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Virtual Literary Speed Dating

Important change to booking dates

Due to an unexpected website error, the booking timeline for October’s Literary Speed Dating has changed. Please see the Key Dates below.

Pitch Perfect priority registrations will open 10am AEDT, 4 October 2023.

All ASA member bookings will now open 10am AEDT, 9 October 2023. 


Please note: when a publisher or agent’s session has booked out, it will no longer appear as an option on the booking page. Booked out sessions have been marked on the publisher and agent list below. Members can register their interest in any booked out sessions by joining the wait list.

Have a completed manuscript? Our successful Literary Speed Dating event series gives writers a unique three-minute opportunity to pitch to Australian publishers and agents.

Key dates

Attending publishers and agents announced

6 September 2023

Pitch Perfect priority registrations open

4 October 2023, 10am AEDT

All ASA members, bookings open

9 October 2023, 10am AEDT

Appointment details and Zoom links issued

Week of 9 October 2023

Bookings Close/Cancellation deadline

20 October 2023, 5pm AEDT

Virtual Literary Speed Dating Day One

25 October 2023

Virtual Literary Speed Dating Day Two

27 October 2023

How it works

First, choose which publisher or agent you’d like to pitch to. (Make sure your work is a good fit for what they’re looking for. You can book up to two pitches per event.)

We’ll allocate you a time for your 3-minute Zoom meeting with your chosen publisher or agent.

During this time, you can provide an elevator-style pitch of your work. No screen-sharing is allowed, and please don’t ask for feedback or contact details during your 3 minutes.

If the publisher or agent wants to see your full manuscript, we’ll let you know via email within one week of the event.

Once you’ve sent them your material, they’ll generally provide feedback to you within three months.

How to book

Make sure you’re an Associate or Full ASA member – this event is members-only.
Not yet a member? Join us!

Next, take a look at the list of attending publishers and agents (below), and check what they are looking for.

If they’re right for your manuscript, use the tile to the right to book your pitch. Remember, places fill up quickly once bookings open, so be fast. You can book up to two pitches across each event, and no more than one with the same publisher or agent.

(Keep in mind you won’t be eligible if you’ve already pitched the same manuscript four times at Literary Speed Dating Events, if you have self-published the manuscript or if you have already submitted the manuscript to the same publisher or agent you’re booking with.)

Additional information

Both Full and Associate ASA members are eligible to attend Virtual Literary Speed Dating if you have:


  • A current, financial membership.
  • A completed, unpublished manuscript that can be provided (in full) to the publisher if requested.
  • Confidence in using Zoom in a fast-paced environment.
  • Read the attending publisher and agent information carefully and are clear that the individual representing the publisher/agency is actively seeking your manuscript’s genre/readership.


Your pitch must be for a completed manuscript, not an idea, that has not been pitched at two or more Literary Speed Dating events previously. If you are successful in your pitch, the publisher/agent will request to read your completed manuscript. If your manuscript is not complete or you are not comfortable in providing it at present, please continue working on your project and attend a Literary Speed Dating event at a later date when your work is completed.


These events are not location restricted. Members from all across the country and overseas are welcome to participate virtually.


Members will not be eligible to attend if:


  • Your membership has expired or is unfinancial.
  • The manuscript you intend to pitch has already been pitched four times at Virtual Literary Speed Dating events previously, i.e. members can book up to two pitches per Virtual Literary Speed Dating event but the manuscript cannot be pitched more than four times in total. You are welcome to pitch new manuscripts.
  • You have self-published or previously published the work you intend to pitch. (Virtual Literary Speed Dating is designed for unpublished manuscripts only. Please see our FAQs here to understand more.)
  • You have already submitted the manuscript to the publisher/agent you intend to book in with.


If you are uncertain about whether you are eligible or if it is appropriate to pitch, please contact us at [email protected] or 02 9211 1004 before booking.

Priority bookings open for Pitch Perfect participants Wednesday 4 October 2023, 10am AEDT.

Participants who have attended Pitch Perfect between 2020-2023 will be given priority access to register for Virtual Literary Speed Dating. Participants will be emailed a link at 10am AEDT on Wednesday 4 October to access registrations early. This link will be emailed from the email address [email protected] at 10am exactly, so please check your junk/spam folder if you do not see it immediately.

Bookings open for all members Monday 9 October 2023, 10am AEDT.

For tips on finding the right publisher or agent, please see our information hub.


Publishers and agents will only seek certain material at the event. Do not book into a pitching slot if the representative is not seeking the kind of material you intend to pitch, e.g. do not pitch a picture book to an agent seeking non-fiction. Research the attending publishers and agents carefully to ensure you understand what kind of manuscripts the attending representatives are seeking and to ensure you are comfortable pitching your work to them.

You will have a maximum of three minutes face-to-face time. Be as succinct and to the point as possible. Be flexible as the publishers and agents may have questions for you during the three minutes.


For the best chance for success, we encourage you to attend one of  our Pitch Perfect or Pitch Perfect Picture Books courses prior to pitching. You’ll receive an up-to-date snapshot of the publishing landscape today, learn how to describe your work and what you need to have ready before you pitch, and receive a template to structure your time. Plus you’ll get lots of tips on how to make the most of your 3 minutes. Those who attend Pitch Perfect or Pitch Perfect Picture Books are also given priority access to book for Literary Speed Dating.


After booking, you will receive a link to the ASA’s video, ‘Structuring your 3-Minute Pitch’, which we have found, when followed, increases the chance of pitching success.

