The 2020 Atlanta Writing Workshop: March 7, 2020

Screen Shot 2016-12-25 at 10.34.26 PM.pngAfter successful 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 events in Atlanta, Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2020 Atlanta Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in Atlanta, GA on March 7, 2020.

This writing event is a wonderful opportunity to get intense instruction over the course of one day, pitch a literary agent or editor (optional), get your questions answered, and more. Note that there are limited seats at the event (200 total). All questions about the event regarding schedule, details and registration are answered below. Thank you for your interest in the 2020 Atlanta Writing Workshop!

WHAT IS IT?

This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, March 7, 2020, at the Le Meridien Atlanta Perimeter Hotel (north central suburbs). 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 and editor faculty so far includes:

  • literary agent Pamela Harty (The Knight Agency)
  • literary agent Katharine Sands (Sarah Jane Freymann Literary)
  • literary agent Beth Marshea (Ladderbird Literary)
  • literary agent Caroline George (C.Y.L.E. Literary)
  • literary agent Ali Herring (Spencerhill Associates)
  • literary agent Sally Apokedak (The Apokedak Literary Agency)
  • literary agent Tessa Emily Hall (C.Y.L.E. Literary)
  • and many more to come.

By the end of the day, you will have all the tools you need to move forward on your writing journey. This independent event is organized by coordinator Brian Klems of Writing Day Workshops, with administration from the Broadleaf Writers Association.

EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS:

9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, March 7, 2020 — at the Le Meridien Atlanta Perimeter Hotel, 111 Perimeter Center W, Atlanta, GA 30346. (770) 396-6800.

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THIS YEAR’S SESSIONS & WORKSHOPS (MARCH 7, 2020):

What you see below is a quick layout of the day’s events. The topics below are mostly set, but subject to change. You can see a more detailed layout of the day’s classes on the 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

COMING SOON

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

COMING SOON

(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 (Grand Salon 1+2 combined). 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.

COMING SOON

BLOCK FOUR: 2:45 – 3:45

COMING SOON

(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

COMING SOON

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 2019-10-29 at 9.32.43 AMPamela Harty is a literary agent with The Knight Agency.Pamela has placed hundreds of titles in a broad range of categories, including; health, parenting, southern history, African-American interest, business, motivation, romance, young adult, children’s, middle grade, and Christian living. Learn more about Pamela here.

Screen Shot 2019-11-30 at 11.44.08 AMKatharine Sands is a literary agent with the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency. Katharine is seeking all types of fiction, memoir and nonfiction. Katharine likes books that have a clear benefit for readers’ lives in categories of food, travel, lifestyle, home arts, beauty, wisdom, relationships, parenting, and fresh looks, which might be at issues, life challenges or popular culture. When reading fiction she wants to be compelled and propelled by urgent storytelling, and hooked by characters. For memoir, femoir, and himoir, she likes to be transported to a world rarely or newly observed. Learn more about Katharine here.

Screen Shot 2019-01-05 at 3.25.23 PM.pngBeth Marshea is a literary agent and the founder of Ladderbird Agency. She is seeking literary fiction, women’s fiction, adult fantasy (specifically looking for non-European centric fantasy), adult science fiction (quick, exciting, fun adventures), crime novels, and YA sci-fi & fantasy. Beth is not seeking horror, middle grade, picture books, or historical fiction. Learn more about Beth here.

Screen Shot 2018-11-13 at 3.00.24 PM.pngCaroline George is a literary agent with CYLE Literary Elite. She acquires many genres of fiction, including: all subgenres of middle grade and young adult. For adult fiction, she seeks historical, women’s, mystery, thriller, romance, Christian/inspirational fiction, literary fiction, and mainstream fiction. Regarding nonfiction, she hopes to acquire YA and MG nonfiction, self-help, inspirational, and projects with unique hooks. (She no longer seeks picture books, crime, horror, or adult science fiction and fantasy. In nonfiction, she no longer seeks memoir.) Learn more about Caroline here.

Screen Shot 2017-11-06 at 6.33.46 PM.pngAli Herring is a literary agent with Spencerhill Associates. She is seeking commercial young adult and middle grade (espescially sci-fi, fantasy and adventure), romance, Southern women’s fiction, and Christian/inspirational fiction – all with a marketable hook, captivating voice, fantastical world building and inventive plots. Learn more about Ali here.

