The 2015 Connecticut Writing Workshop: November 13, 2015

screen-shot-2014-09-25-at-11-13-19-pm[THE 2015 CONNECTICUT WRITING WORKSHOP IS NOW COMPLETE. Thank you to all who attended. We do not know when the next workshop will happen in CT, but if you are interested in being on an e-mail list with that date/news (and you have not contacted us previously), send us an email saying so to writingdayworkshops [at] gmail.com. Thanks!]

Writing Day Workshops and the Homeric Writers’ Retreat & Workshop are excited to announce The 2015 Connecticut Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writers conference just outside Hartford, CT, on Friday, November 13, 2015.

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 (100 total). All questions about the event regarding schedule, details and registration are answered below. Thank you for your interest in the 2015 Connecticut Writing Workshop!

(If you live closer to Boston than Hartford, know that there is an almost identical workshop the very next day, November 14, in Boston.)

WHAT IS IT?

This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, at the Homewood Suites by Hilton Hartford-Farmington. 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 Jessica Sinsheimer (Sarah Jane Freymann Literary), literary agent Adriann Ranta (Foundry Literary); literary agent Kimiko Nakamura (Dee Mura Literary), Lane Heymont (The Seymour Agency), literary agent Penny Moore (FinePrint Literary Management), and literary agent Kaylee Davis (Dee Mura Literary).

By the end of the day, you will have all the tools you need to move forward on your writing journey.

THIS YEAR’S PRESENTER/INSTRUCTOR

Screen Shot 2014-01-08 at 1.09.19 PMChuck Sambuchino (chucksambuchino.com, @chucksambuchino) of Writer’s Digest Books is the editor of Guide to Literary Agents as well as the Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market. His authored books include Formatting & Submitting Your Manuscript; Create Your Writer Platform, which was praised by Forbes.com; and How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack, which was optioned for film by Sony. He oversees one of the biggest blogs in publishing (the Guide to Literary Agents Blog) as well as one of the biggest Twitter accounts in publishing (@WritersDigest). He is a freelance editor who has seen dozens of his clients get agents and/or book deals, and he has presented at 120 writing conferences and events over the past ten years.

EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS

9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, at Homewood Suites by Hilton Hartford-Farmington, 2 Farm Glen Blvd, Farmington, CT 06032. Click on this image to see its location on a map:

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WORKSHOP SCHEDULE (NOVEMBER 13, 2015)

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

9:30 – 10:30: “Your Publishing Options Today.” This workshop examines the two largest routes any writer can take with their book: traditional publishing and self-publishing (e-publishing). We will examine the upsides of both routes, the downsides, and the next steps no matter what you decide. In today’s publishing world, a writer has to understand what they’re in for before they send their book out. This session is designed to prepare them for what’s to come and what options exist.

10:30 – 11:45: “Everything You Need to Know About Agents, Queries & Pitching.” This workshop is a thorough crash course in dealing with literary agents. After quickly going over what an agent is and what they do for writers, we will discuss resources for finding agents, how to ID the best agents for you, query letter writing, as well as the most important things to do and not to do when dealing with representatives.

11:45 – 1:15: Lunch on your own. There are several restaurants within quick driving distance. A map of places to eat will be passed out prior to the event.

Screen shot 2014-10-02 at 10.30.04 PM1:15 – 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 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.)

2:30 – 3:45: “How to Market Yourself and Your Books: Author Platform & Social Media Explained.” A writer’s platform is as important as ever now. Visibility and ability to self-market are mandatory these days for writers of nonfiction and self-published works. Furthermore, fiction writers want a platform to sell more books, meet readers, and increase their value. This speech teaches writers the basics of what a platform is and why it is necessary. Then we delve into the building blocks of what can constitute a platform, from media appearances and speaking engagements to blogs, Facebook, Twitter and more.

3:45 – 5:00: “How to Get Published: 10 Professional Writing Practices That You Need to Know NOW to Find Success as a Writer.” This final speech is a general presentation examining good writing practices that all editors appreciate—whether writing for books, magazines, newspapers or online. It discusses how to not put all your eggs in one writing basket, how to steal ideas from yourself to generate more stories and books, how to avoid the two most common reasons agents reject you, and much more.

All throughout the day: Agent & Editor Pitching.

PITCH AN AGENT!

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 1.13.15 PMJessica Sinsheimer is a literary agent at the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency. She is seeking: picture books, YA, upmarket genre fiction (especially women’s/romance/erotica, thrillers, mysteries) and—on the nonfiction side—psychology, parenting, self-help, cookbooks, memoirs, and works that speak to life in the twenty-first century. She especially likes highbrow sentences with lowbrow content, smart/nerdy protagonists, vivid descriptions of food, picture books with non-human characters, and justified acts of bravery. Learn more about Jessica here.

