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Thread: Novels in Progress Workshop / Green River Writers

  1. #1
    Will write for chocolate FloVoyager's Avatar
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    Novels in Progress Workshop / Green River Writers

    Has anybody been to this or know anything about it? Seems a little expensive, and you have to bring your own towels and blankie, but maybe it's just me. Is it worth it?

    Here's a link to this year's (already past) workshop: http://www.greenriverwriters.org/nipw.html

  2. #2
    Banned zizban's Avatar
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    Is it worth it? Depends what you hope to get out of it. They do have some high powered editors and publishers there as well as a host of established novelists.

  3. #3
    Mostly Ignored spike's Avatar
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    It does seem expensive compared to the conferences I've attended.

    But it seems legit.

    And as far as linens, housing is in a college dormatory, not a hotel.
    I should be writing. Now. I mean it.

    Progress Report:
    Picture books (4): 52 rejections
    Short Stories/Poetry (7): 41 Rejections

    SOLD! 3 poems to Highlights!

    Looking for a writing group in eastern Pennsylvania? Click here!

  4. #4
    Hagiographically Advantaged AW Moderator HapiSofi's Avatar
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    I don't think the workshop is actively evil, but I don't much care for it.

    They're charging extra from an itemized list for every bit of personal interaction you get with the instructors. The prices are high. But here's my biggest gripe: they're hawking $179 pitch sessions.

    Pitch sessions are bloody useless for everything but movies, TV, radio, and some trade nonfiction books. Nobody buys first novels from pitches. Hardly anyone buys second or subsequent novels from pitches, either; and if they do, the person doing the pitching is most likely an agent, not an author. There is no reason for an event called "Novels in Progress" to be offering pitch sessions.

    And who do they have doing the pitch sessions? Some woman who used to work for Starlog, sold four historicals to Ace, and is now trying to move into fantasy, and a couple of guys from Mundania Press. Goshwow! I'm overcome by the magnitude of the sophisticated expertise they have on tap there. I can't imagine paying to talk to any of those people, much less paying $179 for a quarter-hour of gabbling with them when they haven't seen my work.

    I'm more and more inclined to the view that pitch sessions are a scam. They pull in business at pricey "writers' weekends" and the like, and I'm sure they do wonders for the convention organizers' bottom line; but they're useless for most writers.

    Moving on:

    The writers they've got are real writers. Check and see whether they're writing the kind of books you're trying to write. If not, they may or may not be useful to you.

    The utility of workshopping sessions with your fellow students plus one faculty member depends on which fellow students and faculty member you draw. I've seen some excellent critique sessions that followed that format; but again, it depends on the others in your group.

    I'm amused that they're charging separately for workshopping events where the value is provided by the people doing the paying.

    Zizban, I apologize for contradicting you, but they do not have a high-powered list of editors, publishers, and agents there. They're mostly respectable, but they're not top of the line.

    Adina Kahn works at Jane Dystel's agency. Laurie McClean is a former publicist who's gone to work at Larson Pomada. Uwe Stender is a sports coach who went into agenting a few years ago. (He's had a string of respectable sales, so good for him.) Paul Levine is outside my area of expertise, but he looks real enough.

    Daniel Reitz and Bob Sanders are both affiliated with Mundania Press. I suspect they're most of Mundania Press.

    As far as I know, Mundania isn't a scam operation, but it's middling clueless. Three less than promising features: 1. Mundania is a POD house, though they say they'll do offset print runs if they think there's a market for more copies than POD can provide. 2. They have authors send in marketing plans along with their submissions. 3. They refer to themselves as a "traditional press."

    Most of Mundania's books fall into two categories: original titles that couldn't get published elsewhere, and reprint titles that were once published by a conventional publishing house, but have gone out of print and can't get a nibble from any other houses. In the latter category they've got some bad old Piers Anthony (and a little new stuff), Robert Adams' Horseclans books, and a Louise Cooper fantasy series that tanked in the late 80s.

    Mundania never sees a manuscript that lots of other houses haven't seen first.

