The 2022 Pittsburgh Writing Workshop: December 10, 2022

Screen Shot 2016-12-25 at 10.34.26 PM.pngAfter successful 2017, 2019, 2020, and 2021 events in Pittsburgh, Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2022 Pittsburgh Writing Workshop — an online “How to Get Published” writing event on December 10, 2022. (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 2022 Pittsburgh Writing Workshop!

ONLINE: The 2022 PWW is an Online Conference to keep everyone safe, on December 10, 2022. There is much more to say about this, but immediately you should understand 1) Online events are easy and awesome, and the online events we’ve done thus far have received wonderful feedback, 2) You do not have to be tech-savvy to do this, and 3) We are keeping all aspects of a traditional in-person event, including one-on-one agent & editor pitching, which will now be done by Skype or Zoom or phone. Learn all details about what it means to have a writers conference online.)

WHAT IS IT?

This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on December 10, 2022. 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. And even though this is the “Pittsburgh” Writing Workshop, make no mistake — writers from everywhere are welcome to attend virtually.

This event is designed to squeeze as much into one day 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 onsite to give feedback and take pitches from writers, as well. This year’s 2022 PWW agent faculty so far includes:

  • literary agent Sera Rivers (Speilburg Literary)
  • literary agent Leah Pierre (Ladderbird Literary)
  • literary agent Paul Levine (Paul Levine Literary)
  • literary agent Leticia Gomez (Savvy Literary)
  • literary agent Jon Michael Darga (Aevitas Creative Management)
  • literary agent Kat Kerr (Donald Maass Literary)
  • literary agent Erica Bauman (Aevitas Creative Management)
  • literary agent Cate Hart (Harvey Klinger)
  • literary agent Carlie Webber (Fuse Literary)
  • literary agent JL Stermer (Next Level Lit)
  • literary agent Rachel Beck (Liza Dawson Associates)
  • literary agent Audrey Crooks (Trident Media Group)
  • literary agent Cindy Bullard (Birch Literary)
  • literary agent Rebecca Eskildsen (Writers House)
  • literary agent Ann Rose (Tobias Agency)
  • literary agent Regina A. Bernard-Carreno (Ladderbird Literary)
  • literary agent Sarah Fisk (Tobias Literary)
  • literary agent Maria Alcantara (Arthouse Literary)
  • editor Lizzie Poteet (Harper Muse)
  • literary agent Michelle Jackson (Olswanger Literary)
  • literary agent Lori Steel (Red Fox Literary)
  • literary agent Annalise Errico (Ladderbird Literary)

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 coordinators Chuck Sambuchino and Brian Klems of Writing Day Workshops.

EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS:

ONLINE: The 2022 PWW is an Online Conference to keep everyone safe, on December 10, 2022. There is much more to say about this, but immediately you should understand 1) Online events are easy and awesome, and the online events we’ve done thus far have received wonderful feedback, 2) You do not have to be tech-savvy to do this, and 3) We are keeping all aspects of a traditional in-person event, including one-on-one agent & editor pitching, which will now be done by Skype or Zoom or phone. Learn all details about what it means to have a writers conference online.)

THIS YEAR’S SESSIONS & WORKSHOPS (DECEMBER 10, 2022):

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:

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2022

9:30 – 10:30: Writing the Young Adult Novel: How to Create Stories and Characters with Authenticity. Learn how to tap into the reality of being a teenager and create voices, characters, and plots that are emotionally resonant.

10:45 – 11:45: Opening Pages That Lead to Yes. In this session, we’ll explore what agents are looking for in your opening pages and how to craft evocative beginnings that get your full manuscript read.

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.

2:45 – 3:45: The Hybrid Author: Using Both Traditional Publishing and Self-Publishing for Success. Self-published (indie) authors are becoming traditionally published, while traditionally published authors are going indie. But can authors truly do both? And if so, how?

4:00 – 5:00: Query Like a Pro. This class, taught by a literary agent, examines how to write an awesome query letter that gets agent attention and requests to see more of your writing.

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.

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PITCH AN AGENT OR EDITOR:

Carlisle Webber is a literary agent at Fuse Literary. Carlisle is looking for: high-concept commercial fiction in middle grade, young adult, and adult. If your book is fresh and exciting, tackles difficult topics, reads like a Shonda Rhimes show, or makes readers stay up late turning pages, she’s the agent for you. Diverse authors are encouraged to submit their fiction. Within the genres she represents, Carlisle is especially interested in stories by and about people of color; with both visible and invisible disabilities and illnesses; who are economically disadvantaged; who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer; or who are members of religious minorities. Pitch her: Middle grade (any genre), Young adult (any genre), thriller, mystery, suspense, horror, women’s fiction, and popular/mainstream fiction. Learn more about Carlisle here.

