The 2021 Carolina Writing Workshop was a success — thank you to all who attended! The CWW conference has happened multiple times before, and we at Writing Day Workshops have loved connecting writers and literary agents, and seeing so many success stories from our events.
We are not certain exactly when the next CWW will happen (and whether it will be online vs, in person). That said, if you’d like to attend a writers conference before then, we have online events coming up in 2021-2022 to keep everyone safe. Please note that even though the events below are for different cities around the country, since these events are online, anyone can attend from anywhere. Each event has 30-40 attending literary agents! Details:
If you have questions, or want to register for any 2021-2022 writers conferences, contact us (Brian) at WDWconference@gmail.com and we are happy to assist. Just let us know which event(s) you want to register for. You can attend from anywhere since the events are online. Writers can sign up for more than one event. If you and several people from your writing group all want to register together, ask us about a group discount.
All classes are recorded and sent out to attendees afterward, so you can study the instruction and enjoy the experience. All pitches are one-on-one with literary agents seeking writers, and done over Zoom (though phone is also an option). Thanks, all, and we hope to see you in 2021-2022 at an event!
After successful 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2020 events in North Carolina,Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2021 North Carolina Writing Workshop — an online “How to Get Published” writing event on November 12-13, 2021. (Writers are welcome to attend virtually from everywhere and anywhere.)
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 online “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 2021 North Carolina Writing Workshop!
This is a special two-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on November 12-13, 2021. In other words, it’s two days 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. And even though this is the “North Carolina” Writing Workshop, make no mistake — writers from everywhere are welcome to attend virtually.
This event is designed to squeeze as much into two days of learning as possible. You can ask any questions you like during the online 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 2021 NCWW agent faculty so far includes:
literary agent Amy Guiffrida (Jennifer De Chiara Literary)
literary agent Kaitlyn Johnson (Belcastro Agency)
and probably more 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 coordinators Chuck Sambuchino and Brian Klems of Writing Day Workshops.
THIS YEAR’S SESSIONS & WORKSHOPS (NOVEMBER 12-13, 2021):
What you see below is a quick layout of the day’s events. See a full layout of the day’s sessions, with detailed descriptions, on theofficial Schedule Page here.
Agent pitches and critique consultations overlap with Saturday sessions. The schedule of presentation topics below is subject to change and updates:
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2021
9:30 – 10:30: “Getting Published in Today’s World: 10 Tips to Make You the Writer Agents and Publishers Want.” In this session, former Writer’s Digest editor Brian A. Klems discusses the challenges writers face in publishing today and offers up 10 practical tips to help you break through the barriers and find success.
10:45 – 11:45: “How to Market Yourself and Your Books: Talking Author Social Media, Blogging, and Platform.” Whether you’re traditionally published or self-published, everyone could use some helpful guidance on how to effectively market themselves and sell more books.
11:45 – 1:15: Lunch break
1:15 – 2:30:“Writing Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them.” In this session, literary agent Kaitlyn Johnson calls these out and how you can avoid them in your own works.
2:45 – 3:45: “Crafting a Compelling Logline and Pitch.” You only have one shot to hook an agent, and the key is crafting both a compelling logline and pitch.
4:00 – 5:00: “The Perfect Plot.” Every effective story ever told – whether in the form of a children’s picture book, or a massive adult novel – must contain a handful of essential plot beats.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2021
9:30 – 10:30: “Voice in a Manuscript.” One of the most important skills for a writer to have is the ability to craft clear and strong voices in a manuscript.
10:45 – 11:45: “Crafting the Query Letter.” In this workshop taught by a literary agent, we will discuss the dreaded query letter, and how to write one that will get the attention of an agent or editor.
11:45 – 1:15:Break
1:15 – 2:30:“Writers Got Talent”—a Page 1 Critique Fest, with participating literary agents and editors. 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.
2:45 – 3:45: “Writing Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them.” In this session, a literary agent calls out writing pitfalls and how you can avoid them in your own works. Get ready to take notes and dig deep into your pages to bring out your inner pro.
4:00 – 5:00: “Self-Editing for Fiction Writers.” This workshop will cover more than 50 points, such as how to sharpen dialogue and prose, improving characterization, complicating plot, and much more.
Agent pitches and critique consultations overlap with Saturday sessions. The schedule of presentation topics below is subject to change and updates:
Paige Terlip is a literary agent at Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Paige represents all categories of children’s books from picture books to young adult, as well as select adult fiction and nonfiction. She is also actively building her list of illustrators and is especially looking for author-illustrators and graphic novel illustrators. On the adult side she is open to thrillers/psychological suspense, fantasy/sci-fi, upmarket fiction, cozy mysteries, as well as narrative nonfiction and self-help that centers the mind, body, and spirit. She loves stories that make her feel a range of emotions, even if that means she ugly cries while reading. She wants a narrative that will stick with her long after reading. Learn more about Paige here.
