The 2023 Florida Writing Workshop: May 12-13, 2023

Screen Shot 2016-12-25 at 10.34.26 PM.pngAfter successful 2016, 2018, 2019, 2021, and 2022 events in Florida, Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2023 Florida Writing Workshop — an online “How to Get Published” writing event on May 12-13, 2023. (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 2023 Florida Writing Workshop!

ONLINE: Writing Day Workshops plans both in-person and virtual/online conferences. The 2023 FWW is an Online Conference, on May 12-13. Online events are easy and awesome, and the virtual events we’ve done thus far have received wonderful feedback. You do not have to be tech-savvy to do this, and understand we are keeping all aspects of a traditional in-person event, including one-on-one agent & editor pitching, which will now be done by Zoom or phone. Learn all details about what it means to have a writers conference online.)

WHAT IS IT?

This is a special two-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on May 12-13, 2023. In other words, it’s two days 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. Our WDW writers conferences have helped dozens of writers find literary agent representation — see our growing list of success stories here.

This event is designed to squeeze as much into two days 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 online to give feedback and take pitches from writers, as well. This year’s 2023 FWW agent & editor faculty so far includes:

  • literary agent Adrian Shirk (Drift(less) Literary)
  • literary agent Latoya C. Smith (Arthouse Literary)
  • literary agent Laura Southern (Wolf Literary Services)
  • literary agent Michelle Jackson (Olswanger Literary)
  • literary agent Beth Marshea (Ladderbird Literary)
  • literary agent Eve Adler (Red Fox Literary)
  • literary agent Jennifer Chen Tran (Folio Literary)
  • literary agent Michelle Richter (Fuse Literary)
  • literary agent Sarah Fisk (Tobias Agency)
  • literary agent Ramona Pina (BookEnds Literary)
  • literary agent Amaryah Orenstein (Go Literary)
  • literary agent Maria Alcantara (Arthouse Literary)
  • literary agent Lily Dolin (United Talent Agency)
  • literary agent Renée C. Fountain (Gandolfo, Helin & Fountain Literary)
  • literary agent Shannon Snow (Creative Media Agency)
  • editor Gabbi Calabrese​​ (Sourcebooks)
  • literary agent Anjanette Barr (Dunham Literary)
  • literary agent Shannon Lechon (Azantian Literary)
  • literary agent Reeves Hamilton (Vertical Ink Agency)
  • literary agent Regina Bernard-Carreno (Ladderbird Literary)
  • literary agent Kelly Thomas (Serendipity Literary)
  • literary agent Keir Alekseii (Azantian Literary Agency)
  • literary agent Pam Gruber (Irene Goodman Literary)
  • literary agent Ismita Hussain (Great Dog Literary)
  • literary agent Claire Draper (The Bent Agency)
  • literary agent Justin Brouckaert (Aevitas Creative Management)
  • literary agent Jane Chun (Janklow & Nesbit)
  • literary agent assistant Rae Loverde (Donald Maass Literary)
  • literary agent Kristy Cambron (Gardner Literary)
  • literary agent Elisa Moles (Painted Fire Literary Agency)
  • literary agent Rachel McCain (Gold Dust Literary)
  • literary agent Leonicka Valcius (Transatlantic Agency)
  • literary agent Kate Davids (Arc Literary Management)
  • literary agent Gordon Warnock (Fuse Literary)
  • literary agent Caroline Trussell (Metamorphosis Literary)
  • and more agents 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 Brian Klems of Writing Day Workshops. Contact Brian at WDWconference@gmail.com to register.

EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS:

ONLINE: Writing Day Workshops plans both in-person and virtual/online conferences. The 2023 FWW is an Online Conference, on May 12-13. Online events are easy and awesome, and the virtual events we’ve done thus far have received wonderful feedback. You do not have to be tech-savvy to do this, and understand we are keeping all aspects of a traditional in-person event, including one-on-one agent & editor pitching, which will now be done by Zoom or phone. Learn all details about what it means to have a writers conference online.)

THIS YEAR’S SESSIONS & WORKSHOPS (MAY 12-13, 2023):

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:

FRIDAY, MAY 12, 2023

9:30 – 10:30: Writing From the Heart with Perseverance. Too often we receive our first rejection and shred the manuscript out of frustration. Is that the shallow call on our lives, or are we in for the long haul? How can we decide? How can we grow a thick skin if we’re timid? This speech will help attendees learn what they are called in life to write, and the value of never giving up.

