The 2021 Writing Workshop of San Francisco was a success — thank you to all who attended! The WWSF conference has happened multiple times before, and we at Writing Day Workshops have loved connecting writers and literary agents,and seeing so many success stories from our events.
We are not certain exactly when the next WWSF will happen (and whether it will be online vs, in person). That said, if you’d like to attend a writers conference before then, we have online events coming up in 2021-2022 to keep everyone safe. Please note that even though the events below are for different cities around the country, since these events are online, anyone can attend from anywhere. Each event has 30-40 attending literary agents! Details:
If you have questions, or want to register for any 2021-2022 writers conferences, contact us (Brian) atWDWconference@gmail.comand we are happy to assist. Just let us know which event(s) you want to register for. You can attend from anywhere since the events are online. Writers can sign up for more than one event. If you and several people from your writing group all want to register together, ask us about a group discount.
All classes are recorded and sent out to attendees afterward, so you can study the instruction and enjoy the experience. All pitches are one-on-one with literary agents seeking writers, and done over Zoom (though phone is also an option). Thanks, all, and we hope to see you in 2021-2022 at an event!
After successful 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019 events in San Francisco,Writing Day Workshopsis excited to announce The 2021 Writing Workshop of San Francisco — an online “How to Get Published” writing event on October 8-9, 2021. (Writers are welcome to attend virtually from everywhere and anywhere.)
This writing event is a wonderful opportunity to get intense instruction over the course of two days, pitch a literary agent or editor (optional), get your questions answered, and more. Note that there are limited online “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 2021 Writing Workshop of San Francisco!
This is a special two-day “How to Get Published” online writing workshop on October 8-9, 2021. In other words, it’s two days 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. And even though this is the “San Francisco” Writing Workshop, make no mistake — writers from everywhere are welcome to attend virtually.
This event is designed to squeeze as much into two days of learning as possible. You can ask any questions you like during the online 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 2021 WWSF agent faculty so far includes:
literary agent Paul S. Levine (Paul S. Levine Literary)
literary agent Annie Bomke (Annie Bomke Literary)
literary agent Eva Scalzo (Speilburg Literary)
and 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 coordinators Chuck Sambuchino and Brian Klems ofWriting Day Workshops.
THIS YEAR’S SESSIONS & WORKSHOPS (OCT. 8-9, 2021):
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 theofficial Schedule Page here.
Agent pitches and critique consultations overlap with Saturday sessions. The schedule of presentation topics below is subject to change and updates:
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2021
9:00 – 10:00: #Querytip. What does a perfect pitch entail? 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.
10:45 – 11:45: Building Your Brand as an Author. This session will discuss hooks, taglines, logos and consistent marketing techniques to build your brand, and to get both you and your books noticed in the world.
11:45 – 1:15: Break
1:15 – 2:30: Four Ways Book Authors Make Money from Publishers: How Authors Go from Fingers to Keyboard to Dollars in Bank Account. Examine the four major ways authors make money from traditional book publishing.
2:45 – 3:45: Earning Emotional Investment — How to Get People to Care About Your Characters.
4:00 – 5:00: So, What Exactly Does a Literary Agent Do? After this session, attendees are sure to have gained a better understanding and appreciation of what an agent brings to the table, and how they work with their clients.
* * * * *
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2021
9:30 – 10:30: An Overview of 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.
10:45 – 11:45: Publishing 101. This thorough course, taught by a literary agent, explains what happens between a writer having an idea and a finished book being in a bookstore. Examine the life cycle of a book from start to finish.
11:45 – 1:15: Break
1:15 – 2:30:“Writers Got Talent”—a Page 1 Critique Fest, with participating literary agents and editors. 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.
2:45 – 3:45: Open Agent Q&A Panel. Several attending literary agents will open themselves up to open Q&A from WWSF attendees. Bring your questions and get them answered in this popular session.
4:00 – 5:00: You Have an Agent Offer or Book Contract — Now What? Hear from a literary agent on how to effectively work with a literary agent, what to expect in the submission process, what it’s like to work with a publishing house editor, how to sell multiple books in your career, and much more.
Agent pitches and critique consultations overlap with Saturday sessions. The schedule of presentation topics below is subject to change and updates:
Leticia Gomez is a literary agent and the founder of Savvy Literary. At the present time, Savvy Literary Agency is interested in reviewing compelling and commercially viable book proposals and manuscripts written in English or Spanish. Fiction areas of interest: adventure, chick lit, fantasy, historical, humor, multicultural, mystery, paranormal, romance, young adult, and middle grade. Nonfiction areas of interest: advice/relationships, biography, cooking, diet, health, history/politics/current affairs, how-to, humor, lifestyle, memoir, parenting, religion/spirituality and true crime. Learn more about Leticia here.
Amanda Orozco is a literary agent with Transatlantic Agency. For fiction, she’s looking for YA contemporary romance and fantasy, as well as literary and upmarket adult fiction in the contemporary, speculative, horror, and romance genres. She has a soft spot for coming-of-age stories, short story collections, and the occasional urban fantasy. For nonfiction, she’s interested in stories that offer fresh cultural, political, and/or social critiques along with personal narratives on art, pop culture, tech, and forgotten, unexamined history. She is looking for perspectives from the margins or from emerging artists and academics with original ideas and sharp commentary. Learn more about Amanda here.
