The 2019 Minnesota Writing Workshop: March 2, 2019

Screen Shot 2016-12-25 at 10.34.26 PM.pngAfter successful 2014, 2017, and 2018 events in Minnesota, Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2019 Minnesota Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in St. Paul, MN on March 2, 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 Minnesota Writing Workshop!

WHAT IS IT?

This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, March 2, 2019, 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 Dawn Frederick (Red Sofa Literary)
  • literary agent Savannah Brooks (Jennifer De Chiara Literary)
  • literary agent Kelly Van Sant (Red Sofa Literary)
  • literary agent Mary Cummings (Betsy Amster Literary)
  • literary agent Laura Zats (Red Sofa Literary)
  • literary agent Jennie Goloboy (Donald Maass Literary)
  • literary agent Erik Hane (Red Sofa Literary)
  • literary agent assistant Lynnette Novak (The Seymour Agency)
  • and several 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 2, 2019 — at the Intercontinental St. Paul Riverfront, 11 E Kellogg Blvd, St Paul, MN 55101. (651)292-1900.

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THIS YEAR’S SESSIONS & WORKSHOPS (MARCH 2, 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. This workshop examines traditional publishing vs. self-publishing / e-publishing.

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

3. The Art and Craft of Memoir. In this session, you’ll learn how to turn your life experience into a compelling narrative that readers will love.

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

1. The Art of Voice: How to Make Your Writing Come to Life. 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. This workshop is a thorough crash course in dealing with literary agents.

3. How to Self-Publish Your Book Now and Do It Right. 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. This is a chance to get your first page read (anonymously — no bylines given) with attending agents commenting on what was liked or not liked about the submission.
   
2.  Nonfiction Intense: Book Proposal Tips. If you are trying to create an awesome nonfiction book proposal, this presentation is for you.

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

BLOCK FOUR: 2:45 – 3:45

1. Talking Fantasy and Science Fiction. 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. 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. 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? 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. 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. 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 bookstore for a short while to sign any books for attendees.

Agent & Editor Pitching: All throughout the day.

————-

PITCH AGENTS AND EDITORS:

Screen shot 2016-05-16 at 5.47.13 PM.pngLaura Zats is a literary agent with Red Sofa Literary. Laura seeks young adult fiction (especially contemporary), middle grade contemporary / adventure, adult fantasy and science fiction (loves non-traditional settings, fast-paced storytelling, anthropological elements, and smart humor; no high fantasy), and romance & erotica (especially contemporary; please no vampires, werewolves, angels, demons, or mermaids). Learn more about Laura here.

Screen Shot 2018-11-13 at 5.06.41 PM.pngSavannah 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 2018-11-10 at 10.34.58 AMDawn Frederick is a literary agent with Red Sofa Literary. In fiction, she seeks young adult and middle grade. In nonfiction, she seeks biograohy, creative/narrative nonfiction, graphic novels, history, humor, pop culture, social issues / current affarirs, sports, women’s narratives, and juvenile nonfiction (MG / YA). She does not seek memoir. Learn more about Dawn here.

Screen Shot 2016-10-13 at 9.10.51 AM.pngMary Cummings is a literary agent at Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises. She represents fiction, literary nonfiction, and poetry for children and teens, from picture books to middle grade and young adult novels, including contemporary and historical, humor, mystery, fantasy, and multicultural. She is particularly seeking middle grade novels as well as picture books with strong story arcs, a spunky central character, and warmth, humor, or quirky charm. In literary nonfiction, her areas of interest include lyrically written science, arts, nature, mindfulness, and social awareness issues. Learn more about Mary here.

Screen Shot 2017-12-01 at 8.09.55 PM.pngJennie Goloboy is a literary agent with Donald Maass Literary. 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. 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 2016-10-12 at 10.29.03 AM.pngErik Hane is a literary agent with Red Sofa Literary. Erik is looking for the following: literary/upmarket fiction with an emphasis on plot (as in, nothing too slow/quiet/static); popular and academic/trade science nonfiction, especially evolutionary biology; narrative history and biography; contemporary culture criticism (think Klosterman); sports books, if it’s got a scope that extends past just games and players and into culture/larger issues. Learn more about Erik here.

Screen Shot 2017-11-29 at 11.43.46 AMLynnette Novak is an agent assistant at The Seymour Agency. She’s seeking fantasy, science fiction, thrillers, romance (contemporary, SF/F romance, romantic comedy), mysteries (traditional, cozy, amateur sleuth), and YA. (Previously, another Seymour Agency assistant, Lesley Sabga, was attending the workshop to take pitches on behalf of the whole agency. Lynnette is taking her place.) Lynnette will also be taking pitches on behalf of all acquiring agents at The Seymour Agency. Here’s what they’re looking for: all romance from inspirational to erotic; all children’s literature, including picture books; self-help, nonfiction, prescriptive, spiritual; mysteries, thrillers, inspirational; history, cookbooks, women’s fiction. Learn more about Lynnette 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. 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 2019 MWW and access to all workshops, all day. As of October 24, 2018, 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 2016-12-13 at 12.20.11 AM.png“I signed with my agent, Patricia Nelson, after
meeting her at the Arizona Writing Workshop.”
– writer Axie Oh

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 Colorado Writing
Workshop.” – writer Jessie Hilb Akos

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

Screen Shot 2016-12-13 at 12.08.09 AM.png“After taking pitches at the Alabama Writing
Workshop, I met Erin Hollis at a pitch session, and
she is now my newest client.” – agent Julie Gwinn

Add $69 — for an in-depth, personal critique of your one-page query letter from Chuck Sambuchino, 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. Reach out to workshop organizer Kimiko Nakamura via email: wdwcoordinator@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 Kimiko plans different workshops, 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: The easy first step is simply to reach out to 2019 workshop organizer Kimiko Nakamura via email: wdwcoordinator@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 MWW will send out periodic e-mail updates to all registered attendees with any & all news about the event. Because Kimiko plans different workshops, 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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