The 2023 Boston Writing Workshop: February 3-4, 2023

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After successful 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 events in Boston, Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2023 Boston Writing Workshop — an online “How to Get Published” writing event on Feb. 3-4, 2023. (Writers are welcome to attend virtually from everywhere and anywhere.)

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 online “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 2023 Boston Writing Workshop!

ONLINE: Writing Day Workshops plans both in-person and virtual/online conferences. The 2023 BWW is an Online Conference, on Feb. 3-4. Online events are easy and awesome, and the virtual events we’ve done thus far have received wonderful feedback. You do not have to be tech-savvy to do this, and understand we are keeping all aspects of a traditional in-person event, including one-on-one agent & editor pitching, which will now be done by Zoom or phone. Learn all details about what it means to have a writers conference online.)

WHAT IS IT?

This is a special two-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on February 3-4, 2023. In other words, it’s two days 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. And even though this is the “Boston” Writing Workshop, make no mistake — writers from everywhere are welcome to attend virtually. Our WDW writers conferences have helped dozens of writers find literary agent representation — see our growing list of success stories here.

This event is designed to squeeze as much into two days of learning as possible. You can ask any questions you like during the online classes, and get your specific concerns addressed. We will have literary agents online to give feedback and take pitches from writers, as well. This year’s 2023 BWW agent & editor faculty so far includes:

  • literary agent Maria Alcantara (Arthouse Literary)
  • literary agent Lindsay Flanagan (Tobias Agency)
  • literary agent Dani Segelbaum (Carol Mann Agency)
  • literary agent Michelle Richter (Fuse Literary)
  • literary agent Kayla Cichello (Upstart Crow Literary)
  • literary agent Bethany Fulk (Holloway Literary)
  • literary agent Carlie Webber (Fuse Literary)
  • literary agent Maria Vicente (P.S. Literary)
  • literary agent Renée C. Fountain (Gandolfo, Helin & Fountain Literary)
  • literary agent Leticia Gomez (Savvy Literary)
  • literary agent Natanya Wheeler (Nancy Yost Literary Agency)
  • literary agent Emily S. Keyes (Keyes Agency)
  • literary agent Bonnie Swanson (The Purcell Agency)
  • literary agent Rachelle Gardner (Gardner Literary)
  • literary agent Paul Levine (Paul Levine Literary)
  • literary agent Kat Kerr (Donald Maass Literary)
  • literary agent Lori Galvin (Aevitas Creative Management)
  • literary agent Rachel Altemose (Salky Literary Management)
  • literary agent Jane Chun (Janklow & Nesbit)
  • literary agent Rebecca Eskildsen (Writers House)
  • literary agent Lauren Hall (Folio Literary)
  • literary agent Callie Deitrick (Wendy Sherman Associates)
  • literary agent Lori Steel (Red Fox Literary)
  • literary agent assistant Rae Loverde (Donald Maass Literary)
  • literary agent Kate Johnson (Wolf Literary)
  • literary agent Jessica Felleman (Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency)
  • literary agent Kelly Peterson (Rees Literary)
  • literary agent Laurel Symonds (KT Literary)
  • literary agent Kate Davids (Arc Literary Management)
  • literary agent Shannon Lechon (Azantian Literary)
  • literary agent Amaryah Orenstein (Go Literary)
  • literary agent Reiko Davis (DeFiore & Company)
  • literary agent Elisa Moles (Painted Fire Literary Agency)
  • literary agent Erin Clyburn (Howland Literary)
  • and possibly more agents 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 Brian Klems of Writing Day Workshops. Contact Brian at WDWconference@gmail.com to register.

EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS:

ONLINE: Writing Day Workshops plans both in-person and virtual/online conferences. The 2023 BWW is an Online Conference, on Feb. 3-4. Online events are easy and awesome, and the virtual events we’ve done thus far have received wonderful feedback. You do not have to be tech-savvy to do this, and understand we are keeping all aspects of a traditional in-person event, including one-on-one agent & editor pitching, which will now be done by Zoom or phone. Learn all details about what it means to have a writers conference online.)

THIS YEAR’S SESSIONS & WORKSHOPS (FEB. 3-4, 2023):

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.

