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!


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:

  • [NEW ADDITION] literary agent Tara Gilbert (Corvisiero Literary)
  • [NEW ADDITION] literary agent Garrett Alwert (Emerald City Literary)
  • [NEW ADDITION] literary agent Anne Tibbets (D4EO Literary)
  • literary agent Natalie Grazian (Martin Literary Management)
  • literary agent Rachel Letofsky (Cooke McDermid)
  • literary agent Amy Levenson (Blue Heron Literary)
  • literary agent Cortney Radocaj (Corvisiero Literary)
  • editor Jennifer Worick (Sasquatch Books)
  • literary agent Adria Goetz (Martin Literary Management)
  • literary agent Kelli Martin (Wendy Sherman Associates)
  • editor / agent / scout Michael Neff (AEI Films & Books)
  • literary agent Laurel Symonds (The Bent Agency)
  • literary agent Britt Seiss (Martin Literary Management)
  • editor Erin Calligan Mooney (Amazon Publishing)
  • literary agent Gordon Warnock (Fuse Literary)
  • literary agent Clelia Gore (Martin Literary Management)
  • literary agent assistant Rachael Bradley (Speilburg Literary)
  • and possibly 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.


9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, April 27, 2019, at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Seattle Bellevue, 3225 158th Ave SE, Bellevue, WA 98008. (425)644-2500.

Screen Shot 2016-10-12 at 12.51.20 PM.png


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. The Paths of Publishing (Regent Room). Take a tour across the different landscapes of publishing, and see where you best fit. Which publishing path(s) should you pursue?

2. Crafting the Middle Grade/Young Adult Page Turner (Ambassador Room). In this session, the presenter will discuss how to write compelling openings, fast-paced middles, and unforgettable endings that will keep your YA & MG readers turning the pages.

2. From Castles to Condominiums: Building Immersive Worlds in Any Kind of Fiction (Diplomat Room). Detailed world-building is essential to strong fiction—but it’s not just for fantasy and sci fi! Learn the key points to creating believable worlds and how the world influences plot and character.

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

1. The Art of the Query Letter (Regent Room). Writing a great query letter is an art and a science, and this workshop examines the core elements every strong query letter has, and how to add that extra pizzazz that will capture the attention of an agent or editor.

2. Build a Better Platform in 12 Months (Ambassador Room). This speech will walk writers through a 12-month plan to develop a fan base, achieve name recognition, and set up a mailing list for their supporters.

3. How to Write Romance for Today’s Readers (& Publishers) (Diplomat Room). This workshop offers an introduction to romance, will explore the evolution of the genre (including love-making positivity), the ins-and-outs of the industry today, and how to be carve a career in a wildly competitive marketplace.

(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.  The Nonfiction Book Proposal (Diplomat Room). This session is completely devoted to nonfiction book proposals.

3. The ABCs of Picture Book Writing (Ambassador 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. Tips on 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. Understand what gets agents and editors and readers excited.

2. Improve Your Writing: The Basics of Self-Editing and Revision (Regent Room). In this class, you’ll learn to identify your writing’s flaws (and fix them) — such as tense and POV issues, when to cut and shorten your length, and what makes writing crackle.

3. Nine Habits of Profitable Writing (Diplomat Room). Learn how to expand your horizons, make money online, how to use fiction writing skill to generate profitable nonfiction, stay motivated, and much more.

(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. Crafting Your Book-Length Memoir (Diplomat Room). Learn how to shape your true-life stories as we discuss the literary elements of writing memoir for publication.

2. Pacing in Thrillers: Keeping the Pages Turning (Ambassador Room). For a thriller novel, it’s all about the pacing, so that readers keep turning the pages long past their bedtimes.

3. From Slush to Self — Understand Best Submission Practices (Regent Room). This workshop is a practical seminar for best submission practices, including a concrete outline for a query letter, and some step-by-step insight into a literary agents’ process during the course of taking a book from their submission pile to publication.


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 2018-01-04 at 10.22.08 AM.pngNatalie Grazian [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] 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 2019-03-30 at 2.52.20 PMTara Gilbert is a jr. literary agent with Corvisiero Agency. At the 2019 Seattle conference, she is taking pitches on behalf of herself as well as co-agents. Personally, she is seeking all kinds of young adult and middle grade, adult sci-fi, adult fantasy, graphic novels, contemporary fiction, and romance. On behalf of co-agents, she will take pitches for historical novels, women’s fiction, mainstream/general fiction, and children’s picture books. Learn more about Tara here.

