The 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.
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
Chuck 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.
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.
1:30 – 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!
Kathleen 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.
Kristin 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.
Genevieve Nine [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS!] is an agent with Andrea Hurst & Associates. She represents the following adult and new adult categories: Mystery (detective/PI, amateur, cozy, historical, comic, caper), Thriller (supernatural, historical, disaster, ecological), Gothic/Hauntings/Quiet Horror, Historical Fiction, Retellings (classics, fairy/folk tale, myth), Romantic Comedy, Magical Realism, Food Memoir, Travelogue/Travel Memoir. Within young adult and middle grade, she’s looking to acquire: Fantasy (open to all subgenres except game-related), Science Fiction, Mystery, Historical Fiction, Retellings (classics, fairy/folk tale, myth), and Contemporary Realism (especially with elements of humor). Learn more about Genevieve here.
Fleetwood 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.
Adria 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.
Adam 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.)
$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), gothic/hauntings, quiet horror, historical fiction, retellings (classics, fairy/folk tale, myth), romantic comedy, magical 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: firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
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: email@example.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.)