Friend of the blog Linda C. McCabe is soliciting input on what people like to see at writer’s conferences, and this got me to thinking about the mainstay of writers conferences: the pitch session.
I’m sure many of you have sweat through one or more of these events, in which authors speak for a couple of minutes about their project as the agent tries to follow along.
Personally I find pitch sessions extremely challenging, and not just because I’m often listening to pitches for hours on end. Just about everything sounds good to me when someone is pitching it in person, but ultimately I don’t find them terribly insightful because, of course, everything depends on the writing. I always wonder if we’d be better off spending that time discussing questions the author might have about the publishing process and their work.
On the other hand, maybe it’s a valuable exercise for people to be forced to summarize their work in a compelling fashion, and maybe it helps to make that personal connection with an agent. Perhaps there are some benefits that I’m not seeing on my side of the table.
So what do you think about pitch sessions? Yes? No?