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Virtual Literary Speed Dating

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

7 February 2024

Pitch Perfect priority registrations open

14 February 2024, 10am AEDT

All ASA members, bookings open

19 February 2024, 10am AEDT

Appointment details and Zoom links issued

Week of 26 February

Bookings Close/Cancellation deadline

8 March 2024, 5pm AEDT

Virtual Literary Speed Dating Day One

13 March 2024

Virtual Literary Speed Dating Day Two

15 March 2024

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.
  • An unpublished manuscript that can be provided (in full) to the publisher if requested.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 below carefully and are clear that the individual representing the publisher/agency is actively seeking your manuscript’s genre/readership.

Fiction and children’s authors: 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.

Non-fiction authors: if your manuscript is in the genres of general, illustrated, and lifestyle non-fiction you do not need to pitch a completed manuscript – a chapter outline and sample will suffice. Writers of all other non-fiction genres – including memoir and biography – must pitch a completed manuscript.

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 14 February 2024, 10am AEDT.

Participants who have attended Pitch Perfect within three years will be given priority access to register for Virtual Literary Speed Dating. Participants will be emailed a link at 10am AEDT on Wednesday 14 February 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 19 February 2024, 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 access 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 13 March 2024

10-11:30am AEDT

HQ Books (a division of HarperCollins Australia) (BOOKED OUT)

https://www.harpercollins.com.au/hq/

Rep: Rachael Donovan, Publisher

Seeking: True crime, History, Science, Memoir, Politics, Current affairs, Military, Women’s commercial fiction, Crime/thriller fiction, Literary fiction

 

Thames & Hudson (BOOKED OUT)

https://thamesandhudson.com.au/

Rep: Clair Hume, Publisher – Children’s

Seeking: Literary standalone middle grade, and YA

 

Echo Publishing (BOOKED OUT)

https://www.echopublishing.com.au/

Rep: Juliet Rogers, Publisher

Seeking: Strong adult non-fiction across narrative non-fiction, business, health and wellbeing and quality commercial fiction

12-1.30pm AEDT

Penguin Random House Australia (BOOKED OUT)

https://www.penguin.com.au/

Rep: Christine Ebbs, Publishing Executive

Seeking: Romance: contemporary romance, sports romance, romantic comedy. Fantasy: romantasy, dark fantasy, urban fantasy, witches. Things I’m looking for: an original hook, strong voice, great sense of humour, great world-building

 

Allen & Unwin (BOOKED OUT)

https://www.allenandunwin.com/

Rep: Samantha Forge, Associate Publisher

Seeking: The Allen & Unwin children’s team publish the best books for kids of any age. Samantha is looking for stories with fresh, original storylines, strong characters, a flair for language and an authentic voice that will appeal to children. She is particularly interested in picture books from author-illustrators, junior fiction with a strong, unique voice, and non-fiction submissions for children of all ages.

 

Sarah McKenzie Literary Management (BOOKED OUT)

www.hindsight.net.au

Rep: Sarah McKeznie, Director

Seeking: Literary and commercial fiction, narrative nonfiction and memoir, middle grade, junior fiction and picture books. Actively pursuing diverse and marginalised voices.

2-3.30pm AEDT

Hardie Grant Children’s Publishing (BOOKED OUT)

https://www.hardiegrant.com/au/hardie-grant-childrens-publishing

Rep: Marisa Pintado, Publishing Director

Seeking: Looking for surprising, fun, memorable fiction, non-fiction and graphic novels for children and young adults, particularly by authors from marginalised backgrounds. Favourite genres for younger readers include humour, magic, adventure and horror (scary or silly); rom-coms, urban fantasy and thrillers for young adults; nonfiction that decolonises familiar topics or explores from a new perspective; and graphic novels for all ages, in any genre. I am accepting humorous picture books with a strong, original premise, and picture books that shine a light on important topics for our Bright Light imprint.

 

University of Queensland Press (BOOKED OUT)

https://www.uqp.com.au/

Rep: Ian See, Senior Editor

Seeking: For the adult list. Fiction: literary fiction, upmarket commercial fiction. Nonfiction: narrative nonfiction, current affairs, politics, popular science

 

Melanie Ostell Literary (BOOKED OUT)

https://melanieostell.com.au/

Rep: Melanie Ostell, Agent

Seeking: Adult fiction and non-fiction. Adult: lit fiction, high-quality commercial fiction, crime fiction; non-fiction: biographies, histories, science and technology. No middle grade, no memoir, no YA

Friday 15 March 2024

10-11:30am AEDT

Affirm Press (BOOKED OUT)

https://affirmpress.com.au/

Rep: Ruby Ashby-Orr, Commissioning Editor

Seeking: Women’s memoir and N/F, historical fiction, history (Australian), crime/thriller

 

Pantera Press (BOOKED OUT)

https://www.panterapress.com.au/

Rep: Tom Langshaw, Publisher

Seeking: Literary fiction, crime and thriller, rom-com, commercial women’s fiction

 

Hardie Grant Children’s Publishing (BOOKED OUT)

https://www.hardiegrant.com/au/hardie-grant-childrens-publishing

Rep: Pooja Desai, Art Director

Seeking: For our Bright Light list, I’m looking for books that shine a light on important conversations with a gentle touch, that celebrate diversity and uplift marginalised communities. For our Little Hare list, I’m looking for beautiful stories that touch your heart, make you smile and want to re-read.

12-1.30pm AEDT

Allen & Unwin (BOOKED OUT)

https://www.allenandunwin.com/

Rep: Elizabeth Weiss, Publisher

Seeking: Non-fiction only: memoir/biography, history, First Nations issues, popular science, politics, economics, social issues, cultural issues, health and wellbeing, environment, business

 

High Spot Literary (BOOKED OUT)

https://www.highspotlit.com/

Rep: Fergus Inder, Literary Agent

Seeking: Currently: Fergus is looking for compelling Australian non-fiction projects, including those in the food and wine space. For fiction projects, he is actively seeking thriller, crime, action/adventure, science fiction, horror, and compelling literary fiction. He prefers to work with local authors in Australia and New Zealand but will consider some international manuscripts. Please see my MSWL for more detailed information.

 

University of Queensland Press (BOOKED OUT)

https://www.uqp.com.au/

Rep: Cathy Vallance, Children’s and Young Adult Publisher

Seeking: Picture books, junior fiction, middle-grade and YA. I’m not after rhyming verse, talking animals or toilet humour. I like funny, thoughtful books that have something a little bit different to say.

2-3.30pm AEDT

Fremantle Press

https://fremantlepress.com.au/

Rep: Georgia Richter, Publisher

Seeking: Author must have a Western Australian connection. Happy to consider adult fiction, narrative non-fiction and poetry.

 

Thames & Hudson

https://thamesandhudson.com.au/

Rep: Kirsten Abbott, Publishing Director

Seeking: Illustrated books on art, creative lives, architecture, food, lifestyle, gardens.

 

Alex Adsett Literary (BOOKED OUT)

https://alexadsett.com.au/

Rep: Alex Adsett, Literary Agent

Seeking: • highly commercial adult fiction (in any genre), • literary fiction with a strong narrative hook • exciting narrative non-fiction with a great hook, • crime & mystery, • romance (above 70,000 words), especially with a dash of mystery or SF • rom com & commercial women’s fiction • science fiction & fantasy (not urban fantasy) • YA fiction (genre or contemporary). NOT looking for memoir, short stories, poetry, satire or parody, or urban fantasy.