The 2017 Cleveland Writing Workshop: July 8, 2017

Screen shot 2014-09-25 at 11.13.19 PMAfter a successful launch in 2016, the Cleveland Writing Workshop is back for 2017! Writing Day Workshops, is excited to announce The 2017 Cleveland Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in Cleveland, OH, on July 8, 2017.

This writing event is a wonderful opportunity to get intense instruction over the course of one day, pitch a literary agent or editor (optional), get your questions answered, and more. Note that there are limited seats at the event (150 total). All questions about the event regarding schedule, details and registration are answered below. Thank you for your interest in the 2017 Cleveland Writing Workshop!

WHAT IS IT?

This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, July 8, 2017, at the Holiday Inn Cleveland-S / Independence. 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 Jennifer Wills (The Seymour Agency)
  • literary agent Michael Caligaris (Holloway Literary Agency)
  • literary agent Ella Marie Shupe (Belcastro Agency)
  • literary agent Vicki Selvaggio (Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency)
  • literary agent Moe Ferrara (BookEnds Literary)
  • literary agent Mallory Brown (TriadaUS Literary)
  • literary agent Fred Tribuzzo (The Rudy Agency)

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 Jessica Bell of Writing Day Workshops, with assistance from the NE Ohio SCBWI.

THIS YEAR’S PRESENTER/INSTRUCTOR

Screen Shot 2016-11-02 at 3.23.45 PM.pngBrian A. Klems (@BrianKlems) is the online editor of WritersDigest.com. His blog, The Writer’s Dig—which covers everything writing and publishing—is one of the fastest growing blogs in the writing community. Brian has been a part of the Writer’s Digest family since 2003 and has overseen the the launch of the Writer’s Digest blogs as well as helped Writer’s Digest become a vibrant member of the social media community, including Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest. Brian’s first book, Oh Boy, You’re Having a Girl: A Dad’s Guide to Raising Daughters (Adams Media) was released in April 2013. It received high-level buzz and praise from some of the funniest writers alive, including Dave Barry and Bruce Cameron. Brian is also a proud graduate of the Ohio University E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, a husband, softball infielder, perennial fantasy sports underachiever, and father of three lovely little girls.

EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS

9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, July 8, 2017 — Holiday Inn Cleveland-S / Independence, 6001 Rockside Rd, Independence, OH 44131, (216)524-8050.

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WORKSHOP SCHEDULE (JULY 8, 2017)

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

9:30 – 10:30: “A Bird’s-eye View Publishing & Books in the Year 2017.” This workshop is quick & easy overview of the publishing industry today, and how it’s changing. The speech is designed to educate writers and help them understand what publishing options exist for them today and why it’s an exciting time to be a writer.

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 10.12.02 AM10:30 – 11:45: “15 Tips on How to Write Like the Pros.” This workshop is a thorough crash course concerning craft, style and voice. We’ll discuss nuts & bolts tips for sentence construction like how to avoid passive tense, how to use vivid language, how to self-edit your own work, how to make your characters memorable, the art of compelling dialogue, and much more.

11:45 – 1:15: Lunch on your own. There are several restaurants within quick driving distance on the block.

1:15 – 2:30: “Writers’ Got Talent: A Chapter One Critique-Fest.” In the vein of American Idol or America’s Got Talent, this is a chance to get your first page read (anonymously — no bylines given) with our 4 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.)

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 10.07.06 AM2:45 – 4:00: “25 Questions You Need Answered Before You Seek an Agent or Self-Publish Your Book.” Before you publish your work or query an agent, there are plenty of things you need to know — such as how to submit to agents properly, how to find the best self-publishing service for your need, what social media channels you should be on already, how to launch your book right, how to draft a compelling query/pitch and synopsis, how to find other writers who can help you, and much more.

4:00 – 5:00: “25 Questions You Need Answered After You Seek an Agent or Self-Publish Your Book.” After you self-publish your work or get a traditional publishing book deal, there are plenty of things you need to know — such as how to promote yourself, how to keep your career going with multiple books, how you cross between the words of self-publishing and traditional publishing (i.e., use them both) to make the most money, how to build a readership, and much more.

All throughout the day: Agent & Editor Pitching.

PITCH AN AGENT!

