The 2020 Cleveland Writing Workshop: July 11, 2020

screen-shot-2014-07-23-at-12-58-51-pm.pngAfter successful events in 2016, 2018 and 2019, Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2020 Cleveland Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in Cleveland, OH, on July 11, 2020.

This writing event is a wonderful opportunity to get intense instruction over the course of one day, pitch a literary agent or editor (optional), get your questions answered, and more. Note that there are limited seats at the event (200 total). All questions about the event regarding schedule, details and registration are answered below. Thank you for your interest in the 2020 Cleveland Writing Workshop!

WHAT IS IT?

This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, July 11, 2020, at the Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Tower. 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 Weronika Janczuk (The Janczuk Literary Agency)
  • literary agent Jennifer Wills (The Seymour Agency)
  • literary agent Vicki Selvaggio (Storm Literary)
  • literary agent Ella Marie Shupe (Belcastro Agency)
  • literary agent Hope Bolinger (CYLE Literary)
  • literary agent Jacqueline Lipton (Storm Literary)
  • 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, with help from local writing groups such as the Ohio North SCBWI.

EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS

9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Saturday, July 11, 2020, at the Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Tower, 1360 West Mall Drive, Cleveland, OH 44114. (216)696-9200.

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THIS YEAR’S SESSIONS AND WORKSHOPS (JULY 11, 2020)

What you see below is a quick layout of the day’s events. The topics below are mostly set, but subject to change. You can see a more detailed layout of the day’s classes on the Schedule Page here.

Please Note: There will be 2-3 classes/workshops going at all times during the day, so you will have your choice of what class you attend at any time. The final schedule of topics is subject to change, but here is the current layout:

8:30 – 9:30: Check-in and registration at the event location.

BLOCK ONE: 9:30 – 10:30

CLASSES COMING SOON

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 1.44.34 AMBLOCK TWO: 10:45 – 11:50

CLASSES COMING SOON

(What you see here is a quick layout of the day’s events. See a full layout of the day’s sessions, with detailed descriptions, on the official Schedule Page here.)

LUNCH ON YOUR OWN: 11:50 – 1:15

Lunch is on your own during these 85 minutes.

BLOCK THREE: 1:15 – 2:30

1. “Writers Got Talent”—a Page 1 Critique Fest. 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. (Salon D)

CLASSES COMING SOON

BLOCK FOUR: 2:45 – 3:45

CLASSES COMING SOON

(What you see here is a quick layout of the day’s events. See a full layout of the day’s sessions, with detailed descriptions, on the official Schedule Page here.)

BLOCK FIVE: 4:00 – 5:00

CLASSES COMING SOON

SESSIONS END: 5:00

At 5 p.m., the day is done. Speakers will make themselves available by the workshop’s bookstore for a short while to sign any books for attendees.

Agent & Editor Pitching: All throughout the day.

—————————

PITCH AN AGENT!

Screen Shot 2019-12-09 at 10.06.32 AM.pngWeronika Janczuk is a literary agent and founder of The Janczuk Literary Agency. “I am not, and have never been, a single-genre reader. I am eager only for the best-told stories, building out a list of talented novelists and writers in many genres.” She is seeking: young adult, fantasy & sci-fi, literary fiction, commercial fiction, women’s fiction, romance crime, mystery & thrillers. memoir and nonfiction (innovative ideas & research; projects with a potential for social & cultural impact, etc.). Learn more about Weronika here.

Screen Shot 2019-11-18 at 6.52.37 PMJennifer Wills is a literary agent with They Seymour Agency. Jennifer is particularly interested in a wide range of picture books and cookbooks, with a soft spot for author/illustrators of sweet and wacky picture books, and cookbooks with mouth-watering recipes of the health conscious, budget friendly or celebrity chef variety. For fiction, she’s also interested in middle grade and young adult with a sci fi/fantasy, horror/suspense, or contemporary bent, and upmarket women’s fiction with a sense of humor. On the nonfiction side, narrative nonfiction and memoir are also welcome. If your manuscript has a great hook, a distinct voice, and can make her laugh out loud or ugly cry (or, even better, both), she’d love to see it. Learn more about Jennifer here.

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 9.50.27 AMVicki 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.

Screen Shot 2018-11-14 at 5.38.23 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.” Learn more about Ella Marie here.