Attending Publishers and Agents

Wednesday 25 October 2023

10am-11.30am AEDT

CSIRO Publishing

Rep: Briana Melideo/Melinda Chandler – Publishers

Seeking: Interested in natural science, environment, science and society (ideas, issues, challenges etc), Indigenous Australia and science communication


Scholastic Australia (BOOKED OUT)

Rep: Rebecca Young – Senior Publisher

Seeking: Picture books – original, humorous or heartfelt (or all three!); Junior fiction/illustrated fiction manuscripts

This session has booked out. Join the wait list.


Annabel Barker Agency (BOOKED OUT)

Rep: Annabel Barker – Literary Agent

Seeking: Picture books, junior fiction, middle grade and young adult

This session has booked out. Join the wait list.

12pm-1.30pm AEDT

Alex Adsett Literary

Rep: Alex Adsett – Literary Agent

Seeking: Crime, mystery, romance, commercial fiction, narrative non-fiction (ie. excluding memoir), science fiction and fantasy (not urban fantasy, not dystopian). Not accepting poetry or short stories.


Hardie Grant Children’s Publishing (BOOKED OUT)

Rep: Marisa Pintado – Publishing Director

Seeking: Graphic novel manuscripts for all ages, from children to adult readers; Picture books for our Bright Light imprint, which is dedicated to stories that shine a light on important conversations for modern families, from exploring feminism and privilege, to understanding diversity within family structures or communities to how bodies work differently. More information at; Engaging, voice-driven, broadly appealing junior fiction for readers aged 5+, middle-grade for readers aged 9+, and YA for readers aged 12+ (NB: I am particularly interest in meeting with authors from communities that have been historically excluded from publishing because of their race/ethnicity, sexuality, gender identity or disability)

This session has booked out. Join the wait list.


Sarah McKenzie Literary Management

Rep: Sarah McKenzie – Director

Seeking: Literary and commercial fiction (especially well-crafted thrillers), memoir, middle grade, graphic novels and picture books (especially from author-illustrators). Actively seeking stories by writers from diverse and historically under-represented communities. Not looking at any speculative fiction.

2pm-3.30pm AEDT

Shaw Literary

Rep: Martin Shaw – Literary Agent

Seeking: Literary & commercial crossover fiction, crime fiction, memoir, non-fiction


3.30pm-5pm AEDT

Canelo Publishing

Rep: Emily Bedford – Editorial Director

Seeking: contemporary romance and romcom, LGBTQ+ contemporary romance, sports romance, WWI and WWII romance, dual timeline/time-slip romance, historical fiction (1800s+) with a female lead, Regency romance, romantasy


Canelo Publishing

Rep: Kit Nevile – Commissioning Editor

Seeking: Horror, Crime (some contemporary, but especially historical set and that with a speculative edge, NO cosy crime), Thriller, Historical Adventure

Friday 27 October 2023

10am-11.30am AEDT

Curtis Brown Australia

Rep: Benjamin Paz – Associate Agent

Seeking: Benjamin has a taste for innovative crime fiction, thrillers with strong hooks and unpredictable twists, strongly drawn character dramas, and millennial literary fiction with a sharp tongue. He is not afraid of subversive or daring works, and loves a bit of black humour. He bugs everyone else in the office by trying to guess endings.


Pantera Press

Rep: Kirsty Van der Veer – Editor and Production Coordinator

Seeking: middle-grade fiction, YA fiction, commercial women’s fiction, rom-coms, historical fiction, crime/thriller fiction, literary fiction, and fantasy/speculative fiction (standalone books only)


Hardie Grant Children’s Publishing

Rep: Pooja Desai – Art Director

Seeking: Looking for picture books and/or board books from diverse creators who would feel at home on our Bright Light imprint. Bright Light aims to shine a light on challenging conversations, and give parents, carers and educators the opportunity to spark these conversations with children through the power of stories

12pm-1.30pm AEDT

Penguin Random House Australia

Rep: Meredith Curnow – Publisher – Knopf, Vintage, Hamish Hamilton, Viking

Seeking: Literary fiction that is voice and character driven, and narrative non-fiction that has something unique to discuss


Pan Macmillan Australia

Rep: Alex Lloyd – Publisher

Seeking: Commercial adult fiction and non-fiction. In-fiction, I’m looking for engaging, mass-market novels with an interest in action thriller, domestic thriller/suspense, crime, women’s fiction and family drama. In non-fiction, I’m interested in clever narrative non-fiction (not memoir), popular science, history and personal development/self-help.


NewSouth Publishing

Rep: Harriet McInerney – Publisher

Seeking: Non-Fiction

2pm-3.30pm AEDT

Monash University Publishing

Rep: Julia Carlomagno – Publisher & Director

Seeking: Nonfiction – biography, history, current affairs, politics, memoir (no self-help or personal transformational journey books). Fiction – previously published literary fiction authors (publication may be in journals or other smaller scale platforms).


High Spot Literary

Rep: Fergus Inder – Junior Agent

Seeking: Literary fiction and some genres of commerical fiction. Genre fiction including Action/Adventure, Crime, Horror/thriller/paranormal, Adult literary, Romance. Creative non-fiction/memoir with comedy. No YA. Only seeking Australian Based Authors


Affirm Press

Rep: Ruby Ashby-Orr – Senior Editor

Seeking: Interested in strong commercial NF (particularly memoir) and fiction, no children’s lit or poetry