Jump to content

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'algonkian writer conferences'.

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Forums

  • Novel Writing Courses and "Novel Writing on Edge" Work and Study Forums
    • Novel Writing on Edge - Nuance, Bewares, Actual Results
    • Bad Novel Writing Advice - Timeless and Scary
    • Art and Life in Novel Writing
    • Novel Writing Program - Modules And Consults
    • Algonkian Writer Conferences - Events, FAQ, Contracts
  • AAC Desert Buffet and Novel Writing Vid Reviews
    • Writing With Quiet Hands
    • Audrey's Corner - Reviews for Aspiring Authors
    • Cara's Cabinet of Themes and Curiosities
    • Unicorn Mech Suit
    • Novel Writing Advice Videos - Who Has it Right?
  • New York Write to Pitch Conference and Shooting Galleries
    • New York Pitch and Write to Pitch 2022
    • The Real World Genres - MS Shooting Gallery
    • New Worlds, New Voices - SFF Shooting Gallery
  • The Author Connect House of Blogs
    • Crime Reads - Suspense, Thrillers, Crime, Gun!
    • Writer Unboxed - The "Connect Kitty" Approves
    • The Fantasy Hive - A U.K. Wonderland
    • Women on Writing - WOW and WOW!
    • Smart Bitches, Trashy Books
    • The Paris Review - A Literary Wonderland
  • Special Private Forums
    • Space Babies and Lost Illusions - the SFF 12/21 Pitch Writers

Find results in...

Find results that contain...


Date Created

  • Start

    End


Last Updated

  • Start

    End


Filter by number of...

