The 2019 Boston Writing Workshop: September 7, 2019

Screen Shot 2016-12-25 at 10.34.26 PM.pngAfter 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!

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:

  • [NEW ADDITION] literary agent Nikki Terpilowski (Holloway Literary)
  • {NEW ADDITION] literary agent Vicki Selvaggio (Storm Literary)
  • [NEW ADDITION] literary agent Leonicka Valcius (Transatlantic Agency)
  • [NEW ADDITION] literary agent Susan Velazquez (JABberwocky Literary)
  • [NEW ADDITION] literary agent Stephanie Winter (P.S. Literary)
  • [NEW ADDITION] literary agent Eva Scalzo (Speilburg Literary)
  • [NEW ADDITION] literary agent John Butman (Kneerim & Williams)
  • [NEW ADDITION] literary agent Charlotte Wenger (Prospect Agency)
  • [NEW ADDITION] literary agent Tara Gelsomino (One Track 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.

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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. A Bird’s-eye View Publishing & Books in the Year 2018 (Fairfax Room). This workshop is designed to educate writers and help them understand what publishing options exist for them today and why it’s an exciting time to be a writer.

2. Keys to Writing Great Young Adult & Middle Grade Fiction (Gardner Room). In this session, presenter Madeline Smoot, acquiring editor for CBAY Books, will discuss the tips and tricks for making middle grade and YA novels great.

3. A Writer’s Guide to a Successful Book Launch (Hampton Room). This workshop, taught by an experienced literary agent, will help provide the necessary tools to get the word out while still maintaining your writing career.

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

1. Tips on How to Write Like the Pros (Gardner Room). This workshop is a thorough crash course concerning craft, style and voice.

2. Everything You Need to Know About Query Letters (Fairfax Room). In this course, an experienced literary agent will offer tips on how (and how not) to pitch your work to increase the chances of an agent or editor requesting your manuscript.

3. Ten Tips for Writing Great Mysteries, Thrillers, and Crime Fiction (Hampton Room). This presentation will teach you how to keep readers—including agents and editors—turning pages late into the night.

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 (Gardner Room). If you are trying to create an awesome nonfiction book proposal, this presentation is for you.

3. Picture Book Intensive: Advice on Selling Your Children’s Book (Hampton Room). In this session, we’ll discuss questions to consider before sending a picture book manuscript out in the world.

BLOCK FOUR: 2:45 – 3:45

1. Twenty Questions You Need Answered Before You Seek an Agent or Self-Publish Your Book (Fairfax Room). Before you publish your work or query an agent, there are plenty of things you need to know.

2. How to Write and Pitch Your Memoir (Hampton Room). Learn how to take your true-life experience and turn it into an attractive book project.

3. The Keys to Science Fiction and Fantasy (Gardner Room). Learn from the inside how to navigate those aspects of SF/F writing that are unique.

BLOCK FIVE: 4:00 – 5:00

1. Twenty Questions You Need Answered After You Seek an Agent or Self-Publish Your Book (Fairfax Room). After you self-publish your work or get a traditional publishing book deal, there are plenty of things you need to know.

2. What You Need to Understand Before You Self-Publish (Gardner Room). Learn what self-publishing avenues are legit and which are ripoffs, and why some authors succeed in the business.

3. Writing Romance 101 — Finding Your Way to Your Own Happily Ever After (Hampton Room). This session will address important topics and tips for writers of romance.

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:

Screen Shot 2019-01-05 at 3.24.32 PM.pngAmaryah 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.

Screen Shot 2019-07-05 at 6.38.29 PMCharlotte 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.

Screen Shot 2019-07-04 at 2.23.37 AM.pngStephanie 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.

Screen Shot 2018-11-13 at 10.07.45 AM.pngNikki 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.

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 9.50.27 AMVicki Selvaggio is a literary agent with Storm Literary (formerly with Jennifer De Chiara Literary). She is currently looking for lyrical picture books, middle grade and young adult fiction, new adult, 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.

Screen Shot 2019-06-20 at 1.14.22 PM.pngSusan 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.

