The 2021 Florida Writing Workshop: June 12, 2021

Screen Shot 2016-12-25 at 10.34.26 PM.pngAfter successful 2016, 2018, and 2019 events in Florida, Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2021 Florida Writing Workshop — an online “How to Get Published” writing event on June 12, 2021. (Writers are welcome to attend virtually from everywhere and anywhere.)

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 online “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 2021 Florida Writing Workshop!

ONLINE: The 2021 FWW is an Online Conference to keep everyone safe, on June 12, 2021. There is much more to say about this, but immediately you should understand 1) Online events are easy and awesome, and the online events we’ve done thus far have received wonderful feedback, 2) You do not have to be tech-savvy to do this, and 3) We are keeping all aspects of a traditional in-person event, including one-on-one agent & editor pitching, which will now be done by Skype or Zoom or phone. Learn all details about what it means to have a writers conference online.)

WHAT IS IT?

This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on June 12, 2021. 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. And even though this is the “Florida” Writing Workshop, make no mistake — writers from everywhere are welcome to attend virtually.

This event is designed to squeeze as much into one day of learning as possible. You can ask any questions you like during the online 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 2021 FWW agent faculty so far includes:

  • literary agent Jackie Williams (The Knight Agency)
  • literary agent Steven Hutson (WordWise Media Services)
  • literary agent Kaitlyn Sanchez (Red Fox Literary)
  • literary agent Susan Velazquez (JABberwocky Literary)
  • literary agent Alice Speilburg (Speilburg Literary)
  • literary agent Caitlin McDonald (Donald Maass Literary)
  • literary agent Patrick Munnelly (Bond Literary)
  • literary agent Julie Gwinn (The Seymour Agency)
  • literary agent Emily Williamson (Williamson Literary)
  • literary agent Sandy Lu (Book Wyrm Literary)
  • literary agent Maura Kye-Casella (Don Congdon Associates)
  • literary agent Charlotte Wenger (Prospect Agency)
  • literary agent Paul S. Levine (Paul S. Levine Literary)
  • literary agent Cassie Mannes Murray (Howland Literary)
  • literary agent Kimberly Brower (Brower Literary)
  • literary agent Leonicka Valcius (Transatlantic)
  • literary agent Latoya C. Smith (LCS Literary)
  • literary agent Gordon Warnock (Fuse Literary)
  • literary agent Jennifer Herrington (Harvey Klinger Literary)
  • literary agent Amaryah Orenstein (Go Literary)
  • literary agent Beth Marshea (Ladderbird Literary)
  • literary agent Jess Dallow (Brower Literary)
  • literary agent Analieze Cervantes (Harvey Klinger Literary)
  • 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 coordinators Chuck Sambuchino and Brian Klems of Writing Day Workshops.

EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS:

ONLINE: The 2021 FWW is an Online Conference to keep everyone safe, on June 12, 2021. There is much more to say about this, but immediately you should understand 1) Online events are easy and awesome, and the online events we’ve done thus far have received wonderful feedback, 2) You do not have to be tech-savvy to do this, and 3) We are keeping all aspects of a traditional in-person event, including one-on-one agent & editor pitching, which will now be done by Skype or Zoom or phone. Learn all details about what it means to have a writers conference online.)

THIS YEAR’S SESSIONS & WORKSHOPS (JUNE 12, 2021):

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.

Agent pitches and critique consultations overlap with Saturday sessions. The schedule of presentation topics below is subject to change and updates:

SATURDAY, JUNE 12, 2021

9:30 – 10:30: Traditional Publishing vs. Self-Publishing,. Now more than ever, writers have options when it comes to publishing their work. This class breaks down the basics of self-publishing, traditional publishing, and how writers can navigate each to maximize their opportunities for success.

10:45 – 11:45: First Impressions: How to Hook and Agent or Editor with Your Opening Pages. This seminar will show you how to capture a reader’s attention with your opening pages and how to avoid the weak openings that lead to instant rejection.

11:45 – 1:15: Break

1:15 – 2:30: “Writers Got Talent”—a Page 1 Critique Fest, with participating literary agents and editors. 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.

2:45 – 3:45: Crafting Successful Pitches for Twitter Pitch Events. While cold submission query letters are still a worthwhile means to pitch agents, Twitter pitch contests have opened up a new and exciting avenue for writers to meet and pitch reps online.

4:00 – 5:00: Keys to Getting a Literary Agent and Writing a Great Query. This workshop demystifies the submission process, including where to find the right agent for your work, how to approach them, writing and formatting an effective query letter, pitching in person, what gets an agent’s attention, common mistakes, and more.