Amanda Orozco is a literary agent with Transatlantic Agency. For fiction, she’s looking for YA contemporary romance and fantasy, as well as literary and upmarket adult fiction in the contemporary, speculative, horror, and romance genres. She has a soft spot for coming-of-age stories, short story collections, and the occasional urban fantasy. For nonfiction, she’s interested in stories that offer fresh cultural, political, and/or social critiques along with personal narratives on art, pop culture, tech, and forgotten, unexamined history. She is looking for perspectives from the margins or from emerging artists and academics with original ideas and sharp commentary. Learn more about Amanda here.
Annalise Errico is a literary agent with Ladderbird Literary. Annalise is looking for more queer, BIPOC representation across the board, especially in romances that give Happily Ever Afters to complex and palpable characters. In nonfiction, she seeks narrative nonfiction centering in on women’s stories and queer stories, such as: true crime with a feminist lens; memoirs that focus on identity; or alternative formatting. In fiction, she seeks romance, mystery, thriller, commercial, women’s, contemporary, and new adult. In young adult fiction, she seeks historical, graphic novels, fantasy, mystery, thriller, and contemporary. Learn more about Annalise here.
Leah Pierre is a literary agent with Ladderbird Literary. In young adult as well as adult fiction, she is seeking some fantasy, romantic meet-cute stories, realistic and raw family-centered novels, mysteries, psychological thrillers, fairy tale retellings, espionage/heist, historical fiction and fantasy, social justice inspired stories, romance (ideally interracial or at least something out of the ordinary). In new adult fiction, she seeks romance (again, interracial or at least something out of the ordinary), coming of age, F/F friendship, and books about the college experience as well as the post-college experience. Learn more about Leah here.
Bibi Lewis is a literary agent at the Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency. She represents children’s fiction and nonfiction and adult fiction. A contract nerd through and through, Bibi manages subsidiary rights for the agency as well. She was born and raised in NYC. She enjoys: commercial and upmarket women’s fiction; contemporary and historical romance; mysteries and thrillers with a feminist angle and sharp language; middle grade and young adult fiction and nonfiction. Learn more about Bibi here.
Marisa Cleveland is a literary agent with The Seymour Agency. According to Publishers Marketplace, she seeks: general fiction, mystery, fantasy, and science fiction. In nonfiction, she accepts business/investing/finance. In her own words, she seeks “A manuscript I can’t put down until the last page and can’t stop discussing. Voice is definitely key for me. If I’m going to sign (and sell) someone or recommend someone, then the writer’s voice has to speak to me. I have to be able to listen (vocally and on the page) to that writer through revisions and edits and book after book. I want to find characters I want as my best friends and partners-in-crime long after the story ends, whether it’s in this world or an alternate universe.” Learn more about Marisa here.
Rena Rossner is a literary agent with The Deborah Harris Literary Agency. “I represent picture books, chapter books, middle grade and young adult. In terms of adult fiction, I look for literary, historical, fantasy & science fiction, romance, and thrillers, though I am open to all genres. Nonfiction: in all genres, but it depends on the project. I have a love for history, food, and literary science writing, but am open to anything. You will steal my heart if there is some kind of Middle Eastern, Israeli, or Jewish setting, theme, or character, in any genre, but those are certainly not the only types of books I represent.” Learn more about Rena here.
[SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] Lindsay Auld is a literary agent with Writers House, LLC. “I’m seeking: books in the picture book, middle grade, and young adult categories, including illustrated and graphic novel submissions. I’m particularly drawn to mysteries, fantasy, historical fiction, friendship stories, romance, magical realism, adventure, and books with humor–light or dark or both. As someone who is an environmentalist at heart, I would be happy to read submissions with an environmental element or streak. I would also love to see manuscripts from diverse and underrepresented authors and artists. I’ve always been passionate about children’s and young adult literature, and, as an agent, I’m eager to help bring fresh voices, characters and stories to a new generation of readers.” Learn more about Lindsay here.
Leticia Gomez is a literary agent and the founder of Savvy Literary. At the present time, Savvy Literary Agency is interested in reviewing compelling and commercially viable book proposals and manuscripts written in English or Spanish. Fiction areas of interest: adventure, chick lit, fantasy, historical, humor, multicultural, mystery, paranormal, romance, young adult, and middle grade. Nonfiction areas of interest: advice/relationships, biography, cooking, diet, health, history/politics/current affairs, how-to, humor, lifestyle, memoir, parenting, religion/spirituality and true crime. Learn more about Leticia here.
