The 2019 Seattle Writing Workshop: April 27, 2019

Screen Shot 2016-12-25 at 10.34.26 PM.pngAfter a successful 2015, 2017 and 2018 events in Seattle, Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2019 Seattle Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in Seattle, WA on April 27, 2019.

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 Seattle Writing Workshop!

WHAT IS IT?

This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, April 27, 2019, at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Seattle Bellevue. 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 faculty so far includes:

  • literary agent Natalie Grazian (Martin Literary Management)
  • literary agent Adria Goetz (Martin Literary Management)
  • literary agent Britt Seiss (Martin Literary Management)
  • 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 Kimiko Nakamura of Writing Day Workshops.

EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS:

9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, April 28, 2018, at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Seattle Bellevue, 3225 158th Ave SE, Bellevue, WA 98008. (425)644-2500.

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THIS YEAR’S SESSIONS & WORKSHOPS (APRIL 27, 2019):

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

1. A Bird’s-eye View Publishing & Books in the Year 2018 (Regent Room). This workshop is quick and easy overview of the publishing industry today, and how it’s changing.

2. Book Marketing from Your Couch: Social Media 101 (Ambassador Room). Social media can be confusing, but book marketing from the couch is easy once you learn how. Analyze your audience and ascertain the best social media vehicle to dominate.

3. An Agent’s Tips on Writing Thriller & Mystery (Diplomat Room). In this class (taught by a literary agent) you’ll learn what you’ll need to know about the thriller and mystery market.

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

1. Tips on How to Write Like the Pros (Ambassador Room). This workshop is a thorough crash course concerning craft, style and voice.

2. Keys to Getting a Literary Agent and Writing a Great Query (Regent Room). This workshop demystifies the submission process, including where to find the right agent for your work, how to approach them, writing and formatting an effective query letter, pitching in person, what gets an agent’s attention, common mistakes, and more.

3. How to Improve Your Novel With Scintillating Dialogue (Diplomat Room). Learn techniques to change narrative into dialogue, and how to avoid bland conversations and turn them into conversations that leap off the page.

(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 (Regent Room). 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.
   
2.  How to Sell a Nonfiction Book (Ambassador Room). This session is completely devoted to nonfiction book proposals.

3. Picture Book Tips & Trends (Diplomat Room). Hear straight from an agent’s perspective what is selling, what isn’t, as well as picture book writing dos and don’ts.

BLOCK FOUR: 2:45 – 3:45

1. A Guide to Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy (Ambassador Room). Science fiction and fantasy novels need a setting, and your setting needs to live and breathe and feel real. How do we do that? One way is to start is to ask one of the Three Big Ifs: What If, If Only, and If This Goes On.

2. Twenty Questions You Need Answered Before You Seek an Agent or Self-Publish Your Book (Regent Room). Before you publish your work or query an agent, there are plenty of things you need to know.

3. Romance Writing: Plot a Novel that Readers Can’t Put Down (Diplomat Room). This session delivers a fast-moving, informative way to take you to the next level of romance novel plotting.

(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

1. Twenty Questions You Need Answered After You Seek an Agent or Self-Publish Your Book (Regent Room). After you self-publish your work or get a traditional publishing book deal, there are plenty of things you need to know to give you and your books the best chance of success.

2. Creating Amazing Characters Agents & Readers Will Love (Diplomat Room). A workshop that explores a few techniques on how to get to know your characters and how to develop them into three-dimensional beings that jump off the page.

3. The Four Keys To Writing Young Adult or Middle Grade Fiction (Ambassador Room). Discover a new approach for plotting that makes it easy to sketch out the hook, character, and story structure of your next kidlit book. Examples will focus on the hottest titles in YA and MG fiction.

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.

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PITCH AN AGENT OR EDITOR:

Screen Shot 2018-01-04 at 10.22.08 AM.pngNatalie Grazian is an associate literary agent at Martin Literary Management. Natalie is eager to build her adult fiction list. She is currently accepting queries for commercial, upmarket, and literary adult fiction. Natalie would love it if you sent her contemporary fantasy (in the vein of Lev Grossman’s The Magicians). She’s drawn to dark comedy that still carries a beating heart—because at the end of the day, she turns to books to find humanity. She is highly interested in reimagined myths and fairytales from different cultures, historical fiction, and a good quest narrative in any genre. More than anything, she looks for complex characters who make the unrelatable relatable, and for a smart, distinctive narrative voice. At this time, she’s not seeking military thrillers, sports stories, or romance novels. Learn more about Natalie here.

