Dear London Writing Society Members:
At the general membership meeting on Thursday, an announcement was made regarding the annual GenreCon event that will be occurring in Sarnia on Saturday April 13th. Specifically, at that convention, there will be a ‘pitch’ opportunity for writers who want to pitch their manuscript to an established regional publisher of genre fiction in the spectrum of science fiction, fantasy, horror, magic realism, etc. This publisher is CZP, which stands for Chizine Pub. Their web site is: chizinepub.com. Notably, their display of published works is reasonably extensive—dozens of novels by multiple authors. Their product line can be seen online at Chapters or Amazon.
I talked with their co-publisher, and she said that only twenty-five authors will be given a chance to pitch their scripts to CZP at GenreCon. This is free, but you have to register for it beforehand. I told them that there potentially would be multiple authors in LWS who would be interested, and I asked if they could accommodate us if we decided to come as a group. In response, CZP said that they might be able to make a special accommodation for us if we come with a group, but only if we contact the organizers ahead of time with a firm number and contact details.
Given this, the London Writers Society wants to know the following:
A) Which members would like to pitch a manuscript at GenreCon? If we have a significant number, then I will contact CZP and the GenreCon organizers and ask for them to set aside spots for us. If we have only a modest number, then I will suggest that our individual members register with the GenreCon people directly. (Their phone number is listed below.) Given that there will be only a finite number of pitch slots, if we want slots set aside for the LWS, we should approach the organizers soon. Thus, send me your answer by the beginning of next week.
B) Who would like to attend GenreCon simply for its events as part of an informal LWS field trip? Specifically, the LWS would be happy to organize carpooling if we get a significant number of members who want to attend the event. Notably, apparently we have to ‘reserve our seat’ ahead of time.
If you are interested in either of these options, email me, Buddy, at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll tabulate the results. Be sure to tell me: do you want to pitch or just attend? Do you need a car pool ride? If you’re up for either, please be sure to send along your full name and phone number.
The details of GenreCon in general and the pitch session are below. Before you decide to pitch, make certain that you have read the pitch event details below.
Also, we have had a request from members for advice on how to pitch. If we get a significant number of members who want to pitch, we can discuss perhaps having a pitch prep meeting beforehand. Jolene kindly offered to assemble advice on pitches from web sources.
Pitch Event Details
When I quizzed the CZP co-publisher for details about the pitch sessions, they offered the following clarifications:
- Participants will have 10 minutes for the pitch.
- Must bring only a single chapter, not more than 30-40 pages of clean copy, usual manuscript format (i.e., double-spaced). Bringing anything with spelling mistakes, grammar problems, etc., is instant failure.
- The rest of the work must already be finished right down to clean copy. Notably, she later qualified this as ‘virtually finished.’
- They do not want story collections. (Says they never sell.)
- In terms of length, they like 70k-100k as a target range.
- When I asked if they were looking for genres out of the ‘spec fic’ spectrum, e.g., crime and history, they said no.
- The CZP person said that the question that most often trips up people at their pitches is ‘Where is it going?’ By this, she said she means that authors have to be able to explain the ultimate thematic purpose and climactic events of the story.
Details of the GenreCon in General
Usually, such an event has an official web page with details of the event, but I’ve been unable to find one for GenreCon 2013. I finally called the listed contact number, which is the Sarnia Library, only to be told that I have to talk with the gentleman organizing the event, but he will not be back until Tuesday. However, here is an article on the event that I found several places on the net:
GenreCon, a free literary convention featuring mystery, science fiction, horror and fantasy authors and poets, returns to Sarnia Library on Saturday, April 13 2013.
New this year are, in honour of National Poetry Month, a feature panel on writing poetry with poets Norma West Linder, Lynne Tait and James Deahl and the opportunity for horror, fantasy or science fiction writers with a literary bent to pitch their novel for ten minutes to publisher ChiZine Publications. Pitches will be by appointment only. For more information and to sign up, contact the Sarnia Library Reference Department. ChiZine representatives attending are Bram Stoker Award winning Co-publishers; Editor in Chief Brett Savory and Aurora Award winning poet, editor and author Sandra Kasturi. Also attending are horror, fantasy and science fiction writers Suzanne Church and Jeff De Luzio, award winning science fiction writer and editor Eric Choi, and mystery writers Dennis Collins, and Peg Herring.
Providing fans and local writers with the opportunity to talk with other genre fans and writers, GenreCon presents a wide range of panels on writing, reading, electronic publishing, and the mystery, horror, fantasy and science fiction genres. In the afternoon there will also be a free anime movie on the big screen in the Library Theatre, book signings and books for sale.
Discussion panels take place from 10 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. There will be a meet and greet reception from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Seating is limited. Please contact the Reference Department at 519-337-3291 to reserve your seat or to book a ten minute pitch session with ChiZine Press.