Each year at the Northern Colorado Writer's Conference, I fly in literary agents to attend the conference. If you are seeking to be published with a big publishing house, you need to have a an agent. An agent plays a big role in the publishing process and you can read more about that in an article I wrote a couple years ago, "What Does a Literary Agent Do?"
A couple years back, I changed how authors pitch their work to the agents. Instead of the typical 8-minute, one-on-one frantic pitch session, we do agent roundtables. This allows the authors participating a chance to read the first page of their manuscript aloud to the agent and a small group.
During each of these roundtable sessions there will be 7 writers at each table, 1 facilitator and 1 agent. After giving everyone a copy of his/her first page, the writer will have 8 minutes. The writer will start by reading his/her first page. After the writer is finished reading, the agent will take a few minutes to comment on what was read. The other participants in the group can make comments on the page, but only the agent gives, verbal feedback. The facilitator will track the time and when the 8 minutes is up, will have the next writer start.
If the agent is interested in the writing he/she will request a 15 minute, one-on-one meeting for the next day. These requests will not be shared in front of the group. These meetings give the author a chance to share more about their manuscript with the agent. This format allows everyone to get feedback on their writing and to hear the feedback given to other writers.
For more tips on getting the most out of these one-on-one meetings read, "How to Pitch to a Literary Agent at a Conference." And although the roundtables are a little different format, a lot of the advice is still the same.
To participate in these roundtables, an author must have a completed fiction manuscript or complete book proposal for a nonfiction book. Conference registrants will be able to choose an agent of their choice starting February 9. These will be assigned based on when you registered for the conference. The earlier you register, the better chances you have to get the agent of your choice.
Here are the agents on faculty at the Northern Colorado Writers Conference. Click on the links to learn more about them and what they represent.
To register for the conference visit: http://www.northerncoloradowriters.com/annual-conference-mainmenu-128/2015-conference