Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Erik Hane of Red Sofa Literary

Screen Shot 2016-10-16 at 2.18.12 PM.pngErik Hane is a literary agent with Red Sofa Literary.

Erik is a writing major from Knox College, and attended the Denver Publishing Institute after graduation. His first publishing job came soon after, as an editorial assistant and then assistant editor at Oxford University Press. He then moved to The Overlook Press as an acquiring editor, working on primarily upmarket nonfiction (history, biography, pop science), but was lucky enough to work on some novels as well.

He is seeking: For fiction, he only seeks literary fiction. For nonfiction, he seeks popular science, sports writing, popular culture/modern life, essays, and history. In nonfiction, he loves seeing complex subjects written about in an engaging way for the non-expert, or energetic, incisive looks at topics not usually treated that way (looking at you, sports writing).

He wants to see literary novels that also place importance on story; no use writing beautifully if nothing’s going on.

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Two 2019 Writing Conferences for Wisconsin Writers

Writing Day Workshops organizes many one-day writers conferences around the country. In 2018, there are two nearby conferences that Wisconsin writers can travel to:

Feb. 17, 2018: The Minnesota Writing Workshop

Screen Shot 2018-01-10 at 11.19.57 AM.pngThe 2018 Minnesota Writing Workshop will be held on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018, at the Intercontinental St. Paul Riverfront in St. Paul, MN. Our last event had more than 200 attendees. The conference has sessions, panels, agent & editor pitching, query critiques, and manuscript critiques. Previous MN events in 2014 and 2017 went great, and we are excited about the 2018 workshop. All 2018 information, including registration instructions, is on the website here:

https://minnesotawritingworkshop.com/

Attending agents and editors to pitch: Eric Smith (P.S. Literary), Michelle Grajkowski (3 Seas Literary), editor Lauren Jablonski (St. Martin’s Press), Mary Cummings (Betsy Amster Literary), editor Mari Kesselring (Flux and Jolly Fish Press), Cynthia Ruchti (Books & Such Literary), Laura Zats (Red Sofa Literary), Jennie Goloboy (Donald Maass Literary), Erik Hane (Red Sofa Literary), Lynnette Novak (The Seymour Agency), editor Yana Makuwa (Graywolf Press), editor Raela Schoenherr (Bethany House Publishers).

June 23, 2018: The Writing Workshop of Chicago

Screen Shot 2018-01-10 at 11.24.26 AM.pngThe 2018 Writing Workshop of Chicago will be held on Saturday, June 23, 2018, at the historic Congress Plaza Hotel in Chicago, IL. Our last conference had more than 300 attendees. The event has sessions, panels, agent & editor pitching, query critiques, and manuscript critiques. Previous Chicago events in 2015, 2016, and 2017 went great, and we are excited about the 2018 workshop. All 2018 information, including registration instructions, is on the website here:

http://chicagowritingworkshop.com/

Attending agents and editors to pitch: Cynthia Ruchti (Books and Such), Michelle Grajkowski (3 Seas Literary), editor Anna Michels (Sourcebooks), Moe Ferrara (BookEnds Literary), Kelly Van Sant (D4EO Literary), Tracy Brennan (Trace Literary Agency), Gemma Cooper (The Bent Agency), Dawn Frederick (Red Sofa Literary), editor Grace Menary-Winefield (Sourcebooks and Sourcebooks Landmark), Alexandra Weiss (Jennifer De Chiara Literary), Marcy Posner (Folio Literary), Loretta Caravette (LR Children’s Literary), editor Emily Clark Victorson (Allium Press), Tina P. Schwartz (The Purcell Agency), Lesley Sabga (The Seymour Agency), Kortney Price (Corvisiero Agency). This list will likely grow over time.

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Screen Shot 2018-01-10 at 11.24.36 AM.pngFor a full list of all upcoming WDW one-day workshops, click here and see all forthcoming 2018 event locations.

To read some success stories of writers who have found agents at our WDW events nationwide, click here to enjoy their stories of good news.

Thank you for considering an event. Email us with any questions: writingdayworkshops@gmail.com

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Mary Cummings of Betsy Amster Literary

Screen Shot 2016-10-13 at 9.10.51 AM.png[SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS]

Mary Cummings is a literary agent at Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises.

Mary 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.

Houses she’s sold books to include, among others: Little, Brown; Knopf; Abrams; F,S,G; Henry Holt; Holiday House; Imprint; and Paula Wiseman Books/Simon & Schuster.

Learn more about her: cummingskidlit.com and amsterlit.com

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 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 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 2018-06-09 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 2018-02-08 at 10.20.16 AM.png“I got to attend your 2015 L.A. Conference [The Writing Workshop 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 2017-11-14 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 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

Screen Shot 2018-07-09 at 10.11.07 PM.png“I made an offer of representation to someone 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 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 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!”

– 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 The Corvisiero Agency 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 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 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 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 2016-10-16 at 3.17.42 PM.png“I signed writer Mary Barrow after the 2016
Tennessee Writing Workshop. She is wonderful!”
– literary agent Victoria Lea of Aponte Literary

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

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 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 2018-02-14 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 Corvisiero Literary Agency

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 agent Hope Bolinger of Cyle Young Literary Elite.”
– writer Kristiana Sfirlea

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 2017-03-30 at 11.03.05 PM.png“I am currently signing one of the writers I met
at the 2017 Kansas City Writing Workshop.”

– literary agent J.N. Haskin with Corvisiero 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 2019 MWW

If you are coming to the 2019 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 last 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.