Joined

  • Start

    End


Group


AIM


MSN


ICQ


Yahoo


Jabber


Skype


Location


Interests


Website URL ID

Found 11 results

  1. Algonkian Writers Conference Events and Retreats - Ongoing Client Review: Manuscripts to Market Editorial Service - $1500+ - Rolling Admissions: Novel Development and Writing Program, Online, $799 - December 15 - 18, 2022 : New York Write to Pitch 2022, LIVE IN NY, $795 - (Map/Directions) - February 24 - 27, 2023 : St. Augustine Author-Mentor, FL. $1289 - (Map/Directions) - March 22 - 26, 2023 : Algonkian Park Novel Workshop, $1095 - (Map/Directions) - April 13 - 17, 2023 : Monterey Writer Retreat, $1095 - (Map/Directions) The Author-Mentor Novel Workshop in St. Augustine creates an intimate environment that combines private consults with small-group workshops, thus enabling aspiring authors to wisely approach the publication of their novel. Aspiring authors will work one-on-one with authors and agents to acquire the savvy and advanced technique they must possess to become published.
  2. Deciding to update the current New York Pitch with elements of the "Write to Market" event featured in the San Francisco Bay area, the editors at Algonkian have produced a unique new hybrid conference known as the New York Write to Pitch 2022. So what's actually new? The Write to Pitch includes more formal emphasis on addressing the quality of competitive prose narrative, utilizing various guides and exercises that include the prose "opening pages" guide forum here on Algonkian Author Connect. And btw, what kind of writers will benefit from this new event? Looking for a Reality Check Writers who believe they need a mid-course or early stage reality check to determine whether or not they're on the correct path. Is the story a solid high-concept New York will buy? Is the plotting of the novel sound and flawless? Are the characters living on the page? What must be done to make the ms even better than it is? See the event schedule page for additional elaboration. Need Professional Editorial Advice Advice does not come from amateurs at the conference, only from professionals with many years of in-depth experience. Writers obtain logins to select and advanced novel editorial-and-development forums at Algonkian Author Connect, and for post-event purposes, they utilize the Algonkian Novel Writing Program for final rewrites prior to submission. Prose enhancement and writing classes taking place during the event also contribute, as well as the prep and pitch sessions. Close to Becoming Published Authors If the writer believes they have a complete or near complete ms, ready to pitch to an editor or agent, the conference will benefit them in more ways than one. See the conference benefits page for additional elaboration. Wish to Acquire a Greater Understanding of Publishing Regardless the stage of the novel, the writer wishes to gain more knowledge about commercial and literary publishing from professionals in the business. But be warned. All the faculty will be honest with their advice and revelations. The writer needs to hear the facts, not a rock-candy version of reality.
  3. What is the Purpose of Algonkian? To give writers in all genres a realistic chance at becoming published commercial or literary authors by providing them with the professional connections, feedback, advanced craft knowledge and savvy they need to succeed in today's extremely competitive market. What is Your Strategy for Getting Writers Published? - A model-and-context pedagogy that utilizes models of craft taken from great fiction authors and playwrights, thereby enabling the writer to pick and choose the most appropriate techniques for utilization in the context of their own work-in-progress. - Emphasis on providing pragmatic, evidence-based novel writing guidance rather than encouraging multiple "writer group" opinions and myths that might well confuse the aspiring author. - Our insistence that a writer's particular genre market must first be thoroughly understood and taken into consideration when it comes to the planning of the novel, and on every level from narrative hook to final plot point--thus clearly separating us from the MFA approach found at university programs like Iowa and Stanford. - Our conviction that you were not born to be a good or great author, but that you stand on the shoulders of great authors gone before. Their technique and craft are there for you to learn, and learn you must as an apprentice to your art. Every success you achieve is based on hard work and evolving your skills and knowledge base. - Our instructional and workshopping methods, as well as our pre-event novel writing guides and assignments which are the best in the business. How are Algonkian Events Unlike Many Other Workshops and Conferences? - More than sufficient time for productive and personal dialogues with faculty. No "speed" dating-like pitch sessions. - Critical MS and prose narrative critique provided by faculty only, not attendees (no MFA methodology). - Comprehensive 86-page novel-and-fiction study guide. - Extensive pitch prep before events with agents or publishers. - As noted above, unique and challenging pre-conference assignments that focus on all major novel elements. - An event focus on market-positioning, high-concept story premise, author platform, and competitive execution. - Emphasis on pragmatism and truth telling. No false flattering or avoidance of critical advice to spare the writer's feelings. Thin skins need to go somewhere else. - No tedious lectures, pointless keynotes, or bad advice. - Faculty chosen for wisdom as well as compassion - no snobs or bad attitudes. How to Know When My Novel is Ready for a Program or Event? When is it not? The novel-in-progress, even if only a concept, is ready to be examined and properly developed no matter the stage because the process always entails approaching story premise and execution in a manner that is productive. In truth, it's a process that should have begun as soon as the work was conceived. Therefore, the stage of the novel or number of years working on it is irrelevant. Any time is a good time to begin doing it correctly. Do you Have Success Stories? Comments, Careers, and Contracts Which Events or Programs to Attend First Novel Writing Program online and/or one of the workshop retreats followed by a New York prep seminar followed by the New York Pitch Conference OR the Novel Editorial Service (MTM) followed by New York prep seminar and New York Pitch, in that order. These are best case scenarios wherein money isn't tight. We will provide an overall discount of 26% on all events in either string if payment is made upfront for the entire grouping. Contact us for more information. What Genres do You Work With? Upscale and literary, memoir and narrative non-fiction, mystery/thriller and detective/cozy genres, urban fantasy, YA and adult fantasy, middle-grade, historical fiction, general fiction and women's fiction. Our agent and publisher faculty handle all genres. How Does Algonkian Differ From An MFA Approach? Algonkian emphasizes writing-to-get-published, creation in the context of heart, wit, and market knowledge. We teach writers to think pragmatically about the development of their ms while retaining their core values for the work. Our motto is "From the Heart, but Smart." College MFA programs do not prep a writer for the cold reality of the current publishing climate. Many of our most grateful writers are graduates of MFA programs. How do Writers Interact With Agents and Publishers? The model for the pitch is a "book jacket" the writer creates with the help of the workshop leader prior to the pitch session. The process is part of a longer evolution the writer begins even before arriving at the conference. Once the pitch is accomplished, the agent interacts with the writer in a Q&A session. The workshop leader then follows up with the writer to create a plan for publication, i.e., a step-by-step post-conference process the writer must undertake in order to stand a realistic chance of having his or her manuscript published. What is the "Pre-event Work" All About? Writers are given several different types of relevant assignments, story and pitch models, as well as a considerable amount of reading on the subject of advanced craft directly applicable to their work-in-progress. The idea is to prep the writer before the event so they can hit the deck running and share with us a common language. As a bonus, the pre-event work saves us from wasting time with extra handouts. Samples of the pre-event work, readings, and guides can be found here.
  4. About Algonkian Events and Workshops Haste born of impatience is a writer's second worst enemy. Hubris is the worst. - Director Michael Neff Algonkian Writer Conferences began in late 2001 on the banks of the Potomac River at Algonkian Park in northern Virginia. With its beautiful setting and cottages, it seemed a natural place for a workshop, and thus, Algonkian Writer Workshops was born. By 2004 it had expanded to include more professionals in the literary business, i.e., agents, editors, and authors, as well as more events such as the pitch conference in New York. At Algonkian events, we maintain intimate, carefully managed environments conducive to practicing the skills and learning the knowledge needed to realistically approach the creation of a competitive novel. See our Frequently Asked Questions for more details on our advantages, methods and goals. If you are beginning a novel or working on a novel-in-progress, or if you have a completed ms and require a strong reality check, you should receive professional, highly focused reaction not only to your prose and narrative, but to your entire work, including the story premise, lines of complication, plot arc, theme and character arc, and all else. There are 250,000+ first-novel manuscripts being written each year in America. What percent of those will eventually fail to be published by a major house? 99.99%... The statistics can't be denied. The job of Algonkian isn't to make this process risk free and easy. Our ultimate goal is to realistically increase your odds of becoming a published author by showing you how to inhabit that upper percentile of writers who will have their work taken seriously by professionals in the business.
  5. THE FOLLOWING COMMENTARY AND CONTRACT NEWS INVOLVES ALGONKIAN WRITER CONFERENCE EVENTS, IN PARTICULAR THE NEW YORK PITCH CONFERENCES, BUT ALSO ALGONKIAN PARK, ST. AUGUSTINE AUTHOR-MENTOR, AND MORE. THESE ARE A PORTION OF THE TOTAL MAILS, INTERNET POSTINGS, AND COMMUNICATIONS SENT TO US. ___________________ Just wanted to let you know I signed with Bob Diforio from D4EO literary with the novel we workshopped! You guys really helped me boost the concept to the next level, and btw, thanks again for the great new title, SECRET OF KILCHULLEN HOLLOWS." - Samantha Schinder; We're pleased to announce that Susan Breen's workshop group has once again produced a winner. A women's suspense thriller, A DEADLY GAME by Gayle Brown, was signed by Cindy Bullard of the Cindy Bullard agency. Congrats to Gayle, Cindy, and Susan! You guys have clearly worked very hard to develop a terrific event for upcoming writers. It's exactly what people need: support in producing a commercial idea, plus contacts to help sell it.... It was brilliant, and great to get to know you and Audrey too. I'm so glad I flew over from England or it. - Harper Collins Author, Annabel Kantaria I know three people who've attended [New York Pitch]. I went to one of the after parties with one of those people. It's definitely worth doing. One of those people got a six-figure book deal out of it, the other two got very serious offers. Prepare yourself to have to rewrite the book, though. The people there will tell you what edits you'll need to make in order to sell the book to them. - Eleanor Konik I received a contract from Harper Collins in 2021 as a result of an agent I met at the NY Pitch Greatest Show on Earth circus. I say "circus" not in a derogatory way, but as a good metaphor to utilize when describing the creative and delightful social chaos of the event itself. The studios are the equivalent of circus rings, each with their own culture, ringmasters, and applause. The hallways brim with entertainment art like a maze between the tents, echoing with the sounds of audition. Mouths are open, eyes are big, tears and laughter are real, and I'm going again, even if just to watch. And on top of everything else, I learned more about good fiction writing than in three years of groping for an MFA. - Marion Clark (Bestseller3) J.R. Roessl, who attended the 2020 St. Augustine Author-Mentor Novel Retreat, was recently signed by a faculty agent at the retreat. The PM announcement as follows: "Former model J.R. Roessl's HERITAGE, the 1960s-era coming-of-age story of the author raised on a boat built by her father and christened Heritage, where the family dynamics were just as treacherous as the pirates and stormy seas, to Rick Rinehart at Lyons Press, for publication in spring 2023, by Adam Chromy at Movable Type Management (NA). Audio rights to Addi Wright at Blackstone Audio." Bombarded with