Pitch-O-Rama 2019


Saturday, March 23, 2019
8:00 am – 12:30 pm 

Women’s Building Auditorium,
in the heart of the Mission 

3543 18th Street 
(between Guerrero & Valencia)
San Francisco CA 94110 
Includes a continental breakfast and pre-pitch coaching.

$65 WNBA members,  $75 Non-members, Men Welcome!
Limited to the first 60 ticketed attendees.

Pitch-O-Rama delivers the 4 Ps that lead to publication.

POLISH. You’ve polished your manuscript. Now polish your pitch with our pre-pitch coaches

PITCH. We’ve assembled top agents and publishers for all genres

PROMOTE. Power up with social media 

PARTICIPATE in a Q&A Panel. Secrets to Successful Book Marketing




8 to 9 am: Continental Breakfast

8 to 9 am: Pre-Pitch Practice Sessions (3 coaches)

9 to 11:45: Pitch to Agents & Editors (2 one-hour sessions)

12 to 12:30 pm: Secrets to Successful Book Marketing for Writers

Pre-registration required, space limited to the first 60 ticketed attendees.

WNBA-SF Pitch-O-Rama: Meet the Agents & Editors, March 23, 2019

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!
  • Event includes Continental Breakfast and early morning coaching on how to pitch, one-on-one pitch session, plus a panel discussion. Select your method of payment below: Credit, Paypal, check
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The Pitch-O-Rama Experience

by Dr. Susan Allison

On March 31, 2018, I attended my first Pitch-O-Rama sponsored by the WNBA. I loved the event, from the warm greeting at the door, to the pre-pitch coaching, from the meetings with top agents and publishers to the marketing-panel finale.

POR 2018

I was able to practice my pitch with Amanda McTigue in front of about fifteen other writers and receive constructive feedback. Amanda stressed that it didn’t have to be perfect, that I just needed to be myself, connect with the agent or publisher and talk from my heart about my book project. Great advice.

Before we all lined up and gave our pitches, we heard from each agent and editor. I especially enjoyed Laurie McLean for her kind and inspiring words, telling us to relax, let go of our nervousness and just have fun having a conversation. Andy Ross was also inspiring, energetic and encouraging. These introductions helped me take a breath and go pitch!

I pitched my book, Silver Sex: Finding Love and Passion after Sixty, to Michel Larsen, who as Brenda Knight said, “knows everything!” He really does. I love how clear and direct he is, giving me advice from getting the best agent to starting now to market my brand: “Your brand is ‘silver sex’ nothing else!” One of his best lines, “Books are promotion-driven and you must do the driving.” He is right and I am doing the work now before publishing.

I also spoke with Brenda Knight, representing Mango Media, who gave me the brilliant idea of adding “action steps” for readers at the end of each chapter, making the book more prescriptive. Agent Kristen Moeller from Waterside listened carefully to each person, smiling and nodding encouragingly. She seemed genuinely interested in my book, and took the proposal and manuscript. Finally, I spoke with Georgia Hughes who was polite and straight forward, letting me know that the book probably wasn’t a match for New World Library, but I could send my proposal to her. I liked her honest, no nonsense approach.

The marketing panel at the end of the Pitch-O-Rama gave me so many take-aways, from how to use Twitter (presented by Cathy Turney), to understanding how and when to market a book (presented by Eileen Duhne, Jim Azevedo and Brenda Knight). I so appreciate the free offers of marketing materials, especially from Jim Azevedo and Brenda Knight. All the presenters were generous of their time and resources.

Overall, the Pitch-O-rama was not only helpful, but fun, with lots of laughter, networking, good food and relevant information. As a newbie, I felt at home and am pitching the WNBA to my friends and colleagues. Go women writers! WNBA, you rock!

