After successful events in 2015 and 2017, the Kentucky Writing Workshop is back for 2019! Writing Day Workshops excited to announce The 2019 Kentucky Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in Louisville, KY, on April 6, 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 (175 total). All questions about the event regarding schedule, details and registration are answered below. Thank you for your interest in the 2019 Kentucky Writing Workshop!
WHAT IS IT?
This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, April 6, 2019, at the Louisville Marriott 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 Laura Crockett (TriadaUS Literary)
- literary agent Abby Saul (The Lark Group)
- literary agent Denise Barone (Barone Literary)
- literary agent Brandi Bowles (United Talent Agency)
- literary agent Alice Speilburg (Speilburg Literary)
- literary agent Alyssa Roat (CYLE Literary Elite)
- literary agent Julie Gwinn (The Seymour Agency)
- editor Jimmy Nichols (Phoenix Manifest Publishing)
- literary agent assistant Brittany Smith (Metamorphosis Literary)
- 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 Jessica Bell of Writing Day Workshops.
EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS
9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, April 6, 2019, at the Louisville Marriott East, 1903 Embassy Square Blvd, Louisville, KY 40299. (502)491-1184.
THIS YEAR’S SESSIONS & WORKSHOPS (APRIL 6, 2019):
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 the official Schedule page here.
Please Note: There will be 2-3 classes/workshops going at all times during the day, so you will have your choice of what class you attend at any time. The final schedule of topics is subject to change, but here is the current layout:
8:30 – 9:30: Check-in and registration at the event location.
BLOCK ONE: 9:30 – 10:30
1. A Bird’s-eye View Publishing & Books in the Year 2019. (Bluegrass AB) This workshop is quick & easy overview of the publishing industry today, and how it’s changing.
2. Storytelling: The Elements of Writing a Great Mystery, Crime or Thriller Story. (Cardinal Room) Using his internationally recognized crime story “Harlan’s Salvation” as a guide, teacher Robert McClure provides an overview of crafting a compelling mystery story.
3. The Nuts and Bolts of Writing Middle Grade and Young Adult. (Colonel A) Learn what makes a middle grade and what makes a YA novel successful and how to tell which one you might be writing.
1. Tips on How to Write Like the Pros. (Cardinal Room) This workshop is a thorough crash course concerning craft, style and voice.
2. How to Write a Great Query Letter for Your Novel. (Bluegrass AB) This workshop focuses on what an agent is, what they do for writers, resources for finding agents, how to ID the best agents for you, query letter writing, as well as the most important things to do and not to do when dealing with representatives.
3. Self-Publishing the Smart Way. (Colonel A) Learn the basics of cover design, ebook and print book formatting, and self-publishing.
(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 the official Schedule page here.)
LUNCH ON YOUR OWN: 11:50 – 1:15
Lunch is on your own during these 85 minutes.
BLOCK THREE: 1:15 – 2:30
1. “Writers Got Talent”—a Page 1 Critique Fest. (Bluegrass AB) 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. Nonfiction Intense: Book Proposal Tips. (Cardinal Room) If you are trying to create an awesome nonfiction book proposal, this presentation is for you.
3. Picture Book Intensive: Advice on Selling Your Children’s Book. (Colonel A) In this session, we’ll discuss questions to consider before sending a picture book manuscript out in the world.
BLOCK FOUR: 2:45 – 3:45
1. Writing Romance Novels for Fun & Profit and Even More Fun. (Cardinal Room) In this class, attendees will explore the genre and sub-genres of romance, how to write a romance novel, how not to write a romance novel, and the state of the romance market.
2. 25 Questions You Need Answered Before & After You Seek an Agent or Self-Publish Your Book. (Bluegrass AB) Before and after you publish your work or query an agent, there are plenty of things you need to know.
3. Writing Science Fiction & Fantasy That Sells. (Colonel A) In this workshop, we will cover learning how to write, the balance between writing for yourself and writing for the market, and why editing is your best friend. Suitable for self-publishing or traditionally published authors.
(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 the official Schedule page here.)
BLOCK FIVE: 4:00 – 5:00
1. The Book’s Journey: From First Draft to Bookshelf (Bluegrass AB) We see the first draft on our computer screen and final copies on bookshelves, but what happens in between? Why does the publishing process take so long? Who edits? Where do covers come from? How are books distributed? This class takes the journey from first draft to bookshelf.
