Make the Most of Your Editor/Agent Appointment

Melissa K. Norris gives some great tips for the upcoming NCWA Renewal conference. See end of post for links.

You’ve invested in your writing career and signed up for the conference. You’re excited to pitch your manuscript to an editor and agent. This is it. They’re going to love your pitch and request the full manuscript. Your dreams are about to come true. You hope.

Here are some tips to turn that hope into reality.

1. Check out the editor/agents websites. See what they represent and which one fits your genre and style the best. Don’t pitch your YA to an agent who clearly states on their site they only do adult fiction.

2. Write your pitch down and go over it. This is the perfect time to pull out your query and glean the best from it. Take your pitch with you to the appointment. If you get so nervous you can’t remember your own name, you can read from your notes.

3. Start off with your name, genre, and word count. “My name is Melissa K. Norris and my novel is a 73,000 word historical romance titled, Journey of Promise.” If you’re pitching your book it needs to be finished. Editors won’t buy an unfinished book from a debut author and agents can’t sell what’s not written. If your book isn’t finished, then you can sit in and gain experience while listening to others pitch.

4. Bring some copies of your proposal and first three chapters. But don’t ever hand them to an editor/agent unless they ask for them. Most will prefer you email them the information once they’ve gotten home. If they took everyone’s papers they wouldn’t be able to fit their clothes in their suitcase. But, sometimes they’ll ask for this and you want to be prepared.

5. Send the requested information. If an editor/agent requests your work, then send it. Make sure you give it another final edit. You’ll probably want to apply the great things you’ve learned from the conference to your work. But do send it.

6. Relax. Editors and agents are people. Here’s a great link to literary agent Steve Laube’s website for an agent’s perspective on pitching appointments.

Share your tips and advice for editor/agent appointments. Let’s make this the best NCWA’s Renewal ever.


Registration is still open for NCWA’s Renewal Conference on May 20, 21. Don’t miss the great line-up of speakers, workshops and industry professionals!

Melissa K. Norris joined NCWA in 2010. Visit her author Facebook page for all things writing and Jesus. Find God in everyday life and get your daily dose of Faith, Friends, and Frappuccino’s at Read the first page of her historical novel at


2 thoughts on “Make the Most of Your Editor/Agent Appointment

  1. This IS a much more professional post than mine on conferences and baby pee! There’s mine. Thanks for sharing your link.

    #2 is great advice that I haven’t often seen. I gave my one sentence pitch then choked so I eventually just read my notes. I think I will start practicing out loud with everyone I meet until the conference. I wonder how that will go in line at the bank, “um yes…my protagonist is a bank robber who falls in love with a bank teller…”

    Now I’d better get my book written so I can pitch for real at NCWA


  2. Jess,
    I’m glad you found it helpful. I loved how your writing voice came through your post. It shows your humor and as a mom of a toddler and kindergartner, I could empathize with you. 🙂

    I look forward to meeting you in May. We can practice together.


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