The 2016 Atlanta Writing Workshop: February 20, 2016

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 4.54.04 PM[THE 2016 ATLANTA WRITING WORKSHOP IS NOW COMPLETE. Thank you to all who attended. We do not know when the next workshop will happen in Georgia, but if you are interested in being on an e-mail list with that date/news (and you have not contacted us previously), send us an email saying so to writingdayworkshops [at] gmail.com. Thanks!]

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The staff behind the organization and instruction of the Homeric Writers’ Retreat & Workshop are excited to announce The Atlanta Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writers conference in Atlanta, GA on February 20, 2016.

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 (100 total). All questions about the event regarding schedule, details and registration are answered below. Thank you for your interest in the 2016 Atlanta Writing Workshop!

WHAT IS IT?

This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016, at the Hyatt House Atlanta/Cobb Galleria: Cobb Galleria Hotel (NW of the city, where I-285 meets I-75). 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 faculty so far includes literary agent Kaylee Davis (Dee Mura Literary); literary agent Stephanie Fretwell-Hill (Red Fox Literary); literary agent Penny Moore (FinePrint Literary Management); literary agent Julie Gwinn (The Seymour Agency); literary agent Kurestin Armada (P.S. Literary); literary agent Pamela Harty (The Knight Agency); literary agent Veronica Park (Corvisiero Literary); and literary agent Sally Apokedak (Leslie H. Stobbe Literary Agency).

By the end of the day, you will have all the tools you need to move forward on your writing journey.

THIS YEAR’S PRESENTER/INSTRUCTOR

Screen Shot 2014-01-08 at 1.09.19 PMChuck Sambuchino (chucksambuchino.com, @chucksambuchino) of Writer’s Digest Books is the editor of Guide to Literary Agents as well as the Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market. His authored books include Formatting & Submitting Your Manuscript; Create Your Writer Platform, which was praised by Forbes.com; and How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack, which was optioned for film by Sony. He oversees one of the biggest blogs in publishing (the Guide to Literary Agents Blog) as well as one of the biggest Twitter accounts in publishing (@WritersDigest). He is a freelance editor who has seen dozens of his clients get agents and/or book deals, and he has presented at 120 writing conferences and events over the past ten years.

EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS

9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016 — where I-285 meets I-75 — at the Hyatt House Atlanta/Cobb Galleria: Cobb Galleria Hotel, 3595 Cumberland Blvd, Atlanta, GA 30339, (770)541-2960.

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WORKSHOP SCHEDULE (FEB. 20, 2016)

9 – 9:30: Check-in and registration at the event location.

9:30 – 10:30: “Your Publishing Options Today.” This workshop examines the two largest routes any writer can take with their book: traditional publishing and self-publishing (e-publishing). We will examine the upsides of both routes, the downsides, and the next steps no matter what you decide. In today’s publishing world, a writer has to understand what they’re in for before they send their book out. This session is designed to prepare them for what’s to come and what options exist.

10:30 – 11:45: “Everything You Need to Know About Agents, Queries & Pitching.” This workshop is a thorough crash course in dealing with literary agents. After quickly going over what an agent is and what they do for writers, we will discuss resources for finding agents, how to ID the best agents for you, query letter writing, as well as the most important things to do and not to do when dealing with representatives.

11:45 – 1:15: Lunch on your own. There are several restaurants within quick driving distance. A map of places to eat will be passed out prior to the event.

Screen shot 2014-10-02 at 10.30.04 PM1:15 – 2:30: “Writers’ Got Talent: A Chapter One Critique-Fest.” 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. (All attendees are welcome to bring pages to the event for this session, and we will choose pages at random for the workshop for as long as time lasts.)

