The 2018 Seattle Writing Workshop: April 28, 2018

Screen Shot 2016-12-25 at 10.34.26 PM.pngAfter a successful 2015 and 2017 events in Seattle, Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2018 Seattle Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in Seattle, WA on April 28, 2018.

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 2018 Seattle Writing Workshop!

WHAT IS IT?

This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, April 28, 2018, 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 Gordon Warnock (Fuse Literary)
  • literary agent Chip MacGregor (MacGregor Literary)
  • literary agent Kathleen Ortiz (New Leaf Literary + Media)
  • literary agent Adria Goetz (Martin Literary Management)
  • literary agent Amy Levenson (Blue Heron Literary
  • literary agent assistant Cortney Radocaj (Corvisiero Agency)
  • 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 Jessica Bell 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 28, 2018):

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. This workshop is quick and easy overview of the publishing industry today, and how it’s changing.

2. Create New Worlds: A Guide to Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy. Let this session help you understand worldbuilding, the differences between sci-fi and fantasy, the tropes of both genres, when you should follow the rules, when you should break the rules, and more.

3. Self-Editing and Revision. Revision can make or break a book. This presentation will discuss the importance of revision as all stages of one’s career—from beta readers and critique groups to querying agents.

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

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

2. How to Get a Literary Agent. The class will discuss resources for finding agents, how to ID the best agents for you, query letter writing, and more.

3. Tips for Writing Great Mysteries, Thrillers, and Crime. This presentation will teach you how to keep readers—including agents and editors—turning pages late into the night.

(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. 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. This session is completely devoted to nonfiction book proposals.

3. Writing for the Little Ones: How to Craft an Amazing Picture Book For Kids. In this session, we’ll discuss questions to consider before sending a picture book manuscript out in the world.

BLOCK FOUR: 2:45 – 3:45

1. Self-Publishing: How Do You Know if It’s Right for You? So, how do you know if self-publishing is the right thing for you as a writer? Join a successful author who shares the secrets of self-publishing and how to do it right.

2. Breaking the Rules of Writing. What are “the rules” and when is it okay to break them? Let’s look at recent examples of flying in the face of conventional literary wisdom.

3. Keys to Writing Great Young Adult & Middle Grade Fiction. Writing for children isn’t all that different from writing for adults.

(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. How to Market Yourself and Your Books: Talking Author Social Media, Blogging, and Platform. This session includes easy-to-understand advice on social media (Twitter, Facebook, more), blogging, and other simple ways you can market your work online.

2. Talking Craft and Revision. This session will discuss common manuscript problems as well as tools you can use to create the manuscripts that will get the attention you want from agents and editors—and readers.

3. How to Write and Sell Romance in Today’s Market. This session will address important topics and tips for writers of romance.

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 2017-03-30 at 2.49.19 PM.pngGordon Warnock is a founding partner at Fuse Literary. For nonfiction, he represents memoir (adult, new adult, young adult, graphic), cookbooks, food narratives, illustrated/art, photography, political books, current events, pop science, pop culture (especially punk culture and geek culture), self-help, how to, humor, pets, business and career. For fiction, he seeks high concept suspense, literary fiction (young adult, adult), and graphic novels (any age). He is not looking for religious fiction, genre fiction (romance, sci-fi, fantasy), legal thrillers, New Age, picture books, middle grade, novellas or screenplays. Learn more about Gordon here.

Screen Shot 2017-11-03 at 4.13.24 PM.pngChip MacGregor is a literary agent and the founder of MacGregor Literary. In fiction, he seeks women’s fiction, inspirational/Christian fiction, mystery and crime. In nonfiction, he seeks primarily religion or spirituality books, but also relationships, parenting, and memoir from celebrities and/or religious personalities. Chip has a comprehensive knowledge of the industry—from book development to writing, acquisition to production, marketing to sales. Learn more about Chip here.

Screen Shot 2017-11-06 at 8.07.05 PM.pngKathleen Ortiz is a literary agent at New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc. She focuses on a diverse list of picture books, young adult books, and heavily-illustrated nonfiction titles, especially titles that can make her laugh out loud (bonus points if to the point of tears or snorting!). Her passion for travel (visited 17 countries and counting) strongly connects her with a book that exposes the reader to a lifestyle or world outside of their own every day life. On the nonfiction side, she’s specifically looking for prescriptive (especially geared toward parents, millenials and generation z), memoir, pop culture, and illustrated. Learn more about Kathleen here.