Screen Shot 2017-01-05 at 11.15.03 PM.pngJennifer Wills is a literary agent with The 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 YA 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. Jennifer tends to shy away from rhyming picture books, historical fiction and high fantasy, although she’s willing to make exceptions.  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 2016-10-18 at 4.09.19 PM.pngMichael Caligaris is a literary agent with Holloway Literary Agency. His interests are as follows: literary Fiction, autobiographical fiction (i.e., So Long, See You Tomorrow; A River Runs Through It; Sylvia), short story collections or connected stories as a novel (i.e., Jennifer Egan, Elizabeth Strout, Junot Diaz), LGBTQ lit, novels that are set in the Midwest or could be considered Americana, crime fiction, mystery/noir (i.e., Walter Mosley, Kate Atkinson, Lou Berney), dystopian fiction, civil unrest/political uprising/ war novels, memoir, New Journalism and/or long-form journalism, essay collections (on art, race, mental health, music, etc.), satirical/humor writing, and environmental writing. Learn more about Michael here.

Screen Shot 2016-11-16 at 10.07.08 AM.pngVicki Selvaggio is a literary agent with Jennifer De Chiara Literary. “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.” Learn more about Vicki here.

Screen Shot 2017-01-11 at 3.54.35 PM.pngElla Marie Shupe is a literary agent with Belcastro Agency. She is actively looking for writers and building her individual client list. Ella is seeking cozy mysteries, thrillers, suspense, mystery with romantic elements, romance (both contemporary and suspenseful), and young adult (fantasy, sci-fi, and action/adventure). Learn more about Ella here.

moe-5-15Moe Ferrara is a literary agent with BookEnds Literary. Moe is interested in science fiction and fantasy for all age groups (no picture books). She loves a bit (or a lot!) of romance in her fiction, so the right contemporary or historical romance will spark her interest. She’s LGBTQ friendly, so send her that male/male erotic romance in your back pocket. At this time she’s not looking for nonfiction, women’s fiction, or cozy mysteries. Learn more about Moe here.

Screen Shot 2016-11-28 at 12.50.13 PM.pngMallory C. Brown is a literary agent with TriadaUS Literary. She is seeking: young adult, women’s fiction, adult, and nonfiction. She is especially drawn to pieces with strong character-driven plots and witty humor. She loves contemporary fiction, fantasy, magical realism, and romance. Mallory also appreciates a well-placed comma and hopes you do, too. Learn more about Mallory here.

Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 9.59.21 AMFred Tribuzzo is a literary agent with The Rudy Agency.  He is seeking psychological thrillers and historical mystery/crime. No YA or children’s books. Learn more about Fred here.

More 2017 agents/editors may be added in the coming weeks/months.

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

$149 — the EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2017 CWW and access to all workshops, all day, on July 8, 2017. As of November 2016, 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 — including one from a previous Cleveland workshop — can be seen here.)

Screen Shot 2016-12-13 at 12.20.11 AM.pngI signed with my agent, Patricia Nelson, after
meeting her at the Arizona Writing Workshop.”
– writer Axie Oh

Screen Shot 2016-12-13 at 12.07.56 AM.png“I officially signed with agent Renee Nyen of KT
Literary. I met her at the Colorado Writing
Workshop.” – writer Jessie Hilb Akos

Screen Shot 2016-12-13 at 12.08.00 AM.png“After taking pitches at the Michigan Writing
Workshop, I signed writer Kyle Prue as a new
client.” – literary agent Veronica Park

Screen Shot 2016-12-13 at 12.08.09 AM.png“After taking pitches at the Alabama Writing
Workshop, I met Erin Hollis at a pitch session, and
she is now my newest client.” – agent Julie Gwinn

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?

How to pay/register — Registration is now open. Reach out to workshop organizer Jessica Bell via email: WDWconference@gmail.com, and she will provide specific instructions for payment and registration to get you a reserved seat at the event. Payment is by either PayPal or check. Because Jessica 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 Holiday Inn Cleveland-Independence, the workshop can only allow 150 registrants, unless spacing issues change. For this reason, we encourage you to book sooner rather than later.

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

How to Register: The easy first step is simply to reach out to workshop organizer Jessica Bell 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 Jessica 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 2017 Cleveland Writing Workshop.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Vicki Selvaggio of Jennifer De Chiara Literary

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 9.50.27 AMVicki Selvaggio is a literary agent with Jennifer De Chiara Literary.

With a strong background in business ownership, Vicki came to The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency with over 6 years of actively working as a volunteer and Regional Advisor for SCBWI Northern Ohio. Drawn to the publishing scene first as an author writing all genres, with her most recent publication in the 2015 Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market, Vicki’s passion for honing the craft carried over into reading manuscripts for the agency. Currently, she is excited to read compelling manuscripts that will resonate with her long after she’s done.

