The 2019 Michigan Writing Workshop: May 4, 2019

Screen Shot 2016-12-25 at 10.34.26 PM.pngAfter successful 2015, 2017, and 2018 events in Michigan, Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2019 Michigan Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in Livonia, MI on 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 Michigan Writing Workshop!

WHAT IS IT?

This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, May 4, 2019, 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:

  • [NEW ADDITION] literary agent Kelly Peterson (Rees Literary)
  • literary agent Elaine Spencer (The Knight Agency)
  • literary agent Carrie Howland (Howland Literary)
  • literary agent Ella Marie Shupe (Belcastro Agency)
  • literary agent Elana Roth Parker (Laura Dail Literary)
  • literary agent Vicki Selvaggio (Storm Literary)
  • literary agent Bethany Morehead (Hartline Literary)
  • literary agent Laura Crockett (TriadaUS Literary)
  • literary agent Janna Bonikowski (The Knight Agency)
  • literary agent Jacqueline Lipton (Storm 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 Jessica Bell of Writing Day Workshops, with assistance from local writing groups.

EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS:

9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, May 4, 2019 — at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Detroit Livonia Novi, 19525 Victor Pkwy, Livonia, MI 48152.

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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. Getting Published in Today’s World: 10 Tips to Make You the Writer Agents and Publishers Want. (Regency Ballroom) This workshop discusses the challenges writers face in publishing today and offers up 10 practical tips to help you break through the barriers and find success.

2. So You’ve Finished Writing Your Middle Grade or Young Adult Novel — Now What? (Diplomat Ballroom) An in-depth look at how to get your YA/MG novel published, from joining the writing community and crafting a head-turning query letter, to finding the right agent and surviving the submission process.

3. Settings to Make Your Novel Unforgettable. (Ambassador Ballroom) The setting of your novel is more than just a stage from which your characters deliver their lines—it’s an integral part of your story.

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

1. 15 Tips on How to Write Like the Pros. (Regency Ballroom) This workshop is a thorough crash course concerning craft, style and voice.

2. Crafting a Query that Sparkles. (Ambassador Ballroom) This course takes you through crafting a submission email that will sparkle with content that is needed to be seen and how to get your work noticed.

3. Amuse Yourself With Murder: How to Write a Thrilling Mystery. (Diplomat Ballroom) Writing a mystery can be a killer — unless you entertain yourself first.

(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. (Regency Ballroom) 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: The 9 Musts of a Proposal. (Ambassador Ballroom) This session is completely devoted to nonfiction that is not memoir.

3. How to Write Picture Books that Show Inclusion. (Diplomat Ballroom) In this session, you will learn about the evolution of diversity in children’s books.

BLOCK FOUR: 2:45 – 3:45

1. Traditional Publishing 101: Your Book’s Journey from Idea to Shelves. (Ambassador Ballroom) For beginning writers who are curious about how a book actually gets made and into the hands of readers, this workshop demystifies what can seem like a convoluted process.

2. Writing Great Fantasy and Science Fiction That Sells. (Diplomat Ballroom) This workshop addresses the specialized challenges of writing fantasy and science fiction in today’s world.

3. The Best Strategies to Finish Your Novel (Finally!). (Regency Ballroom) This class will give you the tools you need to finally finish your novel, and have fun doing it.

(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. 18 Frequently Asked Questions About Publishing All Writers Should Know. (Regency Ballroom) Before you publish your work or query an agent (and after), there are plenty of things you need to know.

2. Everything Writers Need to Know About Copyrights, Contracts, Defamation and More. (Ambassador Ballroom) 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.

3. Not Your Mother’s Romance Genre: How to Write Romance for Today’s Readers (& Publishers). (Diplomat Ballroom) This workshop offers an introduction to romance, will explore the evolution of the genre (including love-making positivity), the ins-and-outs of the industry today, and how to be carve a career in a wildly competitive marketplace.

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 2015-12-01 at 9.50.27 AMVicki Selvaggio [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent with Storm Literary (formerly 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 2019-03-31 at 1.18.30 AM.pngKelly Peterson [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent with Rees Literary. Kelly seeks manuscripts in various genres within Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Adult age ranges. In Middle Grade, she loves fantasy, sci-fi, and contemporary that touches on tough issues for young readers. Her Young Adult preferences vary from contemporary to high fantasy, sci-fi (not the space kind) to paranormal (all the ghost stories, please!), and historical all the way back to rom-coms. Kelly is proud to continue to represent Adult manuscripts in romance, fantasy, and sci-fi. Learn more about Kelly here.

