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Algonkian Writer Conferences / WebDelSol

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francisbruno

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They have a pre-test for all their conferences. I've heard of people getting rejected, so I do think they look at them. One negative thing about the pre-test is that they don't give you feedback up front. My pitch was way off from where it needed to be.

Anyways, I would read the other threads as Stacia pointed out. There are people con and people pro. I'm on the pro side, but I can understand some of the con people's points too and more information is always better than less before making a decision.
 

Writer-2-Author

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Thank you for your responses. I have to agree that there will always be pros and cons on any situation. I've attended 3 previous writer's workshops/conferences and each have taught me something new. I also believe that you get out of it what you put into it. So maybe you take it all in, keep what you need, and discard what you don't. I am excited about this conference since it appears to be completely different from any of the other ones I've attended. Each time I learn something new.

Since I am new to writers' forums, this is literally the first writers' forum I've signed up for, I wanted to know if anyone else had heard of the conference and if anyone was planning to attend. I see that others have attended the NYC Pitch and Shop and the Algonkian conference in VA, but is there anyone who attended last years San Francisco Write and Pitch conference? Is anyone planning to attend this years conference in July?

I'm hoping that maybe I can meet some writers here whom I'll be able to meet in person there???

Thanks,
Robin
 

HapiSofi

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IMO, Algonkian's pitch conferences are a big waste of time and money for most of the writers who attend them. Book editors may take submissions from unpublished authors, but they don't take pitches from them. When editors do take pitches, they take them from agents. A writer can pitch a book to a prospective agent, but putting that effort into working up a killer query letter and synopsis would be a far better use of their time.

A pitch can tell an editor whether you've got a good idea. It doesn't tell them whether you can write. A proven writer with a commercial track record might get some mileage out of a good pitch, but proven writers aren't the target audience for Algonkian's pitch conferences. These events are marketed to newbie writers who don't know how publishing works. In the unlikely event of one of these newbies actually getting a chance to pitch a book face-to-face, the recipient of the pitch still won't know whether they can write, so the most the writer will get out of it is "Okay, send me your manuscript." That's the same thing a good query letter and synopsis would get them.

In short, Algonkian is charging a lot of money for training sessions in a skill few writers have occasion to use, and they're aiming their promotion at the writers who are least likely to sell a book that way.

Why are they doing it? Because it's a lot of money for not a lot of work. Because there's a ready-made audience for it. Because it requires no professional experience on Algonkian's part.

You don't have to actually know much about writing, publishing, pitching, or the movie and television industry in order to coach writers in how to pitch their work. In fact, the less the writers know, the easier it gets. Aspiring writers are geniuses at taking whatever you tell them and figuring out some way to apply it to themselves. You describe the results you want to see, they do all the work of figuring out how to make it happen, and you sit back and tell them whether or not they've succeeded. It's a piece of cake. Even Michael Neff can do it.

There are also real editors and agents involved in these events. They're prominently featured in the advertising. I've been keeping an eye on Algonkian's NYC pitch conferences, and I must say, they make it very easy for the editors and agents to participate: a car picks them up and returns them to their offices, they get fed lunch, and they even get a small stipend. Bear in mind that many industry professionals know almost nothing about scams aimed at aspiring writers.

One thing I've noticed about this arrangement is that Algonkian enlists agents and editors whose normal business practices don't include taking face-to-face pitches. I don't know whether this is true of all of them, or what percentage of them, because I'm not acquainted with all of them. What I do know is that Algonkian has featured some agents and editors whom I know don't take face-to-face pitches.

That's not a criticism of them or their judgement. Agents and editors frequently have to pitch book to various audiences, from publishers to sales departments. They know a good presentation when they see one one. The point is that the skills being taught at these conferences have no necessary connection to the way writers interact with the industry.

What those writers should be learning is how to write a good query letters, cover letters, and synopses. Of course, that's harder to teach. It's also harder to advertise if you have no record of commercial book sales.