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: Michael Caligaris of Holloway Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2016-10-18 at 4.09.19 PM.pngMichael Caligaris is a literary agent with Holloway Literary Agency.

Michael has been working in publishing since 2013. After earning an MFA in Creative Writing from St. Mary’s College, he then co-founded a Bay Area literary magazine, The East Bay Review, and worked for the world’s largest academic science journal, PLOS ONE. He considers the time he taught creative writing to first-generation college students as a turning point in his career, for they inspired him to further seek out those often-overlooked authors writing about family, struggle, class, and race. As an agent for Holloway Literary, Michael strives to find emerging authors with strong voice and vision, and he promises to tirelessly campaign for their exposure.

His interests are as follows:

  •  Literary Fiction
  • Autobiographical fiction, i.e., So Long, See You Tomorrow; A River Runs Through It; Sylvia
  • Short story collections or connected stories as a novel, i.e., Jennifer Egan, Elizabeth Strout, Junot Diaz
  • LGBTQ lit
  • Novels that are set in the Midwest or could be considered Americana
  • Crime Fiction
  • Mystery/Noir, i.e., Walter Mosley, Kate Atkinson, Lou Berney
  • Dystopian fiction
  • Civil unrest/political uprising/ war novels
  • Memoir
  • New Journalism and/or long-form journalism
  • Essay collections on art, race, mental health, music, etc.
  • Satirical/humor writing
  • Environmental writing

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

Screen Shot 2016-10-17 at 12.57.20 PM.pngJennifer Wills is a literary agent with The Seymour Agency.

She is seeking: 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 YA 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. Jennifer tends to shy away from rhyming picture books, historical fiction and high fantasy, although she’s willing to make exceptions.  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.
 
Bio: 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, 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.

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

Screen Shot 2017-01-11 at 3.54.30 PM.pngElla Marie Shupe is a literary agent with Belcastro Agency.

She is seeking cozy mysteries, thrillers, suspense, mystery with romantic elements, romance (both contemporary and suspenseful), and young adult (fantasy, sci-fi, and action/adventure).

“Belcastro Agency is a full-service, indie literary agency representing authors. 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 give the world great stories to get lost in.”

Ella Marie has been a literary agent since 2008. She was drawn to helping authors achieve their dreams after she studied English at Youngstown State University. She realized her biggest joy was recommending new books to fellow college students. She turned that love into a career when she became a junior agent with the Belcastro Agency. As an agent, Ella Marie discovered many new authors and she soon became a senior agent. She continues her hunt for new manuscripts with a voice that jumps off the page and a colorful plot. Her main goal is nurturing a collaborative relationship that will lead to publication and long lasting writing careers.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Moe Ferrara of BookEnds Literary

moe-5-15Moe Ferrara is a literary agent with BookEnds Literary.

Though her career path zigzagged a bit—she attended college as a music major, earned a JD from Pace Law School, then worked various jobs throughout the publishing industry—Moe was thrilled to join the BookEnds team as a literary agent and the subsidiary rights director. Find her on Twitter.

Moe is interested in: science fiction and fantasy for all age groups (no picture books). She loves a bit (or a lot!) of romance in her fiction, so the right contemporary or historical romance will spark her interest. She’s LGBTQ friendly, so send her that male/male erotic romance in your back pocket! At this time she’s not looking for nonfiction, women’s fiction, or cozy mysteries.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Fred Tribuzzo of The Rudy Agency

Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 9.59.21 AMFred Tribuzzo is a literary agent with The Rudy Agency.

He is seeking: “I’m currently representing psychological thrillers and historical mystery/crime. No YA or children’s books.”

Fred has flown aircraft from the J3-Cub to the fastest
corporate jet ever made—the Citation Ten. He also flew internationally for eight years on a corporate Boeing 737 for the Columbus-based Netjets company. On two separate tours of duty Fred played electric bass for the Numbers Band from northeastern Ohio, performing on four of the band’s CDs. He’s been published in Flying magazine and, in 1986, received a fellowship from the Ohio Arts Council for piano, oboe, and string compositions. Fred credits his numerous mentors along the way who have inspired him to write American Sky, a memoir of his years flying.

Fred has worked the past four years as a literary agent with the Rudy Agency. One of his authors, Mary Lawrence, has had her second novel of the Bianca Goddard Mystery series, Death of an Alchemist, released in January 2016 by Kensington Books.