The 2017 Florida Writing Workshop: September 16, 2017 (Tampa)

screen-shot-2014-07-23-at-12-58-51-pm.pngAfter a successful launch in 2016, the Florida Writing Workshop is back for a 2017 event in Tampa! The staff behind the organization and instruction of the Homeric Writers’ Retreat & Workshop are excited to announce The 2017 Florida Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in Tampa, FL, on September 16, 2017.

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 2017 Florida Writing Workshop!

(Last year we also hosted a one-day workshop in Fort Lauderdale. We may host one there again in late 2017, but that is uncertain. Right now, this updated website is solely for information & registration regarding the September 16, 2017 event in Tampa. Feel free to check back to this page from time to time to see if a Miami/FLD event is finalized.)

WHAT IS IT?

This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, September 16, 2017, at the Crowne Plaza Tampa Westshore. 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 Nalini Akolekar (SpencerHill Associates)
  • literary agent Stephanie Fretwell-Hill (Red Fox Literary)
  • literary agent Nicole Resciniti (The Seymour Agency)
  • literary agent Marlene Stringer (The Stringer Agency)
  • literary agent Saritza Hernandez (Corvisiero Literary)
  • literary agent Amanda Leuck (SpencerHill Associates)
  • literary agent Tina Wainscott (The Seymour Agency)
  • and 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 YEAR’S PRESENTER/INSTRUCTOR

Screen Shot 2016-11-02 at 3.23.45 PM.pngBrian A. Klems (@BrianKlems) is the online editor of WritersDigest.com. His blog, The Writer’s Dig—which covers everything writing and publishing—is one of the fastest growing blogs in the writing community. Brian has been a part of the Writer’s Digest family since 2003 and has overseen the the launch of the Writer’s Digest blogs as well as helped Writer’s Digest become a vibrant member of the social media community, including Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest. Brian’s first book, Oh Boy, You’re Having a Girl: A Dad’s Guide to Raising Daughters (Adams Media) was released in April 2013. It received high-level buzz and praise from some of the funniest writers alive, including Dave Barry and Bruce Cameron. Brian is also a proud graduate of the Ohio University E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, a husband, softball infielder, perennial fantasy sports underachiever, and father of three lovely little girls.

EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS

9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, September 16, 2017 — Crowne Plaza Tampa Westshore, 5303 W Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL 33609. (813)289-1950.

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WORKSHOP SCHEDULE (SEPTEMBER 16, 2017)

9 – 9:30: Check-in and registration at the event location.

9:30 – 10:30: “A Bird’s-eye View Publishing & Books in the Year 2017.” This workshop is quick & easy overview of the publishing industry today, and how it’s changing. The speech is designed to educate writers and help them understand what publishing options exist for them today and why it’s an exciting time to be a writer.

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 10.12.02 AM10:30 – 11:45: “15 Tips on How to Write Like the Pros.” This workshop is a thorough crash course concerning craft, style and voice. We’ll discuss nuts & bolts tips for sentence construction like how to avoid passive tense, how to use vivid language, how to self-edit your own work, how to make your characters memorable, the art of compelling dialogue, and much more.

11:45 – 1:15: Lunch on your own. There are several restaurants within quick driving distance on the block.

1:15 – 2:30: “Writers’ Got Talent: A Chapter One 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 4 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.)

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 10.07.06 AM2:45 – 4:00: “25 Questions You Need Answered Before You Seek an Agent or Self-Publish Your Book.” Before you publish your work or query an agent, there are plenty of things you need to know — such as how to submit to agents properly, how to find the best self-publishing service for your need, what social media channels you should be on already, how to launch your book right, how to draft a compelling query/pitch and synopsis, how to find other writers who can help you, and much more.

4:00 – 5:00: “25 Questions You Need Answered After You Seek an Agent or Self-Publish Your Book.” After you self-publish your work or get a traditional publishing book deal, there are plenty of things you need to know — such as how to promote yourself, how to keep your career going with multiple books, how you cross between the words of self-publishing and traditional publishing (i.e., use them both) to make the most money, how to build a readership, and much more.

All throughout the day: Agent & Editor Pitching.

PITCH AN AGENT!

Screen Shot 2016-11-15 at 11.49.29 AM.pngNalini Akolekar is a literary agent with Spencerhill Associates. Nalini currently represents several best-selling authors, and has placed books with a wide range of publishers, from the Big Five to Amazon, Harlequin, indies and E-first. Nalini specializes in romance and women’s fiction in the adult market, but she also loves thrillers. Please note that she does not represent children’s books or nonfiction. Learn more about Nalini here.

Screen Shot 2016-12-07 at 11.27.53 AM.pngStephanie Fretwell-Hill is a literary agent with Red Fox Literary. She represents both authors and illustrators of board books, picture books, middle grade, and young adult. She will consider stories in any genre, but looks for a strong voice, rich and multi-layered plots, and stylish, classic, or quirky illustrations. Most of all, she loves anything that really makes her laugh. Learn more about Stephanie here.