Kelly Van Sant is a literary agent with KT Literary Agency. “I am seeking Middle Grade, Young Adult, and limited women’s fiction across all genres, including fantasy, science fiction, adventure, historical, and contemporary. I love character-driven stories with intricate plots, and am always drawn to explorations of friendship and found family. I am especially interested in #ownvoices and inclusive narratives. I’ve expanded on my interests within each category below. I am exclusively seeking nonfiction books on the subjects of magick and the occult, with a strong focus on tarot in particular (especially interested in working with tarot readers who are Indigenous, Black, POC, LGBTQIA+, or from other marginalized communities). Learn more about Kelly here.
Stefanie Molina is a literary agent at Ladderbird Literary Agency. “Across the board, I’m extremely passionate about increasing representation for Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities in publishing, and have a soft spot for stories about mixed people of color. I’m also invested in increasing representation for other marginalized populations, including but not limited to LGBTQIA+ folks, people with disabilities, people with mental illness, and people who are neurodiverse. I am only interested in working with people who are invested in representing the diversity of our world on the page.” She represents picture books, middle grade, and young adult. She also represents the following in adult fiction: diverse rom-coms, cozy mysteries, steamy thrillers, fantasy (all subgenres), historical fiction and fantasy, solarpunk, hopepunk, and silkpunk. “I’m very selective with nonfiction, but I am interested in deeply moving memoirs and business/personal development by people of color. I’m also looking for cookbooks and baking books that make rich culinary traditions accessible while keeping them authentic, especially those with recipes that have been passed down through generations.” Learn more about Stefanie here.
Hannah Brattesani is a literary agent with The Friedrich Agency. She is seeking: “I’m always intrigued by literary fiction that has a playful disregard for the rules of a novel, like SPEEDBOAT by Renata Adler, and I admire authors with a dark bent (Iain Reid) and an offbeat sense of humor (Jen Beagin). I’m drawn to narrative nonfiction that invites me into a community, culture, or lifestyle that I would never otherwise experience or reframes familiar subjects in humorous or surprising ways. I enjoy popular science but digest it in much the same way as I ate vegetables as a child: mixed into something I find more palatable – I need a strong story and voice to carry me through but appreciate every nutritious morsel I get along the way.” Learn more about Hannah here.
Annie Bomke is a literary agent with Annie Bomke Literary Agency. She represents a wide variety of adult and YA fiction and nonfiction, including commercial and literary fiction, upmarket fiction, mysteries (from hilarious cozies to gritty police procedurals and everything in between), historical fiction, women’s fiction, psychological thrillers, literary/psychological horror, self-help, business, health/diet, cookbooks, memoir, relationships, current events, psychology, and narrative nonfiction. Learn more about Annie here.
Kirsten Aguilar is a literary agent with Ladderbird Literary. Currently, she is only looking for Adult Fiction and Nonfiction. She is not open to YA, MG or PB. Across the board, she is looking for work that represents the complexity, intersectionality and diversity of the world without tokenization. She is especially dedicated to representing writers of marginalized communities whose stories are often left out of the publishing landscape. Across all categories, she would love to see more works-in-translation. She seeks literary fiction, commercial/upmarket fiction, thriller, and mystery. In nonfiction, she likes creative (narrative) nonfiction. Learn more about Kristen here.
Elisa Houot is a literary agent with The Seymour Agency. She lives in France. If you can’t find her with a book in her hands, she’s probably writing stories of her own. Four of her stories have already been published. Enthusiastic about discovering new voices, Elisa has reviewed novels for an online magazine for five years. “I am actively seeking kid lit, from Picture books to Young Adult including Middle Grade and Chapter books (everything but horror).” Learn more about Elisa here.
Alexandra Weiss is a literary agent with Azantian Literary Agency. She represents fiction and nonfiction picture books, middle grade, young adult, graphic novels (MG and YA), and select adult nonfiction. “Across the board, I’m dedicated to representing marginalized creators and diverse stories. I’m actively seeking BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, genderfluid, neurodiverse, and disabled voices for all ages and genres. Concerning nonfiction, I’m seeking nonfiction proposals from scientists and experts in their field. Some topics I’m interested in include global warming, space exploration, and mental heath. I’m also open to unique gift books that bring something new to the table.”Learn more about Alexandra here.
Brenna English-Loeb is a literary agent with Transatlantic Agency. She is specifically looking for works of YA and adult science fiction, fantasy, mystery and suspense. She loves grounded space operas, rare myth and fairy tale retellings, nature survival stories, epistolary novels, and heists. She also has a soft spot for stories that blend multiple genres and she is always looking for works by underrepresented groups and identities. For nonfiction, Brenna is looking for serious, groundbreaking sociological work that holds our culture up to the magnifying glass. She also loves accounts of historical events and people that deserve to be better known, as well as unusual and influential object histories. Learn more about Brenna here.
