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:

  • [NEW ADDITION] editor Julie Matysik (Running Press Kids)
  • [NEW ADDITION] literary agent Leah Pierre (Ladderbird Literary)
  • literary agent Abby Saul (The Lark Group)
  • literary agent Ronald Gerber (Lowenstein Associates)
  • literary agent Jessica Errera (Jane Rotrosen Agency)
  • literary agent Susan Velazquez (JABberwocky Literary)
  • literary agent Jade Wong-Baxter (Massie & McQuilkin Literary Agents)
  • literary agent Marie Lamba (Jennifer De Chiara Literary)
  • literary agent Tia Mele (Talcott Notch Literary)
  • literary agent Eric Smith (P.S. Literary)
  • literary agent Stephanie Kehr (C.Y.L.E. Literary Elite)
  • literary agent Kelly Peterson (Rees Literary)
  • literary agent Caitlin McDonald (Donald Maass Literary)
  • literary agent Cari Lamba (Jennifer De Chiara Literary)
  • literary agent John Willig (Literary Services, Inc.)
  • literary agent Michelle Lazurek (Wordwise Media Services)
  • 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 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 23, 2019, 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. 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. Revising the Memoir Manuscript. While revision is vital for any genre, in addition to meticulous attention to writing craft, memoir writers must navigate unique challenges and more complicated personal considerations.

2.Knock ’em Dead: Tips on Writing Mystery, Thriller, and Crime. Beginning with understanding the kind of novel that will be the best vehicle for your idea (mystery vs thriller?), this workshop will help you develop your own best process to write your book, offer tips on staying focused, and give pointers on effective editing.

3. An Overview of Your Publishing Options Today. This workshop examines the two largest routes any writer can take with their book: traditional publishing and self-publishing / e-publishing.

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

1. Getting (Traditionally) Published by Small and University Presses. There’s a lot you need to know, to find, target, prepare, and submit to these publishers. Learn what’s expected, what not to do, and how to increase your chances for success with these publishers that value high quality literary work above platform, prior sales, and bestseller potential.

2. Everything You Need to Know About Agents and Query Letters. This workshop is a thorough crash course in dealing with literary agents, and giving yourself the best chance of snagging one.

3. Outlines For Pantsers: How to Outline Your Book Even When You Don’t Enjoy It. This workshop will show how to chart your story with an outline grid that gives you the freedom to write part of your story where you feel like it today.

(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 (Adult Novels and Memoir). 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. This session is completely devoted to nonfiction book proposals.

3. 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. “Writers Got Talent”—a Page 1 Critique Fest (Young Adult and Middle Grade Manuscripts Only), 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. The Five Things I Wish I Knew Before I Was Published. In this speech, a published author helps you navigate the challenges that lie ahead by sharing advice on patience and perseverance, the importance of developing craft, the value of networking, and more.

3. An Agent Explains the Editing Process. In this class, you will learn how to Be a good self-editor, how to tighten your writing, and how to avoid “manuscript killers” that keep you from a stellar manuscript.

(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. How to Market Yourself and Your Books: Talking Author Social Media, Blogging, and Platform. Whether you’re traditionally published or self-published, everyone could use some helpful guidance on how to effectively market themselves and sell more books.

2. So You Have an Agent or Book Deal — Now What? This session will explain what to expect in the submission process, what it’s like to work with a publishing house editor, how to sell multiple books in your career, and much more.

3. Writing Young Adult and Middle Grade in an Ever-Changing World of Technology. Technology and social media figure heavily in the lives of today’s teens. How do you write what’s current without it going out of style before your publication date?

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 [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] 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 2019-10-14 at 12.43.24 PM.pngLeah Pierre is a literary agent with Ladderbird Literary. She is seeking: “I am looking for diverse and unique work that is faced paced, that I will not be able to put down, and will leave me on the edge of my seat. As much as I pretend to hate them, I do love a good plot twist and a shocking ending. I love stories with a complex cast of characters and I am a sucker for camaraderie, banter, and the tight-knit, family-like group of friends trope.” Adult novels: romance (ideally interracial), fantasy with elements of myth and legends, historical fantasy/fiction, social-justice-inspired espionage/heist. New adult novels: romance, coming-of-age, finding one’s identity, F/F friendship, the college experience as well as the post-college experience. Young adult novels: Fantasy with elements of myth and legend (lesser know myths/legends i.e. Middle Eastern), Meet-Cute/Coming-of-age that involves romance and self-discovery/self-love, Contemporary, realistic and raw family-centered novels, mysteries and thrillers (unreliable narrators are okay), fairy-tale retellings, and a good heist concept. “A lot of what I am looking for does overlap, so please use your best judgement when submitting. If you’re not sure, give it a try.” Learn more about Leah here.