offers from agents at the New York Pitch Conference in 2022, Nan McCann finally agreed that agent extraordinare, Paula Munier, should be the right one to represent A MAN OF TWISTED WORDS. Congrats to all! Agent Amy Collins of the famous Talcott Notch agency just signed SFF writer Sandra Kruse to a two book deal. According to Amy in a note to us, "My first time at the New York pitch as an agent and I was blown away by the quality of talent assembled there, and I signed not one, but two authors. I can't believe it." And it was actually Sandra's second visit to the event. As she says in an email, "I learned so much the first time that I came back six years later with a different book and, this time, came away with an awesome agent. Thank you! Thank you!" Randy Denmon's new nonfiction about rediscovering the other side of America in an old Ford truck was just signed by NY faculty member, literary agent Barbara Zitwer following a meeting between the two at the June 2021 NYPC. Randy's novels and nonfiction have won the Western Writers of America Spur Award, the Faulkner-Wisdom Award, and he has been a finalist for the Ben Franklin Award. He is also the author of THE FORGOTTEN TRAIL TO APPOMATTOX. A couple of big projects at the NYPC were recently signed by the renowned literary agency, Moveable Type Management (MTM), for representation to both book and film markets. These include the WW II historical fiction pitched at the 03/21 NYPC, THE LAST AIRMAN by Roy Qualls, and A MILLION MILES TO DAISY by Sam Nahins, a novel about an assasination drone pilot out of Vegas seeking redemption by struggling to save his mother from a corrupt and brutal nursing home--pitched at the 12/20 NYPC. NEWS : NEW YORK PITCH ONLINE At recent 2020/2021 New York Pitch events held online via high-tech video conferencing, upwards of 67 projects were chosen for professional consideration by NY Pitch faculty for both book and TV/film markets. Agents, publishing house editors, and producers in attendance included agent Amy Stapp from Wolfson Literary, editor Hannah O'Grady from St. Martins, film producer Ken Atchity of AEI/Story Merchant, senior agent Michelle Richter of Fuse Literary, editor Elle Keck from Harper Collins, editor Miranda Hill from Penguin-Random House, editor Chris Morgan from Tor/Forge, editor April Osborn from Harper Collins, film/tv executive Brendan Deneen from Assemble Media, senior agent Paula Munier of Talcott Notch, and editor Gwen Hawkes from St. Martins. Novels selected from multiple genres included SHOUTING AT LEAVES, WAR GODS OF AFRICA, ALL THE GIFTED, GOD OF THE FALLEN, THE GIRL WHO SOLD DEATH, THE WASTELAND CREW, RESURRECTION ARC, LAST SORCERESS OF ROME, AMERICAN CALIPHATE, THE RULES OF HAUNTING, A MILLION MILES TO DAISY, THE SIFTING, WOUND SOWER, GETTING RID OF DAVION, A DEATH OF ANGELS, THE DARK RESISTANCE, and THE GREATEST ELECTRICAL SCIENTIST. Melanie Bacon's DRAGON RIPPER, a spin-off of Sherlock Holmes starring his sister and Jack the Ripper's daughter, was published by Del Sol Press after being streamlined by Algonkian workshops and edited by Algonkian editors. Talcott Notch represented the author. Accolades from best selling author, Hallie Ephron. Congrats all around! Women's fiction author, Joani Elliot, just informed her workshop leader, Susan Breen, that an offer from Jennifer Weis Agency was forthcoming following the NYC Pitch and that the NYC Pitch played a major role in sealing the deal. No surprise there! Congrats to Joani... Update: Joani has signed with a major affiliate of Simon and Schuster as of 08/20. Attending the Algonkian Author-Mentor Workshop in St. Augustine was a most excellent experience. By far, it was the best investment I could have made in my progress as a fiction writer. Knowing what editors, agents, and publishers are looking for helped me refine my approach. There was a strong sense of camaraderie among our group as we openly shared our stories. We've even formed our own online group so we can stay in touch, and continue to support each other in the coming months and years. Thank you for all you do to encourage, educate, and guide aspiring writers to succeed. I personally benefitted from the valuable insights and feedback I received from you, Paula, Lissa, Hallie, Adam, and Bob. - Sheree Richnow Author Linda Rosen just wrote and said: "You were so generous in helping me create a better title for my book... THE DISHARMONY OF SILENCE. Thank you so much! I want you to know, though the novel wasn't picked up from an editor at the conference, after several revisions later, and based in part on your editorial review, the novel is now coming out from Black Rose... I wanted you to know of the book's success so far and my sincere appreciation for all your help." A new mystery thriller by author Gerri Lewis was recently signed for representation by the legendary TV/film and literary agent Adam Chromy, faculty member of the NYC Pitch and the owner of Moveable Type Agency. The novel was pitched to Chromy at the conference. Congrats all around. Gerri is quickly becoming a legend in her own mind--just kidding! Love you, Gerri! Pitch Playlist: We've just learned from Loretta Marion, NYC alum, that thanks to the conference her career is flourishing. Congrats to Marion! "Awarded an Honorable Mention by the 2016 New England Book Festival and the Gold Book Award from Hungry Monster Literary Awards, Loretta Marion's debut novel is a twisty tale of mystery and suspense with whispers of romance." [ in her own words ] We've just learned from Rebecca Fujikawa that she has signed with the prestigious Seymour Agency after acquiring the necessary knowledge and editor leverage at the New York Pitch conference in 2017. She wrote workshop leader Susan Breen to tell her the good news. Congrats to Rebecca! [ in her own words ] A BORROWING OF BONES by Paula Munier, NYC senior faculty member and literary agent par excellence, will be out from Minotaur books in September. Lee Child calls it, "A compelling mix of hard edges and easy charm..." Paula is also the author of the bestselling PLOT PERFECT, THE WRITER'S GUIDE TO BEGINNINGS, WRITTING WITH QUIET HANDS, and FIXING FREDDIE: A True Story of a Boy, a Mom, and a Very, Very Bad Beagle. I recommend attending the conference if you're open-minded about your work and, most importantly, willing to change it. The four-day event is an emotional rollercoaster. Be prepared for honest feedback. Comments about your novel will not be sugarcoated. You may be asked to add characters, ditch a point-of-view, or even switch genres... You'll be peppered with questions. Don't defend. Rather, listen to ideas from those in the industry. - Tracey Kathryn The insights and learnings from the Algonkian conference that I attended were instrumental in helping me find a top literary agent (Red Ink) and resulted in the publication of the very book that I arrived at the conference with. This book, now titled VICTIMS FOR SALE, was published and released worldwide by HarperCollins in 2018 and has recently been long-listed for the Bombay Film Festival awards. - Nish Amarnath MURDERABILIA By Carl Vonderau will be published by Midnight Ink Publishing come July, 2019. The Algonkian New York event honed his story and pitch so perfectly that he snagged an agent at the San Francisco Writers Conference. The agent turned out to be Michelle Richter of Fuse Literary, a frequent contributor to the aforementioned event in NYC. Michelle provided him with excellent representation and an eventual sale to a terrific publisher. The Flapper, the Scientist, and the Saboteur by Charlene Dietz is now available on Amazon. Char wrote to tell us, "I want you to know how those five days at the Monterey Writer Retreat impacted my writing adventure. Paula Munier shoveled lots of stuff my way, helping shape my soon to be debut novel: put another murder right up front, don't kill a main characters while still on stage, be sure to have a USP, change the length, change the pacing, pay attention to where act one, act two, and act three happen... The Retreat helped choreograph my novel to the point that when I delved back into the revision process real magic happened. Thought you might enjoy reading these Kirkus starred reviews for my debut mystery novel (2016) and also for its prequel (2017). Thank you for the Monterey adventure!" I just wanted to share my amazing news with you. I attended your workshop in September '15, and earlier this month, sold my YA novel and a sequel to Delacorte/Random House. I just wanted to say thank you for the great advice and tough critique you and the editors shared with me... I'm incredibly grateful. - Kelly Coon TELL ME LIES by Carola Lovering will be published by Simon & Schuster (Atria Books) in 2018. Carola owes a significant portion of "getting over the top" to the NY Pitch, not to mention the fact that editor interest gave her needed "query leverage when querying agents at several top agencies" including Janklow & Nesbit, who later provided her with great representation. Carola Lovering comments. RIGHT OF ANSWER by Hilary Llewellyn-Thomas, a historical fiction about the first woman imprisoned in the Tower of London (who was the author's ancestor) was signed in contract to Trident Media literary agency, to be represented by Mark Gottlieb. Hilary Llewellyn-Thomas comments. - Kelly Coon Hi Susan. I thought I'd check in and let you know the latest. I have signed with agent Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Agency. She was actually one of the first agents I queried last year after the conference but things didn't come to fruition until just the last month... For numerous reasons and numerous times, I have appreciated attending the Pitch conferencer. I continue to be thankful to have attended the conference and for you as our instructor. - Rebecca Fujikawa The weekend I spent at this conference was transformational for me, and one of the best experiences of my life. It challenged my thinking, improved my craft, and helped me as a writer. Best of all, it made me feel like a writer for the first time in my life, and introduced me to a community of fellow writers with whom I am still friends today. If you ever had the desire to write professionally, and if you're willing to hear hard truths and do some serious work, I highly recommend it. - Ben Keller With Susan Breen as my workshop leader, our group was collaborative and supportive. Hearing how other writers in the group improved their pitches was inspiring. Because the conference participants are screened, editors know they are not wasting their time. Each editor I pitched listened carefully, giving suggestions and asking questions that improved my pitch. Susan followed up, interpreting the editors' feedback to be sure each writer got the most out of the encounter. Whether or not my manuscript had been requested, I would have learned if my novel had commercial appeal and how to best pitch it. Leaving the conference, I felt confident that my novel did have potential and that I could effectively query an agent or editor. I got lucky. 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... Just so you know, I spent five years researching and writing my novel before I went to the Algonkian Pitch Conference. For the past year, I had been querying agents and submitting to small presses. One agent requested it then didn't even bother to email back to reject it. Two other small presses rejected it and all other agents and presses didn't even reply. I owned a copy of Writer's Market, I had written what I thought was a good pitch, I researched each agent and press so I could tailor my query. Still, nothing was happening. Attending the Algonkian event was an investment in my career as a writer. For me, it paid off beyond my wildest dreams. No matter what, though, it would have been worth it for what I learned. - Kim Van Alkemade, signed by Harper Collins The very first day, I was told I needed to rethink the plot of my novel, and work through quite a different story from the one I wrote. I was initially devastated, but intent on keeping an open mind. I returned home wiser about the publishing industry and had to go through the stages of grief over the loss of my 400 -page baby. This was not a conference for writers with thin skin. It is a conference for those interested in the almost impossible goal of publication with a major publisher. - Gregory Renz Over the course of a week at the St. Augustine Author-Mentor, you pitch, rewrite your novel, hone your presentation with some of the best credentialed pros in both publishing and Hollywood. Course materials help you see where you are as a writer, and what your need to work on. You get to know your fellow writers and realize that you are not alone in the confusion of today's fast changing markets for fiction and non-fiction. And as a bonus, you are in a huge suite overlooking the Atlantic and one of the biggest beaches in Florida. - Author Catherine Clark I got two invaluable things out of the recent Algonkian Writers Conference. One was the repeated admonition to utilize all the tools of the craft. Even those of us who've written for a living forever can always use this reminder. A carpenter