Publication Polish and Pitch

At a ratio of 5:1 students/mentor, this workshop is similar to last year’s awesome Publication Polish, but redesigned and expanded for 2018! If you have a manuscript you want to submit to agents, but aren’t sure if your submission skills are up to par, our highly skilled mentors will help you polish your materials to agent-wowing levels. And, new this year–you’ll have the opportunity to practice elevator pitches with your fellow attendees! (Please note that practicing elevator pitches is completely optional.)

MENTORS: Annette Lyon, Tricia Levenseller, Kimberly VanderHorst, Sheena Boekweg, Shallee McArthur, Heather Moore, Jennifer Jenkins, Yamile Mendez

Please note that due to the volume of emails we send and receive, we are no longer emailing initial instructions for this workshop. This is your welcome letter.


Dear Publishing Polish and Pitch 2018 Participants,

Congratulations on nabbing a spot in the highly coveted Publishing Polish and Pitch Workshop! You’ll be spending your session (either 12:00-2:45 or 3:15-6:00) in a group with one highly qualified mentor and four fellow attendees. In order to ensure a successful workshop experience, please follow all submission instructions.

Important dates:

            March 22, 2018: Surveys are due – link below.

            April 5, 2018: Mentor/Group assignments are emailed.

            April 12, 2018: Workshop materials are due to your mentor and group members.

Sample Pages: After you have registered and paid for your spot, fill out the survey HERE (including your 1-2 page writing sample) by April 5th. See sidebar for details on workshop materials.

Please note the deadlines above. As in a professional submission scenario, you (and only you) are responsible for your own work. You’ll receive further information about the workshop process when you receive your mentor and group assignment on April 5. In the meantime, please direct any questions to and put PUBLISHING POLISH in the subject line, so your email will be seen by the right person.

We look forward to being a part of this exciting step in your publication journey!


The Publishing Polish and Pitch Team

Email to your mentor and group members* by April 12:

Please attach a file of your materials as one singular word document and email to your mentor and group members. You are not required to submit all of the following, but you can submit all of the following:

  • Your first chapter: All mentors will critique your first 5 pages. Some may choose to read the entire chapter to give their advice better context.
  • A query letter
  • A 1-2 page synopsis
  • 1-2 one sentence pitches
  • 1-2 two sentence pitches

Additionally, you may prepare a verbal pitch approximately 30-60 seconds in length to practice with your group on the day of the workshop. This is a valuable new addition to the Publishing Polish workshop, but is entirely optional.

*Note: Group members are expected to thoughtfully review each other’s materials. While actual critiques are not required, some mentors will give an opportunity to offer (brief) verbal feedback.


  • Times New Roman, 12-point font. Double-spaced. Left aligned. All margins set to 1 inch.
  • Your document filename should include your last name and the title of your book. Example: McDougall – TITLE.doc
  • Your email subject should read: “Publishing Polish 2018.”