After 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:
- literary agent Elaine Spencer (The Knight Agency)
- editor Lydia Sharp (Entangled Publishing)
- 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)
- and 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.
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. A Bird’s-eye View Publishing & Books in the Year 2019 (Ambassador Ballroom). This workshop is quick and easy overview of the publishing industry today, and how it’s changing.
2. Social Media on a Budget (Diplomat Ballroom). How do you build your audience beyond your friends’ lists? Ads and graphics cost money, and often can easily begin chopping at your bank account. This class is one that will teach how to gain an audience and how to utilize social media when you are on a budget.
3. Query Letter Comprehensive (Regency Ballroom). Stand out from the slush and workshop your way to crafting a successful query letter. It’s time to kick the clichés, ditch the info dumps, and get ready to dive deeper than a list of dos and don’ts.
1. Tips on How to Write Like the Pros (Ambassador Ballroom). This workshop is a thorough crash course concerning craft, style and voice.
2. How NOT to Get a Literary Agent (Regency Ballroom). 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. Amuse Yourself With Murder: How to Write a Thrilling Mystery (Diplomat Ballroom). Writing a mystery can be a killer — unless you entertain yourself first. This workshop offers insights for taking the pressure off of yourself and joyfully completing your mystery novel.
(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 (Diplomat Ballroom). This session is completely devoted to nonfiction book proposals.
3. Picture Book Boot Camp (Ambassador Ballroom). Learn how to pitch and publish in the children’s book market. Understand the craft and business of writing for young kids.
BLOCK FOUR: 2:45 – 3:45
1. Twenty Questions You Need Answered Before You Seek an Agent or Self-Publish Your Book (Regency Ballroom). 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. Revision: Selling Your Book Before You Submit (Diplomat Ballroom). Do you find it hard to see your own writing mistakes? Become a writer that wows a prospective agent or editor by enhancing your manuscript and proposal submission with targeted editing geared to make your submission shine above the competition.
3. Keys to Writing Great Young Adult & Middle Grade Fiction (Ambassador Ballroom). 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 (Regency Ballroom). 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. Writing Speculative Fiction — How to Compose Great Sci-Fi and Fantasy (Ambassador Ballroom). 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. How to Write and Sell Romance in Today’s Market (Diplomat Ballroom). 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 AGENTS AND EDITORS:
Vicki Selvaggio 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.
Ella Marie Shupe 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.
Elaine Spencer 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.
Laura Crockett 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.
Lydia Sharp is an editor for Entangled Publishing. She is taking pitches for: young adult in any genre (must have a romance), adult contemporary romance, and women’s fiction (with or without romance). Lydia’s favorite stories have a brisk pace, crackling chemistry, witty banter, romantic moments that make you melt, a high stakes plot, characters that jump off the page, and a dramatic ending. Learn more about Lydia here.
Janna Bonikowski is a literary agent with The Knight Agency. She is seeking romance, women’s fiction, literary/commercial fiction, suspense, young adult, and historical fiction. With such a wide range of literary loves, she manically adds to her to-be-read pile every new-release Tuesday, supporting the economy one book purchase at a time. Get to know more about Janna here.
Bethany Morehead 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.
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 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.)
$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.)
“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 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.
- 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.
- More options forthcoming
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 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: email@example.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.)