This brings us to Michael Neff, owner and operator of the Web Del Sol/Algonkian empire, which includes half-a-dozen literary magazines, an entire workshop circuit, continuing education-style writing classes, the Del Sol Press, and the Write & Pitch conferences. He's the ringmaster and head coach at the pitch conferences, and he's never made a single commercial sale.

Neff now has a novel out from Red Hen Press, which describes itself as "a non-profit press specializing in the publication of literary fiction and poetry." If the definition of a vanity press is one that makes its money from writers, not readers, then Red Hen is a vanity press. The mechanism is a bit complicated. Publication of his unsaleable and nearly unreadable work qualifies Michael Neff to administer and sometimes teach workshops which aspiring writers pay substantial sums to attend.

Neff's novel is called The Year of the Rhinoceros. You can read sample paragraphs and a long, confused synopsis of it on Neff's own site. Shall I be blunt? Any of those sample paragraphs could be slipped into Atlanta Nights without causing a ripple.

There's a network of writers with ties to the MFA/creative writing scene who are associated with Web Del Sol/Algonkian. Odd things turn up in their vicinity. I'll give you an example.

A while back, a young writer wrote to ask for my opinion of a five-day conference run by Algonkian. I checked it out. There were four instructors. Two were literary agents. One was Michael Neff. The other was Robert Bausch. He teaches at a lot of Algonkian conferences. I took a closer look at him.

Robert Bausch is something of an accomplished writer. He's published six novels, two of which got favorable critical attention. None sold terribly well. His bio says he's "taught literature and creative writing at George Mason University, The University of Virginia, and The American University." I can't find any mention of those gigs that don't originate with him, so I don't know what they consisted of. He did get his MFA at George Mason, though. He teaches literature and writing at NVCC, Northern Virginia Community College.

Here's the troubling part:
He is the author of six novels, including ON THE WAY HOME, THE LIVES OF RILEY CHANCE, A HOLE IN THE EARTH, THE GYPSY MAN (winner of the 2003 DLB Award for Distinguished Fiction). His collection of short stories, THE WHITE ROOSTER AND OTHER STORIES won the DLB Award for Distinguished Short Fiction in 1995.
I am extremely sorry to report that there is no DLB Award for Distinguished Fiction. This is a terrible piece of folly on Professor Bausch's part. Check out the Google hits for "dlb award" "2003": four hits on Algonkian sites, all from Bausch's bio; one hit that's obviously derived from his Algonkian Bio; and an unrelated bit of public business in San Bernardino County.

That's it, that's all, and that's impossible. Any award for writing, even a short-lived regional award for the best historical writing about the Oklahoma Territory (I made that up), will generate buckets of hits on Google. Writers are a loquacious bunch, and writing awards are one of the things they talk about.

Am I sure? As sure as I can be. From 1998 to around 2010 there was a little cut-and-paste "D.L.B. Award" for websites that "added helpful information to the internet community." You can still find traces of it. There are also scattered mentions of a "D.L.B. Editor's Award" given to the editors of the best-edited volume of the Dictionary of Literary Biography in a given year. Those are the only other mentions I can find of any DLB award. All the rest refer to Robert Bausch, and are on Algonkian/Del Sol sites or are derived from Algonkian/Del Sol sites.

This is actually a scandal, and should (regretfully, and with a sad heart) be reported to his school and his department. It's also a misrepresentation aimed at workshoppers who coughed up lots of money. Was Algonkian/Web Del Sol aware that Bausch's claim was false? While it's hard to imagine how such busy literateurs can have been unaware of it, it's also hard to imagine that they thought it was a good idea.

Someone might have a fun time checking out Algonkian/Web Del Sol's other promotional materials.

I wish the trail stopped here, but it doesn't. Michael Neff's empire is a secondary parasitic growth on the biggest and most lucrative pyramid scheme in the U.S. writing and publishing continuum. I'm talking about the explosion in degree-granting university-level creative writing programs. In 1975, there were 79 of them. At last report, there were 854.

