The 2019 Writing Conference of Los Angeles: May 4, 2019

laAfter a successful launch in 2015, Writing Day Workshops, with assistance from Coffee House Writers Group, is excited to announce The 2019 Writing Conference of Los Angeles — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in Culver City on Saturday, May 4, 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 (200 total). All questions about the event regarding schedule, details and registration are answered below. Thank you for your interest in the 2019 Writing Conference of Los Angeles!

WHAT IS IT?

This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, May 4, 2019, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Los Angeles – Westside. 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 & editor faculty so far includes:

  • [NEW ADDITION[ literary agent Annie Bomke (Annie Bomke Literary)
  • [NEW ADDITION] literary agent Stephanie Kehr (C.Y.L.E. Literary)
  • [NEW ADDITION] literary agent Tara Gilbert (Corvisiero Literary)
  • literary agent Carlie Webber (Fuse Literary)
  • literary agent Kieryn Ziegler (Dystel, Goderich, and Bourret)
  • literary agent Kari Sutherland (Bradford Literary Agency)
  • literary agent Rachel Beck (Holloway Literary)
  • literary agent Dana Newman (Dana Newman Literary)
  • literary agent Betsy Amster (Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises)
  • literary agent Anne Tibbets (D4EO Literary)
  • literary agent Nephele Tempest (The Knight Agency)
  • literary agent Steven Hutson (Wordwise Media Services)
  • literary agent assistant Sonyo Estavillo (Metamorphosis Literary)
  • and possibly 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 Kerrie Flanagan of Writing Day Workshops, with assistance from Coffee House Writers Group, a local writing group.

EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS:

9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, May 4, 2019 — at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Los Angeles – Westside, 6161 W Centinela Ave, Culver City, CA 90230. (310)649-1776.

Screen Shot 2018-11-17 at 6.01.35 PM.png

THIS YEAR’S SESSIONS & WORKSHOPS (MAY 4, 2019):

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 the official 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. An Overview of Your Publishing Options Today (Pacifica B). 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 challenges with both, and the next steps no matter what you decide.

2. Writing Awesome Young Adult and Middle Grade (Marina rooms). Young adult and middle grade are hot markets today, but what does it really mean to write them? And how do you write YA and MG stories that connect with readers and keep them glued to the page?

3. The Alchemy of Adaptation: Adapting a Manuscript from Book to Movie Screen (Pacifica C+D rooms). Ever want to adapt your manuscript into a movie screenplay? In this course writer/producer Mary Kuryla will offer a practical approach to adaptation, applying the fundamentals of screenwriting, including dramatic structure, developing fully dimensional characters, and scene construction.

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

1. How To Write Awesome Romance (Pacifica C+D rooms). In this nuts-and-bolts session, we’ll talk about the nuances of the romance publishing industry, including pre-query prep, attention-getting hooks, character trends, and the importance of weaving time-honored tropes in fresh new ways.

2. Everything You Need to Know About Agents and Query Letters (Pacifica B). This workshop is an intensive in dealing with literary agents.

3. Ten Secrets to Creating Mysteries That Kill (Marina rooms). Learn the basics of mystery writing with ten tips for writing killer mysteries and thrillers. Taught by a published mystery writer, this session will explain what keeps readers and agents turning pages all through the night.

(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 (Pacifica B), 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.

2.  How to Sell a Nonfiction Book (Pacifica C+D rooms). This session is completely devoted to nonfiction that is not memoir. So if you are trying to create an awesome nonfiction book proposal, this presentation is for you.

3. Be Brief, Bright, and BOLD! How to Create Epic Picture Books That Sell (Marina rooms). In this workshop, you will learn how to create, pitch, and publish compelling picture books that will delight audiences for years to come.

BLOCK FOUR: 2:45 – 3:45

1. How to Market Yourself and Your Books: Talking Author Social Media, Blogging, and Platform (Pacifica C+D rooms). Whether you’re traditionally published or self-published, everyone could use some helpful guidance on how to effectively market themselves and sell more books.

2. Querypalooza (Pacifica B). In this interactive workshop, you will learn query letter Dos and Don’ts, how to write a compelling longline, synopsis, and bio, and put all the pieces together to create a concise and killer query that will leave agents and editors salivating to read your entire manuscript. Bring your query in case the instructor has time to do live critiques.

3. You’re Done! Now the Work Begins – How to Self-Edit and Get Your Project Ready (Marina rooms).  From beta readers to agent querying to the publishing process, this class will teach writers will learn how to tackle revising their finished project.

(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. Ten Keys to Writing Success (Pacifica B). Learn 10 things you can be doing right now that will help get your book(s) published and have more control over your writing destiny.

2. Writing Speculative Fiction — How to Compose Great Sci-Fi and Fantasy (Marina rooms). A discussion regarding the genres of science fiction and fantasy — how the markets are changing, what writers can do to improve their craft in these genres, and much more.