wouldn't attempt to frame a house without tools and neither should a writer ever sit down without his or her full arsenal at hand... Secondly, The Algonkian Writers Conference is a no-nonsense primer on all that need be done to prepare a manuscript for presentation. Agents are deluged with thousands of MS yearly and only a few are ever advanced to a publisher. Hence, a pitch, a log line and a synopsis must be absolutely sensational to garner even the slightest attention. In that regard, this is not a feel-good seminar. Some hearts were broken and some treasured ideas were trashed by the agents who attended. But from the first hour of the first day, faculty emphasized the cold facts and discouraging numbers of the trade, urging us to beat the odds by avoiding the errors and pitfalls of the amateurs. Now, there is some unavoidable tedium associated with such a gathering, when people are working on projects that seem silly or meaningless to you, but I found it helpful to pay attention to everyone's presentation in order to hone mine to a better polish. In doing so I discovered that the focus of my project needed to be compressed and a new angle of attack implemented. - Burr Snider, Algonkian Veteran J. P. Gownder's novel, THE TWILIGHT OF INVENTION, is now represented by Mark Gottlieb of Trident Media, thanks to the New York Pitch workshop that provided him with everything from a new title to helpful plotting advice. J.P. found one of the top agents in the business after sending out only eight query letters. Although I had a strong manuscript already, the Algonkian Writer Conference played a crucial role in helping me develop commercially viable marketing materials. During the conference, I wrote a much more coherent hook, changed the title of my manuscript, and composed a much more agent-friendly query letter. I also learned how to structure the plot for commercial fiction, which will benefit me in subsequent books. The result? In less than three months, I accepted an offer of representation from Mark Gottlieb, one of the top ten literary agents in my genre, which is fantasy. - J.P. Gownder The New York Pitch Conference focused attention on a fairly major gap in the early versions of The African Groundnut Scheme which was the lack of a strong female character to help carry the story. The follow up Algonkian conferences helped focus attention on the necessity of making sure every scene in the book is part of the seamless plot. The Algonkian conferences also pointed out the need to structure the story more clearly along the lines of a classic three act play with an opening, middle and conclusion. There is a Greek myth about the god Hermes boring a giant to death with an endless story that is all middle with no beginning or end. So this is not a small matter. Also, the New York Pitch Conference and Algonkian showed me how to present a book to agents. The technique is somewhat arcane and unsatisfactory, but, hey, that's the system we've got. If you don't know it, it is hard to get off ground zero. - Interview with Alex Keto I recently attended the Algonkian Writers Conference and found the experience to be invaluable. Michael Neff led the conference with ethics and integrity. He clearly explained the tools needed to successfully write and publish including reviewing tension, plot outline, character development, dialogue, and perfecting a pitch and synopsis. Michael Neff carefully and relentlessly worked with each writer to assist them in polishing their pitch for agents and troubleshooting the novel in general. This was exactly where I needed to be. Some of the feedback was, indeed, sobering, but I wasn't promised the conference would be a string of feelgood sessions. The work we accomplished was real and the feedback was real. I concur with the review submitted by Burr Synder on February 28, 2011. My thanks goes to Michael Neff for his patience and attention to detail in designing a writer's conference that was truly meaningful. - Author Sally Henry I've been to three of these Algonkian Writing Conferences, including both writing conferences and a Pitch Your Book session in New York City and on the whole they provide good education for a reasonable price... As the publishing business gets more and more difficult, I'm not convinced agents and editors have the time to read queries very easily. Being in front of them is a definite way to improve your odds of at least getting decent feedback. The Agonkian Writing Conferences provide, IMHO, far better value than some of the 'bigger' conferences where the interactions are increasingly staged and short-lived. - Veteran Writer John Arnold Robin Stewart's techno-thriller, "Kill Signal," was pitched at the March 2016 and soon signed by Talcott Notch Agency--represented at the New York Pitch event by agent Paula Munier. The ms is now undergoing edits with Algonkian staff. Congrats to Robin. This thriller is going to be a bestseller, we're certain! We love you Robin!!! From Publishers Marketplace: Sandi Ward's "The Astonishing Thing" pitched as "The Art of Racing in the Rain" meets "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" to John Scognamiglio at Kensington, in a two-book deal, by Stacy Testa at Writers House. Congrats you old pitch conference! [more by Sandi] Amanda Greenfield says, "Because of your conference I had 2 editors, one being Tessa Woodward, ask for my MS and/or pages and another forward my info to one of her associate editors at St. Martins. I was able to cross reference that with information on Publishers Marketplace and sent a query to an agent that worked with Tessa Woodward at Harper Collins. I sent her the first 50 pages and she was really excited about my work. She read the rest of it the next day and immediately sent me a contract. [more] Roger Johns, an alumnus of the New York Pitch Conference, wrote and told us: "Just wanted to let you know that Paula Munier, my group leader from the conference, took me on as a client and negotiated a deal for my book - DARK RIVER - with St. Martins. Announced tonight on Publishers Marketplace. Thanks for a wonderful experience. The conference was superb. I'm spreading the word among my critique groups in Atlanta." Algonkian alums Tracee Hahn (on left) and Britt Tisdale (right) signed recent contracts as a result of attendance at the New York Pitch Conference. Tracee's novel, SWISS VENDETTA, was edited and sold by Algonkian NYC agent faculty to Elizabeth Lacks at St. Martins. Britt's women's fiction novel, DAUGHTERS OF ROSA LA ROUGE, found home with Marsal Lyon Literary Agency: "I re-vamped my pitch, also revised the book to reflect new emphasis. 18 agents requested the ms..." [more] At last count, an estimated 51 total manuscripts are currently in the process of being reviewed by publishing house editors. More than 63% of total ms presented and discussed at length at our last events were requested, and 75% 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. -Annette Stanley "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." Kim Van Alkemade, Author of ORPHAN 8 275 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. Cate Holahan's DARK TURNS 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 "I went to an Algonkian writers workshop in the heart of the Berkshires at a pivotal time in my pre-career. I'd been trying to get published for five years, and was stuck. The Algonkian instructors offered sage advice and exposure to the industry so that I came away with a much more realistic understanding. But even more than that, the Algonkian experience brought together writers in a close knit environment that has continued to inspire me eleven years later. Now with my third novel about to come out, I credit my time in the Algonkian woods with helping me get here." Jenny Milchman, Mary Higgins Clark Award Winner Algonkian Author Salon's Kate Cox has signed with JENNIFER LYONS AGENCY, and we couldn't be more pleased. Kate has attended several Algonkian events, been a member of AAS, and has worked periodically with Algonkian director Michael Neff on her novel, THROUGH CHAGALL'S WINDOW. Her new agent, Jennifer Lyons (the third agent she queried), represents numerous big name authors. - Algonkian Author Salon "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." Sujatha Hampton, Author of AS IT WAS WRITTEN 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." Irene Fleming [aka Kathleen Gallison], Author of THE EDGE OF RUIN 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." Susan Breen, Author of THE FICTION CLASS 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." Luke McCallin, Author of THE MAN FROM BERLIN 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." Gina Damico, Author of CROAK 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 workshop 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." Erika Robuck, Author of HEMINGWAY'S GIRL 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..." Author Birgitte Rasine I just wanted to let you know that the conference did me a world of good. I had not spent time with literary people in 12 years, since I left the world of journalism. I had never before been to a writer's conference of any kind ... I believe that once I make the recommended changes to these projects I'll be onto something. I always thought I could write well, but the peripherals of the publishing business were daunting to me and I had lost contact with them. Thanks for helping to bring me back in touch. James Crawford ____________________________ I was beginning to get discouraged in the "find an agent game." I'd managed to wrack up a more than a few rejections on the queries I'd sent out. Then at the conference, with the help of an amazing workshop leader, I was able to improve my pitch. Three out of four editors at the conference requested my manuscript! That and the enthusiasm of my fellow attendees gave me heart. With an improved pitch and the editor interest to back me, I jumped back into the fray, Now, a few months later, I've signed with Emily Sylvan Kim of the Prospect Agency. Amy Ester Fischer ____________________________ Despite my many years as a journalist and non-fiction author, the transition into writing good fiction was difficult for me. Upon taking the Algonkian workshop, it all came into focus. For the first time, I am aware of the techniques and craft it takes to write a competitive manuscript. Dusko Doder, Author and Former Moscow Bureau Chief for the Washington Post ____________________________ 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!" Best Selling Author Carla Norton, Author of THE EDGE OF NORMAL 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!" Gillian Royes, author of GOAT WOMAN OF LARGO BAY 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!" Kim Boykin, Author of THE WISDOM OF HAIR 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." Rosemary DiBattista, author of MURDER AND MARINARA 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." Laurence O'Bryan, Author of THE MANHATTAN PUZZLE 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." Roberta Gately, author of LIPSTICK IN AFGHANISTAN 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." Ann Garvin, author of ON MAGGIE'S WATCH 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!" Talia Carner, Author of JERUSALEM MAIDEN 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." Will Lavender, Author of OBEDIENCE 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." John Ford, Author of THE MORGUE AND ME If they just gave you what you paid for at the New York Pitch and Shop conference - face time with serious decision-makers from the top publishing houses - it would be worth 10x what they charge. But they go further; personal guidance, encouragement, and honest evaluations of your novel. - Ginger Lombardo My weekend at the New York Pitch Conference was one of the few highlights in my beginning writing career. The tutoring from the workshop leaders, the support and encouragement of my fellow writers, and especially the feedback from the editors was well worth my time and money. Three of my children attend private universities and three others are enrolled in expensive athletic programs- (that's right- six children, one husband, a mortgage and a whopping grocery bill) pennies are precious, my spare minutes are few, but I considered the conference invaluable. I shopped conferences extensively before choosing the New York Pitch Conference. Because I've a finished manuscript that has been extensively work-shopped, I wanted a conference where I received personal evaluation and critique by professionals who are top in their league. I got what I wanted and more. - Kristine Tate I went to the most recent conference worrying how to juggle four editors all wanting my well-written, professionally-edited, much revised story. That was not a problem, however. I learned that my masterpiece is going to rot until I learn how to pitch and market the theme (a.k.a. premise). At another writer's conference, I had 15 minutes each with an agent and editor who, having previously read some of the manuscript, told me my writing was excellent, the humor great, etc. But they weren't