heartland writers archive

2000 Heartland Writers Conference

Agents and Editors Conducting Appointments:

  • Doris Booth, commercial fiction and nonfiction
  • Kate Egan, young adult fiction and nonfiction
  • Evan Marshall, literary and commercial fiction, adult only
  • Seth Robertson, literary and commercial fiction
  • Bob Robison, genre fiction, particularly men's adventure, westerns, mystery and some romance and inspirational titles
  • Steve Wilson, nonfiction reference and scholarly monographs, including film, automotive history, baseball, old-time radio, U.S. and world history, Civil War
  • Sue Yuen, commercial adult fiction

Attendees will be offered the opportunity to participate in at least one group appointment with an agent or editor of their choice. These "pitch sessions" are 20 minutes in length with enrollment limited to five persons per group. Sign-up will be conducted in advance, and everyone interested in participating should carefully peruse the speaker line-up to determine which agent or editor might be most interested in the type of work you will be presenting.

Because of the obvious limitation on the number of appointments available, your registration fee guarantees you participation in only ONE appointment. Additional appointment options may be made available during the conference.

In deciding whether you would be interested in enrolling, please consider the following:

  • This year, each session will be strictly limited to 20 minutes, with new sessions beginning every half hour. With five participants per session, you should plan to take no more than three minutes to make your pitch.
  • Since time is extremely limited, you should come prepared with a one paragraph verbal synopsis of the work you are proposing. Confine yourself to describing the essence of the book and rehearse your presentation. The agent/editor may also want to know the targeted market and length of the work.
  • Although it is unlikely that anyone will request it, you may want to have a one page synopsis of your work available should an agent or editor express interest in seeing it. Remember, you must never try to hand an agent or editor your manuscript or proposal. If they are interested in your work, they will ask to see it or ask to have it mailed to their office. These guests are traveling and have no room in their luggage for bulky manuscripts.
  • Remember, too, that it is generally considered unprofessional to discuss your project outside of the agent/editor appointment venue unless the person (agent, editor, or fellow writer) with whom you are conversing specifically invites you to tell him/her the plot of your book.
  • Don't use the appointment as a gripe session. Be positive and upbeat. Present yourself as a professional.
  • If you have never participated in an agent/editor appointment before, it is perfectly acceptable for you to sign up for a session solely for the purpose of observing the "pitch" process. When it comes your turn, simply state that you are observing. You may also sign up for a session if you wish to ask a brief specific question about the session leader's publishing house or literary agency.

If you wish to participate in a session, please complete the Agent/Editor Appointment Sign-Up section of the Conference Registration Form. Be sure to include your first, second and third choices. Every effort will be made to schedule you with your first choice. Assignment cards will be distributed at the Registration Desk at the beginning of the conference.

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