SPEED DATING WITH AGENTS and ASK A PRO events at the San Francisco Writers Conference
One of the things that makes our conference attendees most anxious–and one of the things they end up having the most fun with–is the Speed Dating with Agents event. On Sunday morning during breakfast in the Peacock Room, each of the agents will stand up, in alphabetical order, and tell the attendees who they are and what they’re looking for. In ONE minute! After that, each agent will take a seat at a table in the ROOM OF THE DONS next door. The tables will be arranged alphabetically, around the circumference of the room.
Each attendee who has signed up for Speed Dating with Agents will have a color-coded dot on their badge holder. RED dots can Speed Date during the first hour (9:00-9:51 a.m.), BLUE dots can Speed Date the second hour (10:00-10:51 a.m.), GREEN dots can Speed Date the third hour (11:00-11:51 a.m.) and YELLOW dots can Speed Date the final hour (Noon-12:51 p.m.). Due to hotel safety regulations, you will NOT be allowed to line up prior to your hour time slot. There will be no advantage, since all Speed Daters for that time slot will be let into the room at the same time. When you are not Speed Dating, you are encouraged to attend all the wonderful workshops that will be happening Sunday morning or visit the onsite conference bookstore: Bookshop West Portal.
During your THREE MINUTE PITCH you will be trying to convey the essence of your book and why you’re the best person to write it, quickly, allowing a response from the agent within your three allotted minutes. When the first bell rings, stop talking and let the agent speak. When the second bell rings, move on to the next agent’s line.
Please remember to speak quietly while you are waiting in line, as the agents must be able to hear each pitch. You may also wish to practice your pitch on your fellow attendees–quietly–while you wait.
Bring the first page of your novel to show, if you wish, or a one-page description of your nonfiction book. Bring business cards. You may wish to share these things with the agents, but do respect the agent if he or she chooses not to accept anything from you. If anyone wants to see something, you’ll be told what to send, and how.
We frequently tell writers to imagine what would happen if their book was turned into a movie. And if that movie was on TV, what would TV Guide write about it? That’s your “perfect pitch.”
You may go from one agent to your next choice to your next choice during your hour. When the hour is up you will leave the Room of the Dons out the front door.
Remember, manners count.
The ASK A PRO event on Saturday afternoon is open to all attendees. (Read that: No additional cost!) For the first 30 minutes, each publishing professional will introduce himself or herself for 2 minutes. Then each editor or agent will sit at a 10 person table. The nine attendees at the table each will have one minute to ask a question and then receive one minute of feedback. Then all nine attendees will move to another table and meet another Publishing Pro. Attendees can move to new tables every l8 minutes until 6:30 pm.
If you still have not spoken to an editor or agent during or after this session, try to meet them on Sunday or write to them after the conference.
This event will continue until the book signings have started in the front right corner of the room and the no-host bar has been set up.
Always remember that all of the agents, editors and presenters are there to talk to you at breakfast, lunch, and during breaks. You don’t have to wait for a “Speed Dating” or “Ask a Pro” event to talk to them. If they have their badge on, they’re “on” and approachable! If they do not have a badge on, then please respect their privacy. Thanks so much.
LIST OF AGENTS AT THE FEBRUARY 2013 SAN FRANCISCO WRITERS CONFERENCE:
MARILYN ATLAS, Personal Manager/Producer at Atlas Management
PETER BEREN, formerly publisher of Sierra Club Books, V.P. for Publishing at Palace Press International and Publisher of VIA Books, a division of the California State Automobile Association, is a member of AAR. As a literary agent, he specializes in nonfiction with an emphasis on illustrated (art and photography) books. He is the author or co-author of six books including The Writers Legal Companion and California the Beautiful. His best-known clients include photographer Art Wolfe (Dogs Make Us Human), Brian and Wendy Froud (Trolls), and Laurence Boldt (Zen and the Art of Making a Living).
KIMBERELY CAMERON – In 1993 she became partners with Dorris Halsey of The Reece Halsey Agency, founded in 1957. Among its clients have been Aldous Huxley, William Faulkner, Upton Sinclair, and Henry Miller. She opened Reece Halsey North in 1995, Reece Halsey Paris in 2006, and in 2009 the agency became Kimberley Cameron & Associates. She works from Tiburon, California and Paris, France, with many visits to New York to make the rounds of editorial offices., please see her bio online at: www.kimberleycameron.com).
KIMBERLEY CAMERON & ASSOCIATES (CA/Paris)
MANDY HUBBARD, agent at D4EO Literary (CT)
LIZ KRACHT, In fiction, she represents literary, commercial, women’s, thrillers, mysteries, and YA with crossover appeal. She is intrigued by untrustworthy narrators, tragic tales of class and circumstance, and identifies with flawed and quirky yet sterling characters. In nonfiction, she particularly loves voice—or adventure-driven memoir, and other nonfiction projects that contribute to the well-being of the self or others in addition to niche projects that fill holes in the market, offer a fresh approach, or make her laugh. She also has a soft spot for nonfiction heroic pet stories.
Kimberely Cameron & Associates (CA/Paris)
MICHAEL LARSEN, AAR, is a partner in Larsen-Pomada Literary Agents. He is eager to find passionate, promotable nonfiction writers with books that will interest big houses, make a difference in people’s lives, or have such good ideas and writing that he has to handle them. Mike is the author of How to Write a Book Proposal (4th edition will be published in April) and How To Get A Literary Agent (3rd edition). With Jay Conrad Levinson and Rick Frishman, president of Planned Television Arts, he coauthored Guerrilla Marketing for Writers: 100 Weapons for Selling Your Work. The 42nd book in the Guerrilla Marketing series was published last year! Mike is also the co-founder/director of the San Francisco Writers Conference.
