The 2018 Atlanta Writing Workshop: March 10, 2018

Screen Shot 2016-12-25 at 10.34.26 PM.pngAfter successful 2016 and 2017 events in Atlanta, Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2018 Atlanta Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in Atlanta, GA on March 10, 2018.

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 2018 Atlanta Writing Workshop!

WHAT IS IT?

This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, March 10, 2018, 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 Ali Herring (Spencerhill Associates)
  • literary agent Cherry Weiner (Weiner Literary)
  • literary agent Sally Apokedak (Leslie H. Stobbe Literary Agency)
  • literary agent Latoya C. Smith (L. Perkins Agency)
  • literary agent Kristy Hunter (The Knight Agency)
  • literary agent Samantha Fountain (Corvisiero Agency)
  • editor Lauren Jablonski (St. Martin’s Press)
  • literary agent Julie Gwinn (The Seymour Agency)
  • and more to come.

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

EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS:

9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, March 10, 2018 — 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 10, 2018):

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

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

2. Worldbuilding in Fantasy and Science Fiction. Science fiction and fantasy writers face a unique problem: How do you convey the details of imaginary worlds without bogging down your story? This workshop will address this challenge.

3. Ten Romance Writing Tips to Keep Readers Turning Pages. Engage romance readers from the first page with irresistible hooks, clear writing, sharp dialogue, and engaging characters in heart-pounding, romantic settings.

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

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

2. Understanding Literary Agents and Query Letters. This session will teach you how to find agents, how to get them interested in your work, and how to stand out from the slush by crafting a successful query letter.

3. You Got a Book Deal! — Now What? This session, taught by literary agent, examines what happens after you sign on the dotted line.

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

BLOCK FOUR: 2:45 – 3:45

1. Book Marketing for Writers. This easy-to-understand workshop will cover topics such as methods today’s authors can use, tips on using social media to promote a book, and what skills an author needs to market a book in this digital age.

2. Tips for Writing Great Mysteries, Thrillers, and Crime. The presentation will teach you how to keep readers—including agents and editors—turning pages late into the night.

3. How to Revise and Self Edit Your Manuscript (Without Losing Your Mind). Learn how to refine your writing, improve your work, and wrestle the beast into something someone will want to publish.

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

BLOCK FIVE: 4:00 – 5:00

1. Twenty Questions You Need Answered Before You Seek an Agent or Self-Publish Your Book. Before you publish your work or query an agent, there are plenty of things you need to know — such as how to submit to agents properly, how to find the best self-publishing service for your need, what social media channels you should be on already.

2. Your Story: Writing and Publishing a Memoir. Whether you’ve lived an “ordinary” life or an unconventional one, you’ll gain the tips and techniques that will make readers care.

3. Keys to Writing Great Young Adult & Middle Grade Fiction. Writing for children isn’t all that different from writing for adults. Learn how to write compelling YA & MG that stands out.

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 2015-06-10 at 11.27.21 AMSally Apokedak is a literary agent with The Leslie H. Stobbe 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.

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Lauren Jablonski is an assistant editor at St. Martin’s Press, part of Macmillan. Lauren is interested in acquiring commercial fiction and nonfiction for both young adult and adult. She enjoys contemporary, historical, fantasy, sci-fi, dystopian, romance, thrillers and anything with a unique voice — especially works that promote strong female characters, inclusion, and diversity. In nonfiction, she is interested in quirky, gifty, and celebrity projects as well as memoir, pop-science, business, and projects about strong women. She loves being sucked into worlds she knows nothing about. Learn more about Lauren here.

Screen Shot 2017-11-06 at 6.33.46 PM.pngAli Herring is an assistant 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 2016-10-12 at 10.44.51 AM.pngLatoya C. Smith is a literary agent with L. Perkins Agency. Latoya is seeking romance, erotica, erotic fiction, women’s fiction, women’s thriller, LGBTQ romance and erotic fiction, along with advice/how-to/memoir submissions. Latoya tends to shy away from YA, sci-fi/fantasy, historical, steampunk, and urban fantasy, however if she happens to fall in with projects within those genres, she is happy to represent them. Learn more about Latoya here.

