After a successful 2015 event in Boston, Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2018 Boston Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in Boston, MA on September 29, 2018.
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 2018 Boston Writing Workshop!
WHAT IS IT?
This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, September 29, 2018, at the Sheraton Boston (Back Bay / Downtown area). In other words, it’s one day full of classes and advice designed to give you the best instruction concerning how to get your writing & books published. We’ll discuss your publishing opportunities today, how to write queries & pitches, how to market yourself and your books, what makes an agent/editor stop reading your manuscript, and more. No matter what you’re writing — fiction or nonfiction — the day’s classes will help point you in the right direction. Writers of all genres are welcome.
This event is designed to squeeze as much into one day of learning as possible. You can ask any questions you like during the classes, and get your specific concerns addressed. We will have literary agents onsite to give feedback and take pitches from writers, as well. This year’s agent and editor faculty so far includes:
- literary agent Amaryah Orenstein (Go Literary)
- literary agent Jeff Herman (The Jeff Herman Agency)
- literary agent Elizabeth Bennett (Jill Corcoran Literary)
- literary agent Laura Gross (Laura Gross Literary Agency)
- literary agent Amy Stern (Sheldon Fogelman Agency)
- literary agent Tracy Marchini (BookEnds Literary)
- literary agent Lana Popovic (Chalberg & Sussman)
- literary agent Lucy Cleland (Kneerim & Williams)
- literary agent Matthew DiGangi (Bresnick Weil Literary Agency)
- literary agent Rob Arnold (Aevitas Creative Management)
- literary agent Kimiko Nakamura (Dee Mura Literary)
- literary agent Rebecca Podos (Rees Literary)
- literary agent Beth Campbell (BookEnds Literary)
- literary agent Beth Marshea (Ladderbird Literary)
- literary agent assistant Caleb Bollenbacher (Corvisiero Literary)
- 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 Jessica Bell of Writing Day Workshops, with administration from local writing groups.
EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS:
9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, September 29, 2018 — at the Sheraton Boston Hotel (Back Bay) 39 Dalton St, Boston, MA 02199. (617) 236-2000.
THIS YEAR’S SESSIONS & WORKSHOPS (SEPT. 29, 2018):
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. An Overview of Your Publishing Options Today. This workshop examines traditional publishing vs. self-publishing / e-publishing.
2. Keys to Writing Great Young Adult & Middle Grade Fiction. This session will discuss the tips and tricks for making middle grade and YA novels great.
3. How to Write, Sell, and Market Your Memoir. In this session, you’ll learn what sells (and why), and how you can get your memoir published.
1. The Art of Voice: How to Make Your Writing Come to Life. This session focuses on how to craft prose and sentences that pop off the page.
2. Everything You Need to Know About Agents and Query Letters. This workshop is a thorough crash course in dealing with literary agents.
3. Ten Tips for Writing Great Mysteries, Thrillers, and Crime Fiction. 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. 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. 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. 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. How to Self-Publish Your Book Now and Do It Right. You’ll learn how to: prepare your manuscript, design your cover, format your paperback interior & ebook, register with desired retailers/distributors, and much more.
2. Ten Keys to Writing Success. Learn 10 things you can be doing right now that will help get your book(s) published and find success.
3. Talking Fantasy and Science Fiction. A panel of attending literary agents will be discussing the genres of science fiction and fantasy — i.e., how to write and sell speculative fiction.
BLOCK FIVE: 4:00 – 5:00
1. How to Market Yourself and Your Books: Talking Author Social Media, Blogging, and Platform. This session includes easy-to-understand advice on social media (Twitter, Facebook, more), blogging, and other simple ways you can market your work online.
2. Talking Self-Editing and Revision. This session will discuss common manuscript problems as well as tools you can use to create the manuscripts that will get the attention you want from agents and editors—and readers.
3. How to Write and Sell Romance. 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:
Amaryah Orenstein is a literary agent and the founder of GO Literary. Amaryah has always loved to read and provide (oftentimes unsolicited) editorial advice and, as a literary agent, she is thrilled to help writers bring their ideas to life. She is particularly drawn to narrative nonfiction and memoir but enjoys any book that connects the reader to its characters and evokes thought and feeling. Learn more about Amaryah here.
Beth Campbell is a literary agent with BookEnds Literary. Beth’s obsession with books began with a distinct fantasy/sci-fi flavor, and she’s happily never kicked the addiction. She is primarily interested in signing clients within those genres, YA, romantic suspense, and mystery. She loves seeing diverse characters (sexuality, gender, race, you name it!) and strong friendships across all genres. Learn more about Beth here.
Amy Stern is a literary agent the Sheldon Fogelman Agency. She is currently accepting picture book, middle grade, and young adult submissions from authors and illustrators, particularly if the work explores underrepresented identities. She is open to picture book text submissions. She’s not your best bet for a heterosexual romance or historical fiction, but is open to pretty much anything else in all categories of kidlit. Learn more about Amy here.