2. Plotting for Pantsers. (Cardinal Room) A plotting class for fiction writers who want to plot their novels but feel overwhelmed or intimidated by all the plotting books out there.
3. Humor Writing: The Rules of Comedy. (Colonel A) This class will explain the rules of comedy, and offer tips on incorporating humor into your writing toolkit.
SESSIONS END: 5:00
At 5 p.m., the day is done. Speakers will make themselves available by the workshop’s bookstore for a short while to sign any books for attendees.
Agent & Editor Pitching: All throughout the day.
PITCH AN AGENT!
Alice Speilburg 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.
With over 10 years of publishing experience, literary agent Abby Saul of The Lark Group is an editorial expert with a passion for fantastic reads. She is seeking: great and engrossing adult commercial and literary fiction. This includes general fiction, mystery, suspense/thriller, literary fiction, women’s fiction, and historical fiction. Learn more about Abby here.
Laura Crockett is a literary agent with TriadaUS Literary. In young adult, she is interested in contemporary realistic fiction (such as study abroad experiences, strong female friendships, falling in love, mental health, diversity, LGBTQ) and fantasy (particularly with excellent world-building, authentic characterization, fantasy inspired by fairytales and other cultures’ mythology, and historical fantasy). In adult fiction, she is interested in contemporary women’s fiction (heartfelt, juicy moral dilemmas, historical bends with parallel narratives), humorous chick-lit (especially if it’s millennial-driven), and fantasy (excellent world-building, authentic characterization, fantasy inspired by fairytales and other cultures’ mythology, and historical fantasy). Learn more about Laura here.
Denise Barone is a literary agent and the founder of Barone Literary Agency. She is seeking: horror, young adult, new adult, erotic romance, women’s fiction, and romance (single title, category, or historical). “I do not accept any previously published materials.” Learn more about Denise here.
Alyssa Roat is a literary agent with CYLE Literary Elite. She is seeking: any kind of young adult (but especially fantasy and speculative), middle grade fiction (any kind), fantasy, women’s fiction, contemporary fiction, unique historical fiction, all kinds of children’s picture books (nonfiction or STEM elements are great), some nonfiction (large platform only), occasional Christian titles, and a rare thriller/mystery/suspense. Learn more about Alyssa here.
Brandi Bowles is a literary agent with United Talent Agency. 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.
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.
Brittany Smith is an agent assistant with Metamorphosis Literary Agency. At the 2019 Kentucky workshop, she is taking pitches on behalf of all her co-agents at the agency. She is happy to hear pitches for the following batches of categories and genres: romantic comedy, YA, romance, general fiction, LGBTQ+, women’s fiction, book club reads, quirky humor, paranormal, horror, middle grade, suspense, thrillers, historical fiction, cozy mysteries, and #ownvoices. Learn more about Brittany here.
Jimmy Nichols is the Editor-in-Chief of Phoenix Manifest. He is seeking: all kinds of fiction, as long as the project is 40,000 words or more. The only kinds of books he does not seek are erotica, faith-based fiction, and previously self-published works. Learn more about Jimmy here.
More 2019 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.)
$189 — the EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2019 KWW and access to all workshops, all day, on April 6, 2019. 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.)
“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 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?
Add $89 — for an in-depth personal critique of the first 10 double-spaced 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:
- Adult science fiction, fantasy, horror, and literary fiction: Faculty member Sara O. Thompson, a published author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your story, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
- Young adult, middle grade, and chapter books: Faculty member Gail Nall, a published writer, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your story, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
- Romance, erotica, and women’s fiction: Faculty member Tiffany Reisz, a best-selling published writer, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your story, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
- Mystery, crime, and thriller: Faculty member Robert McClure, a published writer, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your story, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss his thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
- Nonfiction and humor: Faculty member Andrew Shaffer, a bestselling traditionally and self published writer, will get your work in advance, edit the first 10 double-spaced pages of your story, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss his thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
- Children’s picture books: Faculty member Amanda Driscoll, a published writer and illustrator, will get your work in advance, critique the first 1,000 words of your story, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the 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.
Because of limited space at the venue of the Louisville Marriott East, the workshop can only allow 175 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.)