Screen Shot 2019-10-03 at 4.24.55 PM.pngJulie Matysik is the editorial director for Running Press Kids. Prior to working at Running Press, Julie was the editorial director of Sky Pony Press, the children’s imprint at Skyhorse Publishing, which she helped found.  She is seeking the follow categories/genres: board books (stand alone and series); picture books (including nonfiction; mainly humor, trendy, socially relevant and no biographies); middle grade nonfiction; YA fiction (contemporary, light—no dark/heavy themes if possible). Learn more about Julie here.

Screen Shot 2019-07-28 at 4.28.24 PMRonald Gerber is a literary agent and manages foreign rights, permissions, and contracts at Lowenstein Associates. Ronald is actively building his list in the following fiction and nonfiction genres: thriller, mystery, detective, short stories, historical fiction, memoir/biography, romance, middle grade, grounded sci-fi, narrative nonfiction, literary fiction, and historical nonfiction. Learn more about Ronald here.

Screen Shot 2019-07-18 at 9.28.44 AM.pngJessica Errera is a literary agent with Jane Rotrosen Agency. She is looking for: commercial women’s fiction with a fresh and fun hook, all genres of YA (especially diverse stories), contemporary romance, mysteries and suspense, the occasional historical fiction, and anything that might be read in a day on the beach. Learn more about Jessica here.

Screen Shot 2019-06-20 at 1.14.22 PM.pngSusan Velazquez is a literary agent with JABberwocky Literary Agency. “I am primarily interested in literary/upmarket fiction, historical fiction, and women’s fiction, especially family sagas. In science fiction and fantasy, I’m looking for stories that reflect or challenge how our society functions today. In young adult, I am open to all genres but am particular towards stories that are centered on the bittersweet pains of growing up. In nonfiction, I am only interested in narrative nonfiction that examines history, technology, or pop culture. Above all, I’m looking for strong emotional arcs and characters who feel as real as possible.” Learn more about Susan here.

Screen Shot 2019-05-22 at 3.17.48 PMJade Wong-Baxter is a literary agent with Massie & McQuilkin Literary Agents. Jade got her start in publishing at Writers House, W. W. Norton, and Folio Literary Management. A graduate of Vassar College, she joined MMQ in 2017. She’s looking for literary fiction, upmarket/mainstream fiction, and narrative nonfiction, with an emphasis on narratives by and about people of color, as well as the perspectives of marginalized identities. Learn more about Jade here.

Screen Shot 2019-08-06 at 4.22.18 PMMarie Lamba is a literary agent with Jennifer De Chiara Literary. Fiction interests: “I’m currently seeking middle grade and young adult fiction, especially with diverse points of view, or a STEM tie-in. I also want general adult fiction and women’s fiction. I’d love to find an original women’s novel that would inspire the next smart and funny chick flick. I also represent a select number of established illustrators and picture book authors. I’d love a fresh non-gory ghost story for any age. I’m fascinated with hidden treasures, artifacts and with discovering ancient civilizations right beneath our feet. I’m a huge fan of folklore and fairy tales, and, while I wouldn’t want a retelling, I always enjoy those elements woven into a story in a unique way.” Nonfiction interests: “I represent nonfiction for children and for adults. For children’s, I’m open to most non-fiction subjects, especially ones that fit into my interests (see above). In the adult realm, I want memoirs with strong voices and unique, inspiring stories (especially foodie memoirs, or ones with a celebrity or pop culture connection). In nonfiction, I’m seeking narrative nonfiction, pop culture, history (little known or unique view of well-known), science and technology for the rest of us, art, biography (especially unknown/little known sides of well-known people), parenting, cooking and food, health and wellness, lifestyle, advice and relationships, and personal finance.” Learn more about Marie here.

