Our past Atlanta Writing Workshop events were successes — thank you to all who attended! The ATLWW conference has happened multiple times before, and we at Writing Day Workshops have loved connecting writers and literary agents,and seeing so many success stories from our events.
We are not certain exactly when the 2023 ATLWW will happen (and whether it will be online vs, in person). That said, if you’d like to attend a writers conference before then, we have online events coming up in 2022-2023 to keep everyone safe. Please note that even though the events below are for different cities around the country, since these events are online, anyone can attend from anywhere. Each event has 30-40 attending literary agents! Details:
If you have questions, or want to register for any 2022-2023 writers conferences, either online events or in-person events, contact us (Brian Klems) at WDWconference@gmail.com and we are happy to assist. Just let us know which event(s) you want to register for. For online events, you can attend from anywhere since the events are virtual. Writers can sign up for more than one event. If you and several people from your writing group all want to register together, ask us about a group discount.
All classes are recorded and sent out to attendees afterward, so you can study the instruction and enjoy the experience. All pitches are one-on-one with literary agents seeking writers, and done over Zoom (though phone is also an option). Thanks, all, and we hope to see you in 2022-2023 at an event!
After successful 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 events in Atlanta,Writing Day Workshopsis excited to announce The 2022 Atlanta Writing Workshop — an online “How to Get Published” writing event on March 4-5, 2022. (Writers are welcome to attend virtually from everywhere and anywhere.)
This writing event is a wonderful opportunity to get intense instruction over the course of one day, pitch a literary agent or editor (optional), get your questions answered, and more. Note that there are limited online “seats” at the event (200 total). All questions about the event regarding schedule, details and registration are answered below. Thank you for your interest in the 2022 Atlanta Writing Workshop!
This is a special two-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on March 4-5, 2022. In other words, it’s two days full of classes and advice designed to give you the best instruction concerning how to get your writing & books published. We’ll discuss your publishing opportunities today, how to write queries & pitches, how to market yourself and your books, what makes an agent/editor stop reading your manuscript, and more. No matter what you’re writing — fiction or nonfiction — the day’s classes will help point you in the right direction. Writers of all genres are welcome. And even though this is the “Atlanta” Writing Workshop, make no mistake — writers from everywhere are welcome to attend virtually. Our WDW writers conferences have helped dozens of writers find literary agent representation — see our growing list of success stories here.
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 coordinators Chuck Sambuchino and Brian Klems of Writing Day Workshops.
THIS YEAR’S SESSIONS & WORKSHOPS (MARCH 4-5, 2022):
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 theofficial Schedule Page here.
Agent pitches and critique consultations overlap with Saturday sessions. The schedule of presentation topics below is subject to change and updates:
FRIDAY, MARCH 4, 2022
9:30 – 10:30: “Querytip.” A query letter is your one chance to entice an agent or editor into reading your manuscript. Needless to say it must be just right. But what does a perfect pitch entail? In this course, an experienced literary agent will offer tips on how (and how not) to pitch your work to increase the chances of an agent or editor requesting your manuscript.
10:45 – 11:45: “Mastering Your First 5 Pages.” In this talk, we’ll go through some of the most common pitfalls as well as strategies to polish these hard-working pages to a shine.
11:45 – 1:15:Break
1:15 – 2:30:“Writer’s Block and How to Get Past It.” If you’re not having fun writing, the reader isn’t having fun reading. In this session, the literary agent instructor will suggest a few radical re-imagining exercises that will sidestep the block entirely.
2:45 – 3:45: “How Do I Decide? Traditional vs. Indie Publishing.” This workshop will guide writers through the decision, allowing them to ignore the noise and hype and focus on their personal path. It’s a fair and balanced approach that avoids favoring one choice over the other–and instead teaches how to determine which choice best fits each individual’s situation.
4:00 – 5:00: “Understanding Platform and How to Market Yourself & Your Work.” Whether you’re traditionally published or self-published, everyone could use some helpful guidance on how to effectively market themselves and sell more books. This session includes easy-to-understand advice on social media (Twitter, Facebook, more), blogging, and other simple ways you can market your work online cheaply and easily.
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SATURDAY, MARCH 5, 2022
9:30 – 10:30: “Using Facts in To Make Your Fiction Amazing.” During this session, we’ll go over various kinds of research, practice getting into a research mindset, and examine award-winning fiction titles to see how they incorporate facts.
10:45 – 11:45: “The Perfect Pitch.” In this course, you will learn how to prepare your written and verbal pitch; key search tools used to find the right agent for your work; what your agent should bring to the table; how you should be using your agent; and more.
11:45 – 1:15:Break
1:15 – 2:30:“Writers Got Talent”—a Page 1 Critique Fest, with participating literary agents and editors. In the vein of “American Idol” or “America’s Got Talent,” this is a chance to get your first page read (anonymously — no bylines given) with attending agents commenting on what was liked or not liked about the submission. Get expert feedback on your incredibly important first page, and know if your writing has what it needs to keep readers’ attention.
2:45 – 3:45:Open Agent Q&A Panel. Several attending literary agents will open themselves up to open Q&A from ATLWW attendees. Bring your questions and get them answered in this popular session.
4:00 – 5:00: “Working With a Literary Agent.” The talk covers the following questions (and more): Why should I have an agent? What does a working agent-author relationship look like? How much will an agent edit my work? What are other things to understand when working with professional representation?
Agent pitches and critique consultations overlap with Saturday sessions. The schedule of presentation topics below is subject to change and updates:
Latoya C. Smith is a literary agent with Arthouse Literary. In fiction, she seeks high-concept women’s fiction; high-concept mystery, thriller and horror, romance (contemporary, romantic suspense, cowboys, historical, LGBTQ, paranormal, sweet), comedy / romantic comedy, and young adult (no SF/F). In nonfiction, she is strictly seeking platform and market-based books in the areas of memoir, how to, advice, relationships, health, wellness, politics, current events, history, sports, pop culture, and business.Learn more about Latoya here.
