The 2020 Florida Writing Workshop: May 16, 2020 in Tampa

Screen Shot 2016-12-25 at 10.34.26 PM.png(APRIL 2020 UPDATE: The 2020 Florida Writing Workshop is postponed until 2021 for safety reasons. If you are signed up for the 2020 event as a paid attendee, or you would like to know more about WDW’s new 2020 online conferences — which include many recorded sessions, one-on-one pitching to agents by phone or Skype, and more — please see all info here, and be in contact with us anytime you want — writingdayworkshops@gmail.com.)

After successful 2016, 2018, and 2019 events in Tampa, Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2020 Florida Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in Tampa, FL on May 16, 2020.

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 2020 Florida Writing Workshop!

(For people asking, the 2020 Florida workshop is ON as planned. We are excited about May 16. For our statement regarding events in the news, click here. Thanks again!)

WHAT IS IT?

This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, May 16, 2020, at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Tampa Airport 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 Vicki Selvaggio (Storm Literary)
  • literary agent Bob DiForio (D4E0 Literary)
  • literary agent Lucienne Diver (The Knight Agency)
  • literary agent Michael L. Joy (The Seymour Agency)
  • literary agent Sharon Belcastro (Belcastro Agency)
  • literary agent Kaitlyn Johnson (Corvisiero Literary)
  • literary agent Marlene Stringer (The Stringer Agency)
  • literary agent Amanda Leuck (Spencerhill Associates)
  • literary agent Beth Marshea (Ladderbird Literary)
  • literary agent Saritza Hernandez (Corvisiero Literary)
  • and possibly 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 Chuck Sambuchino of Writing Day Workshops, with assistance from local writing groups.

EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS:

9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, May 16, 2020 — at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore, 555 N Westshore Blvd, Tampa, FL 33609, 813-875-1555.

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THIS YEAR’S SESSIONS & WORKSHOPS (MAY 16, 2020):

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 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. Querypalooza! This interactive workshop will teach query letter dos and don’ts.

2. Demystifying Contracts: How to Get in Bed with a Publisher Without Losing Your Shirt. In this hour-long workshop, we’ll cover pitfalls to avoid when signing a publishing contract.

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

1. Publishing A to Z. In this session, a literary agent will give a quick yet important overview of everything to expect in the publishing process.

2. Creating Compelling Characters. This session will explain how to create characters that agents, editors, and (most importantly) readers connect with.

(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 (Westshore Main). 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. Be Brief, Bright, and BOLD! How to Create Epic Picture Books That Sell. In this workshop, you will learn how to create, pitch, and publish compelling picture books that will delight audiences for years to come.

BLOCK FOUR: 2:45 – 3:45

1. What to Do Before You Query. This session addresses everything to worry about before you ever reach out to an agent (or publisher).

2. Like I Care: Five Elements That Create Unforgettable Fiction.

(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. Is the First Page All that Matters? In this workshop we’ll talk about the pitfalls that writers run into in the first page of their novel, but we’ll continue on to creating a full manuscript that will grab the attention of agents and editors.

2. Author Branding and Marketing. In this workshop we’ll discuss the best ways to create your author brand, help you stay consistent, even if you’ve written different types of books, and marketing best practices to get your books out in front of your future readers. 

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 2.55.01 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 Sharon here.

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 9.50.27 AMVicki Selvaggio is a literary agent with Storm Literary (formerly with Jennifer De Chiara Literary). She is currently looking for lyrical picture books, middle grade and young adult fiction, new adult, mysteries, suspense, thrillers, paranormal, fantasy, narrative nonfiction, and adult fiction. Vicki is especially drawn to middle grade and young adult. “I especially love thrillers and all elements of weird, creepy stuff. If it’s out of the box, and it will make me think and think, long after I’m done reading, send it to me! On the flip side, I yearn for books that make me laugh, cry and wonder about the world.” Learn more about Vicki here.

Screen Shot 2019-12-05 at 2.05.52 PMBob Diforio is a literary agent and founder of D4E0 Literary Agency. In fiction, he is seeking: mystery, thriller, crime, mainstream/upmarket fiction, literary fiction, and women’s fiction. He is a nonfiction generalist who seeks good ideas by writers with good platforms. He also represents some memoir. His nonfiction areas of interest include, but are not limited to: business, finance, health, sports, current affairs, relationships, cooking, reference, self-help, and humor. Learn more about Bob here.