Screen Shot 2016-10-26 at 6.44.10 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 2017-11-15 at 12.02.07 AM.pngAmy Levenson is the founding literary agent of Blue Heron Literary. She represents: mainstream literary and commercial fiction, and nonfiction in the areas of memoir, biography, narrative nonfiction, and popular culture. She is actively seeking middle grade and young adult fiction (all genres), from adventure driven and fantastical to contemporary settings exploring social issues. For new adult and adult fiction, she seeks plot-driven literary works and upmarket commercial stories with only a touch of genre. She is especially drawn to a strong voice and dynamic characters, a well-paced plot, witty or quirky humor, and am always susceptible to a good solid tug on the heart strings. Learn more about Amy here.

Screen Shot 2017-12-09 at 2.27.43 PM.pngCortney Radocaj is a literary agent assistant with Corvisiero Literary. Cortney will be taking pitches on behalf of herself as well as the entire Corvisiero agency. Cortney’s personal taste tends to gravitate toward certain genres – sci-fi, fantasy, paranormal/supernatural, dystopia, and psychological thrillers consistently draw her in. But while genre is an immediate hook for her, it isn’t her only requirement; she adores books with strong, dynamic, complex characters that have complicated and nuanced relationships with others. Cortney is happy to take pitches on behalf of her co-agents at Corvisiero Agency in the following fiction genres: contemporary romance, thriller, adventure, urban fantasy, middle grade (all kinds), erotica, LGBTQ, young adult (all kinds), romantic suspense, new adult, historical fiction, and magical realism. Learn more about Cortney here.

More 2018 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:

$169 — EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2018 SWW and access to all workshops, all day. As of October 17, 2017, 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 Brian Klems, one of the day’s 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 $79 — 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:

  • Romance, literary fiction, mainstream fiction, general fiction. Faculty member Cherry Adair, a published author, will get your work in advance, edit 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.
  • Other critique options forthcoming.

How to pay/register — Registration is now open. Reach out to workshop organizer Jessica Bell via email: WDWconference@gmail.com, and she will provide specific instructions for payment and registration to get you a reserved seat at the event. Payment is by either PayPal or check. Because Jessica 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 Jessica Bell via email: WDWconference@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 Jessica 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 2018 Seattle Writing Workshop.

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Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Kathleen Ortiz of New Leaf Literary

Screen Shot 2017-11-06 at 8.07.05 PM.pngKathleen Ortiz is a literary agent at New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc. She is actively seeking to sign more authors and illustrators, specifically nonfiction and animator/illustrator talent.

Kathleen has nearly a decade of experience in the industry, both as an agent and licensing expert. She focuses on a diverse list of picture books, young adult books, and heavily-illustrated nonfiction titles, especially titles that can make her laugh out loud (bonus points if to the point of tears or snorting!). Her passion for travel (visited 17 countries and counting) strongly connects her with a book that exposes the reader to a lifestyle or world outside of their own every day life.

On the nonfiction side, she’s specifically looking for prescriptive (especially geared toward parents, millenials and generation z), memoir, pop culture, and illustrated.

For both fiction and non-fiction, Kathleen loves looking beyond the book – while the story is most important, she likes to find other opportunities for her clients to help expand their platform and compliment their books. She’s worked in licensing everything from stationery to calendars to greeting cards and more.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary

Screen Shot 2017-11-03 at 4.13.24 PM.pngChip MacGregor is a literary agent and the founder of MacGregor Literary.

Chip has a comprehensive knowledge of the industry—from book development to writing, acquisition to production, marketing to sales. A former Associate Publisher with the Time-Warner Book Group, he has secured nearly 1,000 book deals for authors with all of the major publishers, including numerous imprints at Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, Hachette, HarperCollins, Thomas & Mercer, Jossey-Bass, Llewellyn, Zondervan, Thomas Nelson, Baker, Tyndale, Waterbrook, Howard, B&H, Worthy, Revell, Harvest House, and dozens of others. As an editor, he discovered Phillip Gulley, worked with bestselling authors such as Andy Andrews and Karen Kingsbury, and helped craft books for some of the best names in publishing, including Vince Zandri, Chuck Swindoll, Mindy Clark, and David Jeremiah. He has also written more than two-dozen titles, including two books that hit #1 on the bestseller lists in their category, and he has been the collaborative writer on nearly three-dozen other titles. During his tenure as a publisher at Time Warner, he helped start Center Street, the “heartland publishing” initiative at what is now Hachette, and did books with the likes of Mike Huckabee and John Ashcroft.

