The 2021 Tennessee Writing Workshop was a success — thank you to all who attended! The TWW 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 TWW 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) at WDWconference@gmail.com and 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, 2017, 2018, and 2019 events in Tennessee,Writing Day Workshopsis excited to announce The 2021 Tennessee Writing Workshop — an online “How to Get Published” writing event on August 7, 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 one day, 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 Tennessee Writing Workshop!
This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on August 7, 2021. 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. And even though this is the “Tennessee” Writing Workshop, make no mistake — writers from everywhere are welcome to attend virtually.
This event is designed to squeeze as much into one day 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 TWW agent faculty so far includes:
literary agent Paul S. Levine (Paul S. Levine Literary)
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 of Writing Day Workshops.
THIS YEAR’S SESSIONS & WORKSHOPS (AUGUST 7, 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:
SATURDAY, AUGUST 7, 2021
9:30 – 10:30: “Everything You Need to Know About Agents and Query Letters.” This workshop is a thorough crash course in dealing with literary agents.
10:45 – 11:45: “Traditional Publishing vs. Independent Publishing.” By the end of the presentation, attendees will have gained the clarity needed to decide whether they have the stomach to take the traditional publishing route with the help of a literary agent or strike out on their on and publish their literary masterpiece on their own.
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: “How to Write Like the Pros.” We’ll discuss nuts & bolts tips for sentence construction like how to avoid passive tense, how to use vivid language, how to self-edit your own work, how to make your characters memorable, the art of compelling dialogue, and much more.
4:00 – 5:00: “Reframing Rejection.” This session teaches how to keep hope and optimism throughout the difficult process of querying.
Agent pitches and critique consultations overlap with Saturday sessions. The schedule of presentation topics below is subject to change and updates:
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.
Suzie Townsend is Vice President and Literary Agent at New Leaf Media. Suzie represents all brands of children’s and adult fiction. She loves women’s fiction, narrative nonfiction, memoir, and debut fiction. On the children’s side, she is interested in select young adult and middle grade. Suzie loves strong characters and voice-driven stories that break out of the typical tropes of their genres, and she’s always looking for unique new voices in stories. Learn more about Suzie here.
Karly Dizon is a literary agent with Fuse Literary. 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. She specializes in picture book, middle grade, and young adult genre fiction (fantasy, science fiction, and contemporary). Learn more about Karly 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.
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.
Gordon Warnock is a literary agent founding partner at Fuse Literary. In nonfiction, he seeks platform-heavy authors in the categories of memoir (Adult, NA, YA, Graphic), cookbooks/Food Narrative/Food Studies, Illustrated/Art/Photography (especially graphic nonfiction), Political and Current Events, Pop-Science, Pop-Culture (especially punk culture and geek culture), Self-Help, How-To, Humor, Pets, Business and Career. In fiction, he seeks High-Concept Suspense, Book Club Women’s Fiction, Literary Fiction for Adults through YA, and Graphic Novels for Adults through MG. Learn more about Gordon here.
Cassie Mannes Murray is a literary agent with Howland Literary. Cassie is accepting submissions for adult fiction and nonfiction. As far as fiction, she is seeking literary fiction, upmarket commercial fiction, short story collections, and literary-speculative work (not high fantasy or science fiction). For nonfiction, she’s interested in representing memoir, essay collections, as well as narrative nonfiction. Learn more about Cassie here and what she is seeking.
Jared Johnson is a literary agent with Olswanger Literary. “I mostly represent science fiction, fantasy (any kind), magical realism, mystery, and thriller, but I am currently working on some historical fiction. In nonfiction, I am looking for narrative-driven books, and I am drawn to accessible scholarship that engages with current social issues. In particular, I am interested in works that challenge long-held cultural narratives.” Learn more about Jared here.
