Why did the Manuscript Mart sample length change to 5 pages?

For many years, the Manuscript Mart consisted of a 20-minute meeting with an agent or editor who had read 20 pages of your manuscript. However, feedback from attendees and publishing professionals over the years suggested that a 20-minute conversation was not the best format for receiving a 20-page manuscript critique (should the attendee focus on taking notes or asking questions? will the agent/editor be able to cover everything there is to say about 20 pages in that time? will they have time to address anything but the pages?). More importantly, attendees often felt that receiving a 20-page critique was not the best use of their 20 minutes with an agent or editor. We hope changing the page count gives attendees and publishing professionals the chance to have a more relaxed and well-rounded conversation, where agents and editors are able to give feedback on the overall project concept and its marketplace positioning, making the query letter and synopsis documents themselves stand out, and other career questions the writer may have, in addition to the robust discussion of craft elements that publishing professionals are experts at assessing from the first 5 pages. If the project is a good fit for them, they will ask for more pages! The new page count also allows us to keep the widest variety of accomplished and busy publishing professionals accessible to our attendees while lowering the price of an appointment.