Screen Shot 2019-04-05 at 10.30.30 PM.pngTia Mele is a literary agent with Talcott Notch Literary. She is seeking: middle grade and young adult projects in any genre. “I’m especially interested in dark middle grade and contemporary YA. Please send me your LGBT+ stories, as well as stories featuring visible and invisible illnesses, especially relating to mental health. I like everything from deep, terrifying thrillers to sweet, heartwarming romances. Sports plots are always interesting to me, especially if they involve baseball or softball. Dogs are a huge part of my life, so I’m all for dog-related stories as well!” Tia is also seeking limited adult projects in women’s fiction and romance. In nonfiction, she is looking for anything sports related, especially baseball, football, or basketball. “I’m also open to cookbooks from chefs who have a following from a blog or channel.” Learn more about Tia 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.

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 2019-08-03 at 3.16.49 PMJohn Willig is a literary agent and founder of Literary Services, Inc. John is very interested in prescriptive nonfiction in many categories. However, his bar for platform for selling prescriptive books is high, so please keep that in mind if you want to pitch him. Separately, he’s very interested in a broad range of narrative nonfiction categories in history and current events, science and psychology, true crime, politics and sports “shining a light” on untold stories or fresh, counter-intuitive, and well-researched approaches to contemporary topics. He seeks great stories on narrative nonfiction with potential for film/documentary. His fiction interests are very small and slim. The only fiction he seeks is historical thrillers and historical literary fiction. Please do not pitch him anything contemporary. Learn more about John 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.

Screen Shot 2017-11-07 at 10.02.37 AMCari Lamba is a literary agent with The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency. For children’s books and novels: “I’m interested in middle grade fiction with wacky plots (Roald Dahl is a favorite of mine) and characters that drive the story. I would also like contemporary stories that are both humorous and heartfelt. While I am not interested in stories with high fantasy, I would welcome elements of the fantastic and otherworldly. I want novels that will resonate with children without being didactic. Both fiction and nonfiction picture books are welcome. I’m looking for unique ideas with fun and quirky elements as well as sweet, endearing picture books. In nonfiction I’m especially looking for strong female role-models.” Concerning adult novels, “I’m looking for commercial fiction with original plots and clever characters. While I’m not interested in romance novels, elements of romance are welcome. I also have particular interest in mystery/detective fiction, and novels with culinary ties. I’m NOT interested in science fiction, horror, high fantasy, Christian fiction, political novels, or books with extremely violent elements.” Learn more about Cari here.

Screen Shot 2018-09-26 at 11.36.04 PM.pngMichelle S. Lazurek is an associate literary agent with Wordwise Media Services. Personally, she seeks Christian nonfiction for adults, and picture books (secular and Christian) for children. That said, she is taking pitches for her entire agency and co-agents, and is happy to hear pitches for science fiction, fantasy, and historical fiction. Nonfiction areas of interest for the agency include theology, Bible studies, religious/inspirational, professional, church issues, social/cultural issues, career, and reference. She takes both secular and Christian submissions. No erotica or very vulgar manuscripts, please. Learn more about Michelle 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 2018-11-26 at 11.11.29 AM.png“I met my client, Alison Hammer, at the 2017 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 2017 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 2018 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 2017 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 2016 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:

  • Young adult and middle grade: Faculty member L.E. DeLano, a published kidlit author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your story, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
  • Mystery, thriller, crime, suspense, cozy mystery, and short fiction in these categories: Faculty member Wendy Tyson, a published mystery author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your story, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
  • Memoir, literary fiction, mainstream/contemporary fiction, historical fiction, essays, women’s fiction, and general nonfiction (biography, history, prescriptive, self-help/advice, etc.): Faculty member Lisa Romeo, a published author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your story, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
  • Short stories, literary fiction, mainstream fiction, women’s fiction, children’s picture books: Faculty member Eve Porinchak, a former literary agent and current writing coach, will get your work in advance, edit the first 10 double-spaced pages of your manuscript, and provide a critique. Unlike other critiquers helping our Philadelphia workshop, Eve will not personally be at the event. That means you will get your notes emailed from her, and she can talk with you via Skype or phone in place of an in-person consultation. Picture book submissions should be 1,000 words maximum; they can include illustrations or not. Eve is a former literary agent for Jill Corcoran Literary, and the author of ONE CUT, a teen true crime book that launch the imprint Simon True for Simon & Schuster.
  • More options possibly 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/PhiladelphiaWritingWorkshopForm

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/PhiladelphiaWritingWorkshopForm

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.)