    Karen Syed's with Echelon Press -- all e-books, with a lot of erotica in the mix.
    She's also helped run the kind of writers' conventions that are big on pitch sessions.

    I'm sure they're all very nice people, but I wouldn't pay hundreds of dollars to talk to them.

    So, is the workshop worth your time and money? You'll have to decide that for yourself. If you think these are the right people to go to for advice, and you can afford the cost, and you're at a point in your novel where this is the kind of help you need, then maybe it's a good idea. On the other hand, for that much money you could hire a nice cleaning lady, and use the freed-up time to work on your novel.
    Winner of the Best Drycleaner on the Block Award.

  5. #5
    What? I have a title? Julie Worth's Avatar
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    How about this pitch conference, Hapi?

  6. #6
    Who's going for a beer? waylander's Avatar
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    Anna Genoese who listed as an attending editor is no longer with Tor
    Last edited by waylander; 04-08-2007 at 01:12 AM.

  7. #7
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    My general opinion of conferences is this: If you enjoy them for their own sake, they can't hurt and might help. Some people go to Yosemite on vacation, you can go to a writing conference.

    If you have the money, why not? But I wouldn't raid the kids' college funds to go to 'em.

    ===========

    Julie, there have been some rather acrimonious discussions of the NYC Pitch Conference elsewhere on the web. Hapi may or may not comment, but I will: same as above, if a weekend in NYC sounds like fun, do it. Make sure you get out to go to a restaurant and see a show while you're there.

    ===========

    If anyone is thinking of a pitch session as a golden-handshake-shortcut to publication perhaps they ought to re-think. It isn't.
    Last edited by James D. Macdonald; 04-01-2007 at 07:47 PM.

  8. #8
    Mostly Ignored spike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HapiSofi View Post
    I don't think the workshop is actively evil, but I don't much care for it.

    They're charging extra from an itemized list for every bit of personal interaction you get with the instructors. The prices are high. But here's my biggest gripe: they're hawking $179 pitch sessions.

    .

    OK, I didn't read the entire web site. The initial cost is out of my financial arena, so I didn't go any farther. But $179 for the pitch session in addition to reg fees? I've been to three conferences and pitch sessions were always included. $175 is more than I paid for an entire conference, and that included Normal Mailer as the keynote speaker.

    As for conferences, I feel if I can learn one thing to help my writing, then the conference was worth it. And I like conferences. I like talking with other writers. I like listening to other writers. I like discussing writing with other writers.

    Pitch sessions? I've done 2, and although no one has taken my work, I felt I learned more talking with agents one-on-one than anywhere else.
    I should be writing. Now. I mean it.

    Progress Report:
    Picture books (4): 52 rejections
    Short Stories/Poetry (7): 41 Rejections

    SOLD! 3 poems to Highlights!

    Looking for a writing group in eastern Pennsylvania? Click here!

  9. #9
    Hagiographically Advantaged AW Moderator HapiSofi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julie Worth View Post
    How about this pitch conference, Hapi?
    The NYC Pitch and Shop? Much worse. Not recommended. It's useless, I believe its organizers are dishonest, it's absurdly expensive for what you get, and it's tied to an organization I view with ever-deepening suspicion.

    It's not even a real pitch session. It's a skimpy seminar on how to pitch books. You get almost no one-on-one time with the instructors, and there's no other workshop programming -- not even something mega-lame like a lecture on standard manuscript submission formats.

    I've been in chatting back and forth all day with someone else who's been writing about the NYC Pitch and Shop Conference. With any luck, I'll be able to just give you a link their finished article, and won't have to write out all that stuff myself.

    Now I'm going to go encourage them to finish theirs.
    Winner of the Best Drycleaner on the Block Award.

  10. #10
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    2009 workshop was canceled, and no sign of return for 2010.

    ETA: Updating URL: http://www.greenriverwriters.org/
    Last edited by CaoPaux; 12-04-2016 at 11:29 PM. Reason: updating w/o bumping
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