After successful 2016 and 2018 events in San Francisco, Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2019 Writing Workshop of San Francisco — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in the Bay Area on August 10, 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 Writing Workshop of San Francisco!
WHAT IS IT?
This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, August 10, 2019, at the Embassy Suites by Hilton San Francisco Airport. 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 Jennie Kendrick (Red Fox Literary)
- literary agent Lesley Sabga (The Seymour Agency)
- literary agent Moe Ferrara (BookEnds)
- literary agent Laurie McLean (Fuse Literary)
- literary agent Emma Sector (Prospect Agency)
- literary agent Michael Carr (Veritas Literary)
- literary agent Elizabeth Kracht (Kimberley Cameron & Associates)
- literary agent Andy Ross (Andy Ross Literary)
- literary agent Amy Cloughley (Kimberley Cameron & Associates)
- literary agent Karly Caserza (Fuse Literary)
- literary agent Jennifer March Soloway (Andrea Brown Literary)
- literary agent Lisa Abellera (Kimberley Cameron & Associates)
- and more possibly 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 assistance from local writing groups.
EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS:
9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, August 10, 2019 — at the Embassy Suites by Hilton San Francisco Airport, 250 Gateway Blvd, South San Francisco, CA 94080. (650)589-3400.
THIS YEAR’S SESSIONS & WORKSHOPS (AUG. 10, 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. Getting Published in Today’s World: 10 Tips to Make You the Writer Agents and Publishers Want (Grand Ballroom). This workshop discusses the challenges writers face in publishing today and offers up 10 practical tips to help you break through the barriers and find success.
2. Creating Perfectly Imperfect Characters (Stanley). In this session, we’ll cover creating a dynamic character who lives on the page, who breaks just enough rules to not only garner the love of a reader but also to secure the interest of an agent and publisher.
3. Novel Building: What Comes After “What If?” (Northrup). In this session, you’ll learn to keep the initial excitement alive while assessing what your book will need in terms of setting, character, and plot—and how to make that happen.
1. Tips on How to Write Like the Pros (Stanley). This session focuses on how to craft prose and sentences that pop off the page.
2. How to Write a Great Query Letter for Your Novel (Grand Ballroom). This workshop is a thorough crash course in writing fiction query letters.
3. Before You Hit Publish: Your Checklist for a Successful Start in Self-Publishing (Northrup). In this session, we will walk you through all the steps—from covers and vendors to advertising and production schedules. It’s everything you need to know to start your career right.
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 (Grand Ballroom). 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. How to Write a Nonfiction Book Proposal. (Stanley). This session is completely devoted to nonfiction that is not memoir. So 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 (Northrup). 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 Write, Polish, and Publish Your Great Mystery/Suspense/Thriller (Stanley). This workshop will step you through taking your thriller / mystery / suspense story from the concept phase to landing an agent.
2. The Ten Best Ideas for Marketing Your Book (Grand Ballroom). In this session, you’ll learn the ins and outs of all the best marketing strategies to help move copies of your book.
3. Crafting Living Localities for your Sci/Fi and Fantasy World (Northrup). From an android detective’s office to a haunted dwarven fortress, this talk discusses the keys of worldbuilding.
BLOCK FIVE: 4:00 – 5:00
1. 18 Frequently Asked Questions About Publishing All Writers Should Know (Grand Ballroom). Before you publish your work or query an agent (and after), there are plenty of things you need to know — such as how to submit to agents properly, what social media channels you should be on already, how to launch your book right, how to draft a compelling query/pitch and synopsis, how to land book blurbs, how to find other writers who can help you, and much more.
2. Crafting an Irresistible Romance (Stanley). In this session, we’ll guide you through the unique story structure that makes the romance genre so beloved by fans.
3. Keys to Writing Great Young Adult & Middle Grade Fiction (Northrup). This session will discuss the tips and tricks for making middle grade and YA novels great.
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
Michael Carr is a literary agent with Veritas Literary. Michael is seeking: historical fiction, women’s fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and nonfiction of all stripes. He enjoys teaching at workshops and conferences to help develop emerging writers. Michael speaks Spanish and conversational French. Learn more about Michael here.
Lesley Sabga is a literary agent with The Seymour Agency. Lesley loves intricate and vivid world-building and character driven plots. She is actively acquiring middle grade sci-fi & fantasy, young adult sci-fi & fantasy, and adult sci-fi & fantasy. She is always down to read a dark and twisty suspense or thriller featuring strong, female protagonists. She also loves a classic happily-ever-after romance or curling up with a good mystery. She is also interested in acquiring narrative nonfiction. Learn more about Lesley here.