Leah Pierre is a literary agent with Ladderbird Literary Agency.  Leah is exclusively looking for Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian, and Pacific Islander voices with or without LGBTIQA+ intersectionality—basically anyone underrepresented and/or marginalized. Those writers should pitch her picture books, Young Adult/Crossover/Adult (many genres), romantic meet-cute, coming of age, mystery, gothic, thriller, suspense, fantasy. She is not seeking middle grade, dystopian, legal or spy thrillers, and nonfiction. Please no cliche romances where the plot is centered around cheating, parental disapproval, or high school drama. Learn more about Leah here.

JL Stermer is a literary agent and founder of Next Level Lit. Fiction: adult & YA, contemporary, upmarket, commercial: family stories, coming-of-age, rom-coms, general fiction that is giving readers a new perspective on a world they already know OR a peek into a world they wish they knew. Nonfiction: prescriptive, narrative, memoir: style & fashion, art & culture, mental health, spirituality, self-help, sports, humor, pop culture/business/science/tech, social justice, human rights, feminist issues, men’s issues, projects that are on the leading edge of important conversations we are having today. Queer, neurodivergent, POC, and all underrepresented voices are always welcome! Learn more about JL here.

Michelle Jackson is a Literary Associate with Olswanger Literary. Michelle is seeking to work with adult fiction authors in the following genres: Commercial, Historical, Humor, New Adult, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller, Women’s Fiction. Sub-genres: Contemporary Romance, Multicultural, Psychological Thrillers, Romantic Comedy, Romantic Suspense. She is also on the lookout for narrative nonfiction, biographies, self-help/spirituality and memoirs. Learn more about Michelle and her interests here.

Jon Michael Darga is a literary agent with Aevitas Creative Management.  Jon represents titles across a diverse range of genres, and represents both nonfiction and fiction. He is most interested in voice-driven pop culture writing, nonfiction histories that re-cast the narrative by emphasizing unexpected or unheard voices, and both adult and young adult commercial fiction that features diverse casts and new stories. He is not looking for genre fiction. Learn more about Jon here.

Sera Rivers is a literary agent with Speilburg Literary. She represents picture books through young adult novels, including graphic novels, and is actively seeking stories by authors and illustrators who identify as BIPOC, LQBTQIA+, and other underrepresented and marginalized identities. She is especially looking for: graphic novels by author/illustrator creators only; MG/YA —horror; psychological thrillers; speculative fiction, (no high fantasy); LGBTIA+ romance; tough topics. Select picture books—historically excluded stories; tough topics; horror (author/illustrator only for horror). She does not represent adult fiction/nonfiction. Learn more about Sera here.

Kat Kerr is a literary agent with Donald Maass Literary Agency. Kat feels strongly about supporting programs like We Need Diverse Books and is passionate about creating space in this industry for those from historically marginalized communities. She is actively seeking to grow her client list and is particularly hungry for magical realism, literary leaning speculative and science fiction, women’s fiction, YA works with a lot of heart, and narrative nonfiction with something to say. In fiction, she seeks literary, upmarket, women’s, rom-coms, multicultural, speculative, magical realism, family saga, young adult, and select sci-fi and fantasy. In nonfiction, she seeks narrative nonfiction and journalistic nonfiction tackling current affairs and social justice issues, particularly covering topics of racism, immigration, LGBTQIA+ rights, gender equality, and poverty. She also represents select biographies and memoirs. Learn more about Kat here.

Rachel Beck is a literary agent with Liza Dawson Associates. Specifically, she’s looking for: Upmarket/book club women’s fiction; Light-hearted millennial fiction or contemporary romance (a beach read, but with plenty of heart that might make you go from laughing to crying in an instant); Domestic suspense (character-driven, psychologically intense reads); Contemporary young adult (no fantasy, but she is primarily drawn to heavy, issue-driven YA that goes after topics such as mental health, sexual assault, eating disorders, abuse, trauma, suicide, LGBTQ issues, dealing with death/grief, etc.); Select nonfiction—feminist material; career/business/personal growth books with new focus points; extreme underdog, survival, accomplishment, or rising-from-poverty type stories; select health and wellness books (especially mental health, eating disorders, any rare or underrepresented conditions, Alzheimer’s/memory—she’s especially interested in the condition known as HSAM, Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory); books about football/the NFL; marathoner/triathlete memoirs; parenting books that bring something new to the conversation; books that explore cult life or extreme religion; 9/11 survival stories; anything about Anne Frank; Anything set in the South, particularly New Orleans/the Cajun region of southern Louisiana. Learn more about Rachel here.