interested. At the NYC Pitch & Shop conference, I learned why. If you cannot sell your novel idea within the first two minutes, the remaining time is for polite chat. That's the real world. - Greg Bascom The New York Pitch Conference, as rumored, is cool, and like someone said, a little like American Idol. Writers are real tense and anxious about their meetings and the responses they are getting. Some of them cry and others storm around, but the pitch staff calm them down. They have too much stake in the process and want to quit their day jobs. I don't blame them, but ya gotta have perspective. One of the coolest things about the New York Pitch Conference is the venue at Ripley-Greer. Lots of art and cool theater people and ooooh la-la dancers of both sexes mingling and rubbing shoulders with the writers. Never seen anything like it, really. - David O'Keefe I attended the most recent New York Pitch Conference and as a currently unpublished author found it to be well worth the time and expense. I travelled from North Carolina, paid for a NY hotel (at a reduced rate thanks to the conference sponsor) plus airfare. Not only was I able to refine my pitch and present it to interested publishers, but participants were able to sit in on early pitch sessions and benefit from the professional critique of other pitches. Oh, and by the way, an executive editor who has worked with the likes of Tom Clancy is currently considering my mystery-thriller manuscript for publication. How much is that worth? - Guy Forcucci Before attending the conference, one ought to do one's research. From what I was led to understand, there were no guarantees. It was not advertised to be anything more than a conference for pitching to editors - face to face. I did not expect editorial help, except as related to the pitch, and I was given more than I expected. I was also given a peep-hole into the current state of affairs in fiction, and I saw what kind of a crapshoot it is - not just for writers but for editors, as well. I saw that editors who were known for taking a certain kind of fiction could be on the lookout for other kinds, so long as it met this nebulous criteria of seeming marketability. When I parted with my $500, I knew from outset that there was a chance that none of the editors might want to see my work, and even if they all wished to see it, that there was no guarantee any of them would take it. It was difficult, but it was an experience I'm grateful for. It was informative, as well as being a reality check, it was helpful in providing editorial contacts, and it was an opportunity for bonding with other writers. The people in my group and our facilitator were first rate human beings. - Alice B. I attended in March. Before applying, I studied the website. I made sure I was the kind of writer who might find the experience -- and hence the expenditure -- worthwhile. It was obvious that there were no promises made regarding contracts, fame, or fortune. What you were promised was face time with 4 editors, and what was promised was ABSOLUTELY delivered. On the first day, participants were aided in developing their pitches -- a very different animal from the standard query letter -- and during the following days, we pitched and honed accordingly, all the while aided by the conference organizers and presenters. Personally, I came away with more than I initially expected. 3 of the 4 editors asked for partials and/or the entire manuscript. My novel is still under consideration by an editor I never would've reached via the slush pile. Other participants had similar success, while others still received a much needed reality check, or simply insight as to how the publishing world works. There were disappointments to be sure, but it wasn't due to the conference, it was due to the individual manuscripts. Writing is a subjective art form, like love, and like love, not everybody found a match during our "speed dating" sessions with the editors. However, everyone in my group -- regardless of their success level -- found the experience worthwhile. Most importantly, I met a lot of great people who do what I do and are at the same place in their literary pursuits. I live in the Midwest. I don't come across many people who are aspiring authors. Writing is a solitary endeavor and to have met a few colleagues, as well as another writer with whom I now exchange work and have a real and lasting friendship is, as the Mastercard ad says, priceless. - Amy Hanson Like others, I came from quite a distance and found the workshop to be more than I had been able to imagine, because I had no idea that what we were going to learn was so labor intensive. I couldn't imagine how it could take three full days to perfect a one to three minute pitch. I can now, and really have a grasp of what I've taken on. This line of work--writing fiction--is no where near an easy task. Sometimes I wonder if I'm off the deep end, but I love the writing and so am willing to keep trying. I appreciated the fact that there were no punches pulled. The Shop staff were almost brutally honest when it came to my writing and that is exactly what I wanted. And, I was told what was wrong and what road to take to fix it. Again, exactly what I wanted. I was told from the first that only a certain level of writing was accepted at this 'conference', and I found that to be true. It was scary exciting and intimidating, as well as motivating to participate in this workshop. Like anything, no one thing works for everyone. - Lisa Buie-Collard I came from Canada, another from the Cayman Island, others widely from across the USA. The conference offered training in how to "pitch" one's manuscript, and it offered a face-to-face opportunity to pitch to four editors. It delivered. There were days of discussion on improving the pitch, rehearsal sessions, opportunities to discuss one's work and whatever else one pleased with fellow 'wannabees.' Reduced cost hotel accommodation across the street was also arranged. I did not personally get a contract. Penguin did look at my book and rejected it -- I can't believe that was for any reason other than it didn't match their requirements. Anyone signing up for this workshop should feel comfortable that they will get what they are told -- however, a guarantee of publication is NOT PART OF THE OFFER. - Michael Hall I attended the latest pitch and shop and found it to be tremendously helpful. If you have honed your craft and written a saleable product you should have no problem attracting an editor's attention. You learn how to pitch in one minute. I didn't understand how that was done. I do now, and I do it very well. I recommend it highly. It was the the best writing conference I've experienced. - William Holland These are my experiences with the Pitch Conference. I suppose in the back of my mind I went in hoping for some miraculous discover me at the soda fountain Hollywood story. This didn't happen but then I'm no Lana Turner. The meat of the conference was preparing the pitch. This meant giving the pitch to others in a group of about fifteen writers and listening to their pitches. This helped me focus on two things: what was my novel really about and how could I communicate that effectively in as few words as possible? These may seem like simple matters but to watch fellow writers struggle to make a compelling summary of their works was fascinating and instructional. This process was repeated and the improvement in the presentations was apparent. The pitches were presented more confidently and they were worded more confidently. We had a good group. I respected them as writers. Members of our group actively rooted for one another and we have kept in touch since. All of the ones I have communicated with shared positive stories. There are several I am hoping to see in print come some day. I saw four editors. My pitch lasted two minutes followed by the editors asking about three minutes of to-the-point questions. One asked for my manuscript. After a couple of months of mulling it over, it was ultimately rejected. The NYC Pitch Conference was an excellent experience for me. In a short time I learned how to see through an editor's eyes. I understand now how to present my creation in that one page query letter that seemingly every agent requires. Worth the money? Not if you are only hoping for that Lana Turner type moment. But it taught me what I needed to know to bridge the gap between art and business. I would consider doing it again - especially if I knew I was to have as enjoyable and affirming group as I had my first time. If I were to drop something in their suggestion box I would have the team create a conference for graduates of the first conference. If I were to return, a lot of the basics I would be learning would be redundant. BTW - the Lana Turner story is a myth anyhow. - Martin Hill Ortiz I attended the June New York Pitch Conference and found it to be an amazing experience. Right off the bat there were no promises of publishing contracts. There were promises of a reality check, help in perfecting our pitches and face time with four reputable editors from major houses. They delivered 100% and then some. Our group leader, an established writer and teacher, took the time to work with us to hone our pitch, making himself available before our morning session began and it the afternoons. He sat in with us when we pitched to the editors. Our face time with the editors was not one minute, it was anywhere from five to fifteen minutes. The editors also provided helpful critiques. An executive editor from Penguin requested my ms, I would not have had the opportunity to pitch to him if I wasn't at the conference and my pitch would not have been perfect if it wasn't for the guidance I received by my group leader. Although not everyone was asked to submit their ms, we all gained valuable advice and critiques to better our work. No one in my group found the conference to be a waste of money. I also agree the conference reminds me of American Idol. We were all very nervous and very tense, but we bonded together to cheer and support each other. Most of us still keep in touch and have gotten together post conference. I've made valuable friendships and have the support of other writers and that's priceless! - Robin Tauber ____________________________ Dear Michael and Charles, Some encouraging news since my return from our workshop, I've managed to garner a blast of new agent interest in reading my manuscript, a development I attribute to having fine-tuned my pitch there with you. The following agencies received my new pitch via email queries and are now reading the entire MS: Levine Greenberg The Rights Factory (Toronto) Trident Media Imprint Agency Folio Literary As to the chat forum, I did take some advice about smoothing out the first few pages, it can only help...but left my opening essentially as it was. I can see the value of mass response but a few of us are emailing each other with larger chunks of ms which answers my needs better right now. Finally, the workshop was a good experience for me. I benefitted from hearing the refining process go on for others' work as well as my own. It was overall a great group of people and your own leadership was terrific. Thanks again. Victoria Costello ____________________________ I'm a children's writer hoping to break into the historical novel market. The Algonkian Workshop surpassed every other conference I've been to. It wasn't "rah-rah" pep talks that do little more than leave an unpublished writer frustrated. It was four days of intensive, down-to-business training and face-to-face contact with agents and authors who told us what we really need to know--and do--to get published. And the agents invited us to send our book proposals to them, first. That's more than worth the price of admission. Kathryn Dahlstrom, Author of The Good News Club series ____________________________ Algonkian Workshop is an intensive nuts and bolts primer in learning and examining the techniques of storytelling and dialogue. It gets the writer focused on the ingredients that bring a story or a novel to life. Of the six workshops I have done in the past four years, Algonkian is by far the best. Michael B. Miller, Translator, Virginia ____________________________ The motto and approach, 'write from the heart, but smart,' is pure genius. If you're serious about writing and getting published, an Algonkian conference is the way to go. Peter Eichstaedt, Newspaper Journalist and Author of If You Poison Us ____________________________ I have returned to writing after a 20 year hiatus. The Algonkian workshop was instrumental in helping me focus and clarify my characters and story. The small size of the workshop encouraged interaction between attendees and with the facilitator. We all got a lot of specific feedback on our work; the feedback was constructive and specific. I highly recommend the Algonkian Novel workshop for anyone looking for new insights on his/her work. Amy Roeder, California ____________________________ From H. Scott Dalton (attendee at New York Pitch Conference) Since the conference, three of our group, including Will, have been offered contracts for the books they pitched (I, unfortunately, have not had an offer yet). All three say the coaching they received at the conference helped them shop their books more effectively by tightening and targeting their queries. For myself, I decided to attend for a few reasons: It gave me a chance to meet other writers, folks serious about this craft, including some from the Big Bad Industry. It gave me an opportunity to get a reality check on my writing and my book, and help me figure out how to market it to maximize my chances. It might get me struck by lightning, get picked up and avoid the frustrating query-and-rejection cycle I'm in now (please note, though, I did not go thinking I was guaranteed a contract). Hell, it was a chance to go to New York. As it happens, all but the struck-by-lightning thing worked out. I'm still in contact with several of the folks I met there, one of them Will, and we all continue to learn from each other. Personally, I find it useful to be able to put names and faces to my fellow rookies, and have at least one common experience to look back on. And meeting one-on-one with four real live editors helped me gain a little perspective on this business; the four of them, and all the rest of you, are much more human to me now than before. For me, the conference was worth the price tag. tradition2.jpg comic.png