Elisa Houot is a literary agent with The Seymour Agency. She lives in France. If you can’t find her with a book in her hands, she’s probably writing stories of her own. Four of her stories have already been published. Enthusiastic about discovering new voices, Elisa has reviewed novels for an online magazine for five years. “I am actively seeking kid lit, from Picture books to Young Adult including Middle Grade and Chapter books (everything but horror).” Learn more about Elisa here.
Barb Roose is a literary agent with Books & Such Literary. Barb represents nonfiction and adult fiction exclusively to Christian publishers. She loves partnering with authors to achieve their publishing career goals. With experience as an author, award-winning pharmaceutical sales representative and executive leader in the megachurch environment, Barb embraces the challenges and opportunities that agenting in Christian publishing offers. Her desire is to come alongside hopeful and established authors to create the most marketable, appealing manuscripts that will build lasting careers and influence readers. Learn more about Barb here.
Stephanie Winter is an associate agent at P.S. Literary. Stephanie is primarily acquiring across three pillars: adult fiction, nonfiction, and graphic novels. She’s actively seeking titles with diverse and inclusive representation that offer smart, culturally aware, and enriching narratives. In fiction, she particularly enjoys Commercial and Upmarket projects (Rom-Coms, Thriller/Suspense, etc.) that offer millennial and/or queer-affirming perspectives. In nonfiction, she’s on the hunt for Pop Culture, Cultural Criticism, millennial Business and Finance, Narrative Nonfiction, How-To, and Lifestyle projects. Overall, she’s looking for stories that will engage with and change the way we view the world around us. Learn more about Stephanie here.
[SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] Elizabeth Kracht is a literary agent with Kimberley Cameron & Associates. Having lived in cities such as New York, San Francisco and San Juan, Puerto Rico, she is compelled by multicultural themes and characters and is drawn toward strong settings. In fiction, she represents literary, commercial, women’s, thrillers, mysteries, historical, and crossover YA. In nonfiction, she is interested in high concept, health, science, environment, prescriptive, investigative, true crime, voice- or adventure-driven memoir, sexuality, spirituality, and animal/pet stories. Learn more about Elizabeth here.
Jeff Silberman is a literary agent at Folio Literary Management. “I’m a new horizon hunter. My interests are wide, my passions run deep, and the books I represent cut a wide swath. There’s nothing quite like rich narrative nonfiction or a daring memoir. Making science and technology sing. Savoring food, diving deep into important social issues – or the animal kingdom… I haven’t done a math book yet, but I’d love to. History? I’m in. Humor, health, pop culture – there’s pretty much no category of nonfiction that doesn’t intrigue me and for which I wouldn’t happily accept an invitation to take a ride. Fiction: I am currently representing a number of novelists working on their debuts, and their work runs the gamut from book club / commercial to literary, and in one case, literary hilarious.” Learn more about Jeff here.
Kelly Peterson is a literary agent with Rees Literary. Kelly seeks manuscripts in various genres within Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Adult age ranges. In Middle Grade, she loves fantasy, sci-fi, and contemporary that touches on tough issues for young readers. Her Young Adult preferences vary from contemporary to high fantasy, sci-fi (not the space kind) to paranormal (all the ghost stories, please!), and historical all the way back to rom-coms. Kelly is proud to continue to represent Adult manuscripts in romance, fantasy, and sci-fi. She is very interested in representing authors with marginalized own voices stories, witty and unique characters, pirates, witches, and dark fantasies. Learn more about Kelly here.
Brenna English-Loeb is a literary agent with Transatlantic Agency. She is specifically looking for works of YA and adult science fiction, fantasy, mystery and suspense. She loves grounded space operas, rare myth and fairy tale retellings, nature survival stories, epistolary novels, and heists. She also has a soft spot for stories that blend multiple genres and she is always looking for works by underrepresented groups and identities. For nonfiction, Brenna is looking for serious, groundbreaking sociological work that holds our culture up to the magnifying glass. She also loves accounts of historical events and people that deserve to be better known, as well as unusual and influential object histories. Learn more about Brenna here.
Paige Sisley is an literary agent at CookeMcDermid Literary Management. She is seeking well-written upmarket fiction that both entertains and has something to say, and she is always on the lookout for non-fiction in the memoir, lifestyle, and health & wellness areas. In addition to managing her own list, Paige oversees CookeMcDermid clients’ film and TV rights and handles marketing and publicity for the agency. Learn more about Paige here.
Chris Combemale is a literary agent at Sterling Lord Literistic. In nonfiction, he looks for books that take an unexpected view of the familiar (in any subject), from food to economics to science. As a Singaporean/French/American born and raised in London, he is particularly open to international voices, translation, and South/East Asian writers.He seeks adult literary & upmarket commercial fiction, including sci-fi/fantasy, psychological suspense, thriller. In nonfiction, he wants literary memoir, narrative nonfiction from experts and journalists in any topic (special focus: technology, food, pop economics/pop science & psychology), cultural criticism/essay/pop-culture. Lastly, he also seeks tender middle grade fiction with lovable characters and a warm heart, and MG fantasy. Learn more about Chris here.
