The 2020 Minnesota Writing Workshop: March 7, 2020

Screen Shot 2016-12-25 at 10.34.26 PM.pngAfter successful 2014, 2017, 2018, and 2019 events in Minnesota, Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2020 Minnesota Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in St. Paul, MN on March 7, 2020.

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 2020 Minnesota Writing Workshop!

(If you know you want to attend, and don’t need the info below, you can click straight through to the Google Forms registration to get started: https://forms.gle/NpNK9VxRJLtuwqvq6)

WHAT IS IT?

This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, March 7, 2020, at the Intercontinental St. Paul Riverfront. 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 & editor faculty so far includes:

  • literary agent Essie White (Storm Literary)
  • literary agent Savannah Brooks (Jennifer De Chiara Literary)
  • literary agent Kelly Van Sant (Red Sofa Literary)
  • literary agent Jennie Goloboy (Donald Maass Literary)
  • and many 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 Kimiko Nakamura of Writing Day Workshops, with assistance from local Minnesota writing groups.

EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS:

9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, March 7, 2020 — at the Intercontinental St. Paul Riverfront, 11 E Kellogg Blvd, St Paul, MN 55101. (651)292-1900.

Screen Shot 2016-11-21 at 4.14.01 PM.png

THIS YEAR’S SESSIONS & WORKSHOPS (MARCH 7, 2020):

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

Classes coming soon.

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

Classes coming soon.

(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 (State Suite). 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.

Classes coming soon.

BLOCK FOUR: 2:45 – 3:45

Classes coming soon.

(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

Classes coming soon.

SESSIONS END: 5:00

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

Agent & Editor Pitching: All throughout the day.

————-

PITCH AGENTS AND EDITORS:

Screen Shot 2018-11-15 at 1.03.13 PMSavannah Brooks is a literary agent with the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency. “I represent memoir, adult literary/contemporary fiction, young adult contemporary fiction, and topic-driven and narrative nonfiction (books and essay collections).” Learn more about Savannah here.

Screen Shot 2018-11-10 at 10.37.40 AMKelly Van Sant is a literary agent with Red Sofa Literary. She says, “I am seeking middle grade, young adult, and very limited women’s fiction across all genres — including fantasy, science fiction, adventure, historical, and contemporary. I love character-driven stories with intricate plots, and am always drawn to explorations of friendship and found family. I am especially interested in #ownvoices, inclusive narratives, and diverse writers.” Learn more about Kelly here.

Screen Shot 2017-12-01 at 8.09.50 PM.png Jennie Goloboy is a literary agent with the Donald Maass Literary Agency. Jennie is particularly looking for fun, innovative, diverse, and progressive science fiction and fantasy for adults. She thinks that one of the most important jobs of science fiction is to imagine a future we want to live in. As a fan of character-driven novels, she wants to be desperate to know what happens to your hero by the time she’s finished your writing sample. Romance and humor are always a plus. If your book combines an oddball premise with a compelling protagonist, she wants to read it. Adorable body horror? Quirky intentional communities? Please send them on! Jennie is also looking for nonfiction history for a popular, adult audience. She’s a particular fan of histories of an idea, and narratives about early America. She is not interested in historical novels, or in memoir. Learn more about Jennie here.

Screen Shot 2019-10-11 at 6.42.01 PM.pngEssie White is a literary agent and founder of Storm Literary Agency. She specializes in children’s picture books. She also represents some middle grade fiction and middle grade nonfiction. Learn more about Essie here.

 

        More 2020 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. You can pitch as many agents & editors as like you wish.

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.)

———

PRICING:

$189 — EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2020 MWW and access to all workshops, all day. As of fall 2019, registration is now OPEN.

Add $29 — to secure a 10-minute one-on-one meeting with any of our literary agents or editors in attendance. Use this special meeting as a chance to pitch your work and get professional feedback on your pitch. (Spaces limited.) If they wish, attendees are free to sign up for multiple 10-minute pitch sessions at $29/session — pitching multiple individuals, or securing 20 minutes to pitch one person rather than the usual 10. Here are four quick testimonials regarding writers who have signed with literary agents after pitching them at prior Writing Day Workshops events. (Our bigger, growing list of success stories can be seen here.)