Lindsay Auld is a literary agent with Writers House, LLC. “I’m seeking: books in the picture book, middle grade, and young adult categories, including illustrated and graphic novel submissions. I’m particularly drawn to mysteries, fantasy, historical fiction, friendship stories, romance, magical realism, adventure, and books with humor–light or dark or both. As someone who is an environmentalist at heart, I would be happy to read submissions with an environmental element or streak. I would also love to see manuscripts from diverse and underrepresented authors and artists. I’ve always been passionate about children’s and young adult literature, and, as an agent, I’m eager to help bring fresh voices, characters and stories to a new generation of readers.” Learn more about Lindsay here.
Leah Pierre is a literary agent with Ladderbird Literary. In young adult as well as adult fiction, she is seeking some fantasy, romantic meet-cute stories, realistic and raw family-centered novels, mysteries, psychological thrillers, fairy tale retellings, espionage/heist, historical fiction and fantasy, social justice inspired stories, romance (ideally interracial or at least something out of the ordinary). In new adult fiction, she seeks romance (again, interracial or at least something out of the ordinary), coming of age, F/F friendship, and books about the college experience as well as the post-college experience. Learn more about Leah here.
Stephanie Winter is an associate agent at P.S. Literary. Stephanie is primarily acquiring across three pillars: adult fiction, nonfiction, and graphic novels. She’s actively seeking titles with diverse and inclusive representation that offer smart, culturally aware, and enriching narratives. In fiction, she particularly enjoys Commercial and Upmarket projects (Rom-Coms, Thriller/Suspense, etc.) that offer millennial and/or queer-affirming perspectives. In nonfiction, she’s on the hunt for Pop Culture, Cultural Criticism, millennial Business and Finance, Narrative Nonfiction, How-To, and Lifestyle projects. Overall, she’s looking for stories that will engage with and change the way we view the world around us. Learn more about Stephanie here.
Allison Hellegers is a literary agent and rights director at Stimola Literary Studio. As both Foreign Rights Director and Literary Agent, Allison’s tastes lean towards books that have emotional hooks mixed with strong plot, film/TV and/or translation appeal, and take the reader on a journey. “Please send me your middle-grade and young adult submissions: I’m looking for strong, real voices (#ownvoices a plus, especially LGBTQ+ and BIPOC), diverse stories, gut-wrenching romance and impossible love triangles, coming-of-age family dynamics/drama, charming magical realism, quirky humor, survival stories, 80s/90s nostalgia, and books that have a profound new angle and emotionally resonate. Above all, it should say something new, uniquely. Please do NOT send picture book texts, but I would look at an author-illustrator submission with an already existing dummy. For adult fiction and nonfiction, I’m drawn to powerful and engaging stories told from the voices that we don’t often hear. I love psychological drama, gripping family dysfunction and stories that go in unexpected directions.” Learn more about Allison here.
Leslie Varney is a literary agent with Prentis Literary. She is seeking: “Prentis Literary is actively seeking new authors with fresh, intelligent voices. While we have historically focused on Science Fiction and Fantasy, our true passion is a well-crafted story that engages and captures the imagination, regardless of the genre. We have a focus on inclusion and providing representation for authors with diverse points of view. We support and help with career development on an individual basis, tailoring our approach to the unique needs of each author.” Learn more about Leslie here.
Jamie Vankirk is a literary agent with Rainbow Nerds Literary. Jamie is looking for young adult novels. She is particularly interested in LGBT, POC, and other marginalized groups. #OwnVoices are encouraged. Within young adult, she seeks contemporary fiction, fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction & fantasy, thriller, and mystery. Learn more about Jamie here. “Founded in 2017, Rainbow Nerds Literary is an advocate for diversity. We work with first-time authors or long-time veterans to better hone their craft and reach broader audiences.” Learn more about Jamie here.
Chris Combemale is a literary agent at Sterling Lord Literistic. In nonfiction, he looks for books that take an unexpected view of the familiar (in any subject), from food to economics to science. As a Singaporean/French/American born and raised in London, he is particularly open to international voices, translation, and South/East Asian writers.He seeks adult literary & upmarket commercial fiction, including sci-fi/fantasy, psychological suspense, thriller. In nonfiction, he wants literary memoir, narrative nonfiction from experts and journalists in any topic (special focus: technology, food, pop economics/pop science & psychology), cultural criticism/essay/pop-culture. Lastly, he also seeks tender middle grade fiction with lovable characters and a warm heart, and MG fantasy. Learn more about Chris here.
Analieze Cervantes is a literary agent with The Harvey Klinger Literary Agency. “I’m especially open to BIPOC and LGBTQ voices.” She represents author-illustrators for picture books and graphic novels. She seeks middle grade and young adult fiction. For adult fiction, she seeks thriller and suspense, mystery, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, romantic comedies, paranormal, science fiction, and crime fiction. Learn more about Analieze here.
