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:

  • literary agent Natalie Grazian (Martin Literary Management)
  • literary agent Amy Levenson (Blue Heron Literary)
  • literary agent Cortney Radocaj (Corvisiero Literary)
  • literary agent Adria Goetz (Martin Literary Management)
  • literary agent Kelli Martin (Wendy Sherman Associates)
  • 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 Rae Loverde (Donald Maass Literary)
  • literary agent assistant Rachael Bradley (Speilburg Literary)
  • and 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 28, 2018, at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Seattle Bellevue, 3225 158th Ave SE, Bellevue, WA 98008. (425)644-2500.

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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 2019 (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 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 2018-11-27 at 10.02.18 PM.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 2018-12-05 at 10.57.19 PM.pngErin Calligan Mooney 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. Learn more about Erin here.

Screen Shot 2018-11-19 at 5.52.12 PMCortney Radocaj 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 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 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 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 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 seems 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 2018-11-27 at 10.00.00 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 2018-11-25 at 10.45.59 PM.pngClelia Gore 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.

Screen Shot 2018-12-10 at 2.32.12 PM.pngRae Loverde is an agent assistant at Donald Maass Literary Agency. At the 2019 event, she will be taking pitches at the workshop on behalf of Kiana Nguyen, a literary agent at the Donald Maass Literary Agency who is seeking the following: contemporary romances like Alisha Rai and Alyssa Cole; adult sci-fi that feels like “Black Mirror”; psychological thrillers; young adult thrillers and contemporary that’s queer, POC, or features a mystery; and for all categories except romance, the darker, the better. Learn more about Rae and her co-agents 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 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 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:

  • Forthcoming.

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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