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 12.29.55 PMNicole Resciniti is a senior literary agent with The Seymour Agency. Nicole is seeking happily-ever-after romances, mainstream suspense, thrillers, mysteries, science fiction novels, fantasy novels, action/adventure, young adult, and inspirational novels. Currently on her specific wishlist: high concept middle grade, any kind of romance, and really fresh voices in young adult. Learn more about Nicole here.

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 1.18.25 PMMarlene Stringer is a literary agent and the founder of Stringer Literary Agency. She represents mystery, thriller, contemporary and urban fantasy, science fiction, romance, historical fiction, science fiction, young adult / teen, and women’s fiction. She also represents select nonfiction, including parenting, history, music, sports and popular science. “If your manuscript falls between categories, or you are not sure of the category, pitch me and I’ll let you know if we’d like to take a look.” Learn more about Marlene here.

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 11.15.05 AMAmanda Leuck is a literary agent with Spencerhill Associates. She is seeking: strong, character-driven stories, written with an unforgettable voice. She’s looking for literary and commercial YA, new adult fiction, urban fantasy, and romance in all genres, including edgy romantic suspense, contemporary and paranormal with a fresh twist. Learn more about Amanda here.

126a6eaa16ef1d4b5ef0e677c1965ca7Saritza Hernandez is a literary agent with Corvisiero Literary, and is representing the entire agency and their genres. Her personal tastes lean toward erotica (all kinds), but she is open to hearing pitches for all her co-agents in the genres of fantasy, science fiction, romance, thrillers, adventure, paranormal, young adult, middle grade, picture books, historical romance, new adult (both romance and non-romance), and graphic novels. In nonfiction, she can take pitches for parenting, education, self-improvement, science, and business. Learn more about Saritza here.

Screen Shot 2016-11-16 at 9.58.21 PM.pngTina Wainscott is a literary agent with The Seymour Agency. She is personally looking to represent a select few nonfiction authors who have an idea that fits into self-help/ personal transformation/spiritual growth but also has that special something to stand out in a crowded market. That said, she is willing to take pitches on behalf of other Seymour Agency agents (except for co-agent Nicole Resciniti, who will be at the event herself). That means she will happily take pitches for Christian and inspirational fiction and nonfiction, women’s fiction (contemporary and historical), new adult, Southern fiction, literary fiction, cookbooks, picture books written by author/illustrators, narrative nonfiction and memoir. Learn more about Tina here.

More 2017 agents/editors will be added in the coming weeks/months.

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

$149 — the EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2017 FWW and access to all workshops, all day, on September 16, 2017. As of November 2016, 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.)

Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 3.01.32 PMI signed with my agent, Patricia Nelson, after
meeting her at the Arizona Writing Workshop.”
– writer Axie Oh

Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 3.05.52 PM“I officially signed with agent Renee Nyen of KT
Literary. I met her at the Colorado Writing
Workshop.” – writer Jessie Hilb Akos

Screen Shot 2016-02-27 at 1.31.47 PM.png“After taking pitches at the Michigan Writing
Workshop, I signed writer Kyle Prue as a new
client.” – literary agent Veronica Park

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 10.59.25 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 instructor Brian Klems. (This rate is a special event value for Florida 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?

How to pay/register — Registration is now open. Reach out to workshop organizer Jessica Bell via email: WDWconference@gmail.com, and she will provide specific instructions for payment and registration to get you a reserved seat at the event. Payment is by either PayPal or check. Because Jessica plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Florida workshop specifically.

REGISTRATION

Because of limited space at the venue of the Crowne Plaza Tampa Westshore, the workshop can only allow 150 registrants, unless spacing issues change. For this reason, we encourage you to book sooner rather than later.

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

How to Register: The easy first step is simply to reach out to workshop organizer Jessica Bell via email: WDWconference@gmail.com. She will pass along registration information to you, and give instructions on how to pay by PayPal or check. Once payment is complete, you will have a reserved seat at the event. The FWW will send out periodic e-mail updates to all registered attendees with any & all news about the event. Because Jessica plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Florida workshop specifically.

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

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Thank you for your interest in the 2017 Florida Writing Workshop.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Nalini Akolekar

Screen Shot 2016-11-15 at 11.49.25 AM.pngNalini Akolekar joined Spencerhill Associates as a literary agent after a lengthy editorial career and several years in advertising sales. Agenting has provided the perfect opportunity to combine her editorial instincts with her sales, marketing, and business experience.
 
Nalini currently represents several best-selling authors, and has placed books with a wide range of publishers, from the Big Five to Amazon, Harlequin, indies and E-first. Nalini specializes in romance and women’s fiction in the adult market, but she also loves thrillers. Please note that her agency does not represent children’s books.