Screen Shot 2018-11-21 at 5.12.36 PM.pngAnne Tibbets [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent with Red Sofa Literary. She is seeking: adult science fiction / dystopian, adult and young adult fantasy, adult innovative thrillers (historical a plus), and adult and young adult horror (Think early Stephen King mixed with Gillian Flynn). Learn more about Anne here.

Screen Shot 2019-02-28 at 9.23.51 PM.pngGarrett Alwert is an associate literary agent with Emerald City Literary Agency. He and the agency represent young adult and middle grade novels — specifically in the areas of romance, thriller/mystery, magical realism and sci-fi (no kidlit fantasy for him). Learn more about Garrett Alwert here.

Screen Shot 2018-12-18 at 4.07.40 PM.pngRachel Letofsky [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent with Cooke McDermid. Rachel is actively seeking: ground-breaking and heart-breaking middle grade and YA titles in all genres. She is drawn to works with a whimsical nature or a grounded, gritty edge in equal measure, though in either instance, unforgettable characters and original concepts are a must. She also has a natural soft spot for exquisite literary fiction. In nonfiction, Rachel is looking for narrative-driven memoirs, and anything quirky, life affirming or mind blowing. Learn more about Rachel here.

Screen Shot 2018-11-27 at 10.02.18 PM.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 2018-12-05 at 10.57.19 PM.png Screen Shot 2019-04-12 at 5.25.43 PMErin Calligan Mooney [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a senior editor with Amazon Publishing — specifically the imprints Little A, and TOPPLE Books. She is seeking: While Erin herself focuses mostly on nonfiction, she will be taking pitches for all of the genres & categories of Little A and TOPPLE Books. Little A is the literary fiction and nonfiction imprint of Amazon Publishing. From compelling novels to riveting memoirs, Little A publishes thought-provoking titles that challenge and excite. TOPPLE Books spotlights the voices of woman of color, gender non-conforming, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer writers. Joining Erin for pitches is co-editor (at both Little A and TOPPLE Books) Laura Van der Veer. The two will be working together. Learn more about Erin and Laura here.

Screen Shot 2018-12-23 at 10.43.46 AM.pngMichael Neff is an editor and independent literary agent for AEI Films and Books. He is seeking: speculative fiction of all kinds — including, but not limited, to: science fiction, science-fantasy, fantasy, and all sub genres. Query reviews: While Michael is taking pitches like other attending agents and editors, he is also happy to use his 10-minute meeting slots for quick query reviews, as well, if the attendee prefers. Please note that he prefers speculative fiction to review (in terms of queries), and the critique is limited to the 10-minute time slot. Learn more about Michael here.

Screen Shot 2018-11-19 at 5.52.12 PMCortney Radocaj [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent at Corvisiero Literary. She seeks young adult, new adult, and adult fiction in various genres. She represents fantasy of all shades (dark, low, high, urban—ALL OF IT), science fiction (character-centered is a plus), steampunk, cyberpunk, mythology/fairytale retellings (be subtle), gothic fiction, particularly Southern gothic, paranormal (but if it’s vampires/werewolves, there needs to be a twist or something unique!), mainstream contemporary fiction (needs to have a strong, unique hook), psychological horror, and magical realism. For any genre she takes, she appreciates LGBTQ storylines and neurodiversity. Learn more about Cortney here.

Screen Shot 2018-11-17 at 3.36.45 PM.pngAdria Goetz [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is an associate literary agent with Martin Literary Management. She primarily represents picture books, middle grade, young adult, and is open to submissions for quirky gift/coffee table books, graphic novels, Christian devotionals, and adult nonfiction for the general market. Learn more about Adria here.

Screen Shot 2018-11-25 at 10.43.04 PM.pngKelli Martin is a literary agent with Wendy Sherman Associates. She is seeking: Kelli is passionate about building the agency’s romance program, and is also excited to discover new talent and shape content in commercial women’s fiction and book club / upmarket fiction. Learn more about Kelli here.

Screen Shot 2018-11-17 at 3.44.16 PM.pngBritt Siess [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] 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.

Screen Shot 2018-11-26 at 1.17.41 PM.pngLaurel Symonds [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent with The Bent Agency. She is seeking young adult fiction (all kinds), middle grade fiction (all kinds), chapter books, and picture books (both text only and author-illustrator work). She also seeks excellent illustrators and children’s nonfiction. “I am seeking young adult and middle-grade fiction with earnest, engaging voices set in immersive worlds. Fantasy, contemporary, historical settings, retellings, and manuscripts with unique elements are of specific interest. In particular, I am seeking voices that have previously been underrepresented and stories that have been overlooked.” Learn more about Laurel here.