2:30 – 3:45: “How to Market Yourself and Your Books: Author Platform & Social Media Explained.” A writer’s platform is as important as ever now. Visibility and ability to self-market are mandatory these days for writers of nonfiction and self-published works. Furthermore, fiction writers want a platform to sell more books, meet readers, and increase their value. This speech teaches writers the basics of what a platform is and why it is necessary. Then we delve into the building blocks of what can constitute a platform, from media appearances and speaking engagements to blogs, Facebook, Twitter and more.

3:45 – 5:00: “How to Get Published: 10 Professional Writing Practices That You Need to Know NOW to Find Success as a Writer.” This final speech is a general presentation examining good writing practices that all editors appreciate—whether writing for books, magazines, newspapers or online. It discusses how to not put all your eggs in one writing basket, how to steal ideas from yourself to generate more stories and books, how to avoid the two most common reasons agents reject you, and much more.

All throughout the day: Agent & Editor Pitching.

PITCH AN AGENT!

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 9.58.43 AMKelly Peterson is a jr. literary agent with Corvisiero Literary. She will be taking pitches on behalf of herself and Corvisiero Literary as a whole. She personally seeks: middle grade, young adult (many subgenres), stories with strong female protagonists, new adult fiction, romance and fantasy. Kelly can also take pitches on behalf of Corvisiero Literary co-agents for the adult fiction genres of science fiction, horror, thriller, mystery, crime, paranormal, action/adventure, and women’s fiction. Learn more about Kelly here.

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 2.07.00 PMKaylee Davis [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent with Dee Mura Literary. Kaylee is actively acquiring middle grade, young adult, and adult fiction — particularly sci-fi, fantasy, contemporary, literary, and LGBTQ. She is drawn to exciting, thought-provoking stories with a fresh perspective that explores what it means to be human. She loves plot twists, genre-bending, unlikely allies, flawed heroes, and stories that are both literally and figuratively out of this world. Learn more about Kaylee here.

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 2.08.11 PMStephanie Fretwell-Hill [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent with Red Fox Literary. Stephanie represents both authors and illustrators of board books, picture books, middle grade, and young adult. She will consider stories in any genre, but looks for a strong voice, rich and multi-layered plots, and stylish, classic, or quirky illustrations. Most of all, she loves anything that really makes her laugh. Learn more about Stephanie here.

Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 4.11.19 PMPenny Moore [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent at FinePrint Literary Management.  She is seeking: picture books (fun off-the-wall concepts to memorable heartfelt messages), middle grade, and young adult (especially fantasy, historical fiction, sci-fi, and contemporary stories exploring romance and the complications of growing up). In adult fiction, her tastes lean towards literary, speculative fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, psychological thrillers, and select romance projects. She’s also open to nonfiction projects in the realm of pop culture, humor, travel, food, and pets. Learn more about Penny here.

Screen shot 2014-09-25 at 10.27.21 PMJulie Gwinn [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is an agent with The Seymour Agency, and was formerly an editor with many years of publishing experience. Her primary areas of interest include Christian and inspirational fiction and nonfiction, women’s fiction (contemporary and historical), new adult, Southern fiction, literary fiction, as well as young adult novels. Learn more about Julie here.

ArmadaKurestin Armada [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent with P.S. Literary and is actively building her list. Her fiction areas of interest include upmarket and commercial fiction, magic realism, science fiction, fantasy, alternative history, historical fiction, LGBTQ (any genre), select young adult and middle grade, graphic novels, mystery (including mystery with elements of science fiction & fantasy), romance. She can also take picture book pitches on behalf of her kidlit co-agents. Kurestin’s nonfiction areas of interest: design, cooking, pop psychology, humor, photography, and pop science. Learn more about Kurestin here.

Screen shot 2015-06-09 at 10.22.43 PMVeronica Park [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent with Corvisiero Literary. Veronica is representing the entire agency and their genres, and is open to hearing pitches for all her co-agents in the genres of fantasy, science fiction, romance, thrillers, romantic suspense, adventure, paranormal, young adult, middle grade, picture books, historical romance, new adult (both romance and non-romance), and graphic novels. In nonfiction, she can take pitches for parenting, education, self-improvement, science, and business. Learn more about Veronica here.

