Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pitching My Book at Writers Digest Conference

George Davis tweeting at WDC12
I've taken a few days off here to attend the Writers Digest Conference in New York.

In addition to workshops and speakers addressing the craft and business of writing, there is a Pitch Slam, where hundreds of writers pitch their books to brave agents. I was one of the hundreds.

I spent most of the conference with friends (not all of whom I'd ever met in person before). A few of us had met there last year, our friendships deepening over the phone and internet. We practiced our pitches on each other, tweeted madly and bared our souls over calamari and frozen custard (not at the same time).

As I stood in lines 10-deep to wait for agents who'd braved what passes as a winter storm in New York City, I felt pretty focused. Just before I'd walked into the room, a video had popped up on my Facebook newsfeed: a video of my friend, Delle.

Seeing her and hearing her voice was initially jarring: it had been taped a year after her cancer surgery. My first reaction was "your hair looks awful". But the timing - just minutes before I pitched the book she inspired, while wearing one of her scarves - was nothing if not perfect.

It was as if she appeared at that moment to calm me and cheer me on. Our mutual friend, Kim, didn't know where I was when she posted it, but I thank her for doing so.
The closing speaker on Sunday said something that really resonated, not just with me, but everyone there:

"Someone out there has been waiting their entire life to read your book."

Will keep you posted on the progress of the book.


AJ Borowsky said...

Hi Victoria. I hope you had a great time at WDC12. It was certainly an experience. Pitchslam was awesome. I think nonfiction is the easiest to understand but the hardest to sell. Good Luck with everything I'll be following!

Friend Grief said...

Thanks for your kind words, AJ! Pitch Slam was a little better than last year, but there were fewer agents who wanted non-fiction. And a couple on my list cancelled that morning. But no complaints. How did you do?

kathleen pooler said...

What a pleasure,Viki, to share the WDC experience with you in person!I love your story of Delle showing up at just the right time, nudging you to believe in the power of your voice in telling the story only you can tell. Delle knows that a lot of people are waiting to read your book :-)

Friend Grief said...

Wasn't it fun to finally meet the people we only knew online? And yes, it was nice of Delle to have such good timing. ;)

Karl Sprague said...

Viki, I enjoyed your post and the insight on Delle's continuing influence on you. I was thrilled to have spent some time,some laughs, and some calamari with you.

Friend Grief said...

It was fun, wasn't it, Karl? I'm so grateful to have found a group of like-minded (except regarding musical theatre, perhaps) people I respect to help guide me through this new journey. All of you mean the world to me. Looking forward to more nights like last Saturday!