Is it worth attending the live conference? Daria Sockey shares her experience:*
At last years’ Catholic Writers Conference, I made a book pitch to Servant Publications acquisitions editor Claudia Volkman. She thought the idea had merit and encouraged me to submit a full proposal, which I did about a month later. It was a long wait. Getting impatient, I sent a (nice) “nag” email to Claudia in January. She reassured me that my book was still under consideration. It was quite an education to learn about the mysterious “marketing team” and the lengthy process required to vet a proposal. To make a long story short, I signed a contract in early June. The Everyday Catholic’s Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours will appear in Spring 2013!
I am so very grateful to CWG, because without the pitch sessions I don’t think I’d have a book contract today. The idea of writing a full proposal and sending it to a faceless publisher would have been too intimidating. And running a close second to my timidity was my laziness: who wants to do all the work of writing a proposal without having at least a hint that it might not be all for nothing? Receiving some friendly encouragement from a real human being who worked for a publisher made all the difference in the world, enabling me to take the next step and write the actual proposal.
I’m not sure whether I can manage to go to Arlington this year. After all, I have a manuscript deadline coming up. (How delicious to say that!) But I want to encourage everyone who has an idea, an outline, or half a chapter of a possible book to sign up for those pitch sessions. It’s true that a positive response to your pitch is not a promise of publication. But hearing an editor say, “yes, we would be interested in your proposal” makes all the difference in the world. I can’t recommend the CWG pitch sessions enough.
* Reprinted with permission. Daria’s articles on Catholic life have appeared in many publications. She authored several of the original Ignatius Press Faith and Life catechisms, and was a Senior Writer for Faith and Family Magazine until it ceased publication this year. She now writes for Catholic Digest. Her upcoming book will introduce Catholic laity to the “prayer of the whole people of God”, aka the Liturgy of the Hours. She blogs about the same topic at Coffee&Canticles and also at Catholic Exchange She’s a mother of seven and a grandmother of one.