After successful 2015 and 2018 events in Boston, Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2019 Boston Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in Boston, MA on September 7, 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 Boston Writing Workshop!
(If you know you want to attend, and don’t need the info below, you can click straight through to the Google Forms registration to get started: http://bit.do/bostonwwreg)
WHAT IS IT?
This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, September 7, 2019, at the Sheraton Boston (Back Bay / Downtown 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 agent and editor faculty so far includes:
- literary agent Nikki Terpilowski (Holloway Literary)
- literary agent Vicki Selvaggio (Storm Literary)
- literary agent Leonicka Valcius (Transatlantic Agency)
- literary agent Susan Velazquez (JABberwocky Literary)
- literary agent Stephanie Winter (P.S. Literary)
- literary agent John Butman (Kneerim & Williams)
- literary agent Charlotte Wenger (Prospect Agency)
- literary agent Tara Gelsomino (One Track Literary)
- literary agent Susan Canavan (Waxman Literary)
- literary agent Amaryah Orenstein (Go Literary)
- literary agent Shari Maurer (Stringer Literary)
- literary agent Beth Marshea (Ladderbird Literary)
- literary agent Elizabeth Bennett (Transatlantic Literary)
- literary agent Lauren Scovel (Laura Gross Literary)
- literary agent Barbara Collins Rosenberg (Rosenberg Group)
- literary agent Lori Galvin (Aevitas Creative Management)
- 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, with administration help from the New England SCBWI.
EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS:
9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, September 7, 2019 — at the Sheraton Boston Hotel (Back Bay) 39 Dalton St, Boston, MA 02199. (617)236-2000.
THIS YEAR’S SESSIONS & WORKSHOPS (SEPT. 7, 2019):
What you see below is a quick layout of the day’s events. We will soon have a full layout of the day’s sessions, with detailed descriptions and presenter bios. The topics below are mostly set, but subject to change.
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. Find Success Writing Romance (Berkeley room). In this workshop, we’ll talk about everything from typing that first word of your manuscript to getting it in front of those voracious readers.
2. What’s Happening Over in the World of Kidlit … and How Can You Join in? (Gardner Room) In this session, a kidlit author will discuss current market conditions and trends in this space, help you determine who your audience is (it might not be who you think—up to 85% of YA readers are adults over age 35), and offer tips and tricks for writing authentically for and about today’s generation of kids.
3. How to Write a Great Query Letter to an Agent (Fairfax room). In this class, a literary agent will explain the essential elements of an effective query letter, and share some dos and don’ts when sending this all-important initial communication to agents.
1. Crafting Successful Pitches for Twitter Pitch Events (Gardner room). Learn more about different pitch contests — such as #pitmad and much more — and understand how to boil down your story into 1-2 dynamite sentences and get agent requests for your work through Twitter.
2. Crafting Living Localities for your Sci/Fi and Fantasy Worlds (Berkeley Room). Crafting living spaces that act as both character and location not only sets the stage for a good fantastic tale, but also adds a layer of world-building that can make any story stand out from the crowd.
3. From Academia to Commercial Fiction: Modifying Your Writing Techniques (Fairfax room). This session will address the challenges academic writers encounter with commercial fiction and will strategize solutions.
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 (Fairfax 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. Nonfiction Intense: Book Proposal Tips (Berkeley room). If you are trying to create an awesome nonfiction book proposal, this presentation is for you.
3. Basics and Beyond – Writing Picture Books (Gardner Room). From the basics of word counts, rhyme, and illustration notes to beyond with utilizing page turns and trends, this presentation will provide tips on how to improve your picture book writing.
BLOCK FOUR: 2:45 – 3:45
1. Social Media For Authors (Fairfax room). This workshop highlights the pros and cons of popular sites like Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram and examines how authors can use each to promote themselves and/or their books.
2. Creating Perfectly Imperfect Characters (Gardner Room). In this session, we’ll cover creating a dynamic character who lives on the page, who breaks just enough rules to not only garner the love of a reader but also to secure the interest of an agent and publisher.
3. How to Write and Sell Great Mysteries, Thrillers, and Crime Fiction (Berkeley room). This presentation will teach you how to keep readers—including agents and editors—turning pages late into the night.
BLOCK FIVE: 4:00 – 5:00
1. How to Write a Memoir Agents (and Readers) Will Love (Berkeley room). In this session, attendees will examine why some debut memoirs get published but many do not — by discussing what tips and techniques that aid memoir writers.
2. Improve Your Writing: The Basics of Self-Editing and Revision (Fairfax 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 some writing crackle.
3. Traditional Publishing vs. Self-Publishing (Gardner Room). This workshop examines the two largest routes any writer can take with their book: traditional publishing and self-publishing / e-publishing.