Saint Gibson is a literary agent with Speilburg Literary. Saint is interested in representing adult novels and graphic novels in the genres of romance, science fiction, fantasy, and horror. In romance, she’s most interested in representing queer and polyamorous love stories of all kinds, especially historicals that read like KJ Charles or Cat Sebastian, or high heat, high angst contemporary romances that feel like Sierra Simone or Tiffany Reisz books. Saint is also interested in representing select titles in religious and metaphysical nonfiction, particularly titles with a progressive bent or interfaith appeal. She’s interested in memoirs of faith lost or found, accessible theology that engages with current events and pop culture, and stories of syncretism. Learn more about Saint here.
Rebecca Eskildsen is a literary agent at Writers House. “I am actively growing my list, with a particular interest in middle grade, YA, and adult fiction. Across the board, I’m looking to elevate LGBTQ+ and BIPOC voices, among other underrepresented narratives. In middle grade, I’m looking for a range of fiction, from fun adventure stories to contemporary books that make kids feel seen. Mostly I want to see fresh, engaging voices, particularly narratives with a sense of humor and a strong emotional core. For YA, I’m looking for some darker themes and twisty, gripping stories, but also some lighthearted fun! Give me your ambitious “unlikable” girls (ugh – I’ll like them) and your funny, slow-burn romances. I’m looking for a more limited variety of adult books. I’d love to have my inbox full of contemporary rom coms. I’m also looking for sagas about families and/or friends, of any age or topic, and I’m looking for 20-something coming-of-age stories.” Learn more about Rebecca here.
Leticia Gomez is a literary agent and the founder of Savvy Literary. At the present time, Savvy Literary Agency is interested in reviewing compelling and commercially viable book proposals and manuscripts written in English or Spanish. Fiction areas of interest: adventure, chick lit, fantasy, historical, humor, multicultural, mystery, paranormal, romance, young adult, and middle grade. Nonfiction areas of interest: advice/relationships, biography, cooking, diet, health, history/politics/current affairs, how-to, humor, lifestyle, memoir, parenting, religion/spirituality and true crime. Learn more about Leticia here.
Abby Saul is a literary agent with The Lark Group. 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. Specifically, she seeks adult fiction fiction as well as adult commercial fiction (including historical fiction, women’s fiction, mysteries, and thrillers). Learn more about Abby here.
Daniel Cramer is a literary agent and founder of Page Turner Literary. “While I love all books, my heart beats for children’s literature for many reasons, but the main reason is children’s literature is fearless. These books and their authors are not afraid to tackle tough topics, to celebrate diversity, or bring awareness to issues that others would turn their backs on.” Daniel is seeking picture books (no rhyming please, anything goes for fiction, STEM nonfiction), middle grade (horror, contemporary, adventure, historical, nature guide nonfiction), young adult (horror, contemporary, retellings, historical, romance, nonfiction cookbooks/STEM), graphic novels (horror, contemporary, historical, retelling, mythology), chapter books and early readers (any fiction, nonfiction STEM and historical bios), and diverse voices. Learn more about Daniel here.
Kirsten Aguilar is a literary agent with Ladderbird Literary. Currently, she is only looking for Adult Fiction and Nonfiction. She is not open to YA, MG or PB. Across the board, she is looking for work that represents the complexity, intersectionality and diversity of the world without tokenization. She is especially dedicated to representing writers of marginalized communities whose stories are often left out of the publishing landscape. Across all categories, she would love to see more works-in-translation. She seeks literary fiction, commercial/upmarket fiction, thriller, and mystery. In nonfiction, she likes creative (narrative) nonfiction. Learn more about Kristen here.
Michaela Whatnall is a literary agent with Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. Their background in school and library marketing accounts for their strong interest in children’s literature, from picture books up through middle grade and young adult novels and graphic novels. In the adult fiction space, they are particularly seeking character-driven speculative fiction, sci-fi/fantasy, and literary fiction. They are also interested in nonfiction for both children and adults, especially narrative nonfiction in the areas of history, the creative arts, and lifestyle. Learn more about Michaela here.
Ben Miller-Callihan joined Handspun Literary Agency as an associate agent in 2019. He spent more than a decade teaching high school English, and is now actively building his client list. His interests include humor, young adult and middle grade novels, speculative fiction (especially decolonial science fiction and fantasy), mainstream-ish fiction a la David Mitchell and William Gibson, and anything food-related. Learn more about Ben here.
Sera Rivers is a literary agent with Martin Literary Management. Sera is currently accepting queries for middle grade and young adult fiction and graphic novels, as well as the occasional picture book. Specifically, among other things, Sera likes: #ownvoices, YA that is fast-paced, compelling, and mind-bending stories with unreliable narrators. In middle grade, Sera is seeking voice-driven contemporary stories that tackle tough topics (such as From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks; Melissa’s Story by Alex Gino). Sera would love to represent more graphic stories in all genres of the children’s market. Sera is only looking for picture books that tackle tough topics. Learn more about Sera here.
Kat Kerr is a literary agent with Donald Maass Literary Agency. Kat feels strongly about supporting programs like We Need Diverse Books and is passionate about creating space in this industry for those from historically marginalized communities. She is actively seeking to grow her client list and is particularly hungry for magical realism, literary leaning speculative and science fiction, women’s fiction, YA works with a lot of heart, and narrative nonfiction with something to say. In fiction, she seeks literary, upmarket, women’s, rom-coms, multicultural, speculative, magical realism, family saga, young adult, and select sci-fi and fantasy. In nonfiction, she seeks narrative nonfiction and journalistic nonfiction tackling current affairs and social justice issues, particularly covering topics of racism, immigration, LGBTQIA+ rights, gender equality, and poverty. She also represents select biographies and memoirs.Learn more about Kat here.
