Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2019 Orlando Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in Orlando, FL, on November 9, 2019.
This writing event is a wonderful opportunity to get intense instruction over the course of one day, pitch a literary agent or editor (optional), get your questions answered, and more. Note that there are limited seats at the event (125 total). All questions about the event regarding schedule, details and registration are answered below. Thank you for your interest in the 2019 Orlando Writing Workshop!
WHAT IS IT?
This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, November 9, 2019, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando Airport. 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 Kaitlyn Johnson (Corvisiero Literary)
- literary agent Sharon Belcastro (Belcastro Literary)
- literary agent Cricket Freeman (The August Agency)
- literary agent Katharine Sands (Sarah Jane Freymann Literary) via SKYPE
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.
THIS YEAR’S INSTRUCTOR
Brian A. Klems (@BrianKlems) is the former online editor of WritersDigest.com. His blog during his tenure there, The Writer’s Dig—which covered everything writing and publishing—was one of the largest blogs in the writing community. Brian’s first book, Oh Boy, You’re Having a Girl: A Dad’s Guide to Raising Daughters (Adams Media) was released in 2013. It received high-level buzz and praise from some of the funniest writers alive, including Dave Barry and Bruce Cameron. Brian is also a proud graduate of the Ohio University E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, a husband, softball infielder, perennial fantasy sports underachiever, and father of three lovely little girls.
EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS
9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Saturday, November 9, 2019, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando Airport, 5555 Hazeltine National Drive, Orlando, FL 32812, 407-856-0100.
WORKSHOP SCHEDULE (SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2019)
All throughout the day: Agent & Editor Pitching.
9 – 9:30: Check-in and registration at the event location.
9:30 – 10:30: “A Bird’s-eye View Publishing & Books in the Year 2019.” This workshop is quick & easy overview of the publishing industry today, and how it’s changing. The speech is designed to educate writers and help them understand what publishing options exist for them today and why it’s an exciting time to be a writer.
10:30 – 11:45: “Putting Your Best Foot Forward: Top Tips for Querying and Pitching,” taught by guest speaker Kaitlyn Johnson. This session will help clarify the differences between email querying and in-person pitching, giving tips and tricks for both methods. Kaitlyn Johnson will discuss best practices for face-to-face agent and editor interactions, as well as provide a structure to clarify the main points and hook of your story. Be sure to come with questions ready, as a Q&A will be included at the end of the talk.
11:45 – 1:15: Lunch on your own. There are several restaurants within quick driving distance on the block.
1:15 – 2:30: “Writers’ Got Talent: A Page 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 our 4 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.)
2:50 – 4:00: “Tips on How to Write Like the Pros.” This workshop is a thorough crash course concerning craft, style and voice. We’ll discuss nuts & bolts tips for sentence construction like how to avoid passive tense, how to use vivid language, how to self-edit your own work, how to make your characters memorable, the art of compelling dialogue, and much more.
4:00 – 5:00: “25 Questions You Need Answered After You Seek an Agent or Self-Publish Your Book.” After you self-publish your work or get a traditional publishing book deal, there are plenty of things you need to know — such as how to promote yourself, how to keep your career going with multiple books, how you cross between the worlds of self-publishing and traditional publishing (i.e., use them both) to make the most money, how to build a readership, and much more.
All throughout the day: Agent & Editor Pitching.
PITCH AN AGENT!
Kaitlyn Johnson is a literary agent with Corvisiero Literary. She is seeking upper middle grade, young adult, new adult romance, fantasy works (yes, that very much includes urban!) and time travel, romance (erotic elements OK), historical fiction (anything other than Henry VIII, Shakespeare, American Civil War, Greek gods/myths), contemporary (can grab her attention only if the concept is unique and well executed, LGBT welcome in all noted genres. After receiving a BA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College, Kaitlyn refused to leave the concept of nightly homework behind. As well as being an apprentice agent for Corvisiero Literary Agency, she is also a freelance editor at her own company, K. Johnson Editorial, and has worked as a copyeditor for academic publisher codeMantra, a YA editor for Accent Press, and a Conference Assistant for GrubStreet, Boston. She has written various articles for Writer’s Digest and has had a flash fiction story published in the anthology A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed. Kaitlyn is NOT accepting: nonfiction, chapter books, picture books, horror, thriller/suspense, novellas, poetry, short story collections, or storylines heavily dependent on religious motives/events/themes.
