WorldCon 2011 Report: Day Three – Pitching the Project

Lizzy Shannon, the moderator, had a very nice casual style that put people at ease. (Had I actually come prepared, I might have stood up and given a pitch.)

Focus on character, not plot in the hook of your pitch.

Check out thrillfest.com: "What if, so what?" (I couldn’t find this.)

Why should someone (particularly the agent!) care about the protagonist?

Physical presence: hand gestures, eye contact, pauses

Recommended length: 25 words

Possibly end with a question–or leave a question in the agent’s mind that will cause them to ask the next question

Keep the followup to about a paragraph, but watch the reactions

What is the conflict?

Don’t be a formula. Be yourself.

Use active words like "flung"

Check out agentquery.com for additional hints.

Don’t "cold call" an agent or editor by just walking up to them. Make sure they’re receptive to listening.

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