About the Author

Dr. Susan Allison is a transpersonal psychologist, non-fiction writer and poet and the author of five books: Conscious Divorce, Breathing Room, Empowered Healer, Our Spirits Dance, and You Don’t Have to Die to Go to Heaven. She has just completed her sixth book, Silver Sex, Finding Love and Passion after Sixty. Dr. Allison shares her own life in her books, including how to divorce amicably, how to recover from grief and loss, how to connect with departed loved ones and spirit allies, how to heal and become empowered, and how to live passionately in the silver years. She enjoys a creative life in Santa Cruz, California, and can be contacted at www.drsusanallison.com.

Sell Your Book at Pitch-O-Rama 2017!

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.”

Don’t wait! Secure your spot today!


Pitch-O-Rama Preview


Meet the Agents and Editors for Pitch-O-Rama 2017! These impressive publishing professionals bring years of experience and will provide advice, direction, and next steps for your literary project!  More to come…!

lisa-abellera-200Lisa Abellera 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 seeks 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.

beccaandersonBecca Anderson is an acquiring editor for both fiction and nonfiction specializing in books by, for and about women. She is also a writer, gardener and teacher living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Originally from Ohio, Becca’s background in sustainability and landscaping inspired her to become a part of the seed-saving and seed-sharing community with chapters across the US and Canada. Becca Anderson credits her first grade teacher as a great inspiration and runs several popular classes and workshops including “How to Put Your Passion on Paper.” Anderson and is currently at work on a book about the healing power of gardening. https://mangopublishinggroup.com/

Peter BerenPeter BerenLiterary Agent and Publishing Consultant, is a member of the Association of Authors’ Representatives (AAR). He has more than thirty years experience in the publishing industry and has held such posts as Publisher, Sierra Club Books, Founding Publisher, VIA Books, V.P. for Publishing at the Palace Press Group and Acquiring Editor for Jeremy Tarcher. As a Literary Agent, he specializes in nonfiction with an emphasis on illustrated (art and photography) books. His clients include: Art Wolfe (The New Art of Nature Photography), Jack Katz (The First Kingdom) and Laurence Boldt (Zen and the Art of Making a Living). An author himself, he has published 7 books, including The Golden Gate: San Francisco’s Celebrated Bridge, The Writers Legal Companion and California the Beautiful. He started his career as one of the founding staff members of the Boston Phoenix, an alternative newsweekly.

LeeDouglassLee Douglass is the editorial director of Carnation Books, a Silicon Valley-based ebook publisher, founded in 2016. We work with fanfiction writers to bring queer genre fiction to a wide audience, and are also accepting original work submitted directly by independent authors–no agent required. Carnation Books is actively soliciting manuscripts containing LGBTQIA+ romance with a focus on genre fiction (romance, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, historical, horror, western, and beyond). Additionally, we are actively involved in charity work, and are currently accepting stories for a charity anthology to benefit Trans Lifeline, a suicide prevention hotline for transgender and gender non-conforming people. 

Nancy FishNancy Fish is the Marketing Director of Parallax Press, the premier publisher of books on mindfulness and daily life. Nancy Fish works with Rachel Neumann who is the primary editor for Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and the author of Not Quite Nirvana: A Skeptic’s Journey to Mindfulness (Parallax, 2012). Fish writes for various magazines, including Shambhala Sun, AlterNet, and others and specializes in acquiring adult nonfiction and children’s picture books. 

Georgia HughesGeorgia Hughes is editorial director at New World Library, publisher of the Joseph Campbell Library and The Power of Now. She acquires and edits nonfiction books in the areas of spirituality, sustainability, animals, business, women’s issues, and personal growth. Recent acquisitions include Spiritual Envy by Michael Krasny, Dreaming the Soul Back Home by Robert Moss, Dogs and the Women Who Love Them by Allen and Linda Anderson, Right-Brain Business Plan by Jennifer Lee, and The Practicing Mind by Thomas Sterner. 

Michael LarsenMichael Larsen cofounded 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 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 http://www.larsenpomada.com/.  