I was puzzled when I first heard that universities were awarding degrees in creative writing. As I saw it, a bachelor's degree in creative writing was selling two or three short stories to paying markets. A Master's was sending a completed novel to your AAR-certified agent. A Ph.D. was getting onto a minor bestseller list, having your third and fourth books sell better than your first and second, or some other achievement of that magnitude. What use was a diploma?

The point, it turned out, was that a diploma plus some publishing credits your MFA buddies vouched for could get you a teaching job at a brand-new university writing department. There's now an extremely cozy network of academic quasi-writers who all write for each other's academic fanzines and vouch for the wonderfulness of each other's writing. A phenomenal number of them haven't made enough money off writing sales to keep a dog alive. The instructors in the programs where they got their degrees were likewise short of real sales, and in many cases their instructors didn't either.

At one university department I'm aware of, the department head has never made a sale, tenured faculty CVs list novels they self-published through Booksurge, a substantial number of the instructors got their degrees from the same department in which they're now teaching, and other irregularities abound. Have a look; this came up a while back in another context.

Who are the losers? The increasing number of graduates from these programs who thought they'd be able to make a living as writers. Some of them are never going to make it as professional writers, and should have been told so early on. Some of them might or might not have what it takes, but have learned bad habits and had their heads stuffed with so much useless nonsense that they'd be better off if they were starting from scratch. Way too many of them are burdened with student loans that will take ages to pay off. They don't have the option of taking a low-pressure job and living cheaply while they concentrate on their writing.

Trying to find your way as a writer is a deeply confusing process no matter what path you take. Potemkin MFA programs make that worse. When the dazed survivors hit the streets, Algonkian is there waiting for them.

Will everyone forgive me if I go on a little longer? Algonkian has a page called "Tough Truths" at http://algonkianconferences.com/advice.htm. It's credited to Michael Neff. I'd like to run through it.
* Tens of thousands in the U.S. are striving to write first novels, but you don't have to worry about 99.9 percent of them because they will never be published. Most are motivated by bad advice and false optimism.
Right away, you can tell he's not going after the run-of-the-mill aspiring writers. This is aimed at writers who are accustomed to think of themselves as members of an elite. Too many of your mute inglorious trailer-park Miltons would look at that statement and figure (wrongly!) that they belonged with the no-hopers.

Algonkian has no business sneering at writers motivated by "bad advice and false optimism"; that's their stock in trade. Like any other vanity operation, they have no incentive to tell would-be writers that they're barking up the wrong tree, and every reason to keep them trying to do the impossible. This is true of every operation where the ultimate source of cashflow is the writer.

Finally, if a writer who's motivated by bad advice and false optimism writes a book that people want to buy and read, their chances of getting it published are quite good -- unless, of course, the bad advice was "don't submit it to anyone."
You only have to worry about the top two hundred or so who are crack writers, because they are your real competition. You need every possible edge you can get. Tenacity wins.
No. What you're up against is the difficulty of the task itself, and the short attention spans of your readers. Tenacity helps, but what wins is writing a book that people want to buy and read. Neff preaches tenacity for its own sake because misapplied tenacity pays his bills.
* Algonkian does not attempt to create a feel-good atmosphere. The goal is to determine what you MUST do to stand a realistic chance of getting published. It does not matter what your writer group at home thinks of your ms. You are starting at ground zero.
Odds that Algonkian actually has knowledge not found elsewhere in the writing and publishing universe: zero.
* Writer groups can be both harmful and helpful. Beware advice from amateur writers in groups and at conferences.
A decent writer's group will simultaneously teach each other and learn from each other. Once they get good at it, they can render surprisingly astute judgments. For most writers, it's a much more productive strategy than attending a few Algonkian workshops. It's cheaper, too.
A single piece of bad advice can forever prevent you from being published.
That's so false it shocks me.
* Beware craft advice from agents who are not writers.
The author appears to have temporarily forgotten that Algonkian uses non-writing agents as instructors at their conferences. I expect he was just trying to nip in ahead of agents and other professionals who tell writers they don't need his services.