Jeff Silberman is a literary agent at Folio Literary Management. “I’m a new horizon hunter. My interests are wide, my passions run deep, and the books I represent cut a wide swath. There’s nothing quite like rich narrative nonfiction or a daring memoir. Making science and technology sing. Savoring food, diving deep into important social issues – or the animal kingdom… I haven’t done a math book yet, but I’d love to. History? I’m in. Humor, health, pop culture – there’s pretty much no category of nonfiction that doesn’t intrigue me and for which I wouldn’t happily accept an invitation to take a ride. Fiction: I am currently representing a number of novelists working on their debuts, and their work runs the gamut from book club / commercial to literary, and in one case, literary hilarious.” Learn more about Jeff here.
Lynnette Novak is a literary agent with The Seymour Agency. She loves dark and suspenseful, mysterious twists, unique worlds, light and funny, a good love story, and lots of voice. Lynnette is always looking for own voices, diverse, and LGBTQ+ authors and wants to share more of these marginalized voices with the world. In adult fiction, she seeks thrillers, psychological suspense, horror, contemporary romance, romantic comedy, and mysteries (traditional, amateur sleuth, and cozy). In young adult fiction: thrillers, psychological suspense, horror, contemporary, mysteries, fantasy, and sci-fi. In middle grade: contemporary, horror, fantasy, sci-fi, action/adventure, mystery, and humor. In children’s fiction: picture books (non-rhyming preferred). Learn more about Lynnette here.
Jennifer Herrington is a literary agent with Harvey Klinger Literary Agency. “I am currently building a diverse list of authors and illustrators. I represent picture books, chapter books, middle grade, young adult, and adult genre fiction. (In adult fiction, she seeks romance, funny rom-coms, women’s fiction, fresh cozy mystery, and graphic novels.) No matter the genre or age group, I am looking for books that make feel (whether it’s laugh or cry or both!), distinctive voices, and character-driven stories that revolve around tough issues.” Learn more about Jennifer here.
James Mustelier is a literary agent with The Bent Agency. “I’m looking for both literary and commercial adult fiction. In literary fiction, I’m specifically drawn to visceral honesty coupled with a dark sense of humor. In commercial fiction I’m looking for horror, mystery, and thrillers. My favorite books have distinct and memorable voices that grab the reader’s attention, and a narrative gravity that permeates every action in the story.” Pitch him literary fiction, crime, mystery, suspense, horror, humor, young adult, and short story collections. Learn more about James here.
Reiko Davis is a literary agent with Defiore and Company. Reiko’s interests are varied, but she is particularly drawn to narrative journalism on the topics of pop culture, science/psychology, and current events as well as memoir that focuses on social justice, issues of race and gender, and the history and experiences of women and people of color. For fiction, she’s primarily looking for upmarket and literary novels, specifically set in contemporary times. She loves young, underrepresented voices, magical realism, and voice driven coming-of-age stories. On the children’s side, she’s actively looking for YA and middle grade projects that aren’t afraid to tackle big questions or important emotional truths, and do so through remarkable storytelling, humor, and heart. Right now she’s especially on the lookout for middle grade nonfiction projects (STEM focused, DIY, inspirational, activist driven, historical) and for adult rom com. She’d also love to connect with promising writers of short fiction with a strong initial publication record with magazines/literary journals who are now at work on a story collection and/or a debut novel. Learn more about Reiko here.
Devon Halliday is a literary agent with Transatlantic Literary. In fiction, she seeks literary fiction, upmarket fiction, science fiction and fantasy (though not high fantasy or hard sci-fi), topics such as climate change or feminism or Internet culture, love stories where complications arise from the flaws of the characters involved, and some young adult fiction. In Nonfiction, she seeks popular science, philosophy, psychology, medicine, etc. (anything that introduces a layperson (me) to niche and fascinating subjects), big-picture memoirs or investigative journalism that tackle broad societal truths, essay collections on the unique and bizarre, research-backed explorations of productivity culture, millennials, fandom and gaming culture, news addiction, and passionate, invested writing about subjects I never would have known I was interested in. Learn more about Devon here.
Kimberly Brower is a literary agent and founder of Brower Literary. Kimberly is interested in adult upmarket/commercial fiction, with an emphasis in general/book club fiction, women’s fiction and romance. However, she is always looking for books that she wants to stay up all night reading, unable to put them down, regardless of what genre an author classifies it as. She loves stories that bring her into a world she doesn’t want to leave and characters that have strong story arcs. She also can never say no to an epic love story. Learn more about Kimberly here.
Vicki 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.
Eva Scalzo is a Literary Agent with Speilburg Literary. In Adult Fiction, Eva represents Romance novels (all subgenres except inspirational) and Science Fiction/Fantasy novels. She also represents all subgenres of Young Adult Fiction. She is interested in submissions from diverse authors. Learn more about Eva here, as well as her specific interests and what is seeking from writers.
