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April 3, 2024

First Literary Speed Dating results for 2024 

And just like that, our first Literary Speed Dating event for 2024 is over! A heartfelt  congratulations to all authors who pitched in this round. Our March event had over 229 authors complete 335 pitches to 19 publishers and 4 agents over 2 days. We’re  thrilled to share the results: 41% of attending authors receiving an expression of interest from a publisher or agent. 

In this round, the most sought-after genres were Literary Fiction, Commercial Fiction, and Crime & Thriller Fiction. The most requested manuscripts were Picture Books, Crime & Thriller Fiction, and Middle Grade novels, with Literary Fiction and Commercial Fiction following closely behind. 

Didn’t find a match this time?
You may not have found the right match during this round but that does not mean that there will not be interest in your manuscript in the future. What can you do to improve your chances of publication? 

  • Pitch to the right publisher or agent: by researching the right home for your work. Read publishers’ submission guidelines and what they’re looking for and format your manuscript to meet their criteria. To view a list of publishers and agents, ASA members can access  our online Guide to the Australian Book Industry
  • Perfect your pitch: through our Pitch Perfect course. The course is designed to help you nail your written and verbal pitch, plus participants get priority access to registration when Literary Speed Dating bookings open! 
  • Don’t pitch until you’re ready. Give yourself the best chance by careful preparation; completing multiple drafts and having your author bio and synopsis ready before you pitch. 

Where to next?
No matter what your next step looks like, we’re here to help. If you need professional support to bring your manuscript to a publishable standard, why not look into our Mentorships? We will pair you with an experienced mentor to work with you on your manuscript and provide insight on your best pathway to publication. 

Alternatively, if you want an objective assessment of whether you’re ready to pitch to publishers, try the Manuscript Assessment service. Already in talks with a publisher? Set yourself up for the best possible outcome through our contract review service with Authors Legal. And, of course, there is always our free Member Advice Service where you can submit your questions about the Australian publishing industry. 


Want to join our next Literary Speed Dating? 
Literary Speed Dating will be back in July! If you’re eager to get your unpublished manuscript in front of traditional publishers and agents, consider pitching at our next event. 

We’ve asked previous participants who have had success with Literary Speed Dating what their experience was like. Filip Vukasin, author of Modern Marriage, said, “I signed up to the ASA’s Literary Speed Dating on a whim during the lockdowns. Little did I know two weeks later I would be signed with an agent and after another three weeks presented with a publishing deal. It opened doors I didn’t think were possible”.

What’s his advice for first-time pitchers? “The single most important preparation for Literary Speed Dating is to attend Emily Booth’s Pitch Perfect sessions. Take lots of notes, ask  questions and then practise, practise, practise in the days before your pitch.”

Author, Jess Horn, found success at the 2023 Literary Speed Dating event. She said “I’ve found Literary Speed Dating a wonderful (and speedy!) way to get my stories in front of new publishers. I was so excited when my picture book pitch last year resulted in a two-book contract with Hardie Grant! My advice to authors would be to make your pitch personal – share why your book is unique and why it suits the publisher you’re pitching to.”  

If you’re interested in pitching in our next Literary Speed Dating event, make sure you’re signed up to our newsletter, News from the ASA, so you can see all updates and key information as soon as they’re announced.