Kelly Peterson is a literary agent with Rees Literary. Kelly seeks manuscripts in various genres within Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Adult age ranges. In Middle Grade, she loves fantasy, sci-fi, and contemporary that touches on tough issues for young readers. Her Young Adult preferences vary from contemporary to high fantasy, sci-fi (not the space kind) to paranormal (all the ghost stories, please!), and historical all the way back to rom-coms. Kelly is proud to continue to represent Adult manuscripts in romance, fantasy, and sci-fi. She is very interested in representing authors with marginalized own voices stories, witty and unique characters, pirates, witches, and dark fantasies. Learn more about Kelly here.
Ariana Philips is a literary agent with Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency. Ariana represents both fiction and nonfiction for adult and kid’s books. She’s interested in literary and commercial fiction, particularly upmarket women’s fiction, stories with unique family dynamics, and historical hooks. She likes gritty stories that have an authentic voice, a well-crafted plot, and carefully developed characters. She’s on the hunt for smart romantic comedies, both for the adult and YA market. In nonfiction, she’s interested in popular history and science; illustrated gift books; true crime; sports; social issues; and cookbooks and food narratives. In YA and middle grade, she’s looking for contemporary stories with an original hook and voice.Learn more about Ariana here.
Caitlin White is a literary agent with Emerald City Literary Agency. In young adult and middle grade fiction: Caitlin is looking for whodunnits that harken back to Agatha Christie (think: Maureen Johnson’s Truly Devious series), pretty much anything that makes her feel like summer (her favorite book is Judy Blume’s Summer Sisters), rom-coms with an original hook, stories about non-toxic groups of friends, magical realism that feels grounded (like Anna-Marie McLemore’s When the Moon Was Ours), unabashedly feminist POVs, and contemporary witches set in a real-life world, like These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling. (If it’s similar to The Craft or Practical Magic, she will likely read it.) She is always interested in seeing submissions from BIPOC and LGBTQ+ authors. Sorry, but she is not the right person for high fantasy. Learn more about Caitlin 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.
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.
Linda S. Glaz is a literary agent with Hartline Literary. List of specific wants: “I don’t connect with a lot of nonfiction, but would always be happy to have peek. However, if you’ve got a great romance, either contemporary, suspense, or historical fiction, you’ll probably make me happy. Please no works that include any graphic sexuality or profanity. Please no children’s books. And any other genre, if well-written, will certainly get my notice. Well-written…well-written…well-written. I’m not choosy as long as it’s …well-written.” Learn more about Linda here.
Savannah Brooks is a literary agent with Jennifer De Chiara Literary. She is seeking: “I mainly represent kid-lit (PB, MG, and YA). In picture books, I’m searching for projects that teach about and celebrate different cultures and places in the world and those that tackle serious topics in really accessible ways. For MG, I learn very heavily into action-adventure, especially those based on global folklore and mythology, and I love a snarky narrator and spooky situations. In YA, I’m looking for multicultural and queer perspectives on everything from modern teen experiences to reframing classic tropes like vampires and witches. I’ve been particularly wanting to see some horror. Mostly, I’m invested in representing the diverse world in which we live and would like to see that reflected in a cast of characters. I am very selective about taking on fiction works for adult audiences, but when I do, I look for two genres: 1) contemporary novels that walk the line of being funny while still adding to a larger sociopolitical conversation, and 2) thrillers that add to a larger sociopolitical conversation (but are NOT law-enforcement focused, including FBI/CIA). I would love to hear more from marginalized voices, regardless of whether or not marginalization is a central theme.” Learn more about Savannah here.
Cortney Radocaj is a literary agent with Belcastro Agency. In both YA and Adult, she is seeking: LGBTQIA+ (particularly F/F), neurodiversity, contemporary, horror, fantasy, science fiction, subtle mythology/fairytale retellings, and paranormal. “I’m a member of the LGBTQIA+ community (#BisexualPride! <3) and of the neurodivergent community. I love to see healthy representation of queer and neurodivergent identities, especially in SFF, and I’m ecstatic to find and represent books that would have benefited me as a teen. I adore seeing works that celebrate and normalize these experiences, particularly in YA. Learn more about Cortney 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.