Erin Clyburn is a literary agent with The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency. She seeks middle grade and young adult. In adult fiction, she seeks upmarket and book club fiction, sharp women’s fiction, domestic and psychological thrillers (especially by BIPOC authors), mystery, humorous and satirical novels, horror of all stripes, multigenerational family sagas (I would love one by a BIPOC author set in the South), grounded stories with magical or speculative elements, and Southern Gothic. In adult nonfiction, she seeks narrative nonfiction or memoir about sports or adventure, pop science, high-interest nonfiction, cookbooks and culinary histories, and science- or culture-focused memoirs and narrative nonfiction. Learn more about Erin here.
Nicole Payne is a literary agent with Golden Wheat Literary. Nicole is currently hoping to find: Young Adult historical romance set in the Middle East; Young Adult literary fiction about love, family and hope and will make me ugly cry; Women’s Fiction involving a Rosie the Riveter influenced story; Adult contemporary about a cut-throat fashion industry and the romance that shouldn’t be a priority over creativity; Adult Action and Adventure that centers around elderly women putting down knitting needles and picking up nunchucks. Both Christian and secular themes welcome. Learn more about Nicole here.
Julie Gwinn is a literary agent and vice president of The Seymour Agency. Julie is actively looking for diverse voices in both fiction and nonfiction and is currently looking for romance, mystery/true crime, historical and speculative/fantasy novels. In nonfiction she is looking for self-help, lifestyle, motivational and sports related books. Learn more about Julie and the books she seeks here.
Sandy Lu is a literary agent with Book Wyrm Literary Agency. In fiction, Sandy seeks literary and commercial fiction, mystery, thriller, suspense, science fiction, fantasy, horror, historical fiction, and YA. In nonfiction: narrative nonfiction, history, biography, science, business, psychology, pop culture, and food writing. Learn more about Sandy here as well as what she is seeking.
Amaryah Orenstein is a literary agent with 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.
Paul S. Levine is a literary agent and the founder of Paul S. Levine Literary. He is also an attorney. His fiction interests include adventure novels, mainstream fiction, mysteries, romance, thrillers, and women’s fiction. His nonfiction interests include business/commerce, pop culture, how-to, self-help, politics/law, relationships, and sports. Learn more about Paul here.
Sera Rivers is Senior Literary Manager at Martin Literary Management. Sera is currently accepting queries for middle grade and young adult fiction and graphic novels, as well as the occasional picture book. Sera is especially interested in inclusive narratives and #ownvoices representation. She welcomes queries by children’s authors and illustrators who identify as BIPOC, LQBTQIA+ and other underrepresented and marginalized identities and cultures. Learn more about Sera here.
Felice Laverne is a literary agent with Arthouse Literary Agency. For fiction, Felice focuses on contemporary literary, upmarket, commercial fiction and select fantasy novels. She is looking for select nonfiction with a unique viewpoint by authors with a well-developed media platform, particularly in the areas of foodie culture/cookbooks, incisive commentary on marginalized cultures and pop culture essay collections. She is intrigued by novels that can introduce readers to a new world, make us think differently about one we already know, or tap into the cultural climate. Felice is interested in finding and uplifting writers from marginalized communities – particularly writers of color. A book that offers sharp social commentary interwoven brilliantly throughout the narrative will keep her up all night reading. Learn more about Felice here.
More 2021 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 2021 WWSF and access to all workshops, all days. (You also get 10 additional free pre-recorded webinars on writing and publishing.) As of early 2021, 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. There is no limit. Here are 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 storiescan be seen here.)
“I met my client, Alison Hammer, at the Writing Workshop of Chicago and just sold her book.” – literary agentJoanna Mackenzieof Nelson Literary
“Good news! I signed a client [novelist Aliza Mann] from the Michigan Writing Workshop!” – literary agent Sara Mebigowof KT Literary
“I signed author Stephanie Wright from the Seattle Writing Workshop.” – literary agentKathleen Ortizof New Leaf Literary
“I signed an author [Kate Thompson] that I met at the Philadelphia Writing Workshop.” – literary agentKimberly Browerof Brower Literary
“I signed novelist Kathleen McInnis after meeting her
at the Chesapeake Writing Workshop.” – literary agentAdriann Rantaof 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 Writing Workshop oif San Francisco 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:
Mystery, thriller, general fiction, literary fiction, science fiction, fantasy, romance, women’s fiction: Faculty member Tara Bailey, a writing coach and author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting.
Thriller, suspense, mystery, crime fiction — all of these (and any subgenres) in either adult or young adult: Faculty member Heather Chavez, an author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting.
All types of children’s books — young adult, middle grade, chapter books, early readers, and picture books: Faculty member Sheri Bestor, an author and former agent, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting. She is also willing to critique children’s picture books. Picture books may or may not include illustrations, and should be no more than 1,000 words maximum.
Young adult fiction (in the areas of contemporary/realistic, rom-com, contemporary (“low”) fantasy, and paranormal fantasy): Faculty member Alex Barba, an author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting.
How to pay/register — Registration is now open. Reach out to workshop organizer Brian Klems via email: WDWconference@gmail.com, and he will provide specific instructions for payment and registration to get you a reserved seat at the event. Payment is by PayPal or check or credit card. Because Brian plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the San Francisco workshop specifically.
