[The 2016 Chesapeake Writing Workshop is now complete. Thank you to all who attended. We do not have a date for a future DC area event but hope to soon. If you want to be included on an e-mail list of news concerning the next one(s), email coordinator Jessica Bell at writingdayworkshops [at] gmail.com and say so. Thanks!]
After a successful launch in 2015, Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2016 Chesapeake Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in Washington, DC on September 10, 2016.
This writing event is a wonderful opportunity to get intense instruction over the course of one day, pitch a literary agent or editor (optional), get your questions answered, and more. Note that there are limited seats at the new venue (150 total). All questions about the event regarding schedule, details and registration are answered below. Thank you for your interest in the 2016 Chesapeake Writing Workshop!
WHAT IS THE WORKSHOP?
This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016, at the Hilton Arlington. In other words, it’s one day full of classes and advice designed to give you the best instruction concerning how to get your writing & books published. We’ll discuss your publishing opportunities today, how to write queries & pitches, how to market yourself and your books, what makes an agent/editor stop reading your manuscript, and more. No matter what you’re writing — fiction or nonfiction — the day’s classes will help point you in the right direction. Writers of all genres are welcome.
The events are designed to squeeze as much into one day of learning as possible. We will have literary agent onsite at the events to give feedback and take pitch meetings with writers, as well. You can ask any questions you like during the sessions, and get your specific concerns addressed. The faculty is ever-growing, and currently includes:
- literary agent Lisa Rodgers (Jabberwocky Literary)
- literary agent Penny Moore (Empire Literary)
- literary agent Adriann Ranta (Foundry Literary)
- literary agent Anna Sproul-Latimer (Ross Yoon Literary)
- literary agent Eric Smith (P.S. Literary)
- literary agent Stacey Graham (Red Sofa Literary)
- literary agent Kelly Peterson (Corvisiero Literary)
- literary agent Rachel Burkot (Holloway Literary)
- literary agent Maria Ribas (Stonesong Literary)
- literary agent Caitie Flum (Liza Dawson Associates)
By the end of the day, you will have all the tools you need to move forward on your writing journey.
THIS YEAR’S PRESENTER/INSTRUCTOR
Brian A. Klems (@BrianKlems) is the online editor of WritersDigest.com. His blog, The Writer’s Dig—which covers everything writing and publishing—is one of the fastest growing blogs in the writing community. Brian has been a part of the Writer’s Digest family since 2003 and has overseen the the launch of the Writer’s Digest blogs as well as helped Writer’s Digest become a vibrant member of the social media community, including Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest. Brian’s first book, Oh Boy, You’re Having a Girl: A Dad’s Guide to Raising Daughters (Adams Media) was released in April 2013. It received high-level buzz and praise from some of the funniest writers alive, including Dave Barry and Bruce Cameron. Brian is also a proud graduate of the Ohio University E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, a husband, softball infielder, perennial fantasy sports underachiever, and father of three lovely little girls.
EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS
9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, September 10, 2016 — Hilton Arlington, 950 North Stafford Street, Arlington, Virginia, 22203, 1-703-528-6000.
WORKSHOP SCHEDULE (SEPT. 10, 2016)
9 – 9:30: Check-in and registration at the event location.
9:30 – 10:30: “A Bird’s-eye View Publishing & Books in the Year 2016.” This workshop is quick & easy overview of the publishing industry today, and how it’s changing. The speech is designed to educate writers and help them understand what publishing options exist for them today and why it’s an exciting time to be a writer.
10:30 – 11:45: “15 Tips on How to Write Like the Pros.” This workshop is a thorough crash course concerning craft, style and voice. We’ll discuss nuts & bolts tips for sentence construction like how to avoid passive tense, how to use vivid language, how to self-edit your own work, how to make your characters memorable, the art of compelling dialogue, and much more.
11:45 – 1:15: Lunch on your own. There are several restaurants within quick driving distance on the block.
1:15 – 2:30: “Writers’ Got Talent: A Chapter One Critique-Fest.” In the vein of American Idol or America’s Got Talent, this is a chance to get your first page read (anonymously — no bylines given) with our 4 attending agents commenting on what was liked or not liked about the submission. Get expert feedback on your incredibly important first page, and know if your writing has what it needs to keep readers’ attention. (All attendees are welcome to bring pages to the event for this session, and we will choose pages at random for the workshop for as long as time lasts.)
