The 2019 Writing Workshop of San Francisco: August 10, 2019

Screen Shot 2016-12-25 at 10.34.26 PM.pngAfter 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.

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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. A Bird’s-eye View Publishing & Books in the Year 2018 (Grand Ballroom). This workshop examines traditional publishing vs. self-publishing / e-publishing.

2. Fine-Tuning: How to Revise and Edit Your Work (Stanley). In this workshop, find out how to polish your work until it’s ready for the exacting scrutiny of agents and publishers.

3. Ten Tips for Writing a Great Memoir (Northrup). In this session, you’ll learn what sells (and why), and how you can get your memoir published.

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 1.44.34 AMBLOCK TWO: 10:45 – 11:50

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. Getting More Out of Social Media: New Ways to Query and Pitch Your Book (Northrup). With thousands of other authors in the same boat, how do you stand out? And how can an agent or reader who is looking for your type of book find you?

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.  Nonfiction Intense: Book Proposal Tips (Stanley). 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. Knock ’em Dead: Tips on Writing Mystery, Thriller, and Crime (Stanley). You have an idea for a crime novel that you think will be a winner. Now what? This class is designed to help you get from concept to published book.

2. Twenty Questions You Need Answered Before You Seek an Agent or Self-Publish Your Book (Grand Ballroom). Before you publish your work or query an agent, there are plenty of things you need to know.

3. Writing Other Worlds — a Guide to Blending Setting, Plot, and Character in Science Fiction and Fantasy (Northrup). Writers will learn how to build vibrant worlds, and how the details of setting can be used to add depth to characters and plots.

BLOCK FIVE: 4:00 – 5:00

1. Twenty Questions You Need Answered After You Seek an Agent or Self-Publish Your Book (Grand Ballroom). After you self-publish your work or get a traditional publishing book deal, there are plenty of things you need to know.

2. Find Success Writing Romance (Stanley). In this session, bestselling author Rachael Herron will lead you through the steps of writing a romance novel that will satisfy both your creative drive and the genre reader’s expectation.

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.

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PITCH AN AGENT OR EDITOR

Screen Shot 2018-11-18 at 3.49.14 PM.pngMichael 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.

Screen Shot 2019-04-09 at 4.55.13 PM.pngLesley 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.

Screen Shot 2017-03-03 at 12.24.27 AM.pngMoe 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.

Screen Shot 2019-02-07 at 9.09.12 PM.pngLaurie 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.

Screen Shot 2018-11-26 at 1.04.33 PM.pngEmma 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.

Screen Shot 2018-11-13 at 5.40.45 PM.pngElizabeth 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.

Screen Shot 2018-12-02 at 10.35.01 PM.pngKarly 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.

Screen Shot 2018-05-14 at 1.17.16 PMJennie 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.

Screen Shot 2018-11-25 at 10.29.24 PM.pngAmy 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.

Screen Shot 2017-11-09 at 8.55.52 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 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.

Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 3.34.40 PM.pngLisa Abellera 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.

Screen Shot 2017-11-05 at 2.12.46 PMAndy 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.)

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PRICING:

$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.)

Screen Shot 2018-11-26 at 11.11.29 AM.png“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

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 11.47.54 PM.png“Good news! I signed a client [novelist Aliza Mann]
from the 2017 Michigan Writing Workshop!”
– literary agent Sara Mebigow of KT Literary

Screen Shot 2018-11-05 at 12.56.10 PM“I signed author Stephanie Wright from
the 2018 Seattle Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Kathleen Ortiz of New Leaf Literary

Screen Shot 2018-05-17 at 9.07.44 PM“I signed an author [Kate Thompson] that I
met at the 2017 Philadelphia Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Kimberly Brower of Brower Literary

Screen Shot 2016-10-16 at 2.54.50 PM.png“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.
  • 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.

REGISTRATION:

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.)

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Thank you for your interest in the 2019 Writing Workshop of San Francisco.