Lizzie Poteet is an acquisitions editor with Harper Muse. She was formerly an agent at The Seymour Agency. She is seeking: “I am actively acquiring in the Women’s Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Southern Fiction spaces with some openness to inspirational fiction as well.” Learn more about Lizzie and what kind of projects she seeks here.

Screen Shot 2019-07-09 at 11.51.01 PM.pngLeticia Gomez is a literary agent and the founder of Savvy Literary. At the present time, Savvy Literary Agency is interested in reviewing compelling and commercially viable book proposals and manuscripts written in English or Spanish. Fiction areas of interest: adventure, chick lit, fantasy, historical, humor, multicultural, mystery, paranormal, romance, young adult, and middle grade. Nonfiction areas of interest: advice/relationships, biography, cooking, diet, health, history/politics/current affairs, how-to, humor, lifestyle, memoir, parenting, religion/spirituality and true crime. Learn more about Leticia here.

Sarah N. Fisk is a literary agent with Tobias Literary Agency. Sarah represents all genres in Middle Grade (all genres) and Young Adult (all genres) as well as adult science-fiction, fantasy, speculative, and romance. Particular Areas of Interest include atmospheric fantasies, speculative mysteries, books that challenge societal norms, especially gender norms, personal interest in stories featuring queer characters, personal interest in characters with disability, neurodiversity, and much more. Learn more about Sarah here.

Maria Alcantara is a literary agent with Arthouse Literary Agency. Maria is looking for New Adult upmarket fiction, either character-driven or plot-driven. She loves to cozy up with a good mystery full of complicated characters and page-turning plot twists. If these novels are contemporary with Millennial leads then that’s even better. Maria is also looking for women’s contemporary or commercial romance and horror with inclusive voices of Latinos and the LGBTQ community. Maria loves reading stories of marginalized voices in modern-day settings that are relatable and swoonworthy. She also loves reading whirlwind escapist stories à la Emily in Paris. Learn more about Maria here.

Screen Shot 2019-03-30 at 3.10.25 PM.pngErica Bauman is a literary agent with Aevitas Creative Management. Erica is currently focused on representing a wide range of authors across middle grade, young adult, and adult fiction, as well as some select narrative nonfiction projects. She is most interested in novels that straddle the line between literary and commercial, imaginative tales with a speculative twist, 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. “In adult, I gravitate towards stories that have a commercial premise and beautiful writing. I love voice-driven, witty romcoms, historical novels (especially mysteries), and light SFF and magical realism. I’m on the lookout for books starring nerds, and stories that make me laugh. Across all age ranges and genres, I’m eager to support and work with marginalized authors and stories that represent the wide range of humanity.” Learn more about Erica here.

Rebecca Eskildsen is a literary agent at 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 looking for a range of fiction, from fun adventure stories to 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, but also some lighthearted fun! Give me your ambitious “unlikable” girls (ugh – I’ll like them) and your funny, slow-burn romances. 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.

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.

Ann Rose is a literary agent with Tobias Agency. She is seeking all kinds of young adult fiction; she loves stories with heart & humor, strong characters that stand up for their convictions, thrillers, and stories that deal with the issues kids face today. She seeks middle grade across all genres, especially ones that push the boundaries. For adult fiction, she wants swoony romances (any level but erotica), very light sci-fi or fantasy, fresh retellings, heartwarming contemporaries, unique voices, diverse perspectives, vivid settings, and stories that explore tough topics. Learn more about Ann here.

Audrey Crooks is an Associate Agent at Trident Media Group. She is seeking literary fiction, speculative fiction, story collections, international works, and upmarket and genre fiction with a literary bent. She is drawn to smart, character-driven stories with a sense of humor and style. She welcomes the surreal and is excited by fiction that explores gender, language, identity, built and natural environments, and/or systems of power in creative and compelling ways. For nonfiction submissions, Audrey is looking for memoir, narrative nonfiction, cultural criticism, and human-centered journalistic deep-dives, with particular interests in food and dining, fashion, nightlife, dance, the cultures of the contemporary Middle East, and the American South. Learn more about Audrey here.

Regina A. Bernard-Carreno is a literary agent with Ladderbird Literary. Regina is a literary manager currently accepting queries for true crime, memoirs, picture books, middle grade, young adult, graphic novels, cookbooks, and lifestyle artisan books. The work she hopes to accomplish as a literary manager is to help writers, as well as author-illustrators, think through their projects, see multiple opportunities where perhaps they don’t readily exist and help shape their work into successful books. Ultimately, she looks forward to championing great ideas. Learn more about Regina here.

