Marilyn H. Collins

Class Title: Pitch Like a Pro to the Pros
Instructor: Marilyn H. Collins
Class Term: September 23-October 21, 2019
We are not accepting any more enrollments for Marilyn's class; the class has started.


Learn the ins/outs of pitching your book to publishers, editors, or agents. Catch their interest with what is special about your work and you as the author. Prepare to pitch face-to-face at conferences or use much the same approach for writing queries.

Class Description

This course offers practical steps to make the most of opportunities to pitch at conferences to agents, publishers, and editors. Learn to use your own writing, special abilities, experiences, or passions to develop a 10-minute pitch at conferences. Your work will be based on weekly assignments.

Class Goals

You will complete the course with a pitch based on what these buyers/reps specifically seek. Your guided research, developed content, method of presentation, and follow-up will be included. You will feel more comfortable/competent for your next face-to-face pitch.


  • Unit 1. First, you will develop a clear picture of what your work offers that is special: revelation of characters, location, plot twist, unusual information, humor, insight into a subject/civilization, etc. Also be able to state why you are the person to write this book, if relevant.
  • Unit 2. Marketing. This is a word that makes writers uncomfortable BUT is important to those who buy/represent your work. You need to know where your book will be placed on a bookstore shelf. Is it fiction: mystery, romance, main stream, etc. Nonfiction--history/memoir/family stories, scientific, how-to, recipes, etc. Appropriate age of reader, and primary/secondary audiences in each category. Do you offer special skills or contacts to help market the book?
  • Unit 3. "Elevator Pitch" is often the expression used because you usually have 10-minutes to pitch at a conference. You'll develop a draft pitch based on information clarified in Unit 1 & 2. You will research an individual editor/publisher/agent to match what they seek with your work. If you don’t have someone in mind, I’ll provide a real person who works in your field for you to practice your presentation.
  • Unit 4. Based on all of the above and comments/tips/advice from me, you'll finalize a pitch or more than one, if you wish, for your final presentation and response to me. This is a fun workshop. Relax and have a good time learning how to speak effectively about your work to other writers as well as professional folks as conferences.

Class Methods

Instructions and your responses will be through email. I will send a brief questionnaire prior to the first day of class to better meet your individual questions/concerns. Assignments will be sent on Monday and your responses are due on Friday of that week. You may ask questions at any time.

Tuition/Fees for this course

SCN members: $128. Non-SCN members: $160.

Instructor Bio

Marilyn H. Collins is known for her practical and hands-on writing workshops. She is author of local/regional history books, writing guides and magazine articles. She owns CHS Publishing and works with writers to answer concept questions through editing their finished copy. Visit her website and blog. Author, Speaker, Writing/Marketing Coach, Editor.

Praise for Marilyn's Classes

  • Marilyn Collins's course exceeded my expectations. Even though I'm further along in the publishing process than some of the other participants, I learned a great deal more from Marilyn about how to promote my book, things I had never thought of. She has a great deal of experience and generously shared it all with her students. The course was worth every penny... If God is in the details, then Marilyn must know Him! Thank you, Marilyn, for your penetrating eye and encouragement. —Marilea R., Rio Rancho NM

  • Helpful suggestions, tips, ideas, all given in a way that was applicable to my current project status and designed to help me move forward. I love Marilyn Collins' classes. Her expertise motivates and inspires me and helps me make progress on whatever project I'm working on. Her suggestions are always personal, practical and empowering, never critical. She makes me want to write! —Bonnie F., Brookings OR

  • This course actually beat my expectations. It helped me to focus more and enabled me to organize my book. For the first time I can actually see it coming together. Marilyn Collins was an excellent instructor. Her feedback was timely and positive. I definitely plan on taking another course with her if she offers one. —Mary Anne D., Riverhead NY

  • Marilyn Collins is the best! My writing skills improved considerably from her excellent critiques. She has very real skill at encouraging and describing mistakes. Thank you Marilyn! —Devon J., Bentonville AR

  • Thanks for another great class, Marilyn Collins. With the pre and post story sections done and five more stories ready, I have made significant progress on my memoir project. —Lorraine C., Calgary AB CANADA

  • Marilyn Collins' class helped me to approach my writing in several new ways and add some different dimensions to my usual kinds of stories. I also got an idea for using and sharing my stories. Can't wait for her next class! —Bonnie F., Brookings OR

  • Marilyn Collins made timely and very helpful comments...valuable critique. —Susan F., Fairfield Bay, AR

  • I loved this course. Marilyn Collins was very positive and also very honest and constructive in her comments and suggestions. —Sally B., Atherton CA

  • Marilyn Collins is an excellent instructor whose suggestions improved and enhanced my writing without changing my intent. If anyone is serious about making tangible steps to organizing a collection of stories, Marilyn can help you do that. Thanks again Marilyn. —Lorraine C., Calgary AB CANADA