Literary Agents return for the 2023 Nonfiction Writers Conference!

Our unique Pitch-the-Agents LIVE event is a special double session held during the Nonfiction Writers Conference. This event is a HUGE HIT with participants and attendees alike!

NFWC Gold, Platinum and VIP attendees have the opportunity to apply to participate in the live pitches, and 20 finalists were selected by a random lottery to share their pitches with a panel of literary agents.

Hundreds of conference attendees cheer on the participating writers as they share their pitches and received feedback from the agents.

Several participants from our past Pitch-the-Agents events have had proposals requested from participating agents and have gone on to sign agent representation deals! 

How it Works

Each pitch lasts a total of five minutes and time is carefully monitored. Participants will have up to two minutes to deliver a pitch, leaving the agents with three minutes (or remaining time) to ask questions and give feedback on ways to improve your pitch and/or your book project. If a participating agent finds a pitch compelling, he or she may ask to receive your book proposal! That’s right, it is possible one or more attendees can end up with agent representation and a book deal! (Though please note there are no guarantees of any book deals or representation.)

How to Participate

NFWC Gold, Platinum and VIP attendees are eligible to participate, however you must submit an application to participate in the pitch sessions. Up to twenty writers will be selected at random to share a pitch live. (And notified a few days prior to the session.)

Pitch applications open about four weeks prior to the conference.
Be sure to register for NFWC early so you stay notified of event updates.

How to Prepare Your Pitch

  • Try to distill your book into a one or two-sentence “elevator pitch” that succinctly tells us what your book is about and why you are the best person to write it.
  • Make sure you distinguish your book from what has already been published: what makes your book different and why is it needed in the marketplace?
  • Don’t forget to reference competitive titles if they help you better encapsulate what your book is about. You don’t always need to use comps but one or two well-known comps may be extremely helpful.
  • If you have any kind of author platform (blog or newsletter subscribers, social media following, website traffic, etc.), be sure to mention the details during your pitch.

Don’t Want to Pitch? Here’s Why You Should Still Attend

Even if you don’t want to pitch your book project to the agents, there is a tremendous amount of value you can gain simply by watching the participating writers and agents in action. You will learn how a book pitch works, what makes it sizzle, what captures the interest of agents, and what recommendations they offer for improvement. Even if you’re self-publishing, it’s important to understand how the traditional publishing world works so that you can remain competitive. We can all learn from what sells well in traditional publishing and gain wisdom from these experienced literary agents!

About the Literary Agents

Jennifer Chen Tran is an agent at Idea Architects and exclusively represents nonfiction, with a special interest in books that create a positive social impact. Originally from New York, Jennifer is a lifelong reader and experienced member of the publishing industry. Prior to joining Idea Architects, she was an Associate Agent at Bradford Literary and Fuse Literary and served as Counsel at The New Press. She obtained her Juris Doctor from Northeastern School of Law in Boston, MA, and a Bachelors of Arts in English Literature from Washington University in St. Louis.

Jennifer understands the importance of negotiation in securing rights on behalf of her authors. She counsels her clients on how to expand their platforms, improve on craft, and works collaboratively with her clients throughout the editorial and publication process. Her ultimate goal is to work in concert with authors to shape books that will have a positive social impact on the world—books that also inform and entertain.

Joseph Perry is a literary agent and publishing attorney at Perry Literary, Inc., and The Law Offices of Joseph J. Perry, P.C. As an agent he represents bestselling cookbook authors, athletes, musicians, journalists, influencers, academics, and more. As an attorney, Joseph counsels clients in the publishing industry, where among other things, he drafts, reviews, and negotiates various publishing agreements and conducts prepublication review of manuscripts. 

Joseph obtained his Juris Doctor from St. John’s University School of Law and a Master of Arts and Bachelor of Arts in English from St. Bonaventure University. He is a graduate of New York University’s Summer Publishing Institute.

Carleen Madigan is an Executive Editor at Storey Publishing, a division of Workman Publishing within Hachette Book Group.

Storey’s mission is to publish practical information that encourages personal independence in harmony with the environment.

The books we select to carry out our mission include nonfiction titles for adults and children in the areas of gardening, herbs, cooking, beer and wine making, nature, farming, animals, building, homesteading, natural health, home reference, crafts, and mind/body/spirit.

Wendy Keller is the “Chief Talent Launcher” at Keller Media, Inc. in Los Angeles. Keller Media represents authors to top publishers and specializes solely in adult nonfiction books. Keller Media has placed more than 1,500 deals worldwide, including 17 New York Times best-sellers and 9 international best sellers. Wendy started her first business at age 15 and got her first paid newspaper job as a 16-year-old college freshman.  A former award- winning journalist, she also worked for PR Newswire, the Knight-Ridder newspaper chain and became the associate publisher of Los Angeles’ then-second-largest weekly Spanish newspaper.  She founded Keller Media in 1989.

To participate in Pitch-the-Agents, you must be registered as a Gold, Platinum or VIP attendee and then fill out an application. Applications are announced a few weeks prior to commencement of the conference so be sure to register early.

Register for the Nonfiction Writers Conference.