Screen Shot 2018-11-17 at 3.36.45 PM.pngAdria Goetz is an associate literary agent with Martin Literary Management. She is actively building her client list and looking for writers. Adria represents the lifestyle genre and everything under the Christian umbrella—children’s picture books, middle grade fiction, young adult fiction, and adult fiction and nonfiction (including memoir). Learn more about Adria here.

Screen Shot 2018-11-17 at 3.44.16 PM.pngBritt Siess is a literary agent with Martin Literary Management. Britt looks for stories that are character driven and full of strong, resonating themes. She’s interested in literature that completely immerses readers into new worlds and that is imaginative and diverse. She also likes a little (dark) humor, and there must be stakes! She is particularly drawn to literature that makes us reflect on our own society and confront our choices. She is currently accepting adult fiction submissions for science fiction, fantasy, horror, and thriller. Britt is specifically looking for cyberpunk, steampunk, and speculative fiction. She seeks epic fantasy, high fantasy, historical fantasy, and retellings of myths and fairytales. Pitch her with gothic horror, and thrillers, magical realist literature (such as Wildwood and Elmet), and middle grade manuscripts with fantastical or supernatural elements. Learn more about Britt here.

         More 2019 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.

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.)

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PRICING:

$189 — EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2019 SWW and access to all workshops, all day. As of fall 2018, 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 2016-12-13 at 12.20.11 AM.png“I signed with my agent, Patricia Nelson, after
meeting her at the Arizona Writing Workshop.”
– writer Axie Oh

Screen Shot 2016-12-13 at 12.07.56 AM.png“I officially signed with agent Renee Nyen of KT
Literary. I met her at the Colorado Writing
Workshop.” – writer Jessie Hilb Akos

Screen Shot 2016-12-13 at 12.08.00 AM.png“After taking pitches at the Michigan Writing
Workshop, I signed writer Kyle Prue as a new
client.” – literary agent Veronica Park

Screen Shot 2016-12-13 at 12.08.09 AM.png“After taking pitches at the Alabama Writing
Workshop, I met Erin Hollis at a pitch session, and
she is now my newest client.” – agent Julie Gwinn

Add $69 — for an in-depth, personal critique of your one-page query letter from Chuck Sambuchino, one of the day’s previous instructors. (This rate is a special event value for Seattle 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 pages of your novel. Spaces with faculty for these critiques are very limited, and participating attendees get an in-person meeting at the workshop. You can opt for as many critiques as you like. Options:

  • Forthcoming.

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

REGISTRATION:

Because of limited space at the venue, 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 Kimiko Nakamura via email: WDWcoordinator@gmail.com. She 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 SWW will send out periodic e-mail updates to all registered attendees with any & all news about the event. Because Kimiko plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Seattle 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.)

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Thank you for your interest in the 2019 Seattle Writing Workshop.

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Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Britt Siess of Martin Literary Management

Screen Shot 2018-11-17 at 3.44.09 PM.pngBritt Siess is a literary agent with Martin Literary Management.

As a child, Britt was a voracious reader and she easily fell in love with fairytales about knights, dragons and wicked fairies. She grew up to attend the University of Washington where she earned her B.A. in both English Literature, and Cinema and Media Studies.

Britt looks for stories that are character driven and full of strong, resonating themes. She’s interested in literature that completely immerses readers into new worlds and that is imaginative and diverse. She also likes a little (dark) humor, and there must be stakes! She is particularly drawn to literature that makes us reflect on our own society and confront our choices.

She is currently accepting adult fiction submissions for science fiction, fantasy, horror, and thriller.

Britt is specifically looking for cyberpunk, steampunk, and speculative fiction (Particularly titles like Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Soulless, The Handmaid’s Tale, and The Power). She seeks epic fantasy, high fantasy, historical fantasy, and retellings of myths and fairytales (such as Winter of Ice and Iron, A Darker Shade of Magic, The Night Circus, Johnathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, and The Bear and the Nightingale). Pitch her with gothic horror, and thrillers (teminiscent of The Silent Companions, The Death of Mrs. Westaway, and Sharp Objects)

​She enjoys magical realist literature (such as Wildwood and Elmet).

Britt is also accepting middle grade manuscripts with fantastical or supernatural elements. Some recent titles that have absolutely delighted her are Nightmares!, Shadow Weaver, and The House with Chicken Legs.

Britt has a strong background in publishing, having experience in both literary agencies and a book publisher. She has interned for the Taryn Fagerness Agency, Wales Literary Agency, and Martin Literary & Media Management. She comes from the sales division of The Quarto Group where she worked in domestic and foreign book sales. She’s delighted to be back at MLM as an Associate Literary Manager. Britt is a native of the Pacific North West, but has never gotten used to the rain. She usually escapes the weather by popping into her local comic book shop or settling into a cafe with an extra large coffee and a piece of cake.