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 9.10.59 AMAdriann Ranta is a literary agent with Foundry Literary. She is actively acquiring all genres for all age groups with a penchant for edgy, dark, unusual voices, unique settings, and everyman stories told with a new spin. She loves gritty, realistic, true-to-life stories with conflicts based in the real world; women’s fiction and nonfiction; accessible, pop nonfiction in science, history, and craft; and smart, fresh, genre-bending works for children. Learn more about Adriann here.

17232682-20503311-thumbnailKimiko Nakamura [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent with Dee Mura Literary. Kimiko represents fiction in young adult and adult within the genres of historical, contemporary, literary, and women’s fiction. She loves thought-provoking projects that re-imagine what’s possible, characters with something (or nothing) to lose, unique viewpoints, trailblazing heroines, and anything with elements of magical realism. For nonfiction she represents cookbooks and memoirs. On her bookshelf and in her inbox, she looks for cookbooks she can read like the Sunday morning paper and daring memoirs of people making their mark on the world. Learn more about Kimiko here.

Screen shot 2015-06-01 at 3.36.41 PMLane Heymont is a literary agent with The Seymour Agency. In fiction, he is seeking: science fiction for both adults and YA (no space opera), fantasy for both adults and YA (all subgenres), and romance (contemporary, suspense, historical, paranormal, and new adult). In nonfiction, he is seeking: astronomy, cosmology, physics, technology, and popular science by prominent researchers, professors or scientists at the forefront of their field. He also seeks cultural studies, popular culture book and memoirs (humorous, political, war stories, personal stories of triumph). Learn more about Lane here.

Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 4.11.19 PMPenny Moore is a literary agent at FinePrint Literary Management.  She is seeking: picture books (fun off-the-wall concepts to memorable heartfelt messages), middle grade, and young adult (especially fantasy, historical fiction, sci-fi, and contemporary stories exploring romance and the complications of growing up). In adult fiction, her tastes lean towards literary, speculative fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, psychological thrillers, and select romance projects. She’s also open to nonfiction projects in the realm of pop culture, humor, travel, food, and pets. Learn more about Penny here.

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 2.07.00 PMKaylee Davis is a literary agent with Dee Mura Literary. Kaylee is actively acquiring middle grade, young adult, and adult fiction — particularly sci-fi, fantasy, contemporary, literary, and LGBTQ. She is drawn to exciting, thought-provoking stories with a fresh perspective that explores what it means to be human. She loves plot twists, genre-bending, unlikely allies, flawed heroes, and stories that are both literally and figuratively out of this world. Learn more about Kaylee here.

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

$129 — FINAL registration pricing. This is the complete base price for registration to the 2015 workshop and access to all workshops, all day.

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.

Add $59 — for an in-depth, personal critique of your one-page query letter from instructor Chuck Sambuchino. (This rate is a special event value for Connecticut 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: writingdayworkshops@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 Connecticut workshop specifically.

REGISTRATION

Because of limited space at the venue of the Homewood Suites Hartford-Farmington, the workshop can only allow 100 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: writingdayworkshops@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 Connecticut 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 Connecticut Writing Workshop.

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Jessica Sinsheimer of Sarah Jane Freymann Literary

Sinsheimer_GreenJessica Sinsheimer is a literary agent at the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency.

She’s known for #MSWL, ManuscriptWistList.com, #PubTalkTV — and for drinking far too much tea.

Always on the lookout for new writers, she is seeking: picture books, YA, upmarket genre fiction (especially women’s/romance/erotica, thrillers, mysteries) and—on the nonfiction
side—psychology, parenting, self-help, cookbooks, memoirs, and works that speak to life in the twenty-first century. She especially likes highbrow sentences with lowbrow content, smart/nerdy protagonists, vivid descriptions of food, picture books with non-human characters, and justified acts of bravery.

You can follow her on Twitter at @JSinsheim.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Adriann Ranta of Wolf Literary

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Photo credit John Zurhellen.

Adriann Ranta is a literary agent with Foundry Literary. (She switched agencies in October 2015.)

Adriann was formerly senior agent and vice president at Wolf Literary Services. A magna cum laude graduate of the University of Arizona, Adriann’s first introduction to publishing was at The Editorial Department, a freelance editorial firm based in Tucson, AZ. After making the move to New York, Adriann spent two years at Anderson Literary Management before moving to Wolf Literary in 2009.

She represents New York Times bestselling, award-winning authors, journalists, illustrators and graphic novelists, as well as actors, stuntwomen, makeup artists, and many other pioneering creative thinkers and leaders in their fields.

She is actively acquiring all genres for all age groups with a penchant for edgy, dark, unusual voices, unique settings, and everyman stories told with a new spin. She loves gritty, realistic, true-to-life stories with conflicts based in the real world; women’s fiction and nonfiction; accessible, pop nonfiction in science, history, and craft; and smart, fresh, genre-bending works for children.

She lives in Brooklyn with her sadistically talkative cat Piggy, has many tattoos, and is an evangelical fan of the X-Files. She is a member of the AAR and SCBWI. Find her on Twitter.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Kimiko Nakamura of Dee Mura Literary

17232682-20503311-thumbnail[SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS]

Kimiko Nakamura is a literary agent with Dee Mura Literary.

