The 2020 online Chesapeake Writing Workshop: new date of December 5, 2020

Screen Shot 2016-12-25 at 10.34.26 PM.pngAfter successful 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019 events in DC, Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2020 Chesapeake Writing Workshop — a full-day online “How to Get Published” writing event in Arlington, VA (suburb of Washington, DC) on Dec. 5, 2020.

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 event (200 total). All questions about the event regarding schedule, details and registration are answered below. Thank you for your interest in the 2020 Chesapeake Writing Workshop!

(IMPORTANT JUNE 2020 UPDATE: The 2020 CWW is now an Online Conference to keep everyone safe, on (new date!) December 5, 2020. There is much more to say about this, but immediately you should understand 1) This will be easy and awesome, and online conferences we’ve done thus far have received wonderful feedback, 2) You do not have to be tech-savvy to do this, and 3) We are keeping all aspects of the event, including one-on-one agent & editor pitching, which will now be done by Skype or Zoom or phone. Learn all details about the (new date) December 5 CWW Online Conference here and what everything means.)

WHAT IS IT?

This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on (new date) Saturday, December 5, 2020, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott 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.

This event is designed to squeeze as much into one day of learning as possible. You can ask any questions you like during the classes, and get your specific concerns addressed. We will have literary agents onsite to give feedback and take pitches from writers, as well. This year’s agent & editor faculty so far includes:

  • literary agent Leah Pierre (Ladderbird Literary)
  • literary agent Carly Kaserza (Fuse Literary)
  • literary agent Patrick Munnelly (Bond Literary)
  • literary agent Eva Scalzo (Speilburg Literary)
  • literary agent Emma Sector (Prospect Agency)
  • literary agent Jemiscoe Chambers-Black (Andrea Brown Literary)
  • literary agent Carrie Howland (Howland Literary)
  • literary agent Leticia Gomez (Savvy Literary)
  • literary agent Tracy Marchini (BookEnds Literary)
  • literary agent Michael L. Joy (The Seymour Agency)
  • literary agent Kat Kerr (Donald Maass Literary)
  • literary agent Ella Marie Shupe (Belcastro Agency)
  • literary agent Cate Hart (Harvey Klinger)
  • literary agent Eric Smith (P.S. Literary)
  • literary assistant Rae Loverde (Donald Maass Literary)
  • literary agent Jade Wong-Baxter (Massie & McQuilkin Literary)
  • literary agent Maximilian Ximenez (L. Perkins Agency)
  • literary agent Hannah VanVels (Belcastro Agency)
  • literary agent Michael Carr (Veritas Literary)
  • literary agent Melissa Jeglinski (The Knight Agency)
  • literary agent Cortney Radocaj (Belcastro Agency)
  • literary agent Paul Levine (Paul Levine Literary)
  • literary agent Stacy Testa (Writers House)
  • literary agent Tara Gelsimino (One Track Literary)
  • literary agent Jacqui Lipton (Raven Quill Literary)
  • literary agent Nikki Terpilowski (Holloway Literary)
  • literary agent Latoya C. Smith (LCS Literary Services)
  • literary agent Emmy Nordstrom Higdon (The Rights Factory)
  • literary agent Megan Barnard (Jennifer De Chiara Literary)
  • literary agent Amanda Jain (BookEnds)
  • literary agent Shannon O’Neill (Ross Yoon)
  • literary agent Lori Steel (Raven Quill Literary Agency)
  • literary agent Zabe Ellor (Jennifer De Chiara Literary)
  • and possibly more to come

By the end of the day, you will have all the tools you need to move forward on your writing journey. This independent event is organized by coordinator Brian Klems of Writing Day Workshops, with assistance from the local writing group Chesapeake Bay Writers.

EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS:

(IMPORTANT JUNE 2020 UPDATE: The 2020 CWW is now an Online Conference to keep everyone safe, on (new date!) December 5, 2020. There is much more to say about this, but immediately you should understand 1) This will be easy and awesome, and online conferences we’ve done thus far have received wonderful feedback, 2) You do not have to be tech-savvy to do this, and 3) We are keeping all aspects of the event, including one-on-one agent & editor pitching, which will now be done by Skype or Zoom or phone. Learn all details about the (new date) December 5 CWW Online Conference here and what everything means.)

Screen Shot 2017-12-13 at 11.38.09 AM.png

THIS YEAR’S SESSIONS & WORKSHOPS:

9:30 – 10:30: Everything You Need to Know About Agents and Query Letters, by Kelly Peterson. This workshop is a thorough crash course in dealing with literary agents. After quickly going over what an agent is and what they do for writers, we will discuss resources for finding agents, how to ID the best agents for you, query letter writing, as well as the most important things to do and not to do when dealing with representatives.

10:45 – 11:45: How to Work With a Literary Agent — What Happens After You Find Representation, taught by Latoya C. Smith. This session explains how to best work with a literary agent once you have found representation. Have do you deal with long wait times when your work is on submission? How to communicate effectively with an agent when you’re not on the same page? What happens when you want to write in a different genre, but the agent doesn’t rep that category? These questions, and more, will be addressed.

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 1.44.34 AM

11:50 – 1:15: Break / Lunch

1:30 – 2:45: “Writers Got Talent”—a Page 1 Critique Fest, with participating literary agents and editors. 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 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 submit pages to the event for this session, and we will choose pages at random for the workshop for as long as time lasts. All submissions should be novels or memoir—no prescriptive nonfiction or picture books, please.)

