If you are thinking of going next year get in early!I booked it at least 6 months ago and have gotten more nervous as November 15th crept closer and closer.It’s an event organised by an author society, where about a dozen publishers get to hear 3-minute pitches from writers that want to traditionally publish their books. Because I was told it would happen “early next year,” the reminder started on 1 January and repeated every day until now.

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I tried to pretend it wasn’t happening for a while there!

My good friend Helen and I booked together and were spurring each other on – it was so good to have someone to talk to who is in the same boat!

Yes, it’s Literary Speed Dating, this time with a same-sex slant. Jess Mc Guire is a writer, broadcaster, MC, film reviewer, trivia host and DJ based in Melbourne.

Whether you’re mad about books, this could be your chance to meet the Alice B.

I may have stumbled a couple of times but I got it all out.

I thought I’d be more nervous about people standing in line behind me and staring a publisher in the eye while I rattled off the pitch, but you know what, it was ok – I did it! I followed on with Mary Verney at Walker Books, who also took my chapters, and Suzanne O’Sullivan at Hachette who wasn’t taking hard copies on the day but gave me her card to send chapters to her. I have my fingers, toes and eyes crossed that the full manuscript is requested! Thank you to all the publishers who took the time to listen to my pitch – it is much appreciated.Mix it with a couple dozen authors-to-be and you might just have a cake. No, it’s not authors dating authors, although maybe that’s not a bad idea either. When I missed out last year, I went ahead and put a recurring reminder into my calendar to check the website for the next year’s announcement. Literary matchmaking can be rough in the digital age of online e-book reading.Join Milkweed for some good, old-fashioned speed dating, and let four local authors turn you on to fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.Well I did it – I went speed dating and yes I’m happily married.