A critical feature of The Work is our focus on revising toward a common goal: getting your manuscript ready for agency representation. To that end, all author attendees will meet with two agents for 15-minute one-on-ones at the very outset of the weekend. With two fresh perspectives on the critical opening pages of your manuscript, plus feedback on your query letter, you’ll be better equipped to utilize the knowledge our experts share during panels and sessions.
Agents are often reviewing hundreds of manuscripts per month, so it’s great to get out of the cycle of clicking through e-mails and interact with writers face-to-face. There’s a lot of safety with the distance of e-mail, so meetings help agents challenge themselves to engage with and get excited by work that cannot properly be described in a query letter. It also helps in determining the chemistry an agent will have with a prospective author. Ultimately, it is not the specific book that propels a successful agent/author relationship but the like-mindedness of a total career trajectory. Agents like to talk to people, roll up their sleeves and discuss the craft of writing. When a writer is meeting with an agent one-on-one, they should be prepared not to pitch their work but to have a conversation about themselves as a professional looking to collaborate.
-Noah Ballard, Curtis Brown Ltd.
I love one-on-ones for the same reason I love being an agent—meeting with authors and chatting about their writing! These mini-dates give me the opportunity to get at the heart of what your work is about, beyond the query and your sample pages. I find it’s often a time for us to get together to see where you think your work is, where I think it is, and how to come together to bridge that divide. It’s a time for us to brainstorm ideas for both your work and your query, to discuss comp titles (I know those are difficult) and to really get a feel for each other as people. The agent-author relationship is such a special one, and ideally spans your entire career, so getting face-to-face time is so helpful. It allows us both to see if we’re a good fit!
-Carrie Howland, Donadio & Olson
Authors selected to attend The Work will submit their top choices for agent meetings, and we’ll help guide you to the right match-ups if you’re unsure.