Contracts and News
New York Pitch Frequently Asked Questions
How Big and How to Apply?
The New York Pitch Conference ranges between 45 and 65 total writers depending on the season. We keep the conference intentionally small compared to the usual big writer conferences, and for good reason: our methods and overall strategy would be compromised if we did otherwise. All writers are partitioned into workshops grouped by genre and all writers interact with conference professionals in an environment that is not only quiet and relaxed, but for the most part, private. See the How It Works page for details on interactions with publishing house editors and agent-author workshop leaders.
Before you apply, please go to our Participants page to make certain this conference is right for you. Once you understand the nature and goals of the conference, you will find a link to an application form here.
Where and Where to Stay?
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All New York Pitch Conferences take place at the Ripley Greer studios (New York Spaces) on 520 Eighth Avenue, 16th Floor. The studios are conveniently located a few blocks from Penn Station. More information can be found here. If you want a convenient hotel, the New Yorker is only blocks away from the conference location, however, there are many accommodations possible in the immediate area and at BETTER RATES.
As Frommers says, "Go uptown, downtown, or to an outer borough. The advantages of a Midtown location are overrated, especially when saving money is your object. The subway can whisk you anywhere you want to go in minutes; even if you stay on the Upper West Side, you can be at the ferry launch for the Statue of Liberty in about a half-hour. You'll not only get the best value for your money by staying outside the Theater District, in the residential neighborhoods where real New Yorkers live, but you'll have a better overall experience: You won't constantly be fighting crowds, you'll have terrific restaurants nearby and see what life in the city is really like.
Lodgings in Brooklyn and Queens offer particularly good savings."
We use HOTWIRE.COM to book hotels in downtown Brooklyn, Chelsea, Hell's Kitchen, etc., however, another tactic is to look for deals on sites like HOTELS.COM and then call the hotels directly. Sometimes you will discover the hotel direct rates are cheaper! Yes, strange how that works on occasion.
There are also reasonable and very good accommodations just across the river in New Jersey. During peak season in NYC, a nice room in nearby Jersey City, Newark, or elsewhere, makes a lot of sense.
CHECK FOR THOSE BELOW THAT HAVE SHUTTLES INTO MANHATTAN. Also, if you use UBER or LYFT instead of NYC cabs, you'll save money on transport. More on Jersey hotels as follows:
Dates and Times?
New York Pitch Conferences take place four times a year. The next event begins at 9:00 AM on Thursday, June 20, 2019, and concludes at 2:00 P.M. on Sunday, June 23 for a total of four days. If you are flying in, plan for arrival by Wednesday night, and departure on Sunday evening, or thereafter.
||All information found here applies also to recently de-listed and upcoming conferences.
What Precisely is the "Pitch"?
A diagnostic tool for exploring the depths of the novel and its many elements, for assisting to improve said elements in workshop as needed, and once accomplished, as a means of artfully communicating the story to a professional in the business.
What Does the Schedule Look Like?
Below is the generic schedule for all New York Pitch Conference events:
- Thursday, 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM, writers partition into workshop groups to work on their novels and subsequent pitches.
- Friday morning, 10:00 AM to Noon, writers pitch their first editor in a group.
- Friday afternoon, 1:30 to 4:00 PM, writers return to workshop to recap and improve novel and pitch as needed.
- Saturday morning, 10:00 AM to Noon, writers pitch their second editor in private (workshop leader in attendance for support).
- Saturday afternoon, 1:30 to 4:00 PM, writers pitch their third editor in private (same as above).
- Sunday morning at 10:00 AM, writers pitch their fourth editor in private.
- Sunday afternoon, writers meet with workshop leaders for final recap and strategy session--1:00 to 2:00 PM.
Is This Event Only About Pitching?
No. The event is about learning to focus on those specific elements all successful novels and narrative non-fiction works require, and applying said elements, as appropriate, to each writer's fiction or nonfiction for purposes of making it more competitive in the commercial marketplace. You can't pitch a commercially viable novel unless and until you have written one.