Some agents give pretty darn savvy advice, by the way.
* Many agents and/or their readers make thumbs up/down decisions about your entire ms after reading only a few paragraphs (or even less) of your first page. Some make a decision based only on your title and first line (even if they do not admit it).
Complete humbug. It's practically impossible for a title or first line to be that bad, and anyway we scan across paragraphs just like everyone else.

Sometimes a few paragraphs really are enough -- and if Algonkian's prospective students saw those manuscripts, they'd stop reading at that point too. Any writer who can string together a page of decent prose is well above the cutoff he's describing.

Finally, even if the first page is blood-curdlingly awful, we'll still skip forward and see whether the rest of the book matches. Some writers stick strange, ill-advised prologues onto otherwise quite readable books.
* For the most part, manuscripts fail because they showcase ineptitude.
You're supposed to buy writing instruction from someone who says "they showcase ineptitude" when they're simply unreadable?
Pros recognize structural and narrative flaws instantly because they see them ad nauseum.
Wrong. Sometimes you have to study and re-read a work, do some serious thinking about it, before you can figure out where it's gone wrong.

The real skill is being able to see what's good, what's cool, and what's fixable. For example, structural flaws can sometimes be surprisingly easy to fix.
* PLATFORM, PREMISE, EXECUTION -- if all three of these are 120%, you WILL be published. It is that simple, and that difficult.
Idiot. "Platform, Premise, Execution" is a formula for writing and selling nonfiction. If you're going to swipe and repackage writing advice, you should remember where you got it.
* Do not write "quiet" novels. Strive for verve. Do not write predictable or cliché narrative. Strive to be original.
Yeah. We all heard that from our elementary school teachers. Here's the other half: the fact that it's original doesn't mean it works.
* If you motto is From the Heart, you will never be published. If your motto is From the Heart, but Smart, you have a chance.
Mottoes don't matter. Books matter. Your motto can be anything you want, as long as it leads you to write a good book.

What he's trying to say is that without the smarts you can only pick up from Algonkian, you'll never get published. This is obviously untrue for thousands of published authors, and even less true for Michael Neff.
* Never be impatient with your novel. Be nurturing. Redraft the same page 20 times (or more) till you make it healthy. You will evolve as a writer, but only if you can admit your mistakes, keep up your morale, study your craft, and learn to effectively self-edit.
That's a wretchedly bad piece of advice. Some of the best writing teachers I know will tell writers to stop reworking the first chapter and instead write the first draft straight through to the end. Trying to perfect the opening before moving forward is practically a recipe for never finishing anything substantial.

I don't know why they're emphasizing those first twenty pages, unless it's because they're trying to pick up business from all frustrated novelists out there who don't know to stop rewriting and move forward, and are consequently embarrassed to have only written twenty pages. On the other hand, maybe they don't want to deal with more than twenty pages per student.

* Know that writing fiction is an art form, and all art forms require you to perform a lengthy apprenticeship.

There's no such requirement. We don't care how long you've been working on it. We care about the book. That statement there is just an excuse for overlong labor that yields sparse results.
Truman Capote, one of America's finest authors, never stopped studying his craft. He always felt there was more to learn, even after many years of successful publication.
Every author worth worth reading feels that way. Either Neff isn't hanging out with real authors, or he's not paying attention.
* Never, never, never send your manuscript out until a professional fiction editor has read it and given you a detailed evaluation.
False! And not only false, but a piece of advice that's so characteristic of scammers that the Bewares Board gives it an automatic red flag. You only hear it from scammers who want to sell you the evaluation, or from clueless types who've been hanging out with them.
Smart screenplay writers always use consultants. Why shouldn't you? Put the ego on the shelf. If necessary, tame it with meditation.
This is another maneuver you see from scammers: if you don't fall in line with our program, it must be because you have a character flaw. Don't you believe in your book? Can't you put your ego aside? You're just too impatient. And so forth.

