The 2020 Boston Writing Workshop: October 3, 2020

Screen Shot 2016-12-25 at 10.34.26 PM.pngAfter successful 2015, 2018, and 2019 events in Boston, Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2020 Boston Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in Boston, MA on October 3, 2020.

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 2020 Boston Writing Workshop!

WHAT IS IT?

This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, October 3, 2020, at the Hynes Convention Center (Prudential Center / Back Bay 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 Charlotte Wenger (Prospect Agency)
  • literary agent Rebecca Podos (Rees Literary)
  • literary agent Jessica Reino (Metamorphosis Literary Agency)
  • literary agent Lucy Cleland (Kneerim & Williams)
  • literary agent Tracy Marchini (BookEnds Literary)
  • literary agent Susan Canavan (Waxman Literary)
  • literary agent Lauren Scovel (Laura Gross Literary)
  • literary agent Tara Gelsomino (One Track Literary)
  • literary agent Beth Marshea (Ladderbird Literary)
  • literary agent Lori Galvin (Aevitas Creative Management)
  • more agent and editor faculty coming soon.

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 Chuck Sambuchino of Writing Day Workshops, with volunteer help from the New England SCBWI.

EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS:

9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, October 3, 2020 — at the Hynes Convention Center (Prudential Center / Back Bay area), 900 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02115. (617)954-2000.

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THIS YEAR’S SESSIONS & WORKSHOPS (OCT. 3, 2020):

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

CLASSES TBA

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

CLASSES TBA

(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.)

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.

CLASSES TBA

BLOCK FOUR: 2:45 – 3:45

Classes TBA

(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.)

BLOCK FIVE: 4:00 – 5:00

Classes TBA

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.

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PITCH AN AGENT OR EDITOR:

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 2019-11-18 at 11.51.11 PMRebecca Podos is a literary agent with Rees Literary. In the Young Adult and Middle Grade categories, Rebecca loves everything from high fantasy to horror, contemporary to historical, and rom-com to magic realism, as long as it has a strong voice and memorable characters whose humanity shines through. She is also now acquiring Adult sci-fi, fantasy and romance. Her wishlist also includes: #OwnVoices Jewish and LGBTQIA books; stories exploring multi-generational relationships; novels featuring marginalized voices and cultures across genres, and a sci-fi about a queer spaceship captain. Learn more about Rebecca here.

Screen Shot 2019-12-05 at 7.13.20 PMJessica Reino is a literary agent with Metamorphosis Literary Agency. In fiction, she seeks: psychological & legal thrillers, mystery and suspense, cozy mysteries with series potential, women’s fiction, and contemporary romance. She also seeks YA contemporary stories dealing with the highs and lows of relationships of all kinds (sibling, parental, work, friendship, romantic), horror, characters dealing with invisible illnesses and chronic health issues without being the center of the story, unreliable narrators, and stories that play with structure. In nonfiction, she seeks pop culture, health, sports, parenting, and humor books. Learn more about Jessica here.

Screen Shot 2017-10-31 at 4.51.47 PM.pngLucy Cleland is a literary agent with Kneerim & Williams. She enjoys reading and working on a variety of fiction and nonfiction, including unconventional cultural history, contemporary narrative nonfiction, literary-leaning vivid fiction, and YA with magnetic characters. She’s drawn to the lives of creatives and rebels, questions about identity and inheritance, Southern voices, and anything about food. Learn more about Lucy here.

Screen Shot 2020-01-15 at 3.02.29 PM.pngTracy Marchini is a literary agent at BookEnds Literary. Tracy is looking for: picture book, middle grade and young adult manuscripts across most genres, including contemporary, mysteries, thrillers, magical realism, historical fiction, graphic novels and non-fiction. She is also looking for picture book illustrators and author-illustrators. She is not a good fit for YA horror, true crime, hard sci-fi, or high fantasy. At this time, she is not looking for board books or early chapter books. Learn more about Tracy here.

Screen Shot 2019-07-31 at 2.08.56 PMSusan 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.

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 Magazine. Learn more about Tara here.

Screen Shot 2020-01-09 at 2.39.57 PM.pngBeth Marshea is a literary agent and the founder of Ladderbird Literary. She is seeking mainstream/commercial fiction, family sagas, literary fiction, women’s fiction, RomComs (especially LGBTQ+), mysteries, thrillers, fantasy, and science fiction. For young adult, she seeks contemporary, mysteries, thrillers, and fantasy. Beth is also starting to acquire a very select list of middle grade and picture books, Learn more about Beth here.

Screen Shot 2019-08-22 at 1.27.23 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, 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.

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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.

 

        More 2020 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 2020 BWW and access to all workshops, all day. As of October 2019, 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 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 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 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 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 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:

  • Critique options forthcoming.

How to pay/register — Registration is now open. Reach out to workshop organizer Chuck Sambuchino via email: writingdayworkshops@gmail.com, and he 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 Chuck plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Boston workshop specifically.

REGISTRATION:

Because of limited space at the venue (Hynes Convention Center), the 2020 BWW 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 Chuck Sambuchino via email: writingdayworkshops@gmail.com. He 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 Chuck 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 2020 Boston Writing Workshop.

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Tracy Marchini of BookEnds Literary

Screen Shot 2017-10-31 at 4.39.57 PM.pngTracy Marchini is a literary agent at BookEnds Literary.

Tracy is looking for: picture book, middle grade and young adult manuscripts across most genres, including contemporary, mysteries, thrillers, magical realism, historical fiction, graphic novels and non-fiction. She is also looking for picture book illustrators and author-illustrators.

She is not a good fit for YA horror, true crime, hard sci-fi, or high fantasy. At this time, she is not looking for board books or early chapter books.