Agent pitches and critique consultations overlap with Saturday sessions. The schedule of presentation topics below is subject to change and updates:

FRIDAY, FEB. 3, 2023

9:30 – 10:30: Literary Agents 101. This session covers everything you need to know about literary agents: who they are, what they do, when and where to find one to represent your writing, and how they fit into the traditional book publishing model.

10:45 – 11:45: Between the Covers: How to Write a Good Romance Novel. Ever wanted to try writing happily-ever-afters but didn’t know where to start? This session will give you the inspiration you need to start, along with all the behind-the-scenes knowledge of what should go on between the covers of a well-written romance novel. (Hint: very little of it has to do with sex.)

11:45 – 1:15: Break

1:15 – 2:30: Writing and Selling Fiction vs. Nonfiction. Selling a fiction or nonfiction book project to a traditional mainstream publisher requires different approaches. In this session, literary agent Leticia Gomez will explain in great detail what these established rules and guidelines are. She will also discuss precisely what sample material components are must haves, and what is the best way to package them up in order to secure the publishing deal of your dreams.

2:45 – 3:45: Crafting a Dynamic Query Letter. This class will cover the basic elements of a query letter, the elements that separate a good query from an excellent one, and common query mistakes and misconceptions.

4:00 – 5:00: Creating an Authentic Kidlit Voice. What does it mean to have an authentic voice? How does one improve their “voice” in a manuscript? In this workshop, we will go over the different types of voice, use sample texts as case studies, and talk about the different elements that help create voices and characters you can’t stop thinking about for the children’s book market. 

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SATURDAY, FEB. 4, 2023

9:30 – 10:30: The Basics of Publishing. In this seminar, you will sit down with an experienced literary agent who will offer an overview of the publishing process, spotlighting the different paths to publication for different types of writers, and demystify the role of the agent.

10:45 – 11:45: Architects vs. Gardeners: To Outline or Not to Outline. To outline or not to outline…that is the (much-debated) question. As a writer, you may feel like you’re on team “Outliner” (or Architect) or on team “Pantser” (or Gardener). This class will define both camps, discuss the pros and cons of each, and reveal the one element both must produce to be successful.

11:45 – 1:15: Break

1:15 – 2:30: “Writers Got Talent”—a Page 1 Critique Fest, with participating literary agents and editors. In the vein of “American Idol” or “America’s Got Talent,” this is a chance to get your first page read (anonymously — no bylines given) with attending agents commenting on what was liked or not liked about the submission.

2:45 – 3:45: Open Agent Q&A Panel. Several attending literary agents will open themselves up to open Q&A from BWW attendees. Bring your questions and get them answered in this popular session.

4:00 – 5:00: Understanding Your Market: Literary vs. Commercial Fiction. This class helps define the difference between literary and commercial fiction, and what makes a work fit into either of these markets. This class also covers low-concept vs high-concept plots, and the definitions of each.

Agent pitches and critique consultations overlap with Saturday sessions. The schedule of presentation topics below is subject to change and updates:

(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.)

Agent & Editor Pitching: All throughout the day.

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PITCH AN AGENT OR EDITOR:

Michelle Richter is a Senior Literary Agent at Fuse Literary. Michelle is seeking: suspense, mystery, psychological thrillers, domestic suspense, women’s fiction, book club fiction, young adult mystery/thriller, and select contemporary YA. She’s especially eager to find suspense and psychological thrillers with complex lead characters. BIPOC, LGBTQ, and disabled voices in fiction always welcome. Michelle loves unreliable narrators, stories of family secrets, friendships, and sibling relationships. Learn more about Michelle here.

Leticia Gomez is the editorial director for Kensington Books and Dafina. Leticia is the Editorial Director for Dafina Books, an imprint of Kensington Publishing Corp., which focuses on high-quality fiction and nonfiction that centers on race, identity, and its impact on our experiences. Dafina’s carefully curated list is a home for dynamic stories that innovate and amplify voices too long ignored through books that entertain, challenge, and inspire. Launched in 2000 as the first African-American imprint, Dafina has led the market for more than twenty years in highlighting voices of color. Leticia is actively seeking to acquire multicultural fiction and nonfiction of all genres, including literary fiction, commercial fiction, historical fiction, romance, mystery, and narrative nonfiction of all genres with a focus on authors of color (BIPOC) hailing from all walks of life, as well as specific nonfiction projects for marginalized communities. In addition to her role at Kensington, Leticia is a prominent literary/film/television agent who specializes in bringing culturally diverse voices to the forefront. Savvy Literary is now an industry leader specializing in Self-help, Narrative Non-fiction, Memoir, True Crime, Spiritual/Inspirational, Political/Current Affairs, Suspense/Thriller, Family Drama, and the Young Adult market. Championing the work of minority writers continues to be a top priority for the agency. Learn more about Leticia here.

