Registrations are now being accepted for the premier conference for writers in metro-Atlanta. The next twice-yearly Atlanta Writers Conference will take place May 3-4, 2019. My recommendation to those who even think they might be interested is to go ahead and register now.
Do not wait until February or March. The way these conferences work is that organizer George Weinstein brings in a very good group of literary agents and acquisition editors. The literary professionals speak in panel discussions, and if you’re willing to pay for it, you can pitch your manuscript or book proposal to them during one-on-one sessions. It’s a great opportunity if you’re looking to be published through the traditional route. (And it’s still a very helpful conference if you’re contemplating self-publishing.) Even if the agents aren’t interested in representing your work, you will receive valuable feedback about what is and isn’t working.
The agents and editors often have very specific categories or genres that they are willing to represent or publish. George does a great job ensuring there is variety and diversity among the dozen or so agents/editors. This May he’s bringing in even more than usual–sixteen of them! Still, you want to make sure that those to whom you are pitching actually represent the genre you’re writing in. Specific agents book up quickly. That is why I suggest you register now. If you wait, you won’t get a slot with the agent you want and you’ll end up pitching your cookbook to somebody who usually only represents upmarket historical fiction.
George also brings in solid guest speakers that you can listen to in between pitch and critique sessions. And of course you have the opportunity to network with other local and regional writers, in addition to mingling with the publishing professionals during a cocktail party which always takes place the first night of the conference.
If you’ve got a solid manuscript and query letter, you may even get a request to send your full or partial manuscript to one of the agents. Several past attendees have found their agent and have become published authors as a direct result of the conference.
And you may get an award during the conference, which is a great boost and a signal that you may be on the right track with your work. I attended the November 2018 conference and received a certificate from John Rudolph of Dystel, Goderich & Bourret for “Best Pitch” for my thriller, Coin Flight. He made some nice remarks about my query letter and I appreciated his feedback. The Atlanta Writers Conference brought a smile to my face, as it will to yours.