Blank Slate Press Hears Pitches at MO Writers Guild Conference

I’m home and settled in after a weekend spent meeting and talking with attendees at the Missouri Writers’ Guild Conference. The conference, which was attended by writers from throughout the Midwest and beyond, was held at Westport Plaza in St. Louis and was organized by Deb Marshall who, incidentally, did a great job.

The conference was great, but it was particularly interesting for us at Blank Slate Press as it started the day after our standing-room-only book signing event at the downtown Left Bank Books. So, needless to say, we were stoked. And it was the first time the whole BSP crew–the three founders and our two debut authors, Fred Venturini and Anene Tressler, sat down to dinner together.

Both Fred and Anene read at the open mic night and sold/signed books in the conference bookstore. But, one of the best aspects of the conference for BSP was the fact that I (co-founder Kristina Blank Makansi) participated in the Agents & Editors panel with:

On Saturday, I spent the day, along with the other agents and editors, hearing pitches from unpublished conference participants and I enjoyed every moment of it! There was some nervousness, which I did my best to diffuse by saying I would be “on the other side of the table” pitching my own novel at a conference in June, but most of all there was a tremendous amount of energy and some very (VERY!) intriguing novel ideas.

We took a break for lunch and enjoyed a talk by Mary Troy, head of the UMSL MFA program and a published novelist herself. (Find Beauties here.)

After a break and a long chat at the bar with STL writer and educator Edward Scott Ibur, we enjoyed the conference banquet with keynote speaker Elaine Veits.

This morning (Sunday), I trekked back out to Westport Plaza to sit in on a Master Class session on Social Media with Kathleen Ortiz of Lowenstein Associates. As she pointed out, whether you like it or not, social media is not a fad. It is  here to stay and writers can (and should) learn to use it wisely to connect with both other writer and readers.

I don’t know how many of the authors who pitched to BSP on Saturday will fill out the application and submit a writing sample for consideration in our 2011 selection process, but no matter the number, I’m sure there will be some great ideas and some amazing writing. I’m looking forward to seeing what lands in our inbox!

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One Comment on “Blank Slate Press Hears Pitches at MO Writers Guild Conference”

  1. kerrymeacham Says:

    I enjoyed pitching to you Kristina. You were so open and supportive, which made it feel more like a conversation than a pitch.

    I did fill out the application and submit an email with my writing sample and picture. I think my idea is solid, and I checked out your brother’s nanotechnology company, Tempronics. It looks like an awesome way to capture energy. Now it’s a matter of whether my writing works for you guys.

    Good luck in finding the authors you’re looking for. You certainly made the pitch process enjoyable.


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