Screen Shot 2018-11-26 at 11.11.29 AM.png“I met my client, Alison Hammer, at the 2017 Writing
Workshop of Chicago and just sold her book.”
– literary agent Joanna Mackenzie of Nelson Literary

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

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

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

Screen Shot 2016-10-16 at 2.54.50 PM.png“I signed novelist Kathleen McInnis after meeting her
at the 2016 Chesapeake Writing Workshop.”

– literary agent Adriann Ranta of Foundry Literary + Media

Add $69 — for an in-depth, personal critique of your one-page query letter from Chuck Sambuchino, a longtime editor for Writer’s Digest Books and one of the workshop’s former instructors. (This rate is a special event value for Minnesota 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 double-spaced 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:

  • Forthcoming.

How to pay/register — Registration is now open for 2020.

To register by Google Forms, click on the link below to fill out the form. Once you submit the form and let us know everything you want at the conference, you will get instructions on how to pay by PayPal or check.

https://forms.gle/NpNK9VxRJLtuwqvq6

Once the Google form is complete and payment is made (either check or PayPal), you will have reserved a seat at the event.

If you have any issues with the Google form, or would simply rather talk with someone via email, just reach out to workshop organizer Kimiko Nakamura via email: wdwcoordinator@gmail.com. She can 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 Minnesota Writing Workshop will send out periodic e-mail updates to all registered attendees with any & all news about the event. Because Kimiko plans different workshops, if you email her, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Minnesota workshop specifically.

REGISTRATION:

Because of limited space at the Intercontinental Downtown Riverfront, the workshop can only allow 200 registrants, unless spacing issues change. For this reason, we encourage you to book sooner rather than later.

Are spaces still available? Yes, we still have spaces available. We will announce RIGHT HERE, at this point on this web page, when all spaces are taken. If you do not see a note right here saying how all spaces are booked, then yes, we still have room, and you are encouraged to register.

How to Register: Registration is now open for 2020.

To register by Google Forms, click on the link below to fill out the form. Once you submit the form and let us know everything you want at the conference, you will get instructions on how to pay by PayPal or check.

https://forms.gle/NpNK9VxRJLtuwqvq6

Once the Google form is complete and payment is made (either check or PayPal), you will have reserved a seat at the event.

If you have any issues with the Google form, or would simply rather talk with someone via email, just reach out to workshop organizer Kimiko Nakamura via email: wdwcoordinator@gmail.com. She can 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 Minnesota Writing Workshop will send out periodic e-mail updates to all registered attendees with any & all news about the event. Because Kimiko plans different workshops, if you email her, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Minnesota workshop specifically.

Refunds: If you sign up for the event and have to cancel for any reason at any time, you will receive 50% of your total payment back [sent by check or PayPal]. The other 50% is nonrefundable and will not be returned, and helps the workshop ensure that only those truly interested in the limited spacing sign up for the event. (Please note that query editing payments and manuscript editing payments are completely non-refundable if the instructor has already edited your work.)

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Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Essie White of Storm Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2019-10-11 at 6.42.01 PM.pngEssie White is a literary agent and founder of Storm Literary Agency.

She specializes in children’s picture books. She also represents some middle grade fiction and middle grade nonfiction.

Essie started her literary career by focusing on those for whom the literature was written: Children. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Education with per primary focus in Special Education. When working with special needs children, struggling with language, she discovered the beauty of words, and the rhythm of a well composed story, engaged them. She later went on to teach traditional elementary students and found that reading was best achieved, when a good book was the focus, not the specific skillset.

While expecting her third child (she has four), Essie completed her Masters of Arts in Education, specializing in Curriculum and Instruction for Early Childhood Education. That’s when her real journey with books began. Using quality children’s literature as the foundation, she began creating curricula for local and national homeschool groups as well as independent preschool organizations. For each subject, each topic, each thematic unit, she used a book as the starting point. When teaching, she read a book to begin each lesson. And when writing curriculum, she utilized a book as the launching pad for each learning objective.

