The 2020 Chesapeake Writing Workshop: October 10, 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 “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 Amanda Jain (BookEnds)
  • literary agent Kirsten Neuhaus (Foundry Literary + Media)
  • literary agent Emily Williamson (Williamson Literary)
  • literary agent Stephanie Kehr (C.Y.L.E. Literary)
  • literary agent Zabe Ellor (Jennifer De Chiara Literary)
  • and many 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.

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

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

CLASSES TBA

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 1.44.34 AMBLOCK TWO: 10:45 – 11:50

CLASSES TBA

(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.

CLASSES TBA

BLOCK FOUR: 2:45 – 3:45

CLASSES TBA

(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

CLASSES TBA

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:

Screen Shot 2019-01-16 at 7.08.12 PM.pngEmily 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.

Screen Shot 2019-12-03 at 9.00.21 PMKirsten 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.

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 2019-01-19 at 10.06.45 PM.pngStephanie 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.

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.

 

 

        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:

$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.)

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:

  • 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.
  • More manuscript critique options forthcoming.

How to pay/register — Registration is now open. Reach out to workshop organizer Chuck Sambuchino via email: writingdayworkshops@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 Chuck plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Chesapeake/DC workshop specifically.

REGISTRATION:

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: writingdayworkshops@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 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.)

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

 

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: 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.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Kirsten Neuhaus of Foundry Literary + Media

Screen Shot 2019-12-03 at 9.00.21 PMKirsten 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.

She enjoys working closely with her clients to develop their book ideas and strategize how best to connect the book with an author’s existing platform and brand, including entrepreneur and star of ABC’s Shark Tank Daymond John, author of the New York Times bestsellers The Power of Broke, and Rise and Grind (Crown Business) former Bachelorette Andi Dorfman, author of the New York Times bestsellers It’s NOT OK and Single State of Mind (Gallery Books) fashion designer Rachel Roy, author of Design Your Life (Dey Street) and the young adult novel 96 Words for Love (Jimmy Patterson Books), Former CIA officer Jason Hanson’s New York Times bestsellers Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life and Survive Like a Spy (Perigee), Bradley Tusk’s The Fixer (Portfolio), and National Geographic Adventurer of the Year and former holder of the title for Fastest Known Times on both the AT and PCT, Jennifer Pharr Davis, author of The Pursuit of Endurance (Viking).

Prior to joining Foundry Literary + Media, Kirsten worked at Elaine Markson Agency, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates, and Vigliano Associates, representing a diverse author group of blockbuster thriller writers, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists and multi-platinum selling recording artists. Before moving to New York, Kirsten lived in Miami and Buenos Aires. She earned a B.A. in English from Columbia University.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Emily Williamson of Williamson Literary

Screen Shot 2019-01-16 at 7.08.12 PM.pngEmily 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.

Williamson Literary is a small but vibrant and actively engaged literary agency in Baltimore, Maryland.

Emily Williamson represents a variety of projects in nonfiction and fiction. She is a native of New Jersey, graduated from American University (BA Anthropology) in 1997 and Johns Hopkins University (MA Writing) in 2012. She began her career as an editor in 2011 with Chrysalis Editorial in Washington, DC. In 2016 she founded Williamson Literary, driven by the desire to help great writers achieve their publishing goals.

In the past, Emily spent 13 years as an archaeologist traveling all over the US and abroad in search of many things…sometimes finding nothing. It is this varied, nomadic past that has influenced her own writing and her particular interests as an agent. As a writer, she understands the investment of time and heart it takes to follow this challenging path. It is the core of Williamson Literary—to support the careers of dedicated writers who deserve to see their ideas and imaginings realized. Williamson Literary is also about building relationships: agent-author, agent-publisher, author-publisher.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Stephanie Kehr of CYLE Literary.

Screen Shot 2018-05-17 at 10.07.13 AM.pngStephanie Kehr is a jr. agent and for C.Y.L.E. Literary.

She’s a professional writer and former journalist with 7 years’ experience. Stephanie currently lives in Northern Virginia and serves on the publishing board of Illuminate YA fiction, an imprint of LPC books. She’s an adventure lover with a special place in her heart for travel and culture.

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.