A final note: I've noticed during my researches that Neff/Algonkian frequently invokes the film industry when he's supposed to be talking about novels. My theory is that if you never sell anything to either industry, you eventually stop remembering which procedural advice comes from which.

(Obligatory note: the foregoing is of course just my personal opinion. I could be wrong. I could be misinformed. I don't think I am, not for a second; but I want Michael Neff to understand that I sincerely recognize the possibility.)
 
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HapiSofi

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I have no idea whether that's a Personal Best, but I think it may be a Personal Longest.
 

MacAllister

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Bravissima, Hapi!

The only thing I might add is that any mention of the various incarnations of Pitch conferences and the Web Del Sol/Algonkian empire inevitably brings in a flurry of sockpuppets, trolls, and some of the most inept and unethical online behavior I've personally seen, from would-be defenders of and collaborators in that particular literary circle-jerk.

Which means, O WebDelSol sockpuppets already registered on AW (and you know who you are), I will bust you for sock-puppeting, and publicly embarrass you--or would, if you weren't so darned good at embarrassing yourselves.
 

CaoPaux

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*ovation* And I now have the perfect excuse to merge this into the first Algonkian one. Please keep all limbs within the post until the thread comes to a full and complete stop.
 

James D. Macdonald

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I've long wondered if it's called "Algonkian" because they hope to be confused with the Algonquin Round Table (Dorothy Parker et al., so-called because they met at the Algonquin Hotel).
 

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I've long wondered if it's called "Algonkian" because they hope to be confused with the Algonquin Round Table (Dorothy Parker et al., so-called because they met at the Algonquin Hotel).

I was just discussing that, and yes, that's my take on it.

It's "familiar sounding," and lends a tincture of respectability.

But I bet the Gibsons suck.
 
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HapiSofi

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I've long wondered if it's called "Algonkian" because they hope to be confused with the Algonquin Round Table (Dorothy Parker et al., so-called because they met at the Algonquin Hotel).
That's always been my assumption.
 

ColoradoGuy

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I was just discussing that, and yes, that's my take on it.

It's "familiar sounding," and lends a tincture of respectability.

But I bet the Gibsons suck.


Perhaps they emulate the Harpo Marx branch of that famous discussion group. I believe he attended now and then.
 

Stacia Kane

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I've long wondered if it's called "Algonkian" because they hope to be confused with the Algonquin Round Table (Dorothy Parker et al., so-called because they met at the Algonquin Hotel).


I too always assumed it was some sort of reference/allusion/whatever to that.
 

tarak

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I've long wondered if it's called "Algonkian" because they hope to be confused with the Algonquin Round Table (Dorothy Parker et al., so-called because they met at the Algonquin Hotel).
After reading through the thread, I assumed it was a typo the creator decided to own.

ETA: by "creator," I mean Mr. Neff. Not the OP.
 
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JulieB

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After reading through the thread, I assumed it was a typo the creator decided to own.

ETA: by "creator," I mean Mr. Neff. Not the OP.

It's not a typo, but I would not be surprised if the use of the word is intentional.
 

francisbruno

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From what I have read, it is true that not many editors will take your novel based on a pitch, but one thing that the pitch does bring out is holes in the plot and where things can be improved upon. In particular, going to the NYC event where I spoke personally to 4 editors regarding my project based upon my pitch, I found it immensely helpful. The final editor and I talked for 20 minutes and gave me ideas on where I could take my story so that it would be commercially successful based upon what she saw in the marketplace.

I'm sure you can get a lot of that here and many other places, but I think focusing on "developing the pitch" as a complete waste of time is a straw man.

Again, just someone with a "pro" experience. Not a sock puppet as much as you'd like to think ;) I thoroughly respect the cons in their opinions and enjoy watching the arguments.