Screen Shot 2016-10-18 at 9.50.39 AM.pngKristy Hunter is a literary agent with The Knight Agency. She is seeking: Kristy is currently accepting submissions from a wide variety of genres, including women’s fiction, mystery, historical romance, romance, young adult, and middle grade. Having spent significant time in the south and New York City, she particularly likes books set in these regions. She also enjoys books that feature horses, boarding schools, sisters, and sororities—to name just a few. Learn more about Kristy here.

Screen Shot 2017-11-24 at 12.00.01 AM.pngJulie Gwinn is a literary agent with The Seymour Agency. Her primary areas of interest include Christian and inspirational fiction and nonfiction, women’s fiction (contemporary and historical), new adult, Southern fiction, literary fiction, and young adult novels. Learn more about Julie here.

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 10.14.19 AMSamantha Fountain is a literary agent with Corvisiero Literary. She will be taking pitches for herself as well as Corvisiero Literary as a whole. Samantha is personally seeking young adult contemporary titles, historical fiction for both young adults and adults, as well as mysteries and thrillers with dark, dramatic undertones. She is also taking pitches on behalf of Corvisiero Literary co-agents for the following: science fiction, fantasy, horror, action / adventure, young adult fantasy and sci-fi, and middle grade. Learn more about Samantha here.

Screen Shot 2017-11-05 at 9.38.15 PM.pngCherry Weiner is the founder of her own agency, Cherry Weiner Literary Agency. She represents many types of novels, including fantasy, science fiction, literary fiction, mainstream fiction, mystery/crime, romance, women’s fiction, and horror novels.

        More 2018 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:

$169 — EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2018 ATLWW and access to all workshops, all day. As of October 24, 2017, registration is now OPEN.

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

Screen Shot 2016-12-13 at 12.20.11 AM.png“I signed with my agent, Patricia Nelson, after
meeting her at the Arizona Writing Workshop.”
– writer Axie Oh

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

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

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

Add $69 — for an in-depth, personal critique of your one-page query letter from 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 $79 — 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:

  • Women’s fiction / literary fiction / mainstream & upmarket fiction, young adult, middle grade: Faculty member Ricki Schultz, a published women’s fiction author and professional freelance editor, will get your work in advance, edit the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
  • Romance novels and women’s fiction. Faculty member Susan Sands, a published author of romantic women’s fiction novels, will get your work in advance, edit the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting. No erotica, please.
  • Adult science fiction and fantasy. Faculty member Scott Hawkins, a published author of sci-fi/fantasy, will get your work in advance, edit the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss his thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
  • Memoir: Faculty member Mark Beaver, a published memoir author, will get your work in advance, edit the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss his thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
  • Crime, thriller, mystery, suspense: Faculty member Susan Crawford, a published thriller author, will get your work in advance, edit the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
  • More manuscript critique options. Details forthcoming.

How to pay/register — Registration is now open. Reach out to workshop organizer Jessica Bell 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 Jessica 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 Jessica Bell 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 Jessica 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 2018 Atlanta Writing Workshop.

 

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

Screen Shot 2017-11-06 at 6.33.40 PM.pngAli 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 Editor in Attendance: Lauren Jablonski is an assistant editor at St. Martin’s Press, part of Macmillan.

Screen Shot 2017-03-04 at 2.56.59 PM.pngLauren Jablonski is an assistant editor at St. Martin’s Press, part of Macmillan.

Lauren is interested in acquiring commercial fiction and nonfiction for both young adult and adult. She enjoys contemporary, historical, fantasy, sci-fi, dystopian, romance, thrillers and anything with a unique voice — especially works that promote strong female characters, inclusion, and diversity.

In nonfiction, she is interested in quirky, gifty, and celebrity projects as well as memoir, pop-science, business, and projects about strong women. She loves being sucked into worlds she knows nothing about. The magic is in the details.

She works with authors including Anita Hughes, Meghan Masterson, Jonathan Maberry, Lev Grossman, Martine Rothblatt, Doug the Pug, and Ron Darling among many others.

She was a Literature major at CNU before doing NYU’s post-grad certificate program in publishing at the Summer Publishing Institute. She moved to New York City from Virginia (which everyone should go visit) and has been at Macmillan for the past five years.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Samantha Fountain of Corvisiero Literary

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 10.14.19 AM.pngSamantha Fountain is a literary agent in training with Corvisiero Literary. She will be taking pitches for herself as well as Corvisiero Literary as a whole.