Screen Shot 2018-05-10 at 1.27.12 PMHope Bolinger is a junior agent at C.Y.L.E. She is seeking young adult and middle grade with a speculative flair, some adult romance, and some adult historical. She is also sometimes interested in children’s picture books (especially nonfiction or with STEAM elements), nonfiction & memoir with a strong platform, and some books for the religious market with a strong platform. She is not interested in: nonfiction that doesn’t have a strong platform, erotica, poetry, or new adult (YA crossover is fine). Learn more about Hope here.

Screen Shot 2019-01-31 at 12.02.36 AM.pngJacqueline Lipton is a literary agent with Storm Literary. She is seeking most kinds of middle grade and young adult fiction — specifically contemporary, romance, science-fiction, mystery, and/or anything with engaging characters and plot! She also seeks MG and YA nonfiction. Learn more about Jacqueline here.

 

        More 2020 agents to be announced as they are confirmed. You can sign up for pitches at any time, or switch pitches at any time, so long as the agent in question still has appointments open. You can pitch as many agents & editors as like you wish.

These one-on-one meetings are an amazing chance to pitch your book face-to-face with an agent, and get personal, individual feedback on your pitch/concept. If the agent likes your pitch, they’ll request to see part/all of your book — sending you straight past the slush pile. It also gives you an intimate chance to meet with an agent and pick their brain with any questions on your mind.

(Please note that Agent/Editor Pitching is an add-on, separate aspect of the day, for only those who sign up. Spaces are limited for these premium meetings, and pricing/detail is explained below.)

PRICING

$189 — EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2020 CWW and access to all workshops, all day, on July 11, 2020. As of October 2019, 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.)

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 instructor Brian Klems. (This rate is a special event value for Cleveland 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:

  • Critique options forthcoming.

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 either PayPal or check. Because Brian plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Cleveland workshop specifically.

REGISTRATION

Because of limited space at the venue of the Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Tower, the workshop can only allow 200 registrants, unless spacing issues change. For this reason, we encourage you to book sooner rather than later.

Are spaces still available? Yes, we still have spaces available. We will announce RIGHT HERE, at this point on this web page, when all spaces are taken. If you do not see a note right here saying how all spaces are booked, then yes, we still have room, and you are encouraged to register.

How to Register: The easy first step is simply to reach out to workshop organizer Brian Klems via email: WDWconference@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 CWW 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 Cleveland 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.)

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Thank you for your interest in the 2020 Cleveland Writing Workshop.

 

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Weronika Janczuk of The Janczuk Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2019-12-09 at 10.06.28 AM.pngWeronika Janczuk is a literary agent with The Janczuk Literary Agency (formerly with D4E0 Literary).

Weronika (pronounced like Veronica) broke into publishing in 2009, through a high school workshop that placed me with former young adult editor Brian Farrey at Flux (now North Star), a small imprint in Minnesota, where she pulled, from the slush pile, the lovely Out of the Blue by Holly Schindler, which received a starred review in Booklist. She then moved on to intern with Kathleen Anderson at Anderson Literary Management, Jenny Bent at The Bent Agency, and Mary Kole, formerly with the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. From 2010-2011, as an undergraduate at NYU, she worked with Bob Diforio and sold an array of projects. Weronika’s parents immigrated from Poland to Canada, where she was born. “I grew up in the Twin Cities of Minnesota; and now I reside in New York City, NY. I studied at New York University’s Gallatin School, where I finished a self-designed degree in the philosophy of the human person. I love Earl Grey tea and lattes, Sudoku, rivers, and pierogi with blueberries. I am also a writer, as are many other agents and editors. I queried my first project when I was 13, and have never queried again, tinkering in silence, perfecting craft, with my current project a science fantasy.

She is seeking:

“I am not, and have never been, a single-genre reader. I am eager only for the best-told stories, building out a list of talented novelists and writers in these genres:”

  • young adult
  • fantasy & sci-fi
  • literary fiction
  • commercial fiction
  • women’s fiction
  • romance
  • crime, mystery & thrillers
  • memoir
  • nonfiction (innovative ideas & research; projects with a potential for social & cultural impact, etc.)