BTW, at the Virginia conference it was mentioned that Algonkian's name came from the fact that the first years conference was held at Algonkian park in VA (and the subsequent VA conferences also.) Maybe there is more behind the name, but someone asked and that was the answer.
 

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From what I have read, it is true that not many editors will take your novel based on a pitch, but one thing that the pitch does bring out is holes in the plot and where things can be improved upon.

Most people find a free beta reader or even an agent is better suited for that than a stranger listening to a nervous performer blurt out what he or she thinks is the plot.

A pitch, by the way, is something you adjust to the suit the audience; a plot is not a pitch.
 

HapiSofi

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For more of Algonkian's "guerrilla marketing" see "Does the slush pile still exist?" post #38 and following.
Pitchbitch! Thanks for the reminder. She's the one who set up a fake website that pretended to be straight dope from a publishing insider, only she didn't actually know anything, had zero industry experience, and the site really existed to promote the NYC Write & Pitch Conferences.

Sites that pointed this out got visited by Algonkian's flying sock monkeys, who sang the praises of the conferences, and denounced anyone who said otherwise. Trouble ensued. IIRC, researchers on one site put up links and quotes demonstrating that the same thing had happened before at other sites where W&PC attendees had posted negative reviews.

A pertinent political maxim: Someone who thinks it's okay to lie to you is not your friend.
 

James D. Macdonald

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Pitchbitch, the "editor on the inside," said that the way to avoid the slush pile was to spend the money to go to a Pitch and Shop Conference, pitch your work, and an editor would request it. (She didn't mention, or perhaps know, that what the editor would do with the requested manuscript when it arrived would be throw it on the slush pile.) It turned out that "pitchbitch" wasn't an editor, and the only thing she was on the inside of was WebDelSol. If memory serves she hadn't managed to sell her novel to a commercial publisher, either. (If I were a betting man I'd bet that she still hasn't.)
 

francisbruno

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Most people find a free beta reader or even an agent is better suited for that than a stranger listening to a nervous performer blurt out what he or she thinks is the plot.

A pitch, by the way, is something you adjust to the suit the audience; a plot is not a pitch.

But the pitch is based upon the plot, unless you are in the middle of the novel and going to change it based upon reactions.

I'm not arguing there are other ways of doing it, I just wanted to point out that there is more going on than developing a pitch and blindly using it. There is a lot of back and forth between the "pitch"er and the editors. I found it useful, thats all I'm saying.

Also, I realize that there are probably many great beta readers here, but I'm not sure how to find a good or even a great one. Family and friends are only so good. Also, from my experience with starting a writing group, many people don't know how to critique or don't understand basic concepts, like show, don't tell, or are not interested in telling you if your idea is to dull.

-Francis
 

HapiSofi

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FrancisBruno, right on schedule:
From what I have read, it is true that not many editors will take your novel based on a pitch, --
Wrong. Few editors will take a face-to-face pitch at all. No editor will take your novel on that basis. They might conceivably do it if you're an agent or an established author, but that's not what we're talking about here.

A pitch by an unpublished writer is meaningless because it doesn't tell the editor whether they can write. No idea is good if the execution isn't good, especially if it's fiction. All the editor can do is ask to see the manuscript. A crackerjack query letter or cover letter plus synopsis and/or sample chapters will also cause the editor to ask for the manuscript, so writers should skip all this pitch nonsense and get down to business.

Another important consideration: Editors will let you send them query letters and submissions. They actively avoid unpublished authors who try to pitch books to them at conventions. I'm not kidding. They swap tips with each other about good ways to do it. Why? Because it's a waste of everyone's time.

Pitching is not a skill that unpublished writers should consider important. It's irrelevant, a distraction. Just work on learning to write good query letters, cover letters, and synopses.