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 11.27.21 AMSally Apokedak is a literary agent with The Apokedak Literary Agency. She represents picture books (author-illustrators only, please), middle grade books, young adult, adult inspirational / Christian fiction, and nonfiction. In MG, she loves boy-centric books, science, boys who go on adventures, boy geniuses, and fantasies. In YA, fantasy is her favorite, and if there’s romance, she loves it even more — though she is open to a variety of YA. In terms of nonfiction (for adults or children), she seeks devotional books, Christian living, science for young children, and biography. But you may try her on anything. Lastly, she seeks fantasy and romantic suspense for the adult inspirational market. Learn more about Sally here.

Screen Shot 2019-10-30 at 9.54.16 PMTessa Emily Hall is a literary agent with Cyle Young Literary Elite. She is searching for young adult and middle grade (specifically contemporary, issue-driven fiction, YA romance, historical, and speculative fiction). She especially enjoys stories in these genres that have a compelling premise and authentic teen/tween voice. Other genres she considers include Christian Living, devotional, children’s picture books, fantasy, science fiction, dystopian, literary fiction, new adult, and contemporary Christian/inspirational women’s fiction. Learn more about Tessa here.

 

        More 2020 agents to be announced as they are confirmed. You can sign up for pitches at any time, or switch pitches at any time, so long as the agent in question still has appointments open.

These one-on-one meetings are an amazing chance to pitch your book face-to-face with an agent, and get personal, individual feedback on your pitch/concept. If the agent likes your pitch, they’ll request to see part/all of your book — sending you straight past the slush pile. It also gives you an intimate chance to meet with an agent and pick their brain with any questions on your mind.

(Please note that Agent/Editor Pitching is an add-on, separate aspect of the day, for only those who sign up. Spaces are limited for these premium meetings, and pricing/detail is explained below.)

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PRICING:

$189 — EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2020 ATLWW and access to all workshops, all day. As of October 2019, registration is now OPEN.

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

Screen Shot 2018-11-26 at 11.11.29 AM.png“I met my client, Alison Hammer, at the Writing
Workshop of Chicago and just sold her book.”
– literary agent Joanna Mackenzie of Nelson Literary

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 11.47.54 PM.png“Good news! I signed a client [novelist Aliza Mann]
from the Michigan Writing Workshop!”
– literary agent Sara Mebigow of KT Literary

Screen Shot 2018-11-05 at 12.56.10 PM“I signed author Stephanie Wright from
the Seattle Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Kathleen Ortiz of New Leaf Literary

Screen Shot 2018-05-17 at 9.07.44 PM“I signed an author [Kate Thompson] that I
met at the Philadelphia Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Kimberly Brower of Brower Literary

Screen Shot 2016-10-16 at 2.54.50 PM.png“I signed novelist Kathleen McInnis after meeting her
at the Chesapeake Writing Workshop.”

– literary agent Adriann Ranta of Foundry Literary + Media

Add $69 — for an in-depth, personal critique of your one-page query letter from Brian Klems, one of the day’s 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:

  • Thriller, science fiction, suspense, action, war, historical fiction, romance, and nonfiction: Faculty member Bob Mayer, a published writer, will get your work in advance, edit the first 10 double-spaced pages of your story, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss his thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
  • Romance, women’s fiction, literary fiction, southern fiction and young adult: Faculty member Sally Kilpatrick, 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.
  • 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 she will provide specific instructions for payment and registration to get you a reserved seat at the event. Payment is by either PayPal or check. Because Brian plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Atlanta workshop specifically.

REGISTRATION:

Because of limited space at the venue (Le Meridien Atlanta Perimeter Hotel), the workshop can only allow 200 registrants, unless spacing issues change. For this reason, we encourage you to book sooner rather than later.

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

How to Register: The easy first step is simply to reach out to workshop organizer Brian Klems via email: WDWconference@gmail.com. She will pass along registration information to you, and give instructions on how to pay by PayPal or check. Once payment is complete, you will have a reserved seat at the event. The 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]. The other 50% is nonrefundable and will not be returned, and helps the workshop ensure that only those truly interested in the limited spacing sign up for the event. (Please note that query editing payments and manuscript editing payments are completely non-refundable if the instructor has already edited your work.)

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Thank you for your interest in the 2020 Atlanta Writing Workshop.

 

 

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

Screen Shot 2017-12-18 at 2.16.13 PM.pngBeth Marshea is a literary agent and the founder of Ladderbird Agency.

