~ publishers to discover top new local talent ~
Budding authors should be dotting their i’s and crossing their t’s on their manuscripts in preparation for the close of the Byron Bay Writers’ Festival Pitch Perfect competition.
Siboney Duff, Writer Development Manager, believes this is a rare chance for writers to pitch to some of Australia’s top publishers. “Six finalists will practice their powers of persuasion with representatives from Text Publishing, Allen & Unwin and UQP,” says Duff. “In the increasingly competitive world of publishing, face-to-face pitching opportunities are becoming rarer and rarer. This could be our next top Australian author’s big break.”
Pitch Perfect has been the publishing springboard for a number of writers. “Over the years many competition finalists have gained publishing deals directly from their Pitch Perfect performances,” says Duff. “Last year, Neil Young pitched his idea for a unique treatment of exploring the challenging transition for men into fatherhood. Hachette Australia requested the manuscript and Young’s book One got past the keeper will be on the shelves in August.”
Duff says the Northern Rivers Writers’ Centre will ensure finalists are as well prepared as possible: “We are offering all successful applicants the chance to participate in a pitching workshop with multi-published author Jesse Blackadder before they have to do it for real at the Festival.”
According to Duff, the Pitch Perfect session at the Festival is one of the most entertaining to watch. “Pitching is probably one of the most nerve-wracking aspects of becoming an author,” says Duff. “I encourage everyone to come along and support our finalists in their attempts to wow the publishers.”
Northern Rivers Writers’ Centre and Byron Bay Writers’ Festival Director Candida Baker believes anyone with a great idea and a completed manuscript should enter: “The Festival has seen a significant amount of participants go on to become published authors,” she says. “This could be the event that launches a career for a writer.”
The competition closes on July 15. Pitch Perfect is being held on Festival Saturday, August 6 kicking off at 11.15am. The pitching workshop, to take place on Wednesday, August 3, between 5.30-7.30pm, will be free to Pitch finalists, but all applicants will have the chance to attend and refine their pitching skills.
To purchase tickets or download a Pitch Perfect Competition application form visit www.byronbaywritersfestival.com.au or call 1300 368 552.