Samantha is personally seeking:

  • young adult contemporary titles, and she has a particular love for dark, yet beautiful stories with unique voice (The Fault in Our Stars, If I Stay).
  • historical fiction for both young adults and adults (Water for Elephants, Cold Mountain, The Book Thief, All the Light We Cannot See).
  • mysteries and thrillers with dark, dramatic undertones (Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train, Dare Me).

She is also taking pitches on behalf of Corvisiero Literary co-agents for the following:

  • middle grade
  • science fiction
  • fantasy
  • horror
  • action / adventure
  • young adult fantasy and sci-fi

Samantha wears a few hats in the literary world. An unquenchable passion burns within her at the mere thought or mention of books. With eight years experience in the industry from writing for various print, online media, and her own manuscripts, to creating/hosting successful online events that connect writers with freelance editors, literary agents, and publishing houses.

Samantha’s most recent event is a Twitter sensation and can be found under #p2p16. The book industry is where she feels at home.

Samantha’s full time job is most enjoyable. She spends her days with her five-year-old, Wallace. She LOVES coffee, or perhaps it’s an addiction. Singing is a daily thing in her household. She admits her voice is nothing to write home about. Her son is the only one that joins in these musicals. Nap and bedtime are Samantha’s allotted time to write, edit, and help in making other writers’ dreams come true.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Julie Gwinn of The Seymour Agency

Screen shot 2014-09-25 at 10.27.15 PMLiterary agent Julie Gwinn of The Seymour Agency most recently served as Marketing Manager for the Christian Living line at Abingdon Press and before that served as Trade Book Marketing Manager and then Fiction Publisher for the Pure Enjoyment line at B&H Publishing Group, a Division of LifeWay Christian Resources.

Last year she was awarded Editor of the Year from the American Christian Fiction Writers and won B&H’s first Christy award for Ginny Yttrup’s debut novel Words. She has more than 25 years public relations and marketing experience and has also worked in marketing for several Nashville non-profit organizations including the TN Assoc. for the Education of Young Children, the Nashville Area Red Cross and the YWCA. She is married and has two children.

Her primary areas of interest include Christian and inspirational fiction and nonfiction, women’s fiction (contemporary and historical), new adult, Southern fiction, literary fiction, and young adult novels.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: ​Kristy Hunter of The Knight Agency.

Screen Shot 2016-10-18 at 9.50.35 AM.pngKristy Hunter is a literary agent with The Knight Agency.

In addition to taking pitches at the 2018 event, she is also teaching a class on how to get a literary agent (and write a great query letter).

She is seeking: Kristy is currently accepting submissions from a wide variety of genres, including women’s fiction, mystery, historical romance, romance, young adult, and middle grade. Having spent significant time in the south and New York City, she particularly likes books set in these regions. She also enjoys books that feature horses, boarding schools, sisters, and sororities—to name just a few.

With a degree in Women & Gender Studies and English Literature from Vanderbilt University, Kristy moved to New York City immediately after graduation to try her hand at publishing. She completed the Columbia Publishing Course and worked in the city for several years—first at Grove/Atlantic and then at Random House Children’s Books—before deciding it was time to make the move back down south. She now takes advantage of her new surroundings by being outside as much as possible with her French bulldog, Gummi. Twitter: @KristySHunter.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Latoya C. Smith of L. Perkins Agency

Screen Shot 2016-10-17 at 12.41.26 PM.pngLatoya C. Smith is a literary agent with L. Perkins Agency.

Before joining the L. Perkins Agency, Latoya was an editor for over thirteen years working at publishing houses such as Kensington Publishing, Hachette Book Group, and Samhain Publishing. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Latoya started her editorial career as an administrative assistant to New York Times bestselling author, Teri Woods, while pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree at Temple University. In 2006, Latoya joined Grand Central Publishing, an imprint at Hachette Book Group, where she acquired a variety of titles from Hardcover fiction and non-fiction, to digital romance and erotica. In 2014, Latoya was Executive Editor at Samhain Publishing where she acquired short and long form romance as well as erotic fiction. She was also the winner of the 2012 RWA Golden Apple for Editor of the Year.

She is seeking: Latoya is seeking romance, erotica, erotic fiction, women’s fiction, women’s thriller, LGBTQ romance and erotic fiction, along with advice/how-to/memoir submissions. Latoya tends to shy away from YA, sci-fi/fantasy, historical, steampunk, and urban fantasy, however if she happens to fall in with projects within those genres, she is happy to represent them.