10:45 – 11:45: Find Your Writing Voice. You’ve probably heard from agents and editors that voice is the most important aspect of your writing. But what is voice?  In this workshop, we will demystify the process by defining voice and analyzing mentor texts, and you will be supplied with a plethora of advice (and exercises!) to take on your voice-finding journey.

11:45 – 1:15: Break

1:15 – 2:30: How to Discover the Theme of Your Life and Apply it to Every Story You Write. During this workshop, writers will understand how to discover their theme by looking at your five favorite movies, then show you how to apply your theme to your writing, your marketing, and your life.

2:45 – 3:45: Understanding Platform and How to Market Yourself & Your Work. Whether you’re traditionally published or self-published, everyone could use some helpful guidance on how to effectively market themselves and sell more books.

4:00 – 5:00: 4:00 – 5:00: How to Write an Effective Query Letter. In this class, a literary agent instruction will share the process of querying agents for representation. Learn the pitfalls or mistakes to avoid in your query letters so you aren’t giving agents obvious reasons to reject your submission.

* * * * *

SATURDAY, MAY 13, 2023

9:30 – 10:30: Standing Out in a Twitter/Online Pitch Event. This class will provide information on Twitter pitch events (both the popular events and growing ones) and general guidelines and unwritten etiquette, give advice on how to make a great online pitch as well as what to avoid doing, and share examples of Twitter pitches that caught a literary agent’s eye for the class to analyze.

10:45 – 11:45: Connect With Your Muse. Find your voice, discover your deepest subject, explore the story only you are meant to write. To compose from your heart and soul is to write with passion — and passion sells.

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: Open Agent Q&A Panel. Several attending literary agents will open themselves up to open Q&A from FWW attendees. Bring your questions and get them answered in this popular session.

4:00 – 5:00: Identifying Genre and Age Category. This speech includes tips for how to accurately place your book in a genre and audience age category.

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:

Ramona Pina is an associate agent at BookEnds Literary. She is interested in carving a space for and elevating underrepresented voices. Fantasy, magical realism, sci-fi, paranormal romance, horror, and a spin-off of villain retellings are her favorite genres. In YA and Adult fantasy, give her a character-driven, and fast-paced adventure that disrupts societal norms! She’s also hoping to see more Sci-Fi that focuses more on fiction and less on technology while still showcasing how to build a better world. If you have a SF/F that is slightly different from this, she’s open to being pleasantly surprised. Learn more about Ramona here.

Sarah N. Fisk is a literary agent with The Tobias Agency. Sarah loves books that challenge societal norms, especially gender norms. They have a personal interest in stories featuring queer characters or characters with disability, neurodiversity, chronic illness, or mental health challenges. They are interested in Young Adult fiction of all genres as well as Adult Romance. They especially enjoy anything under the speculative fiction umbrella and high-concept contemporary or historical stories with a strong hook. Hardcore horror is probably not right for them. Sarah is on the lookout for young adult and middle grade of all genres, adult romance, and adult science fiction, fantasy, and speculative fiction. No hardcore horror. Learn more about Sarah here.

Ismita Hussain is a literary agent with Great Dog Literary. “I am seeking literary fiction, health-related non-fiction, YA, and short story collections. Some of my favorite authors are Flannery O’Connor, Cormac McCarthy, Oscar Wilde, and Tom Perrotta. I am especially drawn to fiction with a Southern setting, gritty realist writing, and any books that explore health or disability. Ultimately though, I’m a sucker for writing with a great sense of humor.” A Little More About What I’m Looking For: Satire, and humorous fiction that comes with a message or reveals a truth about people/society; Retellings of classic stories that haven’t been redone to death and that provide a twist or a fresh new take; Narrative nonfiction that discusses medicine or health in a way that is accessible and well researched; Nonfiction that makes the reader see their body in a different way; Cookbooks that explore a niche ingredient/theme and cookbooks that tell a story; Quirky and visually stunning coffee table books. Learn more about Ismita here.

Pam Gruber is a literary agent with Irene Goodman Literary. Pam is looking for adult, young adult, and middle grade fiction with literary voices and commercial hooks. She is particularly interested in layered fantasy, speculative fiction, fantastical realism, rom-coms, and coming-of-age stories with a twist. She is also open to middle grade and YA graphic novels, as well as select narrative non-fiction on lesser-known subjects. Pam would not be the best fit for prescriptive nonfiction, anthologies, potty humor, paranormal, or erotica. Learn more about Pam here.