Erica Bauman is a literary agent with Aevitas Creative Management. Erica is currently focused on representing a wide range of authors across middle grade, young adult, and adult fiction, as well as some select narrative nonfiction projects. She is most interested in novels that straddle the line between literary and commercial, imaginative tales with a speculative twist, fearless storytellers that tackle big ideas and contemporary issues, and working with and supporting marginalized authors and stories that represent the wide range of humanity. “In adult, I gravitate towards stories that have a commercial premise and beautiful writing. I love voice-driven, witty romcoms, historical novels (especially mysteries), and light SFF and magical realism. I’m on the lookout for books starring nerds, and stories that make me laugh. Across all age ranges and genres, I’m eager to support and work with marginalized authors and stories that represent the wide range of humanity.” Learn more about Erica here.
Darlene Chan is a literary agent with Linda Chester Literary Agency. Darlene is interested in stories by and about BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color), women’s fiction, chick lit, crime fiction, YA, pop culture and books on film and the entertainment industry. Darlene is a veteran of the film industry. She served as an executive for Paramount Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures (both times under Jeffrey Katzenberg), Davis Entertainment and as an independent producer. Learn more about Darlene here.
Jordan Hill is a literary agent at New Leaf Literary. Jordan is pursuing literary and upmarket fiction as well as narrative memoir for adults. She is also interested in science fiction and fantasy for middle grade and young adult audiences. On the adult side, she’s drawn to novels with a speculative bent, an unreliable narrator, a strong sense of place, and a riveting voice. She loves intergenerational stories that grapple with complexities of families and culture through time. For younger readers, she looks for powerful worldbuilding and adventure. Across the board, she also considers historical fiction or retellings with a fresh approach and perspective. Learn more about Jordan here.
Rachelle Gardner is a literary agent and the founder of Gardner Literary. “I represent NONFICTION books for the Christian market (CBA) as well as for the general market, and we are accepting queries for both.” She primarily seeks nonfiction writers who have a large and successful platform. She represents: next generation voices in the faith community; books about the intersection of faith and culture; deconstructing and reconstructing faith; asking hard questions about faith; books by BIPOC authors; books that grapple with racial issues, LGBTQ+ issues, and all social issues; deeper spirituality and prayer books; books about animal conservation, animal sanctuaries, and animals that help people; feminism and women’s issues; memoirs about any of the above — must be well-written and the author should have a platform; family life — interested in really unique and/or extraordinary takes on parenting and family, whether it’s memoir or self-help; devotionals with depth, originality, and a definable audience; gift books — journals, guided journals, gifty devotionals, and other gift-type books for occasions such as graduation. Please do NOT pitch Rachelle any fiction or children’s books. Learn more about Rachelle here.
Michelle Grajkowski is a literary agent with 3 Seas Literary. She primarily represents romance, women’s fiction, young adult and middle grade fiction along with select nonfiction projects with a terrific message. She is currently looking for fantastic writers with a voice of their own. Learn more about Michelle here and the books she seeks.
Ken Sherman is President of Ken Sherman & Associates, a Los Angeles based literary agency. The company was established in 1989, and handles film, television, and book writers, as well as selling film and television rights for books and life-rights. Concerning what he seeks, Ken is a generalist, and represents adult fiction and nonfiction of all types. He does not want pitches for children’s books or novels of any kind. Learn more about Ken Sherman here.
Eva Scalzo is a Literary Agent with Speilburg Literary. In Adult Fiction, Eva represents Romance novels (all subgenres except inspirational) and Science Fiction/Fantasy novels. She also represents all subgenres of Young Adult Fiction. She is interested in submissions from diverse authors. Learn more about Eva here, as well as her specific interests and what is seeking from writers.
Amaryah Orenstein is a literary agent with Go Literary. Amaryah has always loved to read and provide (oftentimes unsolicited) editorial advice and, as a literary agent, she is thrilled to help writers bring their ideas to life. She is particularly drawn to narrative nonfiction and memoir but enjoys any book that connects the reader to its characters and evokes thought and feeling. Learn more about Amaryah here.
Kaitlyn Johnson is a literary agent with Belcastro Literary Agency. “As a Literary Agent with Belcastro Literary Agency, I am accepting submissions for Upper MG, as well as Young Adult and Adult. I’d love more LGBTQ+ storylines in all genres and ages (especially bi, ace, and trans voices!). I’m also very much looking for more main characters living with mental health issues or disability.” Kaitlyn also seeks graphic novels for all ages. She does not want picture books or nonfiction. Learn more about Kaitlyn here.
Aimee Ashcraft is a literary agent with Brower Literary. Aimee is looking for upmarket and literary fiction, specifically historical fiction, women’s fiction, and YA (all genres). She loves books that pull her in, immersing her in a world she can’t escape until the final sentence. She is looking for original voices and compelling, complex female characters. Aimee out stories that feature all-encompassing worlds and compelling female characters. She loves books that are told from an original point of view and are more addictive than a good Netflix binge. Learn more about Aimee here.
Lori Steel is a literary agent with Raven Quill Literary Agency. “For all projects, I seek stories with authentic, unforgettable voices that reflect the diverse world we inhabit, instill the possibility of hope and change, and illuminate the shared human experience. More specifically for YA, I would love to find a fresh take on fantasy tropes, contemporary stories that flip conventional scripts, unexpected historical and/or historical fantasy mash-ups that disrupt entrenched notions. I like middle grade contemporary, historical, and fantasy fiction stories that demonstrate deep understanding of readers’ age, voice, and growing awareness of themselves and the world around them is paramount. For Graphic Novels, I’m looking for writer-illustrators crafting accessible contemporary and select nonfiction stories. For Picture Books, I’m eager to find writer-illustrators who craft stories with spare text and rich art, creators who play with structure, utilize collusion to engage participation, and don’t underestimate young readers. Nonfiction stories that surprise and instill a sense of wonder are always welcome. Whimsical, lyrical, and/or humorous stories that young readers will beg to read over and over again always top the list.” Learn more about Lori here.
