, stories that comprise the best of LGBTQ history ─ stories of queer citizens of the world living life OUT LOUD. The press release states: “Not like the depressing, sinister, shadowy stories of the past, this book highlights queer people living open, happy, fulfilling and successful lives.”

Eric Rosswood, one of the gay parents in her book Pride and Joy, asked Kathleen to collaborate on a new YA book called, We Make It Better: The LGBTQ Community and Their Positive Contributions to Society. It continues the important work of Pride and Joy, illustrating that LGBTQ people have always played important roles in society. They have served their country, served in office, pushed forward human rights and have impacted all fields of study, sport, art and industry. We Make It Better offers biographies of some of the more famous thinkers and changers in history from Alan Turing, Bayard Rustin, Leonard Bernstein and Dr. Sally Ride, to present day innovators and world changers like Ellen DeGeneres, Tim Cook, Beth Ford, The Wachowski sisters, Ricky Martin and more.

Kathleen not only collaborated with Eric Rosswood on We Make It Better, but received his valuable coaching: “From this Millennial/GenX author, I learned the power of social media and have begun using it to bolster pre-sales of the book. We Make It Better has been an Amazon #1 New Release in five categories and comes out Jan. 15th 2019. “For all my in-person readings, book tours, college presentations, LGBTQ center appearances and collaborations, ten minutes on Facebook and Twitter encouraging a birthday pre-order of our new book garnered more sales than months of time-consuming and expensive appearances. Verified Amazon purchases and reviews drive even more sales. Great lessons for selling books in the digital age.”

And what might Kathleen be working on currently? “Now, I am finally, as I near my seventh decade, working on a rewrite of the Great American Novel, Liberty Street, a story of love and transformation with a queer theme. Since I still so value the written word, I’ve enlisted the support of an amazing writing coach, accomplished novelist and professor, Carolina De Robertis.” As always, Kathleen has her eye on the details that make her writing a success: organization, hard work and collaboration.
Finally, Kathleen has this solid advice for every woman writer: “Write as if no one is watching, write because you love to write, write your own story in your own voice. Then, the joy is yours no matter what the sales figures say or who publishes your work.”

You can best contact Kathleen on her Website:
www.kathleenarchambeau.com
Her Twitter account is: twitter.com/KATHLEENARCHAM2

with the hashtag: #WeMakeItBetter

Sell Your Book at Pitch-O-Rama 2019!

SOLD OUT!

Check out this post if you still want to pitch!

Here’s what people are saying about the last Pitch-O-Rama:

“You never know what might happen when you pitch your writing project to an agent or editor at the Women’s National Book Association-San Francisco Chapter’s Pitch-O-Rama! The event’s format is well organized. I was fortunate to be able to hone and refine my presentation by attending a pre-pitch coaching session with an expert. The chance to get feedback on your writing project by Bay Area agents or acquisition editors in such a supportive environment is not to be missed. I left the event with a contract offer from an agent as well as positive feedback from all the editors I spoke to. Many thanks for the hard work and efforts that the San Francisco Chapter members bring to this event for all who attend.”

Scene from Pitch-O-Rama 2015 “Such a great event–never thought I could get so much out of a single morning. This was my first time ever speaking to an agent, and the mentoring session at the beginning of the day helped take away the ‘OMG I don’t know what I’m doing’ state of mind. Pre-pitch coaching was amazing—it really helped me feel far more confident—I am an experienced public speaker, but that counts for fairly little if you don’t know what the expectations are. The coaching helped us understand how to word our pitches so we could communicate what the agents wanted to know clearly and effectively. I was able to talk to 4 agents—and three of them asked for queries.

“This was my first pitching experience and I’m SO glad I participated. The pitch prep session was excellent. My coach was high energy, motivating, and offered great feedback on the pitches offered by members of my group.  It helped me refocus and tighten my pitch. I spoke with five pitch-takers. Two invited me to send a synopsis and opening chapters, which was very encouraging.

“It was great getting coaching from the WNBA and meeting with agents, getting their feedback — especially at a reasonable price! I got a lot of great insights about my genre and how to sell it.”

Scene from Pitch-O-Rama 2015 “The simultaneous exposure to a variety of agents and pitching coaches was very useful, it was helpful to have so many points of view accessible in one room. It was great that the pitching coaches continued to circulate during the event.

“The chance to speak intimately with agents, publishers, and editors in an intimate setting. I also enjoyed meeting other writers.”

“I really liked the pre-pitch session. Hearing other people’s pitches helps me hone my own. Plus, people were so very helpful, even the agents/publishers who didn’t accept queries from my genre. Very supportive/non-competitive group! Thank you for putting it on!”

The pleasant atmosphere that provided an initial coaching session to get into the proper frame of mind, and then the possibility of speaking for 6 minutes with our agents of interest was valuable. This amount of time felt adequate for the agent to gain a proper perspective on the writer, and also for the writer to feel out the agent.”

Scene from Pitch-O-Rama 2015 “The professional feedback, on all levels about which of my ideas is viable, and what publishers expect and want. I appreciated how open the agents were to talking with me, even though my projects are not 100% completed.

“Being able to speak with real live agents, editors and publishers. They were all so kind and generous.”

“Facing one on one on how agents/others reacted to my pitch and its weaknesses. I gained so much. One intern tore my pitch apart (graciously) and within 30 seconds re-organized what had taken months/years to assemble. She was right. I was thrilled. I am so much closer to ‘the perfect pitch.’ Pre-coaching was excellent. All of it broke down useless preconceived notions.”

SOLD OUT!