Renee C. Fountain is a literary agent, publishing industry veteran, a reviewer for Kirkus and New York Journal of Books, and a book scout for The CW Network. She is the president of Gandolfo, Henlin and Fountain Literary. Renee is looking for all types of adult and YA fiction and nonfiction. She prefers: thrillers, horror/dark fantasy, urban/contemporary fantasy, humor, science fiction, pop culture, memoirs, and narrative/commercial. Learn more about Renee here.

Maria Vicente is a senior literary agent at P.S. Literary Agency. Maria represents bold and innovative books for kids, teens, and curious adults. Her favorite books to work on show readers something new about the real world or invite them into new worlds they never want to leave. Maria is acquiring fiction and nonfiction for readers of all ages. She is looking for: literary fiction and upmarket speculative fiction (fantasy, magical realism, horror); young adult novels; middle grade novels; illustrated picture books; illustrated graphic novels, graphic memoirs, and graphic nonfiction; and narrative nonfiction for kids, teens, or adult readers about culture, arts and entertainment, history, and science topics. She welcomes and encourages submissions from BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and disabled creators. Learn more about Maria here.

Lori Galvin is a literary agent with Aevitas Creative Management. “I represent both fiction and nonfiction writers for the adult market. For fiction, I am especially interested in working with writers of crime (suspense, thrillers, horror, and mysteries); bookclub fiction or upmarket commercial fiction (including women’s fiction, historical, grounded speculative or grounded sci-fi). I’m drawn to novels with vivid voices and strong emotions and I’m a passionate advocate for all voices. And for nonfiction, I am interested in working with food writers, writers on culture, and true crime writers.” Learn more about Lori here.

Dani Segelbaum is a literary with the Carol Mann Agency. Dani joined the agency in 2021 as a literary agent and subrights manager. She is interested in both fiction and nonfiction. Dani is seeking nonfiction titles with an emphasis on politics, women’s issues, popular culture, and current events. Dani also loves memoir, narrative nonfiction, lifestyle, and cookbooks. In fiction, she is looking for literary and upmarket adult fiction including debut, historical, rom-coms, mysteries, and women’s fiction. In both fiction and nonfiction, Dani hopes to work with authors from diverse backgrounds to tell stories that are important to them. She loves compelling narrators and is drawn to writing that is voice-driven, highly transporting, and features unique perspectives and marginalized voices. Learn more about Dani here.

Jane Chun is a literary agent with Janklow & Nesbit. For fiction, she is seeking commercial, upmarket, and literary works in both adult and MG/YA about the search for and rebuilding of identity, diaspora, family and community, and examinations of power in relationships. She is also looking for fantasy, sci-fi, and speculative fiction that delve into sharp social commentary and have meticulous worldbuilding and settings that don’t feel like Western Europe. For historical fiction, she likes hidden histories and anything that is set in a time or place she’s not familiar with or focuses on a community that has been often overlooked if it’s a time/place she knows. In terms of nonfiction, she is looking for memoirs, essay collections, and narrative nonfiction with a nuanced, intersectional approach and similar themes to her interests in fiction. She also is interested in books about food, travel, pop culture, and cultural criticism that dive deeply and thoughtfully into culture and traditions. In addition to traditional prose, she is very interested in graphic novels and nonfiction. She is looking for stylistically engaging, unique art that feels either nostalgic without being derivative or fresh and boundary-pushing. Learn more about Jane here.

Carlisle Webber is a literary agent at Fuse Literary. Carlisle is looking for: high-concept commercial fiction in middle grade, young adult, and adult. If your book is fresh and exciting, tackles difficult topics, reads like a Shonda Rhimes show, or makes readers stay up late turning pages, she’s the agent for you. Diverse authors are encouraged to submit their fiction. Within the genres she represents, Carlisle is especially interested in stories by and about people of color; with both visible and invisible disabilities and illnesses; who are economically disadvantaged; who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer; or who are members of religious minorities. Pitch her: Middle grade (any genre), Young adult (any genre), thriller, mystery, suspense, horror, women’s fiction, and popular/mainstream fiction. Learn more about Carlisle here.

