The 2020 North Carolina Writing Workshop: April 18, 2020

screen-shot-2014-07-23-at-12-58-51-pm.pngAfter successful conferences in 2015 and 2019, Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2020 North Carolina Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in Charlotte, NC, on April 18, 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 North Carolina Writing Workshop!

WHAT IS IT?

This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, April 18, 2020, at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Charlotte. 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 Cassie Mannes Murray (Howland Literary)
  • literary agent Alexandra Weiss (Jennifer De Chiara Literary)
  • literary agent Vicki Selvaggio (Storm Literary)
  • literary agent Diana Flegal (Hartline Literary)
  • literary agent Melissa Jeglinski (The Knight Agency)
  • literary agent Dawn Michelle Hardy (Dream Relations PR & Literary Consulting)
  • and 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 coordinator Brian Klems of Writing Day Workshops, with help from local writing groups.

EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS

9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Saturday, April 18, 2020, at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Charlotte, 4800 South Tryon Street Charlotte, NC 28217.

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WORKSHOP SCHEDULE & INSTRUCTORS (APRIL 18, 2020)

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

9:30 – 10:30: “A Bird’s-eye View Publishing & Books in the Year 2020.” This workshop is quick & easy overview of the publishing industry today, and how it’s changing. The speech is designed to educate writers and help them understand what publishing options exist for them today and why it’s an exciting time to be a writer.

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 10.12.02 AM10:30 – 11:45: “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.

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 Page 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 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.)

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 10.07.06 AM2:50 – 4:00: “25 Questions You Need Answered Before You Seek an Agent or Self-Publish Your Book.” Before you publish your work or query an agent, there are plenty of things you need to know — such as how to submit to agents properly, how to find the best self-publishing service for your need, what social media channels you should be on already, how to launch your book right, how to draft a compelling query/pitch and synopsis, how to find other writers who can help you, and much more.

4:00 – 5:00: “25 Questions You Need Answered After You Seek an Agent or Self-Publish Your Book.” After you self-publish your work or get a traditional publishing book deal, there are plenty of things you need to know — such as how to promote yourself, how to keep your career going with multiple books, how you cross between the worlds of self-publishing and traditional publishing (i.e., use them both) to make the most money, how to build a readership, and much more.

All throughout the day: Agent & Editor Pitching.

PITCH AN AGENT!

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 9.50.27 AMVicki Selvaggio is a literary agent with Storm Literary (formerly with Jennifer De Chiara Literary). She is currently looking for lyrical picture books, middle grade and young adult fiction, new adult, mysteries, suspense, thrillers, paranormal, fantasy, narrative nonfiction, and adult fiction. Vicki is especially drawn to middle grade and young adult. “I especially love thrillers and all elements of weird, creepy stuff. If it’s out of the box, and it will make me think and think, long after I’m done reading, send it to me! On the flip side, I yearn for books that make me laugh, cry and wonder about the world.” Learn more about Vicki here.

Screen Shot 2019-11-02 at 12.58.03 PMCassie Mannes Murray is a literary agent with Howland Literary Cassie is accepting submissions for adult fiction and nonfiction that fit the following categories: literary, speculative (sci-fi or fantasy), slipstream, or hybrid. She is interested in memoir, essay collections, literary and commercial fiction, as well as short stories. Because genre categories are for marketing purposes, Cassie would like to work with authors who are difficult to categorize, but passionate about writing at the sentence level. She would like to work with writers who elevate and innovate structure, point-of-view, and language especially. Learn more about Cassie here.

Screen Shot 2019-11-11 at 9.47.12 AMAlexandra Weiss is a literary agent with Jennifer De Chiara Literary. She is seeking beautifully written young adult fiction (realism, science fiction, and fantasy – but stories that include magic, space, or science are not for her). She loves coming-of-age tales; stories that explore culture, race, sexuality, and identity; and literature from diverse and underrepresented voices. She represents all types of adventurous, silly, and out-of-the-box children’s picture books and middle grade books. In adult fiction, she is “open to most genres, but category romance, or heavy mystery/horror/thriller stories are not for me. Books that are written in or include uses of uncommon formats (uses of letters, screenplay, photos, poetry, or collection of short stories or essays) is another unique quality I look for.” Learn more about Alexandra here.

Screen Shot 2019-11-06 at 10.55.39 AM.pngDiana Flegal has been an agent with Hartline Literary Agency for 12 years. She represents mainstream and inspirational titles, fiction and nonfiction, but nothing that conflicts with the Christian Worldview. She is currently looking for nonfiction authors with a substantial platform, as well as outstanding contemporary women’s fiction, issue fiction, and formula romance. Learn more about Diana here.