A few years later, and with her youngest daughter as the inaugural student, Essie used this combination of skills and passions, to start her own early childhood development program. Still in operation today, after seventeen years, the school serves over 110 students daily in the Seattle, Washington area of the United States. Although Essie is no longer managing the school on site, each lesson, each day, still begins with a quality children’s book.

Fueling not just their creativity but also their emotional and intellectual growth, Essie understood the power art played in the development of small children. She became accustomed to including art activities as complimentary lessons to the literary ones. Her passion for exceptional art grew as a result. She witnessed the impact of stories told through beautiful pictures, both the stories the children created, as well as those she shared with them in books.

When she relocated to Minneapolis, Minnesota, and entrenched herself into the local children’s book community, Essie started receiving inquiries from local authors, asking about the path to publication. A lot of research later, as well as a lot of work, Essie decided to open her small agency with the hope of ensuring capable artists and authors, could eventually get their work seen by editors and publishers. Storm Literary Agency was subsequently launched in 2014.

Essie White is most proud, not necessarily of the agency’s work, but of the individuals that compile that agency. She is thankful and appreciative of the efforts of those members who work hard to support one another, and to represent the best in children’s publishing, always mindful of those whom reap the benefits: Children.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Jennie Goloboy of Donald Maass Literary

Screen Shot 2017-12-01 at 8.09.50 PM.pngLiterary agent Jennie Goloboy joined the Donald Maass Literary Agency in 2017. Before that, she was an agent at Red Sofa Literary for six years.

She has a PhD in the History of American Civilization from Harvard, and published a book based on her dissertation, Charleston and the Emergence of Middle-Class Culture in the Revolutionary Era, in 2016.

She is seeking:

Jennie is particularly looking for fun, innovative, diverse, and progressive science fiction and fantasy for adults. She thinks that one of the most important jobs of science fiction is to imagine a future we want to live in.

As a fan of character-driven novels, she wants to be desperate to know what happens to your hero by the time she’s finished your writing sample. Romance and humor are always a plus. If your book combines an oddball premise with a compelling protagonist, she wants to read it. Adorable body horror? Quirky intentional communities? Please send them on!

Jennie is also looking for nonfiction history for a popular, adult audience. She’s a particular fan of histories of an idea, and narratives about early America. She is not interested in historical novels, or in memoir.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Savannah Brooks of the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2018-11-15 at 1.03.06 PMSavannah Brooks is a literary agent with the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency.

Savannah joined the Jennifer De Chiara team in 2018, after interning for a year and a half. She’s an MFA candidate at Hamline University focusing in creative nonfiction as well as an editor at Red Bird Chapbooks, a teaching artist at the Loft Literary Center, and a reader for multiple literary magazines. Her own creative work has been publishing in Hobart, Lime Hawk, and Every Writer’s Resource, among others. When not immersed in the world of words, she can be found on her bike, at a dive bar, or lounging at one of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes. She lives in the most beautiful literary capital: Saint Paul.

She is looking for:

“Books and collections that intrigue and entrap. I’d love to bring more nonfiction into this world, especially topic-driven books/essays such as those written by the likes of Mary Roach, Leslie Jamison, Michelle McNamara, Malcolm Gladwell, and Bill Bryson—anything that keeps my curious mind engaged and wanting more. I’m also interested in memoir that will inspire generations to come. H is for Hawk is a personal favorite—and I’m a sucker for humor, so long as it’s doing more than just making me laugh—see: Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood.

“For fiction, I’m interested in contemporary and literary fiction — novels/stories that are relevant to culture and focus on themes and issues that impact our daily lives. I would love to hear more from marginalized voices, regardless of whether or not marginalization is a central theme. Main players I follow: Lesley Nneka Arimah, Celeste Ng, Anthony Doerr, and Jesmyn Ward.

“For YA (all genres), I’m especially interested in books that focus on friendship, conflicting identity, and the theme of truth. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is an obvious but apt example that encapsulates all three. I’m also invested in representing the diverse world in which we live and would like to see that reflected in a cast of characters. Show me variations in race, sexuality, gender, dis/ability, and ethnicity without that difference being a point of contention, and I’ll be thrilled.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Kelly Van Sant of Red Sofa Literary

Screen Shot 2018-11-10 at 10.37.40 AMKelly Van Sant is a literary agent with Red Sofa Literary. She seeks middle grade, young adult, and women’s fiction.