Lesley Sabga is a literary agent with The Seymour Agency. She is seeking: Lesley loves intricate and vivid world-building and character-driven plots. She is acquiring young adult and adult fiction. She is always down to read dark and twisty suspense or thriller featuring strong, female protagonists. She also loves curling up with a good cozy mystery. For non-fiction, Lesley would love to see more self-help, lifestyle, true crime, and pop culture submissions in her inbox. Always open to diversity, Lesley is actively looking for marginalized authors to bring into the literary world. Learn more about Lesley here.
Paige Sisley is an literary agent at CookeMcDermid Literary Management. She is seeking well-written upmarket fiction that both entertains and has something to say, and she is always on the lookout for non-fiction in the memoir, lifestyle, and health & wellness areas. In addition to managing her own list, Paige oversees CookeMcDermid clients’ film and TV rights and handles marketing and publicity for the agency. Learn more about Paige here.
Savannah Brooks is a literary agent with Jennifer De Chiara Literary. She is seeking: “I mainly represent kid-lit (PB, MG, and YA). In picture books, I’m searching for projects that teach about and celebrate different cultures and places in the world and those that tackle serious topics in really accessible ways. For MG, I learn very heavily into action-adventure, especially those based on global folklore and mythology, and I love a snarky narrator and spooky situations. In YA, I’m looking for multicultural and queer perspectives on everything from modern teen experiences to reframing classic tropes like vampires and witches. I’ve been particularly wanting to see some horror. Mostly, I’m invested in representing the diverse world in which we live and would like to see that reflected in a cast of characters. I am very selective about taking on fiction works for adult audiences, but when I do, I look for two genres: 1) contemporary novels that walk the line of being funny while still adding to a larger sociopolitical conversation, and 2) thrillers that add to a larger sociopolitical conversation (but are NOT law-enforcement focused, including FBI/CIA). I would love to hear more from marginalized voices, regardless of whether or not marginalization is a central theme.” Learn more about Savannah here.
Ann Rose is a literary agent with Prospect Agency. She is seeking all kinds of young adult fiction; she loves stories with heart & humor, strong characters that stand up for their convictions, thrillers, and stories that deal with the issues kids face today. She seeks middle grade across all genres, especially ones that push the boundaries. For adult fiction, she wants swoony romances (any level but erotica), very light sci-fi or fantasy, fresh retellings, heartwarming contemporaries, unique voices, diverse perspectives, vivid settings, and stories that explore tough topics. Learn more about Ann here.
Kelly Peterson is a literary agent with Rees Literary. 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.
Annie Bomke is a literary agent with Annie Bomke Literary Agency. She represents a wide variety of adult and YA fiction and nonfiction, including commercial and literary fiction, upmarket fiction, mysteries (from hilarious cozies to gritty police procedurals and everything in between), historical fiction, women’s fiction, psychological thrillers, literary/psychological horror, self-help, business, health/diet, cookbooks, memoir, relationships, current events, psychology, and narrative nonfiction. Learn more about Annie here.
Weronika Janczuk is a literary agent with Janczuk Literary Agency (JLA). JLA represents a full range of literary works, fiction and nonfiction both, ever-hungry for smart writing and narrative, with interests that range the entire genre spectrum. “We love distinct voices, and books which hit the literary-commercial sweet spot. It is not rare for us to discover and love eclectic projects, especially those that challenge genre lines.” JLA Is seeking the following fiction genres: young adult, literary, commercial, women’s, crime, mystery, thriller, romance, science fiction, fantasy, graphic novels, and picture books (writers, illustrators). On the nonfiction side, JLA is particularly interested in hearts and minds with personal, academic, or otherwise professional experiences that have the capacity to leave impact (social, cultural, political, intellectual, practical, or otherwise). We also love projects that show healthy degrees of intelligence, research, and advancing discourse. On the narrative nonfiction side, to start: Send us philosophy, theology, psychology, history, politics, economics, journalism, (pop) science, (pop) culture, technology, business, social commentary, memoir, and humor. With regards to more practical nonfiction, we seek books that examine family, marriage, sex, health & wellness, public speaking, writing, reading, lifestyle, art, architecture, and design, as well as any form of innovative and structural how-to’s. Learn more about Weronika here.
Ella Marie Shupe is a literary agent with Belcastro Agency. In adult fiction, she is seeking: mystery, thriller, suspense, science fiction, fantasy, women’s fiction, and historical fiction. In young adult, she is seeking thriller, suspense, mystery, detective, and historical. “I am always looking for #OwnVoices authors. I love fast-paced stories that keep me on the edge of my seat.” Learn more about Ella Marie here.
Gordon Warnock is a literary agent founding partner at Fuse Literary. In nonfiction, he seeks platform-heavy authors in the categories of memoir (Adult, NA, YA, Graphic), cookbooks/Food Narrative/Food Studies, Illustrated/Art/Photography (especially graphic nonfiction), Political and Current Events, Pop-Science, Pop-Culture (especially punk culture and geek culture), Self-Help, How-To, Humor, Pets, Business and Career. In fiction, he seeks High-Concept Suspense, Book Club Women’s Fiction, Literary Fiction for Adults through YA, and Graphic Novels for Adults through MG. Learn more about Gordon here.
