The 2020 Philadelphia Writing Workshop: November 14, 2020

Screen Shot 2016-12-25 at 10.34.26 PM.pngAfter successful 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 events in Philadelphia, Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2020 Philadelphia Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in Philadelphia, PA on November 14, 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 Philadelphia Writing Workshop!

(If you already know you want to register for the 2020 Philly event, you can do so immediately at this link: http://bit.ly/PhiladelphiaRegistrationForm2020)

WHAT IS IT?

This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, November 14, 2020, 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 Eric Smith (P.S. Literary)
  • literary agent Dana Murphy (The Book Group)
  • literary agent Jacqueline Lipton (Raven Quill Literary Agency)
  • literary agent Bibi Lewis (Ethan Ellenberg Literary)
  • literary agent Alyssa Eisner Henkin (Trident Media)
  • editor Allison Cohen (Running Press Kids)
  • literary agent Kelly Peterson (Rees Literary)
  • literary agent Caitlin McDonald (Donald Maass Literary)
  • and more to come

By the end of the day, you will have all the tools you need to move forward on your writing journey. This independent event is organized by coordinator Kerrie Flanagan of Writing Day Workshops, with administrative assistance from the Philadelphia chapter of Pennwriters.

EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS:

9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, November 14, 2020, at the Sonesta Philadelphia Downtown Rittenhouse Square, 1800 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19103. (215)561-7500.

Screen Shot 2016-12-30 at 3.51.38 PM.png

THIS YEAR’S SESSIONS & WORKSHOPS (NOV. 14, 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 2-3 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

CLASSES TBA

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

CLASSES TBA

(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.

CLASSES TBA

BLOCK FOUR: 2:45 – 3:45

CLASSES TBA

(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

CLASSES TBA

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.

————-

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 2019-10-28 at 11.46.44 AMBibi Lewis is a literary agent with The Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency. She is seeking: “I am currently looking for young adult, middle grade, and picture books — as well as commercial and upmarket fiction. In all genres I am looking for contemporary realism, fantasy, mysteries, historicals and lots of humor. I have a soft spot for heists and sleuths (and would especially love to see a new YA Harriet the Spy or Veronica Mars!) as well as twisty thrillers. On the adult side, I am looking for anything smart, sharp and witty — but specifically for romance, women’s fiction, mysteries and thrillers. Well-developed characters are a must. I always welcome diverse narratives, including but not limited to LGBTQ or minority voices.” Learn more about Bibi here.

Screen Shot 2019-12-05 at 4.29.52 PMAlyssa Eisner Henkin is a literary agent with Trident Media Group. Actively seeking new clients, Alyssa represents all forms of literature and illustration for children and young adults. Alyssa’s primary focus for new projects is middle grade. She is fond of both fiction and nonfiction: from illustrated and graphic novels and memoirs to series with the interactive spirit of a trivia game. A lover of underdogs, school stories, humor, heart, mysteries, and regional and ethnic flavors, Alyssa looks to spice up the canon with projects that break new ground. She also enjoys select young adult projects, especially when they champion social justice or have an intriguing family or romantic dynamic. And with picture books, rollicking read-alouds and fascinating biographies are always intriguing. Learn more about Alyssa here.

Screen Shot 2019-12-05 at 4.34.28 PMDana Murphy is a literary agent with The Book Group. Dana is hungry for writing that is immersive and surprising, with a voice so distinct it makes her cancel plans and read through meals. She is attracted to upmarket and literary fiction for both adults and young adults, as well as smart narrative nonfiction, essay collections and journalism about culture, social issues, science, feminism, race, gender, film and television, music, comedy, religion and place. She’d love to read work that reckons with “low” or “unworthy” pop culture in a serious way, especially regarding art created for and consumed by teenagers, and stories set in and about the modern American South. She is passionate about finding literary homes for underrepresented and marginalized voices. Learn more about Dana here.