In her own words:

“I am seeking Middle Grade, Young Adult, and very limited women’s fiction across all genres, including fantasy, science fiction, adventure, historical, and contemporary. I love character-driven stories with intricate plots, and am always drawn to explorations of friendship and found family. I am especially interested in #ownvoices, inclusive narratives, and diverse writers. I’ve expanded on my interests within each category below.

“Middle Grade – I am seeking Upper MG only. Chapter books or early readers are not for me. My ideal middle grade needs to be whimsical, funny, and full of adventure. My tastes lean away from contemporary in this genre, and more toward fantasy, speculative, science-fiction, or magical realism. I like intricate world-building and MCs with gumption. Give me a quest, give me steadfast friendships, give me insightful, magical parallels with the real world, and make me laugh. No books with an educational thrust; I want to have fun!

“Young Adult – I dearly love fantasy, science-fiction, speculative, and other magical elements in YA stories. Even better if mixed and matched with other genres. Alternate universes, fictional worlds, your very own hometown with a secret or sinister twist. If the world-building is original and intricate, if you’re either dismantling existing tropes or executing them exceptionally well, if your characters are complex and come alive on the page then what are you waiting for? Send me your query.

“Let’s talk about romance in YA. I prefer romance in my YA to be an undercurrent (even an urgent one) but not the main point. Something needs to be going on in universe and in your characters’ lives beyond their love story. Instant love is not for me; I appreciate when characters grow together over the course of a book. Attraction can happen instantly, but intimacy takes time.

“I am selective about YA contemporary. A strong voice is vital, and again, I love to see a complex web of relationships beyond just romantic (though romance can be included): especially friendships and family relationships. These books above all else must absolutely be character-driven. I appreciate books that explore questions of identity, and books with a darker edge, but books firmly centered on and driven by a single issue–abuse, suicide, drug use, mental illness, rape–are not for me. I welcome books whose characters are grappling with those same issues, if those things are woven into the character and are undercurrents of a different, main plot. But I am not the right agent to represent so-called Issue Books. I would love to see some lighter YA contemporaries. Something that balances between poignant and funny, with a compelling, flawed protagonist and an authentic, accessible voice.

“Women’s Fiction – I’m seeking women’s fiction on a very limited basis. I want books written for and by women, about women’s lives and experiences and issues (women’s lives are complicated and varied and extend well beyond bad marriages/relationships! Please send me something fresh). Prose matters to me here, but as always, the characters are paramount. I’m interested in genre-blends, but straight-up contemporaries should be new and nuanced to catch me eye. No books about dead or dying children, please.

“I am NOT seeking picture books, poetry, or non-fiction at this time.

“I do not represent previously published books, whether self-published or put out by a small press. Please only query/pitch me with new work.”

Writing Day Workshop Success Stories

These are some of our growing list of success stories regarding workshop attendees who have found their agent (or editor) match at a Writing Day Workshops event:

Screen Shot 2019-08-22 at 1.24.40 PM.png“I met author M. David Flanagan at the 2019 Writing Workshop of
San Francisco and will be representing his middle grade series,
Maggie Monday! How exciting!”
literary agent and partner Laurie McLean of Fuse Literary

Screen Shot 2019-04-27 at 11.08.05 AM.png“I just signed a writer from the 2019 North Carolina Writing
Workshop! Her name is Sarah Warburton and we’ll be working
together on her women’s fiction. Thanks!”
– literary agent Melissa Jeglinski of The Knight Agency

Screen Shot 2019-10-12 at 11.29.53 AM.png“I signed Andrea Kessler, a picture book
writer I met at the 2019 Chesapeake Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Shari Maurer of The Stringer Agency

Screen Shot 2016-10-16 at 3.19.33 PM.png“I am happy to report that I signed a writer after meeting
them through a pitch session at the 2016 Writing Workshop of Chicago.”
– literary agent Marcy Posner of Folio Literary

Screen Shot 2019-03-05 at 1.34.53 AM.png“I signed writer Mia Lazarewicz after she pitched
me at the 2018 Boston Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Amelia Appel of TriadaUS Literary

Screen Shot 2018-11-05 at 12.59.36 PM“I signed an author from the 2016 Toronto Writing Workshop. I
requested her manuscript during a pitch session, read it overnight,
and loved it so much that I offered representation the next day!”

