Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2019 Pittsburgh Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in Pittsburgh, PA, on March 9, 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 (150 total). All questions about the event regarding schedule, details and registration are answered below. Thank you for your interest in the 2019 Pittsburgh Writing Workshop!
WHAT IS IT?
This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, March 9, 2019, at the Wyndham Grand Downtown Pittsburgh. 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 faculty so far includes:
- literary agent Hope Bollinger (CYLE Literary Elite)
- literary agent Katelyn Uplinger (D4E0 Literary)
- literary agent Marisa Corvisiero (Corvisiero Literary)
- literary agent Amelia Appel (TriadaUS Literary)
- literary agent Danielle Chiotti (Upstart Crow Literary)
- literary agent Uwe Stender (TriadaUS Literary)
- literary agent Vicki Selvaggio (Storm Literary)
- literary agent Ella Marie Shupe (Belcastro Agency)
- and possibly more to be announced
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 Kerrie Flanagan of Writing Day Workshops, with assistance from Pennsylvania West SCBWI.
EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS
9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, March 9, 2019, at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown
600 Commonwealth Pl, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. (412)391-4600. Make a discounted reservation at the hotel using this link.
WORKSHOP SCHEDULE (MARCH 9, 2019)
9 – 9:30: Check-in and registration at the event location.
9:30 – 10:30: “Publishing Options in the Year 2019,” taught by Marisa Corvisiero. This workshop examines the two largest routes any writer can take with their book: traditional publishing and self-publishing (e-publishing). We will examine the upsides of both routes, the downsides, and the next steps no matter what you decide. In today’s publishing world, a writer has to understand what they’re in for before they send their book out. This session is designed to prepare them for what’s to come and what options exist.
10:30 – 11:45: “Everything You Need to Know About Literary Agents and Query Letters,” taught by Chuck Sambuchino. This workshop is a thorough crash course in dealing with literary agents. After quickly going over what an agent is and what they do for writers, we will discuss resources for finding agents, how to ID the best agents for you, query letter writing, as well as the most important things to do and not to do when dealing with representatives.
11:45 – 1:15: Lunch on your own. There are several restaurants within quick driving distance on the block.
1:15 – 2:30: “Writers’ Got Talent: A Chapter One Critique-Fest.” 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 our attending agents commenting on what was liked or not liked about the submission. Get expert feedback on your incredibly important first page, and know if your writing has what it needs to keep readers’ attention. (All attendees are welcome to bring pages to the event for this session, and we will choose pages at random for the workshop for as long as time lasts.)
2:45 – 4:00: “Let’s Talk Craft — Tips on Making Your Prose Awesome,” taught by Vicki Selvaggio. This workshop, taught by a literary agent, will help you understand what makes a manuscript tick. Learn tips on dialogue, plot, and character. Get inside information on how to improve the voice and craft of your work before you turn it in.
4:00 – 5:00: “Every Dirty Little Secret You Need to Know For Both Indie and Traditional Publishing,” taught by J.D. Barker. Best-selling author J.D. Barker successfully published his debut as an indie and sold enough copies to land on the radar of the traditional publishers in a big way — including seven-figure advances, two feature films, and a television program. In this workshop, he’ll open his toolbox and explain exactly what he did to make it happen, revealing his secrets to finding success both as a self-published author and then with an agent and traditional book deal. His sessions are not to be missed by any aspiring author or seasoned veteran trying to find their place in today’s publishing world.
All throughout the day: Agent & Editor Pitching.
PITCH AN AGENT!
Amelia Appel is a literary agent with TriadaUS. For adult fiction, she is most interested in literary fiction, mystery, thriller, upmarket women’s fiction, science fiction and fantasy, and horror. Projects with a smart, distinct voice, a fantastic setting to jump into, and/or a witty protagonist are all up her alley. She is not looking for romance novels. For adult nonfiction, she is primarily looking for creative nonfiction, humor, sports, how-to, pop culture, and true crime. She is not looking to represent memoir. Learn more about Amelia here.
