Have you heard of the Algonkian and New York writer's workshop NYC pitch and shop conference? http://nycpitchconference.com/pc-details.htm. As an editor, what do you think of it and is it worth the money for a newbie writer? Since I am not in NYC (although originally from there), cost of registration ($595), transportation and hotel would take me over a grand not even factoring food and play money. I know the writer's workshop for Algonquin is a good one, I just don't know if the pitch fest is worth the investment. Words of wisdom from the master, please?
Let's see, $600 to attend, 60 attendees . . . It's definitely worth the investment . . . to someone.
If your book is superb, a face-to-face meeting with an editor who's interested has to be better than a snail mail submission. But if your book is mediocre, no editor is going to buy it just because you forked over $600 to talk to them for a half hour. You'll be paying $600 for four rejection slips you could have gotten for the price of a few stamps.
The list of pitchees (catchers?) is not unimpressive. Are there any stats on how many of the pitched books get published by the pitchees? Or is this the first year of the event?
Have you run your query letter past the Evil Minions to get their reaction to your book? Since you describe yourself as a newbie, I'm leaning toward suggesting you get some free input from us and/or a critique group this year. If the event is a success it'll be back next year, and you can pitch an improved book. And you can save a hundred dollars by beating the early registration deadline.