Attending my first writing workshop ‘Pitch Perfect’ and getting ready for pitching

This past weekend I attended my first ever writing related workshop called ‘Pitch Perfect’, run by the New England Writer’s Centre (in Australia). The workshops include talks by many successful, local authors and will be held over three weekends, ending in a face to face, private 10 minute pitch with a real, big name Australian publisher!

You won’t believe it, but I’m going to have the chance to pitch my novel to a publisher from Allen & Unwin! I even included Allen & Unwin in my Submitting your manuscript to the big Aussie publishers post.  It’s my absolute dream to be published by them, and getting the chance to pitch to them face to face will be an incredible opportunity.

I joined NEWC a few weeks ago after stalking them for a few years (never had the courage as a writer to join or attend any of their events). I first heard of the annual Pitch Perfect event last year, but unfortunately didn’t have a complete manuscript at the time. But I do this year!

The first workshop held on Saturday 15th October began with an editing spiel by author Beattie Alvarez. After lunch we had ‘Synopsis and Query Letter Writing’ with author Bronwyn Parry, followed by ‘Preparing to Pitch’ with author Sophie Masson.

The talks were very informative and interesting (yes you can include adverbs in your manuscript on the odd occasion) and I learned the do’s and don’ts of pitching to a publisher. For example, I’m writing a trilogy but I will not be pitching all three books. When it comes to new authors, publishers are keener to take on standalone novels – which makes a lot of sense.

During Bronwyn Parry’s workshop I discovered that my query letter writing was pretty bad. To think of all the amateurish query letters I’ve sent off in the past!  I’m surprised anyone responded at all. Note to EVERYONE – when you write the ‘about yourself’ section do not include a funny story about the fat cat that sleeps at the end of your bed.

At the end of the day I requested a photo with Sophie Masson and Bronwyn Parry, they were both so lovely! Authors seem like very happy, friendly people, and I really hope to one day to join their ranks – writing full-time must be awesome.

Sophie Masson, Me, Bronwyn Parry

First thing I’m doing in preparation for my face to face pitch is get my hair done! I look like a brunette in this photo… also, I’ll make sure to keep you updated on what happens at the face to face pitch later this month!

37 thoughts

  1. Hey, Millie. I am following you, and got an email with a post after you attended this pitch…but the post hasn’t appeared. I was keen to comment on it, and ask your advice. I could definitely use a workshop like this one, even if it doesn’t end in a pitch: how did you find the opportunity?


  2. Best of luck! I went through a pitching round and know my pitch could use a lot of improvement. Wish I’d attended that workshop like you.

    I just came across your blog after you liked my writing watercolor newsletter progress on Instagram. You’ve got a ton of great posts. I’m off to go read more! Cheers 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s fantastic!! I was hoping to find a few WordPress bloggers on Instagram!! Looks like we’re both at pretty similar stages too when it comes to writing/publishing. I’m off to explore your blog some more ☺️☺️


  3. Oh cool! Armidale is my home town, used to hang out with Sophie Masson’s son in high school (and go to some choice parties at her house when she was out of town ha ha ha)

    Sounds like it was a good workshop! Loving your blog, it’s getting me very inspired 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so cool! What a small world ☺️ parties while the parents are away are the best hahaha (except this one year when my dad began storing water in wine bottles in the cellar – took my friends and I a while to realise we were sipping water!!) yeah it was a great workshop, definitely learned a lot. Awesome, I’m glad my blog has inspired you!!


  4. Go Millie!!! How exciting for you and great that you have a manuscript ready to pitch. Very exciting…especially with someone from Allen & Unwin. It also great to hook up with a fellow Australian on the blog. I rarely meet any fellow Aussies blogging and it reminds me a bit of when I was backpacking through Europe in 1992. I live in Heidelberg in Germany for 6 months rather than doing the whole London thing and I remember flagging down some backpackers on the train with Aussie flags on their backpacks. I was so home sick.
    I lie on the NSW Central Coast but come from Sydney.
    Great to hook up.
    xx Rowena


  5. First: Congrats on having a finished manuscript – something to “pitch” with!! Second: congrats on making an effort to learn how to pitch!!! You’ve already set yourself up for success!! So yippeee!!!! And best of luck to you on the actual pitching!!! You can do it!!!


  6. That sounds like a really useful workshop! Was any mention made of the fact that publishers, taking on a new writer and their book, like to know there’s another book in the pipeline? Apparently they expect to make a loss on the debut novel, but if it gets good reviews and reasonable sales they hope for another work as a follow-up within a reasonable period of time.


  7. I would like to ‘thank you’ for sharing your workshop experience and especially your enthusiasm for your product and the steps you are taking to see (make sure!) that what you have started is going to be done. You have no idea or heck, maybe you do know how inspiring you are when sharing your experiences! It is a process to be sure; however, learning to write the proper way is indeed a time-consuming enterprise. Please, please keep them coming! Have you gotten the chance to read the ‘bio’ About page on my blog?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes such great advice so far! I was soooo far off with my query letters and struggled with them too, especially as they are supposed to showcase your writing! The next event this weekend is with a panel of established authors who will share their experiences of successful pitching!

      Liked by 1 person

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