Stephanie Winter is a literary agent at P.S. Literary. Stephanie is acquiring: adult, Young Adult, and Middle Grade fiction, in addition to Graphic Novels. She’s actively seeking titles with diverse and inclusive representation that offer smart, culturally aware, and enriching narratives. For young readers, Stephanie loves a good adventure story, light SFF, and STEAM topics. In the adult space, she appreciates all sorts of fiction but particularly enjoys Rom-Coms and Thrillers (located outside the home) and LGBTQ+ stories that bring joy. Stephanie also acquires select nonfiction in all age groups, with a soft spot for projects that blend illustration with information on culturally relevant topics. Learn more about Stephanie here.
Julie Stevenson is a literary agent with Massie McQuilkin Literary Agents. Julie represents literary and upmarket fiction, suspense, memoir, graphic novels, narrative nonfiction, young adult fiction, and children’s picture books. She is drawn to powerful storytelling in these categories and looks for unforgettable characters, an authorial command of voice, a strong sense of narrative tension, and stories that explore the depths of human experience, particularly the many facets of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, social class, social justice, and regional backgrounds. Julie specializes in editorial development of both fiction and nonfiction projects and values the creativity and collaboration of the agent-author relationship. Learn more about Julie here.
Tori Sharp is a literary agent with Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency. She is ONLY open to middle grade novels as well as children’s graphic novels. “As a graphic novelist myself, I am eager to represent stunning, playful, diverse, and important comics for kids in elementary through high school. I love comics that are heartfelt and gestural, and I tend to like art styles that look animated and soft, but bright. I am also currently looking for upbeat middle-grade manuscripts that make readers think about the world around them in a new way—especially fantasy, high-concept fiction, and memoirs. I gravitate toward stories that are simultaneously silly and sincere. I am looking for clearly defined magic, intimate stakes, and clever twists that I won’t be able to stop thinking about.” Learn more about Tori here.
Carlisle Webber is a literary agent at Fuse Literary. Carlisle is looking for: high-concept commercial fiction in middle grade, young adult, and adult. If your book is fresh and exciting, tackles difficult topics, reads like a Shonda Rhimes show, or makes readers stay up late turning pages, she’s the agent for you. Diverse authors are encouraged to submit their fiction. Within the genres she represents, Carlisle is especially interested in stories by and about people of color; with both visible and invisible disabilities and illnesses; who are economically disadvantaged; who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer; or who are members of religious minorities. Pitch her: Middle grade (any genre), Young adult (any genre), thriller, mystery, suspense, horror, women’s fiction, and popular/mainstream fiction. Learn more about Carlisle here.
Charlotte Wenger is a literary agent in the Boston area with Prospect Agency. Prior to joining Prospect, she was an associate editor at Page Street Kids, where she acquired and edited fiction and nonfiction picture books. Charlotte is drawn to children’s literature and art for all ages—board books through young adult, but especially picture books—as well as select adult nonfiction biographies and memoirs. Learn more about Charlotte here.
Kortney Price is a literary agent with Raven Quill Literary Agency. “I work primarily on children’s books — stories from board book up through young adult. My tastes in stories are pretty broad, but here’s a rundown of what I’m most excited about seeing in my inbox. I am committed to building a list that reflects the diversity of our world and so I am passionate about diverse representation in the books I work with. I would love to see a vast array of characters and own voices writers writing them. Because of my experience working with the special needs community, I’m especially excited for books featuring all of those uniquely special brains or bodies that don’t operate like everyone else’s.” Kortney seeks all ages of children’s nonfiction and fiction, including picture book, graphic novel, early reader, middle grade, young adult. Learn more about Kortney here.
Paul S. Levine is a literary agent and the founder of Paul S. Levine Literary. He is also an attorney. His fiction interests include adventure novels, mainstream fiction, mysteries, romance, thrillers, and women’s fiction. His nonfiction interests include business/commerce, pop culture, how-to, self-help, politics/law, relationships, and sports. Learn more about Paul here.
Becky LeJeune is a literary agent with Bond Literary. Becky spent 5 years as an acquisitions editor at The History Press before joining Sandra at BLA in 2014. She is interested in adult and teen general fiction, horror, mystery/thriller, historical fiction, science fiction and fantasy, and cookbooks. Learn more about Becky here.
More 2022 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.)
$189 — EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2022 ATLWW and access to all workshops, all days. (You also get 10+ additional free pre-recorded webinars on writing and publishing.) As of late 2021, registration is now OPEN.
Add $29 — to secure a 10-minute one-on-one meeting with any of our literary agents or editors in attendance. Use this special meeting as a chance to pitch your work and get professional feedback on your pitch. (Spaces limited.) If they wish, attendees are free to sign up for multiple 10-minute pitch sessions at $29/session — pitching multiple individuals. There is no limit. Here are quick testimonials regarding writers who have signed with literary agents after pitching them at prior Writing Day Workshops events. Our bigger, growing list of success stories can be seen here.
“I met my client, Alison Hammer, at the Writing Workshop of Chicago and just sold her book.” – literary agentJoanna Mackenzieof Nelson Literary
“Good news! I signed a client [novelist Aliza Mann] from the Michigan Writing Workshop!” – literary agentSara Mebigowof KT Literary
“I signed author Stephanie Wright from the Seattle Writing Workshop.” – literary agentKathleen Ortizof New Leaf Literary
“I signed an author [Kate Thompson] that I met at the Philadelphia Writing Workshop.” – literary agentKimberly Browerof Brower Literary
“I signed novelist Kathleen McInnis after meeting her
at the Chesapeake Writing Workshop.” – literary agentAdriann Ranta of Foundry Literary + Media
Add $69 — for an in-depth, personal critique of your one-page query letter from Brian Klems, one of the workshop’s former instructors. (This rate is a special event value for Atlanta 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, chapter books, and middle grade: Faculty member Henry Herz, a published author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss his thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting. Children’s picture books should be 1,000 words maximum, and can or cannot have illustrations.
