After a successful launch in 2015, Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2018 Writing Workshop of South Carolina — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in Columbia, SC, on Nov. 3, 2018.
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 2018 Writing Workshop of South Carolina!
WHAT IS IT?
This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, November 3, 2018, at the SpringHill Suites by Marriott Columbia Downtown. 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 Jessie Stover (The Seymour Agency)
- literary agent Tessa Emily Hall (Hartline Literary)
- literary agent Julie Gwinn (The Seymour Agency)
- literary agent Caroline George (CYLE Literary Elite)
- and possibly more agents to come.
By the end of the day, you will have all the tools you need to move forward on your writing journey. This independent event is organized by coordinator Kimiko Nakamura of Writing Day Workshops, with help from local writing groups.
EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS
9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, at the SpringHill Suites by Marriott Columbia Downtown/The Vista, 511 Lady St, Columbia, SC 29201. (803)978-2333.
WORKSHOP SCHEDULE & INSTRUCTORS (NOV. 3, 2018)
8:30 – 9:30: Check-in and registration at the event location.
9:30 – 10:30: “Industry Report — What Publishers Want,” taught by Caroline George. The publishing industry faces constant evolution, which leaves many writers feeling outdated and uneducated. With that in mind, agent Caroline George hosts a Q&A style workshop geared to educate writers on the current publishing industry and provide tools to assist their publication efforts. Attendees will leave feeling encouraged and equipped.
10:40 – 11:45: “How to Get a Literary Agent: The Best Advice on Finding and Pitching Reps for Your Work,” taught by MacKenzie Fraser Bub. This workshop, taught by a literary agent, 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, pitching tips, 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 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 4 attending agents commenting on what was liked or not liked about the submission. Get expert feedback on your incredibly important first page, and know if your writing has what it needs to keep readers’ attention. (All attendees are welcome to bring pages to the event for this session, and we will choose pages at random for the workshop for as long as time lasts.)
2:30 – 3:30: “Make Your Writing Great — Tips on How to Write Like the Pros.” This workshop is a thorough crash course concerning craft, style and voice. We’ll discuss nuts & bolts tips for sentence construction like how to avoid passive tense, how to use vivid language, how to self-edit your own work, how to make your characters memorable, the art of compelling dialogue, and much more.
3:45 – 5:00: “Author Apocalypse: How to Thrive at the End of the Publishing World,” taught by Caroline George. Based on her hit “Almost An Author” article, Caroline leads a workshop aimed to teach attendees about the changes within the publishing industry and ways to compete with a saturated market. She addresses topics like platform, business literacy, and digital marketing, all of which help writers succeed in their publication endeavors. Attendees will leave feeling equipped to thrive at the end of the publishing world.
All throughout the day: Agent & Editor Pitching.
PITCH AN AGENT!
Tessa Emily Hall is a literary agent with Hartline Literary. She is searching for young adult and middle grade (specifically contemporary, issue-driven fiction, YA romance, historical, and speculative fiction). She especially enjoys stories in these genres that have a compelling premise and authentic teen/tween voice. Other genres she considers include Christian Living, devotional, children’s picture books, fantasy, science fiction, dystopian, literary fiction, new adult, and contemporary Christian/inspirational women’s fiction. She will not represent the following genres: horror, thrillers, mystery/crime, erotica, or memoir. Learn more about Tessa here.
Julie Gwinn is an agent with The Seymour Agency, and was formerly an editor with many years of publishing experience. Her primary areas of interest include Christian and inspirational fiction and nonfiction, women’s fiction (contemporary and historical), new adult, Southern fiction, literary fiction, as well as young adult novels. Learn more about Julie here.
Jessie Stover is a literary agent with The Seymour Agency. Jessie is constantly on the lookout for a fresh voice, strong pacing, detailed world building, and unique main characters. She is interested in acquiring YA and new adult fantasy, as well as contemporary romance, romantic suspense, romantic comedy, a brain twister (think Inception or “Black Mirror”), and is a sucker for military novels, especially anything to do with long separations or reunions. Jessie is not interested in erotica or heavy fact laden historical romances, but will be on board if it’s anything like Poldark. Learn more about Jessie here.
Caroline George is a literary agent with CYLE Literary Elite. She is a generalist, and seeks many genres of fiction, including: picture books, middle grade contemporary, middle grade sci-fi/fantasy, YA contemporary, YA sci-fi/fantasy, historical, women’s, mystery, thriller, romance, adult science fiction and fantasy, Christian/inspirational fiction, horror literary fiction, and mainstream fiction. Regarding nonfiction, she likes memoir, inspirational, self-help, and socially relevant titles. Learn more about Caroline 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.)
$169 — EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2018 WWSC and access to all workshops, all day, on November 3, 2018. As of July 2018, event registration is now OPEN.
Add $29 — to secure a 10-minute one-on-one meeting with any of our literary agents in attendance. Use this special meeting as a chance to pitch your work and get professional feedback on your pitch. (Spaces limited.) If they wish, attendees are free to sign up for multiple 10-minute pitch sessions at $29/session — pitching multiple individuals, or securing 20 minutes to pitch one person rather than the usual 10. Here are four quick testimonials regarding writers who have signed with literary agents after pitching them at prior Writing Day Workshops events. (Our bigger, growing list of success stories can be seen here.)
“I signed with my agent, Patricia Nelson, after
meeting her at the Arizona Writing Workshop.”
– writer Axie Oh
“I officially signed with agent Renee Nyen of KT
Literary. I met her at the Colorado Writing
Workshop.” – writer Jessie Hilb Akos
“After taking pitches at the Michigan Writing
Workshop, I signed writer Kyle Prue as a new
client.” – literary agent Veronica Park
“After taking pitches at the Alabama Writing
Workshop, I met Erin Hollis at a pitch session, and
she is now my newest client.” – agent Julie Gwinn
Add $69 — for an in-depth, personal critique of your one-page query letter from instructor Brian Klems. (This rate is a special event value for Writing Workshop of South Carolina 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 $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. Faculty member Hollis Gillespie, a published author of fiction and memoir and professional freelance editor, will get your work in advance, edit 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. Genres she will critique include women’s fiction, contemporary fiction, literary fiction, young adult fiction (all kinds), mainstream fiction, mystery, thriller, romance, science fiction, middle grade (all kinds), and fantasy. She will not be critiquing picture books.
How to pay/register — Registration is now open. Reach out to workshop organizer Kimiko Nakamura via email: WDWcoordinator@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 Kimiko plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the South Carolina workshop specifically.
Because of limited space at the venue of the Springhill Suites, 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 Kimiko Nakamura via email: WDWcoordinator@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 WWSC will send out periodic e-mail updates to all registered attendees with any & all news about the event. Because Kimiko plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the South Carolina 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.)