The 2017 Tennessee Writing Workshop: July 22, 2017

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 1.37.26 AMAfter a successful 2016 event in Nashville, Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2017 Tennessee Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in Nashville, TN on July 22, 2017.

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 (150 total). All questions about the event regarding schedule, details and registration are answered below. Thank you for your interest in the 2017 Tennessee Writing Workshop!

WHAT IS IT?

This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, July 22, 2017, at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Nashville South Cool Springs. 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 faculty so far includes:

  • literary agent Lauren MacLeod (The Strothman Agency)
  • literary agent Mark Gottlieb (Trident Media Group)
  • literary agent Kimberly Brower (Brower Literary & Management)
  • literary agent Elizabeth Copps (Maria Carvainis Agency, Inc.)
  • literary agent Beth Phelan (The Bent Agency)
  • literary agent Julie Gwinn (The Seymour Agency)
  • literary agent Michael Caligaris (Holloway Literary Agency)
  • literary agent Alice Speilburg (Speilburg Literary)
  • literary agent Cate Hart (Corvisiero Literary)
  • literary agent Laura Crockett (Triada US Literary)
  • agent assistant Lesley Sabga (The Seymour Agency)
  • and possibly more to come

By the end of the day, you will have all the tools you need to move forward on your writing journey.

EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS:

9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, July 22, 2017 — at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Nashville South Cool Springs, 820 Crescent Centre Drive, Franklin, TN, 37067. (615)515-5151.

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THIS YEAR’S SESSIONS & WORKSHOPS (JULY 22, 2017):

What you see below is a quick layout of the day’s events. We will have a longer schedule with presenter names soon. While the schedule below is mostly set, note that it is subject to change.

Please Note: There will be 2-3 classes/workshops going at all times during the day, so you will have your choice of what class you attend at any time. The final schedule of topics is subject to change, but here is the current layout:

8:30 – 9:30: Check-in and registration at the event location.

BLOCK ONE: 9:30 – 10:30

1. An Overview of Your Publishing Options Today. This workshop examines traditional publishing vs. self-publishing / e-publishing.

2. Keys to Writing Great Young Adult & Middle Grade Fiction. This session will discuss the tips and tricks for making middle grade and YA novels great.

3. How to Write, Sell, and Market Your Memoir. In this session, you’ll learn what sells (and why), and how you can get your memoir published.

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

1. Get Rid of Negative Talk and Naysayers. Get your over your own self-doubt as well as any outside negative voices, and find the time & passion to just write.

2. Everything You Need to Know About Agents and Query Letters. This workshop is a thorough crash course in dealing with literary agents.

3. Fourteen Tips for Writing Great Mysteries, Thrillers, and Crime Fiction. This presentation will teach you how to keep readers—including agents and editors—turning pages late into the night.

LUNCH ON YOUR OWN: 11:50 – 1:15

Lunch is on your own during these 85 minutes.

BLOCK THREE: 1:15 – 2:30

1. “Writers Got Talent”—a Page 1 Critique Fest. This is a chance to get your first page read (anonymously — no bylines given) with attending agents commenting on what was liked or not liked about the submission.
   
2.  Nonfiction Intense: Book Proposal Tips. If you are trying to create an awesome nonfiction book proposal, this presentation is for you.

3. Picture Book Intensive: Advice on Selling Your Children’s Book. In this session, we’ll discuss questions to consider before sending a picture book manuscript out in the world.

BLOCK FOUR: 2:45 – 3:45

1. How to Self-Publish Your Book Now and Do It Right. You’ll learn how to: prepare your manuscript, design your cover, format your paperback interior & ebook, register with desired retailers/distributors, and much more.

2. Talking Craft and Revision. This session will discuss common manuscript problems as well as tools you can use to create the manuscripts that will get the attention you want from agents and editors—and readers.

3. Talking Fantasy and Science Fiction. A panel of attending literary agents will be discussing the genres of science fiction and fantasy — i.e., how to write and sell speculative fiction.

BLOCK FIVE: 4:00 – 5:00

1. Author Social Media and Blogging. This session includes easy-to-understand advice on social media (Twitter, Facebook, more), blogging, and other simple ways you can market your work online.

2. Ten Keys to Writing Success. Learn 10 things you can be doing right now that will help get your book(s) published and find success.

3. Romance Author Panel. This session will address important topics and tips for writers of romance.

SESSIONS END: 5:00

At 5 p.m., the day is done. Speakers will make themselves available by the workshop’s Barnes & Noble station for a short while to sign any books for attendees.

Agent & Editor Pitching: All throughout the day.