Screen Shot 2018-01-10 at 2.15.28 PMLucienne Diver is a literary agent with The Knight Agency. She is seeking: any commercial fiction field from young adult up, with an emphasis on strong characterization and stories which emotionally invest the reader. This includes sci-fi, fantasy, romance, romantica, suspense, mystery, thriller, crime, and any kind of young adult. Diverse voices welcome. Learn more about Lucienne here.

Screen Shot 2019-11-10 at 11.01.53 PMMichael L. Joy is a literary agent with The Seymour Agency. In fiction, he seeks character-driven commercial fiction in mystery/crime/suspense/thriller (including graphic novel script format; stories that transcend genre and have the potential to attract a wider audience (aka: upmarket fiction); new perspectives – #OwnVoices, race, gender, LGBTQ, or sub-culture – different POVs, obstacles and outcomes. In nonfiction, he seeks authors with good platform writing art, music, pop-culture or sub-culture topics, including positive mental and physical health for artist; true crime; and business self-help (ow to survive and keep positive while starting a business, running a business or working a high-pressure job). Learn more about Micheal here.

Screen Shot 2020-01-18 at 9.55.15 PMKaitlyn Johnson is a literary agent with Corvisiero Literary. She is seeking upper middle grade, young adult, new adult romance, fantasy works (yes, that very much includes urban!) and time travel, romance (erotic elements OK), historical fiction (anything other than Henry VIII, Shakespeare, American Civil War, Greek gods/myths), contemporary (can grab her attention only if the concept is unique and well executed, LGBT welcome in all noted genres. Learn more about Kaitlyn here.

Screen Shot 2019-02-17 at 2.56.06 AM.pngMarlene 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.

Screen Shot 2017-11-07 at 1.26.15 AM.pngAmanda Leuck is a literary agent with Spencerhill Associates. Amanda is currently seeking strong, character-driven stories with an unforgettable voice. She’s looking for literary and commercial YA, select adult sci-fi and fantasy, and romance in all genres, including edgy romantic suspense, contemporary, and paranormal with a fresh twist. Learn more about Amanda here.

Screen Shot 2020-01-09 at 2.39.57 PM.pngBeth Marshea is a literary agent and the founder of Ladderbird Literary. She is seeking mainstream/commercial fiction, family sagas, literary fiction, women’s fiction, RomComs (especially LGBTQ+), mysteries, thrillers, fantasy, and science fiction. For young adult, she seeks contemporary, mysteries, thrillers, and fantasy. Beth is also starting to acquire a very select list of middle grade and picture books. Learn more about Beth here.

Screen Shot 2020-01-10 at 2.29.20 PM.pngSaritza Hernandez is the VP and a Sr. Literary Agent at the Corvisiero Literary Agency. While Saritza’s personal tastes lean toward romance (all kinds), she is currently acquiring commercial fiction in all categories from middle grade to adult as well as graphic novels from diverse voices. In nonfiction, she’s actively looking for narrative nonfiction, health/body/spirit, and cooking books. In addition to taking pitches for herself, Saritza is also representing the entire agency and their genres. 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.

        More 2020 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:

$189 — EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2020 FWW and access to all workshops, all day. As of October 2019, 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 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 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 $89 — 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:

  • Middle grade and young adult (all kinds). Also adult fiction the following categories: near-future/dystopian sci-fi, urban fantasy, contemporary, historical, women’s fiction, romance, mystery, thriller, suspense (no hard science fiction or epic fantasy, please): Faculty member Jennifer Johnson-Blalock, a former literary agent, 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 her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
  • Mainstream fiction, literary fiction, romance, women’s fiction, mystery, thriller: Faculty member Anne Clermont, a published author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your work, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
  • Children’s picture books, middle grade (all kinds), young adult (all kinds), literary fiction, mainstream fiction, historical fiction, mystery, thriller, true crime, nonfiction: Faculty member Eve Porinchak, a former literary agent, 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 her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting. Pictures books should be 1,000 words, maximum, and can or cannot include illustrations.
  • Literary fiction, mainstream fiction, general fiction, short stories, historical fiction, adult science fiction, adult fantasy, and memoir: Faculty member Lorin Oberweger, a professional editor, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your work, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.

