The 2015 Seattle Writing Workshop: Feb. 21, 2015

Screen shot 2014-09-25 at 11.13.19 PMThe 2015 Seattle Writing Workshop is now over, and it was a wonderful success. If you are interested in future PNW writing events, email coordinator Jessica Bell at writingdayworkshops [at] gmail.com and ask to be alerted when other events come together. Meanwhile, if you live elsewhere in the country, you can see other Writing Day Workshop dates and locations here.

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The staff behind the organization and instruction of the Homeric Writers’ Retreat & Workshop are excited to announce The Seattle Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in Seattle, WA on February 21, 2015.

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 (90 total). All questions about the event regarding schedule, details and registration are answered below. Thank you for your interest in the 2015 Seattle Writing Workshop!

(If you live closer to Portland than Seattle, note that there is also a nearly identical workshop in Portland in Feb. 2015.)

WHAT IS IT?

This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015, at the Silver Cloud Hotel in the Lake Union area. 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 faculty includes agent Kathleen Ortiz (New Leaf Literary), agent Kristin Vincent (D4EO Literary); agent Genevieve Nine (Andrea Hurst & Associates), agent Fleetwood Robbins (Waxman Leavell Literary), editor Adam O’Connor Rodriguez (Hawthorne Books), and agency representative Adria Olsen (Martin Literary Management).

By the end of the day, you will have all the tools you need to move forward on your writing journey.

THIS YEAR’S PRESENTER/INSTRUCTOR

Screen Shot 2014-01-08 at 1.09.19 PMChuck Sambuchino (chucksambuchino.com, @chucksambuchino) of Writer’s Digest Books is the editor of Guide to Literary Agents as well as the Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market. His authored books include Formatting & Submitting Your Manuscript; Create Your Writer Platform, which was praised by Forbes.com; and How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack, which was optioned for film by Sony. He oversees one of the biggest blogs in publishing (the Guide to Literary Agents Blog) as well as one of the biggest Twitter accounts in publishing (@WritersDigest). He is a freelance editor who has seen dozens of his clients get agents and/or book deals, and he has presented at almost 90 writing conferences and events over the past eight years.

EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS

9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015, at the Silver Cloud Hotel in the Lake Union area, 1150 Fairview Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109. Phone: (206)447-9500. The hotel is just off I-5 at the Mercer Street exit. It’s just north of downtown and just south of the University District.

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Click on this image to see the hotel location on a larger map.

WORKSHOP SCHEDULE (FEB. 21, 2015)

[PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS SCHEDULE WAS SLIGHTLY CHANGED IN FEB. 2015.]

9 – 9:30: Check-in and registration at the event location. Complimentary coffee, tea and water is included.

9:30 – 10:45: “Your Publishing Options Today.” This workshop examines the two largest routes any writer can take with their book: traditional publishing and self-publishing (e-publishing). We will examine the upsides of both routes, the downsides, and the next steps no matter what you decide. In today’s publishing world, a writer has to understand what they’re in for before they send their book out. This session is designed to prepare them for what’s to come and what options exist.

10:45 – 12:00: “Writers’ Got Talent: A Chapter One Critique-Fest.” 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 bring pages to the event for this session, and we will choose pages at random for the workshop for as long as time lasts.)

12:00 – 1:30: Lunch on your own. There are several restaurants within quick driving distance. A map of places to eat will be passed out prior to the event.

Screen shot 2014-09-25 at 11.12.09 PM1:30 – 2:45: “Everything You Need to Know About Agents, Queries & Pitching.” 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.

2:45 – 4:00: “How to Market Yourself and Your Books: Author Platform & Social Media Explained.” A writer’s platform is as important as ever now. Visibility and ability to self-market are mandatory these days for writers of nonfiction and self-published works. Furthermore, fiction writers want a platform to sell more books, meet readers, and increase their value. This speech teaches writers the basics of what a platform is and why it is necessary. Then we delve into the building blocks of what can constitute a platform, from media appearances and speaking engagements to blogs, Facebook, Twitter and more.

4:00 – 5:00: “How to Get Published: 10 Professional Writing Practices That You Need to Know NOW to Find Success as a Writer.” This final speech is a general presentation examining good writing practices that all editors appreciate—whether writing for books, magazines, newspapers or online. It discusses how to not put all your eggs in one writing basket, how to steal ideas from yourself to generate more stories and books, how to avoid the two most common reasons agents reject you, and much more.

All throughout the day: Agent & Editor Pitching.

PITCH AN AGENT!