Kristy Cambron is a literary agent with Gardner Literary. In fiction, she seeks: Fiction for the CBA (Christian market) or clean fiction for general market — contemporary women’s fiction (especially BIPOC and diverse voices), romance (closed-door), rom-com, suspense and romantic suspense, historical and historical romance, YA and YA fantasy (including steampunk and fairy tale retellings with a unique approach; YA requires a strong platform). In nonfiction, she seeks: CBA (Christian market) all Christian living topics; Bible studies (adult and teen girls); gift books and devotionals (with a strong platform); select general market projects on hearth/home living, travel, art/faith topics (with a strong platform). Learn more about Kristy here.

Maria Alcantara is a literary agent with Arthouse Literary Agency. Maria is looking for New Adult upmarket fiction, either character-driven or plot-driven. She loves to cozy up with a good mystery full of complicated characters and page-turning plot twists. If these novels are contemporary with Millennial leads then that’s even better. Maria is also looking for women’s contemporary or commercial romance and horror with inclusive voices of Latinos and the LGBTQ community. Maria loves reading stories of marginalized voices in modern-day settings that are relatable and swoonworthy. She also loves reading whirlwind escapist stories à la Emily in Paris. Learn more about Maria here.

Kate Davids is a literary agent with Arc Literary Management. Kate is looking for nonfiction projects, particularly practical nonfiction, in cooking, personal finance, business, pets/animals, gardening, mental health, and new age. She also enjoys history books that delve into interesting subcultures, like anime or tabletop RPGs. In fiction, Kate has a soft spot for science fiction and fantasy that has great action and world building that leverages real world cultures or histories. She loves fiction that represents diverse cultural backgrounds in their settings and characters. For children’s books, Kate is looking for titles that can help both parents and their children explore the world together. This includes bi-lingual books and books about travel and multi-culturalism. She also likes a good laugh and an “aww” moment or two. Learn more about Kate here.

Shannon Snow is a literary agent with Creative Media Agency. In adult fiction, she seeks: All romance fiction (including paranormal or magical realism) and all its sub-genres; Contemporary romance that can be cute, steamy, etc.; Historical romance (I have a warm fondness for medieval, and historicals set in ancient times/place such as Rome, Greece, or Egypt; Thrillers; Psychological; Speculative Fiction (especially with a touch, or a lot, of romance); Fantasy (A touch of romance is great!); Soft to Medium Fantasy stories a la David Eddings, or Margaret Weiss/Tracy Hickman; Mythological stories or retellings; Science FictionSpace Operas are a favorite but I love it all; Apocalyptic/Post-Apocalyptic (Is the world ending? Let me see!); Horror (think more eerie/creepy rather than monsters). She also seeks many types and genres of young adult fiction. Learn more about Shannon here.

Adrian Shirk is an agent at Drift(less) Literary. She is seeking: I represent long-form literary fiction (novels, novellas, autofiction, or linked short stories) and first person-driven narrative nonfiction (memoir, essay collections, reportage, special areas of research where the author is present in the text, e.g. not objective or scholarly). I also consider self-help or how-to books on subjects in which the author has had a significant amount of personal or professional experience. I’m especially interested in working with under-represented voices and stories, especially women and nonbinary folks, working class authors (or authors with working class backgrounds), LGBTQ+, and writers of color. I occasionally consider some genre (horror) or speculative fiction (sci-fi), but only if the stories and themes are somewhat socially-engaged (think, Octavia Butler, Ursula Leguin, Margaret Atwood). Learn more about Adrian here.

Jennifer Chen Tran is a literary agent at Folio Literary Management. For nonfiction: narrative or memoir (with a platform) that sheds light on an unseen corner in society or history. Prescriptive nonfiction with practical takeaways, cookbooks with a unique angle or narratives centered on culinary life (see David Chang’s Eat a Peach), lifestyle titles (see Kate Oliver’s The Modern Caravan), humorous or visually-driven projects, and business books that read like memoir. Big idea books that shift how we perceive or navigate the world. For fiction: middle-grade and Young Adult with heart and humor or visually-driven elements (see Remy Lai’s Pie in the Sky), contemporary fiction that braids together issues of social significance and identity (see Angie Kim’s Miracle Creek). Learn more about Jennifer here.

