How It Works at The New York Pitch Conference
What is The Benefit? Why Pitch and Novel Workshops?
The New York Pitch Conference successfully assists and promotes aspiring authors writing in the genres of commercial and literary fiction, serious and light women's fiction, historical fiction, mystery/thriller and detective, urban fantasy, high-concept young adult, 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 NYPC 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 NYPC 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. The current fiction market is very picky and extremely competitive. We do our best to make that clear in a myriad of ways.
- 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, and mandatory. Writers will shop and pitch methodically. 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. Both Algonkian and NYWW are connected to several top-flight agencies.
If you already have an agent, so much the better.
Prior to the New York Pitch Conference, and following registration, writers will be given pre-conference pitch exercises and readings. Writers will complete their assignments and bring them to the conference for review with workshop leaders. These exercises are designed to help the writer perfect the pitch, as well as the manuscript, by forcing them to focus on the elements that make for a strong novel, especially one that will attract the attention of editors and agents.
Step By Step Upon Arrival
Upon arrival, writers will be broken into groups, each group forming a "pitch workshop" with workshop leaders. During the pitch workshop, writers work one-on-one to hone their pitch, each pitch revised to become as tight, interesting, unique, and energetic as possible.
The rest of this Algonkian Writer Conference will go as follows (please note that the schedule of pitch session Editors will be determined by the conference, and all writers will pitch a different editor in each session for a total of four editors):
- Writers bring pre-conference pitch (notes and draft pitch) to review and hone in workshop on Thursday--9:30 A.M to 5 P.M (or however long it takes).
- Friday morning, beginning at 10:00 AM, writers will pitch their first editor.
- Friday afternoon, beginning at 1:30 PM, writers return to pitch workshops to recap and improve pitch as needed.
- Saturday morning, beginning at 10:00 AM, writers pitch their second editor.
- Saturday afternoon, beginning at 1:30 PM, writers pitch their third editor.
- Sunday morning at 10:00 AM, following shop, writers pitch their fourth editor.
- Sunday afternoon, writers meet with workshop leaders for a 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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