The 2018 Michigan Writing Workshop: April 14, 2018

Screen Shot 2016-12-25 at 10.34.26 PM.pngAfter successful 2015 and 2017 events in Michigan, Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2018 Michigan Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in Livonia, MI on April 14, 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 Michigan Writing Workshop!

WHAT IS IT?

This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, April 14, 2018, at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Detroit Livonia Novi. 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:

  • literary agent Eric Smith (P.S. Literary)
  • literary agent Stephany Evans (Pande Literary)
  • editor Lauren Jablonski (St. Martin’s Press)
  • literary agent Jennifer Unter (The Unter Agency)
  • literary agent Linda Glaz (Hartline Literary)
  • literary agent Vicki Selvaggio (Jennifer De Chiara Literary)
  • literary agent assistant Lesley Sabga (The Seymour 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 Jessica Bell of Writing Day Workshops, with assistance from local writing groups.

EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS:

9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, April 14, 2018 — at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Detroit Livonia Novi, 19525 Victor Pkwy, Livonia, MI 48152.

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THIS YEAR’S SESSIONS & WORKSHOPS:

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. 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. Social Media 101: Understand the Basics of Getting Online, Building a Readership, and Marketing Your Books & Yourself. This session will address the basics of author platform and how to use social media effectively (including Facebook and Twitter).

3. Self-Editing and Revision. Revision can make or break a book. This presentation will discuss the importance of revision as all stages of one’s career—from beta readers and critique groups to querying agents.

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. How NOT to Get a Literary Agent. This workshop examines pitfalls new authors make when approaching agents (and editors). Learn where writers go wrong in their search for an agent — and how they should do it right.

3. Tips for Writing Great Mysteries, Thrillers, and Crime. This presentation will teach you how to keep readers—including agents and editors—turning pages late into 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. 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. 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, what social media to use, how to launch your book right, and much more.

2. Breaking the Rules of Writing. What are “the rules” and when is it okay to break them? Let’s look at recent examples of flying in the face of conventional literary wisdom.

3. Keys to Writing Great Young Adult & Middle Grade Fiction. Writing for children isn’t all that different from writing for adults.

(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 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 build a readership, and much more.

2. What Happens After an Agent Offers Representation? There are so many things that happen after you receive an offer of representation – from deciding which agency to go with, to editing your work with your new agent, to the submission process, to how deals work, to how you can aide your book’s chances throughout the process.

3. How to Write and Sell Romance in Today’s Market. This session will address important topics and tips for writers of romance.

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 AGENTS AND EDITORS:

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 12.53.51 PMEric Smith is a literary agent with P.S. Literary. He is eagerly acquiring fiction and nonfiction projects. He’s actively seeking out new, diverse voices in young adult (particularly sci-fi and fantasy), new adult, and literary and commercial fiction (again, loves sci-fi and fantasy, but also thrillers and mysteries). In terms of nonfiction, he’s interested in cookbooks, pop culture, humor, essay collections, and blog-to-book ideas. Learn more about Eric here.

Screen Shot 2017-11-10 at 4.24.02 PM.pngStephany Evans is a literary agent with Pande Literary. Stephany has represented nonfiction writers in the areas of health and wellness, spirituality, lifestyle, food and drink, and sustainability, running and fitness, memoir and narrative nonfiction. She also represents a range of women’s fiction, from literary to upmarket commercial, to romance, as well as crime fiction (mysteries, thrillers), and the occasional literary or commercial novel not aimed at a female market. She is looking for fine, accomplished writing, whether the work is by a first time or established author. She loves to be told a great story!​ Learn more about Stephany here.

Screen Shot 2017-11-20 at 12.43.08 AM.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. Learn more about Lauren here.

Screen Shot 2017-02-18 at 1.28.11 PM.pngJennifer Unter is a literary agent and the founder of The Unter Agency. The Unter Agency represents quality fiction and general nonfiction. Her nonfiction interests include memoir, food/cooking, nature/environment, biography, pop culture, travel/adventure, true crime, politics and health/fitness. Adult fiction interests are women’s/book club fiction and literary fiction. She is also open to seeing commercial thrillers and mysteries. (No romance or sci-fi or fantasy, please.) The Unter Agency also represents all types of children’s literature — picture books, middle grade, and young adult. Learn more about Jennifer here.

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 9.50.27 AMVicki Selvaggio is a literary agent with Jennifer De Chiara Literary. She is currently looking for lyrical picture books, middle grade and young adult fiction, new adult, mysteries, suspense, thrillers, paranormal, fantasy, narrative nonfiction, and adult fiction. Vicki is especially drawn to middle grade and young adult. “I especially love thrillers and all elements of weird, creepy stuff. If it’s out of the box, and it will make me think and think, long after I’m done reading, send it to me! On the flip side, I yearn for books that make me laugh, cry and wonder about the world.” Learn more about Vicki here.

Screen Shot 2017-11-03 at 3.48.42 PM.pngLinda S. Glaz is a literary agent with Hartline Literary. List of specific wants: “If you’ve got a great romance, either contemporary, suspense, or historic, you’ll probably make me happy. Please no works that include any graphic sexuality or profanity. Please no children’s. And any other genre, if well-written, will certainly get my notice. I’m not choosy as long as it’s well-written.” Learn more about Linda here.