2:45 – 3:45: The Elusive Element of Voice, taught by Lori Steel. This session, taught by a literary agent, delves into voice — what it is, why it’s sought after, and how to create it. But what is voice and how is it crafted? This workshop will demonstrate how to create compelling character and narrative voices that hook readers and make your story stand out.

4:00 – 5:00: The 7 Touches of Marketing for Authors, taught by E.J. Wenstrom. In this session, a seasoned communications pro will explain a fundamental principle of marketing and sales, and explain how authors an apply it to their own efforts to build a readership and sell books, in the context of a modern, digital world.

Agent & Editor Pitching: All throughout the day.

Plus, there are at least 10 bonus classes being given out for free to attendees following the event. These classes were recorded at other online workshops, and we pass them along as a free bonus for 2020 CWW attendees.

————-

PITCH AGENTS AND EDITORS:

Screen Shot 2020-01-24 at 10.39.54 AMKat Kerr is a literary agent with Donald Maass Literary Agency. She is seeking: For literary and upmarket fiction, Kat is drawn to strong, character-driven works with rich, literary prose. She loves books that make her think and have a strong emotional pull. She enjoys adult contemporary, women’s fiction, adult & YA multicultural, adult historical works featuring family sagas. For the commercial market, Kat likes science fiction — specifically space operas or something dark and twisty similar to an episode of “Black Mirror”; low, epic fantasies and dark urban fantasies where the worldbuilding reflects a non-Europe based setting; quirky and fun women’s fiction and rom-coms like Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding. For nonfiction, she seeks religion and spirituality that focus on a universal, humanitarian message; narrative nonfiction and journalistic nonfiction tackling current affairs and social justice issues, particularly covering topics of racism, immigration, LGBTQIA+ rights, gender equality, and poverty; cookbooks that are edgy and fresh, or anything that spotlights authentic, regional cuisine from across the globe; and select biographies and memoirs. Learn more about Kat here.

Screen Shot 2020-09-15 at 2.56.34 PMKarly Caserza is an Associate Literary Agent with Fuse Literary. Karly has a deep love for characters with a strong voice and seeks out stories she can get lost in. Diversity in genre fiction is a major bonus. She specializes in middle grade and young adult genre fiction (fantasy, science fiction, and contemporary). Learn more about Carly here.

Screen Shot 2019-07-09 at 2.56.29 PM.pngCate Hart is a literary agent with Harvey Klinger Literary Agency. She specializes in historical, whether in young adult, women’s fiction and romance, or narrative nonfiction. She is particularly drawn to oft-forgotten stories of the past and underrepresented voices, and especially personal to her is unexplored Southern history and culture. She also loves high-concept fantasy in YA and Adult fiction. Cate seeks the following nonfiction categories: narrative, history, film, TV, theatre, pop culture, and music. She also seeks the following fiction genres: historical, commercial, women’s fiction, romance, fantasy, mystery, psychological thriller, middle grade, and young adult. Learn more about Cate here.

Screen Shot 2019-11-10 at 11.01.53 PMMichael L. Joy is a literary agent with The Seymour Agency. In fiction, he seeks character-driven commercial fiction in mystery/crime/suspense/thriller (including graphic novel script format; stories that transcend genre and have the potential to attract a wider audience (aka: upmarket fiction); new perspectives – #OwnVoices, race, gender, LGBTQ, or sub-culture – different POVs, obstacles and outcomes. In nonfiction, he seeks authors with good platform writing art, music, pop-culture or sub-culture topics, including positive mental and physical health for artist; true crime; and business self-help (ow to survive and keep positive while starting a business, running a business or working a high-pressure job). Learn more about Micheal here.

Screen Shot 2018-11-26 at 1.04.33 PM.pngEmma Sector is a literary agent with Prospect Agency. She is seeking: “I’m open to middle grade and young adult of all types, but I’m especially drawn to fantasy adventure, magical realism, and historical fiction. I love picture books with big ideas and few words and chapter books with quirky, vibrant characters. Learn more about Emma here.

Screen Shot 2019-07-09 at 11.51.01 PM.pngLeticia Gomez is a literary agent and the founder of Saavy Literary. At the present time, Savvy Literary Agency is interested in reviewing compelling and commercially viable book proposals and manuscripts written in English or Spanish. Fiction areas of interest: adventure, chick lit, fantasy, historical, humor, multicultural, mystery, paranormal, romance, young adult, and middle grade. Nonfiction areas of interest: advice/relationships, biography, cooking, diet, health, history/politics/current affairs, how-to, humor, lifestyle, memoir, parenting, religion/spirituality and true crime. Learn more about Leticia here.

Screen Shot 2019-02-24 at 6.06.26 PM.pngRae Loverde is an agent assistant at Donald Maass Literary Agency. At the 2020 LA event, she will be acting as a literary scout — taking pitches at the workshop on behalf of her co-agents. Her co-agent Kiana Nguyen is seeking the following: contemporary romances like Alisha Rai and Alyssa Cole, adult sci-fi that feels like “Black Mirror,” and psychological thrillers. In YA, she’s looking for thrillers and contemporary that’s queer, POC, or features a mystery. Co-agent Caitlin McDonald is seeking the following: all science fiction & fantasy fiction for adult, YA, and MG, especially secondary world fantasy and alternate history; genre-bending or cross-genre fiction, and stories that examine tropes from a new angle; diversity of all kinds, including (but not limited to) race, gender, sexuality, and ability, in both characters and worldbuilding. Learn more about Rae here.

