Success and Contracts Via The NY Pitch and Algonkian

NEW YORK /PRNewswire: "On Maggie's Watch" NEW YORK/PRNewswire: "Lipstick in Afghanistan"



At last count, an estimated 33 total manuscripts are currently in the process of being reviewed by publishing house editors. More than 36% of total ms presented and discussed at length at our last events were requested, and 62% of all ms requested were requested by more than one editor. This high percentage is a result of intelligent project screening, great projects, attentive editors, and liberal applications of superb pitch craft.


From A.X. Ahmad: When I started writing the first book, I went to a literary conference (New York Pitch), and was pitching editors the story, and they all wanted to know if this was a series, and of course, I said yes, and made up two more books on the spot ... I ended up getting a two-book deal, so then the project was to finish the revisions on the first book, and launch into the second. It was an intense writing experience ...



The Pitch Conference helped me constructively in channeling the information into a focused pitch, which I used successfully, and as a consequence, my novel, JERUSALEM MAIDEN, was published by HarperCollins! JERUSALEM MAIDEN is now in its sixth printing. Talia Carner was able to effectively launch this novel after working both her story and pitch with publishing professionals at the New York Pitch. As a bonus, HarperCollins Publishers has just bought her new novel, HOTEL MOSCOW, to be released in summer 2015! Set in Moscow in 1993 during the uprising of the Russian parliament against Yeltsin, HOTEL MOSCOW is both the story of the valiant Russian women going through transition after the fall of Communism."









"My novel was requested by four of the five editors I pitched. Tessa Woodward at Harper Collins quickly made an offer for it, and Paula Munier, who had read my first page at the conference, represented me to negotiate a contract. After getting Tessa's notes, I am now working on a significant re-write that will expand and improve my novel more than I ever could have on my own."

Read More Kim Van Alkemade, Author of ORPHAN 8



Read More 275 queries later, I attended the New York Pitch and by lunch of the first day I knew exactly why my novel had failed. By the end of the day, I had changed the title, made editorial changes to the story, and later, when time came to query, I employed the strategy recommended at the conference: research agents on Publisher's Marketplace and use the editors from the conference who requested manuscripts as leverage. Within one hour I received an email requesting a full manuscript from an agent at Trident Media. Six days later I received another email about my novel, THE ENIGMATOLOGIST, and requesting to discuss representation. Using what I learned at the conference, I was able to do in what week what I couldn't do in three years. I'm absolutely convinced that everything I learned at the conference is responsible for my success.

- Benjamin Adams, signed by Trident Media Agency



Cate Holahan's DARK TURNS pitched at the NYC in Paula Munier's NYC mystery/thriller workshop and sold to Matt Martz at Crooked Lane, the new crime fiction imprint of Bookspan--two book deal. Publication set for 2015. Paula Munier, NYC faculty, representing Cate and DARK TURNS.

Read MoreCate Holahan's DARK TURNS



Read More Algonkian helped me develop a discipline around the creative process, enabling me to write with a clear intention to publish. It has been a year since the program and I continue to refer to the workshop material. From the story analyses I learned to examine my own work with rigor.

- Sheela Sukumaran, PEN USA Emerging Voices Fellow



"Understand, before that I had never taken a writing class, attended a seminar or workshop, I didn't even have a writer's group. The beauty of this conference was that they had editors from major houses coming to listen to our pitches and to give us feedback, and even to ask for our manuscripts if they were interested. And I was one of the lucky ones. Two editors asked to see a partial. I started querying about September 20, and my agent, Sally Wofford-Girand of Brick House Literary Agents, made an offer of representation...

Read More Sujatha Hampton, Author of AS IT WAS WRITTEN



Read More The pitch conference gets tons of credit for my pending publication. Plus, your advice on querying to only a few agents at a time, and Caitlin's editing all contributed to my good news. Publication set for early 2016! Thanks for putting it on and for encouraging scared newcomers like me.

- Angela Pisel, novel sold by Jill Marsal to Putnam



I must confess that it surprised me when folks at the New York Pitch Conference fastened on Thomas Edison's dark side as the most interesting aspect of the novel ... Once you define the book as being about the struggle between the Weisses and Thomas Edison's Motion Picture Patent Company, however, a lot of diffuse stuff falls into line. Then I came home from the recent Algonkian conference at Harpers Ferry, reread the manuscript, and realized I had thrown away a great opportunity in the second-to-the-last chapter to resolve the Edison/Weiss conflict in a meaty and dramatic way. In a word, it was lame.

