The 2015 Boston Writing Workshop: November 14, 2015

screen-shot-2014-10-12-at-11-03-38-pm[THE 2015 BOSTON WRITING WORKSHOP IS NOW COMPLETE. Thank you to all who attended. We do not know when the next workshop will happen in Boston, but if you are interested in being on an e-mail list with that date/news (and you have not contacted us previously), send us an email saying so to writingdayworkshops [at] gmail.com. Thanks!]

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Writing Day Workshops and the Homeric Writers’ Retreat & Workshop are excited to announce The 2015 Boston Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in Boston on November 14, 2015.

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 (130 total). All questions about the event regarding schedule, details and registration are answered below. Thank you for your interest in the 2015 Boston Writing Workshop!

(If you live closer to Hartford than Boston, know that there is an almost identical workshop the previous day, November 13, in Hartford.)

WHAT IS IT?

This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, at 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 faculty so far includes literary agent Jessica Sinsheimer (Sarah Jane Freymann Literary), literary agent Rebecca Podos (Reess Literary Agency), literary agent Rick Richter (Zachary Shuster Harmsworth), literary agent Lane Heymont (The Seymour Agency), literary agent Ruben Pfeffer (Ruben Pfeffer Content), literary agent Jody Kahn (Brandt & Hochman); literary agent Kimiko Nakamura (Dee Mura Literary), literary agent Ann Collette (Rees Literary Agency), literary agent Lana Popovic (Chalberg & Sussman), literary agent Amaryah Orenstein (GO Literary), and literary agent Kaylee Davis (Dee Mura Literary), and possibly more to be announced.

By the end of the day, you will have all the tools you need to move forward on your writing journey.

THIS YEAR’S PRESENTER/INSTRUCTOR

Screen Shot 2014-01-08 at 1.09.19 PMChuck Sambuchino (chucksambuchino.com, @chucksambuchino) of Writer’s Digest Books is the editor of Guide to Literary Agents as well as the Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market. His authored books include Formatting & Submitting Your Manuscript; Create Your Writer Platform, which was praised by Forbes.com; and How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack, which was optioned for film by Sony. He oversees one of the biggest blogs in publishing (the Guide to Literary Agents Blog) as well as one of the biggest Twitter accounts in publishing (@WritersDigest). He is a freelance editor who has seen dozens of his clients get agents and/or book deals, and he has presented at 120 writing conferences and events over the past ten years.

EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS

9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, at the Sheraton Boston, 39 Dalton St, Boston, MA 02199. (617)236-2000. Click on this image to see its location on a map:

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WORKSHOP SCHEDULE (NOVEMBER 14, 2015)

9 – 9:30: Check-in and registration at the event location.

9:30 – 10:30: “Your Publishing Options Today.” This workshop examines the two largest routes any writer can take with their book: traditional publishing and self-publishing (e-publishing). We will examine the upsides of both routes, the downsides, and the next steps no matter what you decide. In today’s publishing world, a writer has to understand what they’re in for before they send their book out. This session is designed to prepare them for what’s to come and what options exist.

10:30 – 11:45: “Everything You Need to Know About Agents, Queries & Pitching.” This workshop is a thorough crash course in dealing with literary agents. After quickly going over what an agent is and what they do for writers, we will discuss resources for finding agents, how to ID the best agents for you, query letter writing, as well as the most important things to do and not to do when dealing with representatives.

11:45 – 1:15: Lunch on your own. There are several restaurants within quick driving distance. A map of places to eat will be passed out prior to the event.

Screen shot 2014-10-02 at 10.30.04 PM1:15 – 2:30: “Writers’ Got Talent: A Chapter One Critique-Fest.” 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. Get expert feedback on your incredibly important first page, and know if your writing has what it needs to keep readers’ attention. (All attendees are welcome to bring pages to the event for this session, and we will choose pages at random for the workshop for as long as time lasts.)

2:30 – 3:45: “How to Market Yourself and Your Books: Author Platform & Social Media Explained.” A writer’s platform is as important as ever now. Visibility and ability to self-market are mandatory these days for writers of nonfiction and self-published works. Furthermore, fiction writers want a platform to sell more books, meet readers, and increase their value. This speech teaches writers the basics of what a platform is and why it is necessary. Then we delve into the building blocks of what can constitute a platform, from media appearances and speaking engagements to blogs, Facebook, Twitter and more.

3:45 – 5:00: “How to Get Published: 10 Professional Writing Practices That You Need to Know NOW to Find Success as a Writer.” This final speech is a general presentation examining good writing practices that all editors appreciate—whether writing for books, magazines, newspapers or online. It discusses how to not put all your eggs in one writing basket, how to steal ideas from yourself to generate more stories and books, how to avoid the two most common reasons agents reject you, and much more.

All throughout the day: Agent & Editor Pitching.

