After successful 2015, 2016, and 2017 events in Nashville, Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2019 Tennessee Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in Nashville, TN on August 3, 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 Tennessee Writing Workshop!
WHAT IS IT?
This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, August 3, 2019, 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 Nikki Terpilowski (Holloway Literary)
- literary agent Kelly Peterson (Rees Literary)
- literary agent Caroline George (CYLE Literary)
- literary agent Sandra O’Donnell (RO Literary)
- literary agent Julie Gwinn (The Seymour Agency)
- literary agent Alice Speilburg (Speilburg Literary)
- literary agent assistant Erin Clyburn (Corvisiero Literary)
- editor Mike Parker (Wordcrafts Press)
- and many more forthcoming.
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.
EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS:
9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, August 3, 2019 — at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Nashville South Cool Springs, 820 Crescent Centre Drive, Franklin, TN, 37067. (615)515-5151.
THIS YEAR’S SESSIONS & WORKSHOPS (AUGUST 3, 2019):
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 the official Schedule Page here.
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 (Birch Room). This workshop examines traditional publishing vs. self-publishing / e-publishing.
2. Keys to Writing Great Young Adult & Middle Grade Fiction (Azalea & Iris rooms combined). This session will discuss the tips and tricks for making middle grade and YA novels great.
3. The Art and Craft of Memoir (Hickory and Maple rooms combined). In this session, you’ll learn how to turn your life experience into a compelling narrative that readers will love.
1. The Art of Voice: How to Make Your Writing Come to Life (Azalea & Iris rooms combined). This class will address what writers should be doing before they submit their work.
2. Everything You Need to Know About Agents and Query Letters (Birch Room). This workshop is a thorough crash course in dealing with literary agents.
3. How to Self-Publish Your Book Now and Do It Right (Hickory and Maple rooms combined). A successful self-published author shares the secrets of how to do it right. .
(What you see here is a quick layout of the day’s events. See a full layout of the day’s sessions, with detailed descriptions, on the official Schedule Page here.)
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 (Birch Room). 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 (Hickory and Maple rooms combined). 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 (Azalea & Iris rooms combined). 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. Talking Fantasy and Science Fiction (Azalea & Iris rooms combined). This class will discuss the genres of science fiction and fantasy — i.e., how to write and sell speculative fiction.
2. Revision and Self-Editing: How to Tighten Your Work Before You Submit (Birch Room). 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. How to Market Yourself and Your Books: Talking Author Social Media, Blogging, and Platform (Hickory and Maple rooms combined). This session includes easy-to-understand advice on social media (Twitter, Facebook, more), blogging, and other simple ways you can market your work online.
(What you see here is a quick layout of the day’s events. See a full layout of the day’s sessions, with detailed descriptions, on the official Schedule Page here.)
BLOCK FIVE: 4:00 – 5:00
1. What Happens After an Agent Offers Representation? (Azalea & Iris rooms combined) Getting an agent is an incredible feat, but this is only the beginning. While your focus may be on getting an agent, this workshop will provide you the landscape on what happens next.
2. Ten Keys to Writing Success (Birch Room). Learn 10 things you can be doing right now that will help get your book(s) published and find success.
3. How to Write & Pitch Romance in Today’s Market (Hickory and Maple rooms combined). 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.
PITCH AN AGENT:
Nikki Terpilowski is a literary agent and founder of Holloway Literary. She seeks Southern fiction, historical fiction, young adult, women’s fiction, literary fiction, mysteries, thrillers, romance (contemporary, historical and romantic suspense), cozy mysteries, science fiction (including Afrofuturist fiction), and African-American fiction of all types. For nonfiction, she seeks books related to mindfulness, healthy eating (Paleo, gluten-free, etc.), regional/ethnic/fusion cookbooks, foodie subjects, travel, alternative simple living, i.e. homesteading, minimalism, etc, interesting self-help (personal and professional), military experiences, Civil War, and Southern living. Learn more about Nikki 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. Learn more about Kelly here.
Caroline George is a literary agent with CYLE Literary Elite. She is a generalist, and seeks many genres of fiction, including: picture books, middle grade contemporary, middle grade sci-fi/fantasy, YA contemporary, YA sci-fi/fantasy, historical, women’s, mystery, thriller, romance, adult science fiction and fantasy, Christian/inspirational fiction, horror literary fiction, and mainstream fiction. Regarding nonfiction, she likes memoir, inspirational, self-help, and socially relevant titles. Learn more about Caroline here.
Alice 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.
Sandra O’Donnell, Ph.D. is a literary agent & founding partner of RO Literary. In fiction, she’s looking for stories with compelling characters that jump off the page — historical fiction, courtroom dramas, upmarket fiction and historically-based conspiracy thrillers that keep her up all night. For nonfiction, she seeks narrative nonfiction, memoir, cultural studies, popular culture, history, and religion/spiritual. Learn more about Sandra here.
Julie 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.
Mike Parker is the publisher and acquiring editor for Wordcrafts Press. Mike is actively seeking adult, young adult, and middle grade fiction in the following genres: contemporary, literary, historical, Biblical, fantasy, science fiction, paranormal, horror, sweet romance, mystery, and thriller. Mike seeks nonfiction in the following categories: pop culture, technology, sports, memoir, history, inspirational, and faith-based. Mike is actively seeking stage plays in any genre, but is particularly interested in scripts offering strong roles for females. Learn more about Mike here.
Erin Clyburn is a literary agent assistant at Corvisiero Literary, At the 2019 Nashville workshop, she will be taking pitches on behalf of herself and agents at the agency. In children’s, Erin is looking for multicultural picture books and smart, humorous picture books; high-concept chapter book series; all middle-grade; and in YA, magical realism, thrillers, mystery, and contemporary. For adult fiction, she seeks character-driven literary fiction and plot-driven suspense, mystery, and thrillers, and all horror from gothic to psychological to slasher. In nonfiction, she’d love to see pop science pitches. For all ages, Erin is looking for character-driven sci-fi, diverse Southern voices and stories set in the South, LGBTQ and #ownvoices, and high-interest nonfiction. On behalf of other agents, in adult, Erin will be accepting women’s fiction pitches, historical fiction, sci-fi featuring time travel and space, and nonfiction including business and politics. On behalf of other agents, in children’s, she seeks YA fantasy and historical, middle-grade adventure and historical, middle-grade graphic novels, and middle-grade featuring neurodiverse characters. Learn more about Erin 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.)
$189 — EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2019 TWW and access to all workshops, all day. As of fall 2018, 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. (Our bigger, growing list of success stories can be seen here.)
“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
“Good news! I signed a client [novelist Aliza Mann]
from the 2017 Michigan Writing Workshop!”
– literary agent Sara Mebigow of KT Literary
“I signed author Stephanie Wright from
the 2018 Seattle Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Kathleen Ortiz of New Leaf Literary
“I signed an author [Kate Thompson] that I
met at the 2017 Philadelphia Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Kimberly Brower of Brower Literary
“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 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:
- Southern fiction, literary fiction, mainstream/upmarket fiction, women’s fiction: Faculty member Lorna Hollifield, a published Southern fiction author, will get your work in advance and edit the first 10 double-spaced pages of your story. She will then meet with you for 10 minutes at the event to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
- Young adult, tween fiction, middle grade: Faculty member Jessica Burkhart, a published YA/MG author, will get your work in advance and edit the first 10 double-spaced pages of your story. She will then meet with you for 10 minutes at the event to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
- and 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 Tennessee workshop specifically.
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: 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 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.)