2:45 – 4:00: “25 Questions You Need Answered Before You Seek an Agent or Self-Publish Your Book.” Before you publish your work or query an agent, there are plenty of things you need to know — such as how to submit to agents properly, how to find the best self-publishing service for your need, what social media channels you should be on already, how to launch your book right, how to draft a compelling query/pitch and synopsis, how to find other writers who can help you, and much more.
4:00 – 5:00: “25 Questions You Need Answered After You Seek an Agent or Self-Publish Your Book.” After you self-publish your work or get a traditional publishing book deal, there are plenty of things you need to know — such as how to promote yourself, how to keep your career going with multiple books, how you cross between the words of self-publishing and traditional publishing (i.e., use them both) to make the most money, how to build a readership, and much more.
All throughout the day: Agent & Editor Pitching.
PITCH AN AGENT!
Lisa Rodgers is a literary agent with Jabberwocky Literary. She represents fantasy novels, science fiction of all kinds, speculative fiction, adult romance, young adult (all kinds), middle grade (all kinds), and nonfiction in the craft-related fields of knitting, crochet, quilting, sewing, or other sorts of handicrafting. Learn more about Lisa here.
Penny Moore is a literary agent at Empire Literary. (She was formerly with FinePrint Literary Management.) She is seeking: picture books (fun off-the-wall concepts to memorable heartfelt messages), middle grade, and young adult (especially fantasy, historical fiction, sci-fi, and contemporary stories exploring romance and the complications of growing up). She no longer takes submissions for any kind of adult books. Learn more about Penny here.
Adriann Ranta [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent with Foundry Literary. She is actively acquiring all genres for all age groups with a penchant for edgy, dark, unusual voices, unique settings, and everyman stories told with a new spin. She loves gritty, realistic, true-to-life stories with conflicts based in the real world; women’s fiction and nonfiction; accessible, pop nonfiction in science, history, and craft; and smart, fresh, genre-bending works for children. Learn more about Adriann here.
Anna Sproul-Latimer [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent with Ross Yoon Literary. Specializing in nonfiction of all kinds (including memoir and narrative nonfiction), she particularly loves working with clients who are driven by curiosity: exploring new worlds, uncovering hidden communities, and creating new connections with enthusiasm so infectious that national audiences have already begun to pay attention. Learn more about Anna here.
Kelly Peterson [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a jr. literary agent with Corvisiero Literary. She will be taking pitches on behalf of herself and Corvisiero Literary as a whole. She personally seeks: middle grade, young adult (many subgenres), stories with strong female protagonists, new adult fiction, romance and fantasy. Kelly can also take pitches on behalf of Corvisiero Literary co-agents for the adult fiction genres of science fiction, horror, thriller, mystery, crime, paranormal, action/adventure, and women’s fiction. Learn more about Kelly here.
Eric Smith [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent with P.S. Literary. He is eagerly acquiring fiction and nonfiction projects. He’s actively seeking out new, diverse voices in young adult (particularly sci-fi and fantasy), new adult, and literary and commercial fiction (again, loves sci-fi and fantasy, but also thrillers and mysteries). In terms of nonfiction, he’s interested in cookbooks, pop culture, humor, essay collections, and blog to book ideas. Learn more about Eric here.
Rachel Burkot is a literary agent with Holloway Literary. Rachel is drawn to voice-driven fiction, particularly in young adult; quirky, three-dimensional, flawed characters, including and especially secondary characters; beautiful writing; books that explore good people in morally complicated situations; and complex, detailed plots. Rachel is interested in representing: women’s fiction, upmarket/book club fiction, i.e., Emily Giffin, Liane Moriarty and Diane Chamberlain, young adult (no fantasy or paranormal unless it’s very light), contemporary romance, category romance with unique plots, Southern fiction, “dark” women’s fiction/thrillers, urban fiction, and literary fiction. Learn more about Rachel here.
Maria Ribas is a literary agent at Stonesong Literary. Maria Ribas focuses on both narrative and prescriptive nonfiction, specializing in cookbooks, personal development, design, popular psychology, health, business, creativity, and spirituality. She’s on the lookout for authors with established platforms and unique voices who know how to make a topic come alive in fresh and unexpected ways. Please no fiction, children’s books, poetry, or screenplays. Learn more about Maria here.