Annalise Errico is a literary agent with Ladderbird Literary. Annalise is looking for more queer, BIPOC representation across the board, especially in romances that give Happily Ever Afters to complex and palpable characters. In nonfiction, she seeks narrative nonfiction centering in on women’s stories and queer stories, such as: true crime with a feminist lens; memoirs that focus on identity; or alternative formatting. In fiction, she seeks romance, mystery, thriller, commercial, women’s, contemporary, and new adult. In young adult fiction, she seeks historical, graphic novels, fantasy, mystery, thriller, and contemporary. Learn more about Annalise here.

Lori Steel is a literary agent with Red Fox Literary. “For all projects, I seek stories with authentic, unforgettable voices that reflect the diverse world we inhabit, instill the possibility of hope and change, and illuminate the shared human experience. More specifically for YA, I would love to find a fresh take on fantasy tropes, contemporary stories that flip conventional scripts, unexpected historical and/or historical fantasy mash-ups that disrupt entrenched notions. I like middle grade contemporary, historical, and fantasy fiction stories that demonstrate deep understanding of readers’ age, voice, and growing awareness of themselves and the world around them is paramount. For Graphic Novels, I’m looking for writer-illustrators crafting accessible contemporary and select nonfiction stories. For Picture Books, I’m eager to find writer-illustrators who craft stories with spare text and rich art, creators who play with structure, utilize collusion to engage participation, and don’t underestimate young readers. Nonfiction stories that surprise and instill a sense of wonder are always welcome. Whimsical, lyrical, and/or humorous stories that young readers will beg to read over and over again always top the list.” Learn more about Lori here.

Cindy Bullard is a literary agent with Birch Literary. In adult fiction, I’m looking for sweet romance (with happy endings), traditional mysteries (standard PI, classic detective or cozy), crime, police procedural, thriller, and suspense. I prefer stories with low levels of sensuality and/or violence. In children’s fiction, I’d like to see middle grade and YA (sweet, quirky, mystery, cozy). I’m not one for heavy or serious topics. In nonfiction, I love books about nature (kids and adults), memoir, self-help, and personal narrative. Learn more about Cindy here.

Cate Hart is a literary agent with Harvey Klinger Literary Agency. She specializes in Historical, whether in Young Adult, Women’s Fiction and Romance, or narrative nonfiction. She is particularly drawn to oft-forgotten stories of the past and underrepresented voices, and especially personal to her is unexplored Southern history and culture. She also loves high-concept fantasy in YA and Adult fiction. A graduate of the University of Tennessee, studying Theatre and History, Cate currently lives in Nashville with her children. Learn more about Cate here.

 

        More 2022 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 (virtual) 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.)

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PRICING:

$149 — Base price for registration to the 2022 PWW and access to all workshops, all days. (You also get 10 additional free pre-recorded webinars on writing and publishing.) As of fall 2022, 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. 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 organizers. (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:

  • Children’s picture books, middle grade, young adult: Faculty member Shelli Johannes, a former agent turned publishing coach, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting. Children’s picture books should be 1,000 words maximum, and can or cannot have illustrations.
  • Women’s fiction, contemporary/mainstream fiction, literary fiction, young adult, and memoir: Faculty member Kimiko Nakamura, a literary agent and writing coach, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting.
  • Mystery, thriller, general fiction, literary fiction, science fiction, fantasy, romance, women’s fiction: Faculty member Tara Yilmaz, a writing coach and author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting.
  • Children’s picture books, middle grade, young adult, memoir, historical fiction, general fiction of almost any kind: Faculty member Eve Porinchak, a former agent turned publishing coach, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting. Children’s picture books should be 1,000 words maximum, and can or cannot have illustrations.

How to pay/register — Registration is now open. Reach out to workshop organizer Brian Klems via email: WDWconference@gmail.com, 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.

REGISTRATION:

ONLINE: The 2022 PWW is an Online Conference to keep everyone safe, on December 10, 2022. There is much more to say about this, but immediately you should understand 1) Online events are easy and awesome, and the online events we’ve done thus far have received wonderful feedback, 2) You do not have to be tech-savvy to do this, and 3) We are keeping all aspects of a traditional in-person event, including one-on-one agent & editor pitching, which will now be done by Skype or 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: WDWconference@gmail.com. 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.)

Screen Shot 2014-06-12 at 4.10.21 PM

Thank you for your interest in the 2022 Pittsburgh Writing Workshop.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Sera Rivers of Speilburg Literary

Sera Rivers is a literary agent with Speilburg Literary.