Ella Marie Shupe is a literary agent with Belcastro Agency. In adult fiction, she is seeking: mystery, thriller, suspense, science fiction, fantasy, women’s fiction, and historical fiction. In young adult, she is seeking thriller, suspense, mystery, detective, and historical. “I am always looking for #OwnVoices authors. I love fast-paced stories that keep me on the edge of my seat.” Learn more about Ella Marie here.
Paul S. Levine is a literary agent and the founder of Paul S. Levine Literary. He is also an attorney. His fiction interests include adventure novels, mainstream fiction, mysteries, romance, thrillers, and women’s fiction. His nonfiction interests include business/commerce, pop culture, how-to, self-help, politics/law, relationships, and sports. Learn more about Paul here.
Eva Scalzo is a Literary Agent with Speilburg Literary. In Adult Fiction, Eva represents Romance novels (all subgenres except inspirational) and Science Fiction/Fantasy novels. She also represents all subgenres of Young Adult Fiction. She is interested in submissions from diverse authors. Learn more about Eva here, as well as her specific interests and what is seeking from writers.
Amaryah Orenstein is a literary agent with Go Literary. Amaryah has always loved to read and provide (oftentimes unsolicited) editorial advice and, as a literary agent, she is thrilled to help writers bring their ideas to life. She is particularly drawn to narrative nonfiction and memoir but enjoys any book that connects the reader to its characters and evokes thought and feeling. Learn more about Amaryah here.
Erin Hosier is a literary agent with Dunow, Carlson and Lerner. Erin primarily works with nonfiction authors and has a special interest in popular culture, music biography, humor, women’s issues and memoir. She has been a literary agent since 2001 (currently with Dunow Carlson & Lerner), and was an original co-host of the Literary Death Match. Learn more about Erin here.
Kaitlyn Johnson is a literary agent with Belcastro Literary Agency. “As a Literary Agent with Belcastro Literary Agency, I am accepting submissions for Upper MG, as well as Young Adult and Adult. I’d love more LGBTQ+ storylines in all genres and ages (especially bi, ace, and trans voices!). I’m also very much looking for more main characters living with mental health issues or disability.” Kaitlyn also seeks graphic novels for all ages. She does not want picture books or nonfiction.Learn more about Kaitlyn here.
Reiko Davis is a literary agent with Defiore and Company. Reiko’s interests are varied, but she is particularly drawn to narrative journalism on the topics of pop culture, science/psychology, and current events as well as memoir that focuses on social justice, issues of race and gender, and the history and experiences of women and people of color. For fiction, she’s primarily looking for upmarket and literary novels, specifically set in contemporary times. She loves young, underrepresented voices, magical realism, and voice driven coming-of-age stories. On the children’s side, she’s actively looking for YA and middle grade projects that aren’t afraid to tackle big questions or important emotional truths, and do so through remarkable storytelling, humor, and heart. Right now she’s especially on the lookout for middle grade nonfiction projects (STEM focused, DIY, inspirational, activist driven, historical) and for adult rom com. She’d also love to connect with promising writers of short fiction with a strong initial publication record with magazines/literary journals who are now at work on a story collection and/or a debut novel. Learn more about Reiko here.
Jennifer Herrington is a literary agent with Harvey Klinger Literary Agency. “I am currently building a diverse list of authors and illustrators. I represent picture books, chapter books, middle grade, young adult, and adult genre fiction. (In adult fiction, she seeks romance, funny rom-coms, women’s fiction, fresh cozy mystery, and graphic novels.) No matter the genre or age group, I am looking for books that make feel (whether it’s laugh or cry or both!), distinctive voices, and character-driven stories that revolve around tough issues.” Learn more about Jennifer here.
[SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] Elizabeth Copps is a literary agent with Copps Literary Services, LLC. “I specialize in middle grade, young adult, and adult fiction in the following genres: contemporary with a literary bent, historical, horror, magical realism, thriller/mystery/suspense, book club, and women’s fiction. In nonfiction, I seek platform-driven memoir and biography. I’m drawn to fresh takes on timeless plots–stories that are thought provoking and discussion spurring. I love complex characters who are brimming with personality and burst off the page.” Learn more about Elizabeth here.