Lori Steel is a literary agent with Raven Quill Literary Agency. She represents fiction for all young readers from picture books to young adult and is actively building her list. For MG and select YA, Lori seeks all genres except horror and hard sci-fi. She is interested in representing contemporary fiction told with transparency and heart and meticulously researched historical fiction that flips conventional interpretations and extends the conversation. She has a strong interest in graphic novels across genres and audiences. For Picture Books, Lori is eager to find both writers and writer-illustrators who craft stories with spare text and rich art. Learn more about Lori 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.
Lori Galvin is a literary agent with Aevitas Creative Management. Lori represents both adult fiction (especially women’s fiction and crime fiction) and nonfiction (memoir, food writing, and cookbooks). Prior to joining Aevitas, Lori was executive editor at the multimedia publisher America’s Test Kitchen, where she led a team that produced dozens of landmark cookbooks. Galvin was also an editor at Houghton Mifflin, a restaurant cook, and ran a bed-and-breakfast in Maine. Learn more about Lori 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.
Pam Gruber is a literary agent with Irene Goodman Literary. Pam is looking for adult, young adult, and middle grade fiction with literary voices and commercial hooks. She is particularly interested in layered fantasy, speculative fiction, fantastical realism, rom-coms, and coming-of-age stories with a twist. She is also open to middle grade and YA graphic novels, as well as select narrative non-fiction on lesser-known subjects. Pam would not be the best fit for prescriptive nonfiction, anthologies, potty humor, paranormal, or erotica. Learn more about Pam here.
Cate Hart is a literary agent with Harvey Klinger Literary Agency. She is particularly drawn to oft forgotten stories of the past and underrepresented voices, and especially personal to her is unexplored Southern history and culture. In nonfiction, she seeks narrative stories, history, film/TV/theatre, pop culture, and music. In fiction, she seeks historical, commercial, women’s, romance, fantasy, mystery, psychological thriller, middle grade, and young adult. Learn more about Cate here.
Cecilia Lyra is an associate agent at P.S. Literary representing adult fiction and nonfiction. In terms of nonfiction, Cecilia is seeking Psychology, Pop Culture, Science, Business, and Lifestyle from experts in their fields with an original angle, as well as compelling memoirs—both long-form and memoir-in-essays. As for fiction, Cecilia is passionate about voice-y Literary Fiction and fast-paced Commercial Fiction. She adores reading about dysfunctional families from the point-of-view of a morally ambiguous protagonist. Books that are centered around feminist issues have a special place in her heart. Above all else, Cecilia is looking for a story she can’t put down. Learn more about Cecilia 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.
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.
Michelle Richter is a Senior Literary Agent with Fuse Literary. Michelle joined Fuse Literary in 2014 from St. Martin’s Press, where she worked on a variety of fiction and nonfiction. She is seeking suspense, mystery, psychological thrillers, domestic suspense, women’s fiction, book club fiction, YA mystery/thriller, and select contemporary YA. She’s especially eager to find suspense and psychological thrillers with complex lead characters. BIPOC, LGBTQ, and disabled voices in fiction always welcome. Learn more about Michelle here.
Paige Terlip is a literary agent at Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Paige represents all categories of children’s books from picture books to young adult, as well as select adult fiction and nonfiction. She is also actively building her list of illustrators and is especially looking for author-illustrators and graphic novel illustrators. On the adult side she is open to thrillers/psychological suspense, fantasy/sci-fi, upmarket fiction, cozy mysteries, as well as narrative nonfiction and self-help that centers the mind, body, and spirit. She loves stories that make her feel a range of emotions, even if that means she ugly cries while reading. She wants a narrative that will stick with her long after reading. Learn more about Paige here.
Carlisle Webber is a literary agent at Fuse Literary. Carlisle is looking for: high-concept commercial fiction in middle grade, young adult, and adult. If your book is fresh and exciting, tackles difficult topics, reads like a Shonda Rhimes show, or makes readers stay up late turning pages, she’s the agent for you. Diverse authors are encouraged to submit their fiction. Within the genres she represents, Carlisle is especially interested in stories by and about people of color; with both visible and invisible disabilities and illnesses; who are economically disadvantaged; who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer; or who are members of religious minorities. Pitch her: Middle grade (any genre), Young adult (any genre), thriller, mystery, suspense, horror, women’s fiction, and popular/mainstream fiction. Learn more about Carlisle 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.)