How to pay/register — Registration is now open. Reach out to workshop organizer Chuck Sambuchino via email: writingdayworkshops@gmail.com, and he 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 Chuck plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Florida workshop specifically.

REGISTRATION:

(APRIL 2020 UPDATE: The 2020 Florida Writing Workshop is postponed until 2021 for safety reasons. If you are signed up for the 2020 event as a paid attendee, or you would like to know more about WDW’s new 2020 online conferences — which include many recorded sessions, one-on-one pitching to agents by phone or Skype, and more — please see all info here, and be in contact with us anytime you want — writingdayworkshops@gmail.com.)

Because of limited space at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Tampa Airport 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 Chuck Sambuchino via email: writingdayworkshops@gmail.com. He 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 Chuck 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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Florida Writing Workshop postponed — Here Are Your Options

Hi writers

Thank you for signing up for the 2020 Florida Writing Workshop in Tampa on May 16. It was going to be our 4th time in Tampa and we were excited about the event. Sadly, we have to fully cancel the event because of COVID and other complications. This is unfortunate news and these are strange times for small businesses like ours. We just informed the faculty, and they were sad but supportive.

Please read this whole email when you get the chance. We have made the decision to fully postpone the event until 2021. Here’s what happens now. We will list out all details. Be in touch with me (Chuck) at any time — writingdayworkshops@gmail.com

1. Critique options are still ON if you want them.

If you bought a query critique and/or a manuscript critique of your first 10 double-spaced pages, you can still choose to engage those specific options, if you wish. We don’t need an in-person event for you to enjoy those. I am doing the query critiques, so if you purchased one as an add-on element, you can still email me your query and I can send you back notes within 3 weeks. And for manuscript critiques, you can send the work to us, we send it to the critique faculty, then the faculty reaches out to you personally to arrange a 10-minute call/Skype to discuss their thoughts, and they also email you formal notes.

Please let us know if you bought add-on critiques and still want to engage.

Of the 2020 FLA faculty who were set to do manuscript critiques, the following (all!) confirmed to us they are still happy to follow through on those critiques and talk with you afterward via Skype or phone:

  • Jennifer Johnson Blalock
  • Eve Porinchak
  • Anne Clermont
  • Lorin Oberweger

 

2. Still want to pitch literary agents? If you stick with us, you can! (And we even have more agents joining us!) Here’s how it works — you have 2 options.

We know that attendees really value one-on-one personal agent pitches. Our track record of success stories at our conferences speaks to the value of these personal talks.

There’s a lot to unpack here, so we will try to explain everything. But the gist is that if you either switch your registration to an upcoming WDW online conference (you have choices) OR you move your money to a credit for any 2021 WDW conference (logically Florida 2021, but can be anywhere), then you can keep your agent pitches for this year, and also get an additional free agent pitch AND learn of more 2020 agents to pitch. We can explain.

Here’s the whole deal: Some of our spring conferences — such as Tampa — are cancelled. That said, a few of our larger upcoming spring events have been transformed into full Online Conferences — specifically these two events:

The Seattle Writing Workshop on April 25

The Michigan Writing Workshop on April 25

We are very excited about these online events. Here’s why — at a typical WDW two-track conference like the FWW, you choose five classes you want to attend during the day, but miss the other five. But with these new online events, we are recording all 10 of the day’s live classes, and all attendees get access to the 10 classes after the event. Plus — we the staffers are recording a few bonus classes to send out to attendees, as well. It works out very nice. Attendees still get critiques and engage their virtual agent pitches (phone or Skype, etc), and attendees actually get more classes in the end.

So if you’re stuck inside but looking to forward your writing career, switching your 2020 FWW registration to either of these April 25 live online conferences would be an easy & great move. Feel free to click on both links and look at the schedule pages to see the class schedule for both. Both events have 15 (!) total classes, but the classes/teachers, are completely different for either event. Remember all sessions are recorded, so even if you cannot see the webinars live on April 25, you still get all content sent to you afterward, and we will even forward your questions on to instructors for them to answer following the event. No question goes unanswered at a WDW online event.