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PITCH AN AGENT:

Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 10.48.06 PM.pngCate Hart is a literary agent at Corvisiero Literary. Cate seeks unique stories with well-crafted plots and unforgettable characters with a strong voice. Her favorite genre is historical, whether it’s middle grade or YA, adult romance or something even spicier. The time periods she loves most are Elizabethan England, the American and French Revolutions, the Victorian Era and the Gilded Age. She loves Scottish and French History. If it’s steampunk, clockpunk, or candlepunk, she wants it. Her first love will always be young adult. She will consider any YA subgenre, but is looking especially for fantasy and magical realism. For middle grade, she is looking for fantasy, adventure and Mystery with a humorous or heart-warming voice and a unique concept. For adult fiction, she is only accepting historical romance. Cate will also consider select LGBTQ and erotica. For nonfiction, Cate will consider select histories and biographies. She is looking for secret histories and little known facts and events. She enjoys reading about the everyday heroes of the American and French Revolutions, something more beyond the tactics of war. Learn more about Cate here.

Screen Shot 2016-12-01 at 4.02.36 PM.pngMark Gottlieb is a literary agent with Trident Media Group. Mark’s specialties include adult science fiction and fantasy. But that said, he believes in finding talent wherever it lies and seeks submissions for every type of book, whether fiction or nonfiction, for adults or children. That includes picture books, memoir, inspiration/Christian fiction, graphic novels, comics, and every other category under the sun. Learn more about Mark here.

Screen Shot 2016-11-26 at 1.34.12 PM.pngKimberly Brower is a literary agent with Brower Literary & Management. She is interested in commercial and upmarket fiction, with an emphasis in general/book club fiction, psychological thrillers, contemporary romance, women’s fiction, and young adult (all genres). 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 character arcs. Learn more about Kimberly here.

Screen Shot 2016-11-09 at 8.06.30 PM.pngBeth Phelan is a literary agent with The Bent Agency. She represents middle grade, young adult, and select adult fiction (including contemporary romance and suspense/thrillers), as well as the occasional cookbook or pop culture/humor project. She is drawn to voice and emotional resonance in young adult contemporary, surprising new worlds in YA and MG fantasy, and strong literary voices in middle grade, plus savvy and evocative writing for adult genres. She is particularly fond of stories with smart humor and a touch of the bittersweet, and prefers suspense/thrillers that are female-driven. Learn more about Beth here.

Screen Shot 2016-10-25 at 3.29.31 PM.pngElizabeth Copps is a literary agent with Maria Carvainis Agency, Inc., and she is actively building her client list. She is seeking: In fiction, action/adventure, commercial, family saga, historical, horror, humor, LGBTQ, literary, middle grade, mystery, thriller, women’s fiction, and young adult. In nonfiction, she seeks humor, pop culture, and travel. Learn more about Elizabeth here.

Screen Shot 2016-10-12 at 1.11.39 PM.pngLaura Crockett is a literary agent representing TriadaUS Literary. She will be taking pitches on behalf of herself as well as other agents at the agency — in the following genres: young adult, adult historical fiction, middle grade, mystery/crime, women’s fiction, and nonfiction projects. She is actively building her list of clients and is looking forward to talking with and meeting debut writers. Learn more about Laura here.

Screen Shot 2016-10-12 at 1.21.24 PM.pngLauren MacLeod is a literary agent with The Strothman Agency. She is seeking young adult & middle grade in every subgenre. On the middle grade side, she loves manuscripts with funny characters or humorous situations. On the YA side, she will never stop looking for the next Perks of Being a Wallflower or Jellicoe Road. On the nonfiction side, Lauren looks for all captivating narrative nonfiction, and is particularly interested in food writing, science, pop culture and history. Her dream nonfiction project would be a feminist history of the United States. Learn more about Lauren here.

screen-shot-2014-09-26-at-12-34-10-amAlice Speilburg is a literary agent at Speilburg Literary. In nonfiction, she’s looking for authors with established platforms who are writing books in the following categories: biography, food, gender issues, health, history, literary journalism, music, pop culture, relationships, science, travel. In fiction, she’s currently looking for character-driven novels that fall under the following genres: historical fiction, mainstream, literary, mystery, science fiction, thriller/suspense, middle grade, and young adult. Learn more about Alice here.

Screen shot 2014-09-25 at 10.27.21 PMJulie Gwinn is an agent with The Seymour Agency, and was formerly an editor with many years of publishing experience. Her primary areas of interest include Christian and inspirational fiction and nonfiction, women’s fiction (contemporary and historical), new adult, Southern fiction, literary fiction, as well as young adult novels. Learn more about Julie here.

