NYWW PITCH CONFERENCE FALL 2021: SATURDAY-SUNDAY, OCTOBER 23-24
New York Writers Workshop hosts its second two-day zoom pitch conference on the weekend of Sat-Sun, Oct 23-24. The conferences, offered twice yearly, in the spring and fall, welcome writers of fiction, nonfiction, and Children's and YA with book-length manuscripts (or projects) to pitch to NYC publishers. With the guidance of New York Writers Workshop faculty, participants polish their pitches on Day One, then present them to three different editors from major publishing houses such as Random House, Viking/Penguin, St. Martin's, and others, on Day Two. Editors provide feedback and may request proposals and manuscripts after the conference.
Conferences feature a panel discussion of literary agents on the morning of the second day.
See Conference Leadership for a list of details on some of the agents, editors and publishing houses we work with.
Editors & Agents for Fall '21 Pitch tba toward the end of September.
The Spring '21 editors were:
- Miranda Hill, Berkley - Penguin Books
- Helen O'Hare, Hachette Book Group, Mulholland Books
- Daniela Rapp, St. Martin's Press
Date: October 23-24, 2021
Cost: Early Bird Special through October 4, $445; after October 4, $495.
Register: registration open now (pending acceptance -- instructions below)
HOW TO REGISTER
Brown Paper Tickets
* We recommend Paypal; Brown Paper charges a fee
You can also send checks to
Day 1 - Saturday, 9:45 am - 4:00 pm Participants workshop their pitches with a workshop leader from New York Writers Workshop. Attendees are assigned to a fiction, nonfiction or YA/Children's group (usually between 10 and 15 people) and a group leader. From 10:00 until around 4:00, with a break for lunch, you and the other members of your group work on your pitches. Each participant reads his/her draft. The NYWW instructor provides guidance in revision for clarity, concision, and impact. In true workshop fashion, you’ll be able to learn from the leader’s and other participants’ feedback on your pitch, as well as the pitches of everyone else.
Day 2 - Sunday, 10:00 am - 11:45 am Literary Agents Panel: Literary agents discuss the current market for books. What is required, in this economic climate, to sell novels, story collections, memoirs, YA, and all types of nonfiction? What are the current trends? How do you query an agent? What do agents look for? What are the publishers looking for? How do you market yourself? A Q&A session follows the panel discussion.
12:00 pm - 1:30 Public Pitch. The first pitch is public, meaning participants pitch to an editor in the presence of their group. A short Q&A session with the editor might follow (time allowing).
1:45 pm - 4:45 pm Participants pitch privately to two different editors. The second and third pitches are private, one-on-one with an editor, with an NYWW instructor present. Private Pitch 1 has its own link, as does Private Pitch 2. When a writer is pitching, others will be in the zoom waiting room. The NYWW instructor will admit successive pitchers every five-to-seven minutes.
The day ends and the conference wraps with a short group session. NYWW instructors recap key points and offer suggestions for next steps.
HOW TO APPLY
If you'd like to attend a conference, send an email following these five steps:
YOUR HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT
Before arriving at the conference, prepare a draft of your pitch. The pitch is a tool to persuade editors--or possibly, future agents--that yours is a book they should publish or represent. It should begin with a working title and include a succinct summary of your topic, story, setting, characters—whatever best captures what is unique about your book. Include information about your background if it's relevant to your topic, as well as any other ways you will be able to attract readers. Be aware of comparable books (not necessarily bestsellers), since most editors will ask you about this. If you want ideas for preparing your pitch, it sometimes helps to look at the flap copy of other relevant books.
Your pitch will be made orally, so practice saying it out loud. You’ll be able to have notes or your computer with you when you meet the editors, so don’t worry about memorizing. Aim for two minutes, tops, which often corresponds to a one to two-page written pitch. There’s no need to send us your pitch in advance—just have it with you. You won’t need copies of your manuscript or proposal at the conference.
WHEN YOU ARRIVE
The information below is so quaint, so early 2020. The set up now is: link in, open your camera, mute your mike, and we're off.
[OLD SCHOOL Pre-Covid Methods--a historical document]
We’ll be meeting at Ripley-Grier Studios, on the 16th floor of 520 Eighth Avenue, between 36th and 37th Streets.
Many people bring their laptops and use them to revise their pitches during the conference. There’s free wi-fi at Ripley-Grier, and there’s a Staples nearby (and sometimes a working printer at Ripley-Grier for a nominal fee) if you want to print out your revisions.
There’s a snack bar right on the 16th floor at Ripley-Grier and also one in the building lobby where you can purchase snacks, sandwiches, and drinks.
Workshop leaders, editors, and members of the Agents Panel will be announced closer to the date of the conference.