Screen Shot 2017-01-31 at 4.43.20 PM.pngLesley Sabga is an agent assistant at The Seymour Agency. She is taking pitches on behalf of all of the agency’s acquiring agents. She wants to hear pitches for happily-ever-after romance, mainstream suspense, thrillers, mysteries, young adult with a fresh voice (both contemporary and sci-fi/fantasy), science fiction, fantasy, action/adventure, picture books (especially author-illustrators), cookbooks, middle grade (all kinds), narrative nonfiction, literary fiction, Southern fiction, Christian and inspirational fiction & nonfiction, and memoir. Learn more about Lesley here.

        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. 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.)

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PRICING:

$169 — EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2018 MWW 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 Michigan 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 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:

  • Critique options forthcoming.

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 Michigan workshop specifically.

REGISTRATION:

Because of limited space at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Detroit Livonia Novi, 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: 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 MWW 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 Michigan 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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Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Stephany Evans of Pande Literary

Screen Shot 2017-11-10 at 4.24.02 PM.pngStephany Evans is a literary agent with Pande Literary.

Stephany put a toe in the publishing waters at Simon & Schuster Audio when audio publishing was just beginning to be “a thing.” Now, for more than twenty-five years,

Stephany has represented nonfiction writers in the areas of health and wellness, spirituality, lifestyle, food and drink, and sustainability, running and fitness, memoir and narrative nonfiction.

She also represents a range of women’s fiction, from literary to upmarket commercial, to romance, as well as crime fiction (mysteries, thrillers), and the occasional literary or commercial novel not aimed at a female market. She is looking for fine, accomplished writing, whether the work is by a first time or established author.

She loves to be told a great story!​

Stephany is a member of the Association of Authors’ Representatives (AAR), the RWA, the MWA and the Agents Round Table (ART). She has served as ghostwriter on seven published books in the categories of memoir and spirituality.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Jennifer Unter of The Unter Agency

Screen Shot 2017-02-18 at 1.28.04 PM.pngJennifer Unter is a literary agent and the founder of The Unter Agency.

Before starting her own agency, Ms. Unter worked in many aspects of the publishing industry: in editorial at a publishing house; as a copyright lawyer at an entertainment law firm; and as VP at a literary agency.

The Unter Agency represents quality fiction and general nonfiction.

Her nonfiction interests include memoir, food/cooking, nature/environment, biography, pop culture, travel/adventure, true crime, politics and health/fitness.

Adult fiction interests are women’s/book club fiction and literary fiction. She is also open to seeing commercial thrillers and mysteries. (No romance or sci-fi or fantasy, please.)

The Unter Agency also represents all types of children’s literature — picture books, middle grade, and young adult.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Linda Glaz of Hartline Literary

Screen Shot 2017-11-03 at 3.48.42 PM.pngLinda S. Glaz is a literary agent with Hartline Literary.

Linda is an experienced editor, reviewer and writer, has been a proofreader for two publishers, an editorial assistant to for Hartline becoming an agent four years ago. She has worked as a professional reviewer for a romance site, and just loves anything to do with books. She’s extremely active in the judging community and speaks at conferences nationwide. She is also a member of AWSA, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association which takes her speaking from libraries to ladies teas, churches, and conferences. Linda understands writers, because she IS a writer.

List of specific wants: “If you’ve got a great romance, either contemporary, suspense, or historic, you’ll probably make me happy. Please no works that include any graphic sexuality or profanity. Please no children’s. And any other genre, if well-written, will certainly get my notice. Well-written…well-written…well-written. I’m not choosy as long as it’s …well-written. The most important thing being whether or not I have a place I can take it to. Just because I say no doesn’t mean it isn’t a great work!”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Vicki Selvaggio of Jennifer De Chiara Literary

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Vicki Selvaggio is a literary agent with Jennifer De Chiara Literary.

With a strong background in business ownership, Vicki came to The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency with over six years of actively working as a volunteer and Regional Advisor for SCBWI Northern Ohio. Drawn to the publishing scene first as an author writing all genres, with her most recent publication in the Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market, Vicki’s passion for honing the craft carried over into reading manuscripts for the agency. Currently, she is excited to read compelling manuscripts that will resonate with her long after she’s done.

She is seeking: “I am currently looking for lyrical picture books, middle grade and young adult fiction, new adult, mysteries, suspense, thrillers, paranormal, fantasy, narrative nonfiction, adult fiction but find I’m especially drawn to middle grade and young adult. I especially love thrillers and all elements of weird, creepy stuff. If it’s out of the box, and it will make me think and think, long after I’m done reading, send it to me! On the flip side, I yearn for books that make me laugh, cry and wonder about the world.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Eric Smith of P.S. Literary

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 12.53.46 PMEric Smith is a literary agent with P.S. Literary.

Eric began his publishing career at Quirk Books in Philadelphia, working social media and marketing on numerous books he absolutely adored. Eric completed his BA in English at Kean University, and his MA in English at Arcadia University. A frequent blogger, his ramblings about books appear on BookRiot, The Huffington Post, Barnes & Noble’s Teen Reads blog, Paste Magazine’s Books section, and more. A published author with Quirk Books and Bloomsbury, he seeks to give his authors the same amount of love his writing has received. Follow him on Twitter: @ericsmithrocks

Eric is seeking: Eric is eagerly acquiring fiction and nonfiction projects. He’s actively seeking out new, diverse voices in Young Adult (particularly sci-fi and fantasy), New Adult, and Literary and Commercial Fiction (again, loves sci-fi and fantasy, but also thrillers and mysteries). In terms of nonfiction, he’s interested in Cookbooks, Pop Culture, Humor, essay collections, and blog to book ideas.

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.