 

Agent pitches and critique consultations overlap with Saturday sessions. The schedule of presentation topics below is subject to change and updates:

(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.)

Agent & Editor Pitching: All throughout the day.

————-

PITCH AN AGENT OR EDITOR:

Léonicka Valcius is a literary agent at Transatlantic Literary. “I am eager to work with people of color, including (but not limited to) trans people, disabled people, religious minorities, and queer folks. Adult and Young Adult fiction: “I like books I can read on a beach vacation — fun commercial fiction, romance that ranges from sweet to steamy, otherworldly fantasy, and sweeping historical fiction.” Middle Grade and younger: “I love humour, adventure, and make believe. I also enjoy stories about children navigating their changing relationships with family and friends. I strongly prefer books with at least one human character.” Learn more about Léonicka here.

Steven Hutson is a literary agent with WordWise Media Services. “What I’m looking for: I’m interested in representing a wide range of fiction and nonfiction books for children and adults. Surprise me. At WordWise Media Services we represent award-winning authors in a wide range of genres for children and adults. We have personal relationships with hundreds of acquisitions editors, and we know exactly what type of material they’re looking for.” Learn more about Steven here.

Kaitlyn Sanchez is a literary agent with Red Fox Literary. “I mainly represent Kidlit authors and author-illustrators. That includes board books, picture books, chapter books, middle-grade novels, and young adult novels. Please do not pitch me adult books at this time. For middle-grade and young adult: “I enjoy character-driven coming of age stories, mysteries, historical fiction, and dramas, especially with great friendships, and of course I always love diversity. I would definitely consider books in verse as well in this category.” Learn more about Kaitlyn here.

Susan Velazquez is a literary agent with Jabberwocky Literary. Susan generally gravitates towards literary fiction but any story that details a complicated family dynamic, illustrates a transformative coming-of-age experience, or features multicultural characters or unique voices has a special place on her bookshelf, regardless of genre. Learn more about Susan and her wish list here.

Screen Shot 2019-11-21 at 2.32.54 PM.pngAlice Speilburg is the founding literary agent of Speilburg Literary Agency. She enjoys nonfiction in the areas of History, Journalism, LGBTQ, Pop Culture, Psychology, Science, Travel, and True Crime. “In nonfiction, I’m looking for cultural narratives, microhistory, nature, and pop science written by journalists and academics.” In fiction, she represents women’s fiction, crime fiction, some fantasy (specifics on her agent page), upmarket genre fiction, historical fiction, mystery, thriller, action/adventure, and horror. Learn more about Alice here.

Caitlin McDonald is a literary agent with Donald Maass Literary Agency. She is seeking all science fiction and fantasy fiction for adult, young, and middle grade, especially secondary world fantasy and alternate history. She loves genre-bending or cross-genre fiction, and stories that examine tropes from a new angle; and also seeks diversity of all kinds, including (but not limited to) race, gender, sexuality, and ability, in both characters and worldbuilding. Learn more about Caitlin here.

Patrick Munnelly is a literary agent with Bond Literary. He is interested primarily in anything LGBTQ+ (nonfiction and fiction, including romance). In genre fiction, he prefers anything horror & fantasy. In nonfiction, he is interested in political science, current affairs, health & wellness, and fitness. He is interested in Graphic Novels, but the works must be completed. Get to know more about Patrick here.

Julie Gwinn is a literary agent and vice president of The Seymour Agency. Julie is actively looking for diverse voices in both fiction and nonfiction and is currently looking for romance, mystery/true crime, historical and speculative/fantasy novels. In nonfiction she is looking for self-help, lifestyle, motivational and sports related books. Learn more about Julie and the books she seeks here.

Emily Williamson is a literary agent and the founder of Williamson Literary. In adult fiction she is looking for lyrical prose, stories with unique settings, adventure, international, fantasy/sci-fi or science inspired, magical realism. For children’s, she seeks stories that talk up to kids, that inspire and build confidence with cleverness and humor. Prefers middle grade over YA; no picture books. Nonfiction interests: history, sports, science, environmental, narrative, and a solid author platform. Currently looking for science or adventure/travel narratives in the vein of books such as Shadow of the Silk Road or The Sports Gene. Learn more about Emily here.

Sandy Lu is a literary agent with Book Wyrm Literary Agency. In fiction, Sandy seeks literary and commercial fiction, mystery, thriller, suspense, science fiction, fantasy, horror, historical fiction, and YA. In nonfiction: narrative nonfiction, history, biography, science, business, psychology, pop culture, and food writing. Learn more about Sandy here as well as what she is seeking.