– literary agent Rachel Letofsky of CookeMcDermid Literary Management

Screen Shot 2018-02-08 at 10.20.16 AM.png“I got to attend your 2015 L.A. Conference [The Writing Conference of Los
Angeles] and it was a great experience. Thank you for all the information!”
Tomi Adeyemi, author of #1 New York Times bestseller CHILDREN OF
BLOOD AND BONE (March 2018, Henry Holt Books, Jimmy Fallon’s Summer Reads Choice). Her agent is Alexandra Machinist of ICM Partners

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

Screen Shot 2017-09-08 at 11.47.54 PM.png“I wanted to let you know I signed a writer who
I met at the 2017 Writing Workshop of Chicago,
Rebecca Rissman. It was a quality conference.”

– literary agent Jennifer Unter of The Unter Agency

Screen Shot 2019-09-07 at 10.52.41 AM.png“I found a fabulous client at the 2019
Florida Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Cricket Freeman of The August Agency

Screen Shot 2019-01-14 at 11.13.50 AM.png“I signed Lew Schrager, an author from
the 2015 Chesapeake Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Laura Strachan of The Strachan Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2017-07-14 at 12.26.01 AM.png“I signed a lovely author after meeting her at the
2017 Writing Workshop of Chicago. I’m thrilled.”
– literary agent Dawn Frederick of Red Sofa Literary

Screen Shot 2019-04-19 at 10.48.43 AM.png“I signed an attendee from the 2018 Writing Workshop
of San Francisco! Her name is Justine Macauley, and we are
very excited to have made the match!

– literary agent Jennie Kendrick of Red Fox Literary

Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 4.27.50 PM.png“Hi Jessica, I just wanted to let you know that
I signed an author I met at the 2017 Michigan
Writing Workshop: Theresa Grant. Thanks so much!”
– literary agent Alice Speilburg of Speilburg Literary

Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 5.12.24 PM.png“I just signed writer E.J. Lawrence, who I met
at the 2017 Tennessee Writing Workshop!”
– literary agent Lesley Sabga of The Seymour Agency

Screen Shot 2018-11-26 at 11.11.29 AM.png“I met my client, Alison Hammer, at the 2017 Writing
Workshop of Chicago and just sold her book.”
– literary agent Joanna Mackenzie of Nelson Literary

Screen Shot 2018-06-09 at 10.20.48 AM“I love the quality of clients I find at the Writing Day
Workshops events. I signed writer Alicia Bernasconi
from the 2018 Indiana Writing Workshop.”

– literary agent Cyle Young of Hartline Literary

Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 8.10.32 PM“[Author] Amber Cowie met [agent] Gordon Warnock of Fuse
Literary and [editor] Alison Dasho of Lake Union Publishing
at the 2017 Seattle Writing Workshop. Amber’s debut
RAPID FALLS is due out from Lake Union in fall 2018.”
– literary agent Gordon Warnock writing on the Fuse Literary blog

[UPDATE: RAPID FALLS was released and quickly gathered more than 900 reviews on Amazon, reaching #1 on some categories.]

Screen Shot 2019-08-12 at 5.10.39 PM.png“After meeting him at the 2019 Writing Conference of Los Angeles,
I signed with agent Steven Hutson as a client. I’m so stoked to move
into the
next leg of my writing career. Such a blessing.”
– writer Mya Douglas

Screen Shot 2018-07-09 at 10.11.07 PM.png“I made an offer of representation to Sarah Kaminski,
who
pitched me at the 2018 Writing Workshop of Chicago.
A million thanks for introducing us.”
– literary agent Tina P. Schwartz of The Purcell Agency