LARSEN-POMADA LITERARY AGENTS
TAYLOR MARTINDALE is a new member of Full Circle Literary, actively acquiring primarily YA fiction and adult fiction projects. She began agenting with the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency, and prior to that, was the submissions coordinator at Bliss Literary Agency. Taylor is looking to handle all genres of young adult, middle grade, and children’s picture book projects, as well as women’s fiction (historical, multicultural, and contemporary, character-driven).
Full Circle Literary
JILL MARSAL, Marsal/Lyon Literary (CA)
LAURIE MCLEAN is an agent at Larsen-Pomada Literary Agents in San Francisco. Laurie represents adult genre fiction (romance, fantasy, science fiction, horror, hip new westerns, mysteries, suspense, thrillers, etc.) as well as middle-grade and young-adult children’s books. She looks for great writing, first and foremost, followed by memorable characters, a searing storyline and solid world building
LARSEN-POMADA LITERARY AGENTS
Blog: www.agentsavant.com Website: www.larsenpomada.com
MICHAEL NEFF is an agent for AEI Films and Books in Los Angeles and is looking for SF/F, YA/F, mystery/thriller, and upmarket novels, especially those with high-concept film potential. Projects represented include KILLER ON THE WALL, a Facebook murder mystery by Wendy Eckel; and SPEAK NO EVIL, nonfiction by Beatrice Edwards exposing the war against whistleblowers.
LARA PERKINS, Associate Agent, Digital Manager, Andrea Brown Literary Agency (CA)
JODIE REIN called an “uber agent” by the Denver Post, is a successful long-time literary agent who previously held several executive-level editorial positions with Big 6 publishers. A popular speaker, she’s also an author, a consultant, an entrepreneur and a mom. She’s delighted to be here at the SFWC…and we are just as delighted to have her here!
Jody Rein Books
www.jodyreinbooks.com, www.authorplanet.org, and @sharpcrayon.com
RAYHANE SANDERS, Literary Manager at WSK Management, LLC (NY)
KATHARINE SANDS, author of Making the Perfect Pitch, is a literary agent with the Sara Jane Freymann Literary Agency in New York. She represents a wide range of authors: from fiction and faction to non-fiction (popular culture, personal growth, leisure activities) to home arts (lifestyle, cookbooks, home design) to eclectic (travel, humor, spirituality). She handles projects for the literary estate of Normal Wexler, Academy-Award nominated screenwriter for Saturday Night Fever. Katharine has represented Make Up, Don’t Break Up by five-time Oprah guest Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil; Give Me That Online Religion by Dr. Brenda Brasher; and The Indigo Cookbook by Chef Glenn Chu. Her book reviews appear in The New York Times and Publishers Weekly.
SARA JANE FREYMANN LITERARY AGENCY
KEN SHERMAN is president of Ken Sherman and Associates, a Los Angeles-based literary agency. An agent for more than twenty years, Ken represents screen, television and book writers, and also sells film and television rights to books, as well as life rights. A few of Ken’s clients include David Guterson, author of Snow Falling on Cedars, Tawni O’Dell, whose first novel, Back Roads, became an international bestseller and Oprah Book Club selection, Starhawk, considered the best-known witch in the world, Anne Perry, the world’s best-known Victorian murder mystery writer, and the estates of Luis Buñuel, John Hersey, and Simon Wiesenthal.
Ken Sherman and Associates
NEPHELE TEMPEST joined The Knight Agency in January, 2005, opening the Los Angeles office. She comes from a diverse publishing and finance background, having worked in the editorial department at Simon and Schuster, as a financial advisor, in the marketing and communications departments of several major New York investment firms, and as a freelance writer—all skills that come into play helping her clients develop their careers. She continues to actively build her client list, and is seeking works in the following genres: literary/commercial fiction, women’s fiction, urban fantasy/ paranormal, romantic suspense, contemporary romance, historical fiction, young adult and middle grade fiction.
The Knight Agency
PAMELA van HYLCKAMA VLIEG, Larsen/Pomada Agency (CA)
BECKY VINTER, agent at FinePrint Literary Management (NY)
GORDON WARNOCK is a literary agent who seeks to establish involved, long term working relationships with talented, dedicated authors in such areas as: commercial narrative fiction, YA (no vampires, please), memoir, political, current affairs, health, humor and cookbooks. He’s not looking for: religious fiction, women’s fiction, new age, anthologies children’s, middle grade .
ANDREA HURST LITERARY MANAGEMENT
Agency Website: www.andreahurst.com
Gordon’s page: www.andreahurst.com/literary-management/about/gordon-warnock.
Agents may want to read the first page of a novel because they can tell immediately whether a writer can write and if they know how to start a novel. Have a short synopsis of your novel and the rest of the first chapter with you in case agents want to see them. Bring a copy of your proposal or the manuscript of a novel and a short synopsis to the conference (although there’s no certainty that anyone will ask to see everything you bring.)
Be prepared to share the beginning of your work. It should have the impact of a novel. If you want to sell a book to a big house, agents will want to hear a compelling title. They need to know about the writing, media and professional experience that qualifies you to write your book. Tell them what you will do to promote the book. They may also want to see a sample of your writing and a list of chapters.
Agents all work differently and will vary in what they want to hear. Even if an agent can’t help you, they will answer your questions and give you direction.