More on conferences-tis the season!

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.


Anonymous said...

Same goes with most published writers who have agents. Most who are generous enough to read your stuff during a critique session at a conference, etc. will step up and say, "hey, you're ready to be published, let me help you." There is no need to ask. Just be present.

Anonymous said...

I'm much more likely to ask for work if I don't feel like the title character in Whack a Mole.

Ha! That really made me laugh.

Anonymous said...

I think it's important to be a pro, don't be desperate. Listen to the critique and, if you have a question or two, sure, go ahead and ask. People want to work with someone they feel comfortable with, and that's usually someone who's comfortable with themselves.