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How it Works at The New York Pitch
Genres, Workshops, Conference Benefits
The New York Pitch Conference successfully assists and promotes aspiring authors writing in the genres of upmarket and literary fiction, general fiction, serious and light women's fiction, historical fiction, military fiction, mystery/thriller and detective, historical romance, paranormal romance, all forms of adult fantasy/SF, young adult and middle grade fantasy/SF, as well as memoir and narrative nonfiction. As attendees work closely in a relaxed small-group environ with conference professionals (see more below), they are provided with the skills and knowledge necessary to stand a realistic chance of success in today's tough novel market. Please note that the NYC works directly with publishers from major houses who are the decision-makers, as opposed to literary agents who petition the decision-makers. Closer to the market, many of our publishing house editors have upwards of two decades in the book business.
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.
Writers will shop and pitch, i.e., attend workshops and then pitch their novel to four different editors from major publishing houses during the length of the New York Pitch Conference, all shops and sessions alternating on a fixed schedule. The editors realize this method provides maximum benefit to the writer. If editors see commercial potential in the premise/plot/concept they WILL ask for the ms and read it. Workshop leaders also read work, depending on the needs of the editors and writers.
Please note that writers tapped by publication editors for a manuscript submission during the course of this Algonkian Writer Conference are advised to meet with the workshop editors to discuss, among other things, options for agent representation.
Prior to the New York Pitch Conference, and following registration, writers will be given pre-conference assignments. These assignments are designed to help the writer perfect their novel or narrative non-fiction project by forcing them to focus on the elements that make for a strong story, as well as a strong pitch, especially one that will attract the attention of editors and agents (see points above). Among these assignments are those included on the Writer's Block forum.
Step By Step Upon Arrival
Upon arrival on Thursday, writers are broken into workshop groups with individual workshop leaders, each group focusing on specific genres (e.g., one group for mystery, thriller, detective, crime and suspense). Placement in workshop groups and subsequent alignment of that group with specific commercial acquisition editors is the decision of New York Pitch Conference staff only. Writers bring their pre-conference notes and draft pitches, and during the course of the workshop on Thursday, writers work to improve their fiction and non-fiction projects as necessary while honing their pitch on a parallel track--each pitch revised to become as interesting, tightly focused, unique and energetic as possible.
The inclusion and the schedule of each pitch session editor is determined by conference staff. The average pitch and post-pitch discussion time with each editor ranges from six to ten minutes, or more, depending on circumstances and the approach of each editor. There are no timers.
Daily schedule as follows:
- 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 5:00 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--1:30 PM till 3:00 PM.
The conclusion of the Sunday afternoon recap session marks the end of the New York Pitch Conference. At the final session, writers will meet with workshop leaders who will provide each with a plan for publication, i.e., custom strategies and goals appropriate to guiding the novel towards publication.
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