$149 — EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2021 TWW 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 agentSara 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 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 $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.
Young adult fiction (any kind or genre): Faculty member Julie Eshbaugh, 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.
Romance (anything except inspirational or erotica), women’s fiction: Faculty member Vicki Essex, a published romance author, will get your work in advance, critique 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. Concerning manuscripts: no anti-Asian discrimination, no rape scenes, no graphic sexual violence, no racism or bigotry in any form, no plantation slave/master stories, no Nazi/Jewish prisoner love stories, and no story featuring relationships between historic oppressors and marginalized people where the power dynamic favors the oppressor.
Children’s picture books, middle grade, young adult, memoir, historical fiction, general fiction: Faculty member Eve Porinchak, a former agent turned publishing coach, 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. Children’s picture books should be 1,000 words maximum, and can or cannot have illustrations
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 Tennessee 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 TWW 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 Tennessee 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 Tennessee Writing Workshop.
For fiction, Felice focuses on contemporary literary, upmarket, commercial fiction and select fantasy novels.
Fiction that explores the subtleties and complexities of language, while still being firmly rooted in modern or futuristic living – whether character or plot-driven. She is looking for select non-fiction 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.
Bottom line: Felice is looking for art on a page and fresh perspectives, writing that says “NO!” to clichés and formulaic tropes, and you can wow her with writing that offers an energetic voice and a deep sense of place.
Felice has a soft spot for brainy novels set on college campuses à la The Secret History by Donna Tartt, The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker and Loner by Teddy Wayne; clever ‘whodunits’ set on estates like The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton and the 2019 film Knives Out; highbrow fiction written around characters of color such as The Emperor of Ocean Park by Stephen L. Carter and A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara; contemporary Southern Gothic fiction such as Catherine Lacey’s Pew; novels featuring multicultural Millennials in high-powered workplace situations; and witty and satirical upmarket women’s fiction that reveals a nasty side to a major industry (i.e. fashion, film, etc.) as in The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger.
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.
She does not want:
Romance, historical of any kind, erotica, YA unless it’s YA fantasy, middle grade, children’s books, science fiction, memoirs, screenplays, poetry collections.
Felice’s publishing career has always been rooted in championing bold voices and writers from marginalized communities. After obtaining her bachelor’s degree in English, Creative Writing, from Georgia State University, she started her career at About Words Agency directly after college where she worked as an agent until leaving to complete her master’s degree in Publishing at Kingston University in London, England. There, Felice specialized in Diversity & Inclusion in Publishing, which drove her career-long passion for bold voices the world had never heard before.
After years of then partnering with major houses as a book editor and ghostwriter, including having edited phenomenal big-name books such as Zerlina Maxwell’s The End of White Politics (Hachette) and Paola Ramos’ Finding Latinx: In Search of the Voices Redefining Latino Identity (Vintage), among so many others, she is now back to her roots as a literary agent with a growing list of bold titles.
Prior to joining The Seymour Agency, Lynnette spent 17 years freelance editing. She worked with new writers, advanced writers, as well as the New York Times and the USA Today bestselling authors.
Lynnette earned a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Manitoba, where she specialized in English and French. She excelled in Advanced Creative Writing in university and studied writing for children and teens through the Institute of Children’s Literature. She was a Pitch Wars mentor in 2015 and 2016. Both her mentees acquired an agent.
Although Lynnette was born and raised in Manitoba, Canada, she now lives in Minnesota with her husband, twin girls, and many pets. Her personal interests include reading, writing, exercising at the gym (okay, that’s a love/hate relationship), working on an assortment of crafts, all things having to do with animals (if she could own a farm, zoo, and animal shelter, she would), and enjoying time with family and friends.
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.
Lynnette is seeking:
In adult fiction: 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).
Ariana represents both fiction and nonfiction for adult and kid’s books.
