The 2024 Pittsburgh Writing Workshop: May 31 – June 1, 2024

Screen Shot 2016-12-25 at 10.34.26 PM.pngAfter successful 2017, 2018, 2021, 2022, and 2023 events in Pittsburgh, Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2024 Pittsburgh Writing Workshop — a two-day online “How to Get Published” writing event May 31 – June 1, 2024. (Writers are welcome to attend virtually from everywhere and anywhere.)

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 online “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 2024 Pittsburgh Writing Workshop!

ONLINE: Writing Day Workshops plans both in-person and virtual/online conferences. The 2024 PWW is an Online Conference, May 31 – June 1, 2024. Online events are easy and awesome, and the virtual events we’ve done thus far have received wonderful feedback. You do not have to be tech-savvy to do this, and understand we are keeping all aspects of a traditional in-person event, including one-on-one agent & editor pitching, which will now be done by Zoom or phone. Learn all details about what it means to have a writers conference online.)


This is a special two-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop, May 31 – June 1, 2024. In other words, it’s two days 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. And even though this is the “Pittsburgh” Writing Workshop, make no mistake — writers from everywhere are welcome to attend virtually. Our WDW writers conferences have helped dozens of writers find literary agent representation — see our growing list of success stories here.

This event is designed to squeeze as much into two days of learning as possible. You can ask any questions you like during the online classes, and get your specific concerns addressed. We will have literary agents online to give feedback and take pitches from writers, as well. This year’s 2024 PWW agent & editor faculty so far includes:

  • literary agent Rebecca Matte (Bradford Literary)
  • literary agent Jaidree Braddix (Park & Fine)
  • literary agent Kesia Lupo (The Bindery)
  • literary agent Dani Segelbaum (Carol Mann Agency)
  • literary agent Rebecca Lawrence (Booker Albert Literary Agency)
  • literary agent Paul Levine (Paul Levine Literary)
  • literary agent Eric Smith (P.S. Literary)
  • literary agent Zoe Howard (Howland Literary)
  • literary agent CoCo Freeman (Linda Chester Literary)
  • literary agent Kara Grajkowski (3 Seas Literary)
  • literary agent Paula Weiman (Ash Literary)
  • literary agent Cathie Hedrick-Armstrong (The Purcell Agency)
  • literary agent Amy Nielsen (The Purcell Agency)
  • literary agent Rebecca Rodd (Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary Agency)
  • literary agent Erica Bauman (Aevitas Creative Management)
  • literary agent Kat Foxx (The Rights Factory)
  • literary agent Yona Levin (Fletcher & Co.)
  • literary agent Stephanie Phillips (SBR Media)
  • literary agent Kate Davids (Arc Literary Management)
  • literary agent Rebecca Eskilden (Writers House)
  • and more agents 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 Brian Klems of Writing Day Workshops. Contact Brian at to register. Tell him you’re interested in the Pittsburgh event.


ONLINE: Writing Day Workshops plans both in-person and virtual/online conferences. The 2024 PWW is an Online Conference, May 31 – June 1, 2024. Online events are easy and awesome, and the virtual events we’ve done thus far have received wonderful feedback. You do not have to be tech-savvy to do this, and understand we are keeping all aspects of a traditional in-person event, including one-on-one agent & editor pitching, which will now be done by Zoom or phone. Learn all details about what it means to have a writers conference online.)


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.

Agent pitches and critique consultations overlap with Saturday sessions. The schedule of presentation topics below is subject to change and updates:

FRIDAY, MAY 31, 2024


* * * * *



11:45 – 1:15: Break

1:15 – 2:30: “Writers Got Talent”—a Page 1 Critique Fest, with participating literary agents and editors. 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 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. All submissions should be novels or memoir—no prescriptive nonfiction or picture books, please. Do not send your pages in advance. You will bring printed copies with you, and instructions will be sent out approximately one week before the event.)

2:45 – 3:45: Open Agent Q&A Panel. Several attending literary agents will open themselves up to open Q&A from PWW attendees. Bring your questions and get them answered in this popular session.

Agent pitches and critique consultations overlap with Saturday sessions. The schedule of presentation topics below is subject to change and updates:

(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.)

Agent & Editor Pitching: All throughout the day.



Erica Bauman is a literary agent with Aevitas Creative Management. Erica represents a wide variety of authors across middle grade, young adult, and commercial adult fiction. She is most interested in commercial novels that feature an exciting premise and lyrical, atmospheric writing; imaginative, genre-blending tales; speculative worlds filled with haunting, quietly wondrous magic; fresh retellings of mythology, ballet, opera, and classic literature; sharply funny rom-coms; graphic novels for all ages; fearless storytellers that tackle big ideas and contemporary issues; and working with and supporting marginalized authors and stories that represent the wide range of humanity. Learn more about Erica here.