Jackie Williams is a literary agent at The Knight Agency. “I love a broad range of commercial and genre fiction, especially stories with psychological suspense, gritty voices, speculative elements, multi-generational plots, and intricate world-building; even better if the stories are set in space. And I’m interested in collaborating closely with writers throughout all stages of their careers and bringing more multicultural representation to the publishing landscape. I’m interested in all types of science-fiction, fantasy, and horror in middle grade, YA, and Adult.” She also likes fiction with a unique take on sports, dance, and hip-hop; mysteries, thrillers, and suspense with smart female protagonists and/or unreliable narrators, and literary fiction with a commercial appeal. For nonfiction, she seeks food, lifestyle, wellness, and memoirs that are culture-related stories expanding readers’ empathy and self-awareness. Learn more about Jackie here.

Maura Kye-Casella is a literary agent with Don Congdon Associates. Maura represents writers of narrative nonfiction, women’s fiction, thrillers, young adult, middle grade and cookbooks. She is seeking literary works, women’s fiction, thrillers/suspense and she is especially interested in works for both the young adult and middle grade markets. Maura is looking for diverse voices across the various genres she represents. As to nonfiction, Maura is seeking books on popular science (especially space), cookbooks, lifestyle, and fun/interesting works that fall into the humor category. Learn more about Maura here.

Charlotte Wenger is a literary agent in the Boston area with Prospect Agency. Prior to joining Prospect, she was an associate editor at Page Street Kids, where she acquired and edited fiction and nonfiction picture books. Charlotte is drawn to children’s literature and art for all ages—board books through young adult, but especially picture books—as well as select adult nonfiction biographies and memoirs. Learn more about Charlotte here.

Gordon Warnock is a literary agent founding partner at Fuse Literary. In nonfiction, he seeks platform-heavy authors in the categories of memoir (Adult, NA, YA, Graphic), cookbooks/Food Narrative/Food Studies,  Illustrated/Art/Photography (especially graphic nonfiction), Political and Current Events, Pop-Science, Pop-Culture (especially punk culture and geek culture), Self-Help, How-To, Humor, Pets, Business and Career. In fiction, he seeks High-Concept Suspense, Book Club Women’s Fiction,  Literary Fiction for Adults through YA, and Graphic Novels for Adults through MG. Learn more about Gordon here.

Screen Shot 2019-09-27 at 1.37.27 PMPaul S. Levine is a literary agent and the founder of Paul S. Levine Literary. He is also an attorney. His fiction interests include adventure novels, mainstream fiction, mysteries, romance, thrillers, and women’s fiction. His nonfiction interests include business/commerce, pop culture, how-to, self-help, politics/law, relationships, and sports. Learn more about Paul here.

Jennifer Herrington is a literary agent with Harvey Klinger Literary Agency. “I am actively building my list in the middle grade, YA, and adult categories. I am looking for character and voice-driven books that I connect with on an emotional level. I want a book that makes me laugh or cry and extra points for both! I’m especially open to BIPOC and LGBTQ+ stories and voices in the mentioned categories. In Adult fiction I’d like to see: romance with a fresh twist, a sports romance, dark paranormal romances (with gritty vamps, wolves, or witches), romantic comedy, romantic suspense, mysteries and thrillers that keep me up all night, and science fiction & fantasy. Learn more about Jennifer here.

Amaryah Orenstein is a literary agent with Go Literary. Amaryah has always loved to read and provide (oftentimes unsolicited) editorial advice and, as a literary agent, she is thrilled to help writers bring their ideas to life. She is particularly drawn to narrative nonfiction and memoir but enjoys any book that connects the reader to its characters and evokes thought and feeling. Learn more about Amaryah here.

Jess Dallow is a literary agent with Brower Literary. She is seeking: contemporary thrillers and mysteries in YA. In Adult, she is looking for small town romance, rom-coms, domestic suspense, and book club fiction. She would love to see diverse characters and #ownvoices within these genres. Jess has always had a love for books, especially those that feature child psychopaths, platonic friendships between men and women, a romance that makes her heart beat faster, and serial killers. Learn more about Jess here.

Kimberly Brower is a literary agent and founder of Brower Literary. Kimberly is interested in adult upmarket/commercial fiction, with an emphasis in general/book club fiction, women’s fiction and romance. However, she is always looking for books that she wants to stay up all night reading, unable to put them down, regardless of what genre an author classifies it as. She loves stories that bring her into a world she doesn’t want to leave and characters that have strong story arcs. She also can never say no to an epic love story. Learn more about Kimberly here.

Beth Marshea is a literary agent at Ladderbird Literary Agency. In all areas Beth would like to see more works from disabled writers, from LGBTQIA+ writers, from Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, Middle Eastern, and all other groups who do not regularly get to see their stories in print. She would love to see more non-binary representation across categories as well. She seeks narrative nonfiction, literary fiction, mainstream fiction, mystery, thriller, fantasy, and science fiction. She also selectively represents young adult, middle grade, and picture books. Learn more about Beth here.