Mystery, thriller, general fiction, literary fiction, science fiction, fantasy, romance, women’s fiction: Faculty memberTara Bailey, a writing coach and author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 10 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting.
Women’s fiction, contemporary/mainstream fiction, literary fiction, young adult, and memoir: Faculty member Kimiko Nakamura, a writing coach and author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting.
Science fiction, fantasy, mystery, thriller, suspense, romance (no erotica), contemporary/mainstream fiction, literary fiction, historical fiction, young adult (including genre YA and SF/F): Faculty member Amber Royer, author and writing instructor repped by Jennie Goloboy of Donald Maass Literary Agency, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your story, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting.
More critique options forthcoming.
How to pay/register — Registration is now open. Reach out to workshop organizer Brian Klems via email: WDWconference@gmail.com, and he will provide specific instructions for payment and registration to get you a reserved seat at the event. Payment is by PayPal or check or credit card. Because Brian plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Atlanta workshop specifically.
Are spaces still available? Yes, we still have spaces available. We will announce RIGHT HERE, at this point on this web page, when all spaces are taken. If you do not see a note right here saying how all spaces are booked, then yes, we still have room, and you are encouraged to register.
How to Register: The easy first step is simply to reach out to workshop organizer Brian Klems via email: WDWconference@gmail.com. He will pass along registration information to you, and give instructions on how to pay by PayPal or check or credit card. Once payment is complete, you will have a reserved seat at the event. The ATLWW will send out periodic e-mail updates to all registered attendees with any & all news about the event. Because Brian plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Atlanta workshop specifically.
Refunds: If you sign up for the event and have to cancel for any reason at any time, you will receive 50% of your total payment back [sent by check or PayPal or CC refund]. The other 50% is nonrefundable and will not be returned, and helps the workshop ensure that only those truly interested in the limited spacing sign up for the event. (Please note that query editing payments and manuscript editing payments are completely non-refundable if the instructor has already started edited your work.)
Thank you for your interest in the 2022 Atlanta Writing Workshop.
Stephanie is a literary agent with more than a decade of experience in publicity and marketing across the publishing, tech, and media industries. She began her career as an assistant publicist at William Morrow/HarperCollins where she cut her teeth on high-profile campaigns for Neil Gaiman, Laura Lippman, Wiley Cash, and many others. At Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Stephanie led publicity for three consecutive #1 New York Times bestsellers: What If? and Thing Explainer by xkcd creator Randall Munroe, and Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss. Some additional highlights include working on Gabourey Sidibe’s memoir This Is Just My Face, Chinelo Okparanta’s Lambda Literary award-winning debut novel Under the Udala Trees, and comic artist Ariel Shrag’s quirky, irreverent coming-of-age love story, Adam.
As an agent, Stephanie is focused on representing authors from diverse backgrounds with compelling stories to tell. She’s interested in narrative nonfiction (memoir, pop culture, self-help) as well as select voice-driven fiction.
Some of her favorite books include Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado, The Color of Water by James McBride, Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Exhalation by Ted Chiang, and anything by John Green.
Stephanie is based in the Los Angeles area. In her free time, she co-hosts rePEAK — a podcast exploring remakes, reboots, and revivals — where she rants about celebrity gossip, book-to-film adaptations, and all things pop culture.
Aimee is looking for upmarket and literary fiction, specifically historical fiction, women’s fiction, and YA (all genres). She loves books that pull her in, immersing her in a world she can’t escape until the final sentence. She is looking for original voices and compelling, complex female characters.
Aimee has loved books since the days of sneakily reading under her desk in elementary school. Thankfully, reading is no longer a punishable offense, and she is busy seeking out stories that feature all-encompassing worlds and compelling female characters. She loves books that are told from an original point of view and are more addictive than a good Netflix binge. Aimee received her BA from Transylvania University and her MA from NYU. She is now based in New York City and is thrilled to be a part of Brower Literary and Management.
From the moment Michelle Grajkowski first opened the doors to the 3 Seas Literary Agency in August of 2000, she has been living her dream. (What could be better than surrounding yourself with amazing authors and their exciting and imaginative books?) Since then, her agency has sold more than 900 books to all the major publishing houses, and has grown from one agent to three!
Michelle’s client list includes New York Times Bestselling Authors Katie MacAlister, Cathy McDavid, Kerrelyn Sparks and C.L. Wilson.
She primarily represents romance, women’s fiction, young adult and middle grade fiction along with select nonfiction projects with a terrific message. She is currently looking for fantastic writers with a voice of their own.
When not curled up with a great manuscript, Michelle loves to spend time with her husband, children and her crazy puppy who refuses to grow up.
Sera is currently accepting queries for middle grade and young adult fiction and graphic novels, as well as the occasional picture book.
In 2007, Sera joined SCBWI when her best friend insisted that Sera belonged in the kidlit world. She now attends SCBWI conferences and workshops every year. She’s volunteered for the New England chapter since 2012, co-directing NESCBWI’s 2017 and 2018 annual spring conferences. In 2009, after immersing herself in the kidlit community, she decided to pursue her passion—a career in the children’s book industry. She went back to college, earning her bachelor of arts degree in Creative Writing and Journalism Studies from the University of Massachusetts and her master of fine arts degree in Writing for Children, with a concentration in young adult novels, from Simmons University. Her young adult memoir THE WICKED ONES won the 2016 PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Children’s Book Discovery Award.
Sera worked in educational publishing for seven years and launched Avenue A Books, a children’s graphic novel imprint at Center for Responsive Schools. As Avenue A’s acquiring and managing editor, she worked with new and established children’s book writers and illustrators to create picture books and middle grade novels. She loved helping writers and illustrators hone their craft to produce their best work. Now, as an agent, Sera provides editorial feedback to help clients get their manuscripts submission ready.