Rebecca Eskildsen is a literary agent with Writers House. “I am actively growing my list, with a particular interest in middle grade, YA, and adult fiction. Across the board, I’m looking to elevate LGBTQ+ and BIPOC voices, among other underrepresented narratives. In middle grade, I’m mainly looking for contemporary books that make kids feel seen. Mostly I want to see fresh, engaging voices, particularly narratives with a sense of humor and a strong emotional core. For YA, I’m looking for some darker themes and twisty, gripping stories — give me your ambitious “unlikable” girls (ugh – I’ll like them). Separately, I’m looking for funny, slow-burn YA rom coms. I’m looking for a more limited variety of adult books. I’d love to have my inbox full of contemporary rom coms. I’m also looking for sagas about families and/or friends, of any age or topic, and I’m looking for 20-something coming-of-age stories. Regardless of whether you recognize your book in this MSWL, if you think we’ll be a good fit, feel free to pitch me!” Learn more about Rebecca here.

Callie Deitrick is a literary agent with Wendy Sherman Associates. Callie is interested in books that change the way we look at the world, whether that is through magical realism, investigative research, or unique perspectives. In whatever she reads, Callie is drawn to strong and unusual voices and thought-provoking and moving stories. She is most excited by contemporary fiction with a solid plot and a fresh hook. She is primarily interested in adult literary or upmarket-commercial fiction and narrative nonfiction. A few books Callie loved reading recently were Nothing To See Here by Kevin Wilson, Pretend I’m Dead by Jen Beagin, Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata, and Made for Love by Alissa Nutting. Learn more about Callie here.

Bonnie Swanson [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent with The Purcell Agency. She is seeking: Young adult & new adult: Issue driven, romance (anything but erotica), speculative fiction, magical realism, paranormal, rom-com, suspense, mystery. (If it’s not on this list and you think I’d like it, pitch it!). In adult fiction, she seeks Romance, Speculative Fiction/Suspense (think Dean Koontz), Humor (combine all three and now we’re talking!) Always accepting LGBTQ, #ownvoices, and BIPOC. She does not want any picture book submissions right now. Learn more about Bonnie here.

Rachelle Gardner is literary agent and owner of Gardner Literary. She works in the Christian market (CBA) as well as the general market, and is considering new clients for both. In fiction she’s looking at novels of 75,000 to 100,000 words in the following genres: contemporary women’s fiction, romance, suspense/thriller, historical, YA and YA fantasy including fairy tale retellings with a unique approach. Rachelle is looking at a wide variety of nonfiction, but please note, she can’t sell it unless you have a platform. If you have begun developing a following, bring her your nonfiction! She is especially interested in BIPOC and LGBTQ+ authors. Learn more about Rachelle here.

Lori Steel is a literary agent with Red Fox Literary. “For all projects, I seek stories with authentic, unforgettable voices that reflect the diverse world we inhabit, instill the possibility of hope and change, and illuminate the shared human experience. More specifically for YA, I would love to find a fresh take on fantasy tropes, contemporary stories that flip conventional scripts, unexpected historical and/or historical fantasy mash-ups that disrupt entrenched notions. I like middle grade contemporary, historical, and fantasy fiction stories that demonstrate deep understanding of readers’ age, voice, and growing awareness of themselves and the world around them is paramount. For Graphic Novels, I’m looking for writer-illustrators crafting accessible contemporary and select nonfiction stories. For Picture Books, I’m eager to find writer-illustrators who craft stories with spare text and rich art, creators who play with structure, utilize collusion to engage participation, and don’t underestimate young readers. Nonfiction stories that surprise and instill a sense of wonder are always welcome. Whimsical, lyrical, and/or humorous stories that young readers will beg to read over and over again always top the list.” Learn more about Lori here.

Maria Alcantara is a literary agent with Arthouse Literary Agency. Maria is looking for New Adult upmarket fiction, either character-driven or plot-driven. She loves to cozy up with a good mystery full of complicated characters and page-turning plot twists. If these novels are contemporary with Millennial leads then that’s even better. Maria is also looking for women’s contemporary or commercial romance and horror with inclusive voices of Latinos and the LGBTQ community. Maria loves reading stories of marginalized voices in modern-day settings that are relatable and swoonworthy. She also loves reading whirlwind escapist stories à la Emily in Paris. Learn more about Maria here.

