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There are two things I need. First, how can I find out when and where writers conferences where writers pitch their manuscripts to agents are held in my area? Secondly, could you give me some tips on pitching to them?


Hi Demwetrius!

My best suggestion for finding information on writers' conferences in your area is to go to a site called Shaw's Guides.  They'll let you pick writers' conferences from their list of conferences and then you can drill down to location.  They're a great resource for conferences of all kinds.  I'd also suggest adding your name to thier mailing list and they'll notify you of upcoming conferences monthly.

Pitching to an agent should be concise and confident.  I'll assume you're pitching a novel.  A pitch should be just like the book jacket blurbs on the front flap of a hardcover or on the back of a paperback.  Introduce your protagonist.  Introduce the protagonist's problem or desire.  Introduce the antagonist and explain why he/she wants exactly the same thing the protagonist wants which sets up the conflict.  Write all this down in sales pitch language, memorize it, then when you meet with the agent at the conference you can relate your story and answer questions with confidence.  

Good luck!  Let me know how you make out.  If I can help with anything else please come back to Ask the Experts.

Liz Aleshire

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Liz Aleshire


What is a book proposal and why do I need one? Do I need a book proposal for both nonfiction and fiction books? How do I write a book proposal? What are the required components of a book proposal? What is an overview? What is a synopsis? How do I find out what other books are available on my topic so I can make my book different? How do I pitch to an agent/publisher? What's a query letter? What's a 30-second commercial?


I am the author of four nonfiction books: Private Lives of Ministers' Wives (with Rev. Sherry Taylor,New Horizon Press, New Jersey, 1991)and currently working on a second edition; Bugs: Stingers, Suckers, Sweeties, Swingers (a FRanklin Watts Frist Book, Chicago, 1993); The Confident Collector Identification and Price Guid to Quilts (with Kathleen Barach, Avon Books, NY, 1992); and, Official Price Guide to Quilts 2nd edition(with Kathleen Barach, Random House, NY, 2003.) I've taught How to Write the Book Proposal for the past ten years at the week long International Women's Writing Guild annual summer conference, and, at the Manchester Community College Continuing Education program. I've taught in many local continuing education programs in central Connecticut. Five authors have sold books using my methods for writing the book proposal. I have spoken at the Big Apple Conference, an IWWG event held in NYC; both Connecticut chapters of the Romance Writer's of America other writing conferences

Internation Women's Writing Guild, past associate member American Society of Journalists and Authors

Books for New Horizon Press. NJ; Franklin Watts (Now Scolastic)Danbury, CT; Avon Books, NYC; and, Random House, NYC

B.A in Economics from the University of Connecticut

Past/Present clients
Carren Strock, author Married Women Who Love Women; Doris Larson, travel writer, Ohio; MaryLou Streznewsi author Gifted Grownups.

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