Alec Shane is a literary agent with Writers House. “On the fiction side, I love mysteries, thrillers (although I’m experiencing a bit of terrorist fatigue at the moment), bad-ass protagonists with a chip on their shoulders, beautifully told historical fiction (The Vietnam War, the Maccabees, and The American Revolution fascinate me in particular), well-researched adventure stories, and great horror – I haven’t been scared to turn off the light in far too long and something needs to be done about it. In terms of children’s books, getting boys to read again is especially important to me, and thus I’m particularly on the lookout for a fun middle-grade adventure series, ghost story, or anything else geared toward younger male readers. On the nonfiction side, I’m attracted to odd, quirky histories, military history, biographies of people I didn’t even know existed (but definitely should have), “guy” reads, humor, narrative nonfiction that sheds light on under-the-radar events and lifestyles, and all things sports. I’m also currently up in the air as to whether or not I believe in ghosts, hauntings, and the supernatural, so if you have something that can convince me one way or the other, I’d love to see it.” Learn more about Alec here.
Analieze Cervantes is a literary agent with The Harvey Klinger Literary Agency. “I’m especially open to BIPOC and LGBTQ voices.” She represents author-illustrators for picture books and graphic novels. She seeks middle grade and young adult fiction. For adult fiction, she seeks thriller and suspense, mystery, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, romantic comedies, paranormal, science fiction, and crime fiction. Learn more about Analieze here.
Jill Marr is an agent at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. Jill is looking for fiction and nonfiction by BIPOC and Latinx writers, disabled persons, and people identifying as LGBTQ+, among others. She is interested in commercial fiction, with an emphasis on mysteries, thrillers, and horror, book club, and historical fiction. She is also looking for nonfiction by authors with a big, timely, smart message as well as historical projects that look at big picture issues. Jill is looking for non-fiction projects in the areas of current events, science, history, narrative non-fiction, sports, politics, health & nutrition, pop culture, humor, music, and very select memoir. Learn more about Jill here.
Latoya C. Smith is a literary agent with Arthouse Literary. In fiction, she seeks high-concept women’s fiction; high-concept mystery, thriller and horror, romance (contemporary, romantic suspense, cowboys, historical, LGBTQ, paranormal, sweet), comedy / romantic comedy, and young adult (no SF/F). In nonfiction, she is strictly seeking platform and market-based books in the areas of memoir, how to, advice, relationships, health, wellness, politics, current events, history, sports, pop culture, and business. Learn more about Latoya here.
Jared Johnson is a literary agent with Olswanger Literary. “I mostly represent science fiction, fantasy (any kind), magical realism, mystery, and thriller, but I am currently working on some historical fiction. In nonfiction, I am looking for narrative-driven books, and I am drawn to accessible scholarship that engages with current social issues. In particular, I am interested in works that challenge long-held cultural narratives.” Learn more about Jared here.
Savannah Brooks is a literary agent with Jennifer De Chiara Literary. She is seeking: “I mainly represent kid-lit (PB, MG, and YA). In picture books, I’m searching for projects that teach about and celebrate different cultures and places in the world and those that tackle serious topics in really accessible ways. For MG, I learn very heavily into action-adventure, especially those based on global folklore and mythology, and I love a snarky narrator and spooky situations. In YA, I’m looking for multicultural and queer perspectives on everything from modern teen experiences to reframing classic tropes like vampires and witches. I’ve been particularly wanting to see some horror. Mostly, I’m invested in representing the diverse world in which we live and would like to see that reflected in a cast of characters. I am very selective about taking on fiction works for adult audiences, but when I do, I look for two genres: 1) contemporary novels that walk the line of being funny while still adding to a larger sociopolitical conversation, and 2) thrillers that add to a larger sociopolitical conversation (but are NOT law-enforcement focused, including FBI/CIA). I would love to hear more from marginalized voices, regardless of whether or not marginalization is a central theme.” Learn more about Savannah here.
Gordon Warnock is a literary agent founding partner at Fuse Literary. In nonfiction, he seeks platform-heavy authors in the categories of memoir (Adult, NA, YA, Graphic), cookbooks/Food Narrative/Food Studies, Illustrated/Art/Photography (especially graphic nonfiction), Political and Current Events, Pop-Science, Pop-Culture (especially punk culture and geek culture), Self-Help, How-To, Humor, Pets, Business and Career. In fiction, he seeks High-Concept Suspense, Book Club Women’s Fiction, Literary Fiction for Adults through YA, and Graphic Novels for Adults through MG. Learn more about Gordon here.
Linda S. Glaz is a literary agent with Hartline Literary. List of specific wants: “I don’t connect with a lot of nonfiction, but would always be happy to have peek. However, if you’ve got a great romance, either contemporary, suspense, or historical fiction, you’ll probably make me happy. Please no works that include any graphic sexuality or profanity. Please no children’s books. And any other genre, if well-written, will certainly get my notice. Well-written…well-written…well-written. I’m not choosy as long as it’s …well-written.” Learn more about Linda here.