Read More Irene Fleming [aka Kathleen Gallison], Author of THE EDGE OF RUIN



Read More The Algonkian Park workshop was one of the most useful and stimulating classes I've taken lately (OK, ever). The topics are very useful in themselves; most creative people tend to hide from the business aspects of what they're doing, and most workshops barely touch on this. (Also, thanks for telling us the truth and not coddling us.) And naturally the feedback of the agents was invaluable in its concrete, one-person's-point-of-view way. But also, the writing exercises and your methodology (e.g., PDQ) were right on. Frankly, I felt that I was floundering the whole time and didn't produce very good stuff. But, oddly, that didn't really bother me.

- Helene ("L.N.") Sproules



I met with an editor from Plume, pitched the idea and she liked it and after several weeks, and rounds of discussion and so forth, she made an offer. Meantime, Michael Neff helped to set me up with my agent, who is a lovely person at Trident Media. So I can honestly say that going to that conference changed my life. Everything turned out so much better than I had dreamed. I did sell my novel--not right at that moment, because there is a process. But I did sell it because I went to Algonkian's New York Pitch Conference.

Read More Susan Breen, Author of THE FICTION CLASS



Read More I want to say a little something about Algonkian Conferences here, because it was the tough-love teaching method of Michael Neff that made me a much stronger writer. And it was through his Algonkian Author Salon that I connected with Carla Norton... The other wonderful (and surprising) thing that came out of my association with AAS is that I've discovered another passion -- editing.

- Lois Gordon, Algonkian Passions



You may remember me participating then: I was in Charles' group - the cloak and dagger brigade - and my pitch was about a mystery set in WWII Sarajevo. I made a couple of successful pitches, one of them to Tom Colgan at Penguin, and I thought you'd like to know that I've since been offered a two-book deal with them. The first book should be coming out in June next year. I thought it important to write to you because, without the opportunity afforded by the conference, I wouldn't have made the contacts I did.

Read More Luke McCallin, Author of THE MAN FROM BERLIN



Read More I had already sent my novel to an agent from Prospect Agency, telling her I was accepted into Algonkian and this was the ms I was pitching. When I returned, I was able to tell her I knew the novel needed a re-write (thanks to you) and that three publishing house editors were interested in seeing it when it's ready (also thanks to you). So she offered me representation! She's going to work with me on it over the next few months, and when she thinks it's ready, send it off.

- Jane Ann McLachlan, Signed by the Prospect Agency



I'm writing to say a long-overdue thank you! Now that I'm getting into the more tangible aspects - copyediting, cover designs, etc. - it's feeling more and more that this is real and it's actually happening, and really, I have you and your workshop to thank for getting the whole ball rolling ... And even now, all this time later, I'm still using the pitch that I wrote and worked on that weekend - a large portion of the cover copy is based on it.

Read More Gina Damico, Author of CROAK



Read More It was tremendously effective to receive training in specific writing-enhancing techniques immediately followed by exercises that cemented that training. Ditto the pitch development; if we had developed the pitch but hadn't presented it repeatedly to both colleagues and the agents, the effect would not have been so transforming. I appreciated the intense focus of the conference; we did not waste time.

- Author Julie Kaewert



At the conference we read sections of classics and contemporary works demonstrating craft concepts, we wrote vigorously, brainstormed and critiqued sections of our works in progress, meditated, had readings, and got one on one editorial attention. Many of the connections I made at the conference remain with me to this day. Whether you've just completed a first draft of a novel or a tenth draft, the Algonkian Novel Workshop could be just the step you need to take your writing public.

Read More Erika Robuck, Author of HEMINGWAY'S GIRL



Read More I attended your Algonkian Writer's Conference at San Francisco's Fort Mason back in May of 2010. I thought you'd be happy to know that after a year of sending off query letters and partial and full manuscripts, I finally found representation with Sam Stoloff of the Frances Goldin Literary Agency in New York. I'm very happy. Sam is great! We submit my YA manuscript to publishers this September. Thanks so much for all the information I learned from your conference! It was very helpful and worthwhile. How have you been and how are your conferences going? Any other success stories?