Caitie Flum [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent with Liza Dawson Associates. She is seeking: adult fiction in the genres of historical, mystery/thriller of all kinds, romance, and women’s. Young adult and middle-grade fiction in the genres of historical, mystery, thriller, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary books with diverse characters. For nonfiction, she seeks narrative nonfiction (especially history), pop culture, theater, current events, women’s issues, humor. Learn more about Caitie here.
Stacey Graham [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent with Red Sofa Literary. She is taking pitches not only on behalf of herself, but also on behalf of all her co-agents. That means she will take pitches for the following fiction genres: horror, science fiction, fantasy, romance, erotica, romantic new adult, graphic novels, mainstream/upmarket fiction, young adult (all subgenres except paranormal romance or dystopia), middle grade (all genres, but Stacey likes dark middle grade), as well as historical fiction for any age specific to the Colonial US or British History. She will also take pitches for the following nonfiction categories: New Age (with a platform), humorous memoir, history ((Colonial US and British History are favorites), politics, narrative nonfiction (big ideas + a great platform are key), humor, pop culture, social issues, current affairs, sports, women’s narratives, teen and kids nonfiction. Learn more about Stacey here.
Rachel Marks is a literary agent with Rebecca Friedman Literary. Unfortunately she had to cancel on the event.
These one-on-one meetings are an amazing chance to pitch your book face-to-face with an agent, and get personal, individual feedback on your pitch/concept. If the agent likes your pitch, they’ll request to see part/all of your book — sending you straight past the slush pile. It also gives you an intimate chance to meet with an agent and pick their brain with any questions on your mind.
(Please note that Agent/Editor Pitching is an add-on, separate aspect of the day, for only those who sign up. Spaces are limited for these premium meetings, and pricing/detail is explained below.)
$149 — FINAL base pricing for registration to one event and access to the workshop, all day.
Add $29 — to secure a 10-minute one-on-one meeting with one of the literary agents or editors. Use this special meeting as a chance to pitch your work and get agent feedback on your pitch. (Spaces limited.) If they wish, attendees are free to sign up for two meeting slots at twice the price to give themselves a longer consultation/pitch, or to meet multiple individuals.
“I signed with my agent, Patricia Nelson, after
meeting her at the Arizona Writing Workshop.”
– writer Axie Oh
“I officially signed with agent Renee Nyen of KT
Literary. I met her at the Colorado Writing
Workshop.” – writer Jessie Hilb Akos
“After taking pitches at the Michigan Writing
Workshop, I signed writer Kyle Prue as a new
client.” – literary agent Veronica Park
Add $69 — for an in-depth, personal critique of your one-page query letter from Chuck Sambuchino of Writer’s Digest. (Chuck is Brian’s co-worker, and he was the instructor for the DC workshop in 2015. This rate is a special event value for 2016 Chesapeake Writing Workshop attendees only.) Registrants are encouraged to take advantage of the specially-priced critique, so they can send out their query letter with confidence following the workshop. Also, if you are meeting with an agent at the event, you’re essentially speaking your query letter aloud to them. Wouldn’t it be wise to give that query letter (i.e., your pitch) one great edit before that meeting?
How to pay/register — Registration is now open. Reach out to workshop organizer Jessica Bell via email: WDWconference@gmail.com, and she will provide specific instructions for payment and registration to get you a reserved seat at the event. Payment is by either PayPal, credit card, or check. Because Jessica plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Chesapeake (or DC) workshop specifically.
Because of limited space at the venue of the Hilton Arlington, the workshop can only allow 150 registrants, unless spacing issues change. For this reason, we encourage you to book sooner rather than later.
Are spaces still available? Yes, we still have spaces available. We will announce RIGHT HERE, at this point on this web page, when all 150 spaces are taken. If you do not see a note right here saying how all spaces are booked, then yes, we still have room, and you are encouraged to register.
How to Register: The easy first step is simply to reach out to workshop organizer Jessica Bell via email: WDWconference@gmail.com. She will pass along registration information to you, and give instructions on how to pay by PayPal, credit card, or check. Once payment is complete, you will have a reserved seat at the event. The CWW will send out periodic e-mail updates to all registered attendees with any & all news about the event. Because Jessica plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Chesapeake (or DC) workshop specifically.
Refunds: If you sign up for the event and have to cancel for any reason, you will receive 50% of your total payment back [sent by check or PayPal]. The other 50% is nonrefundable and will not be returned, and helps the workshop ensure that only those truly interested in the limited spacing sign up for the event. (Please note that query editing payments are completely non-refundable if the instructor has already edited your letter.)