Screen Shot 2018-11-13 at 10.57.17 PM.pngLéonicka 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.

Screen Shot 2019-07-08 at 10.10.19 AM.pngTara 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 MagazineLearn more about Tara here.

Screen Shot 2019-05-23 at 10.50.25 AMShari 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.

Screen Shot 2019-07-04 at 11.35.25 AM.pngEva Scalzo is a literary agent with Speilburg Literary. Eva is looking to represent all subgenres of romance, with the exclusion of inspirational romance. She also seeks young adult fiction (all types). She is also happy to take pitches on behalf of her co-agents for historical fiction, mainstream fiction (including those with elements of fantasy/mystery/horror, fairytale/folklore fantasy, mystery/suspense, and young adult. For nonfiction, the agency seeks authors with established platforms, especially journalists and academics, who are writing cultural narratives, microhistory, and pop science. Learn more about Eva here.

Screen Shot 2019-01-05 at 3.25.23 PM.pngBeth 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.

Screen Shot 2019-03-19 at 7.10.36 PM.pngBarbara 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.

Screen Shot 2019-03-19 at 1.22.34 PM.pngElizabeth 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.

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Lauren Scovel is a literary agent at Laura Gross Literary Agency. Her fiction specialties are: crime, GLBT, humor/satire, literary fiction, and multicultural. She will also consider commercial fiction, family saga, historical fiction, short story collections, thrillers/suspense. 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.

Screen Shot 2019-07-04 at 12.08.31 PM.pngJohn 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.

Screen Shot 2018-07-26 at 5.27.59 PM.pngLori 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, popular (mainstream) fiction, thrillers, and young adult. On the nonfiction side, she represents memoir, self-help, cookbooks, and lifestyle. 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.)

———

PRICING:

$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.)

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 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: 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.
  • 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.

REGISTRATION:

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.)

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Thank you for your interest in the 2019 Boston Writing Workshop.

 

 

 

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Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Lori Galvin of Aevitas Creative Management

Screen Shot 2018-07-26 at 5.27.59 PM.pngLori 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, popular (mainstream) fiction, thrillers, and young adult. On the nonfiction side, she represents memoir, self-help, cookbooks, and lifestyle.

Her book deals include Kwame Onwuachi’s memoir Notes from a Young Black Chef (Knopf, ’19), Hannah KIrshner’s travel memoir Foreign Woman Works in Sake Bar (Viking, ’20), and Cambria Brockman’s debut thriller Tell Me Everything (Ballantine, ’19, which has been optioned by Netflix.)

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Vicki Selvaggio of Storm Literary

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Vicki Selvaggio is a literary agent with Storm Literary (formerly with Jennifer De Chiara Literary).

Victoria A. Selvaggio comes to Storm Literary Agency as a Literary Agent and Partner. Previously with The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency, she was drawn to the publishing scene first as an author. As a prior Regional Advisor for SCBWI Northern Ohio, Victoria’s desire to help writers and illustrators reach their publications goals inspired her to become an agent.

With over twenty-five years as a business owner, Victoria is excited to help grow the agency’s client base with talented writers and illustrators, while also helping build the agency from within with motivated agents who possess the same ideals, literary interests, goals, and approaches to the industry.As a frequent presenter at conferences, library events, contests, etc., Victoria is always interested in meeting writers and illustrators, and hearing about unique projects! While Storm Literary is primarily a children’s book agency, Victoria will be accepting pitches for new adult and adult projects from conference attendees.

She is seeking: “I am currently looking for lyrical picture books, middle grade and young adult fiction, new adult, mysteries, suspense, thrillers, paranormal, fantasy, narrative nonfiction, adult fiction but find I’m especially drawn to middle grade and young adult. I especially love thrillers and all elements of weird, creepy stuff. If it’s out of the box, and it will make me think and think, long after I’m done reading, send it to me! On the flip side, I yearn for books that make me laugh, cry and wonder about the world.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Léonicka Valcius of Transatlantic Agency

Screen Shot 2018-11-13 at 10.57.13 PM.pngLéonicka 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.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Nikki Terpilowski of Holloway Literary

Screen Shot 2018-11-13 at 10.07.42 AM.pngNikki Terpilowski is a literary agent and founder of Holloway Literary.