Kelly Thomas is a literary agent with Serendipity Literary. Kelly considers herself a generalist who is drawn to lyrical writing and strong voices. She is interested in nonfiction (narrative nonfiction, memoirs, true crime, self-help, business, travel writing, photography, medical, STEM, psychology, health and fitness, music, food & drinks, cooking) and adult fiction (psychological thrillers, suspense, comedies). She enjoys working with musicians, television personalities, athletes, and other pop culture figures to help translate their stories or expertise onto the page. She also represents children’s books including picture books, middle grade, and young adult. The truth is often stranger than fiction, so Kelly is actively looking for the next great true crime manuscript with a murderous and methodical plot. Learn more about Kelly here.

Lily Dolin is a literary agent with United Talent Agency. Lily represents clients in both fiction and nonfiction. In fiction, she is drawn to dark and offbeat humor, gripping narratives, strong commercial hooks, and nuanced female perspectives. She is not looking for historical fiction or thrillers. Short story collections are welcome. For nonfiction, she is looking for memoirs that are funny, outrageous, shocking, emotional, or all of the above. She also enjoys true crime and pop culture, and is interested in deeply researched histories about overlooked figures, as well as narrative nonfiction surrounding topics of education, climate change, and social justice. Wishlist: Upmarket, book club fiction, dark fiction, literary fiction, true crime, memoir, essay collections, select mystery. The next Mona Awad or Alexandra Kleeman! Learn more about Lily here.

Latoya C. Smith is a literary agent and Co-Founder of Arthouse Literary. Latoya is looking for projects in a variety of fiction and nonfiction categories. For fiction: women’s fiction, book club and upmarket fiction, general commercial fiction, LGBTQ stories, fast-paced thrillers, and contemporary romance. For nonfiction, an established platform is a must! Latoya is open to the following subgenres: Memoir, How-to/Advice and Relationships, Health and Wellness, Politics/Current Events/Social Justice, Sports, Pop-culture, Business/Entrepreneurship, Personal Finance. Learn more about Latoya 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.

Reeves Hamilton is a literary agent with Vertical Ink Agency. Reeves Hamilton is a twenty-plus year veteran of the publishing industry. As an agent, he will specialize in science fiction, broadly defined as hard Sci-Fi and space opera, but also as Sci-Fi-adjacent and genre-bending upmarket commercial fiction. He is not seeking adult fantasy or young adult fiction. Learn more about Reeves here.

Jane Chun is a literary agent with Janklow & Nesbit. For fiction, she is seeking commercial, upmarket, and literary works in both adult and MG/YA about the search for and rebuilding of identity, diaspora, family and community, and examinations of power in relationships. She is also looking for fantasy, sci-fi, and speculative fiction that delve into sharp social commentary and have meticulous worldbuilding and settings that don’t feel like Western Europe. For historical fiction, she likes hidden histories and anything that is set in a time or place she’s not familiar with or focuses on a community that has been often overlooked if it’s a time/place she knows. In terms of nonfiction, she is looking for memoirs, essay collections, and narrative nonfiction with a nuanced, intersectional approach and similar themes to her interests in fiction. She also is interested in books about food, travel, pop culture, and cultural criticism that dive deeply and thoughtfully into culture and traditions. In addition to traditional prose, she is very interested in graphic novels and nonfiction. She is looking for stylistically engaging, unique art that feels either nostalgic without being derivative or fresh and boundary-pushing. Learn more about Jane here.

Screen Shot 2019-02-24 at 6.06.26 PM.pngRae Loverde is an agent assistant at Donald Maass Literary Agency. At the 2023 WDW online events, she will be acting as a literary scout — taking pitches at the workshop on behalf of one or multiple co-agents at her agency. Her co-agent Cameron McClure is seeking the following: projects that combine genre style plotting with literary quality writing. She’s up for anything speculative, and is interested in seeing science fiction and fantasy, mystery and suspense, horror, and projects with multi-cultural, international, environmental, and LGBTQIA+ themes. Learn more about Rae and her co-agents here.