Jaidree Braddix is a literary agent with Park & Fine Literary + Media. Jaidree represents a broad range of nonfiction authors who are changing the ways we think about, talk about, and move through the world we live in. Her clients are Guinness World Record-holding athletes, activists who are challenging societal standards and institutions, trailblazers who have created globally trending wellness movements, and acclaimed thought leaders in the fields of psychology, neuroscience, business, and organizational behavior. Specializing in platform-driven nonfiction, Jaidree is committed to helping authors turn their assets—be they courageous ideas, academic studies, foundations for social good, popular podcasts, transformative programs, or online communities—into compelling proposals and noteworthy books. Learn more about Jaidree here.

Paula Weiman is a literary agent with Ash Literary. In middle grade, she seeks: literary stories that touch on grief and/or queer identity and don’t rely heavily on a school setting; clever middle grade adventures that operate on multiple levels; historical middle grade if and only if it tackles children’s labor rights. In young adult, she like suspense; thrillers, contemporary, and fantasy. “Across these genres and age categories, I welcome stories about marginalized characters and stories written by marginalized authors. I especially invite Jewish stories.” Learn more about Paula here.

Screen Shot 2019-09-27 at 1.37.27 PMPaul S. Levine is a literary agent and the founder of Paul S. Levine Literary. He is also an attorney. His fiction interests include adventure novels, mainstream fiction, mysteries, romance, thrillers, and women’s fiction. His nonfiction interests include business/commerce, pop culture, how-to, self-help, politics/law, relationships, and sports. Learn more about Paul here.

Amy Nielsen is a literary agent with The Purcell Agency. In picture books, she seeks hyperbolic, zany storylines that teach a life lesson (even subtle) or ones with laugh-out-loud moments written simply to entertain. In middle grade, she seeks fast-paced stories mostly set in a contemporary setting that feature characters that think, act, and talk like real middle graders. In young adult, she seeks contemporary issue-driven plots where teens find themselves in situations they aren’t equipped to handle, but eventually figure it out. In adult fiction, she seeks contemporary women’s fiction where the main characters are shattering glass ceilings despite obstacles, and defying stereotypes. Diverse representation welcome. Learn more about Amy here.

Zoe Howard is a literary agent with Howland Literary. In adult fiction, she is seeking voice-driven stories that subvert reader expectations of their subject matter. Zoe is especially interested in unashamed characters; characters at their breaking point; literary fiction with speculative elements, especially those that tend dark and underground (Sharks in the Time of Saviors); joyous girlhood; body horror & transformations of the body; and insular settings (small towns, amusement parks, summer camps, hotels). In adult nonfiction, Zoe is looking for narrative nonfiction, memoir, and essay collections that blend personal narratives with research or questions about the larger world. She would love to see more nonfiction that reads like fiction. Her niche interests include material culture, why & how we use objects, celebrities, pop culture, parasocial relationships, and the connections between people and the places they inhabit. Pitch Zoe your off-kilter, heartfelt, lyrical, and literary work. Learn more about Zoe here.

Eric Smith is a literary agent at P.S. Literary Agency, with a love for young adult books, literary fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and nonfiction. Eric is eagerly acquiring fiction and nonfiction projects. He’s actively seeking out new, diverse voices in young adult (particularly sci-fi and fantasy), middle grade, 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, middle grade, essay collections, and blog-to-book ideas. Learn more about Eric here.

Kate Davids is a literary agent with Arc Literary Management. Kate is looking for nonfiction projects, particularly practical nonfiction, in cooking, personal finance, business, pets/animals, gardening, mental health, and new age. She also enjoys history books that delve into interesting subcultures, like anime or tabletop RPGs. In fiction, Kate has a soft spot for science fiction and fantasy that has great action and world building that leverages real world cultures or histories. She loves fiction that represents diverse cultural backgrounds in their settings and characters. For children’s books, Kate is looking for titles that can help both parents and their children explore the world together. This includes bi-lingual books and books about travel and multi-culturalism. She also likes a good laugh and an “aww” moment or two. Learn more about Kate here.

Kara Grajkowski is a literary agent with 3 Seas Literary. She is seeking: contemporary Middle Grade Fiction, contemporary YA Fiction, and #OwnVoices. (She is not the best fit for fantasy.) “I have a soft spot for contemporary fiction stories, especially if the main character doesn’t have it all figured out yet. I am searching for the best middle grade and YA fiction stories that have you smiling, crying, and growing right along with the characters.” Learn more about Kara here.