Screen Shot 2020-01-15 at 3.02.29 PM.pngTracy Marchini is a literary agent at BookEnds Literary. Tracy is looking for: picture book, middle grade and young adult manuscripts across most genres, including contemporary, mysteries, thrillers, magical realism, historical fiction, graphic novels and non-fiction. She is also looking for picture book illustrators and author-illustrators. She is not a good fit for YA horror, true crime, hard sci-fi, or high fantasy. At this time, she is not looking for board books or early chapter books. Learn more about Tracy here.

Screen Shot 2020-07-03 at 3.02.14 PMJemiscoe Chambers-Black is an associate literary agent with Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Jemiscoe is currently building her client list in the middle grade, YA, and adult categories. In middle grade, Jemiscoe is most interested in contemporary manuscripts. They can focus on hard themes, but she enjoys those that also weave in humor, whimsy, adventure, and wonder. She’s also open to fantasy, which can include paranormal, low fantasy, and magical realism. Horror, mystery, and graphic novels are also of interest. In YA, Jemiscoe would love to see romance, especially rom-coms. Give her all the love stories in whatever form they come! She loves contemporary fiction that deals with friendship – its joys and struggles. She would also like to see fantasy (except high fantasy), mystery and horror. In the adult space, Jemiscoe is looking for romance. It can range from sweet to steamy, but she is not interested in erotica or historical romance. She is also open to psychological thrillers, mysteries, friendship stories, strong power-women stories, or laugh-out-loud stories. Jemiscoe loves literary fiction with beautiful prose and a strong cast of characters. She would also like to see adult fantasy (except high fantasy). Jemiscoe is especially open to BIPOC and LGBTQ voices and stories in all the above categories. Learn more about Jemiscoe here.

Screen Shot 2020-06-16 at 7.27.44 PMPatrick Munnelly is a literary agent with Bond Literary. He is interested primarily in anything LGBTQ+ (nonfiction and fiction, including romance). In genre fiction, he prefers anything horror & fantasy. In nonfiction, he is interested in political science, current affairs, health & wellness, and fitness. Learn more about Patrick here.

Screen Shot 2020-06-16 at 9.38.58 AMEva Scalzo is a literary agent with Speilburg Literary. Eva is looking to represent all subgenres of Romance, as well as science fiction, fantasy, and young adult fiction. Fun fact: “My name is not pronounced with a long E sound. I’m of Puerto Rican, Lebanese, and Spanish descent.” Learn more about Eva here.

Screen Shot 2020-03-09 at 5.18.04 PMMelissa Jeglinski is a literary agent with The Knight Agency. Melissa is currently seeking projects in the following areas: romance, mystery, women’s fiction, and historical fiction, as well as projects geared to the middle grade age group. Learn more about Melissa and her background here.

Screen Shot 2020-02-19 at 4.40.44 PMMegan Barnard is an associate literary agent at The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency. She is seeking book for adults in the following genres: historical fiction, women’s fiction (upmarket/commercial is fine too), literary fiction, family sagas, thrillers, and fairy tale retellings. In adult nonfiction, she is only looking for memoir and narrative nonfiction right now.  Learn more about Megan here.

Screen Shot 2019-12-09 at 9.29.48 AMHannah VanVels is a literary agent with Belastro Literary. She is seeking all different kinds of middle grade and young adult fiction, including #ownvoices and nonfiction. For adult fiction, she represents horror, fantasy, literary fiction, mainstream fiction, women’s fiction, romantic comedies, and cozy mysteries. For nonfiction, she seeks memoir and essay collections. She also seeks all types (and ages) of graphic novels. Learn more about Hannah here.

Screen Shot 2018-11-13 at 10.07.45 AM.pngNikki Terpilowski is a literary agent and founder of Holloway Literary. She seeks Southern fiction, historical fiction, young adult, women’s fiction, literary fiction, mysteries, thrillers, romance (contemporary, historical and romantic suspense), cozy mysteries, science fiction (including Afrofuturist fiction), and African-American fiction of all types. For nonfiction, she seeks books related to mindfulness, healthy eating (Paleo, gluten-free, etc.), regional/ethnic/fusion cookbooks, foodie subjects, travel, alternative simple living, i.e. homesteading, minimalism, etc, interesting self-help (personal and professional), military experiences, Civil War, and Southern living. Learn more about Nikki here.

Screen Shot 2019-05-22 at 3.17.48 PMJade Wong-Baxter is a literary agent with Massie McQuilkin Literary Agents. Jade –– junior agent and foreign rights associate –– got her start in publishing at Writers House, W. W. Norton, and Folio Literary Management. A graduate of Vassar College, she joined MMQ in 2017. She’s looking for adult literary/upmarket fiction and narrative nonfiction, with an emphasis on narratives by and about people of color, as well as the perspectives of marginalized identities. Learn more about Jade here.

Screen Shot 2020-02-19 at 10.35.45 PMShannon O’Neill is a literary agent with Ross Yoon Literary. Shannon is a literary agent who helps thought leaders, public personalities, and current and recovering journalists and academics bring their book ideas to life. Shannon seeks nonfiction books that inform, intrigue, and inspire: areas of special interest include current affairs, popular science, history, memoir, and psychology. She also seeks literary fiction that reveals the inner workings of complex characters or offers a fresh look at a seemingly familiar time, place, or situation. Learn more about Shannon here.

