The 2023 Writing Conference of Los Angeles: May 13, 2023

Screen Shot 2016-12-25 at 10.34.26 PM.pngAfter successful 2015, 2019, and 2022 events in Los Angeles, Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2023 Writing Conference of Los Angeles — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in Los Angeles, CA on May 13, 2023.

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 (225 total). All questions about the event regarding schedule, details and registration are answered below. Thank you for your interest in the 2023 Writing Conference of Los Angeles! We are very proud of our many success stories where attendees sign with agents following events — see our growing list of success stories here.

(Please note that this is an in-person event. We at Writing Day Workshops plan both online/virtual as well as in-person events. This next WCLA is an in-person event happening in Los Angeles on May 13, 2023. See you there.)

WHAT IS IT?

This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, May 13, 2023, at the Los Angeles Convention Center. 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 Analieze Cervantes (Harvey Klinger Literary)
  • literary agent Rachelle Gardner (Gardner Literary)
  • literary agent Sarah Bowlin (Aevitas Creative Management)
  • literary agent Darlene Chan (Linda Chester Literary Agency)
  • literary agent Halley Dunne Parry (The Hamilburg Agency)
  • literary agent Dara Hyde (Hill Nadell Literary)
  • literary agent Carlisle Webber (Fuse Literary)
  • literary agent Antoinette Van Sluytman (Irene Goodman Literary Agency)
  • literary agent Ken Sherman (Ken Sherman Associates)
  • literary agent Emma Kapson (Verve Talent & Literary Agency.)
  • literary agent Paul S. Levine (Paul Levine Literary)
  • literary agent Kiana Nguyen (Donald Maass Literary)
  • literary agent Zabe Ellor (Jennifer De Chiara Literary)
  • literary agent Michaela Whatnall (Dystel, Goderich & Bourret)
  • literary agent Steven Hutson (Wordwise Media Services)
  • literary agent Vanessa Campos (D4EO Literary Agency)
  • literary agent Lucy Hamilburg (The Hamilburg Agency)
  • 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. E-mail him to register for the event at WritingDayWorkshops@gmail.com.

EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS:

9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, May 13, 2023 — at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

(Please note that this is an in-person event. We at Writing Day Workshops plan both online/virtual as well as in-person events. This next WCLA is an in-person event happening in Los Angeles on May 13, 2023. See you there.)

THIS YEAR’S SESSIONS & WORKSHOPS (MAY 13, 2023):

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. Everything You Need to Know About Agents and Query Letters. This workshop is a thorough crash course in dealing with literary agents.

2. Leveraging Social Media To Build Your Author Brand. Building your author brand is essential for all aspiring authors, regardless of your writing level. Learn how to leverage smart content development strategy and social media management to build your platform.

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

1. How Do I Decide? Traditional vs. Indie Publishing
. There is plenty of information available on both traditional and self-publishing. But how do you choose between the two?

2. Four Ways Book Authors Make Money from Publishers: How Authors Go from Fingers on Keyboard to Dollars in Bank Account. Examine the four major ways authors make money from traditional book publishing.

(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, 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. This session is completely devoted to nonfiction that is not memoir. So if you are trying to create a nonfiction book proposal, this presentation is for you.

BLOCK FOUR: 2:45 – 3:45

1. Open Agent Q&A Panel. Several attending literary agents will open themselves up to open Q&A from WCLA attendees. Bring your questions and get them answered in this popular session.

2. Character-Centered Worldbuilding in Science Fiction and Fantasy. In this presentation, a literary agent will share his approach to crafting fantasy worlds rooted in character conflict, demonstrating an approach to let exposition flow naturally while that the same time raising the emotional stakes of the story.

(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. Decolonizing Fiction. This class will focus on challenging the notion of there being an ideal and normative writing craft method. It centers an anti-colonial worldbuilding approach to telling our stories, and why that approach is so important to the publishing industry today.