Moe Ferrara is a literary agent with BookEnds Literary Agency. Moe is interested in books for middle grade, young adult, and adult readers in most genres–especially science fiction, fantasy, contemporary, and light horror. The right contemporary or paranormal romance (sans-vampires of course) will spark her interest. She’s LGBTQ friendly, so send her that male/male erotic romance in your back pocket. Learn more about Moe here.
Laurie McLean is a literary agent and founder of Fuse Literary. At Fuse Literary, Laurie specializes in middle grade, young adult, and adult genre fiction (romance novels, fantasy, science fiction, mystery, thrillers, suspense, horror, etc.). She does not handle nonfiction, or commercial, literary or women’s fiction, nor does she handle children’s picture books or graphic novels. Learn more about Laurie here.
Emma Sector is a literary agent with Prospect Agency. She is seeking: “I’m open to middle-grade and YA of all types, but I’m especially drawn to fantasy adventure, magical realism, and historical fiction. I love picture books with big ideas and few words and chapter books with quirky, vibrant characters.” Learn more about Emma here.
Elizabeth Kracht is a literary agent with Kimberley Cameron & Associates. She is seeking: In fiction, she represents literary, commercial, women’s, thrillers, mysteries, historical, and crossover YA. In nonfiction, she is interested in high concept, health, science, environment, prescriptive, investigative, true crime, voice- or adventure-driven memoir, sexuality, spirituality, and animal/pet stories. Learn more about Elizabeth here.
Karly Caserza is a literary agent with Fuse Literary. She is actively building her client list. She is seeking young adult and middle grade fiction — both contemporary, and sci/fi & fantasy. Karly has a deep love for characters with a strong voice and seeks out stories she can get lost in. Diversity in genre fiction is a major bonus. Learn more about Karly here.
Jennie Kendrick is a literary agent with Red Fox Literary. Jennie is looking for well-researched, character-driven young adult and middle fiction, particularly Own Voices works. She is particularly fond of historical fiction, paranormal fiction, classic 90s teen horror, and magical realism, but will gladly accept submissions from all YA/MG genres. Learn more about Jennie here.
Amy Cloughley is a literary agent with Kimberley Cameron & Associates. She enjoys literary and upmarket fiction of all types in addition to commercial—including well-researched historical and well-told women’s fiction. She also loves a page-turning mystery or suspense with sharp wit and unexpected twists and turns. She has a soft spot for distinctive, strong, contemporary characters set in small towns. Amy always looks for an unexpected story arc, a suitable pace, and a compelling protagonist. She is interested in narrative nonfiction when the plot and characters are immersed in a culture, lifestyle, discipline, or industry. She will also consider a travel or adventure memoir. Learn more about Amy here.
Jennifer March Soloway is a literary agent at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. She enjoys all genres and categories of children’s books, such as laugh-out-loud picture books and middle-grade adventures — but her sweet spot is young adult. Jennifer adores action-packed kidlit thrillers and mysteries, full of unexpected twists. Throw in a dash of romance, and she’s hooked! She’s a sucker for conspiracy plots where anyone might be a double agent, even the kid next door. Learn more about Jennifer here.
Lisa Abellera [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent with Kimberley Cameron & Associates. She represents upmarket fiction, women’s fiction, historical fiction, mystery/suspense, speculative or medical science thrillers, science fiction, fantasy, new adult, young adult, and middle grade. She is actively building her client list with both debut and established authors. She is looking to form long-term, collaborative relationships with writers who are committed to putting forth their best work. Lisa does not represent nonfiction, picture books, chapter books or screenplays. Learn more about Lisa here.
Andy Ross is the founding literary agent of Andy Ross Agency. He represents a wide range of subjects, including: narrative nonfiction, science, journalism, history, current affairs, contemporary culture, religion, children’s books and commercial and literary fiction. Learn more about Andy 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.)
$189 — EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2019 WWOSF (Aug. 10, 2019) 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.)
“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
“Good news! I signed a client [novelist Aliza Mann]
from the 2017 Michigan Writing Workshop!”
– literary agent Sara Mebigow of KT Literary
“I signed author Stephanie Wright from
the 2018 Seattle Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Kathleen Ortiz of New Leaf Literary
“I signed an author [Kate Thompson] that I
met at the 2017 Philadelphia Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Kimberly Brower of Brower Literary
“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 Brian Klems, one of the day’s instructors. (This rate is a special event value for Writing Workshop of SF 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:
- 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.
- Mystery, thriller, suspense, police procedural: Faculty member Susan Alice Bickford, a published writer, 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 her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
- Romance, women’s fiction, erotica: Faculty member Adrienne Bell, a published writer, 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 her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
- More options forthcoming.
How to pay/register — Registration is now open. Reach out to workshop organizer Jessica Bell via email: WDWconference@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 San Francisco workshop specifically.
Because of limited space at the venue (Embassy Suites by Hilton San Francisco Airport), 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: WDWconference@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 WWOSF 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 San Francisco 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.)