PITCH AN AGENT!

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 1.13.15 PMJessica Sinsheimer [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent at the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency. She is seeking: picture books, YA, upmarket genre fiction (especially women’s/romance/erotica, thrillers, mysteries) and—on the nonfiction side—psychology, parenting, self-help, cookbooks, memoirs, and works that speak to life in the twenty-first century. She especially likes highbrow sentences with lowbrow content, smart/nerdy protagonists, vivid descriptions of food, picture books with non-human characters, and justified acts of bravery. Learn more about Jessica here.

Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 10.58.23 AMRebecca Podos is a literary agent with Rees Literary Agency. She is interested in young adult and middle grade fiction, particularly books about complex female relationships, beautifully written contemporary, genre novels with a strong focus on character, romance with more at stake than “will they/ won’t they,” and LGBTQ books across all genres. Learn more about Rebecca here.

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 10.58.58 AMRick Richter [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent with Zachary Shuster Harmsworth. As an agent, Richter is most interested in new adult topical fiction and nonfiction, young adult in all forms, middle grade titles that are humorous or literary in nature, and picture books with strong central characters capable of being sustained over several books. Richter also has a passion for narrative nonfiction in the areas of history and military history. Learn more about Rick here.

Screen shot 2015-06-01 at 3.36.41 PMLane Heymont is a literary agent with The Seymour Agency. In fiction, he is seeking: science fiction for both adults and YA (no space opera), fantasy for both adults and YA (all subgenres), and romance (contemporary, suspense, historical, paranormal, and new adult). In nonfiction, he is seeking: astronomy, cosmology, physics, technology, and popular science by prominent researchers, professors or scientists at the forefront of their field. He also seeks cultural studies, popular culture book and memoirs (humorous, political, war stories, personal stories of triumph). Learn more about Lane here.

Screen shot 2015-05-27 at 11.00.08 PMRubin Pfeffer [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent and the founder of Ruben Pfeffer Content. Previously, he was an agent with East-West Literary, and worked at Simon & Schuster Children’s Books, working as a vice president and publisher. He is interested in all kinds of children’s books — picture books, middle grade novels, and young adult novels. Learn more about Ruben here.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 12.18.09 PMJody Kahn [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent with Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents. She represents literary and upmarket fiction; novels that are beautifully written, while still containing a strong commercial/mainstream hook. “I am drawn to page-turning plots, strong characters with real emotional pull, and stories that transport. In genre-based fiction, I’m specifically looking for historical fiction, family sagas, and literary crime/suspense.  I also acquire cookbooks and narrative non-fiction—especially related to sports, pop-culture, food, science or history—including literary memoir.” Learn more about Jody here.

17232682-20503311-thumbnailKimiko Nakamura [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent with Dee Mura Literary. Kimiko represents fiction in young adult and adult within the genres of historical, contemporary, literary, and women’s fiction. She loves thought-provoking projects that re-imagine what’s possible, characters with something (or nothing) to lose, unique viewpoints, trailblazing heroines, and anything with elements of magical realism. For nonfiction she represents cookbooks and memoirs. On her bookshelf and in her inbox, she looks for cookbooks she can read like the Sunday morning paper and daring memoirs of people making their mark on the world. Learn more about Kimiko here.

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 9.02.21 AMAnn Collette is a literary agent with the Rees Literary Agency. She represents literary, mystery, thrillers, suspense, vampire, and commercial women’s fiction. In nonfiction, she prefers narrative nonfiction, military & war, work to do with race & class, and work set in or about Southeast Asia. Learn more about Ann here.

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 1.08.51 PMLana Popovic [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent with Chalberg & Sussman. With an abiding love for dark themes and shamelessly nerdy fare—Battlestar Galactica and Joss Whedon are two of her great loves—Lana is looking for a broad spectrum of young adult and middle grade projects, from contemporary realism to speculative fiction, fantasy, horror, and sci-fi. For the adult market, Lana is interested in literary thrillers, horror, fantasy, sophisticated erotica and romance, and select nonfiction. An avid traveler, she has a particular fondness for stories set in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia, although she also loves reading about American subcultures. Learn more about Lana here.

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 3.07.32 PMAmaryah Orenstein is a literary agent and the founder of GO Literary. She is particularly drawn to narrative nonfiction and memoir but enjoys any book (including literary fiction and young adult novels) that connects the reader to its characters and evokes thought and feeling. Learn more about Amaryah here.

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 2.07.00 PMKaylee Davis [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent with Dee Mura Literary. Kaylee is actively acquiring middle grade, young adult, and adult fiction — particularly sci-fi, fantasy, contemporary, literary, and LGBTQ. She is drawn to exciting, thought-provoking stories with a fresh perspective that explores what it means to be human. She loves plot twists, genre-bending, unlikely allies, flawed heroes, and stories that are both literally and figuratively out of this world. Learn more about Kaylee here.