Regina Bernard-Carreno is a literary agent with Ladderbird Literary. She is currently open to: Middle Grade and Young Adult graphic novels that are fun and interesting and actively looking for these types of projects that deal specifically with coming of age experiences. Rom Com graphic novels in Young Adult are also welcome. She is open to limited picture book projects by BIPOC author-illustrators only. Please do not send her any rhyming manuscripts. She would really like to see picture books that deal with diverse cultures, people, and experiences. While not open to YA prose/novels, she would like to see MG or YA novels in prose from BIPOC creators that deal with international issues and cultures. In adult fiction: She is only looking for historical projects that deal with Caribbean and American slaves and their narratives.​ She would also accept a BIPOC rom-com a la Terry McMillan. In nonfiction, she loves a solid book about wellness (think herbs and aromatherapy), cookbooks that have a fresh take and a solid platform. She also loves work around social justice issues and matters that are contemporary and where the author has some agency around solutions and critical ideas about how a particular social injustice could be examined and possibly rehabilitated. Learn more about Regina here.

Eve Adler is a literary agent at Red Fox Literary.  “I’m an agent at Red Fox Literary, where I represent board books, picture books, early readers, and chapter books. I’m actively building my list, and welcome submissions in the 0-12 age range, especially from author-illustrators. I’m drawn to stories that make kids feel comforted, loved, and understood; to diverse voices; to ideas that break the mold; to projects that meet kids where they are developmentally; and to books that expand kids’ worlds while helping them understand their own.” (No young adult please.) Learn more about Eve here.

Claire Draper is a literary agent with The Bent Agency. “I am building my list with a collection of very queer books for kids of all ages, including graphic novels, picture books, middle grade, and young adult. And then I embarked on books for adults, when I decided to return to my favorites with particularly queer memoir, queer romance novels, and select adult nonfiction. For all the books I work with, I prefer to work with queer creators and BIPOC creators, and strongly encourage those creators to send me their work. Regardless of genre, age, or subject, I like lighthearted, emotional, hopeful, adventurous reads. I am largely genre-agnostic, but I do prefer books with a fast pace, high stakes, and strong emotional development for the main character(s). I do not want to see books from authors writing identity-based books not of their own identity.” Learn more about Claire here.

Rachel McCain is a literary agent with Gold Dust Literary. “I accept nonfiction, adult fiction, YA fiction, and children’s literature (fiction or nonfiction). I do not accept romance, erotica or religious/spiritual. I love nonfiction with a historical element (think Show Me a Hero). I absolutely love nonfiction stories that are unknown and/or overlooked. Dark and gritty stories are especially welcome (think Random Family and Grand Central Winter.) In regards to fiction, I would love to find the next Alice Walker or James Baldwin. I would love something set in New York. I also love YA fiction with series potential – think Goosebumps, Babysitter’s Club, The Princess Diaries. I am looking for the next Meg Cabot and R.L. Stine. For children’s literature, I want something with diverse and unique characters.” Learn more about Rachel here.

Beth Marshea is a literary agent and is the owner of Ladderbird Literary Agency. In all areas Beth would like to see more works from disabled writers, LGBTQIA+ writers, Black writers, 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 and Ace representation across categories. Beth loves deeply character driven stories that showcase joy, resilience, love, clever twists, exciting moments of action, thought provoking concepts, and really anything that can make her get deep into her emotions. She seeks various adult nonfiction, some young adult nonfiction, some middle grade nonfiction, and some picture book nonfiction. In adult fiction, she represents mainstream/commercial fiction, mysteries, thrillers and fantasy. In young adult fiction, she likes contemporary, mystery, thriller, and fantasy. She also seeks extremely select middle grade fiction and picture books. Learn more about Beth here. 

Gordon Warnock is a literary agent and Partner with Fuse Literary. In nonfiction: Gordon seeks large-platform projects in which the book represents something bigger than the book itself, of which you are the expert, the one best fit to bring it to the page. He enjoys Memoir and Biography, Food, Graphic and Illustrated Nonfiction, Essays on Social Issues, Pop-Science, Pop/Punk/Geek Culture, Self-Help, Historical Narrative, Humor, How-To, Business and Career. In fiction: High-Concept Suspense, Book Club Women’s Fiction, Literary Fiction,  Verse Novels for YA and MG, and Graphic Novels for Adults, Young Adult, and Middle Grade. Learn more about Gordon here.