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 Brian Klems via email: WDWconference@gmail.com. He will pass along registration information to you, and give instructions on how to pay by PayPal or check or credit card. Once payment is complete, you will have a reserved seat at the event. The WWSF will send out periodic e-mail updates to all registered attendees with any & all news about the event. Because Brian 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 or CC refund]. 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 started edited your work.)
Thank you for your interest in the 2021 Writing Workshop of San Francisco.
“As an Agent for The Harvey Klinger Literary Agency. I am looking for character-driven books that grip me from the first page until the very end. I want fantastic world-building, a clear plot, and want to know your main character’s desire by the time I get to page ten. Time shouldn’t exist when I read your manuscript. I want to be hooked and pulled into your world. Great writing is awesome, but your characters matter most to me. I want books that make me cry, laugh, and to feel connected to your main character. For thrillers, I want to be on the edge of my seat and have no clue on how your book is going to end.
“I want to vouch for your main character and cheer them on by the end of your story. I’m especially open to BIPOC and LGBTQ voices.”
She is seeking:
“I am looking to represent Author/Illustrators for Picture Books, and Graphic Novels. And Writers for Middle Grade, Young Adult and Adult genre Fiction and am actively building my list in the following categories:
Illustrators: Creators that illustrate any age group from picture book, middle grade, young adult, and graphic novels.
Picture Book: Creators who bring a distinctive, well-developed point of view to their work.
Anything sweet to hard topics written in a creative way and will tug on the heartstrings.
Stories about friendships, animals, and the earth.
Heartfelt, whimsical stories that revolve around kid issues.
Stories about baking, food, music (any sort of craft), interactive, and educational (as simple as learning how to bake a cake).
Graphic Novels: Superheroes/young detective/scientist who can share their story in a concise and creative way. Really open to anything. If you think I may be a good fit then send it to me! 🙂
Contemporary (something really cute, out of the box, character desire that molds the MC) Friendship (a story about two friends who do everything together, solve things, and really want to make their friendship work–diverse friendships)
Mystery (twists & turns, young detective who has a desire to solve the case, something out of the box, cute voice)
Sci-fi (cute voice, a young scientist/inventor on the brink of discovering something that shapes the MC and is meaningful to the MC, think Meet the Robinsons)
Stories about friendship, enemies-lovers, sibling relationships, a diverse cast, family (the importance of family/the brokeness of family and how they come together), mother-daughter/father-son relationships (either strained or close), and remind us how valuable life truly is.
Sci-Fi (a Dystopian feel, think Divergent, hacking, neurolinks, AI blend with reality) Contemporary Romance (think If He Had Been With Me and To All the Boys)
RomCom (a love story that provides comedic elements, meeting in a unique moment/setting)
Mystery (think Riverdale, twists & turns, should not give me any hints)
Paranormal (vampires, werewolves, blend of reality & fiction with a love story) No Zombies.
Crime Fiction (thorough investigation for murders and other cases, strong MC with a desire)
LGBTQ (a love story that progresses over time, no triangles, funny quirks that will show how love transforms into something beautiful)
Thriller/Suspense (cliffhangers, want to be on the edge of my seat)
Physiological Thriller/Suspense (think Karin Slaughter’s The Good Daughter)
Mystery (twists & turns, want a surprise ending, should not give me hints on who “dun” it)
Contemporary Romance (a love story that conquers all, no love at first sight)
Romantic Suspense (a love story with suspense elements webbed in)
RomCom (a love story that provides comedic elements, meeting in a unique moment/setting)
Paranormal (vampires, witches, etc. blend of reality & fiction with a love story) No Zombies.
Sci-Fi (soft sci-fi, blending the two worlds)
Crime Fiction (want to feel connected to the MC and clearly shows MC’s desire to solve a case)
What I’m NOT looking for:
— Fantasy — Short story collections — Inspirational works including religious overtones — Erotica — Nonfiction — Memoir — Horror (please nothing with Zombies) — Westerns — Novellas — Anything Political — Poetry — Screenplays
Writers House is one of the largest literary agencies in the world and is known for providing an extraordinary amount of individual client attention combined with the benefits of full service foreign rights and subsidiary rights departments.
“I started at Writers House in the West Coast office, where I apprenticed with Steven Malk and had the opportunity to work with some of the very best authors and artists in the industry. Before taking time off to start a family, I helped launch the careers of several bestselling and award-winning authors. I’ve now re-joined Writers House and I’m actively building my list.
“I’m seeking: books in the picture book, middle grade, and young adult categories, including illustrated and graphic novel submissions. I’m particularly drawn to mysteries, fantasy, historical fiction, friendship stories, romance, magical realism, adventure, and books with humor–light or dark or both. Growing up, I loved (and still love) stories by Lois Lowry, Beverly Cleary, Madeleine L’Engle, Mildred D. Taylor, Philip Pullman, Katherine Paterson, and E. L. Konigsburg. As someone who is an environmentalist at heart, I would be happy to read submissions with an environmental element or streak. I would also love to see manuscripts from diverse and underrepresented authors and artists. I’ve always been passionate about children’s and young adult literature, and, as an agent, I’m eager to help bring fresh voices, characters and stories to a new generation of readers.