After four years as an agent assistant at Curtis Brown, Tracy left to pursue her own editorial business and to earn her MFA in Writing for Children from Simmons College. With ten years of experience either at an agency or working as a freelance children’s editor, she joined BookEnds in June of 2016 and is excited to grow her list of both award-winning and debut authors and illustrators.

Growing up, Tracy made it a personal goal to read every Nancy Drew Case Files in her school’s library and still has a soft spot for a good girl detective story. As an adult, she loves the sense of possibility in children’s and young adult literature – and can still empathize with the soul-crushing feeling that is mandatory gym class.

 

 

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

Screen Shot 2019-08-22 at 1.27.23 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, commercial fiction, speculative fiction, thrillers, and some young adult. On the nonfiction side, she represents memoir, self-help, lifestyle, and cookbooks.

Her clients include Kwame Onwuachi’s for his memoir Notes from a Young Black Chef (Knopf), which has been optioned for film by A24; Hannah Kirshner’s travel memoir Foreign Woman Works in Sake Bar (Viking, ’20), and Cambria Brockman’s debut thriller Tell Me Everything (Ballantine), which has been optioned by Netflix.

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Susan Canavan of Waxman Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2019-07-31 at 2.08.56 PMSusan 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.

She is interested in books that explore the limitlessness of human potential or that change the way we think about the world around us. A graduate of Boston College with an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College, she is passionate about exceptional storytelling, narrative arc and discovering original voices.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Lucy Cleland of Kneerim & Williams

Screen Shot 2017-10-31 at 4.51.47 PM.pngLucy Cleland is a literary agent with Kneerim & Williams.

She enjoys reading and working on a variety of fiction and nonfiction, including unconventional cultural history, contemporary narrative nonfiction, literary-leaning vivid fiction, and YA with magnetic characters. She’s drawn to the lives of creatives and rebels, questions about identity and inheritance, Southern voices, and anything about food.

Lucy joined the agency in 2013 and serves as its Editorial & Dramatic Rights Manager, along with building her own list. She provides editorial support for the agents in the Boston office and administrative and creative support for Jill Kneerim, collaborating on clients’ proposals, editorial letters, and submission lists. Lucy graduated magna cum laude from Wellesley College, where she studied English and studio art. Previously she interned at Yale University Press and worked as a research assistant at the Emory Goizuetta Business School.

Get to Know a Literary Agent in Attendance: Beth Marshea of Ladderbird Agency

Screen Shot 2020-01-09 at 2.39.57 PM.pngBeth Marshea is a literary agent and the founder of Ladderbird Agency.

At the 2020 Tampa workshop, she will be taking pitches from attendees, and also teaching a speech.

Beth founded Ladderbird Literary Agency with the intention of bringing diverse stories tot the forefront. She has a long love of literature, but found herself disappointed by the homogeneity of canonical work. After obtaining an undergraduate degree in literature, Beth earned a Master’s degree in Business Administration and decided to merge her passions and create her own agency. Beth is passionate about writing that pushes genres and boundaries and challenges the reader to accept a new point of view.

 

What she’s looking for:

Beth is actively seeking narrative nonfiction centering around cultural phenomena, hidden histories. or weird histories, and issue-driven books.

Her first love is and always will be literary fiction, where she’s looking for work with unusual settings or work that involves clever plots and dynamic characters that bring to light new perspectives on old ideas. Particular areas of interest are stories set in Mexico or Central America. In addition, she’s especially fond of magical realism. Think: Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi, The Little Snake by A.L. Kennedy, The Vegetarian by Han Kang, and anything by Haruki Murakami.

Adult fiction:

Mainstream/Commercial Fiction: Multi-gen family sagas (ideally multicultural) meets cutes/RomComs (especially LGBTQ+).

Women’s Fiction: Smart, sharp, and funny, especially centered around F/F relationships, friendship or romantic,

Literary Fiction: Work with unusual settings and/or involving clever plots and dynamic characters that bring to light new perspectives on old ideas. Particular areas of interest are stories set in Mexico or Central America. In addition, she’s especially fond of magical realism.

Mysteries: Beth loves unusual settings and prefers cozies,

Thrillers: Work about anything other than rich suburban women.

Fantasy: Books that are fast-paced with wonderful (ideally non-European) characters.

Science Fiction: Near future; unusual tech; not focused around the US.

Kidlit:

Young Adult: Contemporary (friendship stories; found family; non-US based settings) mysteries (high stakes), thrillers (stories with big twists; no unreliable narrators), fantasy (character-driven and really original).

Beth is starting to acquire a very select list of middle grade and picture books. In middle grade, she’s looking for fun, compelling characters that deal with real problems that middle schoolers face: friendship, divorce, gender identity, budding feelings of attraction or a lack of those feelings, feelings of isolation, and found family stories. In picture books, she’s dying to find books with really cute hooks like “The Day the Crayons Quit,” or nice messaging like “Not Quite a Narwhal.” She’d love to find a book that brings parents and kids together with language simple enough for a young child to read, but engrossing enough for and adult to enjoy.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Tara Gelsomino of One Track Literary

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.

Recent deals include Lyssa Kay Adams’ The Bromance Book Club to Berkley (November 2019), Ruby Lang’s Playing House to Carina Press (August 2019), Cara Bastone’s Just a Heartbeat Away to HQN Books (April 2020), and Joanna Lowell’s The Nude Duke to Berkley (Spring 2021).

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. She also conceived and edited the Jane the Virgin tie-in novel Snow Falling, as well as helmed the creation of the first Twitter audiobooks in 2009 and 2010 with Neil Gaiman and Meg Cabot. She is a Rhode Island native and lives in Johnston with her husband and rescue dog, Yoda.