SESSIONS END: 5:00
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.
PITCH AN AGENT OR EDITOR:
Amaryah Orenstein is a literary agent and the founder of GO Literary. Amaryah has always loved to read and provide (oftentimes unsolicited) editorial advice and, as a literary agent, she is thrilled to help writers bring their ideas to life. She is particularly drawn to narrative nonfiction and memoir but enjoys any book that connects the reader to its characters and evokes thought and feeling. Learn more about Amaryah here.
Susan Canavan is a literary agent with Waxman Literary Agency. She is seeking: narrative nonfiction (many kinds) and memoir. Before becoming an agent, she was formerly a senior executive editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt where she acquired and edited dozens of New York Times bestsellers in the categories of narrative nonfiction, history, adventure, sports, memoir, journalism, health, science, pop culture, parenting, nature and literary and historical fiction. Learn more about Susan here.
Charlotte Wenger is a literary agent with Prospect Agency. She is seeking: “I’m interested in working with authors and illustrators of children’s books—board books through YA, but especially picture books—as well as adult nonfiction, particularly biographies and memoirs.” As an agent, I enjoy the editorial work and the relationship building; so I love attending conferences and leading workshops. I’ve mentored Simmons MFA students and also serve on the national advisory board of the Mazza Museum, the world’s largest collection of original children’s book art, in Findlay, Ohio. Learn more about Charlotte here.
Stephanie Winter is an associate agent at P.S. Literary. Her experiences of living and traveling in and around Europe have left her eagerly devouring upmarket, fantasy, and nonfiction genres that make new worlds and perspectives come alive. Stephanie particularly appreciates strong characters who bend stereotypes, genders, and more. Stephanie is acquiring both fiction and nonfiction. Within fiction, she’s actively seeking diverse and inclusive representation in Upmarket, Commercial, Historical, and Women’s Fiction, in addition to urban and magical fantasies, cozy mysteries, dramatic comedies, light romances, and genre-bending narratives. Within non-fiction, she’s interested in Humor, Pop Culture, Pop Psychology, Memoir, cultural or event-based History, select Dessert Cookbooks, LGBTQ+ narratives, and essay collections. Learn more about Stephanie here.
Nikki Terpilowski is a literary agent and founder of Holloway Literary. She seeks Southern fiction, historical fiction, young adult, women’s fiction, literary fiction, mysteries, thrillers, romance (contemporary, historical and romantic suspense), cozy mysteries, science fiction (including Afrofuturist fiction), and African-American fiction of all types. For nonfiction, she seeks books related to mindfulness, healthy eating (Paleo, gluten-free, etc.), regional/ethnic/fusion cookbooks, foodie subjects, travel, alternative simple living, i.e. homesteading, minimalism, etc, interesting self-help (personal and professional), military experiences, Civil War, and Southern living. Learn more about Nikki here. Learn more about Nikki here.
Vicki Selvaggio is a literary agent and partner with Storm Literary (formerly with Jennifer De Chiara Literary). She is currently looking for lyrical picture books, middle grade and young adult fiction, mysteries, suspense, thrillers, paranormal, fantasy, narrative nonfiction, and adult fiction. Vicki is 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.
Susan Velazquez is a literary agent with JABberwocky Literary Agency. “I am primarily interested in literary/upmarket fiction, historical fiction, and women’s fiction, especially family sagas. In science fiction and fantasy, I’m looking for stories that reflect or challenge how our society functions today. In young adult, I am open to all genres but am particular towards stories that are centered on the bittersweet pains of growing up. In nonfiction, I am only interested in narrative nonfiction that examines history, technology, or pop culture. Above all, I’m looking for strong emotional arcs and characters who feel as real as possible.” Learn more about Susan here.
Léonicka Valcius is a literary agent with Transatlantic Agency. “I am eager to work with people of color, including (but not limited to) trans people, disabled people, religious minorities, and queer folks. In adult and young adult fiction, I like fun commercial fiction, romance that ranges from sweet to steamy, otherworldly fantasy, and sweeping historical fiction. I do not represent mysteries or thrillers. In adult nonfiction, I like narrative nonfiction that explains complex issues through the lens of a personal story. I am also seeking books that straddle the self-help/lifestyle line (#selfcare #liveyourbestlife) and the self-help/business line (#productivityhack #riseandgrind). For middle grade and younger, I love humour, adventure, and make believe. I also enjoy stories about children navigating their changing relationships with family and friends. I strongly prefer books with at least one human character.” Learn more about Leonicka here.
Tara Gelsomino is the founder and CEO of One Track Literary Agency, a boutique literary agency. Tara is currently seeking: romance, young adult, women’s fiction and mystery/thrillers.A twenty-plus year veteran of the publishing industry, Tara was formerly the Executive Editor of Simon & Schuster’s digital imprint, Crimson Romance, and also worked for BBC Audiobooks America/AudioGO and Romantic Times Magazine. Learn more about Tara here.