Screen Shot 2018-12-04 at 9.55.51 PM.pngEric Smith is a literary agent with P.S. Literary. Eric is eagerly acquiring fiction and nonfiction projects. He’s actively seeking out new, diverse voices in young adult (particularly sci-fi and fantasy), 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.

Screen Shot 2020-06-14 at 6.06.10 PMStacy Testa is a literary agent at Writers House. She is seeking: “I am seeking literary fiction and upmarket women’s fiction, particularly stories with international settings, unique subcultures, historical hooks, magical realism, unusual narrators, and/or strong, empowered women. On the nonfiction side, I am interested in representing remarkable memoirs, humor writing, essay collections, narrative nonfiction, history, investigative journalism, true crime, and prescriptive titles with strong platforms. Broadly speaking, I am drawn to anything with vivid characters, an interest in social justice, a compelling narrative voice, and/or a great sense of humor. I do not represent children’s books, including YA.” Learn more about Stacy here.

Screen Shot 2019-10-30 at 9.08.20 AMLatoya C. Smith is a literary agent and founder of LCS Literary Services. She is seeking high-concept women’s fiction, romance (contemporary, romantic suspense, cowboys, LGBTQ, erotic, inspirational, paranormal), high-concept thrillers and horror, and comedic fiction. For nonfiction, she seeks platform-heavy and market-driven books in the following categories: memoir, how-to, advice, health/wellness, politics, current events, and history. Learn more about Latoya here.

Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 10.58.01 AM.pngMaximilian Ximenez is a literary agent with L. Perkins Agency. Maximilian is actively pursuing clients for both fiction and nonfiction works. In fiction, he is actively pursuing science fiction, fantasy, horror and thrillers, particularly cyberpunk and neo-noir as well as books with a uniquely deconstructive bent. For nonfiction, Maximilian is seeking popular science, true crime and books pertaining to arts and trends in developing fields and cultures. Learn more about Max here.

Screen Shot 2018-11-14 at 5.38.23 PM.pngElla Marie Shupe is a literary agent with Belcastro Agency. She is seeking in adult: mysteries – all subgenres, thriller, suspense, and general fiction. “In adult fiction, we look for a unique voice and a strong protagonist full of attitude. We like dark and intense but we won’t turn away something that’s a little on the lighter side. We enjoy a touch of humor, and we would never turn away something sexy.” She is looking for young adult – fantasy, science fiction, action/adventure, contemporary, magical realism, mystery/thriller, and horror. “We want profound young adult with a strong protagonist. A whacky, funny, crazy, or thought-provoking voice will draw our attention. We look for entertaining storylines that deal with tough life issues. We look for big writing that remains fast-paced.” Learn more about Ella Marie here.

Screen Shot 2019-09-27 at 1.37.27 PMPaul S. Levine is a literary agent and the founder of Paul S. Levine Literary. He is also an attorney. His fiction interests include adventure novels, mainstream fiction, mysteries, romance, thrillers, and women’s fiction. His nonfiction interests include business/commerce, pop culture, how-to, self-help, politics/law, relationships, and sports. Learn more about Paul here.

Screen Shot 2020-03-21 at 9.20.58 PM.pngEmmy Nordstrom Higdon is a literary agent with The Rights Factory. For YA and adult fiction: “While atmospheric stories with lots of plot twists are my favourites, I’m eager to read literary fiction, feminist thrillers, book club, #OwnVoices, millennial, dark fantasy, paranormal horror, contemporary Gothic, and magical realism.” For YA and adult nonfiction, “my interests include memoir, deep dive journalistic accounts, investigative true crime, activism, essay collections, and progressive political and social commentary. Learn more about Emmy here.

Screen Shot 2019-07-08 at 10.10.19 AM.pngTara Gelsomino is the founder and CEO of One Track Literary Agency, a boutique literary agency. Tara is currently seeking: romance, young adult, women’s fiction and mystery/thrillers.A twenty-plus year veteran of the publishing industry, Tara was formerly the Executive Editor of Simon & Schuster’s digital imprint, Crimson Romance, and also worked for BBC Audiobooks America/AudioGO and Romantic Times Magazine. Learn more about Tara here.

Screen Shot 2020-01-02 at 2.50.21 PMJacqueline Lipton is the founder of Raven Quill Literary Agency and the author of Law & Authors: A Legal Handbook for Writers. She is seeking most kinds of middle grade and young adult fiction — especially contemporary, romance, science-fiction, mystery, and/or anything with engaging characters and plot! She also seeks MG and YA nonfiction. Learn more about Jacqueline here.

Screen Shot 2019-10-14 at 12.43.24 PM.pngLeah Pierre is a literary agent with Ladderbird Literary. She is seeking: “I am looking for diverse and unique work that is faced paced, that I will not be able to put down, and will leave me on the edge of my seat. As much as I pretend to hate them, I do love a good plot twist and a shocking ending. I love stories with a complex cast of characters and I am a sucker for camaraderie, banter, and the tight-knit, family-like group of friends trope.” Adult novels: romance (ideally interracial), fantasy with elements of myth and legends, historical fantasy/fiction, social-justice-inspired espionage/heist. New adult novels: romance, coming-of-age, finding one’s identity, F/F friendship, the college experience as well as the post-college experience. Young adult novels: Fantasy with elements of myth and legend (lesser known myths/legends i.e. Middle Eastern), Meet-Cute/Coming-of-age that involves romance and self-discovery/self-love, Contemporary, realistic and raw family-centered novels, mysteries and thrillers (unreliable narrators are okay), fairy-tale retellings, and a good heist concept. “A lot of what I am looking for does overlap, so please use your best judgement when submitting. If you’re not sure, give it a try.” Learn more about Leah here.

