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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

21 June 2024

Pitch Perfect priority registrations open

8 July 2024, 10am AEST

All ASA members, bookings open

9 July 2024, 10am AEST

Appointment details and zoom links issued

Week of 15 July 2024

Bookings close/Cancellation date

19 July 2024, 5pm AEST

Virtual Literary Speed Dating Day One

24 July 2024

Virtual Literary Speed Dating Day Two

26 July 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  • An unpublished manuscript that can be provided (in full) to the publisher if requested.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.

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 to access registrations early 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 5 days after priority access is given. Dates for Pitch Perfect priority booking access and general booking access will be shared shortly. 

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 24 July 2024

10:00-11:30 am AEST

High Spot Literary

https://www.highspotlit.com/

Rep: Vicki Marsdon, Literary Agent

Seeking: Commercial contemporary women’s fiction, crime and domestic thriller (no spies or warfare), historical romance, fresh takes on myths and legends. No children’s or YA projects please.

 

Thames & Hudson

https://thamesandhudson.com.au/

Rep: Clair Hume, Publisher – Children’s

Seeking: Children’s picture books with unique narratives or concepts. Children’s non-fiction ideas with a clever twist.

 

Allen & Unwin

https://www.allenandunwin.com/

Rep: Sally Heath, Publisher – Adult Non-Fiction

Seeking: Adult non-fiction with broad commercial appeal.

 

Melanie Ostell Literary

https://melanieostell.com.au/

Rep: Melanie Ostell, Literary Agent

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

12:00-1.30 pm AEST

Penguin Random House Australia

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

Rep: Meredith Curnow, Publisher – Knopf/Vintage

Seeking: Fiction: reading group, quality storytelling, literary fiction. Narrative non-fiction, history or current affairs/issues.

 

Penguin Random House Australia

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

Rep: Christine Ebbs, Publishing Executive

Seeking: Commercial fiction for adult readers in trending genres. At the moment I’m looking for romance, fantasy and psychological thrillers for adult readers. This includes contemporary romance, sports romance, a fresh take on rural romance, romantasy, dark fantasy, new takes on urban fantasy, witches, and anything with a really shocking twist. I’m looking for an original hook, strong voice, great sense of humour, strong world-building and great dialogue.

 

Annabel Barker Agency

https://annabelbarker.com/

Rep: Annabel Barker, Agent

Seeking: I will be seeking young adult, middle grade and junior fiction projects. I am also looking for non-fiction concepts for all ages.

2:00-3.30 pm AEST

HQ Books

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

Rep: Johanna Baker, Commissioning Editor

Seeking: I’m looking for fiction with complex female characters, interesting perspectives, good pace and strong hooks in a wide range of genres, including contemporary fiction, women’s fiction, mystery, thriller and romance. I’m not currently acquiring non-fiction or children’s/YA.

 

Penguin Random House Australia

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

Rep: Niki Foreman, Senior Editor

Seeking: Middle Grade fiction and children’s non-fiction for primary school aged readers.

 

Affirm Press

https://affirmpress.com.au/

Rep: Ruby Ashby-Orr, Commissioning Editor

Seeking: Non-fiction: women’s memoir, women’s non-fiction, Australian history. Fiction: Historical fiction, crime/thriller.

 

Left Bank Literary

https://leftbankliterary.com/

Rep: Gaby Naher, Literary Agent

Seeking: Ambitious, intelligent fiction, crime fiction, narrative non-fiction.

4:00-5.30 pm AEST

Zeitgeist Agency

https://www.zeitgeistagency.com/

Rep: Samuel Bernard, Literary Agent

Seeking: Sam is open to receiving submissions in commercial fiction, specifically crime, psychological thriller, historical fiction, and romance.

 

Alex Adsett Literary

https://alexadsett.com.au/

Rep: Abigail Nathan, Literary Agent

Seeking: Fiction in general and all things genre: sci-fi, fantasy, paranormal, horror, crime, thriller, romance (and any combination of those), for adult or YA.

Friday 26 July 2024

10:00-11:30 am AEST

Text Publishing

https://www.textpublishing.com.au/

Rep: Penny Hueston, Senior Editor

Seeking: Adult fiction (commercial and literary) or non-fiction, but no self-help or heavily illustrated larger format books (cookbooks, gardening etc.).

 

Pan Macmillan Australia

https://www.panmacmillan.com.au/

Rep: Danielle Walker, Executive Editor

Seeking: Commercial adult fiction (will consider crossover literary). Modern and contemporary fiction (a la Liane Moriarty and Sally Hepworth). Psychological thriller. Crime and mystery (cosy mystery, domestic noir, outback crime fiction, thriller). No romance please.

 

Pantera Press

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

Rep: Tom Langshaw, Publisher

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

12:00-1.30 pm AEST

Allen & Unwin

https://www.allenandunwin.com/

Rep: Elizabeth Weiss, Publisher – Adult Non-Fiction

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

 

HarperCollins

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

Rep: Roberta Ivers, Fiction & Non-Fiction Publisher

Seeking: All strong commercial adult fiction, particularly contemporary women’s, family drama, saga, thriller, historical, top quality crime, cosy crime, rom-com, romantasy. No YA or children’s submissions: we publish adult fiction only.

 

Allen & Unwin

https://www.allenandunwin.com/

Rep: Genevieve Buzo, Associate Publisher

Seeking: Fiction: literary and upmarket commercial fiction, crime and thriller

2:00-3.30 pm AEST

Shaw Literary

http://www.thebooksdesk.com/

Rep: Martin Shaw, Literary Agent

Seeking: Literary and commercial crossover fiction, crime fiction, memoir, non-fiction.

 

Hardie Grant Children’s Publishing

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. I would love to hear more own voices stories from minorities that are still narrative led with a clear hook and aren’t too didactic. For our Little Hare list, I’m looking for beautiful stories that touch your heart, make you smile and want to re-read that are fun for the whole family.

 

University of Queensland Press

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

Rep: Ian See, Senior Editor

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

 

Thames & Hudson

https://thamesandhudson.com.au/

Rep: Kirsten Abbott, Publishing Director

Seeking: Narrative non-fiction and illustrated non-fiction for the adult list on art, creative lives, architecture, food, lifestyle, gardens.