Amy Giuffrida is a literary agent with Jennifer De Chiara Literary. “I am always looking for #ownvvoices stories written by traditionally underrepresented authors that feature BIPOC and LGBTQ+ characters.” In middle grade and young adult, she seeks horror, romance, contemporary, and mystery. In adult fiction, she seeks horror, romance, romantic comedies, and psychological thrillers. In nonfiction (all ages from MG to adult), ” I am looking for powerful stories from diverse voices, including cookbooks that highlight family stories or ancestral anecdotes.” Learn more about Amy here.
More 2021 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.
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 2021 NCWW and access to all workshops, all days. (You also get 10 additional free pre-recorded webinars on writing and publishing.) As of early 2021, registration is now OPEN.
Add $29 — to secure a 10-minute one-on-one meeting with any of our literary agents or editors 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. There is no limit. Here are 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 storiescan 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 Brian Klems, one of the workshop’s former instructors. (This rate is a special event value for North Carolina 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, general fiction, literary fiction, science fiction, fantasy, romance, women’s fiction: Faculty member Tara Bailey, a writing coach and author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting.
Speculative fiction of all kind (fantasy / science fiction / horror) across adult or young adult: Faculty member E.J. Wenstrom, an author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting.
All types of children’s books — young adult, middle grade, chapter books, early readers, and picture books: Faculty member Sheri Bestor, an author and former agent, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting. She is also willing to critique children’s picture books. Picture books may or may not include illustrations, and should be no more than 1,000 words maximum.
Young adult fiction (in the areas of contemporary/realistic, rom-com, contemporary (“low”) fantasy, and paranormal fantasy): Faculty member Alex Barba, an author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting.
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 PayPal or check or credit card. Because Brian plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the North Carolina workshop specifically.
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. He will pass along registration information to you, and give instructions on how to pay by PayPal or check or credit card. Once payment is complete, you will have a reserved seat at the event. The NCWW 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 North Carolina workshop specifically.
Refunds: If you sign up for the event and have to cancel for any reason at any time, you will receive 50% of your total payment back [sent by check or PayPal or CC refund]. 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 and manuscript editing payments are completely non-refundable if the instructor has already started edited your work.)
Thank you for your interest in the 2021 North Carolina Writing Workshop.
Elizabeth joined Kimberley Cameron & Associates in the fall of 2010 to broaden her perspective on the publishing industry. She represents both literary and commercial fiction as well as nonfiction, and brings to the agency experience as a former acquisitions editor, freelance publicist and writer.
Elizabeth’s career in publishing took root in Puerto Rico where she completed her BA in English and worked as a copyeditor for an English-language newspaper. When she returned to the mainland she found her “vein of gold” in book publishing. She thrives on working closely with authors to build their careers.
Elizabeth’s eclectic life experience drives her interests. She appreciates writing that has depth, an introspective voice, and is thematically layered. Having lived in cities such as New York, San Francisco and San Juan, Puerto Rico, she is compelled by multicultural themes and characters and is drawn toward strong settings.
In fiction, she represents literary, commercial, women’s, thrillers, mysteries, historical, and crossover YA. In nonfiction, she is interested in high concept, health, science, environment, prescriptive, investigative, true crime, voice- or adventure-driven memoir, sexuality, spirituality, and animal/pet stories.
She graduated from SDSU with a BA in English with an emphasis in creative writing and a minor in history. She has a strong Internet and media background and nearly 20 years of publishing experience. She wrote features and ads for Pages, the literary magazine for people who love books, as well as book ads for publishing houses, magazine pieces, and promotional features for television.
After writing ad copy and features for published books for years, she knows how to find a project’s “hook” and sell it.
Jill is looking for fiction and nonfiction by BIPOC and Latinx writers, disabled persons, and people identifying as LGBTQ+, among others. She is interested in commercial fiction, with an emphasis on mysteries, thrillers, and horror, book club, and historical fiction. She is also looking for non-fiction by authors with a big, timely, smart message as well as historical projects that look at big picture issues. Jill is looking for non-fiction projects in the areas of current events, science, history, narrative non-fiction, sports, politics, health & nutrition, pop culture, humor, music, and very select memoir.
Please note that Jill is specifically not interested in: YA, children’s books, sci-fi, screenplays, poetry, novellas or anything involving unicorns.