In 2007, Sera joined SCBWI when her best friend insisted that Sera belonged in the kidlit world. She now attends SCBWI conferences and workshops every year. She’s volunteered for the New England chapter since 2012, co-directing NESCBWI’s 2017 and 2018 annual spring conferences. In 2009, after immersing herself in the kidlit community, she decided to pursue her passion—a career in the children’s book industry. She went back to college, earning her bachelor of arts degree in Creative Writing and Journalism Studies from the University of Massachusetts and her master of fine arts degree in Writing for Children, with a concentration in young adult novels, from Simmons University. Her young adult memoir THE WICKED ONES won the 2016 PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Children’s Book Discovery Award.

Sera worked in educational publishing for seven years and launched Avenue A Books, a children’s graphic novel imprint at Center for Responsive Schools. As Avenue A’s acquiring and managing editor, she worked with new and established children’s book writers and illustrators to create picture books and middle grade novels. She loved helping writers and illustrators hone their craft to produce their best work. Now, as an agent, Sera provides editorial feedback to help clients get their manuscripts submission ready.

Sera represents: picture books through young adult novels, including graphic novels, and is actively seeking stories by authors and illustrators who identify as BIPOC, LQBTQIA+, and other underrepresented and marginalized identities. She is especially looking for: GN by author/illustrator creators only; MG/YA —horror; psychological thrillers; speculative fiction, (no high fantasy); LGBTIA+ romance; tough topics. Select PB—historically excluded stories; tough topics; horror (author/illustrator only for horror). She does not represent adult fiction/nonfiction.

Sera holds an MFA in writing for children from Simmons University. She worked as an editor in educational publishing for seven years and launched Avenue A Books, a children’s book imprint at Center for Responsive Schools. Now, as an agent, Sera provides editorial feedback to help clients get their manuscripts submission ready. At this time, Sera only accepts queries through referrals, conferences, and pitch events. Check out her full MSWL and status updates at SeraRivers.com.

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Paul S. Levine of Paul S. Levine Literary

Screen Shot 2019-09-27 at 1.36.26 PM.pngPaul 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.

Paul has sold more than 250 fiction and nonfiction books.

As an entertainment lawyer, Levine has written the legal contracts for several books adapted as movies-for-television. With over thirty-seven (38) years of experience in the entertainment and book industries, Levine is one of the few lawyers on the West coast who also understands the world of book publishing; as such, he is able to act as both literary agent and publishing attorney for his clients.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Erica Bauman of Aevitas Creative Management


Screen Shot 2019-03-30 at 3.10.25 PM.png
Erica Bauman is a literary agent with Aevitas Creative Management.

Erica represents a wide variety of authors for both children and adults, including acclaimed YA author Andrew Auseon and Broadway performer Tiffany Haas.

Erica is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and has worked in the publishing industry for the last seven years. Before coming to Aevitas she worked at Spectrum Literary Agency.

Based in New York, Erica is currently focused on representing a wide range of authors across middle grade, young adult, and adult fiction, as well as some select narrative nonfiction projects. She is most interested in novels that straddle the line between literary and commercial, imaginative tales with a speculative twist, 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.

“For middle grade, my interests span all genres, from contemporary to mystery to fantasy. I love quirky, funny stories and main characters who are misfits (and proud of it). I’m especially on the lookout for eerie horror (like Coraline) and really unique magic.”

“For young adult, I am a lover of all genre fiction, especially fantasy, mystery, and historical fiction. I love stories based off of mythology, folklore, and obscure fairy tales, and novels that cross genres. I’m especially on the lookout for stories inspired by classic literature/ballet/opera, mysteries and thrillers with unreliable narrators, and books that play with structure to tell a story in a really unique way.”

“In adult, I gravitate towards stories that have a commercial premise and beautiful writing. I love voice-driven, witty romcoms, historical novels (especially mysteries), and light SFF and magical realism. I’m on the lookout for books starring nerds, and stories that make me laugh.”

“Across all age ranges and genres, I’m eager to support and work with marginalized authors and stories that represent the wide range of humanity.”

“That said, I’m probably not the best for projects involving the following:

Serious literary fiction
Vampires/werewolves/zombies
Serious family drama
Intergalactic war/alien invasions
Dead pets
Erotica
Manic Pixie Dream Girls
Instalove.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Sarah N. Fisk of Tobias Literary Agency

Sarah N. Fisk is a literary agent with Tobias Literary Agency.

Sarah is a former mechanical engineer who made the switch to publishing in 2011. They have worked in the publishing industry as an editorial assistant, author’s assistant, publicist, and art director.

Sarah is a former Pitch Wars mentor, board member, and Agent Liaison. They host the podcast Queries, Qualms, & Quirks and are one of the founding members of Disability in Publishing.

