Last year was the first time the RT Convention hosted Pitch-A-Palooza and it was a stellar success! So, naturally, we brought it back when we hit New Orleans for the 2014 convention. The room was buzzing with excitement and positive energy, making for a welcoming environment for the aspiring authors pitching to the participating editors and agents on a one-on-one basis. It was great to see so many aspiring authors gathered in one place and watch them take charge of their future careers as published authors.
Aspiring authors anxiously wait to pitch their novels!
And what did some of the editors participating in the Palooza think of the event? Annie Stone, an Associate Editor at HarlequinTEEN said, “...I was very impressed with the quality of the pitches I received. Everyone I met had done their research and knew that I was only looking for Young Adult fiction.” Stone also loved that many of the aspiring writers conversed with her rather than reciting their pitch word for word. “I ended up requesting partial [manuscripts] from nearly everyone I saw because for me, the voice is often the most important piece of the puzzle.”
“The Pitch-A-Palooza event was awesome,” said Sarah Frantz, the Senior Editor for Riptide Publishing, an LGBTQ-only publisher. “I requested to see everything pitched to me that fit our guidelines because you never know when you might find a gem, and because pitches and writing ability don’t necessarily line up in either direction.”
“[RT Convention] is the perfect venue for this type of forum — authors seem more relaxed and prepared to tell you about their books,” said Sue Grimshaw, the Category Specialist and Editor at Large for Penguin Random House’s Loveswept imprint. “I requested quite a few synopses of a few books I thought were intriguing and a couple of manuscripts — so you never know which will make the Loveswept/Flirt lists, but I’m hoping they all do.” Though this was only the second time Grimshaw participated in Pitch-A-Palooza, she’s already excited for next year’s! “Definitely one of the best settings to find new talent,” she added.
Mirroring Grimshaw’s sentiments, Frantz added, “I really enjoy being a part of Pitch-A-Palooza because it gives authors an opportunity to see that there’s a demand for queer romance, and gives us a chance to see a wider selection of authors than we otherwise might.”
While it’s too early to tell whether or not the request manuscripts made it through to acquisition, the editors seem excited to read the requested materials, so fingers crossed! For more RT Convention highlights, click here!