The 2016 Writing Workshop of San Francisco: Sept. 10, 2016

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 1.17.43 PMThe staff behind the organization and instruction of the Homeric Writers’ Retreat & Workshop are excited to announce The Writing Workshop of San Francisco — a full-day “How to Get Published” writers conference in San Francisco on Sept. 10, 2016.

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 (120 total). All questions about the event regarding schedule, details and registration are answered below. Thank you for your interest in the 2016 Writing Workshop of San Francisco!

(Please note that if you live closer to Sacramento, there is a nearly identical workshop in Sacramento the day before: Sept. 9, 2016.)

WHAT IS IT?

This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016, 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 faculty so far includes:

  • literary agent Jennifer March Soloway (Andrea Brown Literary)
  • literary agent Paul S. Levine (Paul S. Levine Literary)
  • literary agent Chelsea Lindman (Greenburger Associates)
  • literary agent Elizabeth Kracht (Kimberley Cameron Literary Agency)
  • literary agent Laurie McLean (Fuse Literary)
  • literary agent Carlie Webber (CK Webber Associates Literary)
  • literary agent Laurie Fox (Linda Chester Literary Agency)
  • literary agent Mary C. Moore (Kimberley Cameron Literary Agency)
  • literary agent Andy Ross (Andy Ross Agency)
  • literary agent Patricia Nelson (Marsal Lyon Literary)
  • literary agent Chiara Rosati (Veritas Literary Agency)
  • literary agent Lisa Abellera (Kimberley Cameron Literary Agency)

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 130 writing conferences and events over the past ten years.

EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS

[updated venue] 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016 — Embassy Suites by Hilton San Francisco Airport, 250 Gateway Blvd, South San Francisco, CA 94080. (650)589-3400.

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WORKSHOP SCHEDULE (SEPT. 10, 2016)

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 2016-02-29 at 7.24.18 PM.pngJennifer 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. She is actively building her client list now.  Learn more about Jennifer here.

Screen Shot 2016-02-27 at 3.23.06 PM.pngElizabeth Kracht is a literary agent at 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.

Screen Shot 2016-02-28 at 2.51.40 PM.pngLaurie McLean [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent and the founder of Fuse Literary. She represents: Laurie specializes in adult genre fiction (romance, fantasy, science fiction, mystery, thrillers, suspense, horror, etc.) plus middle-grade and young adult children’s books.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.

Screen shot 2015-05-26 at 9.23.50 PMPaul S. Levine is the founder of Paul S. Levine Literary and an attorney. His fiction areas of interest include adventure, children/juvenile, middle grade, young adult, mainstream, mystery, politics/law, romance, thrillers, and women’s fiction. His nonfiction areas of interest include business/commerce, children’s, contemporary, popular culture, how-to, self-help, politics/law, relationships, and sports. Learn more about Paul here.

Screen Shot 2016-05-01 at 10.55.19 PM.pngAndy Ross [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is the founding literary agent of Andy Ross Agency. He represents a wide range of subjects, including: narrative non-fiction, science, journalism, history, current affairs, contemporary culture, religion, children’s books and  commercial and literary fiction. He is eager to work with projects in most genres as long as the subject or its treatment is smart, original, and will appeal to a wide readership. In narrative nonfiction, he looks for writing with a strong voice and robust narrative arc. Andy likes books that tell a big story about culture and society by authors with the authority to write about their subject. For literary, commercial, and children’s fiction, Andy has only one requirement–a simple one–that the writing reveal the terrain of that vast and unexplored country, the human heart. Learn more about Andy here.

Screen Shot 2016-05-01 at 12.20.24 AM.pngMary C. Moore is a literary agent with Kimberley Cameron & Associates. She is seeking adult and young adult fantasy and science fiction (SFF) except dystopian. In sci-fi and fantasy, she prefers upmarket writing and settings/characters that think outside SFF tropes with earthy female-based characters. If submitting urban fantasy, please no demons, vampires, angels, or werewolves. She enjoys literary fiction — especially magical realism that highlights particular culture or surreal intellectual humor. She also represents genre romance, cozy mystery, and historical fiction (no WWII narratives). Learn more about Mary here.

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 1.07.08 PM.pngChelsea Lindman is a literary agent at Greenburger Associates. Her primary interests include playful literary fiction, genre-bending fiction, smart women’s fiction, and forward thinking or boundary-pushing nonfiction. Her fiction clients include Sherwood Anderson Fiction Award Winner Kristopher Jansma, LA Times Book Prize Finalist Ariel S. Winter, and Richard Bausch Fiction Prize Winner Jesse Goolsby.  Her nonfiction clients include performer Roslyn Hart, comediennes Laura Lane and Anglea Spera, and TEDx speakers Stacey Ferreira and Jared Kleinert. Learn more about Chelsea here.

Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 7.45.49 PM.pngLaurie Fox is a literary agent with Linda Chester Literary Agency. She represents books in the areas of: literary fiction, memoir/biography, popular culture/quirky humor, unique narrative nonfiction, and cutting-edge science. A graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz (Writing and Theatre Arts), she is a published author of fiction and poetry, including Sexy Hieroglyphics (Chronicle Books); and two novels, My Sister from the Black Lagoon and The Lost Girls, both from Simon & Schuster. Learn more about Laurie here.

Screen shot 2015-05-26 at 9.19.13 PMPatricia Nelson [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is actively building her client list at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. Patricia represents adult and young adult fiction, and is actively looking to build her list. She is a fiction generalist, and will take pitches on the whole gamut of literary and commercial adult fiction. On the adult side, she is particularly interested in literary fiction and commercial fiction in the new adult, women’s fiction, and romance genres. For young adult, she is looking for contemporary/realistic fiction as well YA mystery/thriller, horror, magical realism, science fiction and fantasy. She is also interested in finding exciting multicultural and LGBTQ fiction, both YA and adult. Learn more about Patricia here.

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 3.21.00 PM.pngChiara Rosati is a literary agent with Veritas Literary Agency. She is seeking: literary fiction, middle grade, young adult, new adult, women’s studies, and narrative nonfiction. Chiara’s passion for nuanced expression in the written form, combined with her devotion to nurturing clients and their creations, fuels her artistic mission: that of helping noteworthy manuscripts make the transformative journey into published works. Learn more about Chiara here.

Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 3.34.40 PM.pngLisa Abellera [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent with Kimberley Cameron & Associates. She is seeking to represent: 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. Learn more about Lisa here.

Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 9.25.16 AM.pngCarlie Webber is a literary agent and the founder of CK Webber Associates Literary Management. She represents fiction in the genres of young adult, middle grade, new adult, women’s fiction, literary fiction, mainstream fiction, mystery, thriller, suspense, romance, science fiction, and fantasy. She is no longer seeking nonfiction. Learn more about Carlie 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 — EARLY BIRD registration pricing! This is the complete base price for registration to the 2016 WWSF 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. Here are some testimonials from writers who have signed with literary agents after pitching them at prior Writing Day Workshops events:

Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 3.01.32 PM“I signed with my agent, Patricia Nelson, after
meeting her at the Arizona Writing Workshop.”
– writer Axie Oh

Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 3.05.52 PM“I officially signed with agent Renee Nyen of KT
Literary. I met her at the Colorado Writing
Workshop.” – writer Jessie Hilb Akos

Screen Shot 2016-02-27 at 1.31.47 PM.png“After taking pitches at the Michigan Writing
Workshop, I signed writer Kyle Prue as a new
client.” – literary agent Veronica Park

Add $69 — for an in-depth, personal critique of your one-page query letter from instructor Chuck Sambuchino. (This rate is a special event value for SF 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 San Francisco workshop specifically.

REGISTRATION

Because of limited space at the venue of the Embassy Suites San Francisco Airport, the workshop can only allow 120 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: 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 WWSF 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, 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 Writing Workshop of San Francisco.

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Laurie Fox of Linda Chester Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 7.45.49 PM.pngLaurie Fox is a literary agent with Linda Chester Literary Agency.

She represents books in the areas of: literary fiction, memoir/biography, popular culture/quirky humor, unique narrative nonfiction, and cutting-edge science.

Laurie, who joined the agency in 1989, is the agency’s West Coast Associate. A graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz (Writing and Theatre Arts), she is a published author of fiction and poetry, including Sexy Hieroglyphics (Chronicle Books); and two novels, My Sister from the Black Lagoon (starred Publishers Weekly review; San Francisco Chronicle bestseller) and The Lost Girls, both published by Simon & Schuster.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Jennifer March Soloway

Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 7.24.15 PM.pngJennifer 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 is a suspense junkie. She adores action-packed 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. She is a huge fan of psychological horror that blurs the lines between the real and the imagined. But as much as she loves a good thriller, she finds her favorite novels are literary stories about ordinary teens, especially those focused on family, relationships, sexuality, mental illness, or addiction. In such stories, she is particularly drawn to a close, confiding first-person narrative.

Prior to joining ABLA, Jennifer worked in marketing and public relations in a variety of industries, including financial services, health care, and toys. She has an MFA in English and Creative Writing from Mills College, and was a fellow at the San Francisco Writer’s Grotto in 2012. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, their two sons, and an English bulldog.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Elizabeth Kracht of Kimberley Cameron Literary

Screen Shot 2016-02-27 at 3.22.59 PM.pngElizabeth Kracht is a literary agent at 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.

Elizabeth became an agent in the fall of 2010 to broaden her perspective on the publishing industry. She represents both literary and commercial fiction as well as nonfiction, and brings to the agency experience as a former acquisitions editor, freelance publicist and writer.