  6. Various interviews and reviews over the years conducted with writers who attended the New York Pitch Conference (Ripley Greer Studios). Reasonably detailed. A few meander but they contain sufficiently good advice for neophyte writers. Halie and Lee Ann walk down the New York Pitch Conference memory lane, talking about how it turned them around as writers, and helped make them friends for life. NOTE: Faith remarks that she doesn't think anyone else at her particular conference received a brass ring, but in fact, as one commenter points out, a couple three writers actually did. And this is correct. Also, there are a few other comments necessitating background information that she could not have possibly accessed; therefore, a bit of *beware* on this one; however, the show itself is mildly entertaining and improves after the cat appears. All kidding aside, Faith tried to do a good job with this. The above is from one of the older conferences with more limited programming, however, even at that time we utilized pre-pitch workshops to conduct novel analysis and go forward with edits.
  7. Novel writing, development, editing, and pitch forums for utilization by New York Pitch and Algonkian alums, as well as AAC guests and members. This is a focal point for polishing, rewriting, or beginning a new genre or literary plot-driven manuscript. => The Algonkian Novel Writing Program is open to all Algonkian/NYP alums at no additional cost. If you are not an alum, the cost is $799.00. First Stop - Primary Novel Development and Course Forums Development, Writing, and Editing - Concept to Query Platitudes, entitled amateurism, popular delusions, and erroneous information are all conspicuously absent from this collection of detailed novel writing guides and maxims. The goal is to provide you, the aspiring novel author, with the skills and knowledge it takes to realistically compete in the commercial book market of the 21st century. Best to begin the journey with Labors, Sins, and Six Acts which includes an overview and linkage to the best of AAC and Novel Writing on Edge. This forum grouping also contains the critical "Bad Novel Writing Advice" designed to assist writers in avoiding counterproductive contamination; "Art and Life in Novel Writing" (insightful reviews of non-fiction books on novel writing) that provides a balance of important advice from varying perspectives; the 16-Part "Algonkian Novel Writing Program" for editing or writing the genre novel in "six act" stages, as well as the Algonkian Writer Conferences forum, FAQ, and all other things related to Algonkian. __________ ACC Desert Buffet and Novel Writing Vids Reviews, Commentary, and Plenty of Controversy Entertaining literary book analysis in Audrey's Corner with an aim towards helping aspiring novel writers, and Writing With Quiet Hands, a new novel writing advice column by legendary agent, Paula Munier, plus Cara's Cabinet collection of ravels and unravels, combed feed, and worthwhile nuggets of information culled from AAC essays and articles. And don't neglect our most popular forum of all wherein Algonkian geniuses dissect and discuss novel writing videos from a number of sources--unquestionably worth a rant or two. Just ask Stephen King. __________ The Author Connect House of Blogs Superior Streaming Genre and Literary Content The definitive "best of" source for valuable book reviews and publishing news in general. We mix it up and dish it into the "Activity Stream" so don't be surprised at what pops up. __________ Narrative Critique and Community Forum New York Pitch and Algonkian Perspectives A forum for New York Pitch alums to post samples of their scenes and prose narrative for detailed critique based on AAC guidelines. Emphasis on choice of set, narrative cinema, quality of dialogue, metaphor, static and dynamic imagery, interior monologue, general clarity, tone, suspense devices, and routine line editing issues as well. __________ The Shooting Galleries (for pitch purposes - sell sheets required) New Worlds, New Voices The NWNV "Shooting Gallery" provides writers with the chance to test market their best SFF novels and hopefully score a contract. Agents and TV/Film reps will check in and review work during 2022. This particular SG for Algonkian alums only. The Real World Genres "Real World Genres Shooting Gallery" provides writers with opportunities to test market their best novels and hopefully score a contract. Agents and TV/Film reps will check in and review work during 2022. This particular SG for Algonkian alums only.
  8. - Rosemary DiBattista NY/PRNewswire: "On Maggie's Watch" NY/PRNewswire: "Lipstick in Afghanistan" - Susan Moger - Kim Boykin (Interview with Kim Boykin) - Author Natasha Bauman - Author Pamela Binder - Roberta Gately, author of Lipstick in Afghanistan Suite 101 Review - Author Kate Gallison
  9. - Donna Rubino (The Camaraderie of Conference) - Halie Fewkes, signed by Andrea Hurst - Jim Smith, 9/14 Pitch - Kim Van Alkemade, signed by Harper Collins - Christopher Lee / Criminal Defense Attorney - Bonnie Carlins, writer and author - Dave McMenamin, Signed by Talcott Notch Literary Agency - Kelley McNeil, signed by Writers House - Amy Reichert - Sandra Glynn
  10. Reviews of Algonkian Writer Conferences - NY Pitch NOTE: we do not simply list writers who have been published following attendance at our events unless we have received a communication from them advising us of the connection. Just wanted to let you know I signed with Bob Diforio from D4EO literary with the novel we workshopped! You guys really helped me boost the concept to the next level, and btw, thanks again for the great new title, SECRET OF KILCHULLEN HOLLOWS." - Samantha Schinder; We're pleased to announce that Susan Breen's workshop group has once again produced a winner. A women's suspense thriller, A DEADLY GAME by Gayle Brown, was signed by Cindy Bullard of the Cindy Bullard agency. Congrats to Gayle, Cindy, and Susan! You guys have clearly worked very hard to develop a terrific event for upcoming writers. It's exactly what people need: support in producing a commercial idea, plus contacts to help sell it.... It was brilliant, and great to get to know you and Audrey too. I'm so glad I flew over from England or it. - Harper Collins Author, Annabel Kantaria I know three people who've attended [New York Pitch]. I went to one of the after parties with one of those people. It's definitely worth doing. One of those people got a six-figure book deal out of it, the other two got very serious offers. Prepare yourself to have to rewrite the book, though. The people there will tell you what edits you'll need to make in order to sell the book to them. - Eleanor Konik I received a contract from Harper Collins in 2021 as a result of an agent I met at the NY Pitch Greatest Show on Earth circus. I say "circus" not in a derogatory way, but as a good metaphor to utilize when describing the creative and delightful social chaos of the event itself. The studios are the equivalent of circus rings, each with their own culture, ringmasters, and applause. The hallways brim with entertainment art like a maze between the tents, echoing with the sounds of audition. Mouths are open, eyes are big, tears and laughter are real, and I'm going again, even if just to watch. And on top of everything else, I learned more about good fiction writing than in three years of groping for an MFA. - Marion Clark (Bestseller3) Bombarded with offers from agents at the New York Pitch Conference in 2022, Nan McCann finally agreed that agent extraordinaire, Paula Munier, should be the right one to represent A MAN OF TWISTED WORDS. Congrats to all! Agent Amy Collins of the famous Talcott Notch agency just signed SFF writer Sandra Kruse to a two book deal. According to Amy in a note to us, "My first time at the New York pitch as an agent and I was blown away by the quality of talent assembled there, and I signed not one, but two authors. I can't believe it." And it was actually Sandra's second visit to the event. As she says in an email, "I learned so much the first time that I came back six years later with a different book and, this time, came away with an awesome agent. Thank you! Thank you!" Randy Denmon's new nonfiction about rediscovering the other side of America in an old Ford truck was just signed by NY faculty member, literary agent Barbara Zitwer following a meeting between the two at the June 2021 NYPC. Randy's novels and nonfiction have won the Western Writers of America Spur Award, the Faulkner-Wisdom Award, and he has been a finalist for the Ben Franklin Award. He is also the author of THE FORGOTTEN TRAIL TO APPOMATTOX. A couple of big projects at the NYPC were recently signed by the renowned literary agency, Moveable Type Management (MTM), for representation to both book and film markets. These include the WW II historical fiction pitched at the 03/21 NYPC, THE LAST AIRMAN by Roy Qualls, and A MILLION MILES TO DAISY by Sam Nahins, a novel about a military drone pilot out of Vegas seeking redemption by struggling to save his mother from a corrupt and brutal nursing home--pitched at the 12/20 NYPC. The December 2020 New York Pitch Conference was empowering. In the group, there were a number of neat writers with good work under their belts, no one ups-man-ship, no snarkies, just plain good and very intelligent people with a common purpose. I had never talked to an agent or publisher before. But they exhibit all the attributes that qualify them as direct, caring, and compassionate, although they are to the point because they have a lot of people to work with within a very short time. But we learned the ropes, how to compose a pitch and give that pitch without choking up! - Jerry Mollenhauer at Writer's Block I attended The New York Pitch Conference in December 2020 and, because of Covid, the conference was via Zoom. The conference exceeded my expectations. The conference leader and associate went above and beyond in their creative generosity, willingness to be available at ungodly early hours to help with reworking the novel and sharing professional insights as to what worked and didn't work in the pitch. For my specific genre, I had the opportunity to pitch six times, each time learning how my pitch was or wasn't of interest to the agent. I came away from the conference with a better understanding of the publishing world, a sharper picture of what will potentially make a novel commercial, and a submission request. If you are interested in selling your manuscript, I highly recommend attending the New York Pitch Conference. - Maureen Meegan Thanks to knowledge and skills learned through the Algonkian NYC Pitch Conference (March 2018) and participation in the Novel Writing Program, I am happy to report the following contract: DEAD ALREADY, a thriller worked during the pitch conference and the follow-on novel Algonkian writing program, published in November 2020 by TouchPoint Press. - Michael Krentz Dear Michael and All, Thank you for a great conference. I feel empowered to go forth, rewrite and query. I know this was extremely difficult to put together virtually, and that there were many issues as we went along, with people getting lost in the ether. I was impressed with how these were handled calmly and efficiently. A shout out to Bud, who rescued many a waylaid writer. The experience of meeting with so many agents, and getting their feedback and various perspectives was extremely useful. I also enjoyed hearing what they had to say about everybody else's query. An education in four days. Many thanks for all of your hard work, attention to detail, and extreme care as you shepherded us through this process. I can see what you meant by "no writer will be left behind." I will certainly recommend your conference! - Alison Hubbard It's hard to fathom that over a decade has