Screen Shot 2018-11-27 at 10.19.37 PM.pngDawn Michelle Hardy is a literary agent with Dream Relations PR & Literary Consulting. Dawn sticks to nonfiction. She likes memoir writers who can capture a larger narrative through their personal story and strong hook, best-in-class professionals and educators in a variety of fields, an engaging and outspoken cultural critic, pop-culture, sports or music enthusiast with a “hip” idea from an untold vantage point. Creatives who use art as activism. She wants to hear from loud millennials, women, and multicultural voices looking to better the world through their writing. Learn more about Dawn here.

Screen Shot 2018-11-13 at 10.13.23 AM.pngMelissa Jeglinski is a literary agent with The Knight Agency. Melissa is currently seeking projects in the following areas: romance (contemporary, category, historical, inspirational), young adult fiction (no science fiction or fantasy), middle grade novels, excellent women’s fiction, and mystery. Learn more about Melissa here.

 

       More 2020 agents coming.

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

$169 — EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2020 NCWW and access to all workshops, all day, on April 18, 2020. As of October 2019, event registration for 2020 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.)

Screen Shot 2018-11-26 at 11.11.29 AM.png“I met my client, Alison Hammer, at the Writing
Workshop of Chicago and just sold her book.”
– literary agent Joanna Mackenzie of Nelson Literary

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 11.47.54 PM.png“Good news! I signed a client [novelist Aliza Mann]
from the Michigan Writing Workshop!”
– literary agent Sara Mebigow of KT Literary

Screen Shot 2018-11-05 at 12.56.10 PM“I signed author Stephanie Wright from
the Seattle Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Kathleen Ortiz of New Leaf Literary

Screen Shot 2018-05-17 at 9.07.44 PM“I signed an author [Kate Thompson] that I
met at the Philadelphia Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Kimberly Brower of Brower Literary

Screen Shot 2016-10-16 at 2.54.50 PM.png“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 former instructor Brian Klems. (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.

  • Critique options coming soon.

How to pay/register — Registration is now open. Reach out to workshop organizer Brian Klems via email: WDWconference@gmail.com and she will provide specific instructions for payment and registration to get you a reserved seat at the event. Payment is by either PayPal or check. Because Brian plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Charlotte workshop specifically.

REGISTRATION

Because of limited space at the venue of the Embassy Suites by Hilton Charlotte, 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 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. 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 Charlotte 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 2020 North Carolina Writing Workshop.

 

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Alexandra Weiss of Jennifer De Chiara Literary

Screen Shot 2019-11-11 at 9.47.12 AM.pngAlexandra Weiss is a literary agent with Jennifer De Chiara Literary.

She is seeking:

Young Adult: “I’m looking for writers who have the ability to turn their pens into paintbrushes; in other words, beautiful writing. The genres I’m most interested in representing include realism, science fiction, and fantasy – but stories that include magic (think The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern) are my weakness, as are stories that include space and science. Please do not me those. I’m looking for strong YA voices, and ones that go beyond the coming-of-age story. I love stories that explore culture, race, sexuality, and identity. I’m passionate about representing literature from diverse and underrepresented voices.”

Middle grade and children’s picture books: “I love all types of adventurous, silly, and out-of-the-box children and middle grade books. Children’s picture books with or without pictures intrigue me, and I’m most interested in a character-driven story and big plot to explore.”

Adult fiction: “I’m not looking for romance, but I am looking for strong literary voices that take the notion that every story is a love story to new levels. I’m interested in complex relationship stories that surround something bigger. I’m open to most genres, but heavy mystery, horror, or thriller stories are not for me. Books that are written in or include uses of uncommon formats (uses of letters, screenplay, photos, poetry, or collection of short stories or essays) is another unique quality I look for.”

Alexandra is a Books Writer for Bustle.com, the PR Manager for a local Chicago circus, and an all-around literary bookworm. She graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a BFA in Creative Writing and Publishing in 2015. Previously she’s worked as an Acquisitions Editor for the award-winning anthology Hair Trigger, interned as a publicist for Kaye Publicity, and was a loyal volunteer for Columbia’s annual Story Week: Festival of Writers event for the past four years. Ever since she was little, her main goal has been to inspire with words, just like the many beloved books and authors have done before her.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Dawn Michelle Hardy of Dream Relations PR & Literary Consulting

Screen Shot 2018-11-27 at 10.19.32 PM.pngDawn Michelle Hardy is a literary agent with Dream Relations PR & Literary Consulting.

Dawn sticks to nonfiction. She likes memoir writers who can capture a larger narrative through their personal story and strong hook, best-in-class professionals and educators in a variety of fields, an engaging and outspoken cultural critic, pop-culture, sports or music enthusiast with a “hip” idea from an untold vantage point. Creatives who use art as activism. She wants to hear from loud millennials, women, and multicultural voices looking to better the world through their writing.