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 9.58.43 AM.pngKelly Peterson is a literary agent with Rees Literary Agency. Kelly seeks manuscripts in various genres within Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Adult age ranges. In Middle Grade, she loves fantasy, sci-fi, and contemporary that touches on tough issues for young readers. Her Young Adult preferences vary from contemporary to high fantasy, sci-fi (not the space kind) to paranormal (all the ghost stories, please!), and historical all the way back to rom-coms. Kelly is proud to continue to represent Adult manuscripts in romance, fantasy, and sci-fi. She is very interested in representing authors with marginalized own voices stories, witty and unique characters, pirates, witches, and dark fantasies. Learn more about Kelly here.

Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 9.58.57 PM.pngCaitlin McDonald is a literary agent with Donald Maass Literary Agency. She is looking for: all types of science fiction and fantasy for adult, young adult, and middle grade, especially secondary world fantasy and alternate history; genre-bending or cross-genre fiction, and stories that examine tropes from a new angle; diversity of all kinds, including (but not limited to) race, gender, sexuality, and ability, in both characters and worldbuilding. She does not want to see women’s fiction, crime fiction, Christian fiction, picture books, or young reader chapter books. Learn more about Caitlin 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.

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.)

———

PRICING:

$189 — EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2020 PWW and access to all workshops, all day. As of late 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 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:

  • Children’s picture books: Faculty member Kell Andrews, a published kidlit author, will get your picture book in advance, critique the work, and pass along written critique notes at your 10-minute meeting during the conference. Picture books should be 1,000 words, maximum, and can or cannot include illustrations.
  • Young adult and middle grade (all kinds): Faculty member Julie Eshbaugh, a published author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
  • More manuscript critique options forthcoming.

How to pay/register — Registration is now open.


To register by Google Forms, click on the link below to fill out the form. Once you submit the form and let us know everything you want at the conference, you will get instructions on how to pay by PayPal or check.


http://bit.ly/PhiladelphiaRegistrationForm2020

Once the Google form is complete and payment is made (either check or PayPal), you will have reserved a seat at the event.

If you have any issues with the Google form, or would simply rather talk with someone via email, just reach out to workshop organizer Kerrie Flanagan via email: WDWfaculty@gmail.com. She can 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 Philadelphia Writing Workshop will send out periodic e-mail updates to all registered attendees with any & all news about the event. Because Kerrie plans different workshops, if you email her, 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: Registration is now open.


To register by Google Forms, click on the link below to fill out the form. Once you submit the form and let us know everything you want at the conference, you will get instructions on how to pay by PayPal or check.


http://bit.ly/PhiladelphiaRegistrationForm2020

Once the Google form is complete and payment is made (either check or PayPal), you will have reserved a seat at the event.

If you have any issues with the Google form, or would simply rather talk with someone via email, just reach out to workshop organizer Kerrie Flanagan via email: WDWfaculty@gmail.com. She can 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 Philadelphia Writing Workshop will send out periodic e-mail updates to all registered attendees with any & all news about the event. Because Kerrie plans different workshops, if you email her, 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 2020 Philadelphia Writing Workshop.

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Bibi Lewis of The Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2019-05-29 at 10.26.27 AMBibi Lewis is a literary agent with The Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency.

She is seeking: “I am currently looking for Young Adult, Middle Grade, and Picture books, as well as Commercial and Upmarket Fiction. In all genres I am looking for contemporary realism, fantasy, mysteries, historicals and lots of humor. I have a soft spot for heists and sleuths (and would especially love to see a new YA Harriet the Spy or Veronica Mars!) as well as twisty thrillers. On the Adult side, I am looking for anything smart, sharp and witty — but specifically for Romance, Women’s Fiction, Mysteries and Thrillers. Well-developed characters are a must. I always welcome diverse narratives, including but not limited to LGBTQ or minority voices.”

Bibi manages subsidiary rights for the agency in addition to her duties as an agent and general office manager.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Dana Murphy of The Book Group

Screen Shot 2019-12-05 at 4.34.28 PMLiterary agent Dana Murphy joined The Book Group in 2012 to provide administrative and creative support to Brettne Bloom and Elisabeth Weed. Dana worked collaboratively with Brettne and Elisabeth as their assistant, began building her own list in 2015 and was promoted to Agent in 2017. Prior to working at The Book Group, Dana studied Critical Film Theory and Sociology at New York University.

