Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Vicki Selvaggio of Storm Literary

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Vicki Selvaggio is a literary agent with Storm Literary (formerly with Jennifer De Chiara Literary).

Victoria A. Selvaggio comes to Storm Literary Agency as a Literary Agent and Partner. Previously with The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency, she was drawn to the publishing scene first as an author. As a prior Regional Advisor for SCBWI Northern Ohio, Victoria’s desire to help writers and illustrators reach their publications goals inspired her to become an agent.

With over twenty-five years as a business owner, Victoria is excited to help grow the agency’s client base with talented writers and illustrators, while also helping build the agency from within with motivated agents who possess the same ideals, literary interests, goals, and approaches to the industry.As a frequent presenter at conferences, library events, contests, etc., Victoria is always interested in meeting writers and illustrators, and hearing about unique projects! While Storm Literary is primarily a children’s book agency, Victoria will be accepting pitches for new adult and adult projects from conference attendees.

She is seeking: “I am currently looking for lyrical picture books, middle grade and young adult fiction, new adult, mysteries, suspense, thrillers, paranormal, fantasy, narrative nonfiction, adult fiction but find I’m 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.”


Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Danielle Chiotti of Upstart Crow Literary

Screen Shot 2018-12-10 at 2.05.45 PM.pngDanielle Chiotti has worked in publishing for twelve years. Formerly an editor, she joined Upstart Crow Literary as a literary agent when it was founded in 2009, specializing in young adult and middle grade fiction, as well as cookbooks and select nonfiction. Thanks to her extensive editorial background, she enjoys working closely with authors to develop projects. She welcomes first-time authors with a unique voice and point of view.

A bit about Danielle’s tastes:

Danielle is actively seeking fresh young adult and middle grade fiction across all genres. She is drawn toward gorgeous writing and strong, flawed characters. Her dream project for young readers is one that challenges and inspires, with a compelling voice that will make her stay up all night reading. Good examples of this are Chime by Franny Billingsley, The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly, and When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead.

For adult fiction, she is seeking upmarket commercial fiction. She prefers books that explore deep emotional relationships in an interesting or unusual way. Good examples of this are Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer, The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty, and A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki.

She is not considering the following adult categories: romance, mystery/suspense/thriller, science fiction, horror, or erotica.

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.

Get to Know a Speaker in Attendance: J.D. Barker

Screen Shot 2019-01-22 at 1.26.38 PM.pngJ.D. Barker is the international best-selling author of numerous novels, including FORSAKEN and THE FOURTH MONKEY.

His latest novel, DRACUL, co-authored with Dacre Stoker, released October 2018. He is currently collaborating with James Patterson.

His novels have been translated into numerous languages and optioned for both film and television. He has found success as both a self-published and traditionally published author.

Barker resides in Pennsylvania with his wife, Dayna, and his daughter, Ember.

Get to Know a Speaker: Chuck Sambuchino

screen shot 2019-01-18 at 10.09.06 amCHUCK SAMBUCHINO is a bestselling humor book writer, a freelance editor, and a former editor for Writer’s Digest Books for many years. During his time with WD Books (until 2017), he edited the GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS as well as the CHILDREN’S WRITER’S & ILLUSTRATOR’S MARKET. His Guide to Literary Agents Blog was one of the biggest blogs in publishing, averaging more than 350,000 page views each month. He was named by Forbes as one of the top influencers in publishing in recognition of his personal Twitter.

He loves connecting with writers and helping them get published & sell more books.

His first humor book, HOW TO SURVIVE A GARDEN GNOME ATTACK (, was released in Sept. 2010 and has been featured by Reader’s Digest, USA Today, Buzzfeed, Wired, the New York Times, AOL News, and many more. The film rights were optioned by Sony and director Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future). The book was translated into several languages. His newest humor book is WHEN CLOWNS ATTACK: A SURVIVAL GUIDE (Ten Speed Press, fall 2015), which was mentioned by New York.

In addition, Chuck’s also written three other writing-related titles: the third edition of FORMATTING & SUBMITTING YOUR MANUSCRIPT (2009), as well as CREATE YOUR WRITER PLATFORM (2012). His latest writing guide is GET A LITERARY AGENT (2015).