Dawn has been called a “literary lobbyist” by Ebony magazine for her ability to help authors reach their readership using strategic promotions, win awards and garner national and local media attention. She has dual roles in the book publishing industry as both publicist and literary agent. She founded Dream Relations, PR & Literary Consulting Agency in 2004. Additionally, in 2011 she joined Serendipity Literary Agency where she aids in shaping the careers of platformed writers. Some of her clients at Serendipity include Jean McGianni Celestin, co-writer of the upcoming Nat Turner biopic The Birth of a Nation, Kent Babb, Washington Post sports writer and PEN Literary Award finalist for Not a Game: The Incredible Rise and Unthinkable Fall of Allen Iverson, Clay Cane, entertainment editor at BET.com and director of Holler If You Hear Me: Black and Gay in the Church.

As a publicist she works with both fiction and nonfiction authors including New York Times bestseller D. Watkins, author of The Beastside: Living and Dying While Black in America, Tia Williams, former magazine beauty editor and author of The Perfect Find and Clint Smith award-winning poet, Ted Talk conference speaker and contributor to The New Yorker.

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Vicki Selvaggio of Storm Literary

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Vicki Selvaggio is a literary agent with Storm Literary (formerly with Jennifer De Chiara Literary).

Victoria A. Selvaggio comes to Storm Literary Agency as a Literary Agent and Partner. Previously with The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency, she was drawn to the publishing scene first as an author. As a prior Regional Advisor for SCBWI Northern Ohio, Victoria’s desire to help writers and illustrators reach their publications goals inspired her to become an agent.

With over twenty-five years as a business owner, Victoria is excited to help grow the agency’s client base with talented writers and illustrators, while also helping build the agency from within with motivated agents who possess the same ideals, literary interests, goals, and approaches to the industry.As a frequent presenter at conferences, library events, contests, etc., Victoria is always interested in meeting writers and illustrators, and hearing about unique projects! While Storm Literary is primarily a children’s book agency, Victoria will be accepting pitches for new adult and adult projects from conference attendees.

She is seeking: “I am currently looking for lyrical picture books, middle grade and young adult fiction, new adult, mysteries, suspense, thrillers, paranormal, fantasy, narrative nonfiction, adult fiction but find I’m especially drawn to middle grade and young adult. I especially love thrillers and all elements of weird, creepy stuff. If it’s out of the box, and it will make me think and think, long after I’m done reading, send it to me! On the flip side, I yearn for books that make me laugh, cry and wonder about the world.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Cassie Mannes Murray of Howland Literary

Screen Shot 2019-11-02 at 12.58.03 PMCassie Mannes Murray is a literary agent with Howland Literary.

Cassie is accepting submissions for adult fiction and nonfiction that fit the following categories: literary, speculative (sci-fi or fantasy), slipstream, or hybrid. She is interested in memoir, essay collections, literary and commercial fiction, as well as short stories.

Because genre categories are for marketing purposes, Cassie would like to work with authors who are difficult to categorize, but passionate about writing at the sentence level. She would like to work with writers who elevate and innovate structure, point-of-view, and language especially.

Before pivoting into publishing, Cassie was a high school teacher for six years and ran an infamous book blog known as Books & Bowel Movements where she worked with many brands, including several publishing houses and indie presses.

She holds a B.A. in English and Creative Writing from North Carolina State University, and is working on her MFA at UNCW in creative nonfiction. She has designed for Ecotone and Lookout Books, been supported by the Sarah Morton Fellowship and Kenyon Writers Workshop, as well as Raleigh Review, where she is the Book Review Editor, Social Media Coordinator and Accountant. She is working on a lyric essay collection about the strange and odd particularities of the south, pertaining to women, and her work is forthcoming in Passages North and The Rumpus.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Diana Flegal of Hartline Literary

Screen Shot 2018-11-21 at 4.20.06 PM.pngDiana Flegal has been an agent with Hartline Literary Agency for 12 years.

She represents mainstream and inspirational titles, fiction and nonfiction, but nothing that conflicts with the Christian Worldview. She is currently looking for nonfiction authors with a substantial platform, as well as outstanding contemporary women’s fiction, issue fiction, and formula romance.

When she is not reading submissions or stealing away with a recreational read, she is hiking in the mountains, or kayaking.

 

 

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Melissa Jeglinski of The Knight Agency

Screen Shot 2018-11-13 at 10.13.18 AM.pngMelissa Jeglinski is a literary agent with The Knight Agency.

Melissa is currently seeking projects in the following areas: Romance (contemporary, category, historical, inspirational) Young Adult, Middle Grade, Women’s Fiction, and Mystery.

A graduate of Clarion University of Pennsylvania, where she majored in English with a writing concentration, Melissa began her career as an editor with Harlequin Enterprises. Looking to work with a variety of authors and genres, she joined The Knight Agency in 2008.

With over two decades experience in the publishing industry, Melissa has fostered her clients to National prominence including a recent Newbery Honor. She is a member of RWA and AAR.