Westport Writers’ Workshop (WWW) announced their return to the Westport Library for their 2nd Annual Pitch & Publish Conference on Saturday, May 20, which will be both in-person and virtual.
Pitch & Publish is the ideal opportunity for those seeking a literary agent, wanting to be educated about the industry at large, or looking to meet and be inspired by authors, agents, and editors. The keynote speaker is Courtney Maum, author of five books, including Year of the Horses, the groundbreaking publishing guide Before and After the Book Deal, and Touch, among others.
The conference also includes a Friday night welcome party at WWW’s locale, followed by Saturday’s informative panels, one-on-one pitches, and a wrap party. Doors to the library open for light breakfast to sign in at 8 am, and the event begins at 9 am on Saturday morning. Individual tickets for the conference only are $350 each (walk-ins accepted) tickets for the conference plus two one-on-one pitches with literary agents are $600 each (early bird discount if registered by March 31), $675 each thereafter.
The conference will include three interactive panel discussions: “Ask The Agent,” “The Road to Publication,” “Level Up your Writing Game,” moderated by Liz Matthews, Kate Schneider and Leigh Stein, respectively. In addition, there will be an inspirational talk, “Live the Process, Own the Process, Celebrate the Process,” and the keynote address by Courtney Maum.
Attendees who purchase “Conference with Pitches” tickets will have the rare opportunity to pitch their books in-person to two elite literary agents and/or small presses during one-on-one sessions. Writers with this type of ticket will be alerted to their individual meetings and the deadline for query letters prior to Pitch & Publish. The agents include: Nora Gonzalez (Gernert Agency), Sarah Landis (Sterling Lord Literistic, Inc.), Jaclyn Gilbert (Driftless Literary), Eloy Bleifuss (Jankow & Nesbit), Ayla Zuraw-Friedland (Goldin Lit,) Samantha Wilkenson (Thomson Lit. Agency), Betsey Lerner (Dunow, Carlson & Lerner,) Agents taking pitches remotely are Marin Takikawa (Friedrich Agency) and Michaela Whatnall (Dystel, Goderich & Bourret).
“Empowering writers in any and every way is what Westport Writers’ Workshop is all about, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be joining forces with the Westport Library, Courtney Maum, Leigh Stein, and so many other passionate literary citizens and publishing insiders to deliver a day full of education, inspiration and opportunities for our community. Westport has such a rich history of supporting the arts and we are so proud to continue that legacy,” said Julie Sarkissian, Westport Writers’ Workshop Instructor
Other highlights of the daylong event include an interactive writing experience, books for sale, goodie bags, refreshments, and a literary door prize gift basket. In addition, registrants are invited to the Friday night welcome party at WWW’s studio location at 25 Sylvan Road South/Suite J, Westport.
“I wanted to say how much I enjoyed the opportunity to be part of the conference this weekend. There was so much to appreciate: the honest, kind, and informed esteemed panelists, the range of topics, the encouragement and humor, the comradeship between volunteers, writers, agents — everyone. I walked away inspired and happy, as did so many. I loved the chance to root for my fellow writers and classmates on their pitch, and loved the partnership between two of my favorite intellectual and community hubs — WWW and the Westport Library,” said 2022 conference participant, Leila Shields
Westport Writers’ Workshop is an independent literary arts center offering enriching supportive creative writing classes, as well as free literary readings to the public. The organization provides free writing workshops to underserved populations in their own communities. For more information regarding Pitch and Publish or year round workshops, visit www.westportwriters.org.
Photo shows (from left) Liz Matthews and Julie Sarkissian of Westport Writers’ Workshop.
Photo Credit: Elizabeth Foley