Chuck is a former staffer of several newspapers and magazines—most notably Writer’s Digest. During his tenure as a newspaper reporter, he won awards from both the Kentucky Press Association and the Cincinnati Society of Professional Journalists. He is a produced playwright, with both original and commissioned works produced. During the past fifteen years, more than 700 of his articles have appeared in newspapers, magazines and books.

Besides that, he is a proud father of a six-year-old daughter, a cover band guitarist, chocolate chip cookie addict, movie trivia geek, and owner of a flabby-yet-lovable dog named Graham.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Ella Marie Shupe of The Belcastro Agency

Screen Shot 2018-11-14 at 5.38.29 PM.pngElla 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.”

“Belcastro Agency is a full-service, literary agency representing authors writing in adult and young adult fiction. We are a passionate, hands-on, editorially-focused agency and work closely with our writers in developing manuscripts and proposals for submission. In addition, we actively manage subsidiary rights for the projects we represent including foreign translation, audio, and film/television rights. We work hand in hand with our authors to develop lasting careers through website development, social media strategies, and promotional assistance. Our mission is to shine the light on great writers and wonderful stories.”

Pittsburgh Parking and Meeting Room Details

Hi, attendees!

This page is designed to aid you in parking at the March 9, 2019 Pittsburgh Writing Workshop, and also understanding where the meeting rooms are in the hotel.


Our rooms are both on the first (lobby) floor of the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown. The sessions during the day are in the Sterling rooms (combined together), which are in the lower left of the picture below. This is where registration is, book sales will be, and classes & panels happen. At the upper right in the picture, caddy-corner, is our pitch room: The Benedum Room. The Benedum is where all agent pitches happen, as well as Dorit’s critique sessions. We will remind you of these directions during the day.

When you arrive the morning of March 9, just find the Sterling Rooms, because that is the location to register. And remember the pitch room and speech rooms are on direct opposite corners of the hotel. That’s all you need to know.

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There appear to be plenty of downtown parking options. See below for the information that the hotel passed on to us regarding suggested parking. If in doubt, just head out to the conference early to leave time for finding a nearby garage and walking to the event.

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Two 2019 Writing Conferences in Pennsylvania

If you’re looking for a writers conference in Pennsylvania, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s more info on two 2019 workshop events. Click on the website links below to see all details of the events, including the faculties.

The 2019 Pittsburgh Writing Workshop (March 9)

Screen Shot 2019-01-09 at 12.09.03 AM.pngThis one-day writers conference is from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 9, 2019, at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh downtown. See the official website for all info:

This year’s speaker is Chuck Sambuchino, former longtime editor for Writer’s Digest Books and the Guide to Literary Agents. He will be teaching on how to get published, how to get an agent, how to market yourself and your books, how to write an awesome first page & chapter, and general writing tips.

At least 9 agents and editors will be in attendance taking book pitches from writers. Use this opportunity to meet acquiring editors and agents, face to face, and talk about your work. In-person pitching works. We have a complete list of our workshop pitching success stories here.

Visit the event website to learn even more about the 2019 Pittsburgh Writing Workshop, including how to sign up and register:

The 2019 Philadelphia Writing Workshop (Nov. 23)

Screen Shot 2019-01-09 at 12.13.18 AM.pngThis one-day writers conference is from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 23, 2019, at the Sonesta downtown. See the official website for all info:

This larger Philly conference has three tracks of classes — meaning attendees have their choice of three speech topics at all times during the day. Speakers teach on a variety of craft & business topics to teach writers everything they need to know about getting their work published and sold.

While the list of attending literary agents and publishing house editors is still forming, this November conference — which has happened the past three years — usually has 15-18 agents & editors in attendance. Use this opportunity to meet acquiring editors and agents, face to face, and talk about your work. In-person pitching works. We have a complete list of our workshop pitching success stories here.

Visit the event website to learn even more about the 2019 Philadelphia Writing Workshop, including how to sign up and register:

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Thank you for your interest in Writing Day Workshops. E-mail us if you have questions: Visit the websites above to learn more about the two Pennsylvania events in 2019, and how to register.