Dearest Snark of the Dragoons, (ooh!! I like this!)
I am off to a writers' conference this weekend, and will have the first fifty pages of my manuscript reviewed by one agent and one editor (both fine and respectable members of their professions, and whom I have thoroughly googled). My thinking is that I am to just clam up and listen to their knowledgeable critiques, that the session is strictly as billed, a "manuscript review," not a pitch session.
Generally speaking, am I correct in this assumption? Am I right that these two fine gentlemen are not there to hear me sell my work to them, but to share their insights, and that I am only to speak (intelligently) of my book when spoken to? I know you have written numerous times of behavior at writers' conferences, but I haven't seen this particular manuscript-review question addressed.
Thanks for any insight.
Here's the thing to remember about agents: we're not shy about asking to look at work we want to see. In fact, some of us are downright pushy.
If the people reading your pages want to see more they will say "send me more". If they think it needs work they will say "do you belong to a critique group?" or "here are some suggestions" or "have a nice day".
Notice none of this involves you saying "will you read my pages".
I'm much more likely to ask for work if I don't feel like the title character in Whack a Mole.