3. Legal and Copyright FAQ For Writers (Pacifica C+D rooms). Can you quote song lyrics in your novel? Are you allowed to write about real people? This workshop provides an introduction for both self-publishing and traditionally published authors to basic legal issues they may confront when writing and marketing their work.

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.

————-

PITCH AGENTS AND EDITORS:

Screen Shot 2018-11-18 at 3.21.55 PM.pngRachel Beck [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent with Holloway Literary. Rachel is interested in representing: women’s fiction (especially upmarket/book club fiction), contemporary romance with a humorous voice and subplots in addition to the romance, young adult (no historical, fantasy, paranormal, sci-fi or middle-grade please), psychological, character-driven women’s suspense/thrillers, and Southern fiction. In nonfiction, she seeks memoir, true crime, and select health and self-help books (such as professional/career development). Learn more about Rachel here.

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Annie Bomke is a literary agent and the founder of Annie Bomke Literary Agency. She has worked on a wide variety of genres including mainstream and literary fiction, self-help, business, health/diet, memoir, parenting, relationships, psychology, and humor, but she is most passionate about character-driven literary fiction, mysteries, thrillers, historical fiction, and psychology. Learn more about Annie here.

Screen Shot 2018-05-17 at 10.07.13 AM.pngStephanie Kehr is a jr. agent and for C.Y.L.E. Literary. Stephanie is looking for skillfully crafted stories that capture the heart and answer the world’s deepest questions. She’s seeking young adult, middle grade, historical, children’s picture books, chapter books, romance, science fiction, fantasy, inspirational/Christian, and authors with strong platform, unique ideas, and diverse characters. In nonfiction, she’s interested in self-help, devotionals, leadership, biographies, and religious genres. Learn more about Stephanie here.

Screen Shot 2019-03-30 at 2.52.20 PMTara Gilbert is a jr. literary agent with Corvisiero Agency. At the 2019 Seattle conference, she is taking pitches on behalf of herself as well as co-agents. Personally, she is seeking all kinds of young adult and middle grade, adult sci-fi, adult fantasy, graphic novels, contemporary fiction, and romance. On behalf of co-agents, she will take pitches for historical novels, women’s fiction, mainstream/general fiction, and children’s picture books. Learn more about Tara here.

Screen Shot 2019-02-21 at 11.02.00 AM.pngKieryn Ziegler [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret LLC. She loves books about exciting new worlds, found families, fantastic female characters, and stories with diverse POVs — especially YA & MG. “I am open to almost all genres and categories (though erotica and cookbooks probably aren’t the right fit for me). I am especially interested in queer historical novels (preferably with happy endings), YA & MG nonfiction, and graphic novels for all ages.” Learn more about Kieryn here.

Screen Shot 2017-11-06 at 1.17.01 AM.pngCarlie Webber [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent with Fuse Literary. She represents fiction in the genres of: young adult, middle grade, new adult, women’s fiction, literary fiction, mainstream fiction, mystery, thriller, suspense, romance, science fiction, and fantasy. She does not want to rep picture books, easy readers, poetry, scripts or curriculum nonfiction. She no longer seeks nonfiction (or memoir) of any kind. Learn more about Carlie here. Learn more about Carlie here.

Screen Shot 2018-12-04 at 9.08.40 PM.pngKari Sutherland [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent with Bradford Literary Agency. She is open to genres from picture books through adult. In children’s books, Kari is interested in character-driven stories, new twists on classic tales, empowering themes, epic fantasy, fresh voices and experiences, inventive mysteries, humor, and magical realism. In YA, which is near and dear to her heart, Kari is drawn to compelling voices, tight pacing, and clear world-building regardless of whether it’s a space drama, an underground dystopia, a small town, or a big city contemporary. She is open to any genre within YA. Kari is interested in adult fiction — including general fiction; upmarket women’s fiction; intergenerational tales; magical realism; historical dramas; and light-hearted contemporary fiction. Kari is seeking nonfiction in the following categories: quirky topics; history and biography; pop science and psychology; humor; and parenting. Learn more about Kari here.

Screen Shot 2018-11-17 at 8.35.06 PM.pngDana Newman [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent and the founder of Dana Newman Literary. She is seeking: “On the fiction side, we consider a very selective amount of literary fiction and women’s upmarket fiction. We look for character-driven stories written in a distinctive voice that are emotionally truthful. We are interested in practical nonfiction (business, health and wellness, psychology, parenting, technology) by authors with smart, unique perspectives and established platforms who are committed to actively marketing and promoting their books. We love compelling, inspiring narrative nonfiction in the areas of memoir, biography, history, pop culture, current affairs/women’s interest, social trends, and sports/fitness. A favorite genre is literary nonfiction: true stories, well told, that read like a novel you can’t put down.” Learn more about Dana here.