Lauren Hall is a literary agent with Folio Literary.  Lauren is a literary agent, executive producer, and multiple #1 New York Times bestselling writer who comes alongside incisive thinkers and writers to bring ideas to life. “I am looking for commercial nonfiction, pop culture, pop-science/psychology, cultural criticism, memoir, humor, lifestyle, cookbooks, health and wellness, essay collections, illustrated/gift books, underrepresented voices, and select literary, upmarket, and historical fiction.” Learn more about Lauren here.

Kayla Cichello is a literary agent with Upstart Crow Literary. Kayla brings nearly a decade of experience in children’s publishing to her agent position. She is open to all kid lit — picture books through young adult, as well as illustrators, and is searching for those voices that make her laugh and keep the pages turning. Some of her clients include author Ana Otaru, author of the upcoming MASQUERADE FOR GRANDPA (Atheneum/S&S, 2023) and author/illustrator Kirbi Fagan, illustrator of SUMMER OF THE TREE ARMY (Sleeping Bear, 2021). Learn more about Kayla here.

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Paul S. Levine is a literary agent and the founder of Paul S. Levine Literary. He is also an attorney. His fiction interests include adventure novels, mainstream fiction, mysteries, romance, thrillers, and women’s fiction. His nonfiction interests include business/commerce, pop culture, how-to, self-help, politics/law, relationships, and sports. Learn more about Paul here.

Kat Kerr is a literary agent with Donald Maass Literary Agency. Kat feels strongly about supporting programs like We Need Diverse Books and is passionate about creating space in this industry for those from historically marginalized communities. She is actively seeking to grow her client list and is particularly hungry for magical realism, literary leaning speculative and science fiction, women’s fiction, YA works with a lot of heart, and narrative nonfiction with something to say. In fiction, she seeks literary, upmarket, women’s, rom-coms, multicultural, speculative, magical realism, family saga, young adult, and select sci-fi and fantasy. In nonfiction, she seeks narrative nonfiction and journalistic nonfiction tackling current affairs and social justice issues, particularly covering topics of racism, immigration, LGBTQIA+ rights, gender equality, and poverty. She also represents select biographies and memoirs. Learn more about Kat here.

Bethany Fulk is a Literary Agent at Holloway Literary. She represents young adult and middle grade books. In Middle Grade, she is seeking: fantasy (all types), paranormal, mystery, adventure stories, retellings (myth, folklore, legends, fairytales), and friendship stories. In Young Adult, she is seeking: diverse fantasy (especially drawing on underrepresented voices/myths/worlds/places/etc), historical fiction/fantasy, paranormal, spies/heists, Gothic/horror (more suspense, less gore), retellings (myth, folklore, legends, fairytales), and rom-coms. Learn more about Bethany here.

Rachel Altemose (she/hers) is a literary agent with Salky Literary Management. She has a burgeoning list of picture book, middle grade, young adult, narrative/serious nonfiction, and literary fiction authors. She is interested in a diverse array of genres (children’s through adult) and is particularly keen on narratives with unique voices, diverse perspectives, immersive settings, complicated familial relationships, young/twenty-something protagonists, magical realism/surrealism, or experimental style. Learn more about Rachel here.

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Rae Loverde is an agent assistant at Donald Maass Literary Agency. At the 2023 WDW online events, she will be acting as a literary scout — taking pitches at the workshop on behalf of one or multiple co-agents at her agency. Her co-agent Cameron McClure is seeking the following: projects that combine genre style plotting with literary quality writing. She’s up for anything speculative, and is interested in seeing science fiction and fantasy, mystery and suspense, horror, and projects with multi-cultural, international, environmental, and LGBTQIA+ themes. Learn more about Rae and her co-agents here.

Kate Johnson is a literary agent with Wolf Literary Services. Kate represents literary and upmarket fiction as well as a range of narrative nonfiction and select memoir, and is interested in food, running, obsessives, unconventional families, art, global stories, social justice, mental health, medicine, and the environment. She loves working with journalists. Across all her projects, she looks for authentic voices and books that uncover something off-kilter in the everyday, or conversely something relatable in the extraordinary. Learn more about Kate here.