MOST RECENT SALES / FORTHCOMING BOOKS
A COMB OF WISHES by Lisa Stringfellow (Quill Tree/HarperCollins) WHAT BEAUTY THERE IS by Cory Anderson (Roaring Brook/Macmillan) HUSH-A-BYE by Jody Lee Mott (Viking/Penguin) WHAT IF, PIG? by Linzie Hunter (HarperCollins) HOW TO BE A ROCK STAR, Lisa Tolin (Putnam/Penguin) MY FIRST COOKBOOK, Rachel Stubbs (Walker UK) I’M GONNA PUSH THROUGH, Jasmyn Wright (Atheneum/Simon & Schuster) LITTLE ECHO by Al Rodin (Penguin Random House UK) BEST FRIEND IN THE WHOLE WORLD by Sandra Salsbury (Peachtree) OH LOOK, A CAKE! by Jonathan McKee (Clarion/HMH) TWINKLE, TWINKLE, WINTER NIGHT, Megan Litwin (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) HOW TO TEACH YOUR CAT A TRICK, Zoe Si (Tundra)
Allison (who also goes by that name Alli at the Studio) received her degrees in Journalism and Women’s Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After spending a semester abroad at the Sorbonne in Paris, she was thrilled when her jobs as Literary Scout and Foreign Rights Manager would take her back to France (among other countries). Alli also volunteered with the non-profit Girls Write Now, and empowering teen girls became one of the biggest drivers in her career. After working with the YA packager, Alloy Entertainment, Alli spent the last 10 years as Foreign Rights Director with Rights People. She also co-agents books for all ages on behalf of foreign publishers and agencies (international, British, and Australian) to represent projects into North America. Alli loves hiking in nature, listening to music on road trips, and spending time with her friends, husband, young son (a new reader!), and her rescue mutt in Brooklyn.
“As both Foreign Rights Director and Literary Agent, my tastes leans towards books that have emotional hooks mixed with strong plot, film/TV and/or translation appeal, and take the reader on a journey.
“Please send me your middle-grade and young adult submissions: I’m looking for strong, real voices (#ownvoices a plus, especially LGBTQ+ and BIPOC), diverse stories, gut-wrenching romance and impossible love triangles, coming-of-age family dynamics/drama, charming magical realism, quirky humor, survival stories, 80s/90s nostalgia, and books that have a profound new angle and emotionally resonate. Above all, it should say something new, uniquely.
“Children’s authors I like: Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume, Natalie Babbit, Lois Duncan, Jean Craighead George, Roald Dahl, Renee Watson, Walter Dean Myers, Nicola Yoon, Elizabeth Acevedo, Jason Reynolds, Katherine Applegate, Kate diCamillo, Cecily von Ziegesar, Karen M. McManus, Ruta Sepetys, Tae Keller, Erin Entrada Kelly, Thanhha Lai, Jenny Han, Maggie Stiefvater, Jodi Lynn Anderson, Kathi Appelt, Andrea Beaty, Mo Willems
“Please do NOT send picture book texts, but I would look at an author-illustrator submission with an already existing dummy.
“For adult fiction and nonfiction, I’m drawn to powerful and engaging stories told from the voices that we don’t often hear. I love psychological drama, gripping family dysfunction and stories that go in unexpected directions. Adult authors I like: Ruth Ozeki, Jeanette Winterson, Meg Wolitzer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Katherine Heiny, Khaled Hosseini, Margaret Atwood, Philip Roth, Megan Miranda, Liane Moriarty, Jeffrey Eugenides, Janice Erlbaum, Paula McLain, Kay Redfield Jamison, Michael Cunningham, Truman Capote, Celest Ng, Kristin Hannah, Sally Rooney, Lynn Steger Strong, Julia Whelan, Ada Calhoun, Stephanie Land, Ibram X. Kendi, Kate Atkinson, Roxanne Gay
“Favorite TV shows I’d love to find book versions of: Mad Men, Skam, GLOW, Insecure, Veronica Mars, Better Things, Fleabag, Russian Doll, Friday Night Lights, Skins, The Queen’s Gambit, The Affair, Hannah, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Sex and the City, Breaking Bad, the Americans, The Great, Dickinson, Succession, Pen15, Cobra Kai, Euphoria, Punky Brewster.”
Recently graduated from uni, a Master’s degree in publishing in her pocket, Elisa Houot is a bookworm. If you can’t find her with a book in her hands, she’s probably writing stories of her own. Four of her stories have already been published. Enthusiastic about discovering new voices, Elisa has reviewed novels for an online magazine for five years. She lives in France with her adorable and barking companion, Muffin.
“I am actively seeking kid lit, from Picture books to Young Adult including Middle Grade and Chapter books, everything but horror.”
She holds a B.A. from the University of Toronto in English Literature and an M.A. in English: Issues in Modern Culture from University College London.