Sarah represents all genres in Middle Grade and Young Adult as well as adult science-fiction, fantasy, and romance.

Basics:

  • Young Adult (all fiction genres)
  • Middle Grade (all fiction genres)
  • Adult Romance
  • Adult Science Fiction, Fantasy, and other Speculative Fiction except for hardcore horror

Particular Areas of Interest:

  • atmospheric fantasies
  • speculative mysteries
  • books that challenge societal norms, especially gender norms
  • personal interest in stories featuring queer characters
  • personal interest in characters with disability, neurodiversity, chronic illness, or mental health challenges
  • great or complicated sibling relationships
  • small town or midwestern settings
  • intriguing villains
  • mysteries woven into other genres
  • characters I can’t get out of my head
  • smart heroines
  • con artists who are not men
  • books that are compulsively readable

For Adult Romance

  • Pretty much all subgenres that are traditionally published
    • but historical needs to have a high concept, a nice hook, and/or a great voice for me
  • I prefer romance books with a medium or high heat level, or a lot of sexual tension
  • No pregnancy or baby-based storylines, please

Not for me:

  • Hardcore horror
  • I am not interested in stories that center around who gets to rule an empire
  • Not interested in stories that center around sexual assault or have on-the-page rape scenes
  • No Military Sci-Fi, please
  • Portal fantasies unless it’s really unique
  • graphic novels
  • Any adult genres not listed above

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Leticia Gomez of Savvy Literary

Screen Shot 2019-07-09 at 11.51.01 PM.pngLeticia Gomez is a literary agent and the founder of Saavy Literary.

Leticia has been working in the publishing industry for more than two decades. During this span of time, she has published her own newspaper, authored and published three books, edited numerous fiction and nonfiction manuscripts written in both English and Spanish that have gone on to publication. Thus far in her career as a literary agent she has placed close to 200 books with independent and mainstream traditional publishers.

At the present time, Savvy Literary Agency is interested in reviewing compelling and commercially viable book proposals and manuscripts written in English or Spanish in the following genres:

Fiction: Adventure, Chick-lit, Fantasy, Historical, Humor, Multi-cultural, Mystery, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult and Middle-grade.

Nonfiction: Advice/Relationships, Biography, Cooking, Diet, Health, History/Politics/Current Affairs, How-to, Humor, Lifestyle, Memoir, Parenting, Religion/Spirituality and True Crime.

The Savvy Literary Agency is not interested in representing projects in the following genres: Children’s Picture Books, Horror, Erotica, Poetry, Short Story Collections, and Graphic Novels

In January of 2007, she launched Savvy Literary, becoming one of a highly select group of agencies in the world that specializes in the Latino book market and offers literary representation in English and Spanish. Since its inception, the agency’s prime directive has been to professionally, diligently, and tirelessly represent Latino and other ethnic minority writers since oftentimes they are misrepresented or worse yet not represented at all in the publishing and film/television industry. Although Savvy Literary has evolved through the years and is now an industry leader by also specializing in Business and Self-Help, Suspense/Thriller, and the Young Adult market, championing the work of minority authors continues to be a top priority for the agency.

In partnership with Ascendant Group, one of the leading branding and marketing firms in the nation, Leticia offers an even greater level of support to aspiring authors. As president of the company’s entertainment division, she has distinguished herself as a literary/film/television agent who can communicate effectively with the authors she is representing. She has helped her clients secure deals with the largest publishers in the world. In addition, she has seen several of her projects successfully optioned for TV and film rights. She is currently an Executive Producer for Bridges, an independent feature-length film starring Chris Routhe. Blending her experience as an author, literary/film/television agent and acquisition editor, she is now truly excited to spearhead her very own Hispanic book imprint Café con Leche Books (www.cafeconlechebooks.com).

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Michelle Jackson of Olswanger Literary

Originally from Jamaica West Indies, Michelle Jackson is a Literary Associate with Olswanger Literary.

An educator for over 20 years, Michelle is also a published author, writing professionally as Michelle Lindo-Rice for Mira and Harlequin Special Edition and Zoey Marie Jackson for Harlequin Love Inspired. She has earned educational degrees from New York University, SUNY at StonyBrook, Teachers College Columbia University and Argosy University.

Michelle is seeking to work with adult fiction authors in the following genres: Commercial, Historical, Humor, New Adult, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller, Women’s Fiction. Sub-genres: Contemporary Romance, Multicultural, Psychological Thrillers, Romantic Comedy, Romantic Suspense. She is also on the lookout for narrative nonfiction, biographies, self-help/spirituality and memoirs.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Carlisle Webber of Fuse Literary

Carlisle Webber is a literary agent at Fuse Literary.