Manuscript Wish List:
Sera believes that words have the power to change lives, and she’s looking to represent authors and illustrators who want to make the world a more inclusive, welcoming place for us all. Sera seeks stories that grab her attention from the first page and take her on a wild ride of emotions; stories that move and inspire readers to evaluate their own selves and strive for something more. Her most favorite books make her laugh, cry, and feel so connected to the characters that her heart aches for them when she reads the last page.
In 2021, Sera is excited to sign:
Own Voices: Sera is especially interested in inclusive narratives and #ownvoices representation. She welcomes queries by children’s authors and illustrators who identify as BIPOC, LQBTQIA+ and other underrepresented and marginalized identities and cultures.
Sera is specifically looking for:
Young Adult: Sera loves fast-paced, compelling, and mind-bending stories with unreliable narrators. She enjoys stories that incorporate setting as a character (such as Stolen by Lucy Christopher) and twisting plots with endings that are surprising yet inevitable (such as They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera). She would love to see contemporary stories that tackle tough topics, especially if they incorporate a magical element to them (such as We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson); horror (no demonic possessions or gratuitous gore/sex); ghost stories; psychological thrillers; and speculative fiction.
Some of her favorite YA authors include Elizabeth Acevedo, Shaun David Hutchinson, Walter Dean Myers, Amy Reed, Adam Silvera, Courtney Summers, Renée Watson, and Nancy Werlin.
Middle Grade: Sera is seeking voice-driven contemporary stories that tackle tough topics (such as From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks; Melissa’s Story by Alex Gino).
Some of Sera’s favorite MG authors include Kwame Alexander, Katherine Applegate, Erin Dionne, Lynda Mullaly Hunt, Rebecca Stead, and Jacqueline Woodson.
Graphic Novels: Sera would love to represent more graphic stories in all genres of the children’s market, especially stories with a parallel imaginative or magical world to them (such as Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani).
Some of Sera’s favorite graphic novelists include Cece Bell, Jerry Craft, Victoria Jameson, David Small, and Gene Luen Yang.
Picture Books: Sera is only looking for picture books that tackle tough topics (such as Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me by Daniel Beaty and Bryan Collier; The Breaking News by Sarah Reul); horror (such as Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds and Peter Brown; Bone Dog by Eric Rohmann).
Some of Sera’s favorite picture book authors and illustrators include Deborah Freedman, Ezra Jack Keats, Jon Klassen, Larissa Marantz, Yuyi Morales, Kadir Nelson, Raul the Third, Dan Santat, Allen Say, and David Weisner.
Sera is not looking for: high fantasy, historical fiction, or adult fiction or nonfiction.
“My love of reading started when I was young with The Chronicles of Narnia. I loved that I could escape into a world where magic and adventure existed. That love of books grew and has followed me into adulthood. Some of my best friends and greatest loves, through the years, have been fictional characters. They have inspired and motivated me in almost every facet of my life, from my first career as a Forensic Scientist with the FBI to owning and operating Page Turner Literary Agency.
“While I love all books, my heart beats for children’s literature for many reasons, but the main reason is children’s literature is fearless. These books and their authors are not afraid to tackle tough topics, to celebrate diversity, or bring awareness to issues that others would turn their backs on. Children’s literature never ceases to surprise me with its fortitude.
“I live in Burr Ridge, Illinois with my husband and our rescue dog, Timmy. When I’m not reading, I enjoy the outdoors, horror movies, and baking (and I’m definitely not imagining I’m on the Great British Bake Off… ok, I’m totally doing that.)
“I have two undergraduate degrees from West Virginia University: Forensic and Investigative Sciences and Psychology. I have two graduate degrees from Benedictine University: MBA and MS Management and Organizational Behavior. Prior to starting my own agency, I was an Associate Literary Agent with Flannery Literary.
PICTURE BOOKS – ANYTHING GOES FOR FICTION. FOR NONFICTION – STEM
MG – FOR FICTION – HORROR, CONTEMPORARY, ADVENTURE, AND HISTORICAL FICTION
MG- FOR NONFICTION – FIELD/NATURE GUIDES
YA- FOR FICTION – HORROR, CONTEMPORARY, RETELLINGS, HISTORICAL FICTION, ROMANCE
YA – FOR NONFICTION – COOKBOOKS, STEM, INSPIRATIONAL
Saint was born in California and raised in the deep South before moving up to moody New England. Prior to joining Speilburg, she worked as an assistant acquisitions editor at Tantor Media and as a ghostwriter of contemporary romance novels. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing from The University of North Carolina at Asheville, and a master’s degree in Theological Studies from Princeton Theological Seminary. She currently lives in Boston with her fiance and spoiled Persian cat, and spends her free time hunting for vintage clothes in thrift stores and reading tarot cards. Saint is also an author of romantic fantasy books.
Saint is interested in representing adult novels and graphic novels in the genres of romance, science fiction, fantasy, and horror. In romance, she’s most interested in representing queer and polyamorous love stories of all kinds, especially historicals that read like KJ Charles or Cat Sebastian, or high heat, high angst contemporary romances that feel like Sierra Simone or Tiffany Reisz books. She loves a hard-won HEA no matter the circumstances, and some of her favorite romance tropes include forbidden love, marriage in trouble, exes to lovers, and second chance romance. She’s not a good fit for sports romances or secret babies.
In speculative fiction, she’s a sucker for atmospheric, character-driven contemporary fantasy stories with supernatural or psychological themes, especially gothics of all subgenres. In high fantasy, she loves stories that center relationships or politics, with intricate religious, magical, and sexual worldbuilding, such as the Kushiel’s Legacy series. No matter the genre, she loves a good heist or haunting story.
