2022 Agents & Editors Conference
AGENT & EDITOR CONSULTATIONS
If I don’t want an agent or editor consultation, is there any point in attending the conference?
Absolutely! The point of the conference is to educate you on today’s publishing world, offer you guidance on honing your craft, and provide opportunites for you to connect with fellow writers. The consultation is completely optional and it is fine if you prefer not to do it. Remember, you can always email an agent afterward, reference the conference, and pitch your work.
What happens at the consultations?
Consultations are private, one-on-one meetings with visiting agents and editors–a great opportunity to discuss your book project and receive feedback from a professional. Consultations are held in a separate area of the hotel and are 10 minutes in length. All consultations will take place during the conference weekend.
How are consultations assigned?
Each agent and editor is scheduled for a limited number of appointments, which are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Everyone who registered before the April 5th cut-off is invited to submit a preference form that includes a ranking of your preferences of agent and editor for your consultation. Everyone who registers after the April 5th cut-off will be able to purchase a consultation for $50, which will be made available in May.
Every effort is made to assign you your first choice, but that’s not always possible. When a registrant’s first choice already has a full schedule, the next available choice is assigned. We appreciate your understanding and urge you to do your research and come up with several choices so that you have one or two back-ups you can be happy with.
If I purchase an additional consultation and then decide I don’t want to use it, can I receive a refund?
No, there are no refunds for purchased consultations (and no exceptions). When you purchase a consultation, you are guaranteed a one-on-one session with an agent or editor, but there are no guarantees regarding who that consultation will be with. If you are not comfortable purchasing a consultation without knowing who you’ll be meeting with, we suggest you do NOT purchase one and instead plan to approach and speak to agents and editors during the general sessions at the conference.
If I purchase an additional consultation and decide not to use it, can I transfer it to another conference attendee?
No, you cannot transfer your consultation session to another conference registrant (no exceptions). The only instance when a complimentary consultation can be transferred to another person would be if you are no longer able to attend the conference and you transfer your entire registration (plus that consultation) to another person.
I already have an agent. Am I required to meet with an agent at the conference?
No, you do not have to meet with an agent. For writers who already have an agent, we offer the option of a consultation session with an editor. Simply rank the editors in order of preference as your top choices.
What if I want to attend the conference for the panels & presentations and the networking? Am I required to schedule a consultation?
No, these consultations are optional. If you do decide to meet with an agent or editor, we recommend that you use the time to discuss future projects, solicit feedback, ask general questions about working with an agent or publisher, or ask them for their opinion on where the book market is headed, etc.
How do I decide which agent or editor to meet with?
Our lineup of confirmed agents and editors is available on our website. It is up to attendees to review the bios of attending agents and editors to determine who acquires manuscripts or has an interest in their genre or market.
We strongly recommend that you research the agents and editors who interest you by visiting agency and publisher websites, searching online for more information or interviews, and referring to other available sources. That will give you more information about the books these professionals acquire.
How (and when) do I sign up for my consultation time slot?
The WLT will set up consultations based on preferences (see notes above) and notify you via email ahead of the conference with your appointment information, including the name of the agent or editor and the date, time, and place of your 10-minute session.
What is the deadline to purchase an additional consultation?
Consultations are available for purchase until all open slots have sold out. We’re unable to predict what that date might be. We suggest purchasing sooner rather than later if you’d like to be guaranteed a slot and a shot at one of your top choices.
Can I get an appointment with more than one agent or editor?
The current maximum number of consultations per registrant is two (2), including the complimentary consultation that is included with your registration.
I signed up for the conference late. Can I still get a consultation with an agent?
Yes, if appointment slots are available when you register. We cannot guarantee that you will get one of your top choices, but we can guarantee that you will get a one-on-one meeting with a professional. Once consultations have sold out, we will shut down the purchase page.
Why aren’t agents and editors added for extra consultations to accommodate late/walk-up registrations?
We finalize our list of agents and editors as early as possible. If there is time, we might invite additional faculty to meet demand.
If I can’t be guaranteed a consultation with the particular agent I want to meet with, what’s the point of attending the conference?
We believe that the most valuable purpose of the conference is to learn about the publishing industry, learn about the craft of writing, network with professionals, and meet a community of fellow writers–not to have a one-on-one consultation with a particular person.
We have a terrific list of agents and editors for the 2022 A&E Conference. You will learn a lot from a consultation with any of the agents and editors joining us in June. Even if you don’t have a formal consultation scheduled, you will, in all likelihood, have the opportunity to meet your favorite agent or editor at some point during the weekend. It’s also worth noting that, after meeting with an agent who wasn’t necessarily their top choice, many past attendees ended up sending manuscripts to agents or editors they didn’t know they would be interested in working with.
