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!


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:

  • [NEW ADDITION] literary agent Vicki Selvaggio (Storm Literary)
  • [NEW ADDITION] literary agent Rachel Beck (Holloway Literary)
  • literary agent Gordon Warnock (Fuse Literary)
  • literary agent Becky LeJeune (Bond Literary)
  • literary agent Jill Marr (Sandra Dijkstra Literary)
  • literary agent Natalie Grazian (Martin Literary Management)
  • literary agents Brian Tibbetts and 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 Andrea Hurst (Andrea Hurst & Associates)
  • 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.


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.

If you wish to book hotel rooms, we have a group discount rate that is good through April 7, 2018. You can find it here.

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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.


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.



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 2018-04-11 at 12.01.25 AM.pngVicki Selvaggio is a literary agent with Storm Literary (formerly with Jennifer De Chiara Literary). She is seeking: “I am currently looking for lyrical picture books, middle grade and young adult fiction, new adult, mysteries, suspense, thrillers, paranormal, fantasy, narrative nonfiction, adult fiction but find I’m especially drawn to middle grade and young adult. I especially love thrillers and all elements of weird, creepy stuff. If it’s out of the box, and it will make me think and think, long after I’m done reading, send it to me! On the flip side, I yearn for books that make me laugh, cry and wonder about the world.” Learn more about Vicki here.

Screen Shot 2018-04-11 at 12.07.17 AMRachel Beck is a literary agent with Holloway Literary. Rachel is currently looking for upmarket/book club women’s fiction; contemporary romance; issue-driven young adult; psychological, character-driven domestic suspense/thrillers; southern fiction; and select nonfiction. No historical, fantasy, paranormal, sci-fi, middle grade or children’s books please. Learn more about Rachel here.

Screen Shot 2018-01-15 at 11.54.31 AMBecky LeJeune is an associate literary agent with Bond Literary. She is actively building her client list, and is interested in adult and teen horror, mystery novels, thriller novels, historical fiction, science fiction novels, fantasy novels, and general fiction (both YA and adult). Learn more about Becky as well as her publishing history and more by clicking here.


screen-shot-2015-05-28-at-3-22-28-pm.pngJill Marr is a literary agent with Sandra Dijkstra Literary. She is interested in: commercial fiction, with an emphasis on mysteries, thrillers, romantic suspense and horror, women’s commercial fiction and historical fiction. She is also looking for nonfiction by authors who are getting their work published regularly and who have a realistic sense of the market and their audience. Jill is looking for non-fiction projects in the areas of history, sports, politics, current events, cookbooks, health & nutrition, pop culture, humor, music, and very select memoir. Learn more about Jill here.

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 2018-01-24 at 12.39.36 PM.pngAndrea Hurst is a writer, teacher, and founder of Andrea Hurst & Associates. She is seeking women’s fiction in these categories: upmarket/book club, straightforward women’s fiction, romance, historical, contemporary, suspense, and literary. She is also seeking adult/general suspense, mystery, thriller, adult epic fantasy, and military science fiction. Andrea is also looking for self-published authors with strong sales and market visibility for agent-assisted publishing. Learn more about Andrea here.

Screen Shot 2017-11-03 at 4.13.24 PM.pngScreen Shot 2018-04-20 at 3.34.25 PMAgents Brian Tibbetts and Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary. [UPDATE: Agent Chip MacGregor had to cancel on the 2018 event, so his co-agent at MacGregor Literary, Brian Tibbetts, is coming on Chip’s behalf. Brian will be taking pitches for both himself as well as Chip as an ambassador of the agency for our 2018 event. Thanks.] Agent Brian Tibbetts is interested in representing new works of fiction and nonfiction for the general market. His areas of interest include literary fiction, young adult titles, new adult titles, science fiction, fantasy, horror, art and music memoirs, natural foods, alternative healing, and sustainability issues. Chip MacGregor 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 Brian and Chip here.


Screen Shot 2017-11-06 at 8.07.05 PM.pngKathleen Ortiz [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] 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 [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] 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 [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] 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.)



$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.
  • Adult fantasy and science fiction novels: Faculty member Adam Rakunas, a published speculative fiction 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 his thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
  • Young adult and middle grade: Faculty member Jennifer Bardsley, a published YA 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.
  • Adult fantasy novels, adult science fiction novels, literary fiction, women’s fiction, memoir, and mainstream fiction: Faculty member Camille Griep, 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:, 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 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: 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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