Dana is hungry for writing that is immersive and surprising, with a voice so distinct it makes her cancel plans and read through meals. She is attracted to upmarket and literary fiction for both adults and young adults, as well as smart narrative nonfiction, essay collections and journalism about culture, social issues, science, feminism, race, gender, film and television, music, comedy, religion and place.

She’d love to read work that reckons with “low” or “unworthy” pop culture in a serious way, especially regarding art created for and consumed by teenagers, and stories set in and about the modern American South. She is passionate about finding literary homes for underrepresented and marginalized voices.

A few books she loves: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, The Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips, The Mothers by Brit Bennett, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi, Love Goes to Buildings on Fire by Will Hermes, and The Wrong Way to Save Your Life by Megan Stielstra.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Alyssa Eisner Henkin of Trident Media Group

Screen Shot 2019-12-05 at 4.29.52 PMAlyssa Eisner Henkin is a literary agent with Trident Media Group.

Actively seeking new clients, Alyssa represents all forms of literature and illustration for children and young adults.

Alyssa’s primary focus for new projects is middle grade. She is fond of both fiction and nonfiction: from illustrated and graphic novels and memoirs to series with the interactive spirit of a trivia game. A lover of underdogs, school stories, humor, heart, mysteries, and regional and ethnic flavors, Alyssa looks to spice up the canon with projects that break new ground. She also enjoys select young adult projects, especially when they champion social justice or have an intriguing family or romantic dynamic. And with picture books, rollicking read-alouds and fascinating biographies are always intriguing.

After earning her Bachelors from the University of Pennsylvania, Alyssa fulfilled a childhood dream that she professed on a home video at the age of six: Move to New York and work with books. In 1999, Alyssa began her career in editorial at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. Here she found “kindred spirits” who loved Anne of Green Gables as much as she did and a kids book space that was rapidly growing. In late 2006 Alyssa (and her inner-entrepreneur) headed to Trident to expand the firm’s children’s book business.

Over twelve years, hundreds of deals and numerous bestsellers and award-winners later, Alyssa still delights in nurturing her books at every stage. From editing and idea-honing to collaborating with marketing, foreign, dramatic, merchandising, and audio partners, Alyssa works hard to ensure longevity for her authors’ work.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Kelly Peterson of Rees Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 9.58.43 AM.png[SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS]

Kelly Peterson is a literary agent with Rees Literary Agency.

Kelly is a West Chester University graduate with a B.S.Ed in English and Literature. She worked as a Junior Literary Agent for two years before moving to Rees Literary Agency, continuing to champion her authors and the manuscripts she loves.

Kelly seeks manuscripts in various genres within Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Adult age ranges. In Middle Grade, she loves fantasy, sci-fi, and contemporary that touches on tough issues for young readers. Her Young Adult preferences vary from contemporary to high fantasy, sci-fi (not the space kind) to paranormal (all the ghost stories, please!), and historical all the way back to rom-coms. Kelly is proud to continue to represent Adult manuscripts in romance, fantasy, and sci-fi. She is very interested in representing authors with marginalized own voices stories, witty and unique characters, pirates, witches, and dark fantasies.

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Caitlin McDonald of Donald Maass Literary

Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 9.58.57 PM.pngCaitlin McDonald is a literary agent with Donald Maass Literary Agency.

She is looking for:

– All types of science fiction and fantasy for adult, young adult, and middle grade, especially secondary world fantasy and alternate history
– Genre-bending or cross-genre fiction, and stories that examine tropes from a new angle
– Diversity of all kinds, including (but not limited to) race, gender, sexuality, and ability, in both characters and worldbuilding

Caitlin joined DMLA in 2015, and was previously at Sterling Lord Literistic. She represents adult and young adult speculative fiction, primarily science-fiction, fantasy, horror, and related subgenres, as well as contemporary fiction about geeky characters. She also handles a small amount of nonfiction in geeky areas, with a focus on feminist theory/women’s issues and pop culture. Caitlin grew up overseas and has a BA in Creative Writing from Columbia University.

She does not want to see women’s fiction, crime fiction, Christian fiction, picture books, or young reader chapter books.

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

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 12.53.46 PM[SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS]

Eric 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.