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Natalie Grazian of Martin Literary Management

Screen Shot 2018-01-04 at 10.22.04 AM.pngNatalie Grazian is an Associate Literary Agent at Martin Literary Management.

As the latest on staff, Natalie is eager to build her adult fiction list. She is currently accepting queries for commercial, upmarket, and literary adult fiction. Natalie would love it if you sent her contemporary fantasy (in the vein of Lev Grossman’s The Magicians). She’s drawn to dark comedy that still carries a beating heart—because at the end of the day, she turns to books to find humanity. She is highly interested in reimagined myths and fairytales from different cultures, historical fiction, and a good quest narrative in any genre. More than anything, she looks for complex characters who make the unrelatable relatable, and for a smart, distinctive narrative voice. At this time, she’s not seeking military thrillers, sports stories, or romance novels.

Natalie has a BA in English and Minor in Spanish from Santa Clara University. Upon graduating, she worked as a sales representative for W. W. Norton & Co. and interned for two literary agencies, including Martin Literary & Media Management. For two years, Natalie was the Fiction Editor of The Santa Clara Review, the oldest literary magazine on the West Coast.

She’s thrilled to join MLM and fully realize her passion for working with authors and bringing their stories to life. She has a knack for collaborative manuscript development, extensive insight into the publishing world, and an irrepressible drive to see her clients’ work at the bookstore.

Natalie grew up in sunny San Diego, which she recalls wistfully from time to time, but not too often. She’s taken to Seattle like a duck to water. When she isn’t lost in a book, she might be writing stories or doing any number of bipedal activities in the mountainous Pacific Northwest. She is distrustful of any purse that can’t fit a slim paperback. Or two. Natalie tweets at @NatalieGrazian

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Adria Goetz of Martin Literary Management

Screen Shot 2016-10-18 at 11.07.57 AM.pngAdria Goetz is an associate literary agent with Martin Literary Management.

She represents the lifestyle genre and everything under the Christian writing umbrella: children’s picture books, middle grade, young adult, adult fiction, and adult nonfiction (including memoir). If your work does not fall somewhere under the Christian/inspirational umbrella, she is not the best fit for your work.

Prior to becoming an Associate Literary Manager, Adria fostered her knack for developing creative work during her three years as an intern and assistant at Martin Literary & Media Management with Sharlene Martin and Clelia Gore.

Adria is a 2016 graduate of the Columbia Publishing Course in New York City, a six-week intensive course on all aspects of book, magazine, and digital media publishing. She is a graduate of the University of Washington in Seattle with a B.A. in English with a creative writing emphasis. Adria has also worked for Washington’s Pierce County Library.

Adria lives in the Seattle area with her husband Alex, a youth pastor, and her bunny, Eleanor Roosevelt. She tweets at @AdriaMGoetz.

Get to Know Writing Day Workshops Coordinator Jessica Bell

Screen Shot 2017-01-15 at 12.15.26 AM.pngJessica Bell is the executive coordinator of Writing Day Workshops, which organizes one-day writing conferences. These events take place mostly in the U.S., but can happen elsewhere.

If Jessica could choose only one creative mentor, she’d give the role to Euterpe, the Greek muse of music and lyrics. This is not only because she spends most of her time in Athens, Greece, but because of her life as a 30-something Australian contemporary fiction author, award-winning poet and singer/songwriter/guitarist, whose literary inspiration often stems from songs she’s written.

She started as a poet, drawing from her musical background and etching her thoughts and feelings into verse. Those stanzas soon turned into sentences and paragraphs, and eventually into published books. Her literary voice is said to overflow with “lyrical descriptions, unique metaphors, tight dialogue, and an abundance of sensory detail.” She has also been told she has the ability to take a seemingly ordinary three-chord type story and turn it into a main stage event.

In addition to her novels about unique dysfunctional families, poetry collections, and her best-selling pocket writing guides (Writing in a Nutshell series), she has published a variety of works in online and print literary journals and anthologies, including Australia’s Cordite Review, Writer’s Digest, and the anthologies 100 Stories For Queensland and From Stage Door Shadows, both released through Brisbane, Australia’s, eMergent Publishing.

One of Jessica’s proudest moments was when, in November 2013, her poem, Sugar (which was published in a poetry anthology called Women’s Work, edited by Libby Hathorn) was broadcast on ABC National Radio’s Poetica program.

Jessica Bell is the Publisher of Vine Leaves Press, and she makes a living as a Book Cover Designer for indie authors, and an editor/writer for English Language Teaching publishers worldwide, such as Pearson Education, HarperCollins, Macmillan Education, Education First and Cengage Learning.

As of October 2016, she is the singer of Keep Shelly in Athens.

To see a list of awards click here.