The 2017 Kentucky Writing Workshop: April 22, 2017 (Louisville)

Screen shot 2014-07-23 at 12.58.51 PMAfter a successful launch in 2015, the Kentucky Writing Workshop is back for 2017! Writing Day Workshops excited to announce The 2017 Kentucky Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in Louisville, KY, on April 22, 2017.

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 (125 total). All questions about the event regarding schedule, details and registration are answered below. Thank you for your interest in the 2017 Kentucky Writing Workshop!

WHAT IS IT?

This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, April 22, 2017, at the Holiday Inn Louisville East. 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 Brent Taylor (TriadaUS Literary)
  • literary agent Brandi Bowles (Foundry Literary + Media)
  • literary agent Julie Gwinn (The Seymour Agency)
  • literary agent Jennifer Wills (The Seymour Agency)
  • literary agent Alice Speilburg (Speilburg Literary)
  • literary agent Victoria Lea (Aponte Literary)
  • agent assistant Lesley Sabga (The Seymour Agency)

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 Jessica Bell of Writing Day Workshops.

THIS YEAR’S PRESENTER/INSTRUCTOR

Screen Shot 2016-11-02 at 3.23.45 PM.pngBrian A. Klems (@BrianKlems) is the online editor of WritersDigest.com. His blog, The Writer’s Dig—which covers everything writing and publishing—is one of the fastest growing blogs in the writing community. Brian has been a part of the Writer’s Digest family since 2003 and has overseen the the launch of the Writer’s Digest blogs as well as helped Writer’s Digest become a vibrant member of the social media community, including Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest. 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., Saturday, April 22, at the Holiday Inn Louisville East, 1325 S Hurstbourne Pkwy, Louisville, KY 40222, (502)426-2600. The hotel is right off I-64, between I-264 and I-265.

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WORKSHOP SCHEDULE (APRIL 22, 2017)

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 2017.” 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: “15 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 Chapter One Critique-Fest.” In the vein of American Idol or America’s Got Talent, this is a chance to get your first page read (anonymously — no bylines given) with 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 AM2:45 – 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!

Screen Shot 2016-11-02 at 2.56.15 PM.pngBrandi Bowles is a literary agent with Foundry Literary + Media. Brandi’s client list reflects her multifaceted passions: On the nonfiction side, she has represented memoirs, cookbooks, and prescriptive books of all kinds, as well as science, humor, pop culture, and real-life inspirational stories. For fiction, she represents high-concept novels that feature strong female bonds, and psychological or scientific themes. All of her books have in common surprising plots or fresh takes on otherwise familiar subjects. Learn more about Brandi here.

Screen Shot 2016-12-13 at 12.21.47 AM.pngJennifer Wills is a literary agent with The Seymour Agency. Jennifer is particularly interested in a wide range of picture books and cookbooks, with a soft spot for author-illustrators of sweet and wacky picture books, and cookbooks with mouth-watering recipes of the health conscious, budget friendly or celebrity chef variety. For fiction, she’s also interested in middle grade and YA with a sci fi/fantasy, horror/suspense, or contemporary bent, and upmarket women’s fiction with a sense of humor. On the nonfiction side, narrative nonfiction and memoir are also welcome. Jennifer tends to shy away from rhyming picture books, historical fiction and high fantasy, although she’s willing to make exceptions.  If your manuscript has a great hook, a distinct voice, and can make her laugh out loud or ugly cry (or, even better, both), she’d love to see it. Learn more about Jennifer here.

Screen shot 2014-09-25 at 10.27.21 PMJulie 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.

brent-taylor-literary-agentBrent Taylor is actively seeking new clients as an agent with TriadaUS Literary Agency. His tastes are eclectic, but all of his favorite novels are similar in that they tend to have fresh voice and fantastic writing. He is seeking smart, fun, and exciting books in the following categories: middle grade, young adult, women’s fiction, literary fiction, and crime fiction. His favorite books include: The Time Traveler’s Wife, White Oleander, The Vast Fields of Ordinary, Please Ignore Vera Dietz, and The Westing Game. Learn more about Brent here.

screen-shot-2014-09-26-at-12-34-10-amAlice Speilburg [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent at Speilburg Literary. In nonfiction, she’s looking for authors with established platforms who are writing books in the following categories: biography, food, gender issues, health, history, literary journalism, music, pop culture, relationships, science, travel. In fiction, she’s currently looking for character-driven novels that fall under the following genres: historical fiction, mainstream, literary, mystery, science fiction, thriller/suspense, middle grade, and young adult. Learn more about Alice here.

1400255_10200197887830313_1109260645_o-150x150Victoria Lea is a literary agent at Aponte Literary. She accepts submissions of any genre of mainstream fiction and nonfiction, but especially seeks women’s novels, historical novels, supernatural and paranormal fiction, fantasy novels, political and science thrillers. In nonfiction, she’ll look at any genre with commercial potential. What she consider most important, and certainly more important than genre, is that the writing be strong and fresh. Learn more about Victoria here.