Ladderbird is a boutique literary agency. Beth has a long love of literature, which started as part of a family of bookworms. After obtaining an undergraduate degree in literature, Beth earned a Master’s degree in Business Administration. She became determined to find a way to merge her business passion and her love of literature, which she did as an agent. Beth is passionate about writing that pushes genres and boundaries and challenges the reader to accept a new point of view.

She is seeking:

literary fiction​: “We love literary fiction, particularly if it has an unusual setting or involves a deep look into problems with social constructs, gender roles, wealth disparity or racial tensions (particularly written by minority writers from any group). Literary is a genre where we really need to see beautiful, well thought out writing that lets us dive into ourselves and discover something new. We’re not especially limited in what we’ll look at, but it should be new; I don’t need another book about the difficulties of addiction.”

women’s fiction​: “We’d love to see a women’s adventure story that is smart, sharp, funny and page-turning!​​ Something like Stephanie Plum meets Indian Jones. In women’s fiction, we want strong characters, not people who are falling about over a breakup. We want women that inspirational and clever, not characters that need saving.”

fantasy​: “We are specifically looking for non-European centric fantasy. We would especially love to see fantasy that draws its inspiration from African, Indian, or Japanese culture. We like accessible fantasy that can reach a broad audience, I’m not interested in epics. Fantasies that are submitted to Ladderbird should be plot driven with strong well developed characters. We’d love to see something fun, magical and​ fast paced. I am especially draw to fantasy that is folkloric and draws inspiration from the old tales of the region of their focus.”

science fiction: “We would love to see quick, exciting, fun adventures. We prefer sci-fi that is closer to speculative fiction than deep sci-fi. They can involve space, but should not be space operas or epics. ​We love sci-fi that shows how technology impacts the world, especially in a positive way. We are especially interested in acquiring works have a utopic rather than dystopic environment, but we’ll look at both. We’re looking for the next Nnedi Okorafor!”

crime​ novels: “We’re looking for crime novels that have a strong setting, foreign or regional. We want fabulously developed characters that are interesting and relatable. We do not want police procedurals (no Law & Order!). We like the focus to come from the perspective of the criminal and offer insight into the illicit side of life while still being quick and fun, especially the ‘accidental’ criminal.”

young adult sci-fi & fantasy: “We are looking for YA sci-fi/fantasy that conforms to the same requirements as our adult sci-fi and fantasy but has a younger protagonists. YA should be able to reach both younger readers and adults. The themes should be universal and easily accessible for all readers.”

Ladderbird is NOT seeking:

mainstream/commercial fiction​
horror
thriller
historical fiction
young adult contemporary
middle grade
picture books​

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Ali Herring of Spencerhill Associates

Screen Shot 2017-11-06 at 6.33.40 PM.png Ali Herring is an assistant literary agent with Spencerhill Associates.

A former magazine associate editor, Ali has a diverse background in communications and editing. She graduated valedictorian of her class at Berry College in 2001, where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Journalism. Ali is excited to find new voices and build great relationships within the writing community.

She is seeking commercial young adult and middle grade (espescially sci-fi, fantasy and adventure), romance, Southern women’s fiction, and Christian/inspirational fiction – all with a marketable hook, captivating voice, fantastical world building and inventive plots.

For middle grade: commercial MG with a humorous/witty voice, likable protags and awesome sidekicks; meaningful, realistic situations built around great plots (think Wonder); and uplifting, relatable, empowering stories for girls.

She’s a voracious reader of sci-fi, but not a huge fan of superheroes, vampires (except for Edward), witches, erotica or anything overtly dark.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance Katharine Sands of the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2019-11-30 at 11.44.03 AMKatharine Sands is a literary agent with the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency in New York City.

She is the author of Making the Perfect Pitch: How to Catch a Literary Agent’s Eye and has been a guest speaker on writing and publishing for Poets and Writers, The American Society of Journalists and Authors, UCLA, New York University, and the New York State Council on the Arts.