Screen Shot 2018-11-25 at 10.17.03 PM.pngBetsy Amster [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent and president of Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises. In adult fiction, she seeks literary fiction, upscale commercial women’s fiction, and voice-driven mysteries and thrillers. For nonfiction, she enjoys narrative nonfiction (especially by journalists), travelogues, memoirs (including graphic memoirs), social issues and trends, psychology, self-help, popular culture, women’s issues, history & biography, lifestyle, careers, health and medicine, parenting, cooking and nutrition, gardening, and quirky gift books. Learn more about Betsy here.

Screen Shot 2018-12-04 at 9.14.49 PM.pngNephele Tempest [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent with The Knight Agency. She is currently seeking works in the following genres: literary/commercial fiction, women’s fiction, fantasy, science fiction, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, contemporary romance, historical fiction, young adult and middle grade fiction. Learn more about Nephele here.

Screen Shot 2018-11-21 at 5.12.36 PM.pngAnne Tibbets [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent with D4EO Literary. She is seeking: adult science fiction / dystopian, adult and young adult fantasy, adult innovative thrillers (historical a plus), and adult and young adult horror (Think early Stephen King mixed with Gillian Flynn). Learn more about Anne here.

Screen Shot 2018-12-06 at 8.27.37 PM.pngSteven Hutson [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent and the founder of Wordwise Media Services. He is seeking: Steven is open to any genre except picture books, short stories, and poetry. That means he is seeking historical fiction, literary fiction, mainstream/upmarket fiction, thriller, suspense, crime, mystery, romance, young adult fiction, middle grade fiction, science fiction, women’s fiction, and fantasy. He also will take pitches for memoir. Get to know Steven here.

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 6.36.43 PM.pngSonyo Estavillo is an agent assistant with Metamorposis Literary. At the 2019 Los Angeles event, she will be taking pitches on behalf of her co-agents actively seeking new writers.On behalf of her acquiring co-agents, Sonyo is seeking the following types of pitches: young adult (any kind), adult science fiction and fantasy, thrillers, romance (all kinds), LGBTQ+, women’s fiction, book club reads, paranormal (romance or not), horror, and #ownvoices. Learn more about Sonyo here.

        More 2019 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. You can pitch as many agents & editors as like you wish.

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:

$189 — EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2019 WCLA and access to all workshops, all day. As of October 2018, 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 2017 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 2017 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 2018 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 2017 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 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 Chuck Sambuchino, one of the workshop’s former instructors. (This rate is a special event value for WCLA 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 double-spaced 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:

  • Adult science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, and urban fantasy: Faculty member Wesley Chu, a published author of speculative fiction, will get your work in advance, critique 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.
  • Romance, women’s fiction, erotica: Faculty member Angel Payne, a published author of romance, will get your work in advance, critique 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.
  • Southern fiction, literary fiction, mainstream fiction, women’s fiction: Faculty member Lorna Hollifield, a published Southern fiction author, will get your work in advance and critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your story. Unlike other critiquers listed here, Lorna will not be at the LA event to meet with writers for 10 minutes each. Instead, she will be available for 10-minute Skype meetings for each attendee critique.
  • Children’s picture books, romance, literary fiction, mainstream fiction, historical fiction: Faculty member Eve Porinchak, a former literary agent and current writing coach, will get your work in advance, critique 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. If you are getting a picture book critique, please submit 1,000 words maximum, and your submission can come with or without illustrations.
  • Young adult and middle grade novels: Faculty member Livia Blackburne, a published author of YA fiction, will get your work in advance, critique 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.
  • Thriller, mystery, suspense, crime: Faculty member Jeri Westerson, a published author of mystery/thriller novels, will get your work in advance, critique 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.
  • Memoir: Faculty member Dan Marshall, a published author of memoir, will get your work in advance, critique 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.
  • Short stories, literary fiction, film scripts / screenplays: Faculty member Mary Kuryla, a published writer and screenplay teacher, will get your work in advance, critique it, and meet with you for 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss her thoughts. For short stories or literary fiction novels, she will critique 10 double-spaced pages of your work. For screenplays (movie scripts), she will critique your first 15 screenplay pages. Please note that film screenplays have very specific formatting, and you are encouraged to consult and use Final Draft to format your 15 pages before submitting. Mary loves critiquing horror screenplays but is open to any genre. She is also open to critiquing the first 30 pages of a screenplay in a double critique (price $100). No teleplays or pilots please. Film screenplays only.
  • More options possibly forthcoming

How to pay/register — Registration is now open. Reach out to workshop organizer Kerrie Flanagan via email: WDWfaculty@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 Kerrie plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Los Angeles workshop specifically.

REGISTRATION:

Because of limited space at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Los Angeles – Westside, 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 Kerrie Flanagan via email: WDWfaculty@gmail.com. She will pass along registration information to you, and give instructions on how to pay by PayPal, credit card, or check. Once payment is complete, you will have a reserved seat at the event. The WCLA will send out periodic e-mail updates to all registered attendees with any & all news about the event. Because Kerrie plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Los Angeles 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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