Screen Shot 2019-02-21 at 4.14.48 PM.pngCarrie Howland is a literary agent and founder of Howland Literary.  She represents adult literary fiction, narrative nonfiction, young adult, middle grade, and picture book authors. In terms of YA & MG, she prefers contemporary, but will look at some fantasy occasionally. No sci-fi, please. Learn more about Carrie here.

Screen Shot 2018-11-14 at 5.38.23 PM.pngElla Marie Shupe [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent with Belcastro Agency. She is seeking in adult: mysteries – all subgenres, thriller, suspense, and general fiction. “In adult fiction, 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.” She is looking for young adult – fantasy, science fiction, action/adventure, contemporary, magical realism, mystery/thriller, and horror. “We want profound young adult with a strong protagonist. A whacky, funny, crazy, or thought-provoking voice will draw our attention. We look for entertaining storylines that deal with tough life issues. We look for big writing that remains fast-paced.” Learn more about Ella Marie here.

Screen Shot 2018-11-13 at 8.59.58 AM.pngElaine Spencer [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent with The Knight Agency. She is interested in: a wide-variety of categories including but not limited to women’s fiction, historical fiction, romance, contemporary fiction, and a multitude of nonfiction topics which align with her personal interests. Learn more about Elaine here.

Screen Shot 2018-11-12 at 11.13.16 PM.pngLaura Crockett [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent with TriadaUS Literary. In young adult, she is interested in contemporary realistic fiction (such as study abroad experiences, strong female friendships, falling in love, mental health, diversity, LGBTQ) and fantasy (particularly with excellent world-building, authentic characterization, fantasy inspired by fairytales and other cultures’ mythology, and historical fantasy). In adult fiction, she is interested in contemporary women’s fiction (heartfelt, juicy moral dilemmas, historical bends with parallel narratives), humorous chick-lit (especially if it’s millennial-driven), and fantasy (excellent world-building, authentic characterization, fantasy inspired by fairytales and other cultures’ mythology, and historical fantasy). Learn more about Laura here.

Screen Shot 2016-10-25 at 12.11.39 PM.pngJanna Bonikowski [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent with The Knight Agency. Janna is eager to find well-crafted stories with tight pacing; authentic, diverse characters (especially by #ownvoices authors); distinctive voices; and—above all—big, imaginative concepts. She loves books demonstrating the strength of women, books that make her laugh out loud, and books about socially relevant topics. More than anything, she wants to be surprised. She’s currently looking for young adult, women’s fiction, romance, historical fiction, commercial fiction, and cozy mystery. Get to know more about Janna here.

Screen Shot 2017-12-02 at 12.43.52 AM.pngBethany Morehead [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a jr. literary agent with Hartline Literary. She is seeking: children’s picture books, middle grade fiction, young adult fiction, women’s fiction, romantic fiction, and speculative fiction (science fiction and fantasy novels). She is actively building her client list. Learn more about Bethany here.

Screen Shot 2019-01-31 at 12.02.36 AM.pngJacqueline Lipton is a literary agent with Storm Literary. She is seeking most kinds of middle grade and young adult fiction — specifically contemporary, romance, science-fiction, mystery, and/or anything with engaging characters and plot! She also seeks MG and YA nonfiction. Learn more about Jacqueline here.

Screen Shot 2016-10-12 at 12.37.28 PM.pngElana Roth Parker [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] 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.

Lydia Sharp is an editor for Entangled Publishing. Unfortunately, she can no longer make the event.

        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 MWW 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 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 $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:

  • Fantasy, science fiction, mystery, thriller, romance, YA, and LGBTQ fiction: Faculty member Steven Piziks, a published writer, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your story, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss his thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
  • Mystery, crime, suspense, and thriller: Faculty member Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli, a published writer, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your story, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
  • Mainstream fiction, literary fiction and women’s fiction: Faculty member Erin Bartels, a published writer and freelance editor, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your story, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
  • Children’s picture books: Faculty member Lisa Rose, a published picture book writer, will get your work in advance, critique your picture book (1,000 words maximum), meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
  • Romance and erotica: Faculty member Aliza Mann, a published writer, will get your work in advance, edit the first 10 double-spaced pages of your story, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
  • Young adult, middle grade, and tween: Faculty member Chelsea Bobulski, a published kidlit novelist, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your story, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
  • More options possibly forthcoming

How to pay/register — Registration is now open. Reach out to workshop organizer Jessica Bell via email: wdwconference@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: wdwconference@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 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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