_KO Agent PhotoBWKathleen Ortiz [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS!] is an agent with New Leaf Literary. She and her co-agents are seeking adult fiction in the following categories: new adult, romance (all subgenres), fantasy (all subgenres), crime fiction (mystery or thrillers; no cozies). They agency also represents young adult (horror, drama, comedy or strong romance; no dystopian or sci-fi or paranormal or urban fantasy), middle grade (literary; magical realism), and picture books specifically from author/illustrators only (quirky and humorous). She will nonfiction pitches for biographies, animal-related stories, science, foodie books, travel books, history, memoirs, lost histories, sports narratives, gift/lifestyle. Learn more about Kathleen here.

CIMG1254Kristin Vincent (nee Miller) [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS!] is an agent with D4EO Literary. Kristin is taking pitches for picture books from author-illustrators, young adult novels, middle grade novels, new adult fiction, and category romance. She publishes magazine and website articles and young adult novels under a pen name, teaches writing and works editorially with clients and other writers. Learn more about Kristin here.

Screen shot 2014-09-27 at 12.38.32 PMGenevieve Nine [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS!] is an agent with Andrea Hurst & Associates. She represents the following adult and new adult categories: ŸMystery (detective/PI, amateur, cozy, historical, comic, caper), ŸThriller (supernatural, historical, disaster, ecological), ŸGothic/Hauntings/Quiet Horror, Historical Fiction, ŸRetellings (classics, fairy/folk tale, myth), ŸRomantic Comedy, ŸMagical Realism, ŸFood Memoir, ŸTravelogue/Travel Memoir. Within young adult and middle grade, she’s looking to acquire: Fantasy (open to all subgenres except game-related), ŸScience Fiction, ŸMystery, ŸHistorical Fiction, ŸRetellings (classics, fairy/folk tale, myth), and ŸContemporary Realism (especially with elements of humor). Learn more about Genevieve here.

Screen shot 2014-09-27 at 12.57.32 PMFleetwood Robbins [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS!] is an agent with Waxman Leavell Literary. He is seeking (in his own words): “While I consider fantasy to be my specialty, I have a passion for all speculative fiction. Whether it’s alternate history, military SF, space opera, steampunk, or any of the other myriad subgenres, I’m looking for a distinct voice, a good sense of story, and strong characterization. With any one of these, you’ll have my interest; with all three you’ll be on your way to bestsellerdom.” Learn more about Fleetwood here.

Screen shot 2014-11-17 at 6.36.58 PMAdria Olson is an agent-in-training with Martin Literary Management who will be taking pitches on behalf of her co-agent, Clelia Gore of MLM — young adult, middle grade, new adult, and picture books. In young adult, she likes strong voice-driven novels. Right now she is particularly looking for contemporary, realistic novels, as well as books with fantastical elements (“light” fantasies). She is very interested in young adult memoirs featuring unique stories about extraordinary youths. In middle grade, her interests run very wide, but a strong, unique and contemporary voice is always important. Humorous middle grade is her favorite. She is currently on the hunt for middle grade books that have interplay between illustrations and text. Learn more about Adria here.

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 11.39.53 AMAdam O’Connor Rodriguez is an editor with Hawthorne Books. Adam is interested in hearing pitches of anything book-length and narrative: novels, memoir, short story collections. In terms of novels, he is a generalist, but does not seek sci-fi/fantasy or romance; other genres are welcome. Learn more about Adam here. He will be participating in the “Writers’ Got Talent” panel at the event.

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

$129 — current base price for registration to the SWW and access to all workshops, all day.

Add $29 — to secure a 10-minute one-on-one meeting with any of our 5 literary agents in attendance. Between them, our agents are seeking the following fiction genres: new adult, romance (all subgenres), fantasy (all subgenres), crime fiction (mystery, thriller, detective/PI, amateur, cozy, historical, comic, caper), young adult, middle grade, picture books (from author/illustrators only), Ÿgothic/hauntings, quiet horror, historical fiction, Ÿretellings (classics, fairy/folk tale, myth), Ÿromantic comedy, Ÿmagical realism, and speculative fiction (alternate history, military SF, space opera, steampunk). The faculty is also seeking the following nonfiction categories: biographies, animal-related stories, science, foodie books, travel books, history, memoirs, lost histories, sports narratives, gift/lifestyle.

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.

Add $59 — for an in-depth, personal critique of your one-page query letter from instructor Chuck Sambuchino. (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?

How to pay/register — Registration is now open. Reach out to workshop organizer Jessica Bell via email: writingdayworkshops@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 90 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: writingdayworkshops@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, 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 are completely non-refundable if the instructor has already edited your letter.)