Will I have opportunities to talk to agents outside my scheduled appointment?
Yes! Agents and editors will be available before and after the breakout sessions and general sessions.
Should I bring my manuscript to my appointment?
No. Agents and editors only want to hear your verbal pitch at the conference. If interested, they will ask that you submit your manuscript after the conference. Each agent/editor will talk to many people about many manuscripts and will not have time to read or listen to you read your written pages. (Also, handing them a stack of paper will distract them from your verbal pitch!) Your goal is to be invited to submit your manuscript–this ensures the agent/editor will read it when he or she has the time and focus to do so.(One exception to this: If you are pitching a picture book project, you may be asked to show your pages. Feel free to bring these with you just in case.)
How can I prepare for my consultation?
The best way to prepare is to develop and refine your verbal pitch. You will likely be nervous when the time comes to sit down with the agent or editor you’re assigned a consultation with; practice can make those nerves easier to power through! Try to get your description of your book down to an “elevator pitch”–25 words or fewer. Then, have a longer description available when the agent or editor says, “Tell me more.” (Consider attending the virtual Practice Makes Pitch Perfect session on Tuesday, June 14th, followed by the Pitch Lab.)
What should I NOT do when talking with agents and editors?
- Never, ever argue. If an agent or editor tells you no, thank him or her for their time and move on. Listen to what he or she has to say and see what you can apply to your next pitching opportunity.
- Do not hand your entire manuscript to an agent or editor! Because each faculty member will talk to many people throughout the weekend, they cannot take even the first few pages of every manuscript of interest.
- If an agent or editor tells you your book is not right for him or her, don’t take it personally–any number of reasons may be behind that decision.
- If an agent or editor says, “Send me pages/a proposal/your manuscript,” you’ve won! Do not continue to try to sell him or her on your project. Be respectful of the person’s time and say “thank you.” Be sure you get instructions on how/where to send whatever was requested.
- Do not go over your 10-minute time limit in your consultation.
- NEVER pitch to agents or editors in the bathrooms or when they’re having a meal in the restaurant or bar. Please be respectful of these professionals and their down time.
- Do not monopolize an agent’s or editor’s time–while you may feel that you’re “getting in good” with an faculty member by continuing past the pitch, their schedules for the weekend are extremely full and their attention is equally coveted by your fellow attendees.
What do I do if the agent or editor I meet with is NOT interested in my work?
Do not take a “no” personally–any number of reasons may be behind that decision. That’s why we recommend speaking to as many agents and editors as possible throughout the weekend. Occasionally, agents and editors will update their categories list without telling us. If the person you meet with says he or she does not represent your type of book, use the time to get information about why he or she is not interested and what you can do to make your idea more saleable. You can also talk about other ideas you have or ask for suggestions of other agents or publishers who might be interested.
If the agent you’re consulting with tells you that your book is not of interest, do not argue or try to persuade him or her. You want an agent or editor who is just as enthusiastic about your work as you are. If someone says no, thank him or her for talking with you and then use the rest of your meeting time to get information that can help you. Ask the agent or editor what he or she thinks about your pitch, what can make the manuscript more saleable, and what suggestions he or she might have for other agents or publishing opportunities. Another approach is to talk about other ideas you have for future projects to get his or her reaction.
I co-wrote a manuscript; can both writers attend the same consultation?
Yes, but only if both writers have registered for the conference. If this is the case, please let us know who your co-writer is when you submit your preference or purchase form.
Should I query the agents or write the editors I want to meet with before the conference?
No! And did we say NO? Please no. The conference is your opportunity to query in person with your verbal pitch. You want the agent or editor to form his or her first impression of your manuscript as you enthusiastically describe it at the conference, rather than cold-pitching beforehand. A flurry of queries before the conference may frustrate the consulting professional and have a negative impact.
Why would I want to meet with an editor? Aren’t agents the ones who make the deals?
Editors can and do acquire books, but they rarely acquire a book (or request materials) from a writer directly; an agent is almost certainly involved in this process. Regardless, editors can offer valuable insight into agents who represent your type of work, should you need suggestions. What’s more, editors can offer valuable information on how to shape your story for not only agents and publishers, but for readers. They are also often experts on specific genres or categories and can share great advice that’s specific to what you’re writing. For all of these reasons, and more, we invite editors to the conference and we make one-on-one consultations with them available. That said, you should not select a meeting with an editor if your sole goal is having someone request materials or tell you they’d like to consider your work for publication. This is not a realistic goal for a meeting with an editor, and you will likely be disappointed. We’re cautioning you here so that you don’t regret it later. It’s worth noting that we’ve made concerted efforts to invite editors who are open to considering unagented submissions.