Some of Jill’s recent and soon-to-be-published non-fiction includes the New York Times best-selling The Vagina Bible (Citadel Press) by Dr. Jennifer Gunter; Big Dirty Money (Viking) by Jennifer Taub; Use the Power You Have (The New Press) by Congresswoman, Pramila Jayapal; White Women, We Need to Talk (Sounds True) by Karen Fleshman; Keep Marching (Hachette) by Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, the co-founder of MomsRising; Aurora (Berkley Press) by Dr. Lynne Fenton; Ali on Ali (Workman) by the daughter of Muhammad Ali, Hana Ali; Being Heumann (Beacon Press) by American disability activist Judith Heumann; Building a Business with a Beat (McGraw Hill) by the founder and CEO of Jazzercize, Inc. Judi Sheppard Misset; The Trigger Trap (Chicago Review Press) by August McLaughlin and Jamila M. Dawson; Walking Through Anger (Sounds True) by Dr. Christian Conte, the host of USA Networks’ The Secret Life of Kids; paranormal investigator Nick Groff’s Chasing Spirits (NAL); The Tsarina’s Lost Treasure (Pegasus Books) by Gerald Easter and Mara Vorhees; Escaping the Rabbit Hole (Skyhorse) by science writer and professional debunker Mick West; The Chosen Few (Da Capo) by USA Today writer Gregg Zoroya; Teaching Kids to Think (Sourcebooks) by Darlene Sweetland, PhD and Ron Stolberg, PhD; Mission High (Nation Books) by journalist Kristina Rizga; Don’t Lick the Minivan (Skyhorse) by Leanne Shirtliffe; and Spitting in the Soup (VeloPress) by Mark Johnson.
She is seeking well-written upmarket fiction that both entertains and has something to say, and she is always on the lookout for non-fiction in the memoir, lifestyle, and health & wellness areas.
In addition to managing her own list, Paige oversees CookeMcDermid clients’ film and TV rights and handles marketing and publicity for the agency. Previously, she was a rights assistant for Cooke International, an agency specializing in foreign rights management for a diverse group of publishing clients.
Paige has her Master of Arts from Ryerson University’s Literatures of Modernity program and a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of King’s College and Dalhousie University. A born and bred Torontonian, she lives for a good adventure and has also resided in LA, New Zealand and Halifax.
“I specialize in middle grade, young adult, and adult fiction in the following genres: contemporary with a literary bent, historical, horror, magical realism, thriller/mystery/suspense, book club, and women’s fiction. In nonfiction, I seek platform-driven memoir and biography.
“I’m drawn to fresh takes on timeless plots–stories that are thought provoking and discussion spurring. I love complex characters who are brimming with personality and burst off the page. Who are irreverent and dark. Smart and sarcastic. Creative and wise. There are only so many settings and themes to expound on, but every single person is different, which means there are limitless combinations of character traits a writer can play with. That’s pretty amazing. The King said it best regarding what it means to create a complex character: “Bad writing usually arises from a stubborn refusal to tell stories about what people actually do―to face the fact, let us say, that murderers sometimes help old ladies cross the street.
“In the summer of 2010, I used my savings to move from Florida to New York City with the goal of doing something—anything—related to books. Luckily it worked, and I was offered an internship with Maria Carvainis Agency, Inc., where I discovered my passion for publishing. For the past decade, I’ve dedicated myself to the care and management of author careers. My business philosophy is simple: to foster relationships across the industry that are equitable, transparent, and long-lasting.”
Annalise is a graduate of Lesley University where she earned a B.A. in Creative writing with a double minor in Literature and Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies. She is excited about uplifting stories by authors with marginalized voices and intersectional identities, ultimately making room for the diverse voices that have long since been ignored and suppressed in the literary world and beyond. When she isn’t agenting, Annalise spends an excessive amount of time snuggling with her cat, Mittens, and writing romance novels that are more swoony than strictly necessary.
Annalise is looking for more queer, BIPOC representation across the board, especially in romances that give Happily Ever Afters to complex and palpable characters.
Annalise is looking for narrative nonfiction centering in on women’s stories and queer stories, such as: true crime with a feminist lens (think “We Keep the Dead Close” by Becky Cooper); memoirs that focus on identity (think “Know My Name” by Chanel Miller) or alternative formatting (think “In The Dream House” by Carmen Maria Machado); and research-heavy historical narratives about queer or feminist icons (think “Romantic Outlaws” by Charlotte Gordon).
Romance: Romance is Annalise’s genre of choice, especially when they center on queer and BIPOC protagonists and love interests, such as Talia Hibbert’s “Take a Hint, Dani Brown”. For historical romance, Annalise wants to see queer Regency period novels (think Cat Sebastian), and queer novels set outside of Euro-centric history. Romances about bisexual women sit particularly close to Annalise’s heart. Happily Ever Afters are a must (per rules of the genre, and Annalise’s adoration). Her favorite tropes are enemies-to-lovers; serious-and-sunshine; and second-chance romance. She does not accept erotica or romances featuring unhealthy or abusive relationships to any degree.
