The 2019 Philadelphia Writing Workshop: November 23, 2019

Screen Shot 2016-12-25 at 10.34.26 PM.pngAfter successful 2016, 2017, and 2018 events in Philadelphia, Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2019 Philadelphia Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in Philadelphia, PA on November 23, 2019.

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 2019 Philadelphia Writing Workshop!

WHAT IS IT?

This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, November 23, 2019, at the Sonesta Philadelphia Downtown Rittenhouse Square. 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 faculty so far includes:

  • literary agent Abby Saul (The Lark Group)
  • literary agent Eric Smith (P.S. Literary)
  • literary agent Stephanie Kehr (C.Y.L.E. Literary Elite)
  • and many more to come

By the end of the day, you will have all the tools you need to move forward on your writing journey. This independent event is organized by coordinator Jessica Bell of Writing Day Workshops, with administrative assistance from regional PA writing groups.

EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS:

9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, November 23, 2019, at the Sonesta Philadelphia Downtown Rittenhouse Square, 1800 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19103. (215)561-7500.

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THIS YEAR’S SESSIONS & WORKSHOPS (NOV. 23, 2019):

What you see below is a quick layout of the day’s events. See a full layout of the day’s sessions, with detailed descriptions, on the official Schedule Page here.

Please Note: There will be 2-3 classes/workshops going at all times during the day, so you will have your choice of what class you attend at any time. The final schedule of topics is subject to change, but here is the current layout:

8:30 – 9:30: Check-in and registration at the event location.

BLOCK ONE: 9:30 – 10:30

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

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

3. Revise Your Novel: Self-Editing Tips and Tricks (Wyeth B). Author and literary agent Marie Lamba will break down the revision process, revealing how you can systematically self-edit your manuscript.

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

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

2. How to Write A Successful Query Letter (Wyeth C). You’ll be guided through tips and tricks for creating your best query, then given time to create/edit your own and even share with a beta reader or two.

3. The Secrets to Crafting an Unforgettable Mystery (Wyeth B). In this session, learn how to create a compelling sleuth and a worthy villain; construct a plot rich in twists, red herrings, and misdirection; ring the story to a satisfying conclusion; sharpen characters and optimize pace during revision; and seek publication through both traditional and indie paths.

(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 (Wyeth C). This is a chance to get your first page read (anonymously — no bylines given) with attending agents commenting on what was liked or not liked about the submission.
   
2.  How to Sell a Nonfiction Book (Wyeth B). This session is completely devoted to nonfiction book proposals.

3. Writing for the Little Ones: How to Craft an Amazing Picture Book For Kids (Wyeth A). In this session, we’ll discuss questions to consider before sending a picture book manuscript out in the world.

BLOCK FOUR: 2:45 – 3:45

1. Twenty Questions You Need Answered Before You Seek an Agent or Self-Publish Your Book (Wyeth C). Before you publish your work or query an agent, there are plenty of things you need to know. Learn in this session.

2. Developing Compelling Characters (Wyeth A). Learn what the most interesting characters have in common across all genres, as well as practical strategies to take your characters from paper dolls to fully-fledged people.

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

(What you see here is a quick layout of the day’s events. See a full layout of the day’s sessions, with detailed descriptions, on the official Schedule page here.)

BLOCK FIVE: 4:00 – 5:00

1. Twenty Questions You Need Answered After You Seek an Agent or Self-Publish Your Book (Wyeth C). After you self-publish your work or get a traditional publishing book deal, there are plenty of things you need to know. Learn in this session.

2. Yesteryear This Year — The Art of Writing Great Historical Fiction (Wyeth A). Transporting your reader back in time, whether that’s centuries, decades, or just a few years, presents unique storytelling challenges. In this class, you’ll learn how to ensure that whatever era you’re writing in, your characters, settings, and dialogue will authentically reflect it, and that your readers will be fully immersed in your story.

3. How to Write and Sell Romance in Today’s Market (Wyeth B). This session will address important topics and tips for writers of romance.

SESSIONS END: 5:00

At 5 p.m., the day is done. Speakers will make themselves available by the workshop’s bookstore for a short while to sign any books for attendees.

Agent & Editor Pitching: All throughout the day.

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PITCH AN AGENT OR EDITOR:

Screen Shot 2018-12-04 at 9.55.51 PM.pngEric Smith is a literary agent with P.S. Literary. Eric is eagerly acquiring fiction and nonfiction projects. He’s actively seeking out new, diverse voices in young adult (particularly sci-fi and fantasy), new adult, and literary and commercial fiction (again, loves sci-fi and fantasy, but also thrillers and mysteries). In terms of nonfiction, he’s interested in cookbooks, pop culture, humor, essay collections, and blog to book ideas. Learn more about Eric here.

Screen Shot 2018-06-10 at 1.39.53 PMWith over 10 years of publishing experience, literary agent Abby Saul of The Lark Group is an editorial expert with a passion for fantastic reads. She is seeking: great and engrossing adult commercial and literary fiction. This includes general fiction, mystery, suspense/thriller, literary fiction, women’s fiction, and historical fiction. Learn more about Abby here.

Screen Shot 2018-05-17 at 10.07.17 AMStephanie Kehr is a jr. agent and for C.Y.L.E. Literary. She’s seeking young adult, middle grade, historical, children’s picture books, chapter books, romance, science fiction novels, fantasy novels, inspirational, and authors with strong platform, unique ideas, and diverse characters. In nonfiction, she’s interested in self-help, devotionals, leadership, biographies, and religious genres. Learn more about Stephanie here.