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

$149 — FINAL registration pricing. This is the complete base price for registration to the 2015 BWW and access to all workshops, all day.

Add $29 — to secure a 10-minute one-on-one meeting with any of our literary agents 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.

Add $59 — for an in-depth, personal critique of your one-page query letter from instructor Chuck Sambuchino. (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?

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

REGISTRATION

Because of limited space at the venue of Sheraton Boston (Back Bay), the workshop can only allow 130 registrants, unless spacing issues change. For this reason, we encourage you to book sooner rather than later.

Are spaces still available? Thanks to the Sheraton moving us to a bigger room as of Nov 3, we still have spaces available (20 more). 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 Jessica Bell via email: writingdayworkshops@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 Jessica 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, 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 are completely non-refundable if the instructor has already edited your letter.)

 

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Thank you for your interest in the Boston Writing Workshop.

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Jessica Sinsheimer of Sarah Jane Freymann Literary

Sinsheimer_Green[SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS]

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Jessica Sinsheimer is a literary agent at the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency.

She’s known for #MSWL, ManuscriptWistList.com, #PubTalkTV — and for drinking far too much tea.

Always on the lookout for new writers, she is seeking: picture books, YA, upmarket genre fiction (especially women’s/romance/erotica, thrillers, mysteries) and—on the nonfiction
side—psychology, parenting, self-help, cookbooks, memoirs, and works that speak to life in the twenty-first century. She especially likes highbrow sentences with lowbrow content, smart/nerdy protagonists, vivid descriptions of food, picture books with non-human characters, and justified acts of bravery.

You can follow her on Twitter at @JSinsheim.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Rebecca Podos of Rees Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 10.58.23 AMRebecca Podos is a literary agent with Rees Literary Agency.

She is a graduate of the MFA Writing, Literature and Publishing program at Emerson College, whose debut YA novel THE MYSTERY OF HOLLOW PLACES is forthcoming from Balzer + Bray.

Rebecca is interested in Young Adult and Middle Grade fiction, particularly books about complex female relationships, beautifully written contemporary, genre novels with a strong focus on character, romance with more at stake than “will they / won’t they,” and LGBTQ books across all genres.

She is thrilled to represent books like Rin Chupeco’s THE GIRL FROM THE WELL (Sourcebooks), Ryan Bradford’s HORROR BUSINESS (Month9Books), Sarah Nicolas’ DRAGONS ARE PEOPLE, TOO (Entangled), Mackenzi Lee’s THIS MONSTROUS THING (Katherine Tegen Books, Fall 2015), Emily Ross’s HALF IN LOVE WITH DEATH (Merit Press, Fall 2015), Ashley Herring Blake’s SUFFER LOVE (HMH Children’s, 2016) Kenneth Logan’s THE SLOW THAW (HarperCollins Children’s, 2016), and Lila Michael’s NOW YOU SEE HER (Katherine Tegen Books, 2017.)

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Rick Richter of Zachary Shuster Harmsworth

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 10.58.58 AM[SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS]

Rick Richter is a literary agent at Zachary Shuster Harmsworth.

Rick Richter brings 30 years of diverse publishing experience to ZSH. He served for over a decade on the Executive Committee of Simon & Schuster in the roles of President, Children’s Publishing, and President, Sales and Distribution and he co-founded the prestigious children’s publisher Candlewick Press. Most recently, Richter co-founded the digital media startup, Ruckus Media. Find him on Twitter.

Richter has overseen and participated in the editorial, marketing, sales and publicity efforts supporting some 6,000 books over the course his career, focusing on the categories Children’s through New Adult. Franchise bestsellers published under his supervision include: He’s Just Not That Into You (Simon Spotlight Entertainment), Yes Man (SSE), City of Bones – Mortal Instruments (McElderry), The Uglies series, (Simon Pulse), The Spiderwick Chronicles (S&S), Guess How Much I Love You (Candlewick), Olivia (Atheneum), and the successful re-launch of classic properties Eloise and Raggedy Ann, working closely with the estates of Kay Thompson and Johnny Gruelle.

He is seeking: As an agent, Richter is most interested in New Adult topical fiction and nonfiction, Young Adult in all forms, Middle Grade titles that are humorous or literary in nature, and Picture Books with strong central characters capable of being sustained over several books. Richter also has a passion for narrative nonfiction in the areas of History and Military History.

Rick Richter holds a B.A. in English from Skidmore, and currently serves as a Board Trustee of Connecticut Public Broadcasting and The Letterform Archive. He is an advisor to Inscribe Digital and the literacy initiative First Book, and is a former Chairman of The Children’s Book Council and the UJA Publishing Board.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Lane Heymont of The Seymour Agency

Screen shot 2015-06-01 at 3.36.41 PMLane Heymont is a literary agent with The Seymour Agency.