Screen Shot 2014-06-12 at 4.10.21 PM

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: Ronald Gerber of Lowenstein Associates

Screen Shot 2019-07-28 at 4.28.24 PMRonald Gerber is a literary agent and manages foreign rights, permissions, and contracts at Lowenstein Associates.

Before joining the Lowenstein team in April 2019, Ronald spent several years in literary scouting at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates and Maximum Films & Management and supported two agents at Writers House. Ronald is a proud graduate of Bard College at Simon’s Rock and received his B.A., summa cum laude with high honors, from Clark University.

Ronald is actively building his list in the following fiction and nonfiction genres:

Thriller/mystery/detective
Short stories
Historical fiction
Memoir/biography
Romance
Middle grade
Grounded sci-fi
Narrative nonfiction
Literary fiction
Historical nonfiction

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Cari Lamba of The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2017-11-07 at 10.02.37 AMCari Lamba is a literary agent with The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency.

Prior to officially joining the team of agents, Cari Lamba interned for The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency for eight years. It wasn’t long into her internship before she knew she wanted to join the publishing world and help writers bring their books to life. Cari graduated from Franklin and Marshall College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature. She also studied literature at The Advanced Studies in England Program. She has experience as a bookseller and in publicity and content writing for online publications. Cari has been published in Writer’s Digest Magazine and has taught webinars for Writer’s Digest as well.

What she’s looking for

Children’s books and novels: “I’m interested in middle grade fiction with wacky plots (Roald Dahl is a favorite of mine) and characters that drive the story. I would also like contemporary stories that are both humorous and heartfelt. While I am not interested in stories with high fantasy, I would welcome elements of the fantastic and otherworldly. I want novels that will resonate with children without being didactic.”

“Both fiction and nonfiction picture books are welcome. I’m looking for unique ideas with fun and quirky elements as well as sweet, endearing picture books. In nonfiction I’m especially looking for strong female role-models.”

Adult novels: “I’m looking for commercial fiction with original plots and clever characters. While I’m not interested in romance novels, elements of romance are welcome. I also have particular interest in mystery/detective fiction, and novels with culinary ties. I’m NOT interested in science fiction, horror, high fantasy, Christian fiction, political novels, or books with extremely violent elements.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: John Willig of Literary Services, Inc.

Screen Shot 2019-08-03 at 3.16.49 PMJohn Willig is a literary agent and founder of Literary Services, Inc.

John is very interested in prescriptive nonfiction in many categories. However, his bar for platform for selling prescriptive books is high, so please keep that in mind if you want to pitch him.

Separately, he’s very interested in a broad range of narrative nonfiction categories in history and current events, science and psychology, true crime, politics and sports “shining a light” on untold stories or fresh, counter-intuitive, and well-researched approaches to contemporary topics. He seeks great stories on narrative nonfiction with potential for film/documentary.

His fiction interests are very small and slim. The only fiction he seeks is historical thrillers and historical literary fiction. Please do not pitch him anything contemporary.

Celebrating 41 years working in publishing, John often says to friends that his career actually began as a Newsday paperboy growing up on Long Island, New York. He was fortunate to be raised in a family whose passions included books, basketball, and family gatherings at the beach.

After graduating from Brown University, his first job was as a sales representative in academic publishing. He soon began work as a marketing manager and then editor for HarperCollins. As his interests moved to trade publishing, he became an executive editor at Prentice Hall for business books. While at P-Hall, John enjoyed working with such authors as Henry Mintzberg, Philip Kotler and Jim Collins and acquired Mr.Collins’ first book Beyond Entrepreneurship. In 1991 he decided to become a literary agent to work more closely with writers. Throughout his career as an editor and agent, John has successfully negotiated over 750 publishing agreements. John is a member of The Author’s Guild and participates at industry events including Writer’s Digest conferences and the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) conferences.

John is the proud father of two sons, both of whom were All-Shore Academic All Stars and graduated with honors from their respective colleges. He enjoys a wide-range of hobbies from exploring new regions and discovering hidden treasures in the arts and antiquarian books.

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

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 9.58.43 AM.pngKelly 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.