Screen Shot 2019-10-27 at 2.58.15 PMCortney Radocaj is a literary agent with Belcastro Agency. She is seeking young adult, new adult, and adult fiction in the following genres & categories: LGBTQIA+ (particularly F/F), neurodiversity, contemporary, horror, fantasy, science fiction, steampunk, cyberpunk, mythology/fairytale retellings, Gothic fiction (particularly Southern gothic), paranormal and magical realism. Learn more about Cortney here.

Screen Shot 2019-02-21 at 4.14.48 PM.pngCarrie Howland is a literary agent and founder of Howland Literary.  She represents adult literary fiction, narrative nonfiction, young adult, middle grade, and picture book authors. In terms of YA & MG, she prefers contemporary, but will look at some fantasy occasionally. No sci-fi, please. Learn more about Carrie here.

Screen Shot 2020-03-01 at 6.54.33 PMLori Steel is a literary agent at Raven Quill Literary Agency. She represents fiction for all young readers from picture books to young adult and is actively building her list in all kidlit genres except horror. Across all age groups and genres, Lori seeks stories with authentic, unforgettable voices that reflect the diverse world we inhabit, instill the possibility of hope, and illuminate the shared human experience. Learn more about Lori here.

Screen Shot 2019-12-03 at 9.26.24 PMAmanda Jain is a literary agent at BookEnds Literary. Amanda currently reps adult romance, mystery, women’s fiction, upmarket fiction, and science fiction & fantasy, with a special emphasis on historical fiction in all genres. She also represents narrative nonfiction, especially projects exploring the literary world, art history, material culture, archaeology, food history, social history, and popular science. She loves projects with a strong sense of place and those that create a completely immersive world. She is particularly interested in books that add something important to the conversation, that explore stories we haven’t yet heard, and that introduce new voices to our reading experience. Learn more about Amanda here.

Screen Shot 2019-01-17 at 5.15.21 PM.pngZabé Ellor is a literary agent with The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency. He is seeking all genres and areas of young adult. He is also seeking adult science fiction and fantasy. He seeks graphic novel projects for all age groups. In nonfiction, he has wide interests as long as your platform is excellent. He particularly wants nonfiction proposals for books about science and history that teach and entertain in equal measure. Learn more about Zabe here.

Screen Shot 2019-11-18 at 10.27.32 PMMichael Carr is a literary agent with Veritas Literary. Michael is seeking: historical fiction, women’s fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and nonfiction of all stripes. Learn more about Michael here.

        More 2020 agents to be announced as they are confirmed. You can sign up for pitches at any time, or switch pitches at any time, so long as the agent in question still has appointments open. You can pitch as many agents & editors as like you wish.

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.)

———

PRICING:

$149 — EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the online 2020 CWW and access to all workshops, all day on December 5, 2020. (With this cost, you also get an additional 12 FREE pre-recorded webinars sent to you. They are listed on the schedule page.) As of October 2019, registration is now OPEN.

Add $29 — to secure a 10-minute one-on-one meeting with any of our literary agents or editors in attendance. Use this special meeting as a chance to pitch your work and get professional feedback on your pitch. (Spaces limited.) If they wish, attendees are free to sign up for multiple 10-minute pitch sessions at $29/session — pitching multiple individuals, or securing 20 minutes to pitch one person rather than the usual 10. Here are four quick testimonials regarding writers who have signed with literary agents after pitching them at prior Writing Day Workshops events. (Our bigger, growing list of success stories can be seen here.)

Screen Shot 2018-11-26 at 11.11.29 AM.png“I met my client, Alison Hammer, at the Writing
Workshop of Chicago and just sold her book.”
– literary agent Joanna Mackenzie of Nelson Literary

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 11.47.54 PM.png“Good news! I signed a client [novelist Aliza Mann]
from the Michigan Writing Workshop!”
– literary agent Sara Mebigow of KT Literary

Screen Shot 2018-11-05 at 12.56.10 PM“I signed author Stephanie Wright from
the Seattle Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Kathleen Ortiz of New Leaf Literary

Screen Shot 2018-05-17 at 9.07.44 PM“I signed an author [Kate Thompson] that I
met at the Philadelphia Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Kimberly Brower of Brower Literary

Screen Shot 2016-10-16 at 2.54.50 PM.png“I signed novelist Kathleen McInnis after meeting her
at the Chesapeake Writing Workshop.”

– literary agent Adriann Ranta of Foundry Literary + Media

Add $69 — for an in-depth, personal critique of your one-page query letter from Chuck Sambuchino, one of the workshop’s former instructors. (This rate is a special event value for 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?

Add $89 — for an in-depth personal critique of the first 10 double-spaced pages of your novel. Spaces with faculty for these critiques are very limited, and participating attendees get an in-person meeting at the workshop. Options:

  • Science fiction and fantasy: Faculty member E.J. Wenstrom, a published author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
  • Mystery, thriller, general fiction, literary fiction, science fiction, fantasy, romance, women’s fiction: Faculty member Tara Bailey, a writing coach and author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
  • Literary fiction, mainstream fiction, science fiction, fantasy, horror, women’s fiction, memoir, humor: Faculty member Ricki Cardenas, a published writer, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your story, and pass along written critique notes at your virtual meeting.
  • More manuscript critique options forthcoming.