Mysteries/Thrillers: Annalise is looking for queer thrillers that function as social commentary such as Alyssa Cole’s “When No One Is Watching”. She loves novels with interesting formats such as compilations of files and articles (think “Night Film” by Marisha Pessl). She is always intrigued by complex who-dun-its. It is hard to sell Annalise on thrillers that feature violence against women as their main plot. She is not a good fit for supernatural, ungrounded thrillers; thrillers that border too close to horror; or thrillers that use the “bury your gays” and/or “fridging” trope.
Commercial/Women’s/Contemporary Fiction: Annalise wants character-driven contemporary fiction that has enough plot movement to keep the reader invested (no character studies, please!). She likes books that use alternative formats (like “Daisy Jones & The Six” by Taylor Jenkins Reid) and question the boundaries of typical contemporary fiction. She loves books that focus in on fictional celebrities or reflect upon fame such as “The Comeback” by Ella Berman and “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Books with happy endings are a plus. Annalise also wants fiction featuring change as a thematic focal point with unabashed self-love and romance, like Claire Christian’s “It’s Been A Pleasure, Noni Blake”.
New Adult Annalise wants New Adult romance and contemporary fiction that focuses on found family and a during- or post-college bildungsroman plot. She would especially like to see fiction set immediately post-college that follows the protagonist’s trials and tribulations in the “real world”. It is hard to sell Annalise on a new adult book that doesn’t feature romance in some facet.
Young Adult Fiction
Historical: Annalise wants YA historical fiction that focuses in on a lost perspective such as Stacey Lee’s “The Downstairs Girl”. While it doesn’t have to be a foremost plot, she wants romance in her historical novels. As with all things, having a queer component is going to make work more appealing.
Graphic Novels: Annalise will accept YA graphic novels by author/illustrators (only) who focus in on marginalized experiences (whether in a realistic or fantastical world). She wants sweet graphic novels like “The Tea Dragon Society” by K. O’Neill or emotionally resonant ones like “On A Sunbeam” by Tillie Walden.
Fantasy: Annalise wants heist fantasy stories like “Six of Crows” by Leigh Bardugo that have a found family element and are high-tension. She wants fantasies that aren’t overrun by world-building, but are atmospheric enough to transport the reader; character-driven fantasies (especially with a dabble of romance) are her favorite. She also loves witchy fantasies that focus on queer women of color (think “When We Were Magic” by Sarah Gailey).
Mystery/Thriller: She is looking for mysteries and thrillers that have elements of YA contemporary such as bildungsroman plots and romance (especially LGBTQIA +) but doesn’t stray too far into high-school drama (think “A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder” by Holly Jackson). Like Adult mysteries/thrillers, she does not want anything that ventures too far into horror.
Contemporary: Annalise is looking for quirky and offbeat books that focus in on ride-or-die women-centric friendships. She also wants queer, BIPOC rom-coms like “I Wish You All the Best” by Mason Deaver that have found family elements and are shamelessly romantic. She loves romances that feature large families that are realistic and honest (think Morgan Matson). She does not want stereotypical high-school drama (no mean girls, please!) or tropes like cheating, nor does she want YA Romeo and Juliet retellings in any way, shape, or form.
What she is NOT looking for: Picture Books Middle Grade Horror Science Fiction or Poetry at this time.
According to Publishers Marketplace, she seeks: general fiction, mystery, fantasy, and science fiction. In nonfiction, she accepts business/investing/finance.
In her own words, she seeks “A manuscript I can’t put down until the last page and can’t stop discussing. Voice is definitely key for me. If I’m going to sign (and sell) someone or recommend someone, then the writer’s voice has to speak to me. I have to be able to listen (vocally and on the page) to that writer through revisions and edits and book after book. I want to find characters I want as my best friends and partners-in-crime long after the story ends, whether it’s in this world or an alternate universe.”
Marisa oversees publishing innovations and initiatives by implementing the Agency’s communication strategies and developing the enterprise media strategy. She is responsible for spearheading the Agency’s efforts to identify, inform, and involve the literary community in outreach and advocacy programs.
Marisa has been featured, participated, and moderated at book festivals, panels, and workshops on branding, communication, cultural agility, diversity, leadership development, and the state of the industry.
With more than two decades of experience in the education and publishing industries, Marisa is adamant about supporting efforts toward the betterment of the human condition. Gulfshore Business and D’Latinos magazines honored Marisa with the Arts and Culture 2015 FACE Award, and in 2014, Gulfshore Business selected her as a “40 Under Forty” honoree. In June 2015, her young adult novel hit the New York Times as part of an anthology, and her other works include 8 academic peer-reviewed publications, 1 academic book chapter, and 9 published novels. She earned her doctorate in organizational leadership from Northeastern University, her master’s in educational administration and a bachelor’s in speech communications from George Mason University, and her master’s in English from National University. Marisa is a 2015 Leadership Marco graduate and a Hodges University Board of Trustee member.