As a longtime agent he has represented Brennan Manning, Vincent Zandri, Rachel Hauck, Mindy Clark, Irene Hannon, Bonnie Gray, Michelle McKinney Hammond, Jill and Stuart Briscoe, Alistair McGrath, Neta Jackson, Vickie McDonough, the MOPS organization, and many others. His work with Lisa Beamer and Ken Abraham led to Let’s Roll hitting #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, eventually becoming the bestselling nonfiction book the year it released. After starting his own agency, he has focused on helping bring great fiction to market, representing authors such as Leslie Gould, Les Edgerton, Ann Tatlock, Jim Kraus, and Janice Thompson. Some of his bestselling nonfiction clients include New York Times bestsellers Mike Hingson and Susy Flory, bestselling writers Sheila Wray Gregoire, Shane Stanford, David Thomas, and Ira Wagler. A longtime member of AAR, he has represented dozens of books on all the national bestseller lists, and the authors he represents have won numerous national awards.

A popular writer’s conference speaker, Chip has presented workshops at more than 200 publishing conferences, spoken at colleges and universities, and is frequently invited to speak to writers groups around the country on the topics of writing and publishing. He earned his BS with High Honors at Portland State University, earned an MA with Honors from Biola University, and did his doctoral work at the University of Oregon in Policy and Management, focusing on organizational development. He later did a post-doctoral semester at Oxford University. Chip has been written up in numerous writing and publishing related magazines and newsletters, is frequently asked for his opinions on trends in the publishing industry, and his blog is regularly on the list of Writer’s Digest’s “101 Best Websites for Writers.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Amy Levenson of Blue Heron Literary

Screen Shot 2016-10-18 at 11.12.03 AM.pngAmy Levenson is the founding literary agent of Blue Heron Literary.

She represents: mainstream literary and commercial fiction, and nonfiction in the areas of memoir, biography, narrative nonfiction, and popular culture. She is actively seeking middle grade and young adult fiction (all genres), from adventure driven and fantastical to contemporary settings exploring social issues. For new adult and adult fiction, she seeks plot-driven literary works and upmarket commercial stories with only a touch of genre. She is especially drawn to a strong voice and dynamic characters, a well-paced plot, witty or quirky humor, and am always susceptible to a good solid tug on the heart strings.

Blue Heron Literary is a boutique agency based out of Seattle that places fiction and nonfiction with major and independent publishers throughout the U.S. and around the world.

Amy, a native to the Pacific Northwest and graduate of the University of Washington, began her career at the Sheldon Fogelman Agency in New York City, where she had the opportunity to work with books by some of her favorite childhood authors and illustrators.

She later returned to Seattle, selling books for becker&mayer! that focused on well-known estates and intellectual properties, including Star Wars and the Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund.

Get to Know a Literary Agent Assistant in Attendance: Cortney Radocaj of Corvisiero Literary

Screen Shot 2017-12-09 at 2.27.43 PM.pngCortney Radocaj is a literary agent assistant with Corvisiero Literary. Cortney will be taking pitches on behalf of herself as well as the entire Corvisiero agency.

Cortney’s taste tends to gravitate toward certain genres – sci-fi, fantasy, paranormal/supernatural, dystopia, and psychological thrillers consistently draw her in. But while genre is an immediate hook for her, it isn’t her only requirement; she adores books with strong, dynamic, complex characters that have complicated and nuanced relationships with others. She enjoys when authors break stereotypes and tropes and question cultural stigmas, and she loves when plots and characters surprise her, leaving her breathless on the edge of her seat.

Cortney is happy to take pitches on behalf of her co-agents at Corvisiero Agency in the following fiction genres: contemporary romance, thriller, adventure, urban fantasy, middle grade (all kinds), erotica, LGBTQ, young adult (all kinds), romantic suspense, new adult, historical fiction, and magical realism

Please do not pitch her with screenplays, short stories, nonfiction, picture books, or poetry.

Cortney has spent her life eating and breathing literature. From the time she could hold a pen in her hand, she’s been writing everything possible, from journal entries to poetry to works of fiction. She’s devoured every book that’s come her way, and she continues to read as much as she can. She graduated from New York University with a Bachelor’s in English and two minors in Psychology and Creative Writing. While in New York, she worked with America Reads – a program that places college students in classrooms to tutor students – for two years. She also interned at Macmillan Learning and has spent the first few months after graduation back in her home state of Washington, spending her time freelancing, ghostwriting, editing manuscripts, and running an after-school art program for her dad’s fifth grade class. Outside of books and writing, she loves working on DIY projects and other crafts, particularly knitting. She also enjoys consuming copious amounts of chocolate and tea.

Her most recent obsession is Sarah J. Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses series, and she is frothing at the mouth to get her hands on the Throne of Glass series and dive in.

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.