passed since Rosemary DiBattista (Rosie Genova) and I attended the New York Pitch Conference. There we were-two aspiring writer-hopeful, and yet frozen in terror by how completely out of our element we were. One look at each other, and we realized we were both in the same aimless boat, sailing across perilous waters. Rosemary was my lifeline that week, and the bond was as immediate as it was lasting. It has been a long, sometimes thorny journey. But we made it to the other side, both of us having now published three books... So thank you for giving us the opportunity and the jump-start that we needed to launch. - Loretta Marion I recommend attending the conference if you're open-minded about your work and, most importantly, willing to change it. The four-day event is an emotional rollercoaster. Be prepared for honest feedback. Comments about your novel will not be sugarcoated. You may be asked to add characters, ditch a point-of-view, or even switch genres... You'll be peppered with questions. Don't defend. Rather, listen to ideas from those in the industry. - Tracey Kathryn - J.P. Gownder - Cate Holahan - Carman Curton - Robin Stuart - Sandi Ward - Amanda Greenfield - Britt Staton - Roger Johns - Stacy Suaya Post by New York Pitch Conference Review. - Donna Rubino (The Camaraderie of Conference) - Halie Fewkes, signed by Andrea Hurst - Jim Smith, 9/14 Pitch - Kim Van Alkemade, signed by Harper Collins - Christopher Lee / Criminal Defense Attorney - Bonnie Carlins, writer and author - Dave McMenamin, Signed by Talcott Notch Literary Agency - Kelley McNeil, signed by Writers House - Amy Reichert - Sandra Glynn Reviews of Algonkian Writer Conferences - NYC Pitch - Luke McCallin - Rosemary DiBattista NY/PRNewswire: "On Maggie's Watch" NY/PRNewswire: "Lipstick in Afghanistan" - Susan Moger - Kim Boykin (Interview with Kim Boykin) - Author Natasha Bauman - Author Pamela Binder - Roberta Gately, author of Lipstick in Afghanistan Suite 101 Review Reviews of Algonkian Writer Conferences - NYC Pitch - Author Kate Gallison Three out of four publishers asked for my work, and one, has been helpful to me in suggesting agents, and is happy to discuss the book with any who are interested. This is a result beyond my wildest expectations, and thanks to the hard work of you and your team (especially Rachel Sherman!) in putting on these conferences. Thank you. Keith Lord 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 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. Three months and many, many hours later, I have "almost" completed my editing. The 79,000 word novel is nearly perfect, far better than I thought I could make it - well, except for the last chapter, which currently sucks. I would not have accomplished this but for you and your conference. I can't tell you how grateful I am for that. Terri-Lynne Smiles Thank you for your wonderful conference where I met wonderful people and which led to acquiring my agent, Sally Wofford-Girand, which led to getting this dream to come true. Sujatha Hampton This is one e-mail I have been dying to send--this week I signed with Kim Lionetti at Bookends. If it weren't for the conference, it would not have happened. Many, many thanks! Rosemary DiBattista Four months after the NYC June pitch conference - I want to thank you so much. I've gone back to Eros and Omissions (thanks again for the title!) with all the advice in mind. From 50,000 words it's on a trajectory for 80,000. I feel that it's a much richer, more developed work, with a strong opening, backstory dramatized ... Thanks again for your help with the pitches and your wisdom re writing generally. This Algonkian Writer Conference is unique among writing seminars. I've since highly recommended it to many of my writer friends. Warm regards, Carol Polizzi I am thrilled to share the news that my novel GRACE AT WAR, a 14-year old girl's account of her brother's re-entry into the world after a year in combat in Vietnam, has won first prize in the Maryland Writers Assoc. (MWA) 2008 Novel Contest in the mainstream/literary fiction category. According to the MWA letter that accompanied my prize, GRACE AT WAR received "exceptional scores" from the judges "in a very competitive" field of entries from all over US and Canada-- so I'm feeling "exceptionally" motivated to move Grace to the next steps: professional editing and finding an agent. Attending the Pitch and Shop Conference in December 2006 in NYC was instrumental in advancing my novel to this point. Susan Moger And I can't brag enough on Susan Breen, our intrepid group leader. She was fantastic and a the perfect guide for our little group: part mother hen/part ninja. (Of course I bought her book immediately and just finished reading it...and I loved it.) I don't know if this happens in every session, but our group really bonded into a unit over the days of the conference and we've been emailing like crazy since it ended. We've even set up a Yahoo group to make it easier for us all to stay in touch. A lovely side benefit of attendance at this Algonkian conference. Anna Lefler I am drawn to telling stories about women who discover their inner strength through great adversities ... The workshops gave me an opportunity to review the overall structure of my novel. Refining the pitch forced me to isolate the major plot points. By focusing on the sources of conflict and suspense, I gained a clearer picture of changes that needed to be made. Barbara Marquart I was beginning to get discouraged in the "find an agent game." I'd managed to wrack up a more than a few rejections on the queries I'd sent out. Then at the conference, with the help of an amazing workshop leader, I was able to improve my pitch. Three out of four editors at the conference requested my manuscript. That and the enthusiasm of my fellow attendees gave me heart. With an improved pitch and the editor interest to back me, I jumped back into the fray, Now, a few months later, I've signed with Emily Sylvan Kim of the Prospect Agency. Thank you, Algonkian Writer Conferences. Amy Ester Fischer Perhaps coincidentally, I found doing the New York Pitch Conference and then following up with an Algonkian Writer Conference most effective. In any case, it is what I did. The pitch shop highlighted problems while the follow up looked into solutions. It's pretty hard to point to any single thing that helped the most since all parts of a novel are critical simultaneously. You must have plot but not at the expense of character but neither really work without paying attention to creating interest and tension throughout the writing. Maybe that's your answer: a more sophisticated view of the entire book. Alex Keto I wanted all of you to know that I had about a 95% positive response rate on the query I worked out with the group at the conference. At the time Brick House Literary Agency asked to represent me, I had 6 agents reviewing my ms. I began querying on Sept. 20 and one week later, I had 6 agents request the ms. I landed an agent less than one month after I began querying. This is largely due to the contacts I made, the information we shared, and the feedback I got from the Pitch conference. Sujatha Hampton This is a relatively small conference - 60 people - which made it possible for us to get to know one another, share information, and for the editors and workshops leaders to give us individual attention. Being grouped by genre (such as women's fiction) was very effective as it gave us a sense of identity, and meant that the information we received, and the discussions we had, were all specific to our genre. Most conferences try to do and be too many things, causing the writer to feel scattered and overwhelmed. Christine Stewart From John Ford (five figures for young adult fiction - THE MORGUE AND ME - Viking) The New York Pitch and Shop Conference offered direct access to major publishing houses, great mentors, and a community of supportive writers. The editors drew me to the conference, but the bigger benefit for me was the invaluable instruction in honing my pitch. 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 after Charles Salzberg helped us identify and focus on the strengths of our work. From Susan Breen (five figures for women's fiction - THE FICTION CLASS - Plume) I am the person who sold my novel at the New York Pitch Conference. 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. #2 Post Let me just share my experience here. Before I went to the New York Pitch Conference, I had been to a number of more traditional conferences--Bread Loaf, Antioch, Writers @ Work and so on. When I saw the ad for New York Pitch Conference, I had just finished my novel, The Fiction Class, and I was about to embark on a search for an agent (which is a long story in itself) and I was thinking I would apply to a conference. Then I saw the ad and I liked the fact that it was different than anything I had done. Quite honestly, I was at a point in my career where I thought I needed to do something different. I knew it was a long shot, but I was going to spend the money on one conference or another and I figured it was worth giving it a try. I had met agents before at other conferences, but I liked the directness of this one. The whole purpose was to try and sell my novel; there was no pussy footing around. Also, I just liked the idea of meeting an editor face to face. If you are not in publishing, you just do not run into editors and since these people were the decision makers, I wanted to see what they were like. 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 New York Pitch Conference. My thanks to Algonkian Writer Conferences. From H. Scott Dalton (attendee at New York Pitch Conference) Since the conference, three of our group, including Will, have been offered contracts for the books they pitched (I, unfortunately, have not had an offer yet). All three say the coaching they received at the conference helped them shop their books more effectively by tightening and targeting their queries. For myself, I decided to attend for a few reasons: It gave me a chance to meet other writers, folks serious about this craft, including some from the Big Bad Industry. It gave me an opportunity to get a reality check on my writing and my book, and help me figure out how to market it to maximize my chances. It might get me struck by lightning, get picked up and avoid the frustrating query-and-rejection cycle I'm in now (please note, though, I did not go thinking I was guaranteed a contract). Hell, it was a chance to go to New York. As it happens, all but the struck-by-lightning thing worked out. I'm still in contact with several of the folks I met there, one of them Will, and we all continue to learn from each other. Personally, I find it useful to be able to put names and faces to my fellow rookies, and have at least one common experience to look back on. And meeting one-on-one with four real live editors helped me gain a little perspective on this business; the four of them, and all the rest of you, are much more human to me now than before. For me, the conference was worth the price tag. From Will Lavender (six figure deal for his thriller - OBEDIENCE - Shaye Areheart) This Algponkian Writer Conference helped me TREMENDOUSLY. Tremendously. I did a few things in New York that were of help: 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 people and some good writers there. According to their website, 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. There were 16 in the group. That tells you that, while these writers may not have landed deals with editors during this conference (I didn't; the manuscript was eventually rejected by Penguin), there is some legit talent in the groups you pitch with. I can only speak for myself: it was well worth the money I paid. If they just gave you what you paid for at the New York Pitch and Shop conference - face time with serious decision-makers from the top publishing houses - it would be worth 10x what they charge. But they go further; personal guidance, encouragement, and honest evaluations of your novel. Ginger Lombardo My weekend at the New York Pitch Conference was one of the few highlights in my beginning writing career. The tutoring from the workshop leaders, the support and encouragement of my fellow writers, and especially the feedback from the editors was well worth my time and money. Three of my children attend private universities and three others are enrolled in expensive athletic programs- (that's right- six children, one husband, a mortgage and a whopping grocery bill) pennies are precious, my spare minutes are few, but I considered the conference invaluable. I shopped conferences extensively before choosing the New York Pitch Conference. Because I've a finished manuscript that has been extensively work-shopped, I wanted a conference where I received personal evaluation and critique by professionals who are top in their league. I got what I wanted and more. Kristine Tate I went to the most recent conference worrying how to juggle four editors all wanting my well-written, professionally-edited, much revised story. That was not a problem, however. I learned that my masterpiece is going