2. Ten Keys to Writing Success. 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.

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:

Sarah Bowlin is a literary agent with Aevitas Creative Management.  Sarah joined Aevitas after a decade as an editor of literary fiction and nonfiction. She is seeking: Sarah is focused on bold, diverse voices in fiction and nonfiction. She’s especially interested in stories of strong or difficult women and unexpected narratives of place, of identity, and of the shifting ways we see ourselves and each other. She’s also interested in food history, wine, and dance. Learn more about Sarah here.

Analieze Cervantes is a literary agent with Harvey Klinger Literary Agency.  She’s is especially open to BIPOC and LGBTQ voices in the categories mentioned below. Actively seeking projects in the following fiction genres / categories: Author/Illustrator picture books, Illustrators (picture books), Chapter Books, Graphic Novels (in all age groups), Commercial, Literary, Sci-Fi, Romance, Contemporary, Thriller/Suspense, Cozy Mysteries, Crime Fiction, and Women’s Fiction. Learn more about Analieze here.

Halley Dunne Parry is a literary agent with The Hamilburg Agency. A graduate of the Washington University MFA program, she has spent the last decade working at independent bookstores and in publishing. Halley is looking for fiction that plays with genre and form, for plot-driven literary novels, commercial fiction, adult speculative fiction and hybrid works of narrative nonfiction. Learn more about Halley here.

Rachelle Gardner is literary agent and owner of Gardner Literary. She works in the Christian market (CBA) as well as the general market, and is considering new clients for both. In fiction she’s looking at novels of 75,000 to 100,000 words in the following genres: contemporary women’s fiction, romance, suspense/thriller, historical, YA and YA fantasy including fairy tale retellings with a unique approach. Rachelle is looking at a wide variety of nonfiction, but please note, she can’t sell it unless you have a platform. If you have begun developing a following, bring her your nonfiction! She is especially interested in BIPOC and LGBTQ+ authors. Learn more about Rachelle here.

Darlene Chan is a literary agent with Linda Chester Literary Agency.  Darlene is interested in stories by and about BIPOC, women’s fiction, literary fiction, chick lit/rom-com, crime fiction, pop culture, narrative non-fiction and nonfiction books on film and the entertainment industry. She’s not seeking: sci-fi, fantasy, historical fiction, family saga, children’s/YA or screenplays that have been turned into novels. Learn more about Darlene here.

Vanessa Campos is a literary agent with D4EO Literary Agency. Vanessa has worked with authors ranging from CEOs to solopreneurs and sees every book as an opportunity to launch and diversify content to a larger audience through worldwide distribution and subsidiary licensing. She is seeking: Now, as an agent at D4EO Literary Agency, she is looking to help bring more diverse voices to the business, entrepreneurship, and self-help publishing space. She does not want any pitches for fiction or children’s books. Learn more about Vanessa here.

Dara Hyde is Senior Literary Agent at the Hill Nadell Literary Agency. Dara represents a wide range of fiction and nonfiction, including literary and genre fiction, graphic novels, narrative nonfiction, memoir, young adult, and children’s literature. Her clients have been winners or finalists for the Women’s Prize, NAACP Image Award, Carnegie Medal, Eisner Award, Anthony Award, YALSA Award, Harvey Award, International Latino Book Award, and the Reading the West Award, among others. “I’m drawn to stories that examine social issues in unique ways, and voices that have been historically under-represented in publishing; stories that explore the bonds and complexities of both blood and chosen families; stories with crossover appeal, whether that’s YA/adult or blending genres in surprising ways.” Learn more about Dara here.

Carlisle Webber is a literary agent at Fuse Literary. Carlisle is looking for: high-concept commercial fiction in middle grade, young adult, and adult. If your book is fresh and exciting, tackles difficult topics, reads like a Shonda Rhimes show, or makes readers stay up late turning pages, she’s the agent for you. Diverse authors are encouraged to submit their fiction. Within the genres she represents, Carlisle is especially interested in stories by and about people of color; with both visible and invisible disabilities and illnesses; who are economically disadvantaged; who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer; or who are members of religious minorities. Pitch her: Middle grade (any genre), Young adult (any genre), thriller, mystery, suspense, horror, women’s fiction, and popular/mainstream fiction. Learn more about Carlisle here.