Dani Segelbaum is a literary with the Carol Mann Agency. Dani joined the agency in 2021 as a literary agent and subrights manager. She is interested in both fiction and nonfiction. Dani is seeking nonfiction titles with an emphasis on politics, women’s issues, popular culture, and current events. Dani also loves memoir, narrative nonfiction, lifestyle, and cookbooks. In fiction, she is looking for literary and upmarket adult fiction including debut, historical, rom-coms, mysteries, and women’s fiction. In both fiction and nonfiction, Dani hopes to work with authors from diverse backgrounds to tell stories that are important to them. She loves compelling narrators and is drawn to writing that is voice-driven, highly transporting, and features unique perspectives and marginalized voices. Learn more about Dani here.

Rebecca Rodd is a literary agent with Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary Agency. In the nonfiction space, Rebecca is interested in millennial experiences and perspectives. She’s also interested in pop culture and social commentary, especially from underrepresented voices. Currently, in YA and adult fiction, Rebecca is looking for: anything set on an HBCU campus, a BIPOC Big Bang Theory, a love story with the depth and complexity of Tia Williams’s Seven Days in June, or a devourable romcom that would sit nicely on a shelf with Jasmine Guillory and Helen Hoang. In children’s, Rebecca would love to find an ensemble cast boasting equal parts brains, snark, and determination a la The Mysterious Benedict Society. Learn more about Rebecca here.

CoCo Freeman is a literary agent with Linda Chester Literary Agency. “I am a graduate of Bard College with a B.A. in Written Arts. Before joining Linda Chester, I worked for Tom Yoon Productions developing projects and editing existing material. I am very happy to have entered the world of my first love, books. I am looking for smart adult commercial fiction in a variety of genres, including mystery/thriller/suspense, fantasy, romance, women’s fiction and historical, Young/New Adult, Middle Grade and select picture books.” Learn more about CoCo here.

Rebecca Matte is a literary agent with Bradford Literary Agency. In general, Rebecca absolutely loves adult and YA science fiction/fantasy and queer romance. But no matter the setting—be it a far off kingdom beset by magic or around the corner in Brooklyn—Rebecca seeks out books that feature diverse, complex characters in deeply rooted relationships, platonic and romantic. A well-crafted romance will make her heart sing, while a beautifully detailed friendship will elevate any book to an instant favorite. She also gravitates towards inherently hopeful stories of self-discovery and reinvention at all ages, particularly those that center questions of gender and sexuality. She tries to bring magic to every moment of life, and loves books that do the same. Learn more about Rebecca here.

Rebecca Eskilden is a literary agent with Writers House. I am actively growing my list, with a particular interest in middle grade, YA, and adult fiction. Across the board, I’m looking to elevate LGBTQ+ and BIPOC voices, among other underrepresented narratives. In middle grade, I’m mainly looking for contemporary books that make kids feel seen. Mostly I want to see fresh, engaging voices, particularly narratives with a sense of humor and a strong emotional core. For YA, I’m looking for some darker themes and twisty, gripping stories — give me your ambitious “unlikable” girls (ugh – I’ll like them). Separately, I’m looking for funny, slow-burn YA rom coms. I’m looking for a more limited variety of adult books. I’d love to have my inbox full of contemporary rom coms. I’m also looking for sagas about families and/or friends, of any age or topic, and I’m looking for 20-something coming-of-age stories. Learn more about Rebecca here.

Kesia Lupo is a literary agent with The Bindery. “I consider middle-grade and YA my specialty and would love to represent authors writing for these age groups. But I’d love to return to my roots and also represent adult genre fiction in science fiction / fantasy and horror. I’m an omnivore in my reading taste and I would love my list to reflect that – so, while I’ve tried to be exhaustive, if you have something that doesn’t quite fit then please don’t hesitate to pitch anyway! In general, I’m looking for fiction for middle grade, YA and adult readers – and also a smattering of popular, accessible nonfiction. Across age groups, I’m a big fan of original fantasy, accessible but smart science fiction, paranormal or creepy horror, thrillers (especially if they have a shocking twist!), dark academia and basically all stories that help me escape or make me question everything. I majored in History so I love a bit of historical fiction too, as long as it’s done in a fun and accessible way – and I enjoy romance. For nonfiction, I’m looking at narrative nonfiction with broad appeal – I love books about psychology and big political, cultural or historical topics.” Learn more about Kesia here.

