Twice a year New York Writers Workshop offers three-day Pitch Conferences for writers of non-fiction. Participants refine pitches for their proposals or manuscripts, then meet with and pitch to three different editors from major New York publishing houses (Bantam Dell, Berkley Publishing Group, Dutton, Random House, Rodale, St. Martin’s Press, and others).
Before the conference begins, participants prepare drafts of their pitches that can be presented orally in about three minutes. The draft should include the book’s premise and hook, and the writer’s platform.
Participants workshop their pitches with a workshop leader from New York Writers Workshop. Each participant reads his/her synopsis. The NYWW instructor provides guidance in revision for clarity, concision, and impact. The instructor also discusses, as appropriate, the realities of the publishing market. The rest of the group participates, as appropriate, and learns from each example.
Participants make two pitches to editors today. The first pitch is “public,” meaning participants pitch to an editor in the presence of their group. The public session is followed by a short Q&A with the editor. The second pitch is private, one-on-one with an editor, with an NYWW instructor present. Each pitch lasts approximately five minutes.
Today each participant makes one private pitch to an editor, again with an NYWW instructor present. The day wraps with a group conference with an NYWW instructor.
Friday: 9:30 to 4:00
Saturday: Optional Agents Panel 10:00 to 12:00; Conference 1:30 to 5:00
Sunday: 10:00 to 12:30
Non-Fiction Agents Panel
Day Two: Morning (Optional)
Additional $25 Fee
Three literary agents discuss the current market for non-fiction books. What is required, in this economic climate, to sell memoirs, how-to books, and other types of non-fiction? What are the current trends? How to query an agent? What do agents look for? What are the publishers looking for? How to market oneself? Q&A session follows the panel discussion.
Workshop Leaders and Editors
How to Apply
If you’d like to attend the workshop, prepare an email with the following information: brief description of the project (up to 100 words); what you do for a living; and contact information (mail address, phone). Send it to Charles Salzberg email@example.com. Note in the subject line of your email whether you are applying for the Fiction or Non-Fiction conference. We’ll get back to you within ten days to let you know if your application has been accepted and, if so, where you should send your check. Note: please do not contact the JCC–while they handle registration for our writing classes, they are not involved with the conferences.