After successful 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019 events in DC, Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2020 Chesapeake Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in Arlington, VA (suburb of Washington, DC) on Oct 10, 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 2019 Chesapeake Writing Workshop!
WHAT IS IT?
This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, October 10, 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 Dara Kaye (Ross Yoon)
- literary agent Megan Barnard (Jennifer De Chiara Literary)
- literary agent Amanda Jain (BookEnds)
- literary agent Sarah Davies (Greenhouse Literary)
- literary agent Kirsten Neuhaus (Foundry Literary + Media)
- literary agent Shannon O’Neill (Ross Yoon)
- literary agent Lori Steel (Raven Quill Literary Agency)
- literary agent Emily Williamson (Williamson Literary)
- literary agent Stephanie Kehr (C.Y.L.E. Literary)
- literary agent Zabe Ellor (Jennifer De Chiara Literary)
- literary agent Deborah Grosvenor (Grosvenor Literary Agency)
- 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 Chuck Sambuchino of Writing Day Workshops, with assistance from the local writing group Chesapeake Bay Writers.
EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS:
9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, October 10, 2020 — Crystal Gateway Marriott Arlington, 1700 Jefferson Davis Highway Arlington Virginia 22202. 703-920-3230.
THIS YEAR’S SESSIONS & WORKSHOPS:
What you see below is a quick layout of the day’s events. See a full layout of the day’s sessions, with detailed descriptions, on the official Schedule page here.
Please Note: There will be 2-3 classes/workshops going at all times during the day, so you will have your choice of what class you attend at any time. The final schedule of topics is subject to change, but here is the current layout:
8:30 – 9:30: Check-in and registration at the event location.
BLOCK ONE: 9:30 – 10:30
(What you see here is a quick layout of the day’s events. See a full layout of the day’s sessions, with detailed descriptions, on the official Schedule Page here.)
LUNCH ON YOUR OWN: 11:50 – 1:15
Lunch is on your own during these 85 minutes.
BLOCK THREE: 1:15 – 2:30
1. “Writers Got Talent”—a Page 1 Critique Fest (Salon J-K). 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.
BLOCK FOUR: 2:45 – 3:45
(What you see here is a quick layout of the day’s events. See a full layout of the day’s sessions, with detailed descriptions, on the official Schedule Page here.)
BLOCK FIVE: 4:00 – 5:00
SESSIONS END: 5:00
At 5 p.m., the day is done. Speakers will make themselves available by the workshop’s bookstore for a short while to sign any books for attendees.
Agent & Editor Pitching: All throughout the day.
PITCH AGENTS AND EDITORS:
Emily Williamson is a literary agent and the founder of Williamson Literary. In adult fiction she is looking for lyrical prose, stories with unique settings, adventure, international, fantasy/sci-fi or science inspired, magical realism. For children’s, she seeks stories that talk up to kids, that inspire and build confidence with cleverness and humor. Prefers middle grade over YA; no picture books. Nonfiction interests: history, sports, science, environmental, narrative, and a solid author platform. Currently looking for science or adventure/travel narratives in the vein of books such as Shadow of the Silk Road or The Sports Gene. Learn more about Emily here.
Megan 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.
Shannon 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.
Leah 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.
Sarah Davies is a literary agent and founder of Greenhouse Literary. What Sarah is seeking: kidlit fiction by North American authors — from middle grade through young adult across all genres. (Note: she is currently closed to debut picture books but does rep PBs by clients whom she’s initially taken on for other fiction.) She loves strong, hooky, layered plots, writing that is gorgeous but also conceptually strong, and stories that are really moving but make you think too. She is particularly seeking authors from under-represented backgrounds and stories with diverse settings and perspectives. Additionally: Sarah is open to children’s/teen nonfiction projects that have a strong angle on a subject that jives with today’s concerns. She is also open, by referral, to women’s fiction — especially in the suspense genre. Learn more about Sarah here.
Dara Kaye is a literary agent and Foreign Rights Manager at Ross Yoon Agency. 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.” Learn more about Dara here.
Kirsten Neuhaus is a literary agent with Foundry Literary + Media. As an agent, Kirsten is looking for nonfiction projects with the three ideal components: the right topic, at the right time, with the right author. She focuses on narrative and prescriptive nonfiction by authors with established audiences, in the areas of business, memoir, lifestyle, current events and stories with strong female voices, as well as smart fiction and select children’s books that appeal to a wide market. Learn more about Kirsten here.
Lori 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.
Amanda 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.
Stephanie Kehr is a jr. agent and for C.Y.L.E. Literary. Stephanie is looking for skillfully crafted stories that capture the heart and answer the world’s deepest questions. She’s seeking young adult, middle grade, historical, children’s picture books, chapter books, romance, science fiction, fantasy, inspirational, and authors with strong platform, unique ideas, and diverse characters. In nonfiction, she’s interested in self-help, devotionals, leadership, biographies, and religious genres. Learn more about Stephanie here.
Zabé 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.
Deborah Grosvenor is a literary at The Grosvenor Literary Agency. The agency’s emphasis is on strong, serious, interesting nonfiction. 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. Learn more about Deborah 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.)
$189 — EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2020 CWW and access to all workshops, all day on October 10, 2020. 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.)
“I met my client, Alison Hammer, at the Writing
Workshop of Chicago and just sold her book.”
– literary agent Joanna Mackenzie of Nelson Literary
“Good news! I signed a client [novelist Aliza Mann]
from the Michigan Writing Workshop!”
– literary agent Sara Mebigow of KT Literary
“I signed author Stephanie Wright from
the Seattle Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Kathleen Ortiz of New Leaf Literary
“I signed an author [Kate Thompson] that I
met at the Philadelphia Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Kimberly Brower of Brower Literary
“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:
- Memoir, literary fiction, commercial/mainstream fiction, historical fiction: Faculty member Jennifer Handford, 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.
- General/mainstream fiction, literary fiction, contemporary fiction, mysteries, biography and memoir, self-help, religion and spirituality: Faculty member Eva Talmadge, a former literary agent turned freelance editor, 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.
- 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.=
- More manuscript critique options forthcoming.
How to pay/register — Registration is now open. Reach out to workshop organizer Chuck Sambuchino via email: email@example.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 Chuck plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Chesapeake/DC workshop specifically.
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 Chuck Sambuchino via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 Chuck 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.)