Michelle Jackson is a Literary Associate with Olswanger Literary. Michelle is seeking to work with adult fiction authors in the following genres: Commercial, Historical, Humor, New Adult, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller, Women’s Fiction. Sub-genres: Contemporary Romance, Multicultural, Psychological Thrillers, Romantic Comedy, Romantic Suspense. She is also on the lookout for narrative nonfiction, biographies, self-help/spirituality and memoirs. Learn more about Michelle and her interests here.

Shannon Lechon is a literary agent with Azantian Literary Agency. She is looking for middle grade fiction and young adult fiction. In adult fiction, she is looking for literary books with a speculative element that feel lush and magically possible. She is also interested in manuscripts that incorporate elements of myth, especially if they are from underrepresented cultures or give voice to figures often forgotten. She is looking for mysteries and thrillers. Speculative horror is a massive favorite of hers. For graphic novels, Shannon is looking for young adult fantasy that is grounded in our world (right now, she is only interested in taking on author/illustrators). She is interested in select adult nonfiction proposals. She’s looking for memoirs about specialized careers and experiences, as well as proposals on medicine, trauma, wildlife, nature, and mental health. Learn  more about Shannon here.

Anjanette Barr is a Literary Agent at Dunham Literary, Inc. Anjanette has an eclectic reading taste and a love for literature that “baptizes the imagination” (C.S. Lewis) and begs to be shared. She loves genre and popular fiction with substance, and literary and nonfiction titles infused with living ideas that leave readers with a new desire to immerse themselves in the subject matter. This could look like an historical fiction that uses captivating detail and relatable characters to bring times-gone-by to life, or it could be a SF/F world that highlights virtues like empathy and self-sacrifice. A romance set in a place so vivid she feels she’s traveled there and wants to take up the protagonists hobbies will definitely get her attention. In nonfiction she is looking for well-researched biography written in beautiful literary prose, popular science and other disciplines titles that make lay-people enchanted and invested in topics previously over their heads, and memoir with the ability to connect diverse readers. She’s also interested in books that shed light on poverty and justice in a new way. She prefers picture books that are winsome and pleasant to read aloud. Particular interests of Anjanette’s are the exploration of culture, history, faith, myth, fine arts, and nature. Learn more about Anjanette here.

Laura Southern is a literary agent with Wolf Literary Services. In adult, she is looking for fantasy, science fiction, and horror with lush worldbuilding and voice that vibrates off the page. She’s a fan of villains, setting as character, and stories that dive headfirst into the weird or strange. Romcoms and fantasy romcoms with sharp, witty prose are also high on her list, as well as upmarket fiction with off-beat premises. As a Texan native, Laura has a soft spot for narratives set in the South, particularly when told from diverse perspectives and featuring LGBTQ+ narrators. In young adult and middle grade, Laura is interested in speculative fiction across any subgenre, as well as select contemporary fiction. Laura loves the fae, talking/magical animals, marching band, new twists on quest narratives, genre-blending, found family, mythological retellings, and dragons. Additionally, Laura is looking for memoir and narrative nonfiction. She’d especially like to work with scientists, journalists, and other experts writing on animal and nature conservation. Learn more about Laura here.

Léonicka Valcius is a literary agent with Transatlantic Agency.  Areas of interest: “I am eager to work with people of color, including (but not limited to) trans people, disabled people, religious minorities, and queer folks. In adult fiction 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. In middle grade and younger, I love humur, adventure, and make believe. I also enjoy stories about children navigating their changing relationships with family and friends. As the founder of #DiverseCanLit and the first Chair of the Board of the Festival of Literary Diversity, serving readers and writers of color is the core of Léonicka’s career. Learn more about Léonicka here.

Elisa Moles is a literary agent with Painted Fire Literary Agency.  She is seeking: Especially interested in upmarket fiction. “In one word, what defines fantastic fiction narrative? Consequences. Consequences give structure. And stories with cohesive and creative structures, true to each writer’s background and voice, stand the test of time beyond the trendy topics and gimmicks of the day. I especially love psychologically complex characters. I’m looking for distinctive and compassionate voices who are telling organically unexpected stories in a wide variety of styles and genres. Surprise me.” Please do not pitch: nonfiction, poetry, children’s books, middle grade, YA, graphic novels, screenplays, westerns, horror, nihilist, or erotic work. No previously self-published works please. Learn more about Elisa here.