Screen Shot 2017-01-31 at 4.43.20 PM.pngLesley Sabga is an agent assistant at The Seymour Agency. She is taking pitches on behalf of all of the agency’s acquiring agents (except for Jennifer Wills, who is attending the event also). She wants to hear pitches for happily-ever-after romance, mainstream suspense, thrillers, mysteries, young adult with a fresh voice (both contemporary and sci-fi/fantasy), science fiction, fantasy, and action/adventure. Learn more about Lesley here.

More 2017 agents/editors will be added in the coming weeks/months.

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

$149 — the EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2017 KWW and access to all workshops, all day, on April 22, 2017. As of October 2016, 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.)

Screen Shot 2016-12-13 at 12.20.11 AM.pngI signed with my agent, Patricia Nelson, after
meeting her at the Arizona Writing Workshop.”
– writer Axie Oh

Screen Shot 2016-12-13 at 12.07.56 AM.png“I officially signed with agent Renee Nyen of KT
Literary. I met her at the Colorado Writing
Workshop.” – writer Jessie Hilb Akos

Screen Shot 2016-12-13 at 12.08.00 AM.png“After taking pitches at the Michigan Writing
Workshop, I signed writer Kyle Prue as a new
client.” – literary agent Veronica Park

Screen Shot 2016-12-13 at 12.08.09 AM.png“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 Kentucky Writing Workshop attendees only.) Registrants are encouraged to take advantage of the specially-priced critique, so they can send out their query letter with confidence following the workshop. Also, if you are meeting with an agent at the event, you’re essentially speaking your query letter aloud to them. Wouldn’t it be wise to give that query letter (i.e., your pitch) one great edit before that meeting?

How to pay/register — Registration is now open. Reach out to workshop organizer Jessica Bell via email: 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 Jessica plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Kentucky workshop specifically.

REGISTRATION

Because of limited space at the venue of the Holiday Inn Louisville East, the workshop can only allow 125 registrants, unless spacing issues change. For this reason, we encourage you to book sooner rather than later.

Are spaces still available? Yes, we still have spaces available. We will announce RIGHT HERE, at this point on this web page, when all spaces are taken. If you do not see a note right here saying how all spaces are booked, then yes, we still have room, and you are encouraged to register.

How to Register: The easy first step is simply to reach out to workshop organizer Jessica Bell via email: WDWconference@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 KWW will send out periodic e-mail updates to all registered attendees with any & all news about the event. Because Jessica plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Kentucky 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 2017 Kentucky Writing Workshop.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Brandi Bowles of Foundry Literary

Screen Shot 2016-11-02 at 2.56.19 PM.pngBrandi Bowles is a literary agent with Foundry Literary + Media.

A twelve-year veteran in book publishing, Brandi’s lifelong passion for the written word, a great sense of humor, and the art of engaging storytelling have led her to cultivate a standout client list and an uncommon approach to book representation. She is often the invisible hand helping her clients develop marketable book ideas that take their careers into new directions and heights.

She is seeking: Brandi’s client list reflects her multifaceted passions. On the nonfiction side, she has represented memoirs, cookbooks, and prescriptive books of all kinds, as well as science, humor, pop culture, and real-life inspirational stories. For fiction, she represents high-concept novels that feature strong female bonds, and psychological or scientific themes. All of her books have in common surprising plots or fresh takes on otherwise familiar subjects.

Brandi’s titles include Rabbit: A Memoir by comedian Ms. Pat (Dey Street, 2017), Between Two Worlds by celebrity medium Tyler Henry (Gallery Books, 2016), Girl Logic by Iliza Shlesinger (Weinstein Books, 2017), The Big Life by Ann Shoket, former EIC of Seventeen (Rodale, 2017), Shut Up and Run by Robin Arzon (a New York Times bestseller), and Hugo and Rose by novelist and screenwriter Bridget Foley (St. Martin’s Press).

Brandi understands that publishing is a lifelong dream for many of her authors, as well as a service to their readers and fans; her role is to serve as an entry point and tireless advocate for a rich and rewarding publishing experience.

Originally from Louisville, KY, Brandi now lives with her husband and two young children in Brooklyn, NY.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Julie Gwinn of The Seymour Agency

Screen shot 2014-09-25 at 10.27.15 PMLiterary agent Julie Gwinn of The Seymour Agency most recently served as Marketing Manager for the Christian Living line at Abingdon Press and before that served as Trade Book Marketing Manager and then Fiction Publisher for the Pure Enjoyment line at B&H Publishing Group, a Division of LifeWay Christian Resources.

Last year she was awarded Editor of the Year from the American Christian Fiction Writers and won B&H’s first Christy award for Ginny Yttrup’s debut novel Words. She has more than 25 years public relations and marketing experience and has also worked in marketing for several Nashville non-profit organizations including the TN Assoc. for the Education of Young Children, the Nashville Area Red Cross and the YWCA. She is married and has two children.

Her primary areas of interest include Christian and inspirational fiction and nonfiction, women’s fiction (contemporary and historical), new adult, Southern fiction, literary fiction, and young adult novels.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Jennifer Wills of The Seymour Agency

Screen Shot 2016-10-17 at 12.57.20 PM.pngJennifer Wills is a literary agent with The Seymour Agency.

