Blogger: Rachel Kent
Location: Books & Such main office; Santa Rosa, Calif.
I served on faculty at the ACFW conference last week, and I’m happy to report that it was a wonderful event with so many blessed moments. Today I’d like to reflect on my conference appointments. Most of them were wonderful, and it was a joy to meet with each person.
That being said, I do have two suggestions for all of you who might be pitching projects in the future:
1) Be comfortable with talking about what you’ve written. For those of you who write fiction, you should be able to rattle off a brief synopsis–beginning, middle, and end–covering all the important twists and turns in your story. If you can talk easily and with enthusiasm about a manuscript you’ve written, I’ll be much more likely to catch the vision. I can hear much more than an elevator pitch in a 15-minute meeting.
#2 is somewhat related:
2) Don’t just memorize your one-sheet and recite it. You’re handing that paper to me, so I’m able to read it on my own. I want to hear details from you because you, the writer, are sitting with me for 15 minutes. It’s exciting for me to get to meet with the creator of the work! I’d love to hear why you are passionate about the project, and that’s so much more than a brief paragraph. The personal meeting should be more for both of us than a query letter-type experience. You can email me a query without coming to a conference, and I can offer you immediate feedback on your idea if you share more with me than a short paragraph.
It’s a lot of fun to meet with you in person, and I look forward to serving on faculty at conferences in the future.
Do you get nervous before conference appointments? What kind of preparation do you do before your meetings?
What do you think is important to include in that 15-minute conversation?