- Writer Michael Hagan, signed by Frances Goldin Literary Agency



Several weeks ago, I attended the Algonkian Write to Market Conference, north of San Francisco. I met amazing people, made friends with wonderful fellow writers, participated in some of the best live pitch critiques you'll hear on the West Coast, and on the first evening was ceremoniously sacrificed at the altar of upmarket fiction with two fellow authors as witnesses and a horse-size cobb salad to bury my face in. I emerged re-born ...

Read More Author Birgitte Rasine



Read More The Algonkian conference was pivotal in moving my career forward. While I went there thinking it was just a really cool way to meet publishing editors, it turned out to be a portal into so many other avenues of the publishing business. Because of the conference, I've signed with the agent of my dreams!

- Dave McMenamin, Signed by Talcott Notch Literary Agency



Rather than treating the writing and selling of fiction as two unrelated functions, Algonkian regards them as intrinsically linked. The workshops and reviews took blinders off and made me see, for instance, that the pitch is not an artificial construct to be reluctantly imposed upon your polished manuscript. It is instead a tool, with heft, that you must wield from the start. The writing business has no guarantees, but Algonkian conferences are uniquely suited to crafting work that can persuade a cynical agent to say the sweetest of words: "Yes!"

Read More Best Selling Author Carla Norton, Author of THE EDGE OF NORMAL



Read More All writers - especially beginning writers - need a well-meaning mentor and editor to praise what they're doing right, point a finger at what they're doing wrong, provide them with the tools they need to fix the problems, and open their eyes to the art, craft, and business of writing. This is what I had done for countless nonfiction writers over the years in my job as a magazine editor. It's what I needed when I decided to start writing fiction. And it's why, after shopping around for a suitable fiction-writing workshop, I chose Algonkian.

- Diane Tonnessen



Michael! Did you get my news about being signed by Simon and Schuster? I followed the advice and, voila, I sold the rewritten novel! Thank you, thank you for the miracle! I couldn't have done it without you and editor Ginger Buchannan, I swear!"

Read More Gillian Royes, author of GOAT WOMAN OF LARGO BAY



Read More I've yet to leave without requesting manuscript pages from participants. What's more, the manuscripts deliver. I recently signed and sold Gina Damico's YA fantasy in a two book deal to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt after hearing her project pitched at the conference. Serving on the Algonkian faculty has also been tremendously gratifying. Not only does the conference attract a wide variety of writers working in many different genres, it also has a great vibe--supportive, friendly, fun. I highly recommend it.

- Tina Wexler, agent at ICM




First write a good book; if you're not sure about that, attend an Algonkian Novel Workshop. But if you do attend the New York Pitch Conference, be prepared for the fallout. I walked away with such a successful pitch, but realized I had to rewrite my book to make sure I delivered what I sold the editors. With workshop leader Susan Breen's help, I have three publishing house editors who want read my manuscript. Wanna write a successful query to an agent? Put that in your first paragraph!

Read More Kim Boykin, Author of THE WISDOM OF HAIR



Read More Algonkian Workshops take one's work to the next level. With an intimate, supportive, focused atmosphere and rigorous schedule, writers can set realistic goals and get projects to the place they need to be to take them to a wider market. As an agent, I appreciate that Algonkian writers have an established sense of what works and what doesn't. Their projects are a cut above the rest.

- Elise Capron, agent at Sandra Dijkstra Agency



So pleased to share this news with you and extend my thanks once again for the career boost from the pitch conference: "Rosemary DiBattista's (writing as Rosie Genova) MURDER MARINARA, first in a new mystery series featuring a quirky Italian-American family and their restaurant on the Jersey Shore, to Sandy Harding at NAL, at auction, in a three-book deal, by Kim Lionetti at BookEnds.

Read More Rosemary DiBattista, author of MURDER AND MARINARA



Read More I wanted to pass along the good news that I signed with Writers House this week, and they'll be representing my novel TINY DANCER. I'm certain that I would not have gained their attention were it not for the vastly improved novel and pitch I crafted at the NY conference in June.

- Kelly McNeil, signed by Writers House



I attended Algonkian conferences in NYC and San Francisco in 2009 and 2010. They were among the best experiences in my writing life. I met some of the most powerful people in the publishing industry, both major publishers and agents ... I was offered a publishing contract by Harper Collins UK soon after my last visit to an Algonkian conference. I am now translated into 10 languages.