She is seeking: Jennifer is particularly interested in a wide range of picture books and cookbooks, with a soft spot for author/illustrators of sweet and wacky picture books, and cookbooks with mouth-watering recipes of the health conscious, budget friendly or celebrity chef variety.  For fiction, she’s also interested in middle grade and YA with a sci fi/fantasy, horror/suspense, or contemporary bent, and upmarket women’s fiction with a sense of humor. On the nonfiction side, narrative nonfiction and memoir are also welcome. Jennifer tends to shy away from rhyming picture books, historical fiction and high fantasy, although she’s willing to make exceptions.  If your manuscript has a great hook, a distinct voice, and can make her laugh out loud or ugly cry (or, even better, both), she’d love to see it.
 
Bio: Jennifer has five years’ experience in some of the publishing industry’s leading literary agencies.  She worked with publishers around the world as an assistant in Trident Media Group’s huge foreign rights department, and with domestic publishers as an assistant at Writers House (where, incidentally, she began her career as an intern).  She joined the Seymour Agency, where she has quickly moved up the ranks to associate agent.  Jennifer has always loved helping fledgling authors become NYT bestsellers and she’s ready to be a relentless champion for her own clients’ work.  You can find her @WillsWork4Books on Twitter.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Alice Speilburg of Speilburg Literary

Screen Shot 2016-10-18 at 10.38.10 AM.png[SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS]

Alice Speilburg is a literary agent with Speilburg Literary

Alice founded the agency in 2012, bringing with her the editorial and business expertise she had developed in previous publishing positions at John Wiley & Sons and Howard Morhaim Literary Agency. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, and Society of Children’s Book Authors and Illustrators, and she is a board member of Louisville Literary Arts. She is currently building her client list and represents a wide range of fiction and nonfiction.

She is seeking: In fiction, she’s currently looking for character-driven novels that fall under the following genres: historical fiction, mainstream fiction, literary fiction, mystery, suspense, science fiction, fantasy, middle grade, and young adult. In nonfiction, she’s looking for authors with established platforms who are writing books in the following categories: biography, food, gender issues, health, history, literary journalism, music, pop culture, science, travel, and relationships. Learn more about Alice here.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Brent Taylor of TriadaUS Literary Agency

brent-taylor-literary-agentPrior to joining TriadaUS Literary Agency, Inc., Brent Taylor completed numerous internships in publishing, most recently at The Bent Agency. (Find Brent on Twitter.)

He is seeking: “My tastes are eclectic, but all of my favorite novels are similar in that they have big commercial hooks and fantastic writing. I am seeking smart, fun, and exciting books for readers of middle grade, young adult, new adult, and select mystery/crime and women’s fiction.

“Middle Grade: for younger readers I am on the hunt for a humorous, intelligent fantasy; a scare-the-pants-off-me ghost or haunting story; fast-paced literary writing similar in style to Jerry Spinelli and Cynthia Lord. I have soft spots for larger-than-life characters and atmospheric setting (creepy and/or quirky).

“Young Adult: I’m always looking for genre-bending books that can be an exciting puzzlement when thinking about how precisely to market; specifically mystery and crime for teens, the grittier the better; high-concept contemporary stories with addicting romantic tension. I’m a sucker for themes of finding your place in the world, new beginnings, and summer-before-college stories.

“New Adult: my tastes in New Adult tend to be more darkly skewed but I would love a well-executed story that shares the same excitement, wonder, and invigoration of books like LOSING IT. Although I appreciate any story that’s told well in great language, in New Adult I’m more concerned with being entertained and gripped by the edge of my seat than in being stimulated. Adult: I would love a psychological suspense based on actual events, i.e. CARTWHEEL by Jennifer Dubois which fictionalized the Amanda Knox trial and hooked me from beginning to end. Alternatively, I’d love high-concept women’s fiction; either an exquisitely told story huge in size and scope, or a less ambitious novel that simply warms my heart.”

Get to Know an Agency Assistant in Attendance: Lesley Sabga of The Seymour Agency

Screen Shot 2017-01-31 at 4.43.20 PM.pngLesley Sabga is an agent assistant at The Seymour Agency.

She is taking pitches on behalf of all of the agency’s acquiring agents (except for Jennifer Wills, who is attending the event also). She wants to hear pitches for happily-ever-after romance, mainstream suspense, thrillers, mysteries, young adult with a fresh voice (both contemporary and sci-fi/fantasy), science fiction, fantasy, and action/adventure.

Lesley is a graduate of the editorial program at the University of Chicago and also hold a BA in English from the University of Kentucky. She has experience working in two publishing houses, Entangled Publishing and Jolly Fish Press, and is currently working at The Seymour Agency. She is also a full-time freelancer for the Editorial Freelance Association and the Chartwell Literary Group.

Lesley is an avid reader and a constant occupant of local coffeeshops and bookstores. She wakes up every day thankful to have the opportunity to share my knowledge and passion for literature professionally.