Carlisle refused to major in English in college because she didn’t think there was anything fun to read on the required lists. No Stephen King? No R.L. Stine? No thanks! After college, she took her love of commercial, YA, and middle grade fiction to the University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences, where she earned a Master of Library and Information Sciences. She worked as a public librarian for years before deciding to move to the business side of publishing. She attended the Columbia Publishing Course and holds a Professional Certificate in Editing from UC-Berkeley.

Carlisle is looking for: high-concept commercial fiction in middle grade, young adult, and adult. If your book is fresh and exciting, tackles difficult topics, reads like a Shonda Rhimes show, or makes readers stay up late turning pages, she’s the agent for you.

Diverse authors are encouraged to submit their fiction. Within the genres she represents, Carlisle is especially interested in stories by and about people of color; with both visible and invisible disabilities and illnesses; who are economically disadvantaged; who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer; or who are members of religious minorities. Take a look at her manuscript wish list. But if you don’t write exactly what’s on her list, don’t worry! She’s happy to look at any work that falls into the categories she represents.

She wants:

Middle grade (any genre)
Young adult (any genre)
Thriller
Mystery
Suspense
Horror
Women’s fiction
Pop/mainstream fiction

She does NOT want:

Picture books
Early chapter books
Graphic novels
Science fiction for adults
Fantasy for adults
Literary fiction (unless it has a strong commercial hook)
Romance
Historical fiction
Memoir
Nonfiction
Any work that has been previously published, including self-published

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Ann Rose of Tobias Agency

Ann Rose is a literary agent with Tobias Agency.

“I’m a California native who now resides in Texas after a stint in Florida. Each place has its pros and cons, but I can say that I left my heart in San Diego and dream of going back one day (although that will probably never happen). My degree is in Communication from San Diego State University, and my resume holds a gamut of jobs from Life Guard to Business Systems Analyst/Portfolio Manager, but books have always been my passion. I’m excited to finally merge my love of literature with my past professional experiences as a literary agent with Prospect. It is my honor to help authors build successful, sustainable careers.”

(Note: As of fall 2022, Ann is now with Tobias Literary.)

She is seeking YA (all genres), middle grade, and some adult fiction.

Regarding young adult:

“I seek stories that have heart and humor. I want you to transport me to new worlds–even if those “worlds” are in the middle of Iowa. But especially if its fantasy, I really want you to take me there and show me something I haven’t seen before. I’d love some fantasy that’s based on something other than western European cultures.

“I’m always looking for strong character who are willing to stand up for their convictions–whether it be with their brains or their brawn. Give me fabulous friendship stories!! No mean girls. I’m looking for girl empowerment and stories where we see girls lifting each other up not tearing each other down. LGBTQIA+ stories!!! I’d still really love a story where two girls are running against each other for class president and then they fall in love. I’d also love to see cheerleading stories–everything from contemporary to the vein of Sugar and Spice (the 2001 movie).

“In both YA and MG I don’t shy away from stories that deal with issues kids are dealing with today. I will say, if you are going to discuss topics like suicide make sure you’ve done your homework–proper language matters!

“I’d love to see more YA thriller–not necessarily gore but a story that keeps me on the edge of my seat, guessing until the very end. I’m still looking for my YA version of CLUE (and if it has three different endings, even better.) Which means mystery is a go for me, too.

“I’d love some YA that deals with toxic masculinity. A funny how to survive high school book with tips and tricks how to make the most out of your four years would be good. Show me characters who are beautifully flawed doing the wrong things for all the right reasons. Give me body positive MC’s. Unique sports books–CrossFit, ultimate Frisbee, rock climbing, mountain biking, roller derby, and even speed walkers. Oh, and twins – good twins, evil twins, twins that get along, twins that don’t, rom-coms where twins switch places and hijinks happen… anything goes.

“Historicals that tackle things other than WW2–bonus points if there are badass women in in history.”

Regarding middle grade:

“I seek MG of all genres, especially ones that push the boundaries of middle grade

“All of the above from the YA section pretty much goes for MG, too. There’s no topic off limits here either, just make sure it’s handled in the best possible way.

“I’d love to see a camping book–and not just where the kids are running around all a muck, but fun camping stories with responsible councilors and s’mores!

“Sibling stories. Show me supportive older siblings and in tack family units. Families of all shapes and sizes, too. A MG (or YA) My Big Fat Greek Wedding type story would totally be my jam.

“Unicorns? Do you have one in your book or gnomes? Then I want to see it.

“Kids doing amazing things–like being on competition reality shows and solving climate change. Show me your kid activists, and kids doing things for their communities. Bring me new twists on old troupes.”

Adult fiction:

“In  the adult arena, I am more picky.”