Serving as a literary assistant for the past two years at The Seymour Agency, Lane has led the marketing efforts for their authors and enjoyed connecting clients with readers. As a lover of literature since childhood, he decided to pursue his passion as a literary agent to bring more well written books to the masses. With a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, business and literature, Lane continued his education in Creative Writing and English, attending Harvard. Lane is a member of HWA, ITW, and AAR membership is pending. He believes what John Gregory Dunne said: “Writing is manual labor of the mind.”

He is seeking: In fiction, he is seeking science fiction for both adults and YA (no space opera), fantasy for both adults and YA (all subgenres), and romance (contemporary, suspense, historical, paranormal, and new adult). In nonfiction, he is seeking: astronomy, cosmology, physics, technology, and popular science by prominent researchers, professors or scientists at the forefront of their field. He also seeks cultural studies, popular culture book and memoirs (humorous, political, war stories, personal stories of triumph).

IN HIS OWN WORDS:

“As for science fiction? I lean toward the hard and subtle. Little green aliens shooting death rays don’t work for me. Try Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell Jr. (the inspiration for the 1982 movie The Thing). Others include Isaac Asimov, Carl Sagan, and weird horror/science fiction in the veins of H.P. Lovecraft. Without the overt racism.

“What exactly am I looking for? Well, my all time favorite novel is Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley. It’s everything, Gothic horror, science fiction, and a dash of the weird unknown and possesses what makes these genres great.

“In fantasy, I’m open to most genres. High, urban, contemporary, or magical realism, but I love it dark, gritty, and believable. That might sound strange, but how would you react to seeing a monster in real life? I have no interest in the perfect heroine or hero. We all have problems and I want to see them play out just as much as the dragon breathing flames everywhere. Also, English medieval societies have gone stale for me. Medieval times are great, but I’d like to see some different (read: multicultural) types of societies. Perhaps a fantasy based on tribal Africa. Or Native American. A Polish culture? These, without any marginalization of said culture, would be great!

“In science fiction, I’d love to discover the next great weird, otherworldly novel. Keep it hard or mysterious. Think Carl Sagan’s Contact, Frankenstein, or H.P Lovecraft.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Ruben Pfeffer of Ruben Pfeffer Content

Screen shot 2015-05-27 at 11.00.08 PM[SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS]

Ruben Pfeffer is a literary agent and the founder of Ruben Pfeffer Content. He represents picture books, middle grade, and young adult.

Founded by Rubin Pfeffer in 2014, RPC is the natural extension of Rubin’s 40-year career in the publishing industry. Starting as a designer at Harcourt Brace Jovanovich directly out of college, Rubin has traversed the seas of the children’s book-industry. In his 30 years at Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Rubin served in a multitude of positions including art director, editor-in-chief, and president. In 2001, Rubin transitioned from Harcourt to become Pearson’s chief creative officer.

Wishing to return to trade publishing, Pfeffer transitioned to Simon & Schuster Children’s Books, working as a vice president and publisher in 2003. After a number of years at Simon & Schuster, sensing a changing tide in the industry, Rubin became an independent agent at East West Literary Agency in 2009. Rubin has found his passion in working closely with authors and illustrators, in strengthening and nurturing their work, and in helping writers and illustrators demonstrate their potential to publishers.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Jody Kahn of Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 12.18.04 PM[SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS]

Jody Kahn is a literary agent with Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents.

She represents: literary and upmarket fiction; novels that are beautifully written, while still containing a strong commercial/mainstream hook. “I am drawn to page-turning plots, strong characters with real emotional pull, and stories that transport. In genre-based fiction, I’m specifically looking for historical fiction, family sagas, and literary crime/suspense.  I also acquire cookbooks and narrative non-fiction—especially related to sports, pop-culture, food, science or history—including literary memoir.”

Jody began her publishing career in 2008 as an assistant to Gail Hochman at Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents, Inc., where she now has her own clients and handles first-serial rights for the agency.  Jody also serves as the administrative secretary of the Association of Authors’ Representatives. Jody — who holds a BS in Human Development with a minor in Studio Art — is an artist and an athlete, who runs, swims and practices yoga in her free time.  She also loves cooking and getting lost in unique neighborhoods of New York City.

“My clients include novelist Laura Pritchett, winner of the PEN USA Award for Fiction, the Colorado Book Award, and the Milkweed National Fiction Prize; Michael Kardos, 2015 Pushcart Prize winner and Mississippi Institute of Arts & Letters Award for fiction for his collection, One Last Good Time; Holly Bellebuono, award winning herbalist and author of 3 nonfiction books; and narrative nonfiction writers, Dave Madden and John Dechant, among others.  I am actively building my list and interested in developing long-term relationships with debut writers as well as previously published authors.”