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Two Not-to-be-Missed Willamette Writers Conference Events

Leverage these two high-value conference freebees

If you’re attending this year’s Willamette Writers Conference, be sure to take advantage of Manuscript ER and Pitch Practice. With all the conference has to offer – almost 100 workshops, one-on-one pitches, group meetings, book signings, guest speakers, silent auction – these two free and high-value offerings can get overlooked.

Manuscript ER – Here’s an opportunity to sit down one-on-one with a professional editor and receive immediate feedback. These pros have helped me with fine-tuning my query letter, synopsis, and opening pages. They’ll also look at your book proposal or any other areas of writing where you need help. This is not the same thing as the Advance Manuscript Critique, which you have to pay for and submit before the conference. Manuscript ER is free with your conference registration.

Pitch Practice – The first time I signed up to pitch to agents and editors at the conference I was a nervous wreck. I’d spent weeks writing and rewriting my pitch and practicing it on anyone who would listen. But I’m so glad Pitch Practice was there so I could sit down face-to-face with someone who’d been through the pitching process. Her feedback helped assure me my pitch was delivered in an upbeat and succinct manner. I went into my first agent pitch feeling more relaxed and confident. The writing pros who volunteer for Pitch Practice are there to help you hone your pitching skills and answer any questions you have about pitching at the conference.

Both Manuscript ER and Pitch Practice are from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from 9 a.m. to noon on Sunday. When you arrive, have breakfast, then head for the Garden Foyer to sign up for your free15-minute sessions.

You can also take advantage of early registration on Thursday night from 6 to 9 p.m. and drop into Pitch Practice with the Pros. Come early, as it’s on a first come, first serve basis and fills up fast. Or just come and hear others pitch. You can learn a lot by listening to the feedback other writers receive.