Or — another choice — is that you simply move your registration to the 2021 FWW in full. We do not yet have a date for our 2021 FWW but presume it will be in the spring/summer once concerns have lessened considerably. Keep in mind if you transfer your money to 2021, we will assume it is for our Florida event, but it can be for any city. If you don’t reply to this email, we will assume a credit to Tampa 2021 is fine by you.

If you choose either of these options and stay with us, then you can still enjoy your 2020 agent pitches, if you wish, and do them virtually over Skype or the phone or Zoom, etc. Agents have been happy to work with us through these changes.

But there’s more. If you stay with us and choose either of those two options — switch to a 2020 online event, or transfer registration to 2021 — here are the additional benefits:

a) We will give you a FREE additional agent pitch of your choosing to be used this year or next. If you had no agent pitches, now you have 1. If you had 3, now you have 4 — etc.

b) Your list of agents to pitch has actually gotten bigger with these cancellations. See, we had to cancel 3 upcoming conferences that were all back to back — our May 2 event in LA, our May 9 event in SD, and our May 16 event in Tampa. We reached out to the agents at each and asked them if they would be willing to do virtual pitches (Skype or phone) with attendees who still wanted to do those pitches in 2020. Many agents said yes, and since it’s all virtual/online this year, you can have your pick of ANY of these agents to pitch. See the whole list here of added virtual SD/LA/FLA agents, and remember this list is in addition to the lists for either Seattle and Michigan.

That means you can:

  • keep your current agent choices for pitches (IF the agents you had are still willing to do virtual pitches — see the list)
  • switch to any open agents on any of the lists (joint, SEA, MICH)
  • get one additional free pitch
  • purchase any additional agent pitches that you like — $29 a piece.

To see the full list of available agents you can pitch in 2020 if you stay with us, see here:

2020 Agents to Pitch (LA, SD, FLA, and more)

 

3. If none of this sounds good, you can get a refund.

If this is what you want, let us know. You do not need to make a decision right this moment. Feel free to take a week or two to consider.

If you choose a refund, please allow 30 days for a full refund to be enacted, as we are dealing with a lot right now. We appreciate you working with us through this. It’s a strange time for small events businesses like ours.

Do you want the refund by check? Then we need a full mailing address.

If you paid by PayPal and want the money back that way, just say so. It can be refunded.

Our usual refund policy is 50% and has been for five years, but these are unique times, so if you choose, you can have a full refund. Please remember us in the future, especially hopefully when the in-person event reboots in 2021.

And keep in mind that even if you want a full refund of registration & pitches, you can still engage/keep any critiques that you like (see point #1 above) — let us know. That said, regarding point #2 above, if you choose a full refund, you cannot pitch any participating agents this year.

Ask us any questions you want.

Thanks
Chuck Sambuchino
writingdayworkshops@gmail.com
coordinator, Writing Day Workshops

Get to Know a Literary Agent in Attendance: Beth Marshea of Ladderbird Agency

Screen Shot 2020-01-09 at 2.39.57 PM.pngBeth Marshea is a literary agent and the founder of Ladderbird Agency.

At the 2020 Tampa workshop, she will be taking pitches from attendees, and also teaching a speech.

Beth founded Ladderbird Literary Agency with the intention of bringing diverse stories tot the forefront. She has a long love of literature, but found herself disappointed by the homogeneity of canonical work. After obtaining an undergraduate degree in literature, Beth earned a Master’s degree in Business Administration and decided to merge her passions and create her own agency. Beth is passionate about writing that pushes genres and boundaries and challenges the reader to accept a new point of view.

 

What she’s looking for:

Beth is actively seeking narrative nonfiction centering around cultural phenomena, hidden histories. or weird histories, and issue-driven books.

Her first love is and always will be literary fiction, where she’s looking for work with unusual settings or work that involves clever plots and dynamic characters that bring to light new perspectives on old ideas. Particular areas of interest are stories set in Mexico or Central America. In addition, she’s especially fond of magical realism. Think: Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi, The Little Snake by A.L. Kennedy, The Vegetarian by Han Kang, and anything by Haruki Murakami.

Adult fiction:

Mainstream/Commercial Fiction: Multi-gen family sagas (ideally multicultural) meets cutes/RomComs (especially LGBTQ+).