Screen Shot 2016-10-18 at 4.09.19 PM.pngMichael Caligaris is a literary agent with Holloway Literary Agency. His interests are as follows: literary Fiction, autobiographical fiction (i.e., So Long, See You Tomorrow; A River Runs Through It; Sylvia), short story collections or connected stories as a novel (i.e., Jennifer Egan, Elizabeth Strout, Junot Diaz), LGBTQ lit, novels that are set in the Midwest or could be considered Americana, crime fiction, mystery/noir (i.e., Walter Mosley, Kate Atkinson, Lou Berney), dystopian fiction, civil unrest/political uprising/ war novels, memoir, New Journalism and/or long-form journalism, essay collections (on art, race, mental health, music, etc.), satirical/humor writing, and environmental writing. Learn more about Michael here.

Screen Shot 2016-10-18 at 10.04.16 AM.pngLesley Sabga is an agent assistant at The Seymour Agency. She is taking pitches on behalf of all of the agency’s acquiring agents (except for Jennifer Wills, who is attending the event also). She wants to hear pitches for happily-ever-after romance, mainstream suspense, thrillers, mysteries, young adult with a fresh voice (both contemporary and sci-fi/fantasy), science fiction, fantasy, action/adventure, picture books (especially author-illustrators), cookbooks, middle grade (all kinds), narrative nonfiction, and memoir. Learn more about Lesley here.

        More 2017 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:

$169 — EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2017 TWW and access to all workshops, all day. As of October 10, 2016, registration is now OPEN.

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 PMI 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

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 10.59.25 AM.png“After taking pitches at the Alabama Writing
Workshop, I met Erin Hollis at a pitch session, and
she is now my newest client.” – agent Julie Gwinn

Add $69 — for an in-depth, personal critique of your one-page query letter from Chuck Sambuchino, one of the day’s instructors. (This rate is a special event value for Tennessee Writing Workshop attendees only.) Registrants are encouraged to take advantage of the specially-priced critique, so they can send out their query letter with confidence following the workshop. Also, if you are meeting with an agent at the event, you’re essentially speaking your query letter aloud to them. Wouldn’t it be wise to give that query letter (i.e., your pitch) one great edit before that meeting?

Add $79 — for an in-depth personal critique of the first 10 pages of your novel. Spaces with faculty for these critiques are very limited, and participating attendees get an in-person meeting at the workshop. Options:

  • Young adult / middle grade / chapter books: Faculty member Madeline Smoot, a children’s book editor, will get your work in advance, edit the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting. No picture books, please.
  • Other critique options: Information TBA.

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 Tennessee workshop specifically.

REGISTRATION:

Because of limited space at the venue, the workshop can only allow 150 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 TWW 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 Tennessee 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 and manuscript 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 2017 Tennessee Writing Workshop.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Beth Phelan of The Bent Agency

Screen Shot 2016-11-09 at 8.06.30 PM.pngBeth Phelan is a literary agent with The Bent Agency.

She represents middle grade, young adult, and select adult fiction (including contemporary romance and suspense/thrillers), as well as the occasional cookbook or pop culture/humor project. She is drawn to voice and emotional resonance in young adult contemporary, surprising new worlds in YA and MG fantasy, and strong literary voices in middle grade, plus savvy and evocative writing for adult genres. She is particularly fond of stories with smart humor and a touch of the bittersweet, and prefers suspense/thrillers that are female-driven.

In April 2016, Beth launched #DVpit, a Twitter pitch event that showcases works by marginalized writers looking for agents and/or publishers.

Find Beth at bethphelan.com, thebentagency.com, on Twitter at @beth_phelan, and Instagram at beth_phelan. You can find out more about #DVpit at dvpit.com and on Twitter at @DVpit_.

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Laura Crockett of Triada US Literary

Screen Shot 2016-10-18 at 10.27.43 AM.pngLaura Crockett is a literary agent with Triada US.

She joined Triada US after several years working as a librarian, a bookseller, a writing tutor, and completing her M.A. in Publishing from Rosemont College. In her spare time, she keeps up with the blogging community and shares book reviews with readers and writers.