Justin Brouckaert is a literary agent with Aevitas Creative Management.  Justin is interested in literary fiction, memoir, narrative nonfiction, and select illustrated and prescriptive works. In fiction, he is most interested in novels that are driven by flawed, magnetic characters; novels with innovate structures; novels that engage with the wide world of sports; and novels that are set in the Midwest. In nonfiction, he is most interested in memoirs that offer access to exclusive places and experiences, as well as reported narratives that shed light on under-represented people and communities. Learn more about Justin here.

Michelle Richter is a Senior Literary Agent at Fuse Literary. Michelle is seeking: suspense, mystery, psychological thrillers, domestic suspense, women’s fiction, book club fiction, young adult mystery/thriller, and select contemporary YA. She’s especially eager to find suspense and psychological thrillers with complex lead characters. BIPOC, LGBTQ, and disabled voices in fiction always welcome. Michelle loves unreliable narrators, stories of family secrets, friendships, and sibling relationships. Learn more about Michelle here.

Keir Alekseii is a literary agent with Azantian Literary Agency. Keir is seeking young adult and adult science fiction & fantasy, as well as young adult contemporary. She is only open to receiving queries from writers who identify as belonging to a marginalized or underrepresented group such as (but not limited to) BIPOC, LGBTQ+, immigrants, ND, folks who speak English as a second language, and DIS people. She has a fondness for disaster bi/pan characters, being one herself, and appreciates seeing diverse representations of queerness. She’d also love to read more books with nonbinary characters and love that runs deep even without a romantic element (yes, that means aro characters and stories with friendships that don’t turn romantic are welcome). Learn more about Keir here.

Renee C. Fountain is a literary agent, publishing industry veteran, a reviewer for Kirkus and New York Journal of Books, and a book scout for The CW Network. She is the president of Gandolfo, Henlin and Fountain Literary. Renee is looking for all types of adult and YA fiction and nonfiction. She prefers: thrillers, horror/dark fantasy, urban/contemporary fantasy, humor, science fiction, pop culture, memoirs, and narrative/commercial. Learn more about Renee here.

Gabbi Calabrese currently serves as an editorial assistant for Sourcebooks, where she works on books for kids of all ages. She is seeking: “I am interested in picture books, middle grade, and young adult fiction of all genres except historical fiction, as well as adult romance, thrillers, and horror. I would love to see work in the YA/adult crossover space as well as graphic novel pitches. I am particularly interested in books by marginalized voices.” Learn more about Gabbi here.

Caroline Trussell is a literary agent with Metamorphosis Literary Agency. She is seeking: Romance (especially romantic comedies, enemies to lovers, and fake dating); Fantasy (particularly magical realism and urban fantasy); Young Adult (contemporary romance and mental health driven storylines); Middle Grade (with lots of heart and that discusses tough topics in an age appropriate way); In any genre, stories that feature dynamic characters with non-visible disabilities and/or mental illness. Learn more about Caroline here.

 

        More 2023 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:

$189 — EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2023 FWW and access to all workshops, all days. (You also get 10+ additional free pre-recorded webinars on writing and publishing.) As of late 2022, 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 Brian Klems, 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 a phone/Zoom critique meeting with the faculty member. Options:

  • Romance, women’s fiction, domestic suspense, and young adult fiction: Faculty member Swati Hegde, an author and freelance editor, 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.
  • Literary fiction, general fiction, women’s fiction, science fiction, fantasy, speculative fiction, mystery, thriller, historical fiction, memoir, young adult, middle grade, and children’s picture books: Faculty member Laura Biagi, a writing coach and former agent, 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. For children’s picture books, projects should be 1,000 words maximum, and can or cannot include illustrations.
  • Women’s fiction, contemporary/mainstream fiction, literary fiction, young adult, and memoir: Faculty member Kimiko Nakamura, a literary agent and writing 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.
  • Middle grade, young adult; adult fiction in the areas of low fantasy, literary fiction, romance, contemporary fiction, women’s fiction, historical fiction, and mainstream fiction: Faculty member Joel Brigham, 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 his thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting.
  • More critique options forthcoming.

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: Writing Day Workshops plans both in-person and virtual/online conferences. The 2023 FWW is an Online Conference, on May 12-13. Online events are easy and awesome, and the virtual events we’ve done thus far have received wonderful feedback. You do not have to be tech-savvy to do this, and understand we are keeping all aspects of a traditional in-person event, including one-on-one agent & editor pitching, which will now be done by 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.)

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Thank you for your interest in the 2023 Florida Writing Workshop.

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