That’s the title of one of the panels at the upcoming and new Gotham Writers Conference. There’s also a panel on Embracing Rejection, which I could moderate, and one on The Agent’s View: What We Talk About When We Talk About You, which I am moderating. As a long time Gotham teacher, I’m excited to see what this new venture is like, and so I turned to Josh Sippie, who’s organizing it, and asked him a few questions.
Can you describe the conference?
The Conference is split into two days, the first day being traditional, universal insights into the publishing world, both from the point of view of agents and writers. And, of course, there is a free happy hour afterwards where you can socialize with other writers and some agents too. The second day is for pitching roundtables, when participating writers will be able to pitch their work, in a workshop setting, to two top agents in their genre.
How is it different from other conferences?
When we were still in the planning stages of the conference, before we even knew it was going to happen, I reached out to about 25 different agents (many of whom will be joining us for the Conference) to ask them what they like about conferences and what they think works, as well as what doesn’t. It was through their advice and insight that we built the Gotham Writers Conference. It’s meant to establish genuine connections between writers and agents. While most conferences only allow 5-10 minutes of often awkward, one-on-one meetings with agents that feel more like speed dating than anything else, we give participating writers four hours with two agents, alongside up to eight other writers in their genre. The time is split sharing queries and first pages in a workshop environment not unlike Gotham classes. It’s meant to feel like a classroom, not an interview. And, since we’re in the heart of NYC, same as many agencies, we were able to get a lot of the best agents in their respective genres. You can see our wonderful agents and presenters here!
How many people do you expect? And any other details we should know.
The first day tops out at 150 and it’s general admission, anyone can sign up. The second day you have to apply for with query and first ten pages. We want to make sure that people are ready to pitch their work to an agent before they actually do. We currently have four tables of 8-9 writers on the schedule for day two, but as applications roll in, we’ll be opening up more tables as necessary.
How can readers sign up?