Read More Laurence O'Bryan, Author of THE MANHATTAN PUZZLE



Read More Two of the four editors I met with asked to see my work and the other two were very interested ... I credit the reception of all four editors to the pitch. It generated questions which helped me explain in more detail the vision of the project.

- Pam Binder, Best Selling Author



Algonkian offered me the opportunity to be part of a real writers group where my ideas and evolving characters were first introduced to other writers and potential readers. That critique allowed me to tweak my characters and storyline to perfection. Algonkian's approach in fine tuning my pitch helped me to tighten my manuscript as well. As a result, my manuscript sold to the very first publisher who saw it.

Read More Roberta Gately, author of LIPSTICK IN AFGHANISTAN



Read More I am arrogant, manipulative and intelligent, but not unrealistic. The New York Pitch Conference was exactly what I needed - a reality check. I learned what publishers look for and shy away from, and gained a deeper understanding of the unlikely odds of becoming one of the few that get published. I walked away with a lot of work to do - reworking parts of my novel and studying my genre.

- Terri-Lynne Smiles



My workshop leader at the NYC Pitch and Shop Conference, Michael Neff, believed in me. The careful advice, connections, and publishing savvy I received there made all the difference. Because of that conference, I was introduced to the woman who became my editor at Berkley Penguin, and later to the woman who became my agent.

Read More Ann Garvin, author of ON MAGGIE'S WATCH



Read More Agent Jill Grosjean requested to read my manuscript, ESCAPE TO LORELEI, one month ago. And today, I'm proud and excited to tell you that she is my agent ... Jill made a point of addressing the well written pitch and I was quick to mention the Algonkian event ... I'm grateful that I had the opportunity to participate in the NYC Pitch conference. What I learned from the experience was invaluable.

- Loretta Marion



The Algonkian Pitch Conference helped me constructively in channeling the information into a focused pitch, which I used successfully, and as a consequence, my novel, JERUSALEM MAIDEN, was published by HarperCollins!

Read More Talia Carner, Author of JERUSALEM MAIDEN



Read More The Algonkian Conference assignments helped me to refine the organization of my novel, and see it in context of the actual market. The intensive pitch workshops were brilliant for learning to see work from the publisher's point of view. The agents were very generous with their time and gave thoughtful feedback to everyone. I also attended the New York Pitch Conference and can say that these two conferences have filled in the blank left by my MFA: how to actually get published.

- Kari Pilgrim



This conference helped me TREMENDOUSLY. Tremendously. I changed the title of my manuscript after it was clear that our group didn't really care for it, and the title change helped me realize some of the book's themes; I was asked to submit my manuscript to an editor at Penguin (something I put on my query letters); and I tightened my query to the point where I was 90% successful in terms of agents asking for partials or fulls. I also met some good writers there. Three of the writers in the group I was in have made deals. I'm with Shaye Areheart; another writer is with Plume; another is with Knopf.

Read More Will Lavender, Author of OBEDIENCE



Read More Most effective for me was learning how to write (and rewrite) the pitch based on feedback from those in my group, and the editors. In the process, I really dug into the book - what it was about, what I was trying to say, what the strengths and weaknesses were - discovering elements of it that I hadn't noticed before.

- Writer and editor Chris Stewart



The New York Pitch Conference offered direct access to major publishing houses, great mentors, and a community of supportive writers ... The intensive workshops force you to crystalize the appeal of your manuscript. That helps greatly in the pitch sessions, but also -- maybe more importantly -- in drafting query letters and in editing the novel itself. It's no coincidence that such a large proportion of our small group found publishing success.

Read More John Ford, Author of THE MORGUE AND ME


Viking published pitch conference novel (and Amazon Contest Placer), IN MALICE QUITE CLOSE, by Algonkian vet, Brandi Lynn Ryder. And she won't stop thanking us! Well, she will, but we're not sure when.




NYC Pitch/Algonkian veteran, Amy Satterfield, just had her novel, IS THAT ALL THERE IS PEGGY LEE?, picked up by literary agent Victoria Sanders. According to Amy, "Your conference gave me a sense of how to proceed, a really good pitch letter (it was the first thing Ms. Sanders commented on), and the confidence to go forward ..."




Berkley Books now informs us they have two books under contract from the NYC Pitch. The latest is an upscale fiction by by Katharine Britton (the title currently in flux). Thanks to agent Jennifer Unter for representing this fine novel to Jackie Cantor, Berkley editor.