How to pay/register — Registration is now open. Reach out to workshop organizer Brian Klems via email: WDWconference@gmail.com, and he will provide specific instructions for payment and registration to get you a reserved seat at the event. Payment is by either PayPal or check. Because Brian plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Chesapeake/DC workshop specifically.

REGISTRATION:

(IMPORTANT JUNE 2020 UPDATE: The 2020 CWW is now an Online Conference to keep everyone safe, on (new date!) December 5, 2020. There is much more to say about this, but immediately you should understand 1) This will be easy and awesome, and online conferences we’ve done thus far have received wonderful feedback, 2) You do not have to be tech-savvy to do this, and 3) We are keeping all aspects of the event, including one-on-one agent & editor pitching, which will now be done by Skype or Zoom or phone. Learn all details about the (new date) December 5 CWW Online Conference here and what everything means.)

Because of limited space at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Arlington, the workshop can only allow 200 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 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 Brian Klems via email: WDWconference@gmail.com. He will pass along registration information to you, and give instructions on how to pay by PayPal 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 Brian plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Chesapeake/DC workshop specifically.

Refunds: If you sign up for the event and have to cancel for any reason at any time, 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 and manuscript editing payments are completely non-refundable if the instructor has already edited your work.)

Screen Shot 2016-11-16 at 10.43.05 AM.png

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Lori Steel of Raven Quill Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2020-03-01 at 6.54.33 PMLori Steel is a literary agent at Raven Quill Literary Agency.

Lori joins Raven Quill as an agent after working with young readers’ literature for more than a decade. Her experience runs the gamut from school librarian to freelance editor to intern/assistant with two kidlit agencies. She holds bachelor’s degrees in history and education, and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts.

She represents fiction for all young readers from picture books to young adult and is actively building her list in all kidlit genres except horror.

Across all age groups and genres, Lori seeks stories with authentic, unforgettable voices that reflect the diverse world we inhabit, instill the possibility of hope, and illuminate the shared human experience.

More specifically, for MG/YA, Lori is interested in representing contemporary stories that address socio-economic disparity, immigration, mental illness, and personal journeys of self-discovery. She would love to see meticulously researched historical fiction that flips conventional interpretations and extends the conversation—as well as with narrative non-fiction that illuminates a little-known slice of history or unique perspective. For fantasy, she finds it hard to resist folklore-inspired tales and earthy world building. In all genres, she has a soft spot for story settings that seep off the page, unconventional story structure, and verse novels.

For Picture Books, Lori will consider manuscripts that are crafted with spare text, play with structure, utilize collusion to engage participation, and don’t underestimate young readers. She is searching for whimsical, lyrical, surprising, and/or humorous stories that young readers will beg to read over and over again.

Raven Quill Literary Agency was established in 2020 by founder, Jacqui Lipton, to represent children and young adult writers. We provide individually tailored and dedicated representation for creators of books that share new messages, create a sense of joy and wonder, and make a difference in the world.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Patrick Munnelly of Bond Literary

Screen Shot 2020-06-16 at 7.27.44 PMPatrick Munnelly is a literary agent with Bond Literary.

Patrick worked with Sandra as an Intern while getting his Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Denver. After graduating, he spent 2 years as an editor with Literary Wanderlust Publishing. He rejoined the BLA team in 2020 as an associate agent, and also works as an Instructor of Writing and Rhetoric for the Community College of Aurora in Colorado.

He is interested primarily in anything LGBTQ+ (nonfiction and fiction, including romance). In genre fiction, he prefers anything horror & fantasy. In nonfiction, he is interested in political science, current affairs, health & wellness, and fitness.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Shannon O’Neill of Ross Yoon Literary

Screen Shot 2020-02-19 at 10.35.45 PMShannon O’Neill is a literary agent with Ross Yoon Literary.

Shannon is a literary agent who helps thought leaders, public personalities, and current and recovering journalists and academics bring their book ideas to life. In her fifteen years as a developmental editor, book doctor, and publishing consultant she worked with writers at every stage: idea generation, proposal writing, manuscript composition, and published book. She continues to work with her clients through the full life cycle of a project.

Shannon seeks nonfiction books that inform, intrigue, and inspire: areas of special interest include current affairs, popular science, history, memoir, and psychology.

She also seeks literary fiction that reveals the inner workings of complex characters or offers a fresh look at a seemingly familiar time, place, or situation.

Shannon is a cum laude graduate of Dartmouth College and earned a Masters in Writing from Johns Hopkins University. A Washington DC native, in her post-college years she was able to fulfill her tweenage dream becoming a bookseller at landmark indie bookstore Politics & Prose. She has taught writing and publishing courses in a variety of venues and to audiences ranging from first year American University students to retired diplomats. She now lives in the Maryland suburbs with her family where she enjoys logging long miles on the C&O Canal towpath.

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Zabé Ellor of The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2019-01-17 at 5.15.21 PM.pngZabé Ellor is a literary agent with The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency.