 

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Thank you for your interest in the Seattle Writing Workshop.

 

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

_KO Agent PhotoBW[UPDATE: KATHLEEN IS NOW SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS.]

After working in various forms of media and teaching, Kathleen Ortiz found her true passion when she interned for literary agencies. Shortly after, she started as an assistant for Lowenstein Associates and quickly worked her way up to Foreign Rights Manager and Associate Agent. Now with New Leaf Literary & Media, she is the Director of Subsidiary rights, overseeing audio, translation and digital rights for the agency’s titles.

She regularly attends book trade shows around the world to sell titles to translation publishers. Kathleen is constantly working to introduce our titles into new languages and explore new medium opportunities for our clients’ books. She is an active member of AAR and SCBWI and also handles subrights for Red Tree Literary. (Find her on Twitter.)

Kathleen is also a Literary Agent and has an intimate list of clients, including Amazon bestselling author Sarah Fine and bestselling author Patricia Rushford’s Jennie McGrady series, as well as illustrators, including The Simpsons character artist Liz Climo and ReelFX animator Sarah Marino.

She and her co-agents are seeking adult fiction in the following categories: new adult, romance (all subgenres), fantasy (all subgenres), crime fiction (mystery or thrillers; no cozies). They agency also represents young adult (horror, drama, comedy or strong romance; no dystopian or sci-fi or paranormal or urban fantasy), middle grade (literary; magical realism), and picture books specifically from author/illustrators only (quirky and humorous). She will nonfiction pitches for biographies, animal-related stories, science, foodie books, travel books, history, memoirs, lost histories, sports narratives, gift/lifestyle.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Kristin Vincent of D4EO Literary

CIMG1254[UPDATE: KRISTIN IS NOW SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS.]

Kristin Vincent (nee Miller) is an agent with D4EO Literary. She’ll be taking pitches for author/illustrator picture books, middle grade fiction, and young adult fiction. She’ll also consider New Adult and category romance on behalf of her colleagues.

She graduated from the University of Washington with degrees in English Lit, Women’s Studies and Secondary Education. She writes young adult novels as Kristin Halbrook, teaches writing and works editorially with clients and other writers. Kristin’s favorite books leave her breathless with their detail to craft, and she’s rather fond of stories that make her cry or laugh (or both).

Find her on Twitter.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Genevieve Nine of Andrea Hurst & Associates

Screen shot 2014-09-27 at 12.38.32 PM[UPDATE: MS. NINE IS SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS FOR THE EVENT.]

Literary agent Genevieve Nine has had a lifelong love affair with books. Her tastes are eclectic, ranging from the classics to quirky. She’s drawn to the fantastic, the curious, and the unexpected. Genevieve is looking to represent authors who weave layered tales with well-developed worlds and characters who threaten to burst from the page. She appreciates smart and original plots with well-crafted twists. And no matter how zany or diabolical, every character should be undeniably human at heart. Follow Genevieve on Twitter (@GenevieveNine).

Genevieve joined Andrea Hurst Literary Management in 2012. She has a background in professional editing and gets great satisfaction from developing authors. She’s a Creative Writing MFA candidate at the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts, holds a Certificate in Children’s Writing from the University of Washington, and graduated with honors and a B.A. from the USC School of Cinema & Television. When not reading or writing, Genevieve enjoys watching her Sherlock DVDs, planning future travels, and embarking on culinary adventures. She and her husband live in Seattle with their two naughty cats, Selkie and Napoleon.

Within young adult and middle grade, she’s looking to acquire:
— Fantasy (open to all subgenres except game-related)
Ÿ– Science Fiction
Ÿ– Mystery
Ÿ– Historical Fiction
Ÿ– Retellings (classics, fairy/folk tale, myth)
Ÿ– Contemporary Realism (especially with elements of humor)

She also represents the following adult and new adult categories:
— Mystery (detective/PI, amateur, cozy, historical, comic, caper)
Ÿ– Thriller (supernatural, historical, disaster, ecological)
Ÿ– Gothic/Hauntings/Quiet Horror
Ÿ– Historical Fiction
Ÿ– Retellings (classics, fairy/folk tale, myth)
Ÿ– Romantic Comedy
Ÿ– Magical Realism
Ÿ– Food Memoir
Ÿ– Travelogue/Travel Memoir

She is not seeking:
— ŸHard SF/Military SF/Space Opera
Ÿ– Graphic Horror
Ÿ– Erotica
Ÿ– Religious Fiction/Nonfiction
Ÿ– Short Stories

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Scott Eagan of Greyhaus Literary

Screen shot 2014-12-06 at 1.04.52 AM[UPDATE: IN EARLY FEB. 2015, SCOTT HAD TO CANCEL HIS APPEARANCE AT THE SWW. APOLOGIES.]

