(The 2019 Writing Workshop of Austin is now over. Thank you to all who attended. If you are interested in future Austin conferences, simply email us and tell us so — firstname.lastname@example.org — and we will add you to our Writing Day Workshops newsletter, which has info on all our events. See our current list of upcoming writers conferences and retreats by clicking here.)
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Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2019 Writing Workshop of Austin TX — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in Austin, TX, on Friday, November 15, 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 (150 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 Austin!
WHAT IS IT?
This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Friday, November 15, 2019, at the [NEW VENUE] Hyatt Place Austin Airport. In other words, it’s one day full of classes and advice designed to give you the best instruction concerning how to get your writing & books published. We’ll discuss your publishing opportunities today, how to write queries & pitches, how to market yourself and your books, what makes an agent/editor stop reading your manuscript, and more. No matter what you’re writing — fiction or nonfiction — the day’s classes will help point you in the right direction. Writers of all genres are welcome.
This event is designed to squeeze as much into one day of learning as possible. You can ask any questions you like during the classes, and get your specific concerns addressed. We will have literary agents onsite to give feedback and take pitches from writers, as well. This year’s faculty so far includes:
- literary agent Carlie Webber (Fuse Literary)
- literary agent Vicki Selvaggio (Storm Literary)
- literary agent Caroline George (CYLE Literary Elite)
- literary agent Mark Falkin (Falkin Literary)
- 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. This independent event is organized by coordinator Chuck Sambuchino of Writing Day Workshops, with help from the SCBWI Texas-Austin.
EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS
9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Friday, November 15, 2019, at the [NEW VENUE] Hyatt Place Austin Airport, 9532 Spirit of Austin Ln, Austin, TX 78719. (512)272-5001.
WORKSHOP SCHEDULE (FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2019)
8:00 – 9:00: Check-in and registration at the event location.
9:00 – 10:00: “Industry Report: What Publishers Want,“ taught by agent Caroline George (bio below). The publishing industry faces constant evolution, which leaves many writers feeling outdated and uneducated. With that in mind, Caroline hosts a Q&A style workshop geared to educate writers on the current publishing industry and provide tools to assist their publication efforts. Attendees will leave feeling encouraged and equipped.
10:15 – 11:30: “Everything You Need to Know About Agents and Query Letters,” taught by agent Carlie Webber (bio below). This workshop is a thorough crash course in dealing with literary agents. After quickly going over what an agent is and what they do for writers, we will discuss resources for finding agents, how to ID the best agents for you, query letter writing, as well as the most important things to do and not to do when dealing with representatives.
11:30 – 12:45: Lunch on your own. There are several restaurants within quick driving distance on the block.
12:45 – 2:00: “Writers’ Got Talent: A First Pages Critique-Fest.” In the vein of American Idol or America’s Got Talent, this is a chance to get your first page read (anonymously — no bylines given) with our attending agents commenting on what was liked or not liked about the submission. Get expert feedback on your incredibly important first page, and know if your writing has what it needs to keep readers’ attention. (All attendees are welcome to bring pages to the event for this session, and we will choose pages at random for the workshop for as long as time lasts.)
2:15 – 3:15: “5 Ways to Build your Author Platform,” taught by co-coordinator Kerrie Flanagan. Whether you’re writing novels or are trying to position yourself as an expert for your nonfiction books, a strong author platform allows you to reach a large audience. The challenge for many writers is they feel overwhelmed and don’t know how to begin constructing that platform. This workshop alleviates that stress by sharing five different ways to build an effective author platform, allowing you to choose the routes that best match your personality and experiences.
3:30 – 4:30: “Let’s Talk Craft — Tips on Making Your Prose Awesome,” taught by agent Vicki Selvaggio (bio below). This workshop, taught by a literary agent, will help you understand what makes a manuscript tick. Learn tips on dialogue, plot, and character. Get inside information on how to improve the voice and craft of your work before you turn it in.
All throughout the day: Agent & Editor Pitching.
PITCH AN AGENT!
Vicki Selvaggio is a literary agent with Storm Literary (formerly with Jennifer De Chiara Literary). Victoria A. Selvaggio comes to Storm Literary Agency as a Literary Agent and Partner. Previously with The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency, she was drawn to the publishing scene first as an author. As a prior Regional Advisor for SCBWI Northern Ohio, Victoria’s desire to help writers and illustrators reach their publications goals inspired her to become an agent. With over twenty-five years as a business owner, Victoria is excited to help grow the agency’s client base with talented writers and illustrators, while also helping build the agency from within with motivated agents who possess the same ideals, literary interests, goals, and approaches to the industry.As a frequent presenter at conferences, library events, contests, etc., Victoria is always interested in meeting writers and illustrators, and hearing about unique projects! While Storm Literary is primarily a children’s book agency, Victoria will be accepting pitches for new adult and adult projects from conference attendees. She is seeking: “I am currently looking for lyrical picture books, middle grade and young adult fiction, new adult, mysteries, suspense, thrillers, paranormal, fantasy, narrative nonfiction, adult fiction but find I’m especially drawn to middle grade and young adult. I especially love thrillers and all elements of weird, creepy stuff. If it’s out of the box, and it will make me think and think, long after I’m done reading, send it to me! On the flip side, I yearn for books that make me laugh, cry and wonder about the world.”
Caroline George is a literary agent with CYLE Literary Elite. She is seeking: Caroline 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. Caroline commits her time and energy to telling stories in their many forms. As a Belmont University graduate with a double-major in publishing and public relations, Caroline aims to pursue a career committed to helping authors, publishers and organizations project their stories to their publics. She spends her time blogging, writing for various magazines and authoring young adult fiction books (her current publications include “The Prime Way Trilogy” and “The Vestige”). She considers herself a not-so-southern Georgia peach, coffee-junkie, bona fide goofball and delights in being best known for writing the phrase, “Coffee first. Save the world later.”