"A small misstep derails several lives ..." David Klein's debut novel, Stash, from Broadway Books by way of the New York Pitch Conference. Now available from Amazon. This kind of success is habit forming. Thanks to David for his kind words in the acknowledgements.




Randy Meyer's new novel, Murderer's Daughters (once Adopting Adults), is now available from Amazon. Congrats to Randy and her editor Hilary Teeman. HUGE CONGRATS to the NYC Pitch!



A flash from Loretta Marion, NYC alum, who has recently signed a contract with a major agent: "Agent Jill Grosjean requested to read my manuscript, ESCAPE TO LORELEI, one month ago. And today, I’m proud and excited to tell you that she is my agent ... Jill made a point of addressing the well written pitch and I was quick to mention the Algonkian event ... I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to participate in the NYC Pitch conference. What I learned from the experience is invaluable."



In keeping with our mission to set writers on a realistic path to publication, the following writers attending Algonkian's NYC Pitch events have signed contracts with major publishing houses as a result of their attendance: Sujatha Hampton [EVERMORE - Thomas Dunne Books], Randy Susan Meyers [ADOPTING ADULTS - St. Martins], John Ford [THE MORGUE AND ME - Viking], Kate Gallison [THE EDGE OF RUIN - St. Martins], Christina Meldrum [MADAPPLE - Knopf], Will Lavendar [OBEDIENCE - Shaye Areheart], James Hayman [THE CUTTING - St. Martins], and Susan Breen [THE FICTION CLASS - Plume].



After honing her novel (WOLF IN THE ROAD) and pitch at Algonkian and the NYC, Jenny Milchman wrote and told us she is now represented by Elaine Markson agency. Congrats Jenny!



After working with conference faculty, Amy Hanson signed with Atchity Entertainment in Los Angeles. They will represent her novel WHAT NORMAL LOOKS LIKE. Joan Baril and Susan Sands, veterans of the same workshop, have signed with the Larsen-Pomada Agency in San Francisco as a direct result of networking with Algonkian Conferences. Congrats! ... Futhermore, Rachel Willen, NYC Pitch attendee, has signed with Levine Greenburg Literary Agency while Amy E. Fischer has signed with Emily Kim of the Prospect Agency.



At last, a flash photo gallery of NYC greats. Pics of Ripley Greer studios, pitch sessions in progress, AMERICAN IDOL day, group pics, + faces showing large amounts of teeth. To the left we have Charles Salzberg being flirtacious with Emmy winner Cindy Roesel.



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It started with a literary novel, "The Fiction Class" by Susan Breen. Going into 2015, the New York Pitch has assisted and networked writers into dozens of agent and publishing contracts. Tin House and Squaw Valley, MOVE OVER! More information can be found on our news page


Interview with New York Pitch Conference attendee, best-selling author Pam Binder. Two of the four editors I met with asked to see my work and the other two were very interested ... I credit the reception of all four editors to the pitch. It generated questions which helped me explain in more detail the vision of the project.  



What if - Do one exercise a day from "What If?" and you'll be writing for more than a third of a year. The book is packed with 115 exercises. Indispensable.

The Art of Fiction - Because Gardner strives for "higher art", his musings and instructions for the beginner go much deeper than ordinary how-to books. A must for all novel writers.

Bird by Bird - Lamott's suggestion on writing the novel is down-to-earth: worry about the characters, not the plot. Writing is more rewarding than publication. Easy for her to say?


WRITERS AND AUTHORS
TALK ABOUT THE
New York Pitch Conference


Interview with New York Pitch Conference attendee, Randy Susan Meyers. The critique isn't for the faint of heart, but is for those who truly want to hear where they need to work on their presentation, how commercial their ideas are, and about the effectiveness of their pitch  

Interview with New York Pitch Conference attendee, author Kate Gallison. Her second mystery series featured Mother Lavinia Grey, an Episcopal priest in a small town in New Jersey struggling to keep her church open and solve the occasional murder ... 

Interview with New York Pitch Conference attendee, Madhu Ghosh. This conference is very different from others in that it is what it says it is. Most conferences try to cram in craft lectures with readings and then interviews with editors and agents, which can get chaotic and confusing.  

Interview with New York Pitch Conference attendee, writer Sara Beth Jonassen. Sara Beth has workshopped extensively with The Writer's Studio in NYC. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University at Albany, where she studied with author Laura Marello (winner of the Aniello Lauri Award for Fiction).




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