Everyone gets nervous when presenting someone with their writing, it's a sign you care. I hope, though, that when you sign up to do a pitch with myself, or any publisher, you understand that getting a "no" to your pitch is almost as good as getting a "yes." You have to assume not everyone will like what you write. What you want to do is find the publisher that will say yes. Approach your writing seriously and with passion and you will discover people that want to help you. I know you won't believe it, but it is a big help to hear "no" then. After all, you want to get the rejections out of the way as you search for acceptance. I promise you, as a publisher, I value all people's writing and understand that what you pitch and share with me means a lot to you. Unfortunately not everything is right for every publisher, but I do assure you, if I think I can help you I will try.
I'd encourage you to attend the question and answer session on publishing as well, these are great ways to learn some of what publishers look for. To recognize that you are not alone in your ideas about publishing and writing. Bring a question along. I promise your question is worth asking. I've found the David Collins Writing Conference to be a wonderful place for authors and publishers to meet and learn about each other in a useful way.
Want to schedule a pitch session with Steve on Friday, June 27th? Then, click here to register and reserve your 10 minute pitch session during the 2014 David R. Collins Writers' Conference at McCarthy Hall on the St. Ambrose University campus in Davenport, Iowa. You can also pitch to Literary Agent, Jen Karsbaek on Saturday, June 28th. The free workshop Steve references is the evening with Jen Karsbaek event on Friday, June 27th at 7 p.m. at MWC (3rd floor, 225 E. 2nd Street, Davenport, Iowa) which is free and open to everyone (even non-conference attendees).
Steve Semken founded the Ice Cube Press twenty-one years ago as a way to use the literary arts to learn about how to best live in the Midwest. Over the last two decades he has helped publish nearly hundred books. He is often asked to speak to writing groups throughout the Midwest on issues of creativity, entrepreneurship, writing, and publishing.