Cricket Freeman is a literary agent with The August Agency. She is seeking: Her fiction interests include mainstream fiction, literary fiction, and crime/mystery/thriller (including historicals), and fiction with an international flavor. Her nonfiction interests include narrative nonfiction, memoir, history, biography, business, true crime (including historicals), pop culture, arts & entertainment, political & social sciences, academic works, media & current events (seasoned journalists receive special attention here), and nonfiction with an international flavor. She is not interested in children’s books of any kind, self-published works, or genre fiction (besides crime). After years as a business owner engaged in sales and marketing, she redirected her creativity toward the writing business, freelancing for magazines (more adventure than money) and business clients (more money than adventure). For too long a time she slaved as the editor-in-chief of a national, full-color, glossy trade magazine, overseeing design, ad sales, editorial, and staff – and still writing 1100 damn-fine words a day, day after day, for print. As a result, she tends to measure her writing credits by the pound. Along the way Cricket intertwined her business experience, art and humanities education, and writing skills to establish Possibilities Press to support small book publishers with writing, editing, design, and production services. Ever the entrepreneur, a decade later she shifted her focus exclusively to literary representation and in 2001 founded The Christina Pechstein Agency, later changing the name to The August Agency LLC. In 2014 she founded augustwords.org, an innovative network of writers’ resources supporting literary and literacy charities.
Sharon Belcastro is the founder of The Belcastro Agency. She is seeking cozy mysteries, thriller, suspense, mystery with romantic elements, romance (contemporary and suspenseful), and young adult fiction (fantasy, sci-fi, and action/adventure). “We love fiction with superb writing with a voice that jumps off the page and a twisted or colorful plot that compels us to keep reading is a must. We look for a unique voice and a strong protagonist full of attitude. We like dark and intense but we won’t turn away something that’s a little on the lighter side. We enjoy a touch of humor, and we would never turn away something sexy. We seek rofound young adult with a strong male or female protagonist. A whacky, funny, crazy, or thought-provoking voice will draw attention. We look for entertaining story lines that deal with tough life issues. We look for big writing that remains fast-paced.”
Katharine Sands is no longer to attend the event in person, but will be doing Skype pitches after the event for attendees (if you sign up for one with her). She’s a literary agent with the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency in New York City. She is the agent provocateur 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-fiction. 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.
New agents may be added for the 2019 event at any time. Check back.
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.)
$169 — EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2019 OWW and access to all workshops, all day, on Saturday, November 9, 2019. As of summer 2019, event registration is now OPEN.
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 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.)
“I met my client, Alison Hammer, at the 2017 Writing
Workshop of Chicago and just sold her book.”
– literary agent Joanna Mackenzie of Nelson Literary
“Good news! I signed a client [novelist Aliza Mann]
from the 2017 Michigan Writing Workshop!”
– literary agent Sara Mebigow of KT Literary
“I signed author Stephanie Wright from
the 2018 Seattle Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Kathleen Ortiz of New Leaf Literary
“I signed an author [Kate Thompson] that I
met at the 2017 Philadelphia Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Kimberly Brower of Brower Literary
“I signed novelist Kathleen McInnis after meeting her
at the 2016 Chesapeake Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Adriann Ranta of Foundry Literary + Media
Add $69 — for an in-depth, personal critique of your one-page query letter from Brian, former longtime editor at Writer’s Digest. (This rate is a special event value for OWW 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:
- Critique options coming soon.
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 either PayPal or check. Because Brian plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Orlando workshop specifically.
Because of limited space at the venue of the DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando Airport, the workshop can only allow 125 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. He 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 OWW 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 Orlando 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 editing payments are completely non-refundable if the instructor has already edited your work.)