Kat Foxx is a literary agent at The Rights Factory. In fiction, she’s looking for Adult and YA thriller/mystery/suspense, gothic and supernatural horror, historical fiction (preferably pre-20th century), historical fantasy (witches, ghosts, time travel, past lives, etc.), and romcom and romance (light spice). She also enjoys fairytale/folklore retellings and some speculative fiction, anything nostalgic, anything to do with past lives and soul connections, haunted houses, ancestry, and midwifery/natural childbirth. Kat is always seeking projects from BIPOC, disabled, neurodiverse, and historically underrepresented writers and would love to see more LGBTQIA+ stories/writers. For nonfiction, Kat is seeking memoirs that read like fiction, motherhood/natural pregnancy and childbirth/midwifery/planned unassisted births, single parenthood (especially if paired with overcoming an abusive relationship with the other parent), past life/reincarnation, the “brotherhood” mentality of law enforcement, narcissistic abuse recovery, true crime, wine/food/travel, a history of witches and witchcraft, and ancient locations/civilizations. Learn more about Kat here.

Yona Levin is a literary agent with United Talent Agency. Yona is building a list of Young Adult and Middle Grade books, as well as select adult titles. In fiction, they especially like classic adventure stories, and speculative fiction & fantasy that is off the beaten path. In nonfiction, they’re looking for big idea books from fresh perspectives. Across all genres, they look for stories that inspire empathy while still being entertaining, and are often drawn to clever writing and creative formats. Learn more about Yona here.

Rebecca Lawrence is a literary agent with Booker Albert Literary Agency. ​From a young age, she has been fascinated with epic worlds like LOTR and The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. Books with romantic elements like Ella Enchanted, The Goose Girl, and The Cruel Prince all have places in her top ten. She also adores historical fiction like The Wednesday Wars and iconic masterpieces like Monica Hesse’s They Went Left, but her all-time favorite novel has to be the grounded fantasy The Scorpio Races. Her favorite troupes are houses-with-personality (think House of Leaves or The Haunting of Hill House), zombie apocalypses like in the book World War Z, and underwater worlds. Regardless of genre, Rebecca is looking for stories that have good pacing, grounded worlds, and believable characters. She is interested in fantasy of all kinds and anything that has a good hook. She would love to see more scary YA and MG historical fiction. Learn more about Rebecca here.

Catherine Hedrick-Armstrong is a literary agent with The Purcell Agency. A prolific reader of many genres, Cathie represents young adult fiction, contemporary and historical romance, upmarket women’s fiction, mysteries, and thrillers. She deliberately keeps her client list small to give her authors the attention each deserves. Cathie looks for manuscripts that catch her attention within the first few pages. If you can evoke an emotional response in the opening pages—make her laugh out loud, cause her pulse to race, make her cry—you’ve got a winner. Cathie is never interested in Science Fiction or High Fantasy in any genre; however, fantasy with paranormal/supernatural elements, if absolutely grounded in the real world, can be a good fit. Learn more about Catherine here.

Stephanie Phillips is a literary agent and founder of SBR Media. The genres I prefer are Paranormal, Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Contemporary Romance, BDSM, Erotica, Women’s Lit. I may consider others outside of these to represent. With over two hundred clients and three times as many deals between her and her eight agents, she’s happy to see SBR Media is a force in the literary world. Learn more about Stephanie here.


            More 2024 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.)



$189 — EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2024 PWW and access to all workshops, all days. (You also get 10+ additional free pre-recorded webinars on writing and publishing.) As of call 2023, registration for 2024 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. There is no limit. Here are 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 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 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 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 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 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 Chuck Sambuchino, one of the workshop’s former instructors. (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 a phone/Zoom critique meeting with the faculty member. Options:


  • More critique options possibly forthcoming.

How to pay/register — Registration is now open. Reach out to workshop organizer Brian Klems via email:, and he will provide specific instructions for payment and registration to get you a reserved seat at the event. Payment is by PayPal or check or credit card. Because Brian plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Pittsburgh workshop specifically.


ONLINE: Writing Day Workshops plans both in-person and virtual/online conferences. The 2024 PWW is an Online Conference, May 31 – June 1, 2024. Online events are easy and awesome, and the virtual events we’ve done thus far have received wonderful feedback. You do not have to be tech-savvy to do this, and understand we are keeping all aspects of a traditional in-person event, including one-on-one agent & editor pitching, which will now be done by Zoom or phone. Learn all details about what it means to have a writers conference online.)

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 Brian Klems via email: He will pass along registration information to you, and give instructions on how to pay by PayPal or check or credit card. 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 Brian 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 at any time, you will receive 50% of your total payment back [sent by check or PayPal or CC refund]. 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 started edited your work.)

Leave a Reply