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Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Karly Caserza of Fuse Literary

Screen Shot 2018-12-02 at 10.34.55 PM.pngKarly Caserza is a literary agent with Fuse Literary.

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.

Associate Agent Karly Caserza was born in the Philippines and immigrated to Northern California as a child. She obtained her Business Marketing degree and has been a Freelance Graphic Designer for over 10 years. In addition to designing a wide range of print and web promotional material for clients, Karly creates book covers for Short Fuse and promotional graphics for Fuse authors.

Professionally, Karly began her career in the publishing industry as a reader for Tricia Skinner at Fuse Literary. Her responsibilities quickly grew and she was promoted to Literary Assistant, a role that also included a spot on the production team of Short Fuse.

Karly is also the Marketing Coordinator of the San Francisco Writers Conference, held every President’s Day weekend. In her spare time, Karly is an Adobe Technical Trainer, freelance graphic designer, Young Adult author, video game geek, and art noob.

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Amy Cloughley of Kimberley Cameron & Associates

Screen Shot 2018-11-25 at 10.29.18 PM.pngAmy Cloughley is a literary agent with Kimberley Cameron & Associates.

Amy came to Kimberley Cameron & Associates with a background in editing, writing, and marketing. She seeks authors with unique, clear voices who put forth smart, tightly-written prose. She is actively building her client list with both debut and veteran writers.

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.

She is not currently focusing on military/government thrillers, fantasy, or YA projects.

Amy has studied creative writing, journalism, and literature and holds a B.S. in magazine journalism. She worked in editorial and marketing roles in magazine publishing and corporate business before shifting her professional focus to her lifelong love of books. She leverages her background in both words and business to benefit her clients.

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

Screen Shot 2019-02-07 at 9.09.12 PM.pngLaurie McLean is a literary agent and founder of Fuse Literary. She 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.

Though she is closed to unsolicited e-mail queries, she is happy to take pitches from attendees at the 2019 SF conference.

At Fuse Literary, Laurie specializes in middle grade, young adult, and adult genre fiction (romance, 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.

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 international bestselling YA author Julie Kagawa, epic fantasy bestseller Brian D. Anderson, award-winning steampunk and fantasy author Pip Ballantine, and the award-winning Linda Wisdom, who has had more than 100 romance novels published in her career.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Moe Ferrara of BookEnds Literary

Screen Shot 2017-03-03 at 12.24.27 AM.pngMoe Ferrara is a literary agent with BookEnds Literary.

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!

At this time she’s not looking for nonfiction, women’s fiction, or cozy mysteries.

Becoming a literary agent was fitting for the girl who, as a small child, begged her dad to buy her a book simply because “it has a hardcover.” Growing up, she had a hard time finding YA books outside of Christopher Pike and R.L. Stine, and instead tackled Tom Clancy or her mom’s romance novels. Though her career path zigzagged a bit—she attended college as a music major, earned a JD from Pace Law School, then worked various jobs throughout the publishing industry—Moe was thrilled to join the BookEnds team in May of 2015 as a literary agent and the subsidiary rights director.

A Pennsylvania native, she is the former mum of a rambunctious guinea pig who was a master at stealing treats. When not reading, she is an avid gamer and always awaiting the next Assassin’s Creed release.

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

Screen Shot 2018-11-13 at 5.40.42 PM.pngElizabeth 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.

Elizabeth joined KCLA 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: Lesley Sabga of The Seymour Agency

Screen Shot 2019-04-09 at 4.55.13 PM.pngLesley 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.

Since graduating from The University of Kentucky (Go Cats!) and obtaining her Editorial Certification from The University of Chicago, Lesley has worked as an editorial intern and freelancer for multiple publishing houses. She’s also been working for The Seymour Agency since 2014.

When she is not rescuing animals or searching for her next debut author, Lesley is a constant occupant at local bookstores in Colorado Springs and is a self-proclaimed coffee aficionado.