Shari Maurer is a literary agent with Stringer Literary. She is seeking: For fiction, she seeks young adult and middle grade (all kinds), new adult, children’s picture books, romance, and women’s fiction. In nonfiction, she seeks kidlit YA and MG (including biography), narrative nonfiction, parenting, biography, and memoir. Learn more about Shari here.
Beth Marshea is a literary agent and the founder of Ladderbird Agency. She is seeking literary fiction, women’s fiction, adult fantasy (specifically looking for non-European centric fantasy), adult science fiction (quick, exciting, fun adventures), crime novels, and YA sci-fi & fantasy. Beth is not seeking horror, middle grade, picture books, or historical fiction. Learn more about Beth here.
Barbara Rosenberg is a literary agent with The Rosenberg Group. She is currently looking for: contemporary romance; historical romance; romantic suspense; and young adult/new adult romance; and commercial nonfiction from authors with an established platform. Learn more about Barbara here.
Elizabeth Bennett is a literary agent with Transatlantic Literary. As an agent, Elizabeth represents a balanced list of talented picture book, graphic novel, middle grade and YA authors and illustrators. She is interested in kidlit fiction and nonfiction submissions especially those with series potential and is partial to books with humor; books that approach contemporary issues in a fresh, new way; books that are inspired by pop-culture and current trends; books that make even a reluctant reader want to curl up in a nook and read. Learn more about Elizabeth here.
Lauren Scovel is a literary agent at Laura Gross Literary Agency. Her fiction specialties are: GLBT, literary fiction, and multicultural. She will also consider humor/satire, family saga, and short story collections. Her nonfiction specialties are cultural/social issues, current affairs, GLBT, investigative journalism, multicultural, narrative, politics, true crime, and women’s concerns. She will also consider: adventure/true story, history, humor, memoir, pets, and pop culture. Learn more about Lauren here.
John Butman is a literary agent with Kneerim & Williams. “My specialty is nonfiction, although I also represent idea-driven fiction, and I particularly focus on proposal development—and, even more specifically, I love working with first-time authors.” John is looking for big, preferably contrarian, ideas and authors who seek to influence thinking, motivate action, and reveal new truths through analysis, storytelling, research, data, and personal narratives—in business, history, technology, psychology, and politics. Learn more about John here.
Lori Galvin is a literary agent with Aevitas Creative Management. Prior to joining ACM, she was a book editor with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and America’s Test Kitchen. She represents literary fiction, commercial fiction, speculative fiction, thrillers, and some young adult. On the nonfiction side, she represents memoir, self-help, lifestyle, and cookbooks. Learn more about Lori 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 BWW and access to all workshops, all day. As of October 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.)
“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
“Good news! I signed a client [novelist Aliza Mann]
from the 2017 Michigan Writing Workshop!”
– literary agent Sara Mebigow of KT Literary
“I signed author Stephanie Wright from
the 2018 Seattle Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Kathleen Ortiz of New Leaf Literary
“I signed an author [Kate Thompson] that I
met at the 2017 Philadelphia Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Kimberly Brower of Brower Literary
“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 workshop’s former instructors. (This rate is a special event value for Boston 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. Options:
- Romance novels: Faculty member Patricia Barletta, a published author, will get your work in advance, critique 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.
- Memoir and nonfiction: Faculty member Michael Anthony, a published author, 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 his thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
- Young adult and middle grade: Faculty member Jen Malone, a published kidlit author, will get your work in advance, critique 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.
- Thriller / mystery / suspense / crime [SOLD OUT]: Faculty member Clea Simon, a published mystery / crime / suspense author, will get your work in advance, critique 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. (Clea is now sold out of critiques.)
- Southern fiction, literary fiction, mainstream fiction, women’s fiction: Faculty member Lorna Hollifield, a published Southern fiction author, will get your work in advance and edit the first 10 double-spaced pages of your story. Unlike some other critiquers listed here, Lorna will not be at the Boston event to meet with writers for 10 minutes each. Instead, she will be available for 10-minute Skype/phone meetings for each attendee critique, and will e-mail you her critique.
- Science fiction, fantasy, paranormal and horror: Faculty member Cody T Luff, a published author, 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 his thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
- More critique options forthcoming.
How to pay/register — Registration is now open. Reach out to workshop organizer Kimiko Nakamura via email: WDWcoordinator@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 Kimiko plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Boston workshop specifically.
Because of limited space at the venue (Boston Sheraton — Back Bay), 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: WDWcoordinator@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 BWW 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 Boston 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.)