Rachel Neumann2Rachel Neumann, as a leader at Parallax Press (a non-profit publishing house founded and inspired by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh), Rachel Neumann publishes books on mindfulness in daily life and is committed to making these teachings accessible to readers of every persuasion, while preserving them for future generations. Her paradigm-changing approach makes her someone who respects the boundaries of establishment thinking, but at the end of the day, she’s essentially a rule breaker. She walks the talk when she says the mission is to ”alleviate suffering and contribute to a more just and joyful world.” 

Andy RossAndy 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.  

JenniferSolowayJennifer 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. 

jennifer chen tranJennifer Chen Tran is an Associate Agent at Fuse Literary acquiring both fiction (general, literary/upmarket, and genre) and non-fiction. Prior to joining Fuse Literary, Jennifer was principal and owner of Penumbra Literary LLC. She served as Of Counsel at The New Press and interned at Zachary Shuster Harmsworth literary agency. Jennifer obtained her Juris Doctor from Northeastern School of Law in Boston, MA, and a Bachelors of Arts in English Literature from Washington University. Jennifer believes in building fulfilling and life-long writing careers and is honored to work with her client-writers. 

Brooke WarnerBrooke Warner is founder and publisher of She Writes Press, president of Warner Coaching Inc., and author of What’s Your Book? and How to Sell Your Memoir. She Writes Press publishes fiction and memoir for women authors and readers. Brooke’s expertise is in traditional and new publishing, and she is an equal advocate for publishing with a traditional house and self-publishing. She sits on the board of the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) and the National Association of Memoir Writers (NAMW). Her website was selected by The Write Life as one of the Top 100 Best Websites for Writers in 2014. She lives and works in Berkeley, California. 

Carlie WebberCarlie Webber, founder of CK Webber Associates, refused to major in English in college because no one would let her read Stephen King or R.L. Stine for class. She took her love of YA and commercial fiction to the University of Pittsburgh, where she obtained a Master of Library and Information Science. For ten years, she worked as a public librarian serving teens and adults. Wishing to pursue her interest in the business side of books, she then enrolled in the Columbia Publishing Course and worked for various New York literary agencies. Her ongoing wishlist includes, but is not limited to, stories about sisters, psychological suspense, and things that go bump in the night. CK Webber Associates is a literary agency open to commercial fiction, YA and adult.

From Page to Screen: Turn Your Novel into a Film

In this special session, the professional screenplay-writing team Mackey-De Palma will teach you the basic information you need to know to turn your novel or short story into a film including how to protect your rights. Don’t miss this special session!

Renee De PalmaRenée de Palma, an award-winning screenwriter/director/producer and President of OneMotionPictures in Los Angeles, has numerous films to her credit. She is presently preparing to shoot a live action short entitled Time Piece.

MaryMackey8791LoResWEB(1)Mary Mackey, Bay Area novelist/screenwriter and member of the Writers Guild of America West, has feature film credits and has sold scripts to Warner Brothers. Mackey’s screen writing courses at Cal State Sacramento have produced writer/directors like Ryan Coogler whose film Creed won Sylvester Stallone an Oscar nomination.

Pre-Pitch Coaches

Betsy FasbinderBetsy Graziani Fasbinder MS, MFT, is an award-winning author, a licensed psychotherapist, and a communications trainer. She has coached the reluctant and the phobic in public speaking in Fortune 500 companies throughout the United States and abroad, helping even the most introverted to be comfortable, engaging, and inspiring to their listeners. She coaches presenters to conquer stage fears and connect to listeners. Her favorite clients are writers and artists. 

Amanda McTigueAmanda McTigue enrolled in the fourth class of women at Yale University in 1973, and she intended to become a professional singer and actress. But the story of her life offered a surprise ending. Although McTigue has served as a stage director throughout her career, her true calling turned out to be writing and storytelling, for both the stage and the page. Her first novel, Going to Solace, has become a book club favorite.