Frequently Asked Questions
Who should attend this conference?
The Loft's Pitch Conference will bring to town 18 excellent agents who are seeking new work to represent. The conference will also be developing content with other publishing professionals, including visiting editors. While the conference will offer learning, networking, and trends around publishing, revision, and querying, attendees with a polished manuscript or a strong nonfiction book proposal will gain the most out of their attendance.
Agents and editors expect that people pitching to them have completed manuscripts or polished nonfiction book proposals, so we do not recommend you attend this conference unless you have a project ready to pitch.
Are there any genres that will not be represented?
This conference is a great choice for writers of fiction (including most genres: middle grade, young adult, literary, science fiction/fantasy, graphic novels, mystery, thriller, romance, horror, humor, short story, historical, women’s) and creative nonfiction (memoir, narrative nonfiction, history, biography, cook books, popular culture, and popular science).
It is not recommended that screenwriters, playwrights, poets, or children’s picture book writers attend as they are not likely to find matches.
Do I need to have a completed manuscript to attend the conference?
Yes, or a polished book proposal for a nonfiction project. As mentioned above, agents and editors expect that people pitching to them have completed manuscripts or polished nonfiction book proposals. We do not recommend you attend this conference unless you have a project ready to pitch. You do not, however, need to bring a manuscript with you. It is just an expectation that you have a project in a final draft and that if requested, you would be ready to share that with the visiting agent by email after the conference.
I can’t attend this year or my project isn’t quite ready, will you be doing this again?
The Loft very much hopes to make this a regular event. We will look at evaluations and conference attendance after the conference is over and decide on our future plans. We are looking to switch this event to the fall in coming years, which likely means the next conference will be fall of 2019.
How do I guarantee a pitch meeting with a particular agent or editor?
The Loft can’t guarantee a meeting with a specific editor or agent; this is why we ask you to be flexible and open minded, and give 8 ordered preferences following the registration process. At our last two Pitch conferences, we were able to honor every attendee's first choice, but there are a limited number of pitch slots per agent, so we cannot guarantee this access every year. Every agent brings a breadth and depth of knowledge of the publishing industry and the road to getting published. Rest assured, conference attendees will gain valuable insight on their own road to publication regardless of whether they sit down with their first, second, or third choice. We will be matching attendees after the close of the refund period on March 30. You should expect to receive your match notifications after that date. We cannot accommodate refunds if you do not get paired with your first choice of agent.
How does the pitch session scheduling work?
Once you register for the conference, you will receive an email inviting you to fill out your order of preference for pitch meetings. The deadline to fill out that form is March 30, 2018 at 4 p.m. If you change your mind after you fill it out, simply fill out the form again. We will only use your most recent entry. After the deadline, we will go through every entry and work to assign each participant to their top choices. If there are more requests than slots, we will use randomizer.org as a lottery to assign pitch sessions.
What should I bring to the conference?
You do not need to bring your manuscript. You may want to bring a copy or two of your query letter in case an agent requests it, but you do not need to. We do recommend that you bring something to take notes with.
Please note: laptops are fine, but the space does not have enough outlets to accommodate every conference attendee. We recommend you bring your laptop fully charged and be kind in sharing the juice throughout the building. The Loft will provide lunch each day. We will also have coffee and water available throughout the morning. You may want to bring additional beverages or snacks for the day, or lunch if you have dietary restrictions.
How will lunch work at the conference?
Lunch will be provided by the Loft each day. Due to the number of attendees, we can only accommodate vegetarian dietary restrictions. You are welcome to bring your own lunch or purchase one from the cafe if you need special accommodations. Lunch is part of your registration and we cannot refund for unclaimed lunches. On Friday, lunch will be hosted in the Performance Hall and it will be a working lunch with speakers helping prepare you for your pitches. In order to fit everyone in the hall for this working lunch, we will not be able to provide table space. We heard feedback from past attendees that they would prefer this kind of working lunch. You are welcome to skip the lunch if this setup does not suit you.
On Saturday, lunch will be more open access. Attendees will be served box lunches and will be welcome to take them into the public spaces of the building as well as outside if weather cooperates. We encourage you to meet your fellow attendees during this lunch.
What if I don’t like the feedback I get from an editor or agent?
The Loft has gone to great lengths to bring in an exciting lineup of top professionals. We cannot, however, guarantee the result of any pitch or networking meeting. No refunds can be issued because an agent or editor does not select your work for publication or representation.
When does registration open?
Registration opens to Loft members beginning November 14, 2017. Register online at www.loft.org or by phone, 612-379-8999. If space is still available, registration for the general public will open on November 15, 2017.
What are the exact times and location of the conference?
The conference will take place Friday, April 20 and Saturday, April 21.
On Friday, registration will open at 8 a.m. There will be sessions and activities from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Dinner on Friday will be on your own, but you will return Friday night for a Pitch social and networking event from 7–8:30 p.m.
On Saturday, we will host a coffee and pastry networking event starting at 8 a.m. Breakout and pitch sessions will carry out throughout the day from 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
All conference activities will be held at the Loft's home in Open Book at 1011 Washington Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55415.
How much is the conference?
The conference is priced at $550.00, $495.00 for Loft members (members are eligible for the discount if they are a sustaining member or have given $60 or more in the last year).
Do you offer scholarships?
The Loft will offer ten scholarships for writers of color this year. You must apply through this form by November 6, 2017 at midnight to be eligible. If more than 10 people apply, we will conduct a lottery to award the slots.
What is your refund/cancellation policy?
Registrants can get the Loft’s standard 85% refund (minus a 15% administrative fee) as long as the registration is cancelled by 4 p.m., Friday, March 30, 2018. You must call the Loft’s education office at 612-379-8999 to cancel registration; this can not be done online. There are no refunds after that date and no exceptions can be made. We can not offer a refund to anyone unhappy with feedback given at the conference, nor can we offer a refund if an agent or editor has to cancel his or her appearance and the Loft provides a suitable substitute. In the unlikely event that the Loft has to cancel due to weather or other events out of our control, the conference will be rescheduled. If that happens, registrants can either transfer their registration to the rescheduled date or receive a 100% refund.
What happens if an agent or editor can’t make it?
The Loft reserves the right to change the lineup at any time due to unforeseen circumstances. Our lineup is confirmed and the agents and editors have committed to come to Minneapolis, but circumstances may arise where they may not be able to make it at the last minute. We will do our best to make the most appropriate substitution possible if this happens, but refunds due to agent or editor substitutions are not possible. Please consider this policy before registering.