Agents & Pitching

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2017 Chuckanut Writers Conference Agents

Sean Fletcher and Andy Ross will be hearing pitches at this year's conference. Learn more about the genres they're looking for and familiarize yourself with the process of pitching in the information below.  

 

Sean Fletcher

Sean Fletcher

 

Sean works directly with Andrea of Andrea Hurst & Associates managing editorial and consulting services for clients, developmentally editing books, and teaching classes. Sean scouts for strong adult and YA books to represent through the agency, specializing in the following genres: Sci-Fi/fantasy, thriller, women's fiction, and suspense/thriller. He looks for books full of multidimensional characters, engaging plots, original voices, and deep themes across all age groups. When not agenting or editing, he is an author of YA science fiction and fantasy.

 

 

 

 

Andy Ross

Andy Ross

Andy Ross opened his literary agency in 2008. Prior to that, he was the owner of the legendary Cody's Books in Berkeley for 30 years. His agency represents books in a wide range of non-fiction genres including: narrative non-fiction, science, journalism, history, popular culture, memoir, and current events. He also represents literary, commercial, historical, crime, upmarket women’s fiction, and YA fiction. For non-fiction Andy looks for writing with a strong voice, robust story arc, and books that tell a big story about culture and society by authors with the authority to write about their subject. In fiction, he likes stories about real people in the real world.  Tawni Waters, author of the acclaimed YA novel, Beauty Of The Broken [Simon / Pulse, 2014], winner of the International Literacy Association YA Award, said this about Andy: “Since the day I signed with him, Andy has been an amazing friend, ally, and editor. He fell in love with Beauty of the Broken when it was in raw form and spent months helping me hone and polish the manuscript. He has a keen eye and is able to expertly assist both with global editorial issues and line editing. Before I met Andy, Beauty of the Broken had been represented by another agent and had failed to sell. However, within weeks of submission, Andy's edited manuscript garnered interest from several major publishing houses. Shortly thereafter, we signed a contract with Simon Pulse. I have no doubt Andy's edits were the thing that gave Beauty of the Broken the polish it needed to sell to a mainstream publisher.”

Andy is the author of The Literary Agent’s Guide to Writing a Non-Fiction Book Proposal. He has participated in writers conferences throughout the country and has taught classes about writing book proposals, composing query letters, working with agents, and getting published. His popular blog, “Ask the Agent: Night Thoughts About Books and Publishing”, has received over 400,000 unique views.

Authors Andy represents include: Daniel Ellsberg, Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, Anjanette Delgado, Elisa Kleven, Tawni Waters, Randall Platt, Mary Jo McConahay, Gerald Nachman, Michael Parenti, Paul Krassner, Milton Viorst, and Michele Anna Jordan. Andy is a member of the Association of Author Representatives (AAR).

 

Preparing For Your Pitch Session

  • You must pre-register for pitch sessions by June 15.  There will be no sign-ups during the conference.
  • Register early! The number of sessions is limited. Pitch times will be randomly assigned, and you will receive the exact time of your scheduled pitch session(s) when you check in at the conference.
  • Pitch sessions will be five minutes in duration.
  • You have the option to pitch each agent once only (on a space available basis.)
  • Please read the following Guide to Pitching before signing up. We hope the following information will answer your questions and assist you in your preparation.  Your best shot at a good session is preparedness.

Guide to Pitching

Dos and Don’ts

  • Be natural—you know your material better than anyone else.
  • Make eye contact; be excited.
  • Don’t memorize your pitch. Just tell agents about it.
  • Know the facts about your own material—word count, genre, fiction or non-fiction category.
  • Don’t give out business cards, copies of your bio or manuscript, but have them on hand if asked.. 
  • Use agent blogs and website to learn about attending agents. You’ll know what they do and do not want to see, and you’ll be more confident.
  • Be able to answer the question, “Which books would your book sit next to on the shelf?”
  • Practice ahead of time—you’ll be more confident.
  • Don’t use clichés, and don’t recap the plot.
  • Let the agent know why s/he would like to read the work and why readers will be deeply engaged.
  • Mention if the work has been professionally edited.
  • Let the agent know if you have been previously published.
  • Be aware of personal hygiene—don’t smoke before a meeting or wear strong fragrances.
  • Be cognizant of personal space.