These FAQs relate to Wordsmith 2020. We will update these for 2021 when we have a clearer idea of the conference format.
What comes with the general Wordsmith registration?
The Wordsmith conference registration includes access to all of the virtual conference sessions and attendee activities. This includes some of the digital networking events in the conference platform.
There are extra charges for pitch and consultation add-ons.
What is the refund policy?
Wordsmith conference registration opens August 11 for members and August 12 for the general public. All registrations are eligible for an 85% refund until 4 p.m. on September 9. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a refund prior to that deadline. Due to the highly personalized nature of this conference, no refunds will be issued after the deadline.
What are the pitch add-ons?
Each pitch meeting is $60 extra on top of your general registration and lasts 8 minutes. For each one you sign up for, you will be given a scheduled arrival time/link. At your one-on-one meeting you will meet via Zoom with the visiting agent and pitch your work. We recommend that you practice your pitch and limit your pitch time to 3-4 minutes, leaving the rest of the time for questions and conversation with the agent. Pitches are recommended for writers with a finished manuscript who are actively seeking representation.
How do I know if I’m ready to pitch?
Agents expect those that pitch to them to be at a stage where they consider their manuscript or book proposal complete. You should only sign up for a pitch if you consider your work to be at this stage.
What are the consultation add-ons?
Each manuscript consultation is $125 extra on top of your general registration and lasts for 15 minutes. For each one you sign up for, you will be given a scheduled arrival time. You will also be required to submit up to 10 pages (double-spaced, 12 point font) in advance of your consultation in order to receive feedback on your work. Submissions must be received by 4 p.m. on September 9. At your one-on-one meeting you will meet via Zoom with the visiting agent or editor to discuss your work. These sessions are intended for you to receive direct feedback from professionals in the field so that you can improve your work. Unlike the agent pitch add-ons, they are not intended to be pitches and you should not expect to receive invitations for follow-up, representation, or publication as an outcome of these consultations.
Is there a limit to the number of pitches and consultations I can sign up for?
Yes, please limit your total add-on purchases to no more than six to ensure that other attendees can access these as well. If you sign up for more than six, you may be removed (and refunded) for the extra ones.
Should I sign up for a consultation and pitch with the same person?
We strongly recommend against this! It can create some awkward situations for you and the agent.
When will the schedule for pitches and consultations be finalized?
There are already specific windows of time when pitches and consultations will take place for each visiting editor and agent. Once the September 9 refund date passes, Loft staff will go through and formally schedule each individual session. This schedule will show up on your conference app schedule. We highly encourage all attendees to download the Event Buddy by Pheedloop app and search for "wordsmith 20."
At your previous Pitch conferences registration included agent pitches, why did you change that?
There were people interested in the content at the Pitch, but who were not yet ready to pitch their work. In making pitches and consultations an add-on feature, it allowed us to open up the conference to more people.
The add-on feature also means that attendees can sign up for exactly who they want to meet with (if space allows) rather than waiting for the matching process that we held for the Pitch Conference.
When does registration open?
Registration will open August 11 for Loft members and August 12 for everyone else.
Do you have scholarships available?
Yes. Scholarship applications are now available here. Applications are due by July 22 and recipients will be notified by July 31.
Why did you move Wordsmith to be virtual?
We shifted the conference to a virtual format due to the global pandemic. We hope to have Wordsmith back in person for 2021.
What level of writer do I need to be to attend Wordsmith?
Wordsmith is intended for all levels of writers. Our sessions are intended to balance the interests and needs of writers who are just starting out, those who are ready to find publication, and those who are already published. The only thing that we suggest for Wordsmith attendees is that you are committed to taking your writing seriously and wanting to take the next step in your writing life/career.
What type of writing genres will best be able to take advantage of Wordsmith offerings?
Writers in most genres will be able to take part at Wordsmith. Due to the specialized nature of the fields, we do not recommend that those who write exclusively for screen or stage attend Wordsmith. Genres that are encouraged to attend Wordsmith include: memoir, essay, narrative nonfiction, pop culture, mystery, thriller, science fiction, fantasy, romance, women’s fiction, literary fiction, picture book, middle grade, and young adult. We will have content and sessions dedicated to poets and poetry, but we do not recommend that poets sign up for agent meetings. Most agents do not represent poetry.
What is the all-conference read?
During the conference, a special session with Megha Majumdar will take place to discuss some of the writing choices she made in her latest novel A Burning. We highly recommend that all attendees come prepared having read A Burning in advance (see the bookseller link below).
Will the conference have a bookseller?
Yes! The Loft has a Wordsmith page on bookshop.org.