Elizabeth’s career in publishing took root in Puerto Rico where she completed her BA in English and worked as a copyeditor for an English-language newspaper. When she returned to the mainland she found her “vein of gold” in book publishing. She thrives on working closely with authors to build their careers.

Elizabeth’s eclectic life experience drives her interests. She appreciates writing that has depth, an introspective voice, and is thematically layered. Having lived in cities such as New York, San Francisco and San Juan, Puerto Rico, she is compelled by multicultural themes and characters and is drawn toward strong settings.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Laurie McLean of Fuse Literary

Screen Shot 2016-02-28 at 2.48.56 PM.png[SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS]

Laurie McLean is a literary agent and the founder of Fuse Literary.

She represents: Laurie specializes in adult genre fiction (romance, fantasy, science fiction, mystery, thrillers, suspense, horror, etc.) plus middle-grade and young adult children’s books.

She does not handle nonfiction, or commercial, literary or women’s fiction, nor does she handle children’s picture books or graphic novels.

Laurie McLean spent 20 years as the CEO of a publicity agency and 8 years as an agent and senior agent at Larsen Pomada Literary Agents in San Francisco.

Following her stint as the CEO of a successful Silicon Valley public relations agency bearing her name, Laurie was able to switch gears in 2002 to immerse herself in writing. She penned three manuscripts before deciding that the life of a literary agent was her destiny. Laurie has been writing professionally since high school–first as a journalist, then as a public relations agent, finally as a novelist. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from the State University of New York and a Master’s Degree at Syracuse University’s prestigious Newhouse School of Journalism.

Laurie’s clients include the New York Times and USA Today bestselling YA author Julie Kagawa, bestselling proper romance author Julianne Donaldson, award-winning steampunk and fantasy authors Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris, and the award-winning Linda Wisdom, who has had more than 100 romance novels published in her career.

For more on Laurie, check out her blog at agentsavant.com, follow her on Twitter @agentsavant, and visit her Facebook page at Facebook.com/laurie.mclean.

Prior to founding Fuse Literary, Laurie was also the Dean of San Francisco Writers University and on the management team of the San Francisco Writers Conference. In 2012 Laurie co-founded two ePublishing companies with two of her client partners: JoyrideBooks.com for vintage out-of-print romance books with Linda Wisdom; and AmbushBooks.com for out-of-print classic tween and teen books with Douglas Rees (which they just sold to Fuse Literary’s Short Fuse Publishing).

 

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Chelsea Lindman of Greenburger Associates

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 1.07.08 PM.pngChelsea Lindman is a literary agent at Sanford J. Greenburger, Associates.

Her primary interests include playful literary fiction, genre-bending fiction, smart women’s fiction, and forward thinking or boundary-pushing nonfiction.

Her fiction clients include Sherwood Anderson Fiction Award Winner Kristopher Jansma, LA Times Book Prize Finalist Ariel S. Winter, and Richard Bausch Fiction Prize Winner Jesse Goolsby.   Her nonfiction clients include performer Roslyn Hart, comediennes Laura Lane and Anglea Spera, and TEDx speakers Stacey Ferreira and Jared Kleinert.  Chelsea enjoys working with debut authors and is most interested in working with clients that are looking to build lasting relationships.

Chelsea began her publishing career as an editor at Europa Editions, where she worked with bestselling authors Elena Ferante and Muriel Barbery.  Chelsea then went on to work with The Nicholas Ellison Agency as Director of Foreign Rights, where she worked with international publishers and co-agents to develop and grow audiences abroad for the agency’s bestselling authors, including Nelson DeMille, Jeff Lindsay, and Christopher Moore, while also building her own list. She is a graduate of University of California, Santa Barbara, and runs marathons for fun.

Find her on Twitter at @chelslindman

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Paul S. Levine of Paul S. Levine Literary

Screen shot 2015-05-26 at 9.23.50 PMPaul S. Levine is the founder of Paul S. Levine Literary. Open to virtually any genre or category, he will consider fiction, nonfiction, children’s, young adult manuscripts, and proposals for nonfiction books. Highly aware of market trends and editors’ preferences, Levine limits himself to projects which he believes in and feels certain he can sell. Some of his recent fiction sales include science fiction, fantasy, mystery, crime, thriller, women’s fiction, and romance. Some of his recent nonfiction sales include diet, how-to, business/finance, true crime, parenting, and advice/relationships.

When he opened The Paul S. Levine Literary Agency in 1996, Levine had less than 200 editors in his private database; in his database he now has over 1,600 editors, to whom he has sold over 150 fiction and non-fiction books.

As an entertainment lawyer, Levine has written the legal contracts for several books adapted as movies-for-television. With over a quarter of a century of experience in the entertainment and book industries, Levine is one of the few lawyers on the West coast who also understands the world of book publishing; as such, he is able to act as both literary agent and publishing attorney for his clients.