Kimiko’s career started in the publishing houses of Boston where she fostered her talent for sales. At Dee Mura Literary, she found another passion: helping writers build successful careers. Kimiko works with new and emerging writers. She looks for page-turning fiction and non-fiction that leaves people inspired and offers readers a full range of emotions—laughter that slips out while reading in public, tears that splash onto our e-readers, and an aha of connection on the page, reminding us that books are more than something we simply hold in our hands.

She represents: Kimiko represents fiction in young adult and adult within the genres of historical, contemporary, literary, and women’s fiction. She loves thought-provoking projects that re-imagine what’s possible, characters with something (or nothing) to lose, unique viewpoints, trailblazing heroines, and anything with elements of magical realism. For nonfiction she represents cookbooks and memoirs. On her bookshelf and in her inbox, she looks for cookbooks she can read like the Sunday morning paper and daring memoirs of people making their mark on the world.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Penny Moore of FinePrint Literary Management

MoorePenny Moore is a literary agent at FinePrint Literary Management.

About Penny: While completing degrees in Linguistics and Japanese Language & Literature at the University of Georgia, she spent time studying comparative literature at top universities in Japan and South Korea. She then spent time as a middle school TESOL teacher, a period during which she grew to love and understand the children’s book market.

She is seeking: picture books (fun off-the-wall concepts to memorable heartfelt messages), middle grade, and young adult (especially fantasy, historical fiction, sci-fi, and contemporary stories exploring romance and the complications of growing up). In adult fiction, her tastes lean towards literary, speculative fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, psychological thrillers, and select romance projects. She’s also open to nonfiction projects in the realm of pop culture, humor, travel, food, and pets.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Lane Heymont of The Seymour Agency

Screen shot 2015-06-01 at 3.36.41 PMLane Heymont is a literary agent with The Seymour Agency.

Serving as a literary assistant for the past two years at The Seymour Agency, Lane has led the marketing efforts for their authors and enjoyed connecting clients with readers. As a lover of literature since childhood, he decided to pursue his passion as a literary agent to bring more well written books to the masses. With a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, business and literature, Lane continued his education in Creative Writing and English, attending Harvard. Lane is a member of HWA, ITW, and AAR membership is pending. He believes what John Gregory Dunne said: “Writing is manual labor of the mind.”

He is seeking: In fiction, he is seeking science fiction for both adults and YA (no space opera), fantasy for both adults and YA (all subgenres), and romance (contemporary, suspense, historical, paranormal, and new adult). In nonfiction, he is seeking: astronomy, cosmology, physics, technology, and popular science by prominent researchers, professors or scientists at the forefront of their field. He also seeks cultural studies, popular culture book and memoirs (humorous, political, war stories, personal stories of triumph).

IN HIS OWN WORDS:

“As for science fiction? I leaned toward the hard and subtle. Little green aliens shooting death rays don’t work for me. Try Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell Jr. (the inspiration for the 1982 movie The Thing). Others include Isaac Asimov, Carl Sagan, and weird horror/science fiction in the veins of H.P. Lovecraft. Without the overt racism.

“What exactly am I looking for? Well, my all time favorite novel is Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley. It’s everything, Gothic horror, science fiction, and a dash of the weird unknown and possesses what makes these genres great.

“In fantasy, I’m open to most genres. High, urban, contemporary, or magical realism, but I love it dark, gritty, and believable. That might sound strange, but how would you react to seeing a monster in real life? I have no interest in the perfect heroine or hero. We all have problems and I want to see them play out just as much as the dragon breathing flames everywhere. Also, English medieval societies have gone stale for me. Medieval times are great, but I’d like to see some different (read: multicultural) types of societies. Perhaps a fantasy based on tribal Africa. Or Native American. A Polish culture? These, without any marginalization of said culture, would be great!

“In science fiction, I’d love to discover the next great weird, otherworldly novel. Keep it hard or mysterious. Think Carl Sagan’s Contact, Frankenstein, or H.P Lovecraft.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Kaylee Davis of Dee Mura Literary

17232682-20503393-thumbnailKaylee Davis is a literary agent with Dee Mura Literary.

Growing up in The Middle of Nowhere, Ohio, Kaylee’s lifeline to sanity was the local library where she nurtured her love of all things literary. Kaylee received a B.A. in English Literature and a B.A. in Sociology from Miami University, and she is certified in Copyediting from Emerson College. Recognized for her obsessive-compulsive attention to detail and crazy-fast reading ability, Kaylee joined the Dee Mura team as a professional copyeditor, proofreader, and administrative assistant before being named an agent.

She represents: Kaylee is actively acquiring middle grade, young adult, and adult fiction — particularly sci-fi, fantasy, contemporary, literary, and LGBTQ. She is drawn to exciting, thought-provoking stories with a fresh perspective that explores what it means to be human. She loves plot twists, genre-bending, unlikely allies, flawed heroes, and stories that are both literally and figuratively out of this world.