Screen shot 2016-01-23 at 1.08.15 PM.pngPamela Harty & Kristy Hunter. [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS AS OF 1-25-16] Pamela and Kritsy are literary agents with The Knight Agency. Both are currently seeking submissions for contemporary and historical romance, romantic suspense, women’s fiction, and young adult novels. The nonfiction categories Pamela seeks include business, motivational, diet and health, memoir, parenting, pop culture, and true crime. To clarify, Pamela was scheduled to attend the event but had to cancel, so her Knight Agency co-agent Kristy Hunter is coming for her. Kristy actively seeks all the same fiction categories as Pamela, and will be taking nonfiction pitches on behalf of Pamela. Learn more about Pamela & Kristy here.

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 11.27.21 AMSally Apokedak [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] 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.

Cherry Weiner of Cherry Weiner Literary had to cancel on the event, unfortunately.

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

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

PRICING

$129 — FINAL registration pricing! This is the complete base price for registration to the 2016 ATLWW and access to all workshops, all day.

Add $29 — to secure a 10-minute one-on-one meeting with any of our literary agents 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 some testimonials from writers who have signed with literary agents after pitching them at prior Writing Day Workshops events:

Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 3.01.32 PM“I signed with my agent, Patricia Nelson, after
meeting her at the Arizona Writing Workshop.”
– writer Axie Oh

Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 3.05.52 PM“I officially signed with agent Renee Nyen of KT
Literary. I met her at the Colorado Writing
Workshop.” – writer Jessie Hilb Akos

Add $59 — for an in-depth, personal critique of your one-page query letter from instructor Chuck Sambuchino. (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?

How to pay/register — Registration is now open. Reach out to workshop organizer Jessica Bell via email: writingdayworkshops@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 of the Hyatt House Atlanta Cobb Galleria, the workshop can only allow 100 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: writingdayworkshops@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 AWW 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, 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 are completely non-refundable if the instructor has already edited your letter.)

 

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Thank you for your interest in the Atlanta Writing Workshop.

 

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

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 9.58.43 AM.pngKelly Peterson is a jr. literary agent with Corvisiero Literary. She will be taking pitches on behalf of herself and Corvisiero Literary as a whole.

Kelly has spent her whole life with a book in her hands. Whether it’s from reading, writing, or day dreaming, her mind has always been up in the clouds wishing her fantasy stories would come true. A graduate of West Chester University, she earned her B.S.Ed. in English. When not working one of her three jobs and being a nerd, Kelly can be found dancing, riding horses, perfecting her yoga technique, blogging, and writing.

She personally seeks:

  • middle grade (fantasy, paranormal, sci-fi)
  • young adult — fantasy and all its subgenres, steampunk, sci-fi, paranormal, historical (19th century and earlier with strong heroines), dystopian (hold the cyborgs, the scorch, and diseases, please), sword and sorcery, a very selective few for Contemporary Romance, and any combination of the above with strong, female main characters.
  • new adult — fantasy, paranormal, romance (Cowboys, anyone? Sexy and somewhat geeky entrepreneur? Celebrity? Yes?), historical romance, or any combination of the above.
  • Adult fiction in the genres of fantasy and romance.

Kelly can also take pitches on behalf of Corvisiero Literary co-agents for:

  • adult science fiction
  • adult horror
  • adult thriller / mystery / crime / suspense
  • adult adventure / action
  • adult paranormal
  • women’s fiction

With books, there’s just something about strong female main characters holding their own against the world, in an environment that Kelly could never, in her wildest dreams, find herself living within. It tears at her heart and pulls at her soul, especially when the main character finds that she never needed another to complete her in the first place.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Stephanie Fretwell-Hill of Red Fox Literary

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 2.08.11 PM.png[SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS]

Stephanie Fretwell-Hill is a literary agent at Red Fox Literary.