Literary agent Scott Eagan opened Greyhaus Literary Agency in 2003 with three goals in mind:

  • To remain a small agency focusing only on Romance and Women’s Fiction
  • To provide educational opportunities for writers in these genres and to make efforts to enhance the romance and women’s fiction genres.
  • To assist with increasing communications between the professional publishing community and the writers.

ABOUT SCOTT EAGAN

Scott draws on his extensive background in education, writing and literature to assist the writers at Greyhaus. He has a BA in English/Literature, a MA in Creative Writing and a MA in Literacy.

Scott is also a writer (done mostly as a hobby) and is an active member of the Romance Writers of America.

Outside of his work at the agency, he continues teaching writing on a part-time basis, works as a stay at home dad and continues to be active in community work including assisting the University of Puget Sound Alumni Program.

Scott is also a USA Swimming Official so you can frequently find him on the deck of a pool. If not there, you can frequently find him flexing his theater muscles in local community theatre productions. If you are ever in the area, make sure to visit a show

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Fleetwood Robbins of Waxman Leavell Literary

Screen shot 2014-09-27 at 12.57.32 PM[UPDATE: PITCH SESSIONS WITH FLEETWOOD ARE NOW SOLD OUT.]

In his own words, agent Fleetwood Robbins of Waxman Leavell says:

“In my view, the most rewarding aspect of publishing is shepherding an author into a successful career. It can be done in a variety of ways, but my background has given me a unique perspective on developing writers and their careers. In my early days as a publicist for Del Rey Books, I persistently advocated for authors including notable Bruce Sterling and China Miéville, working to ensure their writing was squarely in the public eye. As an editor for the Random House Publishing Group, some of my acquisitions included Daryl Gregory’s Philip K. Dick Award-nominated Pandemonium, Harry Turtledove’s The Man with the Iron Heart, Babylon Babies (also a motion picture titled Babylon A.D.) by French author Maurice Dantec, and Lane Robins’s acclaimed first novel Maledicte. As a developmental editor for Wizards of the Coast, I worked alongside authors such as R. A. Salvatore, Paul Kemp, Troy Denning, Mathew Stover, and Laura Resnick to develop shared world series for Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering. More recently I have had the pleasure to work as the developmental editor for The Mongoliad Cycle by Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear, et al. and the subsequent Foreworld Saga spin-offs.

“My guiding principle as an editor was to prioritize the author’s work above all else—to preserve its integrity, draw out its best expression through a deliberate exchange of ideas, and to communicate its vision to the rest of the company. As an agent, I now have an opportunity to use all the skills I have honed throughout the years to champion writers and their work, and help them to fully realize their potential.”

He is seeking: “While I consider fantasy to be my specialty, I have a passion for all speculative fiction. Whether it’s alternate history, military SF, space opera, steampunk, or any of the other myriad subgenres, I’m looking for a distinct voice, a good sense of story, and strong characterization. With any one of these, you’ll have my interest; with all three you’ll be on your way to bestsellerdom. And I’ll be there at every step to make sure your work has the best representation possible.”

Find him on Twitter.

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

Screen shot 2014-11-17 at 6.36.58 PMAdria Olson is an agent-in-training with Martin Literary Management who will be taking pitches on behalf of her co-agent, Clelia Gore of MLM — young adult, middle grade, new adult, and picture books. In young adult, Clelia likes strong voice-driven novels. Right now she is particularly looking for contemporary, realistic novels, as well as books with fantastical elements (“light” fantasies). She is very interested in young adult memoirs featuring unique stories about extraordinary youths. In middle grade, Clelia’s interests run very wide, but a strong, unique and contemporary voice is always important. Humorous middle grade is her favorite. She is currently on the hunt for middle grade books that have interplay between illustrations and text.

Adria herself represents Young Adult fiction at MLM, based on Mercer Island. She is a recent graduate of the University of Washington’s English Department, focusing on Creative Writing. While attending the University of Washington, she was an editor of a speculative fiction journal, as well as an active member of various writing and poetry groups on campus. Last summer she attended the University of Iowa’s Summer Writing Festival, where she participated in a week-long Young Adult Novel Writing workshop. She has a particular love for quirky, contemporary realistic pieces, but on her own time is penning a manuscript filled with mermaids.