The National Creative Writing Graduate Fair is the essential event for creative writers with
aspirations to be published, but who may not know the hows and ways of doing so. An all-day event with a stellar line up of speakers, including a key note speech from best-selling author Kit de Waal, the day consists of:

  • panel discussions on trending topics in the publishing world, as well as p
    ragmatic advice
    being offered from experienced pros from the industry on key skills like self-promotion, remaining motivated, and finding an editor;
  • workshops covering everything from crafting the perfect submissions package, to adapting your writing form, and how to be a successful blogger;
  • the opportunity to pitch your ideas to leading literary agents and editors from across the country.

The pitching sessions are a marvellous opportunity to not only practice your pitching technique and glean advice and guidance from industry professionals, but are a great way for you to showcase your ideas to some of the country’s most sought-after literary agents.

To help you prepare for these sessions, we asked our agents to provide some advice ahead of the day to ensure that you make the most out of your pitching sessions. Philippa Milnes-Smith, Managing Director of LAW Agency, and a specialist in children’s and YA fiction, had these pearls of wisdom for our delegates:

“It’s not bad to be nervous if you are making a verbal pitch. Most people are. philippa-milnes-smithBut before you begin, just take a calming breath – and  pause. Make sure you don’t trip into a headlong rush…

Prepare thoroughly. There’s really no substitute. If you need notes with you they should only be a comfort blanket. You shouldn’t have to read from them…

Remember the person you are pitching to really wants you to do well and pitch them an exciting idea. 

Start with the basics along the lines of: Hi, I’m Joe/Jane Author and I’d like to tell you about my novel for young adults/epic romance set in Napoleoni France/true crime narrative non-fiction etc. It really helps focus the person you are pitching to.

Make sure you can talk a bit about yourself as author. A mini verbal CV if you like. 

Keep eye contact; stay human; and try to enjoy yourself.”


We’ll be posting more top tips from our attending agents on The Comma Press Blog in the run up to the #NCWGradFair. Tickets are selling fast and booking is set to close at the end of this week, so don’t miss out! For tickets and to book onto the day:


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