Screen Shot 2018-12-18 at 3.51.11 PM.pngJennifer Worick [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is the editorial director of Sasquatch Books. Genres & categories: “At Sasquatch, our adult acquisitions team acquires nonfiction books by Pacific Northwest authors, artists, influencers, and thought leaders on the following subjects: cookbooks, health and wellness, nature, house & home, self-help, craft and how-to, history, pop culture, and lifestyle, as well as memoir and books that capture the zeitgeist of our current culture in ways large and small.” Learn more about Jennifer here.

Screen Shot 2018-11-27 at 10.00.00 PM.pngGordon Warnock [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] 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 2018-11-25 at 10.45.59 PM.pngClelia Gore [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent at Martin Literary Management. Clelia acquires picture book, middle grade and young adult books. She is particularly interested in developing her nonfiction clientele. With apologies, Clelia is no longer accepting new adult fiction queries at this time. Learn more about Clelia here.

Screen Shot 2018-11-27 at 10.08.49 PM.pngRachael Bradley is an agent assistant at Speilburg Literary, assisting founding literary agent Alice Speilburg. At the 2019 workshop, Rachael will be attending on Alice’s behalf of hearing pitches for Alice. About what Alice seeks: In nonfiction, Alice is looking for authors with established platforms, especially journalists and academics, who are writing cultural narratives, microhistory, and pop science In fiction, Alice is looking for character-driven novels that fall under the following genres: historical fiction, mainstream fiction (with elements of fantasy, mystery, and/or horror), fairytale/folklore fantasy, mystery, suspense, and young adult. Learn more about Rachael and Alice 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.)



$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 2018-11-26 at 11.11.29 AM.png“I met my client, Alison Hammer, at the 2017 Writing
Workshop of Chicago and just sold her book.”
– literary agent Joanna Mackenzie of Nelson Literary

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 11.47.54 PM.png“Good news! I signed a client [novelist Aliza Mann]
from the 2017 Michigan Writing Workshop!”
– literary agent Sara Mebigow of KT Literary

Screen Shot 2018-11-05 at 12.56.10 PM“I signed author Stephanie Wright from
the 2018 Seattle Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Kathleen Ortiz of New Leaf Literary

Screen Shot 2018-05-17 at 9.07.44 PM“I signed an author [Kate Thompson] that I
met at the 2017 Philadelphia Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Kimberly Brower of Brower Literary

Screen Shot 2016-10-16 at 2.54.50 PM.png“I signed novelist Kathleen McInnis after meeting her
at the 2016 Chesapeake Writing Workshop.”

– literary agent Adriann Ranta of Foundry Literary + Media

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:

  • Adult science fiction and fantasy: Faculty member Jason Hough, a published author of speculative fiction, will get your work in advance, edit the first 10 double-spaced pages of your story, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss his thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
  • Thriller, crime, suspense, mystery: Faculty member Boyd Morrison, a published author of thrillers, will get your work in advance, edit the first 10 double-spaced pages of your story, 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 Amanda Hosch, a published author of kidlit novels, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your story, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
  • Romance, erotica, and women’s fiction: Faculty member Sabrina York, a published author of romance novels, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your story, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
  • Children’s picture books: Faculty member Shannon Anderson, a published children’s picture book author, will get your picture book in advance and critique the work. (1,000 words, maximum; submissions can include illustrations or not.) She will be available for 10-minute Skype critique meetings (along with an e-mailed written critique) for each attendee submission. 
  • Literary fiction, mainstream/general fiction, women’s fiction, historical fiction, short stories, memoir, nonfiction essays: Faculty member Lori A. May, a published author as well as freelance editor, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your work, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.

Add $89 — for an in-depth critique and action plan of your writer platform. Faculty member Jason Brick will examine your social media, website, Amazon review strategy, newsletter, and other elements of your publicity machine over the weeks preceding the conference. At the conference, you’ll sit for a one-on-one meeting where Jason will help you develop a 12-month plan to build your fan base and either attract agent attention or sell more books. Every writer can use new fans, and this publicity plan is how you can get them.

How to pay/register — Registration is now open. Reach out to workshop organizer Kimiko Nakamura 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 Kimiko 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 Kimiko Nakamura 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 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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