Elisa Moles is a literary agent with Painted Fire Literary Agency.  She is seeking: Especially interested in upmarket fiction. “In one word, what defines fantastic fiction narrative? Consequences. Consequences give structure. And stories with cohesive and creative structures, true to each writer’s background and voice, stand the test of time beyond the trendy topics and gimmicks of the day. I especially love psychologically complex characters. I’m looking for distinctive and compassionate voices who are telling organically unexpected stories in a wide variety of styles and genres. Surprise me.” Please do not pitch: nonfiction, poetry, children’s books, middle grade, YA, graphic novels, screenplays, westerns, horror, nihilist, or erotic work. No previously self-published works please. Learn more about Elisa here.

Jessica Felleman is a literary agent with Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency. Jessica represents a range of creators, loves fresh stories about magic, and looks for commercial and literary fiction featuring underserved voices, unforgettable places, and complicated families. She is especially looking for fiction that balances on the edge of genre—particularly science fiction and fantasy. Jessica has a soft spot for stories set in Los Angeles and New England, the weird and strange, and characters who make mistakes, even if they can’t fix them. Jessica specializes in pop culture nonfiction and prescriptive titles that offer realistic advice or new perspectives to help readers better understand themselves and the world, as well as humor, cookbooks, and narrative nonfiction about science, history, and psychology that engages with contemporary conversations. Learn more about Jessica here.

Laurel Symonds is a literary agent with KT Literary. “I represent young adult and middle-grade fiction, and I have a special interest in contemporary, historical fiction, and genre-blending fantasy. I look for engaging voices, commercial hooks, and immersive worlds. My YA tastes are pretty commercial but my middle-grade tastes can skew more literary, and I’m especially interested in middle-grade that might lend itself to illustration. I also represent picture books, graphic novels, and other illustrated work, and I am open to new clients who are both authors and illustrators. My tastes are diverse, ranging from sophisticated to quirky to gently humorous. I especially appreciate a smart use of color and perspective. Additionally, I represent select nonfiction for children and young adults, especially projects about STEM or history with age-appropriate hooks and series potential.” Learn more about Laurel here.

Kate Davids is a literary agent with Arc Literary Management. Kate is looking for nonfiction projects, particularly practical nonfiction, in cooking, personal finance, business, pets/animals, gardening, mental health, and new age. She also enjoys history books that delve into interesting subcultures, like anime or tabletop RPGs. In fiction, Kate has a soft spot for science fiction and fantasy that has great action and world building that leverages real world cultures or histories. She loves fiction that represents diverse cultural backgrounds in their settings and characters. For children’s books, Kate is looking for titles that can help both parents and their children explore the world together. This includes bi-lingual books and books about travel and multi-culturalism. She also likes a good laugh and an “aww” moment or two. Learn more about Kate here.

Kelly Peterson is a literary agent with Rees Literary. She is very interested in representing authors with marginalized own voices stories, witty and unique characters, pirates, witches, and dark fantasies. In Middle Grade, she’s looking for: Fantasy and sci-fi; Contemporary that touches on tough issues for young readers. In YA, she’s looking for: Genres from contemporary, to high fantasy, to sci-fi (not the space kind) to paranormal (all the ghost stories, please!) and historical all the way back to rom-coms. In Adult, Kelly represents: Romance, fantasy, and sci-fi. Learn more about Kelly here.

Shannon Lechon is a literary agent with Azantian Literary Agency. She is looking for middle grade fiction and young adult fiction. In adult fiction, she is looking for literary books with a speculative element that feel lush and magically possible. She is also interested in manuscripts that incorporate elements of myth, especially if they are from underrepresented cultures or give voice to figures often forgotten. She is looking for mysteries and thrillers. Speculative horror is a massive favorite of hers. For graphic novels, Shannon is looking for young adult fantasy that is grounded in our world (right now, she is only interested in taking on author/illustrators). She is interested in select adult nonfiction proposals. She’s looking for memoirs about specialized careers and experiences, as well as proposals on medicine, trauma, wildlife, nature, and mental health. Learn more about Shannon here.