She’s interested in literary and commercial fiction, particularly upmarket women’s fiction, stories with unique family dynamics, and historical hooks. She likes gritty stories that have an authentic voice, a well-crafted plot, and carefully developed characters. She’s on the hunt for smart romantic comedies, both for the adult and YA market. In nonfiction, she’s interested in popular history and science; illustrated gift books; true crime; sports; social issues; and cookbooks and food narratives. In YA and middle grade, she’s looking for contemporary stories with an original hook and voice.
Caitlin is a writer and editor who was previously the Interim Books Editor for Bustle, and she has written about YA books for HelloGiggles, Bustle, Elle, and Glamour. Caitlin brought her passion for YA and MG to Emerald City Literary Agency in 2019 as an intern and, after several promotions, is now an Associate Agent. She currently lives in Ottawa, Ontario, but is from the Boston area.
Caitlin is starting to build her own list, and so she is now open to select submissions in young adult and middle grade fiction and will represent projects alongside ECLA agents Mandy Hubbard and Linda Epstein.
In young adult and middle grade fiction: Caitlin is looking for whodunnits that harken back to Agatha Christie (think: Maureen Johnson’s Truly Devious series), pretty much anything that makes her feel like summer (her favorite book is Judy Blume’s Summer Sisters), rom-coms with an original hook, stories about non-toxic groups of friends, magical realism that feels grounded (like Anna-Marie McLemore’s When the Moon Was Ours), unabashedly feminist POVs, and contemporary witches set in a real-life world, like These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling. (If it’s similar to The Craft or Practical Magic, she will likely read it.) She is always interested in seeing submissions from BIPOC and LGBTQ+ authors. Sorry, but she is not the right person for high fantasy.
Devon joined Transatlantic as a Literary Agent in the summer of 2020, with prior experience at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates, Susanna Lea Associates, Writers House, Maria B. Campbell Associates, and Folio Literary Management in agenting and scouting. She grew up in Athens, OH, and studied Comparative Literature at Brown University. After years in the NYC publishing scene, she has returned to Ohio and is building a list at Transatlantic in literary and upmarket fiction and niche nonfiction.
“I’ve worked with a vast range of authors across all genres, and I’m always excited to discover new subjects and ways of seeing the world. With that said, here are a few of the things I gravitate towards:”
Literary and upmarket writing, which means striking that perfect balance between precision, surprise, and clarity
Stories that complicate good vs. evil, protagonist vs. antagonist, strong vs. weak
Speculative fiction and meta-fiction, a couple clicks along the spectrum but stopping short of high fantasy/hard sci-fi
Unusual, trope-subverting, or repurposed story structures
Timely though not time-restricted topics such as climate change, feminism, internet culture
Intensely memorable characters who feel as complicated as real people (esp. millennials)
Impeccable spelling and grammar, the Oxford comma, creative (and consistent) uses of punctuation
A love story whose complications arise from the flaws of the characters involved, rather than from the machinations of the plot
Branching video game-esque plotlines (Russian Doll, Detroit: Become Human)
Young adult with any of the elements above
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, etc.
Passionate, invested writing about subjects I never would have known I was interested in
She is NOT seeking:
— Thrillers, horror, true crime, mysteries, or hardcore suspense — Pop/instagram poetry, screenplays, or novels in verse — Children’s books (though I do consider YA–see above) — Religious, spiritual, or self-help books — Retellings of classic stories — Unreliable narrators (emotionally/observationally unreliable is fine, but I try to avoid narrators that actively mislead the reader about the events of the book) — Characters whose lives start out bad and get progressively worse, or plots that rely on their characters’ humiliation — Protagonists who are writers, MFA candidates, etc. — Books about dogs
– MG – Children’s/Picture Books – Crime/detective fiction – Mysteries – Political/military/spy thrillers – Non-fiction – Novellas, short story collections, poetry collections, or screenplays
Some tropes she loves: – enemies-to-lovers – oops there’s only one bed – mc slipped and rival caught them and now it’s INTIMATE – grumpy character lights up around sunshine character – sunshine character who is absolutely capable of kicking your ass – found family – quiet character is snarkiest
“Born and raised in Eastern Washington, I’m currently a literary agent at the Belcastro Agency. Reading and writing have been my passion for as long as I can remember. I graduated from NYU in 2017. My fur-babies keep me on my toes; between my sweet, destructive lab-mix Rhaegar and my fiesty calico Holly, I definitely have my hands full. When I’m not doing book-related things, I’m spending time with my husband, my animals, or attempting a new craft I’ll never spend enough time on to truly get good at. Supernatural and The Office are constantly running on my TV, and I adore watching creative shows (i.e. baking shows and Project Runway are my ish).
