The 2016 Florida Writing Workshops: March 25 (Tampa) and March 26 (Fort Lauderdale)

11The staff behind the organization and instruction of the Homeric Writers’ Retreat & Workshop are excited to announce The 2016 Florida Writing Workshops — two separate yet identical full-day “How to Get Published” writers conferences in Florida. First on Friday, March 25, there is the Tampa Bay Writing Conference; and then on Saturday, March 26, there is the Fort Lauderdale Writers Conference just north of Miami.

This writing events are wonderful opportunities 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 events (100 per each). All questions about the event regarding schedule, details and registration are answered below. Thank you for your interest in the 2016 Florida Writing Workshops!

WHAT IS IT?

These are special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshops on Friday, March 25, 2016, at the Crowne Plaza Tampa Westshore, and Saturday, March 26, 2016 at The Courtyard Fort Lauderdale Airport & Cruise Port. The events are identical in terms of content and seminars; only the agent/editor faculty is different at each event.

In other words, each workshop is 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.

These events are 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 Gail Shivel (Global Lion Literary Management)
  • literary agent Kelly Peterson (Corvisiero Literary)
  • literary agent Penny Moore (FinePrint Literary)
  • literary agent Lucienne Diver (The Knight Agency)
  • literary agent Marlene Stringer (Stringer Literary Agency)
  • literary agent Kimiko Nakamura (Dee Mura Literary)
  • literary agent Nicole Resciniti (The Seymour Agency)
  • literary agent Saritza Hernandez (Corvisiero Literary)
  • literary agent Greg Aunapu (Salkind Literary)
  • literary agent Kurestin Armada (P.S. Literary)
  • literary agent Cricket Freeman (The August Agency)
  • literary agent Amanda Leuck (Spencerhill Associates)
  • and literary agent Kaylee Davis (Dee Mura Literary).

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 2014-01-08 at 1.09.19 PMChuck Sambuchino (chucksambuchino.com, @chucksambuchino) of Writer’s Digest Books is the editor of Guide to Literary Agents as well as the Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market. His authored books include Formatting & Submitting Your Manuscript; Create Your Writer Platform, which was praised by Forbes.com; and How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack, which was optioned for film by Sony. He oversees one of the biggest blogs in publishing (the Guide to Literary Agents Blog) as well as one of the biggest Twitter accounts in publishing (@WritersDigest). He is a freelance editor who has seen dozens of his clients get agents and/or book deals, and he has presented at 120 writing conferences and events over the past ten years.

EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS

TAMPA: 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Friday, March 25, 2016 — Crowne Plaza Tampa Westshore, 5303 W Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL 33609. (813) 289-1950

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FORT LAUDERDALE / MIAMI: 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, March 26, 2016 — Courtyard Fort Lauderdale Airport & Cruise Port, 400 Gulf Stream Way, Dania Beach, FL, 33004-2124, (954) 342-8333.

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WORKSHOP SCHEDULE (BOTH MARCH 25 & 26, 2016)

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

9:30 – 10:30: “Your Publishing Options Today.” This workshop examines the two largest routes any writer can take with their book: traditional publishing and self-publishing (e-publishing). We will examine the upsides of both routes, the downsides, and the next steps no matter what you decide. In today’s publishing world, a writer has to understand what they’re in for before they send their book out. This session is designed to prepare them for what’s to come and what options exist.

10:30 – 11:45: “Everything You Need to Know About Agents, Queries & Pitching.” This workshop is a thorough crash course in dealing with literary agents. After quickly going over what an agent is and what they do for writers, we will discuss resources for finding agents, how to ID the best agents for you, query letter writing, as well as the most important things to do and not to do when dealing with representatives.

11:45 – 1:15: Lunch on your own. There are several restaurants within quick driving distance. A map of places to eat will be passed out prior to the event.

Screen shot 2014-10-02 at 10.30.04 PM1:15 – 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 attending agents commenting on what was liked or not liked about the submission. Get expert feedback on your incredibly important first page, and know if your writing has what it needs to keep readers’ attention. (All attendees are welcome to bring pages to the event for this session, and we will choose pages at random for the workshop for as long as time lasts.)

2:30 – 3:45: “How to Market Yourself and Your Books: Author Platform & Social Media Explained.” A writer’s platform is as important as ever now. Visibility and ability to self-market are mandatory these days for writers of nonfiction and self-published works. Furthermore, fiction writers want a platform to sell more books, meet readers, and increase their value. This speech teaches writers the basics of what a platform is and why it is necessary. Then we delve into the building blocks of what can constitute a platform, from media appearances and speaking engagements to blogs, Facebook, Twitter and more.