“Human nature fascinates me, and I am drawn to stories that share the rawness and truth of what is and what is possible. I love beautiful writers, worlds, characters; smart, quirky and genre-bending stories. I love underdogs, and stories about characters that rise above limitations. I love romance, whether genre- or element-wise, that is visceral in its rawness. I love dark contours, intense in their immediacy, and world-building that catches your breath with its precision and distinctness.

“I am very much a reader that likes to be challenged, and expanded; very carefully constructed projects, which reveal a writer’s capacities, are most often those that awaken my heart and mind. I would prefer to work with writers eager to grow in their skill as novelists and build long-term, sustainable careers.

“I will not consider middle grade, children’s, or picture books, nor am I the right agent for illustrators or graphic novels.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Jennifer Wills of The Seymour Agency

Screen Shot 2019-11-18 at 6.52.37 PMJennifer Wills is a literary agent with The Seymour Agency.

Jennifer has five years’ experience in some of the publishing industry’s leading literary agencies. She worked with publishers around the world as an assistant in Trident Media Group’s huge foreign rights department, and with domestic publishers as an assistant at Writers House (where, incidentally, she began her career as an intern).

She joined the Seymour Agency in April 2016, where she has quickly moved up the ranks to Associate Agent. Jennifer has always loved helping fledgling authors become NYT bestsellers and she’s ready to be a relentless champion for her own clients’ work. You can find her @WillsWork4Books on Twitter.

Jennifer is particularly interested in a wide range of picture books and cookbooks, with a soft spot for author/illustrators of sweet and wacky picture books, and cookbooks with mouth-watering recipes of the health conscious, budget friendly or celebrity chef variety. For fiction, she’s also interested in middle grade and young adult with a sci fi/fantasy, horror/suspense, or contemporary bent, and upmarket women’s fiction with a sense of humor. On the nonfiction side, narrative nonfiction and memoir are also welcome. If your manuscript has a great hook, a distinct voice, and can make her laugh out loud or ugly cry (or, even better, both), she’d love to see it.

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.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Hope Bolinger of C.Y.L.E

Screen Shot 2018-05-10 at 1.27.08 PM.pngHope Bolinger is a literary agent at C.Y.L.E. Literary.

Hope is a graduate of Taylor University’s professional writing program. More than 500 of her works have been featured in various publications ranging from Writer’s Digest to Keys for Kids to HOOKED.

She has worked for various publishing companies, magazines, newspapers, and literary agencies and has edited the work of authors such as Jerry B. Jenkins and Michelle Medlock Adams. Her column “Hope’s Hacks,” tips and tricks to avoid writer’s block, reaches 6,000+ readers weekly and is featured monthly on Cyle Young’s blog. Her modern-day Daniel, Blaze, (Illuminate YA) released in June, and they contracted the sequel Den for July 2020. Find out more about her here.

Interested in: Young adult and middle grade with a speculative flair, some adult romance, and some adult historical.

Maybe: children’s picture books (especially nonfiction or with STEAM elements), nonfiction & memoir with a strong platform, some books for the religious market with a strong platform.

Not interested in: nonfiction that doesn’t have a strong platform, erotica, poetry, new adult (YA crossover is fine).

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Jacqueline Lipton of Storm Literary

Screen Shot 2019-01-31 at 12.02.36 AM.pngJacqueline Lipton is a literary agent with Storm Literary.

She is seeking most kinds of middle grade and young adult fiction — specifically contemporary, romance, science-fiction, mystery, and/or anything with engaging characters and plot! She also seeks MG and YA nonfiction.

Jacqueline has been an avid reader since elementary school, back in the days when “YA” wasn’t even a thing.

Her background is also eclectic. At university (yes, in Australia and England they call it “university”), she studied law, psychology, drama, languages, and information technology. She practiced as a banking and finance attorney in Australia, and has worked as a law professor in Australia, the U.K. and the United States where her teaching and writing has focused on laws relating to the publishing industry, digital technology law, copyright, trademark, privacy, and defamation.

She holds an M.F.A. in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts and regularly teaches classes on writing and on legal aspects of publishing around the country for organizations like The Writing Barn, Savvy Authors, and a variety of adult education courses, M.A. and M.F.A. programs, and libraries.

Before joining Storm Literary Agency, she was a reader for literary agent, Susan Hawk for several years and a reader and member of the social media team for The YA Review Network (Y.A.R.N.)

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

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 9.50.27 AM

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.”