Attended the DFW Writers Conference this weekend. It was pretty much what I expected. I got to meet a lot of other writers, and a few literary agents and a few presenters.
Can I just say that writers are a weird lot? And old? I think the average age was over 40, and the average geek level was off the charts. We writers are an ecclectic bunch. We adhere to no standards besides our own. We’re artists, man! Don’t try to box us in!
I got to meet with Sally Harding. She was a very nice person. She put me at ease during my pitch session and was helpful at drawing out the story from me, not requiring me to do a “pitch”. Not sure if she’s going to be my agent, but she did ask to see a partial of my manuscript. Honestly, I think that’s cool. I wonder if the overall feeling of an agent is, “If it even has a nugget, I want to see it.” I think they would do that for most projects. I believe agents are truly interested in new stories and ideas. They wouldn’t be in the business if they weren’t.
Al Longden, another agent at the conference, said he SIGNED two people that weekend. Man, that would be awesome. I feel like there are 5 levels of what an agent can do during pitch sessions, and each one is better than the one below it.
- Offer representation
- Ask for a complete manuscript
- Ask for a partial
- Ask you to send them something based upon the guidelines of their website
- Do no offer representation
The top level is the Holy Grail, and typically NEVER happens. (Agents don’t offer representation off of a pitch, they do it off the writing!) I got one up from the bottom. She asked me to send something to her following her web guidelines. This is what I expected and hoped for. Don’t set your sites too high. Baby steps. Just getting to talk to Sally (and she was AWESOME) was beneficial because I got to ask her a few other questions. She was very professional, but NOT stuffy. I think once she gets the story, she will like it. I hope!
Next conference is in June. Updates coming.