Saint is also interested in representing select titles in religious and metaphysical nonfiction, particularly titles with a progressive bent or interfaith appeal. She’s interested in memoirs of faith lost or found, accessible theology that engages with current events and pop culture, and stories of syncretism.
Kortney Price is a literary agent with Belcastro Agency.
“I work primarily on children’s books — stories from board book up through young adult. My tastes in stories are pretty broad, but here’s a rundown of what I’m most excited about seeing in my inbox…
“I am committed to building a list that reflects the diversity of our world and so I am passionate about diverse representation in the books I work with. I would love to see a vast array of characters and own voices writers writing them. Because of my experience working with the special needs community, I’m especially excited for books featuring all of those uniquely special brains or bodies that don’t operate like everyone else’s.”
Categories: PB, MG, YA, Graphic Novel
“How to” books for kids such as cooking, art, science, computers, mindfulness, handiness skills, wilderness skills, etc. I’m looking for a unique take on these kinds of books, especially one that evokes the imagination in some way.
Books for girls (or boys!) featuring body image, body changes, lifestyle, stress management/mindfulness or health
Picture books that introduce readers to new concepts such as baking, music, yoga, mindfulness, dance, etc.
Categories: PB, Early Reader, Chapter Book, MG, YA, Graphic Novel
Simple, engaging, movement type books that introduce young readers to new things such as cooking, musical instruments, animals, etc.
Picture book specifics:
I love picture books that are either emotionally poignant or hilarious. I have a soft spot for unique retellings and holiday stories. Family traditions, love, self-acceptance and empowerment are also my favorites. Some of my favorites growing up were: The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, Heckedy Peg, Tacky the Penguin, and The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything.
Early Reader & Chapter Book specifics:
For early reader and chapter books, I am looking for just about anything. Amelia Bedelia was my all time favorite. Magic Tree house-type books are also a favorite. I love history in these stories and would love to see more books geared toward boys in this realm.
Middle Grade specifics:
In middle grade, I’m still more than a little obsessed with finding a wilderness survival story. Show me kid versus nature, whether it be mountains, desert islands, or jungle, I’m dying to find something in this realm. Otherwise I’m looking for super creepy horror, poignant contemporary, historical adventures and troublemakers on the space station type of sci-fi.
Young Adult specifics:
In young adult, I’m looking for the same kind of survival stories as I am in middle grade. Contemporary YA would be either lighthearted romance with a good dose of comedy, or a much more serious contemporary tackling topics that are much heavier such as dealing with trauma.
My MAIN wish in YA is for more horror, magical realism, psychological thriller, genre blending historical… basically all of the stories you avoid reading when home alone. I adore stories with a distinctly gothic feel, hauntings, psychological cat and mouse games, or other dark and twisty elements.
Fun facts about me:
My first ever job was showing cattle at the county fair for a cut of the winnings. I have volunteered/worked in the special needs community since I was 9 years old. The first thing I taught was swim lessons.
I “played” 9 sports at various times growing up. I was never any good at any of them, but enjoyed dance, swim and track the most. I loved jazz and tap, swam the 400m IM and ran the 400m sprint.
I tell people I’m from Saint Louis, but I’m actually originally from a teeny farm town in Southern Illinois, about an hour’s drive east of the city.
Gordon Warnock is a literary agent founding partner at Fuse Literary, serving as a literary agent and Editorial Director of Short Fuse Publishing. He brings years of experience as a senior agent, marketing director, editor for independent publishers, publishing consultant, and author coach. He frequently teaches workshops and gives keynote speeches at conferences and MFA programs nationwide. He is an honors graduate of CSUS with a B.A. in Creative and Professional Writing.
With a zest for fresh, new voices and a deep love of the classics, Gordon actively seeks out both the timely and the timeless. In that spirit, he establishes involved, long-term working relationships with talented and dedicated authors of many genres.
“I’m looking for large-platform projects in which the book represents something bigger than the book itself, of which you are the expert, the one best fit to bring it to the page. I prefer to work with socially-responsible books that raise new issues or illuminate common issues in new ways. I love books with strong charity tie-ins and celebrities coming together to promote a good cause on a large scale. For memoir, please paste in the first chapter below your query. For graphic nonfiction, please attach a 10-page sequential PDF excerpt of the finished artwork, not to exceed 50 MB. For all other genres, please email your query letter only.
“The nonfiction categories I consider include the following:
• Memoir (Adult, NA, YA, Graphic) • Cookbooks/Food Narrative/Food Studies • Illustrated/Art/Photography (especially graphic nonfiction) • Political and Current Events • Pop-Science • Pop-Culture (especially punk culture and geek culture) • Self-Help • How-To • Humor • Pets • Business and Career
“Some of my favorites are: Wreck This Journal, Steak and Cake, Digging Up Mother, Drinking at the Movies, and Paper: Paging through History.
“I’m looking for fresh concepts that excite me before I even start reading and tension-filled prose that won’t let me stop. Plot is very important, as is an authentic voice that makes me believe your protagonist is a real person. Novels must be completed, polished and between 55,000 and 100,000 words long. For all text-based works, please paste in the first chapter below your query. For graphic novels, please attach a 10-page sequential PDF excerpt of the finished artwork, not to exceed 50 MB. The genres I consider include the following:
• High-Concept Suspense • Book Club Women’s Fiction • Literary Fiction for Adults through YA • Graphic Novels for Adults through MG
“Some of my favorites are: The Good Girl, Gaijin, The Weight of Lies, Freakboy, and We the Animals.
Not looking for:
• Genre Fiction (Western, Romance, Sci-Fi) • Satire • Legal Thrillers • New Age • Children’s and MG • Novellas • Screenplays • Collections of essays, short fiction, or poetry (unless you also write full-length works)