3:45 – 5:00: “How to Get Published: 10 Professional Writing Practices That You Need to Know NOW to Find Success as a Writer.” This final speech is a general presentation examining good writing practices that all editors appreciate—whether writing for books, magazines, newspapers or online. It discusses how to not put all your eggs in one writing basket, how to steal ideas from yourself to generate more stories and books, how to avoid the two most common reasons agents reject you, and much more.

All throughout the day: Agent & Editor Pitching.

PITCH AN AGENT!

Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 1.48.39 PM.pngGail Shivel, Ph.D. [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is an associate agent with Global Lion Literary Management. She will be at the Fort Lauderdale event only. Gail, like Global Lion’s founder Peter Miller, is a generalist. She will take pitches for any kind of fiction or nonfiction project. That said, the agency specializes in commercial fiction in any genre that has wide appeal, nonfiction with global marketing potential, and books that have motion picture and/or television potential. In her own words: “I am looking for competently-written nonfiction and fiction from authors who understand that when they have completed a manuscript, their involvement with their book is only just beginning.” Learn more about Gail here.

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 9.58.43 AMKelly Peterson [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a jr. literary agent with Corvisiero Literary. She will be at the Fort Lauderdale event. Kelly will be taking pitches on behalf of herself and Corvisiero Literary as a whole. She personally seeks: middle grade, young adult (many subgenres), stories with strong female protagonists, new adult fiction, romance and fantasy. Kelly can also take pitches on behalf of Corvisiero Literary co-agents for the adult fiction genres of science fiction, horror, thriller, mystery, crime, paranormal, action/adventure, and women’s fiction. Learn more about Kelly here.

Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 4.11.19 PMPenny Moore [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent at FinePrint Literary Management. She will be at the Tampa event. She is seeking: picture books (fun off-the-wall concepts to memorable heartfelt messages), middle grade, and young adult (especially fantasy, historical fiction, sci-fi, and contemporary stories exploring romance and the complications of growing up). In adult fiction, her tastes lean towards literary, speculative fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, psychological thrillers, and select romance projects. She’s also open to nonfiction projects in the realm of pop culture, humor, travel, food, and pets. Learn more about Penny here.

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 10.24.14 AMLucienne Diver [SOLD OUT OF ALL PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent with The Knight Agency. She will be at the Tampa event. Over the course of her dynamic career she has sold over seven hundred titles to every major publisher, and has built a client list of more than forty authors spanning the commercial fiction genres, primarily in the areas of fantasy, science fiction, romance, romantica, suspense and young adult. Learn more about Lucienne here.

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 1.18.25 PMMarlene Stringer [SOLD OUT OF ALL PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent and the founder of Stringer Literary Agency. She will be at the Tampa event. 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. Learn more about Marlene here.

17232682-20503311-thumbnailKimiko Nakamura [SOLD OUT OF TAMPA PITCHES, BUT STILL HAS FORT LAUDERDALE SPOTS AVAILABLE] is a literary agent with Dee Mura Literary. She will be at BOTH the Tampa and Fort Lauderdale events. Kimiko represents fiction in young adult and adult within the genres of historical, contemporary, literary, and women’s fiction. She loves thought-provoking projects that re-imagine what’s possible, characters with something (or nothing) to lose, unique viewpoints, trailblazing heroines, and anything with elements of magical realism. For nonfiction she represents cookbooks and memoirs. On her bookshelf and in her inbox, she looks for cookbooks she can read like the Sunday morning paper and daring memoirs of people making their mark on the world. Learn more about Kimiko here.

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 12.29.55 PMNicole Resciniti [SOLD OUT OF ALL PITCH APPOINTMENTS FOR BOTH TAMPA AND FORT LAUDERDALE] is a senior literary agent with The Seymour Agency. She will be at BOTH the Tampa and Fort Lauderdale events. Nicole 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. Learn more about Nicole here.

126a6eaa16ef1d4b5ef0e677c1965ca7Saritza Hernandez is a literary agent with Corvisiero Literary, and is representing the entire agency and their genres. She will be at the Tampa event. 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 2015-06-04 at 9.39.30 AMGreg Aunapu [SOLD OUT OF ALL PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent with Salkind Literary. He will be at the Fort Lauderdale event. His fiction interests include commercial fiction, historical, thrillers/suspense, mystery, detective, adventure, humor, science-fiction / fantasy. His nonfiction interests include biography, history, narrative, memoir, true crime, adventure/true story, business/finance, current affairs, technology, pop culture, psychology, how-to, self-help, science, travel, pets/animals, relationships, parenting. Learn more about Greg here.