Screen Shot 2018-07-09 at 11.48.39 PM.png“I got my agent at the 2018 Pittsburgh Writing Workshop. The
conference was a great opportunity to connect with agents in person.”
– writer Caitlin M. Smith

Screen Shot 2017-08-02 at 10.57.22 PM.png“Yay! I signed two clients from the
2017 Minnesota Writing Workshop!”
– literary agent Mary Cummings of Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises

Screen Shot 2017-02-24 at 10.01.23 PM.png“After pitching my picture book at the 2017 Alabama
Writing Workshop, I signed with attending agent Marisa Corvisiero.”
– writer Laura W. Carter

Screen Shot 2017-10-15 at 6.06.45 AM.png“I was at the 2017 Philadelphia Writing Workshop. I pitched two
agencies that day, and today I signed with one of them! I am now
represented by Brower Literary! Thank you for all you do to
support writers trying to get their stories out in the world.”

– writer Jenny Raphael

Screen Shot 2018-09-22 at 11.30.09 AM.png“I signed with Beth Marshea of Ladderbird Literary Agency! I
pitched her at the 2018 Florida Writing Workshop. It was a perfect match.”
– writer Erica Shaw

Screen Shot 2018-12-29 at 10.48.03 AM.png“I attended the 2017 Alabama Writing Workshop. With the instruction
I received at your conference, I was better prepared to submit my novel. I
landed a great NY-based agent, got a book deal, went on a book tour,
and was picked as a columnist by a women’s magazine!”

– author Lorna Hollifield

Screen Shot 2017-05-09 at 12.53.01 AM.png“Agent Julie Gwinn [of The Seymour Agency] signed me
from the 2017 Kentucky Writing Workshop! I feel so
blessed and am thrilled beyond belief!” [2018 update:
Sue’s book was sold to Fortress Press.]

– writer Sue Reynolds

Screen Shot 2016-10-16 at 3.24.34 PM.png“I signed writer Julie Tuovi after we met
in person at the 2016 Cleveland Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Moe Ferrara of BookEnds Literary

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

Screen Shot 2017-01-22 at 12.18.06 AM.png“I signed with agent Veronica Park of Fuse Literary after
pitching my manuscript to her at the 2016 Atlanta Writing Workshop.”  

writer Renee Barrow

Screen Shot 2016-10-16 at 3.23.35 PM.png“I signed an author from the 2016 Writing Workshop of Chicago.
Her name is Georgina Cross and I’m delighted I found her.”
– literary agent Rachel Beck (nee Burkot) of Holloway Literary

Screen Shot 2018-06-10 at 10.30.28 AM.png“I signed with a literary agency [Hartline Literary] after
pitching them
at the the 2018 Michigan Writing Workshop.”
– writer Makiko Orser

Screen Shot 2018-06-19 at 3.42.12 PM“I just wanted you to know that I signed writer Brian Roth,
whom I met at your 2018 Indiana Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Amanda Luedeke of MacGregor & Luedeke Literary

Screen Shot 2016-10-16 at 3.21.40 PM.png“I signed a writer-illustrator after meeting her
at the Atlanta Writing Workshop in 2016.”
– literary agent Sally Apokedak of Les Stobbe Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2016-10-16 at 3.20.42 PM.png“I signed a client after he pitched me
his novel at the 2014 Texas Writing Retreat.”
– literary agent Elizabeth Kracht of Kimberley Cameron & Associates

Screen Shot 2019-07-26 at 10.04.05 PM.png“Three positive agent pitches led to two offers of representation,
following
the 2019 Chesapeake Writing Workshop.”
– writer Andrea Kessler

Screen Shot 2018-11-01 at 9.20.43 AM.png“I am in the process of signing an author I met at the 2018 Boston
Writing Workshop. Thanks for all the work you do. I consider
Writing Day Workshops one of my favorite conference groups.”
– literary agent Caroline George of Cyle Young Literary Elite

Screen Shot 2018-10-01 at 10.57.36 PM.png“I signed writer Joe Stowitschek after meeting him
at the 2017 Seattle Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Paul S. Levine of Paul S. Levine Literary

Screen Shot 2016-10-16 at 3.16.24 PM.png“My newest client’s name is Leslie Vedder. She pitched me
during the 2016 Colorado Writing Workshop. I read her story afterward
and loved it. I offered representation the week following the event!”
– literary agent Alex Barba of Jennifer De Chiara Literary

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

Screen Shot 2016-10-16 at 2.56.25 PM.png“I signed a client from the 2016
Writing Workshop of Chicago.”
– literary agent Abby Saul of The Lark Group

Screen Shot 2016-10-16 at 2.54.50 PM.png“I signed novelist Kathleen McInnis after meeting her
at the 2016 Chesapeake Writing Workshop.”