Stephanie Fretwell-Hill started her publishing career in 2004 at Walker Books Ltd. in London, where she sold foreign language rights. Working in a design-led company with legendary artists such as Helen Oxenbury and Lucy Cousins sparked her love of illustration, while her sales role gave her an international perspective on children’s publishing. In 2011, Stephanie moved back home to the United States and joined Peachtree Publishers as an editor. During her four years there, she acquired fiction and nonfiction picture books, middle grade, and young adult titles. Her acquisitions received such honors as YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults, Bank Street Best Children’s Books of the Year, Parents’ Choice Awards, and numerous starred reviews from major trade magazines. She joined Red Fox Literary in early 2016.

She is seeking: Stephanie represents both authors and illustrators of board books, picture books, middle grade, and young adult. She will consider stories in any genre, but looks for a strong voice, rich and multi-layered plots, and stylish, classic, or quirky illustrations. Most of all, she loves anything that really makes her laugh.

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Kaylee Davis of Dee Mura Literary

17232682-20503393-thumbnail[SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS]

Kaylee Davis is a literary agent with Dee Mura Literary.

Growing up in The Middle of Nowhere, Ohio, Kaylee’s lifeline to sanity was the local library where she nurtured her love of all things literary. Kaylee received a B.A. in English Literature and a B.A. in Sociology from Miami University, and she is certified in Copyediting from Emerson College. Recognized for her obsessive-compulsive attention to detail and crazy-fast reading ability, Kaylee joined the Dee Mura team as a professional copyeditor, proofreader, and administrative assistant before being named an agent.

She represents: Kaylee is actively acquiring middle grade, young adult, and adult fiction — particularly sci-fi, fantasy, contemporary, literary, and LGBTQ. She is drawn to exciting, thought-provoking stories with a fresh perspective that explores what it means to be human. She loves plot twists, genre-bending, unlikely allies, flawed heroes, and stories that are both literally and figuratively out of this world.

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

Screen shot 2014-09-25 at 10.27.15 PM[SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS]

Literary 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: Penny Moore of FinePrint Literary Management

Moore[SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS]

Penny Moore is a literary agent at FinePrint Literary Management.

About Penny: While completing degrees in Linguistics and Japanese Language & Literature at the University of Georgia, she spent time studying comparative literature at top universities in Japan and South Korea. She then spent time as a middle school TESOL teacher, a period during which she grew to love and understand the children’s book market.

She is seeking: picture books (fun off-the-wall concepts to memorable heartfelt messages), middle grade, and young adult (especially fantasy, historical fiction, sci-fi, and contemporary stories exploring romance and the complications of growing up). In adult fiction, her tastes lean towards literary, speculative fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, psychological thrillers, and select romance projects. She’s also open to nonfiction projects in the realm of pop culture, humor, travel, food, and pets.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Kurestin Armada of P.S. Literary

Armada[SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS AS OF JAN. 11, 2016]

Kurestin Armada is a literary agent with P.S. Literary and is actively building her list.

Kurestin began her publishing career as an intern with Workman Publishing, and spent time as an assistant at The Lotts Agency before joining P.S. Literary. She holds a B.A. in English from Kenyon College, as well as a publishing certificate from Columbia University. Kurestin is based in New York City, and spends most of her time in the city’s thriving indie bookstores. She reads widely across genres, and has a particular affection for science fiction and fantasy, especially books that recognize and subvert typical tropes of genre fiction.

Her fiction areas of interest include upmarket and commercial fiction, magic realism, science fiction, fantasy, alternative history, historical fiction, LGBTQ (any genre), select young adult and middle grade, graphic novels, mystery (including mystery with elements of science fiction & fantasy), romance. She can also take picture book pitches on behalf of her kidlit co-agents. Kurestin’s nonfiction areas of interest: design, cooking, pop psychology, humor, photography, and pop science.