ArmadaKurestin Armada [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent with P.S. Literary and is actively building her list. She will be at the Fort Lauderdale event. Her fiction areas of interest include upmarket and commercial fiction, magic realism, science fiction, fantasy, alternative history, historical fiction, LGBTQ (any genre), select young adult and middle grade, graphic novels, mystery (including mystery with elements of science fiction & fantasy), romance. She can also take picture book pitches on behalf of her kidlit co-agents. Kurestin’s nonfiction areas of interest: design, cooking, pop psychology, humor, photography, and pop science. Learn more about Kurestin here.

CricketFreeman~~element46Cricket Freeman [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent with The August Agency. She will be at the Fort Lauderdale event. Her fiction interests include mainstream fiction, literary fiction, and crime (including historicals), and fiction with an international flavor. Her nonfiction interests include narrative nonfiction, memoir, history, biography, business, true crime (including historicals), pop culture, arts & entertainment, political & social sciences, academic works, media & current events (seasoned journalists receive special attention here), and nonfiction with an international flavor. She is not interested in self-published works, children’s books of any kind, or genre fiction (besides crime). Learn more about Cricket here.

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 11.15.05 AMAmanda Leuck is a literary agent with Spencerhill Associates. She will be at the Tampa event. 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.

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 2.07.00 PMKaylee Davis [SOLD OUT OF FORT LAUDERDALE PITCHES, BUT STILL HAS TAMPA SPOTS AVAILABLE] is a literary agent with Dee Mura Literary. She will be at BOTH the Tampa and Fort Lauderdale events. Kaylee is actively acquiring middle grade, young adult, and adult fiction — particularly sci-fi, fantasy, contemporary, literary, and LGBTQ. She is drawn to exciting, thought-provoking stories with a fresh perspective that explores what it means to be human. She loves plot twists, genre-bending, unlikely allies, flawed heroes, and stories that are both literally and figuratively out of this world. Learn more about Kaylee here.

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

$129 — final registration pricing. This is the complete base price for registration to the 2016 FWWs and access to all workshops, all day.

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 some testimonials from writers who have signed with literary agents after pitching them at prior Writing Day Workshops events:

Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 3.01.32 PM“I 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

Add $59 — for an in-depth, personal critique of your one-page query letter from instructor Chuck Sambuchino. (This rate is a special event value for Florida Writing Workshops 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: writingdayworkshops@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 Tampa or Ft. Lauderdale workshop specifically.

REGISTRATION

Because of limited space at both venues, the workshops can only allow 100 registrants each, 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 at both events. We will announce RIGHT HERE, at this point on this web page, when all spaces are taken at either conference. 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: writingdayworkshops@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 FWWs 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 Tampa or Ft. Lauderdale 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 Florida Writing Workshops.

 

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Kelly Peterson of Corvisiero Literary

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 9.58.43 AM.png[SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS]

Kelly Peterson is a jr. literary agent with Corvisiero Literary. She will be taking pitches on behalf of herself and Corvisiero Literary as a whole.

Kelly has spent her whole life with a book in her hands. Whether it’s from reading, writing, or day dreaming, her mind has always been up in the clouds wishing her fantasy stories would come true. A graduate of West Chester University, she earned her B.S.Ed. in English. When not working one of her three jobs and being a nerd, Kelly can be found dancing, riding horses, perfecting her yoga technique, blogging, and writing.

She personally seeks:

  • middle grade (fantasy, paranormal, sci-fi)
  • young adult — fantasy and all its subgenres, steampunk, sci-fi, paranormal, historical (19th century and earlier with strong heroines), dystopian (hold the cyborgs, the scorch, and diseases, please), sword and sorcery, a very selective few for Contemporary Romance, and any combination of the above with strong, female main characters.
  • new adult — fantasy, paranormal, romance (Cowboys, anyone? Sexy and somewhat geeky entrepreneur? Celebrity? Yes?), historical romance, or any combination of the above.
  • Adult fiction in the genres of fantasy and romance.