Zabé joined The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency after previously interning at the agency and at Inklings Literary, and serving as a publications assistant at IOP Publishing. He graduated from Cornell University with a dual degree in biology and English. An avid reader and writer, his non-literary interests include running, travel, and finding the perfect dim sum in his home city of Washington D.C.

What he’s looking for:

Middle Grade: “I’m now open to MG and excited to find clients writing exciting, adventurous, hilarious books for preteens! My favorite middle grade books weave voice, whimsy, and heart together to meet young readers where they are, instead of talking down or patronizing. I love all things speculative, from wild new worlds to small hints of magic, and my dream would be to find something that innovates at world building how Gregor the Overlander does. I also love stories grounded in the contemporary world, but prefer humorous tones to the very serious. Projects with graphic elements always welcome. I’m especially interested in seeing submissions from diverse voices.”

Young Adult: “I love all genres of YA: swoonworthy romances, electrifying thrillers and mysteries, heartbreaking contemporaries, and SFF that sweeps me off to a new world. Whatever you’re writing, give me flawed characters who struggle with the complexities of growing up and tangled networks of relationships binding them together. Books with messy, real, and consuming emotions are my kryptonite; recent favorites include Three Dark Crowns, Burning Glass, The Astonishing Color of After, When Dimple Met Rishi, Eliza and her Monsters, When the Moon was Ours, and The Love Interest.”

Adult SFF: “In adult SFF, I’m looking for expansive worlds inhabited by unforgettable characters. In fantasy, hook me with a setting or magic system I’ve never seen; then deliver by making me fall in love with the heroes struggling in its shadow. Favorites of mine include the Emberverse series, The Broken Earth trilogy, Sanderson’s Cosmere novels, Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels novels, Steven Brust’s Vlad Taltos novels, and anything by Joe Abercrombie. In science fiction, give me technology-rich stories that explore how societies evolve and change on a grand scale: think Ancillary Justice, An Unkindness of Ghosts, Seveneves, and Yoon Ha Lee’s Hexarchate novels.”

Graphic novels: “I’m interested in graphic novel projects for all age groups. Give me children’s projects that will make me laugh, cry, or both: think The Prince and the Dressmaker, The Witch Boy, or anything by Dav Pilkey. Give me adult projects that can ONLY be told in graphic novel format—stories like Saga and Low where the art creates the world. Author/illustrators strongly preferred.”

Nonfiction: “In nonfiction, I want proposals for books about science and history that teach and entertain in equal measure. If you want to dive deeply into an intriguing quirk of our world—and can do so with voice, wit, and an eye for the human—I want to see your proposal! As a former evolutionary biology/Renaissance literature major, my interests are wide, but I’ll always be interested in projects about fossils. Show me your platform and your passion for the subject.”

“Diversity is incredibly important to me. I strongly encourage marginalized authors to self-identify, if they are comfortable, especially if their identity is related to their project.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Megan Barnard of The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2020-02-19 at 4.35.27 PMMegan Barnard is an associate literary agent at The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency.

Megan joined The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency as an associate agent in 2020, after interning for nearly three years at several top literary agencies, including P.S. Literary Agency and Folio Literary Management. She has worked as an editor and copywriter and has a BA in English (with a concentration in Creative Writing) from Hollins University. When not working, she runs, drinks coffee, and travels widely. Her favorite places to read across the globe are Île Saint-Louis in Paris, Pacific Grove, CA, and Portmagee, Ireland. In reality, though, she spends most of her free time shuffling her towering stacks of books around so they don’t kill her or her husband.

She is seeking:

Adult Fiction:

  • Historical — I particularly want historical fiction in the vein of Kate Morton, Kate Atkinson, and Susanna Kearsley. I prefer time periods after the 19th century (but will consider others). I also love what I think of as “historical fiction with magic.” Think Circe, The Snow Child, Life After Life, A Secret History of Witches. I’d LOVE to find anything like these books.
  • Women’s Fiction — upmarket or commercial is fine
  • Literary and upmarket — wonderful prose, but a strong commercial hook is important too. Think The Good People, The Secret Chord, or My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry.
  • Family Sagas — I come from a big family, so I have a soft spot for stories about big families and/or sister/sibling relationships.
  • Thrillers — in the vein of The Beloveds, The Girl on the Train, Gone Girl (I love unreliable narrators). I’m looking for psychological suspense over gore. A little blood is fine, a lot, not so much.
  • Fairy tale retellings — I’m quite picky about these, they need to be new and fresh, but I love retellings that turn old fairy tales on their heads (think The Hazel Wood, Snow Glass Apples). I’d particularly love to find retellings outside the well-known western canon. Fairy tales/stories from all cultures are welcomed and encouraged.

I’m not looking for any of the following: romance, erotica, epic fantasy, SF, YA, MG, picture books, short stories, screenplays, or poetry collections.

Adult Nonfiction:

I’m very picky about my nonfiction, and I’m only looking for narrative nonfiction right now. I particularly love memoirs that show beauty that comes out of adversity or pain, like Once More We Saw Stars by Jayson Greene, The Salt Path by Raynor Winn, and Educated by Tara Westover. I’m also interested in nature writing like that of Robert Macfarlane and John Lewis-Stempel. If you have something that combines memoir with nature writing like Amy Liptrot’s The Outrun, I definitely want to see it.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Dara Kaye of Ross Yoon Literary

Screen Shot 2018-05-12 at 5.01.07 PMDara Kaye is a literary agent and Foreign Rights Manager at Ross Yoon Agency. She brokers clients’ contracts in more than 50 countries.

