After a successful launch in 2016, Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2019 Cleveland Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in Cleveland, OH, on July 20, 2019.
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 2019 Cleveland Writing Workshop!
WHAT IS IT?
This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, July 20, 2019, 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 Vicki Selvaggio (Storm Literary)
- literary agent Hope Bolinger (C.Y.L.E. Literary)
- literary agent Moe Ferrara (BookEnds Literary)
- literary agent Ella Marie Shupe (Belcastro Agency)
- literary agent Bethany Morehead (Hartline 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 Jessica Bell 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 20, 2019, at the Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Tower, 1360 West Mall Drive, Cleveland, OH 44114. (216)696-9200.
THIS YEAR’S SESSIONS AND WORKSHOPS (JULY 20, 2019)
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
1. A Bird’s-eye View Publishing & Books in the Year 2019. This workshop is quick and easy overview of the publishing industry today, and how it’s changing.
2. Worldbuilding in Fantasy and Science Fiction. Science fiction and fantasy writers face a unique problem: How do you convey the details of imaginary worlds without bogging down your story? This workshop will address this challenge.
3. Ten Romance Writing Tips to Keep Readers Turning Pages. Engage romance readers from the first page with irresistible hooks, clear writing, sharp dialogue, and engaging characters in heart-pounding, romantic settings.
1. Tips on How to Write Like the Pros. This workshop is a thorough crash course concerning craft, style and voice.
2. Understanding Literary Agents and Query Letters. This session will teach you how to find agents, how to get them interested in your work, and how to stand out from the slush by crafting a successful query letter.
3. You Got a Book Deal! — Now What? This session, taught by literary agent, examines what happens after you sign on the dotted line.
(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.
2. How to Sell a Nonfiction Book. This session is completely devoted to nonfiction book proposals.
3. Writing for the Little Ones: How to Craft an Amazing Picture Book For Kids. In this session, we’ll discuss questions to consider before sending a picture book manuscript out in the world.
BLOCK FOUR: 2:45 – 3:45
1. Book Marketing for Writers. This easy-to-understand workshop will cover topics such as methods today’s authors can use, tips on using social media to promote a book, and what skills an author needs to market a book in this digital age.
2. Tips for Writing Great Mysteries, Thrillers, and Crime. The presentation will teach you how to keep readers—including agents and editors—turning pages late into the night.
3. How to Revise and Self Edit Your Manuscript — Without Losing Your Mind. Learn how to refine your writing, improve your work, and wrestle the beast into something someone will want to publish.
(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
1. Twenty 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.
2. Your Story: Writing and Publishing a Memoir. Whether you’ve lived an “ordinary” life or an unconventional one, you’ll gain the tips and techniques that will make readers care.
3. Keys to Writing Great Young Adult & Middle Grade Fiction. Writing for children isn’t all that different from writing for adults. Learn how to write compelling YA & MG that stands out.
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!
Vicki Selvaggio [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] 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.
Bethany Morehead is a jr. literary agent with Hartline Literary. She is seeking: children’s picture books, middle grade fiction, young adult fiction, women’s fiction, romantic fiction, and speculative fiction (science fiction and fantasy novels). She is actively building her client list. Learn more about Bethany here.
Ella 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.
Moe Ferrara is a literary agent with BookEnds Literary Agency. Moe is interested in books for middle grade, young adult, and adult readers in most genres–especially science fiction, fantasy, contemporary, and light horror. The right contemporary or paranormal romance (sans-vampires of course) will spark her interest. She’s LGBTQ friendly, so send her that male/male erotic romance in your back pocket. Learn more about Moe here.
Hope Bolinger is a junior agent at C.Y.L.E. She is seeking young adult, middle grade, some children’s books, historical fiction (especially more obscure time periods), fantasy, sci-fi, and exceptional romance. In nonfiction, she seeks humor books, family and relationships books, and ministry (Christian) books. Generally she does not take memoir unless the author has an exceptional platform. Get to know more about Hope here.
Jacqueline 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.
Lydia Sharp is an editor for Entangled Publishing. Unfortunately, she can no longer attend the 2019 event.
More 2019 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.)
$189 — EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2019 CWW and access to all workshops, all day, on July 20, 2019. As of October 2018, 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.)
“I met my client, Alison Hammer, at the 2017 Writing
Workshop of Chicago and just sold her book.”
– literary agent Joanna Mackenzie of Nelson Literary
“Good news! I signed a client [novelist Aliza Mann]
from the 2017 Michigan Writing Workshop!”
– literary agent Sara Mebigow of KT Literary
“I signed author Stephanie Wright from
the 2018 Seattle Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Kathleen Ortiz of New Leaf Literary
“I signed an author [Kate Thompson] that I
met at the 2017 Philadelphia Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Kimberly Brower of Brower Literary
“I signed novelist Kathleen McInnis after meeting her
at the 2016 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:
- Mystery, thriller, suspense, and crime: Faculty member D.M. Pulley, a published writer, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your story, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
- Romance, erotica: Faculty member Donna MacMeans, a published writer, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your story, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
- Adult science fiction and fantasy: Faculty member Steve Bein, a published speculative fiction author, will get your work in advance, edit the first 10 double-spaced pages of your adult sci-fi or fantasy novel, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss his thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
- Literary fiction, mainstream fiction, romance, women’s fiction, memoir: Faculty member Ricki Schultz, a published author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your story, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
- Middle grade, young adult: Faculty member Dee Garretson, a published writer, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your story, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
- Memoir, nonfiction: Faculty member Dorit Sasson, a published author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your story, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
- Other options forthcoming.
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.
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 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.)