Publishing U: How Do I Pitch an Agent at a Writers’ Conference?

Our readers are often curious about the process of writing books, and we’re happy to provide access to the experts! In the eighth post of our Publishing U series, literary agent Joanna MacKenzie offers practical advice on meeting with agents and editors at writers’ conferences, and considers the value of honing your pitch to perfection.


Do Not Disturb: Books with Bellhops

First Wes Anderson’s gorgeous film The Grand Budapest Hotel wins four academy awards. Now The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is climbing its way up the box office charts. Seems that hotels are the perfect place to have characters explore who they really are when the neighbors aren’t watching. Of course, novelists have known this for years.

(Note: Not all books have actual bellhops. I just like alliteration. A lot.)

Ghosh and Golly: All Asea over Sea of Poppies

It’s just like Gilligan’s Island, but the passengers are indentured servants and the tour is longer than three hours.

Imagine if Eliza Bennett went to India with her parents and got orphaned there.

This is 12 Years a Slave meets Eat, Pray, Love.

I’m lying, and rather despicably. It’s more like one of the darker Dickens novels meets Moby Dick by way of Heart of Darkness, and even that doesn’t really capture the tone.