For fiction, her interests include speculative fiction (science fiction and fantasy).

As an agent, she is looking for great nonfiction — particularly narrative nonfiction. “I’m looking for great storytelling that teaches readers to see things differently—whether it exposes a story of modern corruption, tells the backstory of a historic scientific breakthrough, recasts original research for a popular audience, or in the case of biography and memoir, holds up a mirror to a specific experience and shows what is universal in it. I am particularly interested in hidden histories, underrepresented voices, and unexpected intersections of topics, styles, and audiences.”

Dara is an ex-academic with a degree in Renaissance Literature, so she’ll cross into nearly any genre for Shakespeare adaptations that bring something new to the table. Before joining Ross Yoon, Dara spent two years in South Korea on a Fulbright fellowship teaching English and researching the history of Shakespeare in Korea.

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Leah Pierre of Ladderbird Literary

Screen Shot 2019-10-14 at 12.43.24 PM.pngLeah Pierre is a literary agent with Ladderbird Literary.

A Texas native, Leah moved to the east coast to pursue her dream of working in publishing. Leah spends her time enjoying the company of fictional characters more than people. When not in the company of fictional characters, Leah hangs out with friends and family, cooks, and catches up on movies and TV shows.

She is seeking: “I am looking for diverse and unique work that is faced paced, that I will not be able to put down, and will leave me on the edge of my seat. As much as I pretend to hate them, I do love a good plot twist and a shocking ending. I love stories with a complex cast of characters and I am a sucker for camaraderie, banter, and the tight-knit, family-like group of friends trope.”

Adult novels: romance (ideally interracial), fantasy with elements of myth and legends, historical fantasy/fiction, social-justice-inspired espionage/heist.

New adult novels: romance, coming-of-age, finding one’s identity, F/F friendship, the college experience as well as the post-college experience.

Young adult novels: Fantasy with elements of myth and legend (lesser know myths/legends i.e. Middle Eastern), Meet-Cute/Coming-of-age that involves romance and self-discovery/self-love, Contemporary, realistic and raw family-centered novels, mysteries and thrillers (unreliable narrators are okay), fairy-tale retellings, and a good heist concept.

“A lot of what I am looking for does overlap, so please use your best judgement when submitting. If you’re not sure, give it a try.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Deborah Grosvenor of The Grosvenor Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2019-05-22 at 8.21.33 PMDeborah Grosvenor is a literary at The Grosvenor Literary Agency, a full-service boutique agency representing writers across a variety of subjects.

The agency’s emphasis is on strong, serious, interesting nonfiction. “We also represent quality fiction on a selective basis. Agency clients have received numerous awards and honors, including the Pulitzer Prize, the MacArthur Fellowship, the Lincoln Prize, the Thurber Prize for America Humor, the National Endowment for the Arts grants, the Nieman Fellowship, the Alicia Patterson Fellowship, the Council on Foreign Affairs Arthur F. Ross Award, The Charles Bronfman Prize, and the Grawemeyer Award. Client writing has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Vogue, “O,” Best American Travel Writing and a range of other publications.”

Deborah has more than 25 years’ experience in the book publishing business as an agent and editor. During her career, she has edited or represented several hundred nonfiction books. As an editor, she acquired Tom Clancy’s first novel, The Hunt for Red October.

Her distinguished client list includes nationally prominent writers, New York Times bestselling authors, and prize-winning historians and journalists. Among them are Stephen Coonts, Eleanor Clift, Thomas Oliphant, Henry Allen, Curtis Wilkie, Aaron Miller, Harrison Scott Key, Daniel De Visé, Jonathan Green, Gilbert Grosvenor, Jim McCloskey, Charlie Engle, Scott Wallace, Nina Burleigh, Thomas Fleming, John Sexton, Jay Rubenstein, Steve Kemper, Nora Pouillon, Trita Parsi, Mark Geragos, Peter Cozzens, Meg Noonan and Elizabeth Pryor.

Deborah is interested in: narrative nonfiction in the categories of history, biography, politics, current and foreign affairs, memoir, food, health, science, the environment and travel. For fiction, she is simply interested in great storytelling, especially in an historical context.

Deborah is the recipient of the TWIN award (Tribute to Women in Industry), given by the YWCA and industry to “outstanding women who have made significant contributions to their companies in managerial and executive positions.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Amanda Jain of BookEnds Literary

Screen Shot 2019-12-03 at 9.26.24 PMAmanda Jain is a literary agent at BookEnds Literary.

Amanda came by her love of reading honestly, inheriting it from parents who always had books close to hand. She began her career in publishing at W. W. Norton, where she spent seven years before pursuing a masters degree in history of the decorative arts. She rejoined publishing shortly thereafter at Inklings Literary Agency, and is excited every day to encounter new writers and their stories.

Amanda currently reps adult romance, mystery, women’s fiction, upmarket fiction, and science fiction & fantasy, with a special emphasis on historical fiction in all genres. She also represents narrative nonfiction, especially projects exploring the literary world, art history, material culture, archaeology, food history, social history, and popular science. She loves projects with a strong sense of place and those that create a completely immersive world. She is particularly interested in books that add something important to the conversation, that explore stories we haven’t yet heard, and that introduce new voices to our reading experience.

Amanda currently lives outside of Washington, DC with her husband and two kids. When she’s not reading, she likes to cook, root for the Cubs, and spend as much time outside as she can.