Danielle Chiotti is a literary agent with Upstart Crow Literary. Danielle is actively seeking fresh young adult and middle grade fiction across all genres. She is drawn toward gorgeous writing and strong, flawed characters. For adult fiction, she is seeking upmarket commercial fiction. For nonfiction, she is looking for compelling, voice-driven projects that shed a humorous or thought-provoking light on a previously unknown topic in the areas of narrative nonfiction/memoir, lifestyle, relationships, humor, current events, food, wine, and cooking. Learn more about Danielle here.
Marisa Corvisiero is the founding agent of Corvisiero Literary. She is seeking contemporary romance, thriller, adventure, paranormal / urban fantasy, science fiction, combinations of the aforementioned genres, middle grade (fantasy, adventure, science fiction), picture books (special stories that deliver a subtle, non-didactic message; illustrations not needed). She especially enjoys Christmas, time travel, and space science fiction themed stories. Her nonfiction interests include science, self-help, and business books (including titles for kids). Learn more about Marisa here.
Hope Bolinger is a literary agent at C.Y.L.E. Literary Elite. She is seeking young adult, middle grade, some children’s books, historical fiction (especially more obscure time periods), fantasy, sci-fi, and exceptional romance. In nonfiction, she seeks humor books, family and relationships books, and ministry (Christian) books. Generally she does not take memoir unless the author has an exceptional platform. Learn more about Hope here.
Dr. Uwe Stender is the founding literary agent of TriadaUS Literary. He is interested in all kinds of nonfiction and fiction. In nonfiction, he is completely open to any project, from memoir, pop culture, and health — to how-to, gardening, history and everything in between, including nonfiction for children. In children’s fiction, he is looking for young adult, middle grade, and picture books. In adult fiction, his tastes trend towards women’s fiction, psychological suspense, and mysteries. As an immigrant to the USA himself, he is always eager to bring projects from underrepresented voices into the world. Learn more about Uwe here.
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.
Katelyn Uplinger is a literary agent with D4E0 Literary. Genres she represents in adult and young adult: historical, women’s fiction, romance, science fiction, fantasy, and all speculative, horror, thriller and suspense, and nonfiction in the categories of pop culture, social issues, and history. Learn more about Katelyn here.
Lydia Sharp is an editor for Entangled Publishing. Unfortunately, she can no longer attend the 2019 event.
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 2019 PWW and access to all workshops, all day, on March 9, 2019. As of fall 2018, event registration is now OPEN.
Add $29 — to secure a 10-minute one-on-one meeting with any of our literary agents 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 met my client, Alison Hammer, at the 2017 Writing
Workshop of Chicago and just sold her book.”
– literary agent Joanna Mackenzie of Nelson Literary
“Good news! I signed a client [novelist Aliza Mann]
from the 2017 Michigan Writing Workshop!”
– literary agent Sara Mebigow of KT Literary
“I signed author Stephanie Wright from
the 2018 Seattle Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Kathleen Ortiz of New Leaf Literary
“I signed an author [Kate Thompson] that I
met at the 2017 Philadelphia Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Kimberly Brower of Brower Literary
“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 previous instructor Chuck Sambuchino. (This rate is a special event value for Pittsburgh 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 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:
- Memoir, self-help, how to, and narrative nonfiction: Faculty member Dorit Sasson, a published memoir author, 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.
- Literary fiction, mainstream fiction, women’s fiction, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, thriller: Faculty member Frankie Mallis will get you work in advance, edit the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, and pass along written critique notes. Unlike Frankie is a veteran freelance editor, and her work was formerly represented by the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Unlike other editors at the workshop, Frankie will not be present at the Pittsburgh event. Instead of meeting with her for 10 minutes at the event, she will be doing 10-minute Skype/phone calls for any critiques, and also passing along written notes via email.
- more options possibly forthcoming
How to pay/register — Registration is now open. Reach out to workshop organizer Kerrie Flanagan via email: WDWfaculty@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 Kerrie plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Pittsburgh workshop specifically.
Because of limited space at the venue of the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown, 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 Kerrie Flanagan via email: WDWfaculty@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 PWW will send out periodic e-mail updates to all registered attendees with any & all news about the event. Because Kerrie plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Pittsburgh workshop specifically.
Refunds: If you sign up for the event and have to cancel for any reason, 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 are completely non-refundable if the instructor has already edited your letter.)