Jeff Herman is a literary agent and the founder of the Jeff Herman Agency. He is a nonfiction generalist, and looks for good concepts in almost any area of nonfiction. His areas of agent expertise include popular business, spirituality, self-help and much more. “If I feel I can sell it, I’ll represent it,” he says. Jeff has made more than 1,000 book deals, including many bestsellers. Learn more about Jeff here.
Laura Gross is the founder of Laura Gross Literary Agency. She represents award-winning and best-selling authors of both fiction and nonfiction. “I am particularly interested in history, politics, and current affairs, and also love beautifully written literary fiction and intelligent thrillers. Learn more about Laura here.
Elizabeth Bennett is a literary agent with the Jill Corcoran Literary Agency. Elizabeth is interested in fiction and nonfiction submissions with series and franchise potential, licensed brands, board books, novelties, graphic novels and middle grade fiction. She tends to be 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. Learn more about Elizabeth here.
Tracy 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.
Lana Popovic 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.
Lucy 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.
Matthew (Matt) DiGangi is a literary agent with Bresnick Weil Literary Agency. For fiction, Matt is particularly interested in ace-level literature that dots a Venn diagram in the shade between unforgettable character, unpredictable plot, and prose that really hums. For nonfiction, he is a sucker for original research and journalistic instinct. Subjects include but are not limited to music, American history, sports, politics, weird science, food, pop/alternative culture, and video games. Matt does not represent YA, middle grade, or books for children. Learn more about Matt here.
Kimiko Nakamura is a literary agent with Dee Mura Literary. She is actively building her client list. She represents contemporary / mainstream fiction, literary fiction, young adult, and women’s fiction, as well as memoir, mind and body, health, and cookbooks. Learn more about Kimiko here.
Rebecca Podos is a literary agent with Rees Literary Agency. 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. Learn more about Rebecca here.
Beth Marshea is a literary agent and the founder of Ladderbird Agency. She is seeking literary fiction, women’s fiction, adult fantasy (specifically looking for non-European centric fantasy), adult science fiction (quick, exciting, fun adventures), crime novels, and YA sci-fi & fantasy. Beth is not seeking horror, middle grade, picture books, or historical fiction. Learn more about Beth here.
Caleb Bollenbacher is an agent assistant at Corvisiero Literary. He is taking pitches on behalf of himself as well as all his co-agents. He is personally interested in young adult (any genre) and middle grade (especially fantasy and sci-fi, though contemporary and historical are also good). For adult fiction, Caleb likes high-concept/genre stories. He also enjoys the occasional thriller, humorous, or more literary novel. No romance please. He is happy to take pitches for his co-agents in the following fiction genres: new adult, historical fiction, magical realism, adventure, urban fantasy, and picture books (special stories that deliver a subtle, non-didactic message; illustrations not needed). No nonfiction please. Learn more about Caleb here.
Rob Arnold is a literary agent with Aevitas Creative Management. Rob is interested in literary fiction and nonfiction, graphic novels, memoir and biography, science, technology, art, and narrative nonfiction exploring issues of race, class, and gender. Learn more about Rob here.
More 2018 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.)
$169 — EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2018 BWW and access to all workshops, all day. As of October 24, 2017, registration is now OPEN.
Add $29 — to secure a 10-minute one-on-one meeting with any of our literary agents or editors in attendance. Use this special meeting as a chance to pitch your work and get professional feedback on your pitch. (Spaces limited.) If they wish, attendees are free to sign up for multiple 10-minute pitch sessions at $29/session — pitching multiple individuals, or securing 20 minutes to pitch one person rather than the usual 10. Here are four quick testimonials regarding writers who have signed with literary agents after pitching them at prior Writing Day Workshops events. (Our bigger, growing list of success stories can be seen here.)
“I signed with my agent, Patricia Nelson, after
meeting her at the Arizona Writing Workshop.”
– writer Axie Oh
“I officially signed with agent Renee Nyen of KT
Literary. I met her at the Colorado Writing
Workshop.” – writer Jessie Hilb Akos
“After taking pitches at the Michigan Writing
Workshop, I signed writer Kyle Prue as a new
client.” – literary agent Veronica Park
“After taking pitches at the Alabama Writing
Workshop, I met Erin Hollis at a pitch session, and
she is now my newest client.” – agent Julie Gwinn
Add $69 — for an in-depth, personal critique of your one-page query letter from Brian Klems, one of the day’s 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 $79 — 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:
- Young adult / middle grade / chapter books: Faculty member Madeline Smoot, a children’s book editor, will get your work in advance, edit 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. No picture books, please.
- Literary fiction, short stories, memoir, historical fiction, mainstream fiction, and women’s fiction. Faculty member Maria Mutch, a published author of memoir and short fiction, will get your work in advance, edit the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book/work, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss her 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 Jessica Bell via email: firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
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 Jessica Bell via email: email@example.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 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.)