After a successful 2015 event in Detroit, Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2017 Michigan Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event outside of Detroit, MI on March 25, 2017.
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 (150 total). All questions about the event regarding schedule, details and registration are answered below. Thank you for your interest in the 2017 Michigan Writing Workshop!
WHAT IS IT?
This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, March 25, 2017, at the Embassy Suites 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 faculty so far includes:
- literary agent Elana Roth Parker (Laura Dail Literary Agency)
- literary agent Jennifer Wills (The Seymour Agency)
- literary agent Alice Speilburg (Speilburg Literary)
- literary agent Michael Caligaris (Holloway Literary Agency)
- 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.
EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS:
9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015, at the Embassy Suites Detroit – Livonia/Novi, 19525 Victor Pkwy, Livonia, MI 48152. (734)462-6000. Click on this image to see its location on a map:
THIS YEAR’S SESSIONS & WORKSHOPS (MARCH 25, 2017):
What you see below is a quick layout of the day’s events. We will soon have a full layout of the day’s sessions, with detailed descriptions and presenter bios. The topics below are mostly set, but subject to change.
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. This workshop examines traditional publishing vs. self-publishing / e-publishing.
2. Keys to Writing Great Young Adult & Middle Grade Fiction. This session will discuss the tips and tricks for making middle grade and YA novels great.
3. How to Write, Sell, and Market Your Memoir. In this session, you’ll learn what sells (and why), and how you can get your memoir published.
1. Get Rid of Negative Talk and Naysayers. Get your over your own self-doubt as well as any outside negative voices, and find the time & passion to just write.
2. Everything You Need to Know About Agents and Query Letters. This workshop is a thorough crash course in dealing with literary agents.
3. Fourteen Tips for Writing Great Mysteries, Thrillers, and Crime Fiction. This presentation will teach you how to keep readers—including agents and editors—turning pages late into the night.
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. Nonfiction Intense: Book Proposal Tips. If you are trying to create an awesome nonfiction book proposal, this presentation is for you.
3. Picture Book Intensive: Advice on Selling Your Children’s Book. 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. How to Self-Publish Your Book Now and Do It Right. You’ll learn how to: prepare your manuscript, design your cover, format your paperback interior & ebook, register with desired retailers/distributors, and much more.
2. Talking Craft and Revision. This session will discuss common manuscript problems as well as tools you can use to create the manuscripts that will get the attention you want from agents and editors—and readers.
3. Talking Fantasy and Science Fiction. A panel of attending literary agents will be discussing the genres of science fiction and fantasy — i.e., how to write and sell speculative fiction.
BLOCK FIVE: 4:00 – 5:00
1. Author Social Media and Blogging. This session includes easy-to-understand advice on social media (Twitter, Facebook, more), blogging, and other simple ways you can market your work online.
2. Ten Keys to Writing Success. Learn 10 things you can be doing right now that will help get your book(s) published and find success.
3. How to Write and Sell Romance. 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.
PITCH AN AGENT OR EDITOR:
Jennifer Wills is a literary agent with The Seymour Agency. Jennifer is particularly interested in a wide range of picture books and cookbooks, with a soft spot for author-illustrators of sweet and wacky picture books, and cookbooks with mouth-watering recipes of the health conscious, budget friendly or celebrity chef variety. For fiction, she’s also interested in middle grade and YA with a sci fi/fantasy, horror/suspense, or contemporary bent, and upmarket women’s fiction with a sense of humor. On the nonfiction side, narrative nonfiction and memoir are also welcome. Jennifer tends to shy away from rhyming picture books, historical fiction and high fantasy, although she’s willing to make exceptions. If your manuscript has a great hook, a distinct voice, and can make her laugh out loud or ugly cry (or, even better, both), she’d love to see it. Learn more about Jennifer here.
Alice Speilburg is a literary agent at Speilburg Literary. In nonfiction, she’s looking for authors with established platforms who are writing books in the following categories: biography, food, gender issues, health, history, literary journalism, music, pop culture, relationships, science, travel. In fiction, she’s currently looking for character-driven novels that fall under the following genres: historical fiction, mainstream, literary, mystery, science fiction, thriller/suspense, middle grade, and young adult. Learn more about Alice here.
Michael Caligaris is a literary agent with Holloway Literary Agency. His interests are as follows: literary Fiction, autobiographical fiction (i.e., So Long, See You Tomorrow; A River Runs Through It; Sylvia), short story collections or connected stories as a novel (i.e., Jennifer Egan, Elizabeth Strout, Junot Diaz), LGBTQ lit, novels that are set in the Midwest or could be considered Americana, crime fiction, mystery/noir (i.e., Walter Mosley, Kate Atkinson, Lou Berney), dystopian fiction, civil unrest/political uprising/ war novels, memoir, New Journalism and/or long-form journalism, essay collections (on art, race, mental health, music, etc.), satirical/humor writing, and environmental writing. Learn more about Michael here.
Lesley Sabga is an agent assistant at The Seymour Agency. She is taking pitches on behalf of all of the agency’s acquiring agents (except for Jennifer Wills, who is attending the event also). 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, Christian/inspirational fiction and nonfiction, women’s fiction (contemporary and historical), new adult, Southern fiction, and literary fiction. Learn more about Lesley here.
Elana Roth Parker is a literary agent at Laura Dail Literary Agency, Inc. She seeks juvenile fiction books, including children’s picture books, middle grade fiction, and young adult fiction. Learn more about Elana here.
More 2017 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.)
$169 — EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2017 MWW and access to all workshops, all day. As of October 10, 2016, 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.)
“I signed with my agent, Patricia Nelson, after
meeting her at the Arizona Writing Workshop.”
– writer Axie Oh
“I officially signed with agent Renee Nyen of KT
Literary. I met her at the Colorado Writing
Workshop.” – writer Jessie Hilb Akos
“After taking pitches at the Michigan Writing
Workshop, I signed writer Kyle Prue as a new
client.” – literary agent Veronica Park
“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 Chuck Sambuchino, 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 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:
- Young adult / middle grade / chapter books: Faculty member Madeline Smoot, a children’s book editor, will get your work in advance, edit 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. No picture books, please.
- More critique options: Details and information TBA.
How to pay/register — Registration is now open. Reach out to workshop organizer Jessica Bell via email: firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
Because of limited space at the venue, the workshop can only allow 150 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: email@example.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.)