Antoinette Van Sluytman is a literary agent with Irene Goodman Literary Agency. Antoinette is interested in all genres of speculative fiction, specifically cosmic horror, dark fantasy, epic fantasy, sci-fi, in addition to historical fiction. Antoinette maintains special interest in adult projects but is also open to select YA and graphic novels. In historical fiction she’s interested in finding stories inspired by non-western mythologies or about the untold stories of female heroines around the world. In general she loves lyrical prose that challenges narrative conventions, ambitiously immersive worlds inspired by different cultures, morally gray and dysfunctional but lovable characters with fun dynamics, and new takes on old tropes. Learn more about Antoinette here.

Screen Shot 2019-09-27 at 1.37.27 PMPaul S. Levine is a literary agent and the founder of Paul S. Levine Literary. He is also an attorney. His fiction interests include adventure novels, mainstream fiction, mysteries, romance, thrillers, and women’s fiction. His nonfiction interests include business/commerce, pop culture, how-to, self-help, politics/law, relationships, and sports. Learn more about Paul here.

Lucy Hamilburg is a literary agent at The Hamilburg Agency. Lucy is looking for picture books, middle grade, and young adult fiction. As a former middle school teacher, she knows what flies off the shelves and is always seeking novels, graphic novels, lyrical prose, and picture books that make kids and young adults laugh out loud and simultaneously pull at their heart strings She is open to all genres and categories within kidlit books — including fantasy, suspense/thriller, romance, contemporary, humor, paranormal, historical fiction, and everything in between. Learn more about Lucy here.

Michaela Whatnall is a literary agent with Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. Their background in school and library marketing accounts for their strong interest in children’s literature, particularly middle grade and young adult fiction of all genres, including contemporary, fantasy, science fiction, historical, adventure, horror, and rom-com. In the adult fiction space, Michaela is particularly seeking contemporary, speculative, and historical upmarket fiction, as well as character-driven sci-fi/fantasy and other genre fiction that features historically underrepresented characters. They are also open to select narrative nonfiction for both children and adults, graphic novels, and picture books. Learn more about Michaela here.

Kiana Nguyen is a literary agent with Donald Maass Literary Agency. She is seeking YA fiction across genres, particularly those with POC and queer voices. She is also interested in adult romance and domestic suspense thrillers. Regarding pitches: “If I feel uncomfortable with a pitch or an attendee with regards to racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. (whether in the context of themselves, the story, or being asked how to avoid it), I will respectfully end the conversation.” In particular, she enjoys dark, twisty narratives that explore human complexity; YA contemporary featuring lower socioeconomic backgrounds, such as poor kids who get in as much reckless mischief as their rich counterparts; YA featuring happy/hopeful queer romances; and domestic suspense thrillers. She is also seeking Adult science fiction, fantasy, and romance. For horror, she likes adult and young adult novels. Horror. Learn more about Kiana here.

Ken Sherman is President of Ken Sherman & Associates, a Los Angeles based literary agency. The company was established in 1989, and handles film, television, and book writers, as well as selling film and television rights for books and life-rights. Concerning what he seeks, Ken is a generalist, and represents adult fiction and nonfiction of all types. He does not want pitches for children’s books or kidlit novels of any kind. Learn more about Ken here.

Emma Kapson is a literary agent with Verve Talent & Literary Agency. Emma is a native Los Angeleno and a member of Verve’s IP Team. She loves strong female driven narratives, epic worlds, romance, and works by foreign and diverse writers. She has been privileged to work on books with Melissa Arnot, Dan Ahdoot, Liz Kerin, and many other talented artists during my tenure at Verve. The agency specializes in acquiring powerful voices in Memoir and Horror specifically. Learn more about Emma here.