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Nicole Resciniti of The Seymour Agency

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 12.29.55 PMNicole Resciniti is a senior literary agent with The Seymour Agency.

Nicole has been listed by Publishers Marketplace as a top dealmaker in the country, and named ACFW’s 2012 Agent of the Year. She loves discovering new talent and helping established authors to take their career to the next level. Do you have the next project to feed her book addiction? A smart, tight read she won’t be able to put down? A signature voice she’ll fight to represent?

She is seeking: happily-ever-after romances, mainstream suspense, thrillers, mysteries, science fiction, fantasy, action/adventure, YA, and inspirational novels. Currently on her specific wishlist: high concept middle grade, any kind of romance, and really fresh voices in YA.

Nicole is a member of AAR, ACFW, RWA, and Mensa. She holds degrees in biology, psychology, and behavioral neuroscience. Like Mary Sue, Nicole taught in the public school system and has worn many hats before heeding her calling to become a literary agent.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Stephanie Fretwell-Hill of Red Fox Literary

Screen Shot 2016-12-07 at 11.27.53 AM.pngStephanie Fretwell-Hill is a literary agent with Red Fox Literary.

Stephanie represents both authors and illustrators of board books, picture books, middle grade, and young adult. She will consider stories in any genre, but looks for a strong voice, rich and multi-layered plots, and stylish, classic, or quirky illustrations. Most of all, she loves anything that really makes her laugh.

She started her publishing career in 2004 at Walker Books Ltd. in London, where she sold foreign language rights. Working in a design-led company with legendary artists such as Helen Oxenbury and Lucy Cousins sparked her love of illustration, while her sales role gave her an international perspective on children’s publishing.

In 2011, Stephanie moved back home to the United States, where she joined Peachtree Publishers as an editor. During her four years there, she acquired fiction and non fiction picture books, middle grade, and young adult titles. Her acquisitions received such honors as YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults, Bank Street Best Children’s Books of the Year, Parents’ Choice Awards, and numerous starred reviews from major trade magazines.

Stephanie lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her English husband, brand new baby girl, and a border collie named Rooney. When her nose isn’t in a book, she can often be found changing diapers, renovating a house, traveling someplace new, or cooking dinner.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Marlene Stringer of Stringer Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 1.18.25 PMMarlene Stringer is a literary agent and the founder of Stringer Literary Agency. She is a member of the AAR, The Authors Guild, RWA, MWA, ITW, and SCBWI.

She represents mystery, thriller, contemporary and urban fantasy, science fiction, romance, historical fiction, science fiction, young adult / teen, and women’s fiction. She also represents select nonfiction, including parenting, history, music, sports and popular science. “If your manuscript falls between categories, or you are not sure of the category, pitch and we’ll let you know if we’d like to take a look.”

Note that she does not represent picture books, plays, short stories, poetry, academic, or memoir.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Amanda Leuck of Spencerhill Associates

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 11.15.11 AMAmanda Leuck is a literary agent with Spencerhill Associates.

She is seeking: strong, character-driven stories, written with an unforgettable voice. She’s looking for literary and commercial YA, new adult fiction, urban fantasy, and romance in all genres, including edgy romantic suspense, contemporary and paranormal with a fresh twist.

About Amanda: Amanda Leuck started her career  in various facets of the media, including work on a TV talk show, at a fashion magazine, as a print journalist, and as an on-air traffic reporter. After graduating from New York University, Amanda went on to study literacy and literature at the post-graduate level. It was then that she developed a passion for the publishing industry. Amanda started at Spencerhill Associates as an editorial assistant, and was promoted to agent in August 2014. Her Twitter handle is @MandiLeone.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Saritza Hernandez of Corvisiero Literary

126a6eaa16ef1d4b5ef0e677c1965ca7Saritza Hernandez is the Sr. Literary Agent at the Corvisiero Literary Agency.

Saritza Hernandez is representing the entire agency and their genres. Her personal tastes lean toward erotica (all kinds), but she is open to hearing pitches for all her co-agents in the genres of fantasy, science fiction, romance, thrillers, adventure, paranormal, young adult, middle grade, picture books, historical romance, new adult (both romance and non-romance), and graphic novels. In nonfiction, she can take pitches for parenting, education, self-improvement, science, and business.

About Saritza personally: She is known as the first literary agent to represent authors in the digital publishing landscape. While continuing to seek traditional publishers for her authors, Saritza is the leading literary agent in digital publishing deals. An avid coffee-drinker with a Kindle book obsession, she enjoys a steaming cup of strong Cuban coffee every morning while reading an erotic contemporary romance or action-packed science fiction adventure. A strong advocate of the GLBT community, she enjoys fresh voices in Young Adult and New Adult genre fiction.