The Pros and Cons of Literary Speed Dating

Curious about pitching events? Lisa Kenway shares her experience.

Lisa Kenway

man and woman sitting in front of table with books and cup of coffee facing each other Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

A couple of weeks ago I attended my first face-to-face pitching event: ASA literary speed dating, in Sydney. These events are generally held in Sydney and Melbourne every year, and are a rare opportunity for writers to pitch work directly to agents and publishers. This year the ASA also offered a similar opportunity for regional writers to pitch via phone or video conference in a virtual literary speed dating event.

For those who haven’t heard of literary speed dating, imagine a high school parent-teacher conference. With a lot of nervous parents. One agent and seven publishers were seated at desks around a large room, and eighty or so hopeful authors lined up for the chance to pitch their work. The time allowed for each pitch was three minutes, at which time a bell rang and you moved to the end of another queue. We had…

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