Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2020 Cincinnati Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in Cincinnati, OH, on May 16, 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 (150 total). All questions about the event regarding schedule, details and registration are answered below. Thank you for your interest in the 2020 Cincinnati Writing Workshop!
WHAT IS IT?
This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, May 16, 2020, at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza. 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 Laura Crockett (Triada US)
- literary agent Erica Bauman (Aevitas Creative Management)
- literary agent Weronika Janczuk (The Janczuk Agency)
- literary agent Jacqueline Lipton (Raven Quill Literary)
- literary agent Chrysa Keenon (CYLE Literary)
- literary agent Denise Barone (Barone Literary)
- literary agent Kenzi Nevins (CYLE Literary)
- more agents possibly forthcoming
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 Chuck Sambuchino of Writing Day Workshops, with help from Buckeye Crime Writers (an Ohio chapter of the Sisters in Crime writing group).
EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS
9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Saturday, May 16, 2020, at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, 35 W 5th St, Cincinnati, OH 45202. (513)421-9100.
WORKSHOP SCHEDULE (SATURDAY, MAY 16, 2020)
8:30 – 9:30: Check-in and registration at the event location.
9:30 – 10:30: “How to Write a Submissions Package That Stands Out Among the Crowd,” taught by Jacqueline Lipton (bio below). This session, taught by a literary agent, provides handy tips and tricks for creating the perfect submissions package, making the query letter do its best work for you, and learning how to avoid wasting the valuable real estate that makes up the first 10-20 pages of your novel. We might also talk briefly about the dreaded synopsis!
10:30 – 11:45: “Making Social Media Work For You,” taught by Kenzi Nevins (bio below). As authors, most of us wish we could spend more time writing and leave marketing to the experts, but in today’s world, social media is a necessary part of our job. Fortunately, with a little work, you can turn it in to a vehicle for reaching the world with your words, rather than a frustrating time-waster.
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 First Page 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 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. This is for fiction and memoir only — no picture books or prescriptive nonfiction.
2:50 – 3:50: “On Compact Writing: Using Words Intentionally & Strategically,” taught by Weronika Janczuk (bio below). This workshop, taught by a literary agent, will discuss how to tighten your prose, so that whatever you’re writing, your words can pack a punch. Learn how to write compactly, tightly, efficiently — with a goal of understanding good pacing, and what tools are at your disposal.
4:00 – 5:00: 20 Things to Do (and 10 Things Not to Do) if You Want to Get an Agent and Have a Successful Writing Career, taught by Chuck Sambuchino (bio below). This session is full of practical, nuts-and-bolts dos and don’ts for aspiring and intermediate writers. What are agent pet peeves that can sink your query letter? What’s the best way to meet agents at a conference? Besides writing a great book, what else makes you attractive to a publisher? How do you find people in your city who can be your writing friend and help make your book better? These points — and many more — will be addressed in this session.
All throughout the day: Agent & Editor Pitching.
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PITCH AN AGENT!
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.
Chrysa Keenon is a literary agent with CYLE Literary Elite. She is seeking: For adult novels, she seeks humorous romance, LGBTQ+ romance, and low fantasy. In young adult, she seeks humorous/lighthearted contemporary romance, fantasy LGBTQ+, diverse romance, magical realism, and stories about characters from marginalized backgrounds. She also will consider fairytale retellings/spinoffs and middle grade fantasy.
Chrysa holds a degree from Taylor University in Professional Writing with minors in Public Relations and Creative Writing. She began her agenting career as an intern at The Seymour Agency and gained experience in the editorial world at GenZ Publishing. She is the recipient of the Blue Seal Award for 1st place YA Sci-Fi/Fantasy fiction and 1st Place News and Feature Story from the Indiana Collegiate Press, among others. She has over 400 publications and currently works as a content writer for a Midwest bridal magazine. Chrysa enjoys puns, coffee, and traveling to oceanside cities.
Laura Crockett is a literary agent with TriadaUS Literary.
Laura is interested in a variety of YA and adult fiction.
In YA, she is interested in contemporary realistic fiction (such as study abroad experiences, strong female friendships, falling in love, mental health, diversity, LGBTQ) and fantasy (particularly with excellent world-building, authentic characterization, fantasy inspired by fairytales and other cultures’ mythology, and historical fantasy). Some favorite titles include Fangirl, The Lie Tree, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, All the Bright Places, Shadowfell, When We Collided, Anna and the French Kiss, A Shadow Bright and Burning, The Star-Touched Queen, and The Winner’s Curse.
