The 2019 Colorado Writing Workshop: July 27, 2019

laAfter a successful events in 2014 and 2016, Writing Day Workshops, with assistance from local writing groups, is excited to announce The 2019 Colorado Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in north Denver on Saturday, July 27, 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 (200 total). All questions about the event regarding schedule, details and registration are answered below. Thank you for your interest in the 2019 Colorado Writing Workshop!

WHAT IS IT?

This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, July 27, 2019, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Denver – Westminster. 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 agent & editor faculty so far includes:

  • literary agent Hilary Harwell (KT Literary)
  • literary agent Kristin Nelson (Nelson Literary)
  • literary agent Alex Barba (Jennifer De Chiara Literary)
  • literary agent Rachelle Gardner (Books & Such Literary)
  • publisher Liz Pelletier (Entangled Publishing)
  • literary agent Caroline George (CYLE Literary)
  • literary agent Greg Johnson (Wordserve Literary)
  • literary agent Sara Megibow (KT Literary)
  • literary agent Becky LeJeune (Bond Literary)
  • literary agent Elizabeth Copps (Maria Carvainis Literary)
  • literary agent Shannon Hassan (Marsal Lyon Literary)
  • agency assistant Angie Hodapp (Nelson Literary)

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 assistance from local writing groups.

EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS:

9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, July 27, 2019 — at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Denver – Westminster, 8773 Yates Dr, Westminster, CO 80031. (303)427-4000. If you are interested in book a guest room, the hotel has set up a courtesy guest block for us here.

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THIS YEAR’S SESSIONS & WORKSHOPS (JULY 27, 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. This workshop is quick and easy overview of the publishing industry today, and how it’s changing.

2. Social Media on a Budget. How do you build your audience beyond your friends’ lists? Ads and graphics cost money, and often can easily begin chopping at your bank account. This class is one that will teach how to gain an audience and how to utilize social media when you are on a budget.

3. Query Letter Comprehensive. Stand out from the slush and workshop your way to crafting a successful query letter. It’s time to kick the clichés, ditch the info dumps, and get ready to dive deeper than a list of dos and don’ts.

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 1.44.34 AMBLOCK TWO: 10:45 – 11:50

1. Tips on How to Write Like the Pros. This workshop is a thorough crash course concerning craft, style and voice.

2. How NOT to Get a Literary Agent. This workshop examines pitfalls new authors make when approaching agents (and editors). Learn where writers go wrong in their search for an agent — and how they should do it right.

3. Amuse Yourself With Murder: How to Write a Thrilling Mystery. Writing a mystery can be a killer — unless you entertain yourself first. This workshop offers insights for taking the pressure off of yourself and joyfully completing your mystery novel.

(What you see here 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. 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.  How to Sell a Nonfiction Book. This session is completely devoted to nonfiction book proposals.

3. Picture Book Boot Camp. Learn how to pitch and publish in the children’s book market. Understand the craft and business of writing for young kids.

BLOCK FOUR: 2:45 – 3:45

1. Twenty 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, what social media to use, how to launch your book right, and much more.

2. Revision: Selling Your Book Before You Submit. Do you find it hard to see your own writing mistakes? Become a writer that wows a prospective agent or editor by enhancing your manuscript and proposal submission with targeted editing geared to make your submission shine above the competition.

3. Keys to Writing Great Young Adult & Middle Grade Fiction. Writing for children isn’t all that different from writing for adults.

(What you see here 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. Twenty 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 build a readership, and much more.

2. Writing Speculative Fiction — How to Compose Great Sci-Fi and Fantasy. A discussion regarding the genres of science fiction and fantasy — how the markets are changing, what writers can do to improve their craft in these genres, and much more.

3. How to Write and Sell Romance in Today’s Market. This session will address important topics and tips for writers of romance.

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.

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PITCH AGENTS AND EDITORS:

Screen Shot 2019-01-12 at 11.44.41 PM.pngHilary Harwell is a literary agent with KT Literary. She is seeking middle grade and young adult fiction. She has a penchant for fully-developed characters who leap off the page and into her heart (even if they’re not always the most lovable), for tightly plotted stories that show her new ways to look at the world, for elegant prose, and for stories told from diverse perspectives so that more children and young people can find themselves inside the pages of the books we help create. She’s currently looking for middle grade and young adult projects both realistic and fantastic. Get to know more about Hilary here.

Screen Shot 2018-11-13 at 3.00.24 PM.pngCaroline 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. Get to know more about Caroline here.

Screen Shot 2019-01-13 at 4.32.20 PM.pngAlex Barba is a literary agent with The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency. Alex joined The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency in 2018, where she is building her list, seeking submissions in young adult and middle grade. “I am primarily looking for contemporary, but will also welcome light fantasy or sci-fi. A clever retelling or reimagining of an old classic – fairy tales, myths – is always thrilling, particularly with a magical, mystical storybook feel that is nonetheless tangible enough to imagine in today’s world (favorite book of all time: Ella Enchanted). I love escapist fantasy grounded in accessible characters. I’m craving feminist tales and diverse voices, particularly of the speak-truth-to-power persuasion/#resistance from young women characters.” Learn more about Alex here.

Screen Shot 2019-01-20 at 12.10.34 PM.pngKristin Nelson is a literary agent and the founder of Nelson Literary.  “I currently specialize in representing literary crossover novels with one foot firmly in a genre, literary commercial novels, upmarket women’s fiction, all subgenres of young adult/middle grade, and select projects in thriller, science fiction, fantasy, and single-title romance.” Learn more about Kristin here.