Women’s Fiction: Smart, sharp, and funny, especially centered around F/F relationships, friendship or romantic,

Literary Fiction: Work with unusual settings and/or involving clever plots and dynamic characters that bring to light new perspectives on old ideas. Particular areas of interest are stories set in Mexico or Central America. In addition, she’s especially fond of magical realism.

Mysteries: Beth loves unusual settings and prefers cozies,

Thrillers: Work about anything other than rich suburban women.

Fantasy: Books that are fast-paced with wonderful (ideally non-European) characters.

Science Fiction: Near future; unusual tech; not focused around the US.

Kidlit:

Young Adult: Contemporary (friendship stories; found family; non-US based settings) mysteries (high stakes), thrillers (stories with big twists; no unreliable narrators), fantasy (character-driven and really original).

Beth is starting to acquire a very select list of middle grade and picture books. In middle grade, she’s looking for fun, compelling characters that deal with real problems that middle schoolers face: friendship, divorce, gender identity, budding feelings of attraction or a lack of those feelings, feelings of isolation, and found family stories. In picture books, she’s dying to find books with really cute hooks like “The Day the Crayons Quit,” or nice messaging like “Not Quite a Narwhal.” She’d love to find a book that brings parents and kids together with language simple enough for a young child to read, but engrossing enough for and adult to enjoy.

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance Bob Diforio of D4EO Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2019-12-05 at 2.05.57 PMBob Diforio is a literary agent and founder of D4EO Literary Agency.

In fiction, he is seeking: mystery, thriller, crime, mainstream/upmarket fiction, literary fiction, and women’s fiction.

He is a nonfiction generalist who seeks good ideas by writers with good platforms. He also represents some memoir. His nonfiction areas of interest include, but are not limited to: business, finance, health, sports, current affairs, relationships, cooking, reference, self-help, and humor.

Bob spent 17 years at New American Library [Dutton / Penguin USA] in positions ranging from VP Sales to President and Publisher, Chairman and CEO. There he helped launch the paperback careers of Erica Jong, Robin Cook, Stephen King, Ken Follett, and Robert K. Tanenbaum. With Odyssey Partners, he led the management team of NAL in a leveraged buy out of the company from Times Mirror in 1982, purchased E. P. Dutton a year later, and sold the combined company to Pearson PLC in 1986, which merged the company with Viking Penguin to create Penguin USA.

 

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

Screen Shot 2018-01-10 at 2.15.25 PMLucienne Diver is a literary agent with The Knight Agency.

She is seeking: any commercial fiction field from young adult up, with an emphasis on strong characterization and stories which emotionally invest the reader. This includes sci-fi, fantasy, romance, romantica, suspense, mystery, thriller, crime, and any kind of young adult. Diverse voices welcome.

Lucienne joined TKA in 2008, after spending fifteen years at New York City’s prestigious Spectrum Literary Agency. With her sharp eye and gift for spotting original new voices, Lucienne is one of the most well-respected agents in the industry. A lifelong book addict, she graduated summa cum laude from the State University of New York at Potsdam with dual majors in English/writing and anthropology. She thus came well-equipped for her work as an agent.

Over the course of her dynamic career she has sold over seven hundred titles to every major publisher, and has built a client list of more than forty authors spanning the commercial fiction genres, primarily in the areas of fantasy, science fiction, romance, romantica, suspense and young adult. Her authors have been honored with the RITA, National Readers’ Choice, Hugo, and Romantic Times Reader’s Choice Awards, and have appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists. A publishing veteran, Lucienne has superb industry knowledge, numerous editor relationships, and a keen understanding of the foreign rights market. She is a member of the Association of Authors Representatives, RWA, MWA and SFWA.

 

 

 

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

Screen Shot 2019-02-17 at 2.56.06 AM.pngMarlene 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: Kaitlyn Johnson of Belcastro Literary

Screen Shot 2020-01-18 at 9.55.15 PMKaitlyn Johnson is a literary agent with Belcastro Agency.

