Pitch & Publish, in March

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The Westport Writers’ Workshop “Pitch & Publish” conference returns to The Westport Library for the third year on Saturday, March 16.

Pitch & Publish is an opportunity for those seeking a literary agent, wanting to be educated about the industry at large, or looking to meet and be inspired by authors, agents, and editors.

The keynote speaker is Leigh Stein, author of books in the genres of fiction, memoir, and poetry. The conference also includes a Friday night welcome party for all participants at WWW’s Westport location, 25 Sylvan Road, Suite J. Saturday’s program features informative panels, one-on-one pitches, and a wrap party.

New to the conference this year: each agent will read five pages of a writer’s work (in addition to their query letter), a mini “practice your pitch” session, and a catered lunch.

Doors to the library open for registration and coffee at 9:00 am. The event begins at 10:00 am and concludes at 4:15 pm, followed by an after party from 4:30 to 7:30 pm at Basso Restaurant & Wine Bar, 33 Jesup Road, Westport.

Individual tickets for the conference only are $350 each (walk-ins accepted). Tickets for the conference plus two one-on-one pitches with literary agents are $600 each (early bird discount if registered by February 9), $675 each thereafter. Register here.

The conference will include two interactive panel discussions: “Ask The Agents,” moderated by literary agent, Ayla Zuraw Friedland, and “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly: Everything You Wanted to Know About Publishing but Were Too Afraid to Ask,” featuring instructor Julie Sarkissian, authors Anya Liftig, Cara Wall, Brigette Dale, and agent Eloy Bleifuss of Janklow & Nesbit. The conference will also include a writing prompt led by conference co-chair and WWW programming director Liz Matthews.

Attendees who purchase “Conference with Pitches” tickets will have the opportunity to pitch their books in person to two elite literary agents during one-on-one sessions. Writers with this type of ticket will be alerted to their individual meetings and the deadline for query letters and sample pages two weeks prior to Pitch & Publish.

The agents include Alexandra Franklin (Curtis Brown), Sharon Pelletier (DG&B), Maggie Cooper (Aevitas), Jessica Fellman (Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency), Eloy Bleifuss (Janklow & Nesbit), Rachel Beck (Liza Dawson), Ayla Zuraw-Friedland (Goldin Lit Agency), Reiko Davis (DeFiore & Company), Kelly Karczewski (United Talent Agency), Lily Dolin (United Talent Agency), Bona Levin (Fletcher & Co), and Paul Lucas (Janklow & Nesbit).

“We are thrilled to be offering new ways to support writers at this year’s conference, including the opportunity for agents to read writers’ work, break-out session on practicing pitches, and healthy and hearty lunch as a community,” said conference co-chairs Julie Sarkissian and Liz Matthews.

Other highlights of the day are books for sale, goodie bags, refreshments, and a literary door prize gift basket.

Westport Writers’ Workshop is an independent literary arts center offering enriching supportive creative writing classes, as well as free literary readings to the public. The organization provides free writing workshops to underserved populations in their own communities. For more information about Pitch & Publish or year-round workshops, visit westportwriters.org.

Liz Matthews and Julie Sarkissian. Photo: Elizabeth Foley

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