She is seeking: “I’m interested in a variety of YA and Adult fiction. In YA, I enjoy contemporary realistic fiction, high and low fantasy, and gothic horror. In adult fiction, I’m looking for compelling historical fiction, gothic horror, neo-Victorian mystery, contemporary women’s fiction, and fantasy. Some of my current favorites are The Night Circus, Outlander, Daughter of the Forest, Letters from Skye, Can You Keep a Secret?, At the Water’s Edge, Fangirl, Prisoner of Night and Fog, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Long Lankin, A Madness So Discreet, and The Start of Me and You.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Mark Gottlieb of Trident Media Group

Screen Shot 2016-12-01 at 4.02.36 PM.pngMark Gottlieb is a literary agent with Trident Media Group.

Mark attended Emerson College and was president of its Publishing Club, establishing the Wilde Press. After graduating with a degree in writing, literature & publishing, he began his career with Penguin’s VP. Mark’s first position at Publishers Marketplace’s #1-ranked literary agency, Trident Media Group, was in foreign rights. Mark was EA to Trident’s chairman and ran the Audio Department. Mark is currently working with his own client list, helping to manage and grow author careers with the unique resources available to Trident. He has ranked #1 among literary agents on publishersmarketplace.com in overall deals and other categories.

Mark’s specialties include adult science fiction and fantasy. But that said, he seeks submissions for every type of book, whether fiction or nonfiction, for adults or children. That includes picture books, memoir, inspiration/Christian fiction, graphic novels, comics, and every other category under the sun.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Kimberly Brower of Brower Literary & Management

Screen Shot 2016-11-26 at 1.34.18 PM.pngKimberly Brower is a literary agent with Brower Literary & Management.

Kimberly is interested in commercial and upmarket fiction, with an emphasis in general/book club fiction, psychological thrillers, contemporary romance, women’s fiction, and young adult (all genres). 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 character arcs.

In addition to taking pitches from 2017 attendees, Kimberly is also teaching the workshop “How to Write and Sell Romance in Today’s Market.”

Kimberly fell in love with reading when she picked up her first Babysitter’s Club book at the age of seven and hasn’t been able to get her nose out of a book since. She holds a BS in Business Administration from California State University, Northridge and received her JD from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. Although she loves all things romance, she is also searching for books that are different and will surprise her, with empathetic characters and compelling stories. She takes great pride in her client list, from the debut authors to #1 NYT bestsellers, and likes to consider them all her favorite authors. She previously worked for over two years at Rebecca Friedman Literary before starting her own agency. After spending 14 years in California, she is thrilled to be back on the east coast living in New York City. Connect on Twitter: @KimberlyBrower

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Elizabeth Copps of Maria Carvainis Agency

Screen Shot 2016-10-25 at 3.29.27 PM.pngElizabeth Copps is a literary agent with Maria Carvainis Agency, Inc.

She is seeking: In fiction, action/adventure, commercial, family saga, historical, horror, humor, LGBTQ, literary, middle grade, mystery, thriller, women’s fiction, and young adult. In nonfiction, she seeks humor, pop culture, and travel.

Bio: “I migrated from Florida to start my career with Maria Carvainis Agency as an intern in 2010. In 2011 I signed on with the agency as a full-time assistant, and two years later I was promoted to associate agent. I represent a wide range of genres from MG and YA, to adult contemporary + literary fiction, mystery, psychological thriller, women’s fiction, historical fiction, horror, and select nonfiction projects. I’m an equal fan of hilarious stories as well as dark, gritty and sinister reads. For me, the very best books are timeless, thought provoking, and discussion spurring. I want to see characters who burst off the page and elicit some sort of emotional response in their readers. There are only so many settings and themes to expound on, but every single person is different which means there are limitless combinations of character traits a writer can play with. That’s pretty amazing. The King said it best regarding what it means to create a complex character: ‘Bad writing usually arises from a stubborn refusal to tell stories about what people actually do―to face the fact, let us say, that murderers sometimes help old ladies cross the street.'”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Alice Speilburg of Speilburg Literary

Screen Shot 2016-10-18 at 10.38.10 AM.pngAlice Speilburg is a literary agent with Speilburg Literary.

Alice founded the agency in 2012, bringing with her the editorial and business expertise she had developed in previous publishing positions at John Wiley & Sons and Howard Morhaim Literary Agency. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, and Society of Children’s Book Authors and Illustrators, and she is a board member of Louisville Literary Arts. She is currently building her client list and represents a wide range of fiction and nonfiction.

She is seeking: In fiction, she’s currently looking for character-driven novels that fall under the following genres: historical fiction, mainstream fiction, literary fiction, mystery, suspense, science fiction, fantasy, middle grade, and young adult. In nonfiction, she’s looking for authors with established platforms who are writing books in the following categories: biography, food, gender issues, health, history, literary journalism, music, pop culture, science, travel, and relationships. Learn more about Alice here.