25th Trillium Award

Hone Your Skills: Work with Agents on Your Pitch at the 2012 OWC

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Think Sex in the City meets Indiana Jones. The longing of Haruki Murakami with the paranormal twist of Twilight. The wine tours of Sideways with the father/daughter dynamics of Father of the Bride.

Has he piqued your interest? If so, you're not alone — Sam Hiyate of The Rights Factory has used all of these unlikely but intriguing scenarios as pitches to sell his authors' books.

This year's Ontario Writers' Conference (Ajax, May 5th) offers you the unique opportunity of fine-tuning your own "elevator pitch" with a professional pitch mentor. Representing four different literary agencies, these mentors will read an excerpt from your manuscript and give you feedback on your hook.

A pitch is no easy thing to write, especially for authors who are often unable to look at their work objectively. Still, today's writers need to show potential agents and publishers — in as few words as possible — how their work will be positioned in the marketplace.

As a literary agent, Sam Hiyate will polish, magnify and improve the pitch that peaked his own interest when he first decided to represent an author. He looks for comparisons that are widely recognizable but also quirky and different enough to earn a second glance. "You have to be good at pitches," says Hiyate. "The pitch should raise the question that reading the manuscript will answer."

The Pitch Session is only one of the many workshops available at the 2012 OWC — and space is limited. Visit the OWC website for the complete schedule, list of presenters and registration information.

The OWC is one of our most vibrant Literary Landmarks! Leaf through the Scrapbook to get a sense of what you can expect from this hugely successful and inspiring meeting of minds.

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