Zabé Ellor is a literary agent with The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency. He represents middle grade in various genres and young adult novels in all genres. In adult fiction, his first love is science fiction & fantasy. He is also looking for commercial and upmarket contemporary fiction, especially projects that contain elements of literary mystery and thriller, or voice-driven projects that would make a fun beach read. He is interested in graphic novel projects for all age groups. In nonfiction, he wants proposals for books about science and history that teach and entertain in equal measure. “If you want to dive deeply into an intriguing quirk of our world—and can do so with voice, wit, and an eye for the human—I want to see your proposal! As a former evolutionary biology/Renaissance literature major, my interests are wide, but I’ll always be interested in projects about fossils. Show me your platform and your passion for the subject. Also, Diversity is incredibly important to me. I strongly encourage marginalized authors to self-identify, if they are comfortable, especially if their identity is related to their project.” Learn more about Zabe here. Learn more about Zabe here.

Steven Hutson is a literary agent and founder of Wordwise Media Services. He is seeking: “I’m interested in representing a wide range of fiction and nonfiction books for children and adults. Surprise me.” Some of the categories he enjoys, though is not limited to, include: Action/Adventure, Children’s, Crime, Fantasy, General, Graphic Novel, Humor, Middle Grade, Military, Mystery, Religious, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller, Women’s Fiction, Young Adult. For Nonfiction: Biography, Cookbooks, Crafts/DIY, History, Humor, Illustrated, Pop Culture, Psychology, Science, Sports, Travel, True Crime. Learn more about Steven here.

 

 

        More 2023 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.)

———

PRICING:

$199 — EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2023 WCLA and access to all workshops, all day. As of fall 2022, 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 an 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 Chuck Sambuchino, one of the day’s instructors. (This rate is a special event value for Writing Conference of Los Angeles 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 will either 1) get an in-person meeting at the workshop, if the faculty member is attending the live event, or 2) get a 10-minute phone call with the faculty member, and have notes passed along via email, if the critiquer is not attending the live event. Options:

  • Psychological thrillers, horror, mysteries, suspense, general contemporary adult fiction; and lastly some romance and women’s fiction (in-person critiques): Faculty member S.Z. Estavillo, a writing coach and former literary agent, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you at the event to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes during or after the in-person meeting. 
  • Thriller, suspense, mystery, science fiction, fantasy, spiritual writing (virtual): Faculty member James Rubart, an author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting. 
  • Children’s picture books and middle grade (virtual): Faculty member Brittany Thurman, a published author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting. If you submit a picture book, it must be 1,000 words or fewer (can have illustrations or not).
  • Children’s picture books, middle grade, young adult, memoir, historical fiction, general fiction of almost any kind (in-person critiques): Faculty member Eve Porinchak, a former agent turned publishing coach, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting. Children’s picture books should be 1,000 words maximum, and can or cannot have illustrations.
  • Literary fiction, general fiction, women’s fiction, science fiction, fantasy, speculative fiction, mystery, thriller, historical fiction, memoir, young adult, middle grade, and children’s picture books (virtual): Faculty member Laura Biagi, a writing coach and former agent, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting. For children’s picture books, projects should be 1,000 words maximum, and can or cannot include illustrations.
  • More critique options possibly forthcoming.

How to pay/register — Registration is now open. Reach out to workshop organizer Brian Klems via email: WritingDayWorkshops@gmail.com, and he will provide specific instructions for payment and registration to get you a reserved seat at the event. Payment is by credit card, PayPal, or check. Because Brian plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Los Angeles workshop specifically.

REGISTRATION:

Because of limited space at the venue (Los Angeles Convention Center), the workshop can only allow 225 registrants. For this reason, we encourage you to book sooner rather than later.

(Please note that this is an in-person event. We at Writing Day Workshops plan both online/virtual as well as in-person events. This next WCLA is an in-person event happening in Los Angeles on May 13, 2023. See you there.)

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: WritingDayWorkshops@gmail.com. Brian will pass along registration information to you, and give instructions on how to pay by credit card, PayPal, 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 Brian 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.)

Screen Shot 2014-06-12 at 4.10.21 PM

Thank you for your interest in the 2023 Writing Conference of Los Angeles.

 

 

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