“I love swoony romances – any heat level from mild to hot, but not extra spicy. (So, no erotica.) I love slow burns, and enemies to lovers will never grow old. Give me fun and unique meet-cutes.

“I’d love a romance that starts with texting the wrong number. (But no catfishing)

“LGBTQIA+ romances–everyone deserves their happy ending.

“Give me stories where I’m dying for the characters to get together–don’t make it too easy. Give me your “soft boys” that don’t have six pack abs or the perfect hair.

“Light sci-fi or fantasy – Emphasis on the light. If it’s epic, it’s probably not my jam in the adult arena. I’m NOT really looking for Tolkien world building or understanding how to build a flux capacitor.

“Retellings are good if they are done in fresh ways. Or they are stories we haven’t really seen retold before.

“As always strong feminist themes and stories of taking down the patriarchy are always in my wheelhouse.”

Commercial fiction:

“Heartwarming (or heart wrenching) contemporaries–bonus points if it’s both

“I’m always looking for unique voices, diverse perspectives, vivid settings, and stories that explore tough topics. Give me your dark and edgy stories with unlikable characters–that underneath are totally likable.

“Above all I’m looking for VOICE. It’s the characters themselves that will make me fall in love or not. Plot can be fixed if you have just the right characters to tell the story.”

Ann is NOT seeking:

Horror (I don’t love all the blood and guts stuff)

Erotica

Non-fiction

Picture Books

Poetry (books in verse are the exception)

Screenplays

Novellas

Stories that start with a character waking up (This is not a challenge. I promise I won’t make it past the first line if this is how the book starts.)

Stories with graphic rape

Misogynist stories (Seriously, if your MC is a misogynist even if they “redeem” themselves later I don’t want it.)

Stories that hinge on a woman’s abuse to propel the story for the male MC is something I’m not interested in.

Stories that are homophonic, racist, sexist, etc. aren’t my thing either.

Stories that depict animal cruelty – if the dog dies, I don’t want it

Books set in the 80s-90s – Unless there’s a darn good reason, meaning some kind of historical event (yes, I said historical) has to anchor it there. If you can pick up the plot and move it present day, you probably should.

 

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Cate Hart of Harvey Klinger

Cate Hart is a literary agent with Harvey Klinger Literary Agency.

Cate joined Harvey Klinger Literary Agency in 2019 after 5 years with a New York agency where she represented Middle Grade to Adult fiction. She specializes in Historical, whether in Young Adult, Women’s Fiction and Romance, or narrative nonfiction. She is particularly drawn to oft-forgotten stories of the past and underrepresented voices, and especially personal to her is unexplored Southern history and culture. She also loves high-concept fantasy in YA and Adult fiction. A graduate of the University of Tennessee, studying Theatre and History, Cate currently lives in Nashville with her children.

“I’m a true Nashville native, born and raised in the Music City. I’m a firm believer that there’s something magical about the mid south. That storytelling is in our blood, or maybe the water, from the First Nations peoples to inhabit this area to country music songwriters like Dolly and Johnny to the many, many NYT bestselling authors right here in Nashville.

“I’ve been writing fantastical stories since elementary school. My first was about a vampire and witch in the Fourth Grade. It wasn’t until college that I began to take my first serious writing steps when I thought I could write epic historical romance like Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander because I couldn’t wait two years for Dragonfly in Amber. It was several more years, two babies later and after reading Twilight (hush, I said what I said) that I took the next serious step: writing, actually finishing and revising my first novel, a YA paranormal, and sought representation for publication. I was represented for that novel, and while learning all I could about the business of publishing, the desire to become an agent was born. While that first ever manuscript didn’t sell, I’ve become an agent full time while also writing in the spare time and I’ve returned to my first love historical but with fantasy and magic.

“In 2013, I joined the Corvisiero Literary Agency as an intern and started taking clients in early 2014. I sold my first project in 2015 and have continued to help clients realize their publishing dreams. The past five years have taught me so much. In 2019, I decided to take another leap of faith and change. In 2019, I joined Harvey Klinger, Inc. where I will specialize in Historical, whether in Middle Grade or Young Adult, Women’s Fiction or Romance, and nonfiction. I’ll still be looking for stand-out Science Fiction and Fantasy as well as psychological thriller and classic-feeling mysteries. I am beyond excited to start this new chapter with this amazing agency.

“My favorite part of being an agent is discovering a project that just sucks me in. Where I forget the time or that the kids need clean clothes and lunch. I love watching a client’s project take shape in development and finding a home with the perfect editor.

“To get a sense of what I really enjoy, some of my all time favorite books and some recent reads I absolutely love in no particular order.”