After a successful launch event in 2016, Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2019 Sacramento Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in Sacramento, CA on August 9, 2019.
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 2019 Sacramento Writing Workshop!
WHAT IS IT?
This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Friday, August 9, 2019, at the Courtyard Sacramento Midtown. 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 includes the following:
- literary agent Lesley Sabga (The Seymour Agency)
- literary agent Jennifer Chen Tran (Bradford Literary)
- literary agent Emma Sector (Prospect Agency)
- literary agent Lisa Abellera (Kimberley Cameron Literary)
- literary agent Moe Ferrara (BookEnds Literary)
- literary agent Jennifer March Soloway (Andrea Brown Literary)
- and more possibly 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 Kerrie Flanagan of Writing Day Workshops, with help from local writing groups.
THIS YEAR’S PRESENTER/INSTRUCTOR
Brian A. Klems (@BrianKlems) is the former online editor of WritersDigest.com. His blog during his tenure there, The Writer’s Dig—which covered everything writing and publishing—was one of the largest blogs in the writing community. Brian’s first book, Oh Boy, You’re Having a Girl: A Dad’s Guide to Raising Daughters (Adams Media) was released in April 2013. It received high-level buzz and praise from some of the funniest writers alive, including Dave Barry and Bruce Cameron. Brian is also a proud graduate of the Ohio University E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, a husband, softball infielder, perennial fantasy sports underachiever, and father of three lovely little girls.
EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS
9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Friday, August 9, 2019: Courtyard Sacramento Midtown, 4422 Y St, Sacramento, CA 95817. (916)455-6800.
WORKSHOP SCHEDULE & INSTRUCTORS (AUGUST 9, 2019)
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 2019.” 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.
10:30 – 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.)
2:50 – 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 words 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!
Jennifer Chen Tran is an agent at Bradford Literary. Jennifer is very interested in diverse writers and #ownvoices from underrepresented/ marginalized communities, strong and conflicted characters who are not afraid to take emotional risks, stories about multi-generational conflict, war and post-war fiction, and writing with a developed sense of place. In nonfiction, she loves books that broaden her world view or shed new light on “big ideas.” In fiction, she wants women’s fiction (contemporary, upmarket, literary), select young adult (must have distinct voice), select middle grade, graphic novels and visually-driven projects. In nonfiction, she seeks narrative nonfiction (biography, current affairs, medical, investigative journalism, history, how-to, music, pop-culture, travel), cookbooks & culinary projects, lifestyle (home, design, beauty, fashion), business books (social entrepreneurship, female and/or minority-led businesses, and innovation), select memoir with an established platform, parenting, relationships and psychology, and mind/body/spirit. Learn more about Jennifer here.
Lesley Sabga is a literary agent with The Seymour Agency. Lesley loves intricate and vivid world-building and character-driven plots. She is actively acquiring middle grade sci-fi & fantasy, young adult sci-fi & fantasy, and adult sci-fi & fantasy. She is always down to read a dark and twisty suspense or thriller featuring strong, female protagonists. She also loves a classic happily-ever-after romance or curling up with a good mystery. She is also interested in acquiring narrative nonfiction. Learn more about Lesley here.
Moe Ferrara is a literary agent with BookEnds Literary Agency. Moe is interested in books for middle grade, young adult, and adult readers in most genres–especially science fiction, fantasy, contemporary, and light horror. The right contemporary or paranormal romance (sans-vampires of course) will spark her interest. She’s LGBTQ friendly, so send her that male/male erotic romance in your back pocket. Learn more about Moe here.
Emma Sector is a literary agent with Prospect Agency. She is seeking: “I’m open to middle-grade and YA of all types, but I’m especially drawn to fantasy adventure, magical realism, and historical fiction. I love picture books with big ideas and few words and chapter books with quirky, vibrant characters.” Learn more about Emma here.
Lisa Abellera [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent with Kimberley Cameron & Associates. She represents upmarket fiction, women’s fiction, historical fiction, mystery/suspense, speculative or medical science thrillers, science fiction, fantasy, new adult, young adult, and middle grade. She is actively building her client list with both debut and established authors. She is looking to form long-term, collaborative relationships with writers who are committed to putting forth their best work. Lisa does not represent nonfiction, picture books, chapter books or screenplays. Learn more about Lisa here.
Jennifer March Soloway is a literary agent at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. She enjoys all genres and categories of children’s books, such as laugh-out-loud picture books and middle-grade adventures — but her sweet spot is young adult. Jennifer adores action-packed kidlit thrillers and mysteries, full of unexpected twists. Throw in a dash of romance, and she’s hooked! She’s a sucker for conspiracy plots where anyone might be a double agent, even the kid next door. Learn more about Jennifer here.
More 2019 agents may be added soon.
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 registration pricing! This is the complete base price for registration to the 2019 SWW 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. 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 met my client, Alison Hammer, at the 2017 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 2017 Michigan Writing Workshop!”
– literary agent Sara Mebigow of KT Literary
“I signed author Stephanie Wright from
the 2018 Seattle Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Kathleen Ortiz of New Leaf Literary
“I signed an author [Kate Thompson] that I
met at the 2017 Philadelphia Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Kimberly Brower of Brower Literary
“I signed novelist Kathleen McInnis after meeting her
at the 2016 Chesapeake Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Adriann Ranta of Foundry Literary + Media
Add $69 — for an in-depth, personal critique of your one-page query letter from Chuck Sambuchino, a longtime editor for Writer’s Digest Books and a former speaker at the event. (This rate is a special event value for Sacramento 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, young adult, romantic suspense, urban fantasy, and commercial women’s fiction: Faculty member Amberly Finarelli, a freelance editor and former literary agent, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your story, meet with you for 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting. Amberly has worked in the publishing industry since 2006 as a literary agent and for a custom publishing company as a project manager, copywriter, and editor. She is a freelance editor and writer, and works with both first-time and well-seasoned authors of fiction and nonfiction. A featured speaker at UC Davis and the Truckee Meadows Conference, she has also taught for the Sacramento Public Library and been a judge for the Rose City Romance Writers writing contest.
- Women’s fiction, literary fiction , historical fiction, romance, and anything that needs a specific eye toward African-American or Hispanic culture: Faculty member Angela Parker, an agented author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your story, meet with you for 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting. Angela has mastered the art of reading on the go, and firmly believes that no day can be a complete loss as long as her Kindle is charged. She manages an investment advisory practice by day, and by night writes women’s fiction inspired by her multicultural Afro-Latino heritage. Born and raised on the Monterey Bay, she now lives in the Sacramento Valley with her two young children and slightly older book collection, all competing to see who can outgrow the house faster.
- Memoir, essays, narrative nonfiction, articles: Faculty member Kimberly A. Edwards, president of the California Writers Club Sacramento, will get your work in advance, critique the 10 double-spaced pages of your work, meet with you for 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting. Kimberly writes articles, memoir, personal essays, and literary nonfiction. Kim has championed writers for more than 30 years. In addition to having served as publisher of a monthly newsletter for writers, she has written for Writer’s Digest and other regional, national, and international publications serving women, teens, specialty, and general audiences. Currently she is at work on a book for The History Press.
How to pay/register — Registration is now open. Reach out to workshop organizer Kerrie Flanagan via email: WDWfaculty@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 Kerrie plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Sacramento workshop specifically.
Because of limited space at the venue of the Courtyard by Marriott Sacramento Midtown, 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 Kerrie Flanagan via email: WDWfaculty@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 SWW will send out periodic e-mail updates to all registered attendees with any & all news about the event. Because Kerrie plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Sacramento 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.)