In adult fiction, she is interested in contemporary women’s fiction (heartfelt, juicy moral dilemmas, historical bends with parallel narratives), humorous chick-lit (especially if it’s millennial-driven), and fantasy (excellent world-building, authentic characterization, fantasy inspired by fairytales and other cultures’ mythology, and historical fantasy). Some favorite titles include The Night Circus, Outlander, The Queen of Blood, Daughter of the Forest, The Winter Witch, The Hating Game, and authors like Jodi Picoult, Kate Morton, Gayle Forman, and Sophie Kinsella.
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
- crime, mystery & thrillers
- 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.”
Jacqueline Lipton is the founder of Raven Quill Literary Agency and the author of Law & Authors: A Legal Handbook for Writers (forthcoming, University of California Press, fall 2020).
She is seeking most kinds of middle grade and young adult fiction — especially 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 founding Raven Quill Literary Agency, she was an Associate Agent at Storm Literary Agency, and, prior to that, a reader for literary agent Susan Hawk, and a reader and member of the social media team for The YA Review Network (Y.A.R.N.).
Kenzi Nevins is a junior literary agent with CYLE Literary Elite.
Kenzi personally seeks picture books (text only is fine, but author-illustrators are her favorite), middle grade (all kinds), young adult (all kinds, including graphic novels with images), and adult fantasy. “My personal interests lie in mythology and retold fairy tales, so I would say that fantasy and magic realism generally get me the most excited, but I will look at anything.” She is also happy to take pitches on behalf of her many co-agents, and pass on great submissions to them after the event. That means she will take pitches for romance (all kinds), literary fiction, mainstream fiction, science fiction, high & low fantasy, historical, mystery, thriller, suspense, women’s, and Christian/inspirational. For nonfiction, she will take pitches for parenting, leadership, ministry, devotionals, and self-help. She will also take pitches for board books and chapter books
Kenzi is an award-winning writer with a passion for magic realism and mythology. A graduate of Taylor University’s professional writing and theatre programs, she spent two semesters studying in the story-laden Wicklow Mountains of eastern Ireland. Previously, she won second place for theatre journalism and critique from the Kennedy Center for American College Theatre, and her short story, “The Last Freedom,” was published in eBook and paperback by StoryShares. When she isn’t writing, Kenzi can be found watering her fairy garden, experimenting with little-known tea flavors, or wandering the aisles of her Kentucky library.
Denise Barone is a literary agent and the founder of Barone Literary Agency.
She is seeking: horror, young adult, new adult, erotic romance, women’s fiction, and romance (single title, category, or historical). She does not want: No picture books, middle grade, sci-fi, fantasy, paranormal, or nonfiction.
“I opened my literary agency on June 1, 2010. A lawyer licensed to practice in the State of Ohio and the Commonwealth of Kentucky, I am also a published writer. After writing for many years, I have acquired a knowledge of books, book contracts and the publishing world. I have been a member of RWA since 2000. I do not accept any previously published materials.”
New agents may be added for the 2020 event at any time. Check back.
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.)
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$139 — EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2020 CWW and access to all workshops, all day, on Saturday, May 16, 2020. As of fall 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 some 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 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 Michigan Writing Workshop!”
– literary agent Sara Mebigow of KT Literary
“I signed author Stephanie Wright from
the Seattle Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Kathleen Ortiz of New Leaf Literary
“I signed an author [Kate Thompson] that I
met at the Philadelphia Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Kimberly Brower of Brower Literary
“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, former longtime editor of the GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS for Writer’s Digest Books. (This rate is a special event value for Cincinnati 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? (Chuck is also teaching a session at the conference on dos and don’ts for contacting agents.)
Add $79 — 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:
- Middle grade and young adult: Faculty member Emma Carlson Berne, a children’s book writer, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting. No picture books, please. Emma is the author of dozens of kidlit books, both fiction and nonfiction, both original series and commissioned works (such as Star Wars novels by Disney/Lucasfilm). Emma is a former writer-in-residence of the Cincinnati & Hamilton County Library.
- Literary fiction, mainstream fiction, women’s fiction, historical fiction, mystery, thriller, crime, suspense, romance, science fiction, fantasy, children’s picture books: Faculty member Eve Porinchak, a freelance editor and former literary agent, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, and pass along written critique notes. Picture books should be 1,000 words, maximum, and can or cannot include illustrations. Unlike the other critquers at the Cincinnati event, Eve will not be there in person. Instead Eve is happy to have her 10-minute meetings with writers over the phone or Skype, either before or after the event.
How to pay/register — Registration is now open. Reach out to workshop organizer Chuck Sambuchino via email: firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 Chuck plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Cincinnati workshop specifically.
Because of limited space at the venue of the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, 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 Chuck Sambuchino via email: email@example.com. He 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 Chuck plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Cincinnati 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.)