Reiko Davis is a literary agent with DeFiore & Company. Reiko’s interests are varied, but on the adult side she’s primarily seeking literary and book club fiction. She loves historical, contemporary, or multigenerational novels both in the U.S. and internationally; family sagas; voice-driven coming-of-age stories; the occasional rom-com; and fierce, compassionately written works that grapple with identity and belonging and portray diverse lived experiences. She’d love to connect with promising writers of short fiction who are at work on a debut story collection and/or novel. She also represents select narrative non-fiction projects that explore social justice, issues of race and gender, and the history and experiences of women and people of color. She consumes a lot of true crime in her free time so is open to seeing projects in the vein of I’ll Be Gone in the Dark. On the children’s side, Reiko is actively looking for middle grade fiction and nonfiction. Learn more about Reiko here.

Erin Clyburn is a literary agent with Howland Literary. Erin represents middle grade fiction, YA fiction, and adult fiction and nonfiction. In MG and YA, she is looking for horror, mystery, thriller, big-hearted contemporary, and grounded stories with magical or speculative elements. In adult fiction, she is most interested in upmarket and literary fiction, and she gravitates toward the dark and strange: horror, thriller, mystery, and grounded stories with speculative or magical elements. Send her your weirds. In nonfiction, she’s interested in intersectional perspectives and is looking for narrative nonfiction, memoir, and deep dives into topics including pop science, nature, food and culinary history, and sports and adventure. An Alabamian with Louisiana roots, Erin is particularly interested in Southern literary and upmarket fiction from diverse voices in the above genres. Learn more about Erin here.

Lindsay Flanagan of Tobias Literary Agency is an agent assistant, editor, and author living in Utah. As of 2023, she is now taking on her own clients. She’s looking for adult work only in fantasy (all categories), mystery, thriller, romance, women’s fiction, upmarket, and maybe even a thriller. Her dream acquisition would have been The Night Circus. She likes work that has hints of magic and a bit of darkness. She is open to all voices and is seeking a diverse list of authors to represent with a particular interest in seeing work from Indigenous creators. Lindsay is also happy to take pitches on behalf of co-agent Jacqui Lipton. Jacqui is head of the Adult Department, although she selectively represents children’s books, particularly middle grade and young adult novels and nonfiction. Jacqui is open to pretty much anything but has a soft spot for genre fiction (mystery/thriller, romance, selective science fiction). Jacqui is not the best fit for high fantasy (think Game of Thrones) or books with animal protagonists. Jacqui is open to unique takes on nonfiction but is not seeking memoir currently. Learn more about Lindsay and Jacqui here.

Emily S. Keyes is a literary agent with Keyes Agency. Emily is the Founder of Keyes Agency, LLC. She was an Agent at Fuse Literary from 2013 to 2021. She has represented many award-winning titles mainly (but not exclusively) in the realm of children’s literature. She loves finding and nurturing new talent, as well as reading and representing projects that will get readers excited to go to the bookstore. Emily is actively searching for all kinds of children’s literature, as well as select adult projects in genre fiction—so long as it’s not “serious” literature. She is searching for authors and illustrators who will be her coworker for a long career. Learn more about Emily here.

Natanya Wheeler is Director of Digital Rights & Literary Agent at Nancy Yost Literary Agency. Natanya is looking for literary, upmarket, and commercial fiction. She is particularly interested in books that help us understand our world. She’s looking for multicultural voices, psychological thrillers, suspense, book club fiction, romance, and humorous fiction. She loves to find new writers and does not shy away from debut talent. For nonfiction, Natanya is interested in authors with strong platforms who write about nature, the human mind, women’s issues, or animals. Learn more about Natanya here.

Amaryah Orenstein is a literary agent with 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.

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        More 2023 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.)

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PRICING:

$189 — EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2023 BWW and access to all workshops, all days. (You also get 10+ additional free pre-recorded webinars on writing and publishing.) As of late 2022, 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. There is no limit. Here are 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.