Agents do pitches. Authors write books.
but one thing that the pitch does bring out is holes in the plot and where things can be improved upon.
A good critique group or some beta readers will do a far better job of that. If you want more intensive work, look for a workshop that has a record of turning out writers who sell their work to paying markets.
In particular, going to the NYC event where I spoke personally to 4 editors regarding my project based upon my pitch,
Name them, please. No excuses. I'm an editor, and I've been to lots of conferences. There's nothing inadmissible about identifying them, especially if they were featured program participants and you talked to them in the course of the conference.

So: Who were these editors?
I found it immensely helpful. The final editor and I talked for 20 minutes and gave me ideas on where I could take my story so that it would be commercially successful based upon what she saw in the marketplace.
That's nice. There are a lot of places on the internet where editors, agents, and established authors will do that for free.
I'm sure you can get a lot of that here and many other places, but I think focusing on "developing the pitch" as a complete waste of time is a straw man.
Nope. The uselessness of getting coached on face-to-face pitch techniques is at the heart of this discussion.

Concentrating on learning to pitch is a complete waste of time and money. It's also more than a little bit bizarre that it's getting pushed like this, given how irrelevant it is.
Again, just someone with a "pro" experience. Not a sock puppet as much as you'd like to think ;) I thoroughly respect the cons in their opinions and enjoy watching the arguments.
Right. You just happen to turn up like clockwork whenever this subject gets mentioned.

Who you are scarcely matters, when what you are is so clear.
 

Stacia Kane

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Pitchbitch! Thanks for the reminder. She's the one who set up a fake website that pretended to be straight dope from a publishing insider, only she didn't actually know anything, had zero industry experience, and the site really existed to promote the NYC Write & Pitch Conferences.

Sites that pointed this out got visited by Algonkian's flying sock monkeys, who sang the praises of the conferences, and denounced anyone who said otherwise. Trouble ensued. IIRC, researchers on one site put up links and quotes demonstrating that the same thing had happened before at other sites where W&PC attendees had posted negative reviews.

A pertinent political maxim: Someone who thinks it's okay to lie to you is not your friend.



Wait! You mean people who work for/with WebDelSol and this conference actually set up sockpuppets to lie about who they are/what their experiences and connections to the conference are, and to make nasty personal attacks on people?

No way! Surely people as professional as they claim to be wouldn't resort to such playground tactics over someone simply asking questions?





(BTW, that cache of the "Pitch Bitch" blog is from the later version where she'd edited it, sadly. The original was a lot less sensible--it certainly didn't mention Miss Snark, or reveal any connection to WDS/Algonkian by quoting Neff, or anything else.)
 

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(BTW, that cache of the "Pitch Bitch" blog is from the later version where she'd edited it, sadly. The original was a lot less sensible--it certainly didn't mention Miss Snark, or reveal any connection to WDS/Algonkian by quoting Neff, or anything else.)

Yes--but the syntax and style are unmistakable--all over the 'net.
 

Stacia Kane

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But the pitch is based upon the plot, unless you are in the middle of the novel and going to change it based upon reactions.

I'm not arguing there are other ways of doing it, I just wanted to point out that there is more going on than developing a pitch and blindly using it. There is a lot of back and forth between the "pitch"er and the editors. I found it useful, thats all I'm saying.

Also, I realize that there are probably many great beta readers here, but I'm not sure how to find a good or even a great one. Family and friends are only so good. Also, from my experience with starting a writing group, many people don't know how to critique or don't understand basic concepts, like show, don't tell, or are not interested in telling you if your idea is to dull.

-Francis


BTW, Francisbruno, if you have something to say to me, say it TO me.

And don't assume you know who/what I'm talking about when I never mentioned any names. YOU may think it's a "thinly veiled argument from authority (logical fallacy)" re Algonkian, but keep in mind that the vast majority of the commercial writing world has no idea what Algonkian is, or who any of its principals are. Keep in mind also that to say I equated them with PublishAmerica is completely false, and a misinterpretation of my point.

Nor did I claim to be any kind of authority. Never once in my post, or anywhere else, have I claimed that.
 
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