The most frustrating hurdle for many new writers is how does one impress a literary agent? How can a writer make their query letter stand out among the hundreds of others? How do you get your foot in the door without being pushy?
Sorche Elizabeth Fairbank, literary agent and founder of Fairbank Literary Representation, has helped authors see their work in print for more than twelve years. She’s also well known for being one of the most easy going and approachable agents in the world of publishing.
During the Missouri Writers’ Guild conference, Fairbank will be taking pitch appointments on Saturday. Remember, this is on a first come, first serve basis, so register early. See the Fairbank website to see which type of manuscripts she is currently accepting.
On Friday, April 11, Fairbank will present the Early Arrival Seminar “How To Talk to an Agent, and Other *Important* Conference Topics.” This informal pre-conference talk will cover topics from the best way to pitch, how to get the most out of the conference, to what NOT to do under any circumstances.
On Saturday, Fairbank presents the breakout session “Rejection, Rejection: Why It’s Happening To You, and How To Avoid It.” Attendees will dig into the murky world of rejection. Learn what some standard rejection phrasing means (i.e., agent-speak), and why so many rejections are simply a form letter. Attendees will find out if they are guilty of one or more of the top twenty reasons for rejection, and participate in a frank discussion about second chances with agents and publishers. Fairbank will offer suggestions as to when to listen to advice and when to chalk things up to subjective difference, and how best to turn that “No” into a “Yes,” or at least a “Please send me more.”
Fairbank will also present the “Agent on the Spot Q&A Session.” She will address the most common questions asked about agents and agenting, as well as the ever-changing state of publishing and getting one’s work noticed. Attendees may send Fairbank questions in advance to: QUESTIONS@fairbankliterary.com Limit questions to no more than 70 words, and one question per e-mail. There will also be ample opportunity to ask questions during this enlightening breakout session.
Finally, Fairbank will teach a Masters class on Sunday, April 13, entitled “How to Query/Pitch/Describe/Summarize/Talk About your Book.” This interactive, intensive session will cover how to talk (and write) about your book in one sentence, in one paragraph, and in one page. Fairbank will go over uses for each, from logline/elevator pitches to the query synopsis. And for DIY authors, book jacket descriptions, press releases, Amazon descriptions, and more.
A complete description of Fairbank’s workshops can be found on the MWG web site.
Brian: First, Sorche, I’d like to thank you for taking the time for being a guest on our 2014 MWG Conference blog. We are obviously very excited to have you as part of our faculty at our “Fifty Shades of Writing” conference. Welcome.
Sorche: Thanks for the welcome. I’m excited about this conference already!
Brian: Rejection. Every author knows it well, so I predict your breakout session on this very topic will be popular. In part, I see you’ll be covering the top twenty reasons for rejection. Without giving away the ending, could you tell us one of the big time errors new writers make when approaching an agent?