– literary agent Adriann Ranta of Foundry Literary + Media

(Update: Kathleen’s novel THE HEART OF WAR: MISADVENTURES IN THE PENTAGON (A NOVEL) came out in 2018.)

Screen Shot 2017-07-25 at 8.29.22 PM.png“I signed with The Seymour Agency after pitching one
of their agents at the 2017 Tennessee Writing Workshop.”
– writer Tera Bradham

Screen Shot 2017-05-05 at 8.25.36 PM.png“I took pitches at the 2016 Toronto Writing Workshop and signed Marlo
Lanz from the event. His novel, RAINCHECK, came out in July 2017!”
– literary agent Marisa Corvisiero of Corvisiero Agency

Screen Shot 2016-10-16 at 3.02.36 PM.png“I met my client Lindsey Smith (The Food Mood Girl)
at the 2016 Philadelphia Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Eric Smith of P.S. Literary

(Update: Eric sold Lindsey’s book to St. Martin’s Press, and it came out in fall 2017.)

Screen Shot 2016-12-13 at 12.07.49 AM.pngI signed with my agent, Patricia Nelson [of Marsal Lyon Literary
Agency], after
meeting her at the 2014 Arizona Writing Workshop.”
– writer Axie Oh

(Update: Patricia sold Axie’s debut novel, THE AMATERASU PROJECT, to Tu Books. It was released in 2017.)

Screen Shot 2016-12-13 at 12.07.56 AM.png“I officially signed with agent Renee Nyen of KT Literary.
I met her at the 2014 Colorado Writing Workshop.”
– writer Jessie Hilb Akos

(Update: Jessie’s novel, THE CALCULUS OF CHANGE, came out in early 2018 from Clarion Books.)

Screen Shot 2017-11-28 at 11.13.03 AM.png“I signed writer Beka Passauer, who I met at a pitch
session at the 2017 Seattle Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Adria Goetz of Martin Literary Management

Screen Shot 2019-09-20 at 3.20.47 PM.png“I’m happy to report that I signed an author from the 2019
Chesapeake Writing Workshop! She’s terrific. Hopefully I’ll have
some more good news in the coming months about a book sale!”

– literary agent Emily Williamson of Williamson Literary

Screen Shot 2018-12-06 at 11.07.44 AM.png“I’m proud to say I signed Andrew Southwick, one of the writers
who pitched me at the 2018 Philadelphia Writing Workshop.”

– literary agent Michelle Lazurek of Wordwise Media Services

Screen Shot 2017-04-22 at 11.31.50 AM.png“I signed writers Laura Barnaby and Anitra Schulte after
meeting them at the 2017 Kansas City Writers Workshop.”

– literary agent Stephanie Hansen of Metamorphosis Literary Agency

(Update: Attendee Laura Barnaby got a book deal with Clear Fork Publishing.)

Screen Shot 2018-12-10 at 9.54.30 PM.png“I signed with a literary agent I met at the
2018 Writing Workshop of Chicago”
– writer Ryann Roberts

Screen Shot 2019-03-21 at 10.02.33 PM.png“I attended the 2018 Chesapeake Writing Workshop and I
signed with a literary agent from the event. It was the
first conference I’ve been to, and I found it super helpful.”
– writer Katie Mastin

Screen Shot 2018-02-14 at 10.39.15 AM.png“I met my literary agent, Alice Speilburg of Speilburg Literary, at
the 2015 Kentucky Writing
Workshop in Louisville. She is awesome
and I can’t recommend Writing
Day Workshops events highly enough.”
– writer Wendy Vogel

Screen Shot 2016-12-13 at 12.08.00 AM.png“After taking pitches at the 2015 Michigan Writing Workshop,
I signed writer Kyle Prue as a new client.”
– literary agent Veronica Park
of Fuse Literary

Screen Shot 2019-07-18 at 12.23.17 AM.png“I found my agent at the 2018 Boston Writing Workshop. She and I hit it
off right away, and I knew she was the right agent for me. I’m happy I
made the trip from North Carolina and would highly recommend WDW
conferences for anyone who needs an agent.”