Stephanie is primarily acquiring across three pillars: adult fiction, nonfiction, and graphic novels. She’s actively seeking titles with diverse and inclusive representation that offer smart, culturally aware, and enriching narratives. In fiction, she particularly enjoys Commercial and Upmarket projects (Rom-Coms, Thriller/Suspense, etc.) that offer millennial and/or queer-affirming perspectives. In nonfiction, she’s on the hunt for Pop Culture, Cultural Criticism, millennial Business and Finance, Narrative Nonfiction, How-To, and Lifestyle projects. Overall, she’s looking for stories that will engage with and change the way we view the world around us.
Alexandra joined the world of publishing in 2016, as an associate agent with the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency. In 2021, she joined Azantian Literary Agency where she represents fiction and nonfiction picture books, middle grade, young adult, graphic novels, and select adult nonfiction. She holds a BFA in creative writing and publishing from Columbia College Chicago and has written for Bustle and Buzzfeed, among others. She regularly volunteers with literary organizations and has a soft spot for working with young readers. When she isn’t reading or writing, she’s probably baking up a storm or snuggling with her cat.
“Across the board, I’m dedicated to representing marginalized creators and diverse stories. I’m actively seeking BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, genderfluid, neurodiverse, and disabled voices for all ages and genres”
Please send me your early reader, MG, and YA graphic novel proposals! I’m actively seeking contemporary projects but am open to all genres. Some recent favorites include THIS WAS OUR PACT, SEANCE TEA PARTY and GO WITH THE FLOW. I’d also love to see some nonfiction graphic novels that cover fascinating topics.
I love heartfelt, funny, and whimsical picture books. If you have a clever concept that’s never been done before or provides a fresh twist on a classic tale (such as PRINCE AND KNIGHT), please send it my way. I’m also eagerly searching for picture books books that introduce STEAM concepts and make complex topics approachable (and fun!) for young readers.
I’m also interested in representing more author/illustrators. I enjoy a lot of different styles but generally lean toward art that’s unique, bold, and playful.
I adore all types of adventurous, smart, and out-of-the-box chapter and middle-grade books. Silly schemes! Fantastic friendships! Ambitious adventures! If it has magic, science, or time travel, I’m all in. I’m also a big fan of contemporary middle grade that pulls at your heartstrings (think I’LL SEE YOU IN THE COSMOS and SONG FOR A WHALE). I’m particularly interested in finding more middle grade that isn’t afraid to explore the complicated emotions and challenges preteens face today.
I’m most drawn to contemporary, light science fiction and fantasy, as well as magical realism in YA. I’m looking for strong, distinct, and diverse voices that authentically capture the coming-of-age experience. I’m a fan of angsty characters and stories that explore difficult situations, but I’d also love to see more lighthearted and fluffy romcoms. I’m also interested in YA stories that take place outside of the US or feature mythology from non-western cultures.
Select adult nonfiction:
Currently, I’m seeking nonfiction proposals from scientists and experts in their field. Some topics I’m interested in include global warming, space exploration, and mental heath. I’m also open to unique gift books that bring something new to the table.
Folio Literary Management is a boutique literary agency (if 18 agents still qualifies as boutique) with vast resources. We represent a wide range of authors, including Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners, celebrities, journalists, novelists, humorists, scholars, chefs, and other distinguished authors. We have had the good fortune of representing over 100 bestsellers in the past 5 years.
WHAT I AM LOOKING FOR:
“I’m a new horizon hunter. My interests are wide, my passions run deep, and the books I represent cut a wide swath. A videogame impresario who has explored new technology, outer space, and the ocean’s depths with equal passion. A neuroscientist who created ground breaking technology for studying the brain, and whose prose is utterly stunning. A rock and roll legend who bares his soul. A scholar in Timbuktu who risked his life to save ancient Egyptian and African manuscripts that helped pave the way for Western civilization. A biomedical engineer bridging the gap between art and science, and creating things that matter. An ingénue who left rural North Carolina and found womanhood as she became a part of the cultural explosion of Fellini’s Rome and the French New Wave. A Hall of Famer the players nicknamed God.
“There’s nothing quite like rich narrative nonfiction or a daring memoir. Making science and technology sing. Savoring food, diving deep into important social issues – or the animal kingdom… I haven’t done a math book yet, but I’d love to. History? I’m in. Humor, health, pop culture – there’s pretty much no category of nonfiction that doesn’t intrigue me and for which I wouldn’t happily accept an invitation to take a ride.
“Fiction: I am currently representing a number of novelists working on their debuts, and their work runs the gamut from book club / commercial to literary, and in one case, literary hilarious. I’d love more.
“I seek books that in some way leave us different than we were before. It could be because a new world was opened up to us, or our relationship to the one we thought we knew was changed, because we learned something, or had our hearts opened wide, or simply guffawed nonstop.
“I work closely with everyone I represent, from editorial input to deal making to marketing, and all points in between. Heart and soul.”
WHAT I AM NOT LOOKING FOR:
Fantasy, Sci-fi, Horror, books on serial killers, fictional plagues, Romance (love stories OK), Plays, Teleplays, Screenplays