• FAQ


    Do I need to have a finished manuscript to register for the Backspace Agent-Author Seminar or the Backspace Conference?

    Both the Agent-Author Seminar and the 2010 Backspace Writers Conference offer access to agents so that authors can talk about their project, get a feel for the agents' personalities and interests, and learn from the agents' cumulative knowledge and experience. We offer workshops, not pitch sessions, which means that while an author can get their work in front of agents, if the agents feel it's not yet ready (or if your opus is not quite finished), authors haven't burned any bridges. The agents know that based on what authors learn at the conference, they might want to take another pass through their manuscript before they submit it. So while ideally, authors will be coming to the seminar with a finished manuscript in hand, they can still connect with agents and learn from their feedback, even if their work is not quite finished.


    Since there are no formal pitch sessions, what opportunities will there be to talk to agents about my project?

    Formal pitch sessions are a staple at most writers’ conferences. However, in planning our Backspace events, we discovered that agents hate conducting pitch sessions almost as much as authors dread doing them. In fact, many of the agents we’ve talked to are happy to sit on a panel or conduct a workshop, but decline to participate in formal pitch sessions.

    The purpose of the Backspace Agent-Author Seminars and conferences is to educate authors about the realities of the business in order to help them break in at the major publishers, and to help them connect with agents. Two days of agent panels and agent workshops give authors the opportunity to learn from and meet with a variety of agents who represent fiction and non-fiction works in all different genres, and to ask questions specific to their interests and concerns.

    That’s why we’ve built so much free time into the program. The full fifteen minutes between panels allows plenty of opportunity for seminar registrants to talk to agents. Many of the agents will also be available during the noon hour, and during the afternoon mixers. Remember, agents attend conferences because they want to help authors. They’re looking for new talent, and welcome the chance to hear about your work.

    Instead of a tense, angst-filled pitch session where it’s difficult for all but the most confident authors to put their best foot forward, an interesting, relaxed, enjoyable conversation leaves a much more positive impression. And even if authors don’t get the chance to mention their project, the pleasant conversation gives the author a point of reference when sending a formal query letter to the agent’s office after the seminar is over.


    How do I book a sleeping room at the conference hotel?

    The conference rate for sleeping rooms will be posted shortly.

    Rate is based on a two-person occupancy. When you call to book your reservations, you will have a choice of a King, Queen or two Double bedded room (the rate is valid for all three types), either smoking or non-smoking. There will be additional charges if there are more than two people per room.

    Please note: To receive the conference rate, you must call the hotel directly - 212.736.3800 - and ask for the sales department (ext. 1340). Do not call Radisson's 1-800 reservation system.


    I want to come to the conference, but New York City is so expensive! How can I cut costs?

    It’s true, midtown Manhattan can be expensive. But you don’t have to pay upwards of $300 per night for a hotel room. Excellent room rates can be obtained by booking sleeping accommodations through online website like Travelocity, Expedia and Orbitz.

    Alternatively, if you don't mind traveling, many hotels in New Jersey are much less expensive and offer shuttles to the train station. Fifteen minutes by train takes you to Penn Station, and from there, the Radisson is a short, two-block walk. Just keep in mind that the last train back to New Jersey leaves NYC around 10:00 p.m.

    Additionally, here are links to articles with suggestions on lower-cost alternatives.

    Best hotels for under $150

    Airport transportation alternatives

    Eating cheap

    Getting around


    What about shopping?

    The Radisson Martinique is located in the heart of mid-town Manhattan within easy walking distance of Times Square and major shopping districts.


    How do I get there?

    The Radisson Martinique is located at 49 West 32nd Street , New York NY 10001

    US Telephone: (212) 736-3800 Fax: (212) 277-2702

    A map and directions are available on their website.

    If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Christopher Graham. You may also telephone Chris at: 732-267-6449.


Check our Frequently Asked Questions section, or write to Backspace Administrators Karen Dionne or Christopher Graham. You may also telephone Chris at 732-267-6449
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