The 2018 Florida Writing Workshop: August 4, 2018 in Tampa

Screen Shot 2016-12-25 at 10.34.26 PM.pngAfter a successful 2016 event in Tampa, Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2018 Florida Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in Tampa, FL on August 4, 2018.

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 2018 Florida Writing Workshop!

WHAT IS IT?

This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, August 4, 2018, 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 agent & editor faculty so far includes:

  • literary agent Nicole Resciniti (The Seymour Agency)
  • literary agent Nalini Akolekar (Spencerhill Associates)
  • literary agent Saritza Hernandez (Corvisiero Literary)
  • literary agent Marlene Stringer (Stringer Literary Agency)
  • literary agent Sharon Belcastro (Belcastro Agency)
  • 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 independent event is organized by coordinator Jessica Bell of Writing Day Workshops, with assistance from local writing groups.

EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS:

9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, August 4, 2018 — at the Crowne Plaza Tampa Westshore, 5303 W Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL 33609. (813)289-1950.

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THIS YEAR’S SESSIONS & WORKSHOPS:

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. A Bird’s-eye View Publishing & Books in the Year 2018. This workshop is quick and easy overview of the publishing industry today, and how it’s changing.

2. Create New Worlds: A Guide to Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy. Let this session help you understand worldbuilding, the differences between sci-fi and fantasy, the tropes of both genres, when you should follow the rules, when you should break the rules, and more.

3. Self-Editing and Revision. Revision can make or break a book. This presentation will discuss the importance of revision as all stages of one’s career—from beta readers and critique groups to querying agents.

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

1. Tips on How to Write Like the Pros. This workshop is a thorough crash course concerning craft, style and voice.

2. How to Get a Literary Agent. The class will discuss resources for finding agents, how to ID the best agents for you, query letter writing, and more.

3. Tips for Writing Great Mysteries, Thrillers, and Crime. This presentation will teach you how to keep readers—including agents and editors—turning pages late into the night.

(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.  How to Sell a Nonfiction Book. This session is completely devoted to nonfiction book proposals.

3. Writing for the Little Ones: How to Craft an Amazing Picture Book For Kids. 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. Self-Publishing: How Do You Know if It’s Right for You? So, how do you know if self-publishing is the right thing for you as a writer? Join a successful author who shares the secrets of self-publishing and how to do it right.

2. Breaking the Rules of Writing. What are “the rules” and when is it okay to break them? Let’s look at recent examples of flying in the face of conventional literary wisdom.

3. Keys to Writing Great Young Adult & Middle Grade Fiction. Writing for children isn’t all that different from writing for adults.

(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. 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.

2. Talking Craft and Revision. 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 Write and Sell 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.

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PITCH AGENTS AND EDITORS:

Screen Shot 2017-10-30 at 2.48.20 PM.pngNicole Resciniti is a senior literary agent with The Seymour Agency. 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. Learn more about Nicole here.

Screen Shot 2017-11-05 at 1.51.28 PM.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. She 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. Learn more about Nalini here.

Screen Shot 2017-11-07 at 1.26.15 AM.pngAmanda 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.

Screen Shot 2017-10-30 at 2.55.01 PM.pngSharon Belcastro is the founder of the Belcastro Agency. She is seeking cozy mysteries, thriller, suspense fiction, mystery with romantic elements, romance (both contemporary and suspenseful), and young adult fiction (fantasy, science fiction, and action/adventure). “We look for a unique voice and a strong protagonist full of attitude. We like dark and intense but we won’t turn away something that’s a little on the lighter side. We enjoy a touch of humor, and we would never turn away something sexy.” 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 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.

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 2017-11-11 at 3.30.05 PM.pngTina Wainscott is a literary agent with The Seymour Agency. “I’m looking to work with a select few 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. If you have a provocative idea, a grasp on your platform, and a fabulous title and hook, I’d love to see it! Please limit queries to self-help/nonfiction books. No fiction, memoirs (unless it specifically aims to use your life/experience as a teaching tool), poetry, Christian/religious books, or children’s books.” Learn more about Tina here.

        More 2018 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.)

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PRICING:

$169 — EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2018 FWW and access to all workshops, all day. As of October 24, 2017, 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 Brian Klems, one of the day’s instructors. (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?

Add $79 — 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:

  • Critique options forthcoming.

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 Florida workshop specifically.

REGISTRATION:

Because of limited space at the Crowne Plaza Tampa Westshore, 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 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 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 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: 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.

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: 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: Sharon Belcastro of the Belcastro Agency

Screen Shot 2017-10-30 at 2.54.56 PM.pngSharon Belcastro is the founder of The Belcastro Agency.

She is seeking cozy mysteries, thriller, suspense, mystery with romantic elements, romance (contemporary and suspenseful), and young adult fiction (fantasy, sci-fi, and action/adventure).

“We love fiction with superb writing with a voice that jumps off the page and a twisted or colorful plot that compels us to keep reading is a must. We look for a unique voice and a strong protagonist full of attitude. We like dark and intense but we won’t turn away something that’s a little on the lighter side. We enjoy a touch of humor, and we would never turn away something sexy. We seek rofound young adult with a strong male or female protagonist. A whacky, funny, crazy, or thought-provoking voice will draw attention. We look for entertaining story lines that deal with tough life issues. We look for big writing that remains fast-paced.”

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: 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.