Katharine is seeking all types of fiction, memoir and nonfiction. Katharine likes books that have a clear benefit for readers’ lives in categories of food, travel, lifestyle, home arts, beauty, wisdom, relationships, parenting, and fresh looks, which might be at issues, life challenges or popular culture. When reading fiction she wants to be compelled and propelled by urgent storytelling, and hooked by characters. For memoir, femoir, and himoir, she likes to be transported to a world rarely or newly observed. Katharine has worked with a varied list of authors who publish a diverse array of books including fiction, memoir and non-iction. Among the books she represents are: The Apothecary’s Curse, by Bram Stoker Award nominee Barbara Barnett; and Girl Walks Out of a Bar, a memoir by Lisa Smith that was featured by People as Notable Nonfiction.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Sally Apokedak of The Leslie H. Stobbe Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 11.27.21 AMSally Apokedak is a literary agent with Apokedak Literary (formerly with The Leslie H. Stobbe Literary Agency)

What She is Looking For (in Her Own Words):

Picture Books: I’m looking for author/illustrators. Not really looking for authors only right now.

Middle Grade Books: I love boy-centric middle grade books. I love boys who love science, boys who go on adventures, and boy geniuses. I love fantasies. I love any genre if the voice is strong–if the author is strong and not stumbling.

YA Books: Fantasy is my favorite, and if there’s romance, I love it even more. I still like dystopian, and fairy tales. I love mysteries and don’t see many of those for young adults. Books with characters who are spiritual and books set in worlds with established religions always strike me as being deeper and more realistic than books with no religion. We are more than physical beings, after all.

Nonfiction For All Ages: I’m interested in devotional books, Christian living, science for young children, and biography. But you may try me on anything.

Adult Inspirational: I’m looking for adult books for the Christian market, particularly fantasy and romantic suspense.

What I Don’t Like: I am not a huge fan of issue books, preachy stories,  gay lit, or sexual content. I read novels  for fun, not to grow. If the fun story makes me grow, that’s a plus, but I’m not looking for overt lessons in regards to how to be saved from sin, love gay people, or recycle my garbage and save the world. Supernatural books, with angels, demons, or any mix thereof, will probably not catch my fancy. I’m not salivating for werewolves, vampires, ghosts, fairies, or zombies. (Orcs, hobbits, and dragons are what I love.) I’m not into dark and angsty books, and I really like endings that, if not completely happy, are at least full of  hope. For young boys, I’m OK with some scatological humor, but I like characters older than ten to be a little more mature and a little less enamored with their own bodily functions than the real-life boys they are patterned after. Any picture books that rhyme where all the rhyming words are one or two syllables, are not going to be right for me, I’m pretty sure.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Pamela Harty of The Knight Agency

Screen Shot 2019-10-29 at 9.32.43 AMPamela Harty is a literary agent with The Knight Agency.

Pamela joined The Knight Agency in the summer of 2000, and has placed hundreds of titles in a broad range of categories, including; health, parenting, southern history, African-American interest, business, motivation, romance, young adult, children’s, middle grade, and Christian living.

Recent sales include books to Penguin Putnam, Grand Central, Random House, Simon and Schuster, Harper Collins, Harlequin/Silhouette, Thomas Nelson, Water Brook, McGraw Hill, and Baker/Revell. She brings to the agency a successful sales background combined with a genuine love of books. Says Pamela, “Agenting is my dream job. I get to read for a living while working with incredibly talented people in a competitive and challenging industry. It’s a great time to be in publishing where there are more opportunities than ever before for writers.”

Pamela serves as The Knight Agency’s Vice President of Sales, and belongs to the Association of Authors’ Representatives and Romance Writers of America.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Tessa Emily Hall of Cyle Young Literary Elite

Screen Shot 2018-01-24 at 12.51.11 PM.pngTessa Emily Hall is a literary agent with Cyle Young Literary Elite.

She is searching for young adult and middle grade (specifically contemporary, issue-driven fiction, YA romance, historical, and speculative fiction). She especially enjoys stories in these genres that have a compelling premise and authentic teen/tween voice.

Other genres she considers include Christian Living, devotional, children’s picture books, fantasy, science fiction, dystopian, literary fiction, new adult, and contemporary Christian/inspirational women’s fiction.

She will not represent the following genres: horror, thrillers, mystery/crime, erotica, memoir.

Tessa writes inspirational yet authentic YA fiction to show teens they’re not alone. Her passion led her to a career as an agent at Hartline Literary Agency, YA Acquisitions Editor for Illuminate YA (LPC Imprint), and Founder/Editor of PursueMagazine.net. Tessa’s first teen devotional, COFFEE SHOP DEVOS, will release with Bethany House in 2018. She’s guilty of making way too many lattes and never finishing her to-read list. When her fingers aren’t flying 116 WPM across the keyboard, she can be found speaking to teens, decorating her insulin pump, and acting in Christian films.