“I’m a member of the LGBTQIA+ community (#BisexualPride! <3) and of the neurodivergent community. I love to see healthy representation of queer and neurodivergent identities, especially in SFF, and I’m ecstatic to find and represent books that would have benefited me as a teen. I adore seeing works that celebrate and normalize these experiences, particularly in YA. Compelling characters are what grab me the most; I love books with strong, dynamic, complex characters that have complicated and nuanced relationships with others—especially romances! I love romantic threads that weave in seamlessly with the plot and characters’ motivations, particularly in science fiction & fantasy. In regard to POVs, the closer, the better; I want to live inside characters’ heads when I read, and love as little distance as possible. I enjoy when authors break stereotypes and tropes, and I love when plots and characters surprise her, leaving her breathless on the edge of her seat.
“Some of my favorite books: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas; City of Bones by Cassandra Clare; The Shining and IT by Stephen King; Tithe by Holly Black; Skinned by Robin Wasserman; This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab; The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth
“I’m an ISFJ to the core with a penchant for punk, a weakness for puns, and the ferocity of dragons.”
Linda is an experienced editor, reviewer and writer, has been a proofreader for two publishers, an editorial assistant to for Hartline becoming an agent four years ago. She has worked as a professional reviewer for a romance site, and just loves anything to do with books. She’s extremely active in the judging community and speaks at conferences nationwide. She is also a member of AWSA, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association which takes her speaking from libraries to ladies teas, churches, and conferences. Linda understands writers, because she IS a writer.
List of specific wants: “I don’t connect with a lot of nonfiction, but would always be happy to have peek. However, if you’ve got a great romance, either contemporary, suspense, or historical fiction, you’ll probably make me happy. Please no works that include any graphic sexuality or profanity. Please no children’s books. And any other genre, if well-written, will certainly get my notice. Well-written…well-written…well-written. I’m not choosy as long as it’s …well-written. The most important thing being whether or not I have a place I can take it to. Just because I say no doesn’t mean it isn’t a great work!”
“I’m a literary associate with Olswanger Literary. I mostly represent science fiction, fantasy (any kind), magical realism, mystery, and thriller, but I am currently working on some historical fiction. In nonfiction, I am looking for narrative-driven books, and I am drawn to accessible scholarship that engages with current social issues. In particular, I am interested in works that challenge long-held cultural narratives.”
Jared is a recovering academic. After several years of academic research in the humanities and teaching writing and history, he turned his efforts toward pursuing a career in publishing. Most of his time is spent reading good books, editing, and trying to claw his way out from under a mountain of emails. In his downtime, he can be found outdoors with his dogs, building a fantasy team for the Overwatch League, or playing Magic: The Gathering with his nephews.
“In fiction, I love encountering new, vibrant worlds that feel like they extend beyond the borders of the page. I am drawn into a story by parent/child relationships, themes of reconciliation and redemption, strong non-romance relationships (especially where you would expect romance), and misunderstood rivals. Really, I am taken in by stories that push characters to find out who they are in relation to themselves and to one another. Also heists… I want to read all the heists.
”In nonfiction, I love books that address the origins of cultural values, especially in matters of race, religion, and language. I am always on the search for books that call into question cultural myths or the continuity of ideas. I want to read works that make me view an old concept in a new way. More recently, I find myself being drawn strongly to narratives about people who have caused a positive impact or left a positive legacy in the world or their community.”