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“I met my client, Alison Hammer, at the Writing
Workshop of Chicago and just sold her book.”
– literary agent Joanna Mackenzie of Nelson Literary

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“Good news! I signed a client [novelist Aliza Mann]
from the Michigan Writing Workshop!”
– literary agent Sara Mebigow of KT Literary

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“I signed author Stephanie Wright from
the Seattle Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Kathleen Ortiz of New Leaf Literary

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“I signed an author [Kate Thompson] that I
met at the Philadelphia Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Kimberly Brower of Brower Literary

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“I signed novelist Kathleen McInnis after meeting her
at the 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 a phone call to discuss critique notes. Options:

  • Young adult and middle grade novels: Faculty member Livia Blackburne, a published author of YA fiction, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting.
  • Romance (all kinds): Faculty member Anna Harrington, an author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting.
  • Children’s picture books and middle grade: Faculty member Brittany Thurman, a published author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting. If you submit a picture book, it must be 1,000 words or fewer (can have illustrations or not).
  • Middle grade, young adult; adult fiction in the areas of low fantasy, literary fiction, romance, contemporary fiction, women’s fiction, historical fiction, and mainstream fiction: Faculty member Joel Brigham, a writing coach and author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss his thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting.
  • Thrillers, psychological thrillers, horror, mysteries, suspense, general contemporary adult fiction; and lastly some romance and women’s fiction: Faculty member S.Z. Estavillo, a writing coach and former literary agent, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting. 
  • Literary fiction, general fiction, women’s fiction, science fiction, fantasy, speculative fiction, mystery, thriller, historical fiction, memoir, young adult, middle grade, and children’s picture books: Faculty member Laura Biagi, a writing coach and former agent, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting. For children’s picture books, projects should be 1,000 words maximum, and can or cannot include illustrations.
  • More critique options possibly forthcoming.

How to pay/register — Registration is now open. Reach out to workshop organizer Brian Klems via email: WDWconference@gmail.com, and he will provide specific instructions for payment and registration to get you a reserved seat at the event. Payment is by PayPal or check or credit card. Because Brian plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Boston workshop specifically.

REGISTRATION:

ONLINE: Writing Day Workshops plans both in-person and virtual/online conferences. The 2023 BWW is an Online Conference, on Feb. 3-4. Online events are easy and awesome, and the virtual events we’ve done thus far have received wonderful feedback. You do not have to be tech-savvy to do this, and understand we are keeping all aspects of a traditional in-person event, including one-on-one agent & editor pitching, which will now be done by Zoom or phone. Learn all details about what it means to have a writers conference online.)

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 Brian Klems via email: WDWconference@gmail.com. He will pass along registration information to you, and give instructions on how to pay by PayPal or check or credit card. Once payment is complete, you will have a reserved seat at the event. The FWW will send out periodic e-mail updates to all registered attendees with any & all news about the event. Because Brian 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 or CC refund]. 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 started edited your work.)

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Thank you for your interest in the 2023 Boston Writing Workshop.

Tips For Pitching Your Book at the 2023 BWW

If you are coming to the 2023 Boston Writing Workshop, you may be thinking about pitching our agent-in-attendance or editor-in-attendance. An in-person pitch is an excellent way to get an agent excited about both you and your work. Here are some tips (from a previous event’s instructor) that will help you pitch your work effectively at the event during a 10-minute consultation. The instructor advises that you should:

  • Try to keep your pitch to 90 seconds. Keeping your pitch concise and short is beneficial because 1) it shows you are in command of the story and what your book is about; and 2) it allows plenty of time for back-and-forth discussion between you and the agent. Note: If you’re writing nonfiction, and therefore have to speak plenty about yourself and your platform, then your pitch can certainly run longer.
  • Practice before you get to the event. Say your pitch out loud, and even try it out on fellow writers. Feedback from peers will help you figure out if your pitch is confusing, or missing critical elements. Remember to focus on what makes your story unique. Mystery novels, for example, all follow a similar formula — so the elements that make yours unique and interesting will need to shine during the pitch to make your book stand out.
  • Do not give away the ending. If you pick up a DVD for Die Hard, does it say “John McClane wins at the end”? No. Because if it did, you wouldn’t buy the movie. Pitches are designed to leave the ending unanswered, much like the back of any DVD box you read.
  • Have some questions ready. 10 minutes is plenty of time to pitch and discuss your book, so there is a good chance you will be done pitching early. At that point, you are free to ask the agent questions about writing, publishing or craft. The meeting is both a pitch session and a consultation, so feel free to ask whatever you like as long as it pertains to writing.
  • Remember to hit the big beats of a pitch. Everyone’s pitch will be different, but the main elements to hit are 1) introducing the main character(s) and telling us about them, 2) saying what goes wrong that sets the story into motion, 3) explaining how the main character sets off to make things right and solve the problem, 4) explaining the stakes — i.e., what happens if the main character fails, and 5) ending with an unclear wrap-up.