In consideration of the fact that writers must network in the industry, learn how to properly pitch, and produce a novel worthy of pitching in the first place, the conference enables them to obtain the following:
- An opportunity to have their novel manuscript selected and read by acquisition editors from major publishing houses. The odds are currently running 1/3 for selection based on the quality of pitches and writers in attendance (due to workshop efforts to create great pitches and manuscripts, vigorous screening of potential attendees, and the conference itself which attracts top talent). Please understand, however, that selection does not assure publication.
- Novel deconstruction and analysis from the best qualified industry professionals (editors, authors, and teachers of writing) that addresses the major fictional elements of plot, character, complication, and resolution, among others--the purpose being to not only assist writers with creating competitive projects, but prepare them pre-pitch to receive maximum productive reaction from publishing house editors.
- Knowledge of the latest bewares, trends, and needs of the book market at the source: the New York publishing world.
- Ability to directly apply the above knowledge to the matter of the pitch itself, i.e., written and oral emphasis on logs/keynotes, premise/high concept, comparables, credentials, genre, and the composition of the project synopsis.
- Networking opportunities with industry professionals and other writers in an artistic and relaxed setting. The conference screening process assures writers chosen for the New York Pitch Conference are a few notches above. In other words, writers will not be closed in a room with people who don't know a plot point from a character arc.
- Opportunities, depending on writer and project, to interact with faculty following the conference for purposes of obtaining agency representation, or editorial assistance, as needed.
- Project validation or plan for validation. The conference method enables writers to obtain either validation of their novel project (understanding the novel premise/plot is commercially viable), or knowledge of what they must do to create a competitive novel project in the context of today's market.
Who Chooses the Editors? Schedule? Etc?
All information regarding the interaction mechanics of the New York Pitch Conference can be found on our "How It Works" page under Step by Step Upon Arrival.
Where Can I Find Contract Information and Writer Observations?
Commercial publication and literary agent contract information, as well as the bulk of commentary by NYC alums, both published and as-yet-to-be published, can be found on our conference news page, on our commentary page, and on the Facebook review page.
How Can the Conference Judge My Novel if No One Reads it?
Actually, the workshop leaders will read the first page of everyone's ms in order to make an editorial call on the writer's prose and opening hook, however, the quality of the prose narrative as a whole becomes irrelevant if the novel premise won't sell to a commercial market. In other words, you can write like a cross between T.S. Eliot and Annie Proulx, or Neal Stephenson and J.K. Rowling, and never become published if your story hook is a stale remake of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD or LORD OF THE RINGS--been there, done that. Conversely, if a writer has produced a clever plot motivated by a story premise or hook that is high concept (commercial and sufficiently unique), the writer will be in a valuable position. In other words, real life editors will want to read it for possible publication.
Now, all that remains for you to do is write that marketable novel. And even though the overall execution might be flawed, even if the writer's prose falls short, the proper application of prose narrative tone, voice and style, can be learned and practiced. Yes, really good writing can be taught and never let anyone tell you otherwise.
Great story ideas don't happen every day, and when they do, they are precious.
Genres? Fiction and Non-fiction?
All types of commercial fiction, upmarket/literary/general fiction, serious and light women's fiction, urban fantasy, adult fantasy and all things speculative, historical fiction, military fiction, historical romance, mystery/thriller and crime/detective, YA and middle grade fantasy and non-fantasy, paranormal romance, as well as memoir and narrative nonfiction.
See our registration page. Registration covers all conference pitch sessions and workshops. There is no other fee pertaining to the conference. Upon registration, writers will receive pre-conference pitch assignments.
And So Forth
Please note that any and all contacts with publishing house editors--whether by mail, phone, or other means--are not allowed before or after the conference, i.e., unless and until a specific editor requests to see more of your work. If you have any questions about this issue, please speak with the New York Pitch Conference staff.
As a conference participant you do not have to bring your laptop, however, you must bring writing materials. If you wish to bring your entire manuscript, you may do so, however, it might be wise to bring it on a CD. Most editors will ask for the ms, or samples, to be sent following the conference (who wants to lug 20 pounds of paper out the door?) If you want more information on the nature of the conference, or not sure if it will work for you, please use our links above and to the left.
The conference dress code is casual or business casual. No need to dress up! We wish to stay as relaxed as possible.
Click here for more details about the conference.
If you need to contact us click here.