to rot until I learn how to pitch and market the theme (a.k.a. premise). At another writer's conference, I had 15 minutes each with an agent and editor who, having previously read some of the manuscript, told me my writing was excellent, the humor great, etc. But they weren't interested. At the NYC Pitch & Shop conference, I learned why. If you cannot sell your novel idea within the first two minutes, the remaining time is for polite chat. That's the real world. Greg Bascom The New York Pitch Conference, as rumored, is cool, and like someone said, a little like American Idol. Writers are real tense and anxious about their meetings and the responses they are getting. Some of them cry and others storm around, but the pitch staff calm them down. They have too much stake in the process and want to quit their day jobs. I don't blame them, but ya gotta have perspective. One of the coolest things about the New York Pitch Conference is the venue at Ripley-Greer. Lots of art and cool theater people and ooooh la-la dancers of both sexes mingling and rubbing shoulders with the writers. Never seen anything like it, really. David O'Keefe I attended the most recent New York Pitch Conference and as a currently unpublished author found it to be well worth the time and expense. I travelled from North Carolina, paid for a NY hotel (at a reduced rate thanks to the conference sponsor) plus airfare. Not only was I able to refine my pitch and present it to interested publishers, but participants were able to sit in on early pitch sessions and benefit from the professional critique of other pitches. Oh, and by the way, an executive editor who has worked with the likes of Tom Clancy is currently considering my mystery-thriller manuscript for publication. How much is that worth? Guy Forcucci Before attending the conference, one ought to do one's research. From what I was led to understand, there were no guarantees. It was not advertised to be anything more than a conference for pitching to editors - face to face. I did not expect editorial help, except as related to the pitch, and I was given more than I expected. I was also given a peep-hole into the current state of affairs in fiction, and I saw what kind of a crapshoot it is - not just for writers but for editors, as well. I saw that editors who were known for taking a certain kind of fiction could be on the lookout for other kinds, so long as it met this nebulous criteria of seeming marketability. When I parted with my $500, I knew from outset that there was a chance that none of the editors might want to see my work, and even if they all wished to see it, that there was no guarantee any of them would take it. It was difficult, but it was an experience I'm grateful for. It was informative, as well as being a reality check, it was helpful in providing editorial contacts, and it was an opportunity for bonding with other writers. The people in my group and our facilitator were first rate human beings. Alice B. I attended in March. Before applying, I studied the website. I made sure I was the kind of writer who might find the experience -- and hence the expenditure -- worthwhile. It was obvious that there were no promises made regarding contracts, fame, or fortune. What you were promised was face time with 4 editors, and what was promised was ABSOLUTELY delivered. On the first day, participants were aided in developing their pitches -- a very different animal from the standard query letter -- and during the following days, we pitched and honed accordingly, all the while aided by the conference organizers and presenters. Personally, I came away with more than I initially expected. 3 of the 4 editors asked for partials and/or the entire manuscript. My novel is still under consideration by an editor I never would've reached via the slush pile. Other participants had similar success, while others still received a much needed reality check, or simply insight as to how the publishing world works. There were disappointments to be sure, but it wasn't due to the conference, it was due to the individual manuscripts. Writing is a subjective art form, like love, and like love, not everybody found a match during our "speed dating" sessions with the editors. However, everyone in my group -- regardless of their success level -- found the experience worthwhile. Most importantly, I met a lot of great people who do what I do and are at the same place in their literary pursuits. I live in the Midwest. I don't come across many people who are aspiring authors. Writing is a solitary endeavor and to have met a few colleagues, as well as another writer with whom I now exchange work and have a real and lasting friendship is, as the Mastercard ad says, priceless. Amy Hanson Like others, I came from quite a distance and found the workshop to be more than I had been able to imagine, because I had no idea that what we were going to learn was so labor intensive. I couldn't imagine how it could take three full days to perfect a one to three minute pitch. I can now, and really have a grasp of what I've taken on. This line of work--writing fiction--is no where near an easy task. Sometimes I wonder if I'm off the deep end, but I love the writing and so am willing to keep trying. I appreciated the fact that there were no punches pulled. The Shop staff were almost brutally honest when it came to my writing and that is exactly what I wanted. And, I was told what was wrong and what road to take to fix it. Again, exactly what I wanted. I was told from the first that only a certain level of writing was accepted at this 'conference', and I found that to be true. It was scary exciting and intimidating, as well as motivating to participate in this workshop. Like anything, no one thing works for everyone. Lisa Buie-Collard I came from Canada, another from the Cayman Island, others widely from across the USA. The conference offered training in how to "pitch" one's manuscript, and it offered a face-to-face opportunity to pitch to four editors. It delivered. There were days of discussion on improving the pitch, rehearsal sessions, opportunities to discuss one's work and whatever else one pleased with fellow 'wannabees.' Reduced cost hotel accommodation across the street was also arranged. I did not personally get a contract. Penguin did look at my book and rejected it -- I can't believe that was for any reason other than it didn't match their requirements. Anyone signing up for this workshop should feel comfortable that they will get what they are told -- however, a guarantee of publication is NOT PART OF THE OFFER. Michael Hall I attended the latest pitch and shop and found it to be tremendously helpful. If you have honed your craft and written a saleable product you should have no problem attracting an editor's attention. You learn how to pitch in one minute. I didn't understand how that was done. I do now, and I do it very well. I recommend it highly. It was the the best writing conference I've experienced. William Holland These are my experiences with the Pitch Conference. I suppose in the back of my mind I went in hoping for some miraculous discover me at the soda fountain Hollywood story. This didn't happen but then I'm no Lana Turner. The meat of the conference was preparing the pitch. This meant giving the pitch to others in a group of about fifteen writers and listening to their pitches. This helped me focus on two things: what was my novel really about and how could I communicate that effectively in as few words as possible? These may seem like simple matters but to watch fellow writers struggle to make a compelling summary of their works was fascinating and instructional. This process was repeated and the improvement in the presentations was apparent. The pitches were presented more confidently and they were worded more confidently. We had a good group. I respected them as writers. Members of our group actively rooted for one another and we have kept in touch since. All of the ones I have communicated with shared positive stories. There are several I am hoping to see in print come some day. I saw four editors. My pitch lasted two minutes followed by the editors asking about three minutes of to-the-point questions. One asked for my manuscript. After a couple of months of mulling it over, it was ultimately rejected. The NYC Pitch Conference was an excellent experience for me. In a short time I learned how to see through an editor's eyes. I understand now how to present my creation in that one page query letter that seemingly every agent requires. Worth the money? Not if you are only hoping for that Lana Turner type moment. But it taught me what I needed to know to bridge the gap between art and business. I would consider doing it again - especially if I knew I was to have as enjoyable and affirming group as I had my first time. If I were to drop something in their suggestion box I would have the team create a conference for graduates of the first conference. If I were to return, a lot of the basics I would be learning would be redundant. BTW - the Lana Turner story is a myth anyhow. Martin Hill Ortiz I attended the June New York Pitch Conference and found it to be an amazing experience. Right off the bat there were no promises of publishing contracts. There were promises of a reality check, help in perfecting our pitches and face time with four reputable editors from major houses. They delivered 100% and then some. Our group leader, an established writer and teacher, took the time to work with us to hone our pitch, making himself available before our morning session began and it the afternoons. He sat in with us when we pitched to the editors. Our face time with the editors was not one minute, it was anywhere from five to fifteen minutes. The editors also provided helpful critiques. An executive editor from Penguin requested my ms, I would not have had the opportunity to pitch to him if I wasn't at the conference and my pitch would not have been perfect if it wasn't for the guidance I received by my group leader. Although not everyone was asked to submit their ms, we all gained valuable advice and critiques to better our work. No one in my group found the conference to be a waste of money. I also agree the conference reminds me of American Idol. We were all very nervous and very tense, but we bonded together to cheer and support each other. Most of us still keep in touch and have gotten together post conference. I've made valuable friendships and have the support of other writers and that's priceless! Robin Tauber I attended the NYC Pitch and was very happy with the conference. I learned how to write a pitch, what the editors are looking for and buying, the fact that their editorial board has to come on board, and that the markets are tough, but doable, if you have learned everything you need to learn to sell. I came to the conference with the understanding that I would learn what I needed to know to find a publisher for my novel and I now know what to do. I also came with the understanding that anything was possible, that my book might be ready by my standards but that there may be several more things I needed to learn before an editor could take it. I came away with that understanding in place, and am revising the novel currently with an agent's help. My manuscript is still out at 3 publishing houses, and I'm eager to hear what they say. If they don't take it I want to know why, and how I can revise to meet the needs of the current markets. I used my experience as a learning curve and am hard at work on what I have to do with the novel now to make it saleable. Was it useful? 100%. Barbara Keegan First of all, the conference was a tough one. I received more honest and hard-hitting reaction than anywhere else and my novel is the better for it. I'm rewriting now and plan to attend a second NYC pitch conference by 2007. The editors were encouraging and professional, but not soft, and the workshop editors were fantastic. The whole group bonded and we're still sharing mails and work. I got just what I wanted and I've never had quite the same experience at another conference. Julie Field ------------------------------ This conference more than met my expectations. The cost was reasonable, considering the information gained. I've attended at least two writers' conferences a year for the past ten years and have taken the opportunity to I pitch my manuscript to agents and editors whenever possible. But, I really didn't know what I was doing until I attended the New York Pitch Conference. If I'd had that knowledge and experience before attending other conferences, I'd have felt more comfortable, and my pitch would've had a higher chance of success. One highlight of the conference is your interaction with other writers. I was placed in a group, many of whom wrote in my genre. We all pulled together and helped one another shape our pitches. By the end of the three-day conference, I felt a sense of comradery in my group. In fact, six months later, we continue to remain in contact. You get out of a conference what you put into it. Actively prepare and participate, and you'll be glad you attended. Richard Romfh
×
×
  • Create New...