Analieze Cervantes is a literary agent with Harvey Klinger Literary Agency. Analieze is currently building her own list and is looking for stories in YA and Adult Fiction. She specializes in Sci-Fi, Romance, Thriller, Suspense, and Mystery. Analieze is especially open to BIPOC and LGBTQ voices in the mentioned categories. “I am looking for character-driven books that grip me from the first page until the very end. I want fantastic world-building, a clear plot, and want to know your main character’s desire by the time I get to page ten.” Learn more about Analieze here.

Latoya C. Smith is a literary agent with LCS Literary. In fiction, she seeks high-concept women’s fiction; high-concept mystery, thriller and horror, romance (contemporary, romantic suspense, cowboys, historical, LGBTQ, paranormal, sweet), comedy / romantic comedy, and young adult (no SF/F). In nonfiction, she is strictly seeking platform and market-based books in the areas of memoir, how to, advice, relationships, health, wellness, politics, current events, history, sports, pop culture, and business. Learn more about Latoya here.

Cassie Mannes Murray is a literary agent with Howland Literary. Cassie is accepting submissions for adult fiction and nonfiction. As far as fiction, she is seeking literary fiction, upmarket commercial fiction, short story collections, and literary-speculative work (not high fantasy or science fiction). For nonfiction, she’s interested in representing memoir, essay collections, as well as narrative nonfiction. Learn more about Cassie here and what she is seeking.

 

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        More 2021 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.

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:

$149 — EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2021 FWW and access to all workshops, all days. (You also get 10 additional free pre-recorded webinars on writing and publishing.) As of early 2021, 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. There is no limit. Here are 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 2018-11-26 at 11.11.29 AM.png“I met my client, Alison Hammer, at the Writing
Workshop of Chicago and just sold her book.”
– literary agent Joanna Mackenzie of Nelson Literary

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 11.47.54 PM.png“Good news! I signed a client [novelist Aliza Mann]
from the Michigan Writing Workshop!”
– literary agent Sara Mebigow of KT Literary

Screen Shot 2018-11-05 at 12.56.10 PM“I signed author Stephanie Wright from
the Seattle Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Kathleen Ortiz of New Leaf Literary

Screen Shot 2018-05-17 at 9.07.44 PM“I signed an author [Kate Thompson] that I
met at the Philadelphia Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Kimberly Brower of Brower Literary

Screen Shot 2016-10-16 at 2.54.50 PM.png“I signed novelist Kathleen McInnis after meeting her
at the Chesapeake Writing Workshop.”

– literary agent Adriann Ranta of Foundry Literary + Media

Add $69 — for an in-depth, personal critique of your one-page query letter from Chuck Sambuchino, one of the workshop’s former 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 $89 — for an in-depth personal critique of the first 10 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:

  • Mystery, thriller, general fiction, literary fiction, science fiction, fantasy, romance, women’s fiction: Faculty member Tara Bailey, a writing coach and author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting.
  • Suspense, mystery, thriller, crime: Faculty member Jim Rubart, a published suspense author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your story, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss his thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
  • Science fiction, fantasy, mystery, thriller, suspense, romance (no erotica), contemporary/mainstream fiction, literary fiction, historical fiction, young adult (including genre YA and SF/F): Faculty member Amber Royer, author and writing instructor repped by Jennie Goloboy of Donald Maass Literary Agency, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your story, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting.
  • Children’s picture books, middle grade, young adult, memoir, historical fiction, general fiction: Faculty member Eve Porinchak, a former agent turned publishing coach, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting. Children’s picture books should be 1,000 words maximum, and can or cannot have illustrations.

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

REGISTRATION:

ONLINE: The 2021 FWW is an Online Conference to keep everyone safe, on June 12, 2021. There is much more to say about this, but immediately you should understand 1) Online events are easy and awesome, and the online events we’ve done thus far have received wonderful feedback, 2) You do not have to be tech-savvy to do this, and 3) We are keeping all aspects of a traditional in-person event, including one-on-one agent & editor pitching, which will now be done by Skype or Zoom or phone. Learn all details about what it means to have a writers conference online.)

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 Brian Klems via email: WDWconference@gmail.com. He will pass along registration information to you, and give instructions on how to pay by PayPal or check or credit card. 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 Brian 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 or CC refund]. 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 started edited your work.)

Screen Shot 2014-06-12 at 4.10.21 PM

Thank you for your interest in the 2021 Florida Writing Workshop.

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