After receiving a BA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College, Kaitlyn refused to leave the concept of nightly homework behind. A literary agent for Belcastro Literary Agency, she is also a freelance editor at her own company, K. Johnson Editorial. Kaitlyn started her literary journey as a copyeditor for academic publisher codeMantra, a YA editor for Accent Press, a Conference Assistant for GrubStreet, Boston, and a former agent with Corvisiero Literary Agency. She has written various articles for Writer’s Digest and has had a flash fiction story published in the anthology A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed.

She is seeking:

  • upper middle grade
  • young adult
  • new adult romance
  • fantasy works (yes, that very much includes urban!) and time travel
  • romance (erotic elements OK)
  • historical fiction: anything other than Henry VIII, Shakespeare, American Civil War, Greek gods/myths
  • contemporary can grab her attention only if the concept is unique and well executed
  • LGBT (as well as characters questioning their sexuality) welcome in all above genres

Kaitlyn is NOT accepting:

– Nonfiction
– Chapter or picture books
– Horror, thriller/suspense
– Novellas, poetry, or short story collections
– Storylines heavily dependent on religious motives/events/themes

Her favorite authors/books include the following: Cornelia Funke (Inkheart series); Michael Buckley (Undertow series); John Green (more Looking for Alaska, less An Abundance of Katherines); Gayle Forman (Just One Year and Just One Day); Lois Lowry (The Giver series); Scott O’Dell (Island of the Blue Dolphins). Her favorite TV shows are Doctor Who, Buffy, Supernatural, Firefly — basically the nerdier the fandom the better.

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 with an unforgettable voice. She’s looking for literary and commercial YA, select adult sci-fi and fantasy, and romance in all genres, including edgy romantic suspense, contemporary, and paranormal with a fresh twist.

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

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

Screen Shot 2020-01-10 at 2.29.20 PM.pngSaritza Hernandez is the VP and a Sr. Literary Agent at the Corvisiero Literary Agency.

At the 2020 workshop, she will be taking pitches and also teaching a class.

While Saritza’s personal tastes lean toward romance (all kinds), she is currently acquiring commercial fiction in all categories from middle grade to adult as well as graphic novels from diverse voices. In nonfiction, she’s actively looking for narrative nonfiction, health/body/spirit, and cooking books.

Known as the first literary agent to represent marginalized authors in the digital publishing landscape, Saritza’s clients have been awarded the RITA, Lambda Literary Award and selected among the NYPL’s Book of the Year. While she is a leading literary agent in digital publishing deals, her recent sales to traditional publishers include Macmillan and HarperCollins. A geek with a passion for all things Star Wars, Star Trek and Harry Potter, her love of great storytelling is what has driven her work in the publishing industry for the past 17 years. An avid coffee-drinker with a Kindle book obsession, she enjoys a steaming cup of strong Cuban coffee every morning while escaping into worlds and stories from all walks of life. A strong advocate of the LGBTQIA+ community, she enjoys fresh voices in Young Adult and Adult genre fiction.

In addition to taking pitches for herself, Saritza is also representing the entire agency and their genres. 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.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Vicki Selvaggio of Storm Literary

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Vicki Selvaggio is a literary agent with Storm Literary (formerly with Jennifer De Chiara Literary).

Victoria A. Selvaggio comes to Storm Literary Agency as a Literary Agent and Partner. Previously with The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency, she was drawn to the publishing scene first as an author. As a prior Regional Advisor for SCBWI Northern Ohio, Victoria’s desire to help writers and illustrators reach their publications goals inspired her to become an agent.

With over twenty-five years as a business owner, Victoria is excited to help grow the agency’s client base with talented writers and illustrators, while also helping build the agency from within with motivated agents who possess the same ideals, literary interests, goals, and approaches to the industry.As a frequent presenter at conferences, library events, contests, etc., Victoria is always interested in meeting writers and illustrators, and hearing about unique projects! While Storm Literary is primarily a children’s book agency, Victoria will be accepting pitches for new adult and adult projects from conference attendees.

She is seeking: “I am currently looking for lyrical picture books, middle grade and young adult fiction, new adult, mysteries, suspense, thrillers, paranormal, fantasy, narrative nonfiction, adult fiction but find I’m especially drawn to middle grade and young adult. I especially love thrillers and all elements of weird, creepy stuff. If it’s out of the box, and it will make me think and think, long after I’m done reading, send it to me! On the flip side, I yearn for books that make me laugh, cry and wonder about the world.”