Critiques and Pitches Day 3: It's Prep Time

In the first part of this three-part blog, I offered advice on why writers need critiques and pitches. In the second part, I looked at suggestions on what to include in your critique package and pitch preparation, and what to avoid in your critique package and pitch preparation. For the final installment, here’s some advice on how to prepare for the one-on-one time of a critique or pitch.

1. Know your stats. What’s your word count? What’s your genre? When can you get a copy out to an interested agent or editor?

2. Know your publishing goals. Is your dream to be a big fish in a little pond or a little fish in a big pond? Have you completed a marketing plan for your manuscript? Is your primary goal to concentrate on writing more or on working as many sales angles as possible on this manuscript?

3. Relax. It might sound easier said than done, but take a minute and enjoy the beautiful beach surroundings. Or, if that isn’t working, listen to a few minutes of ESPN or CNN. Take your mind off any anxieties you might have.

4. Practice your pitch. Even if you’re preparing for a critique, it’s good to have a five-minute pitch ready. Who knows, an agent or editor might ask for you to submit.

5. Bring pencil (or pen) and paper. This is a time when you’re going to want to take notes, as well as listen.

Still have questions about pitches and critiques? Feel free to ask via a comment on the blog (you can be anonymous) or send an e-mail to

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