Kelly can also take pitches on behalf of Corvisiero Literary co-agents for:

  • adult science fiction
  • adult horror
  • adult thriller / mystery / crime / suspense
  • adult adventure / action
  • adult paranormal
  • women’s fiction

With books, there’s just something about strong female main characters holding their own against the world, in an environment that Kelly could never, in her wildest dreams, find herself living within. It tears at her heart and pulls at her soul, especially when the main character finds that she never needed another to complete her in the first place.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Gail Shivel of Global Lion Management

0bea9e_614b93a0f3c148a9b462f14c9ae14c68.jpg[SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS]

Gail Shivel, Ph.D. is an associate agent with Global Lion Management. She will be at the Fort Lauderdale event only.

She is seeking: Gail, like Global Lion’s founder Peter Miller, is a generalist. She will take pitches for any kind of fiction or nonfiction project. That said, the agency specializes in commercial fiction in any genre that has wide appeal, nonfiction with global marketing potential, and books that have motion picture and/or television potential. In her own words: “I am looking for competently-written nonfiction and fiction from authors who understand that when they have completed a manuscript, their involvement with their book is only just beginning.”

Gail Shivel has been involved with the publishing industry for many years, as publisher, editor and now literary manager. She also has taught literature and writing at colleges and universities for 25 years.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Lucienne Diver of The Knight Agency

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 10.24.14 AM[SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS]

Lucienne Diver is a literary agent with The Knight Agency. She will be attending the Tampa event only.

Lucienne joined TKA in 2008, after spending fifteen years at New York City’s prestigious Spectrum Literary Agency. With her sharp eye and gift for spotting original new voices, Lucienne is one of the most well-respected agents in the industry. A lifelong book addict, she graduated summa cum laude from the State University of New York at Potsdam with dual majors in English/writing and anthropology. She thus came well-equipped for her work as an agent. Over the course of her dynamic career she has sold over seven hundred titles to every major publisher, and has built a client list of more than forty authors spanning the commercial fiction genres.

She is seeking: primarily fantasy, science fiction, romance, romantica, suspense and young adult.

Her authors have been honored with the RITA, National Readers’ Choice, Golden Heart, and Romantic Times Reader’s Choice Awards, and have appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists. A publishing veteran, Lucienne has superb industry knowledge, numerous editor relationships, and a keen understanding of the foreign rights market. She is a member of the Association of Authors Representatives, RWA, MWA and SFWA.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Penny Moore of FinePrint Literary Management

Moore[SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS]

(Penny will be at the Tampa event only.)

Penny Moore is a literary agent at FinePrint Literary Management.

About Penny: While completing degrees in Linguistics and Japanese Language & Literature at the University of Georgia, she spent time studying comparative literature at top universities in Japan and South Korea. She then spent time as a middle school TESOL teacher, a period during which she grew to love and understand the children’s book market.

She is seeking: picture books (fun off-the-wall concepts to memorable heartfelt messages), middle grade, and young adult (especially fantasy, historical fiction, sci-fi, and contemporary stories exploring romance and the complications of growing up). In adult fiction, her tastes lean towards literary, speculative fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, psychological thrillers, and select romance projects. She’s also open to nonfiction projects in the realm of pop culture, humor, travel, food, and pets.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Kimiko Nakamura of Dee Mura Literary

17232682-20503311-thumbnail(Jan. 2016 update: Kimiko will now be at BOTH the Tampa and Fort Lauderdale events.)

[SOLD OUT OF TAMPA PITCHES, BUT STILL HAS FORT LAUDERDALE SPOTS AVAILABLE]

Kimiko Nakamura is a literary agent with Dee Mura Literary.

Kimiko’s career started in the publishing houses of Boston where she fostered her talent for sales. At Dee Mura Literary, she found another passion: helping writers build successful careers. Kimiko works with new and emerging writers. She looks for page-turning fiction and non-fiction that leaves people inspired and offers readers a full range of emotions—laughter that slips out while reading in public, tears that splash onto our e-readers, and an aha of connection on the page, reminding us that books are more than something we simply hold in our hands.

She represents: Kimiko represents fiction in young adult and adult within the genres of historical, contemporary, literary, and women’s fiction. She loves thought-provoking projects that re-imagine what’s possible, characters with something (or nothing) to lose, unique viewpoints, trailblazing heroines, and anything with elements of magical realism. For nonfiction she represents cookbooks and memoirs. On her bookshelf and in her inbox, she looks for cookbooks she can read like the Sunday morning paper and daring memoirs of people making their mark on the world.

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

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 1.18.25 PM[SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS]

Marlene 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.