After receiving a B.A. in English, Nikki worked in the marketing communications field for several years as a writer and editor. Deciding she wanted to align her professional career with her lifelong passion for reading and writing, she interned at the Elaine English Agency based in Washington, DC, and then moved into literary management, representing a small group of women’s fiction and romance writers, that has expanded to include a list of YA, literary, historical, southern, mystery and thriller authors. Nikki loves all types of fiction, but is particularly interested in finding fresh Southern voices and ethnically and culturally diverse fiction. Books she’s represented have been nominated for RITA awards, RT Book Review top picks, Starred Publishers Weekly reviews, bestsellers, and Goodreads Choice Awards Nominees.

When she’s not working or wrangling her three sons, she enjoys traveling to the beach, mountains and all historical sites in between.

Nikki is currently accepting pitches for:

  • Southern fiction
  • Historical fiction
  • Young adult
  • Women’s fiction
  • Literary fiction
  • Mysteries
  • Thrillers
  • Romance – Contemporary, historical and romantic suspense
  • Cozy mysteries – Written in the vein of Ellery Adams, Eva Gates, Amanda Flower, Bailey Cates, Leslie Budewitz,, with book, food and beverage (wine, beer, coffee, tea, etc.), gardening/herbs, historical society/museum themes or magical realism.
  • Science Fiction – Including Afrofuturist fiction, written in the vein of Nnedi Okorafor and Octavia Butler
  • African-American – Fiction of all types that explore the African diaspora or African-American experience in a new or interesting way that goes beyond a focus on racism or oppression.
  • Nonfiction 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, Southern living, etc.
  • Key words that interest Nikki in pitches: North Carolina, Virginia, New Orleans, Nashville, Atlanta, Charleston, Savannah, Outer Banks, Napa, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Antartica, Mars, African-diaspora, Caribbean, African-American, Gullah, Native American, Indian, Japan, Food, Wine, Coffee, Beer, Bakery, Farms, Civil War, Revolutionary War, Southern, Mountains, Beach, Magical Realism, Spies, Espionage, DARPA, Treasure, Secret Histories, Aliens, Military, Conspiracy, Organic, Mindfulness, Yoga.

Do Not Pitch:

  • Stories that focus on chronic illness or dying
  • Erotica
  • Graphic horror (light elements of horror are acceptable)
  • Stories with graphic sex scenes
  • Police procedurals
  • Stories in which children are abused
  • Stories that explore sexual abuse and its effects
  • Stories in which racism or discrimination are the focus (unless it is historical non-fiction)
  • Fiction set in the 60s, 70s, 80s or 90s.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Susan Velazquez of JABberwocky Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2018-12-10 at 1.05.08 PM.pngSusan 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.

Susan was born and raised outside of Dallas, Texas, but strangely enough, has no strong opinions on football or country music. Much to her family’s dismay, she left the South to live amongst the Yankees. She received a B.A. in Creative Writing with a minor in Gender Studies from SUNY Oswego in 2016. Susan speaks fluent Spanglish and just mastered the art of cooking Mexican rice.

Before joining JABberwocky, Susan interned at Foundry Literary + Media, Coral Press, and Folio Literary Management.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Elizabeth Bennett of Transatlantic Literary

Screen Shot 2019-03-19 at 1.22.34 PM.pngElizabeth Bennett is a literary agent with Transatlantic Literary.

Elizabeth has spent her career in the children’s publishing industry with positions in marketing, product development and editorial at such companies as Scholastic, Readers Digest and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Prior to joining the Transatlantic Agency, Elizabeth was an Executive Editor at HMH where she focused on brand-forward publishing around classic properties like Curious George, Little Blue Truck and The Little Prince as well as novelties, board books and picture books. During her tenure she established an IP program launching several middle grade series including The Next Best Junior Chef, Survivor Diaries, and Junior Ninja Champion.

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.