Carlie Webber is a literary agent with Fuse Literary. Previously, she was the founding agent of CK Webber Associates Literary Management. She represents fiction in the genres of: young adult, middle grade, new adult, women’s fiction, literary fiction, mainstream fiction, mystery, thriller, suspense, romance, science fiction, and fantasy. She does not want to rep picture books, easy readers, poetry, scripts or curriculum nonfiction. She no longer seeks nonfiction (or memoir) of any kind. Carlie refused to major in English in college because no one would let her read Stephen King or R.L. Stine for class. She took her love of YA and commercial fiction to the University of Pittsburgh, where she obtained a Master of Library and Information Science. For ten years, she worked as a public librarian serving teens and adults, served on book awards committees, and reviewed books professionally for journals including Kirkus Reviews and VOYA. Wishing to pursue her interest in the business side of books, she then enrolled in the Columbia Publishing Course. Her professional publishing experience includes an internship at Writers House and work with the Publish or Perish Agency/New England Publishing Associates and the Jane Rotrosen Agency.
Mark Falkin is a literary agent and entertainment attorney, representing hundreds of artists (a platinum seller and Grammy® winners among them, e.g., Toadies, Grupo Fantasma, Brownout), entrepreneurs and businesses, shopping artistic projects, drafting and negotiating entertainment contracts, securing trademarks and copyrights, licensing and selling intellectual properties, establishing businesses, litigating disputes. “While I do maintain my Bar card–having worked too hard to attain it and bearing too many battle scars from practicing with it to bear not to–I am a full-time literary agent representing fiction and nonfiction, leaning toward literary thrillers like client Louisa Luna’s Two Girls Down and The Janes (Knopf Doubleday), Dana Cann’s The Ghosts of Bergen County (Tin House), and KE Semmel’s In the Country of Monstrous Creatures. In nonfiction, I prefer to work with big idea books written by people with big ideas like client Christian Picciolini’s memoir White American Youth (Hachette Books), Saul Ramirez’s The Champions’ Game, Randi Rhodes’ Damn Near Famous, Jonathan ‘Sugarfoot’ Moffett’s forthcoming memoir, and Kristina Marie Darling’s Litany for the Perpetrator. As a writer, I’ve completed 4 novels (and a chapbook of poems), and I am represented by Howard Morhaim Literary. In 2015, the near-future suspense tale, Contract City, was published in hardcover by longstanding Baltimore indie Bancroft Press and is now in screen development with a production company in Los Angeles. The most recent is a literary apocalyptic horror, The Late Bloomer, which published in the Fall of 2018 with Rare Bird Books earning a starred review from Kirkus Reviews. As a human, I live in Austin, Texas with my wife of 21 years and two daughters.”
New agents may be added for the 2019 event at any time. Check back.
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.)
$169 — EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2019 WWOA and access to all workshops, all day, on Friday, November 15, 2019. As of fall 2018, event 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 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.)
“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 Chuck Sambuchino, former longtime editor of the GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS for writer’s Digest Books. (This rate is a special event value for WWOA 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:
- Young adult, speculative (but not fantasy/high fantasy), horror, light sci-fi, women’s fiction, domestic thrillers and mysteries, and romantic comedies: Chandler Baker, a published author, will get your work in advance, edit the first 10 double-spaced pages of your manuscript, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting. Chandler lives in Austin with her husband and toddler where she also works as a corporate attorney. She can usually be found listening to audiobooks at two times the normal speed, overspending at bookstores, and obsessing over true crime. She is the author of five young adult books. Whisper Network is her first adult novel.
- Science fiction, fantasy, mystery, thriller, suspense, romance (no erotica), contemporary/mainstream fiction, literary fiction, historical fiction, young adult (including genre YA and SF/F): Faculty member Amber Royer, author and writing instructor repped by Jennie Goloboy of Donald Maass Literary Agency, 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. Amber writes the CHOCOVERSE comic telenovela-style foodie-inspired space opera series (available from Angry Robot Books). She has been teaching creative writing to writers of all genres for over a decade in North Texas for both UT Arlington Continuing Education and Writing Workshops Dallas. When dealing with a manuscript, Amber focuses on sound psychological character creation, and will help you ensure that your characters are displaying agency right off the bat, which will ensure that your story has the kind of momentum agents and editors are looking for.
- Children’s picture books, middle grade: Faculty member Eve Porinchak, a former literary agent and current writing coach, will get your work in advance, critique your children’s picture book, and pass along written critique notes. Picture book submissions should be 1,000 words maximum, and your submission can come with or without illustrations. Middle grade submissions should be 10 double-spaced pages. Unlike other critiquers helping our Austin workshop, Eve will not personally be at the event. That means you will get your notes emailed from her, and she can talk with you via Skype or phone in place of an in-person consultation. Eve is a former literary agent for Jill Corcoran Literary, and the author of ONE CUT, a teen true crime book that launched the imprint Simon True for Simon & Schuster.
- More editing options possibly forthcoming.
How to pay/register — Registration is now open. Reach out to workshop organizer Chuck Sambuchino via email: Writingdayworkshops@gmail.com, and he 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 Chuck plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Austin workshop specifically.
Because of limited space at the venue of the [NEW VENUE] Hyatt Place Austin Airport, 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 Chuck Sambuchino via email: Writingdayworkshops@gmail.com. He 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 WWOA will send out periodic e-mail updates to all registered attendees with any & all news about the event. Because Chuck plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Austin 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 critique editing payments are completely non-refundable if the instructor has already edited your work.)