– writer Dawn Reno Langley

Screen Shot 2017-12-15 at 11.03.30 PM.png“At the 2017 Tennessee Writing Workshop, I signed a number
of new authors whose books
will be published in 2018.”
– editor Mike Parker of WordCrafts Press

Screen Shot 2018-07-30 at 4.22.56 PM“I am a success story! I attended the 2018 Michigan Writing
Workshop and it thrills me to announce that I am now
represented by an agent I pitched at the event.”
– writer Kristiana Sfirlea

Screen Shot 2019-01-24 at 10.43.12 AM.png“I enjoyed last year’s 2018 Pittsburgh Writing Workshop so much,
and from it I was able
to sign with Tara from Bailey Publishing House!
I see now that
I would never be where I am if it wasn’t for the workshop.”
– writer Addison Schmitt

Screen Shot 2016-12-13 at 12.08.09 AM.png“After taking pitches at the 2016 Alabama Writing Workshop, I met
Erin Brown Hollis at a pitch session, and she is now my client.”
[UPDATE:] “I got two publishing contracts for Erin — Broadstreet
Publishing and Vinspire Publishing.”
– literary agent Julie Gwinn
of The Seymour Agency

Screen Shot 2019-05-10 at 12.53.39 AM.png“I just wanted to let you know I signed Rachel Homard, an author
that pitched me at the 2019 Kansas City Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Leanne Tavares of Metamorphosis Literary

We will continue to update the list as success stories trickle in. Will our next success story be you? Join us at an event and pitch your work to agents and editors seeking new writers now!

 

 

Tips For Pitching Your Book at the 2020 MWW

If you are coming to the 2020 Minnesota Writing Workshop, you may be thinking about pitching one of the literary agents or editors in attendance. An in-person pitch is an excellent way to get an agent excited about both you and your work. Here are some tips (from one of a previous year’s instructors, Chuck Sambuchino) that will help you pitch your work effectively at the event during a 10-minute consultation. Chuck advises that you should:

  • Try to keep your pitch to 60-90 seconds. Keeping your pitch concise and short is beneficial because 1) it shows you are in command of the story and what your book is about; and 2) it allows plenty of time for back-and-forth discussion between you and the agent. Note: If you’re writing nonfiction, and therefore have to speak plenty about yourself and your platform, then your pitch can certainly run longer.
  • Practice before you get to the event. Say your pitch out loud, and even try it out on fellow writers. Feedback from peers will help you figure out if your pitch is confusing, or missing critical elements. Remember to focus on what makes your story unique. Mystery novels, for example, all follow a similar formula — so the elements that make yours unique and interesting will need to shine during the pitch to make your book stand out.
  • Do not give away the ending. If you pick up a DVD for Die Hard, does it say “John McClane is victorious at the end”? No. Because if it did, you wouldn’t buy the movie. Pitches are designed to leave the ending unanswered, much like the back of any DVD box you read.
  • Have some questions ready. 10 minutes is plenty of time to pitch and discuss your book, so there is a good chance you will be done pitching early. At that point, you are free to ask the agent questions about writing, publishing or craft. The meeting is both a pitch session and a consultation, so feel free to ask whatever you like as long as it pertains to writing.
  • Remember to hit the big beats of a pitch. Everyone’s pitch will be different, but the main elements to hit are 1) introducing the main character(s) and telling us about them, 2) saying what goes wrong that sets the story into motion, 3) explaining how the main character sets off to make things right and solve the problem, 4) explaining the stakes — i.e., what happens if the main character fails, and 5) ending with an unclear wrap-up.