        More 2019 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 2019 PWW and access to all workshops, all day. As of late 2018, registration is now OPEN.

Add $29 — to secure a 10-minute one-on-one meeting with any of our literary agents or editors in attendance. Use this special meeting as a chance to pitch your work and get professional feedback on your pitch. (Spaces limited.) If they wish, attendees are free to sign up for multiple 10-minute pitch sessions at $29/session — pitching multiple individuals, or securing 20 minutes to pitch one person rather than the usual 10. Here are four quick testimonials regarding writers who have signed with literary agents after pitching them at prior Writing Day Workshops events. (Our bigger, growing list of success stories can be seen here.)

Screen Shot 2016-12-13 at 12.07.49 AM.png“I signed with my agent, Patricia Nelson, after
meeting her at the Arizona Writing Workshop.”
– writer Axie Oh

Screen Shot 2016-12-13 at 12.07.56 AM.png“I officially signed with agent Renee Nyen of KT
Literary. I met her at the Colorado Writing
Workshop.” – writer Jessie Hilb Akos

Screen Shot 2016-12-13 at 12.08.00 AM.png“After taking pitches at the Michigan Writing
Workshop, I signed writer Kyle Prue as a new
client.” – literary agent Veronica Park

Screen Shot 2016-12-13 at 12.08.09 AM.png“After taking pitches at the Alabama Writing
Workshop, I met Erin Hollis at a pitch session, and
she is now my newest client.” – agent Julie Gwinn

Add $69 — for an in-depth, personal critique of your one-page query letter from Chuck Sambuchino, one of the workshop’s former instructors. (This rate is a special event value for Philadelphia 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:

  • Forthcoming

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

REGISTRATION:

Because of limited space at the Sonesta Philadelphia Downtown Rittenhouse Square, the workshop can only allow 200 registrants, unless spacing issues change. For this reason, we encourage you to book sooner rather than later.

Are spaces still available? Yes, we still have spaces available. We will announce RIGHT HERE, at this point on this web page, when all spaces are taken. If you do not see a note right here saying how all spaces are booked, then yes, we still have room, and you are encouraged to register.

How to Register: The easy first step is simply to reach out to workshop organizer Jessica Bell via email: Writingdayworkshops@gmail.com. She will pass along registration information to you, and give instructions on how to pay by PayPal or check. Once payment is complete, you will have a reserved seat at the event. The PWW will send out periodic e-mail updates to all registered attendees with any & all news about the event. Because Jessica plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Philadelphia 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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Thank you for your interest in the 2019 Philadelphia Writing Workshop.

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Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Stephanie Kehr of CYLE Literary.

Screen Shot 2018-05-17 at 10.07.13 AM.pngStephanie Kehr is a jr. agent and for C.Y.L.E. Literary.

She’s a professional writer and former journalist with 7 years’ experience. Stephanie currently lives in Northern Virginia and serves on the publishing board of Illuminate YA fiction, an imprint of LPC books. She’s an adventure lover with a special place in her heart for travel and culture.

Stephanie is looking for skillfully crafted stories that capture the heart and answer the world’s deepest questions.

She’s seeking young adult, middle grade, historical, children’s picture books, chapter books, romance, science fiction, fantasy, inspirational, and authors with strong platform, unique ideas, and diverse characters. In nonfiction, she’s interested in self-help, devotionals, leadership, biographies, and religious genres.

Get to Know a Literary Agent in Attendance: Abby Saul of Lark Words

Screen Shot 2018-06-10 at 1.39.53 PMWith over 10 years of publishing experience, literary agent Abby Saul is an editorial expert with a passion for fantastic reads.

She is seeking: great and engrossing adult commercial and literary fiction. This includes general fiction, mystery, suspense/thriller, literary fiction, women’s fiction, and historical fiction.

Abby founded The Lark Group after a decade in publishing at John Wiley & Sons, Sourcebooks, and Browne & Miller Literary Associates. She’s worked with and edited bestselling and award-winning authors as well as major brands. At each publishing group she’s been a part of, Abby also has helped to establish ebook standards, led company-wide forums to explore new digital possibilities for books, and created and managed numerous digital initiatives.

A zealous reader who loves her iPad and the ebooks on it, she still can’t resist the lure of a print book. Abby’s personal library of beloved titles runs the gamut from literary newbies and classics, to cozy mysteries, to sappy women’s fiction, to dark and twisted thrillers. A magna cum laude graduate of Wellesley College, Abby spends her weekends—when she’s not reading—cooking and hiking with her husband and son.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Eric Smith of P.S. Literary

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 12.53.46 PMEric Smith is a literary agent with P.S. Literary.

Eric began his publishing career at Quirk Books in Philadelphia, working social media and marketing on numerous books he absolutely adored. Eric completed his BA in English at Kean University, and his MA in English at Arcadia University. A frequent blogger, his ramblings about books appear on BookRiot, The Huffington Post, Barnes & Noble’s Teen Reads blog, Paste Magazine’s Books section, and more. A published author with Quirk Books and Bloomsbury, he seeks to give his authors the same amount of love his writing has received. Follow him on Twitter: @ericsmithrocks

Eric is seeking: Eric is eagerly acquiring fiction and nonfiction projects. He’s actively seeking out new, diverse voices in Young Adult (particularly sci-fi and fantasy), New Adult, and Literary and Commercial Fiction (again, loves sci-fi and fantasy, but also thrillers and mysteries). In terms of nonfiction, he’s interested in Cookbooks, Pop Culture, Humor, essay collections, and blog to book ideas.