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 12.34.47 PM.pngGreg Johnson is a literary agent and the founder of Wordserve Literary. He is seeking: In the general market, he seeks historical fiction, children’s works, and YA. He also seeks inspirational/Christian fiction. His nonfiction tastes are more varied, and he specializes in religion/spirituality, memoir, military nonfiction, or history nonfiction. Business books, health, and humor rounds out what he is looking to acquire. The agency still primarily represents authors of faith who seek to publish in any genre or market (the general trade or CBA). Learn more about Greg here.

Screen Shot 2019-01-16 at 12.18.29 PM.pngRachelle Gardner is a literary agent with Books & Such Literary Agency. For adult fiction, she seeks submissions in both the general and Christian markets — for women’s fiction, mystery, suspense, thriller, family saga, historical, legal, literary fiction, mainstream fiction, and romance. For nonfiction,she seeks both Christian market and general market projects: memoirs, home life, current affairs, health & diet, narrative nonfiction, popular culture, self-help, women’s and issues. Platform is important, so be sure to highlight it in your pitch. She occasionally looks at devotionals. Learn more about Rachelle here.

Screen Shot 2019-01-16 at 12.53.16 PM.pngElizabeth Copps is a literary agent with Maria Carvainis Agency, Inc. “I represent a wide range of genres from middle grade and young adult, to adult contemporary + literary fiction, mystery, psychological thriller, women’s fiction, historical fiction, horror, and select nonfiction projects. I’m an equal fan of hilarious stories as well as dark, gritty and sinister reads.” Learn more about Elizabeth here.

Screen Shot 2019-01-16 at 12.29.47 PM.pngSara Megibow is a literary agent with kt literary. Sara seeks authors in middle grade (both sci-fi/fantasy and contemporary), young adult (both sci-fi/fantasy and contemporary), as well as adult fiction in the following genres: romance, erotica, science fiction, and fantasy. Learn more about Sara here.

Screen Shot 2019-01-16 at 12.39.51 PM.pngBecky LeJeune is a literary agent with Bond Literary Agency. Becky is interested in adult and teen general (mainstream) fiction — horror, mystery/thriller, historical fiction, science fiction novels, and fantasy novels. Learn more about Becky here.

Screen Shot 2019-01-20 at 11.59.14 AM.pngShannon Hassan is a literary agent with Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. She represents authors of literary and commercial fiction, young adult and middle grade fiction, and select nonfiction. With respect to fiction, she is drawn to fresh voices, compelling characters, and crisp prose, and enjoys both contemporary and historical settings. For nonfiction, she is interested in exceptional narratives from authors with strong platforms. Based in Boulder, Colorado, she is also eager to hear from authors with a unique perspective on the West. Learn more about Shannon here.

Screen Shot 2019-02-07 at 9.34.42 PM.pngAngie Hodapp is the Director of Literary Development for Nelson Literary. She is director of editorial and literary development for current clients. At the 2019 Colorado conference, she is taking pitches on behalf of agents at her agency (except Kristin Nelson, who is herself attending). This means she seeks middle grade, young adult, women’s fiction, character-driven mysteries, thrillers, literary voices in commercial packages, wonderfully realized characters, untold stories from underrepresented communities, immersive world building, and complex narrative approaches/plots. Learn more about Angie and her co-agents here.

Screen Shot 2019-01-17 at 6.49.25 PM.pngLiz Pelletier is the publisher of Entangled Publishing. She is taking pitches for adult romance, YA romance, and mainstream adult thrillers. Learn more about Liz here.

        More 2019 agents to be announced as they are confirmed. You can sign up for pitches at any time, or switch pitches at any time, so long as the agent in question still has appointments open. You can pitch as many agents & editors as like you wish.

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.)

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PRICING:

$189 — EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2019 CWW and access to all workshops, all day. As of October 2018, registration is now OPEN.

Add $29 — to secure a 10-minute one-on-one meeting with any of our literary agents or editors 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.png“I 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 Chuck Sambuchino, one of the workshop’s former instructors. (This rate is a special event value for CWW 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:

  • More options forthcoming

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 Colorado workshop specifically.

REGISTRATION:

Because of limited space at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Denver – Westminster, the workshop can only allow 200 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, credit card, or check. Once payment is complete, you will have a reserved seat at the event. The CWW 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 Colorado workshop specifically.

Refunds: If you sign up for the event and have to cancel for any reason at any time, 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 and manuscript editing payments are completely non-refundable if the instructor has already edited your work.)

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Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Hilary Harwell of KT Literary

Screen Shot 2019-01-12 at 11.44.41 PM.pngHilary Harwell is a literary agent with KT Literary.

She is seeking middle grade and young adult fiction. She has a penchant for fully-developed characters who leap off the page and into her heart (even if they’re not always the most lovable), for tightly plotted stories that show her new ways to look at the world, for elegant prose, and for stories told from diverse perspectives so that more children and young people can find themselves inside the pages of the books we help create. She’s currently looking for middle grade and young adult projects both realistic and fantastic.

Hilary joined the KT Literary team to support office operations and assist with queries and manuscripts, and now acts as Associate Agent with clients of her own. She graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder, with a degree in Anthropology and went on to work in the back office of a major Swiss Investment Bank for eight years before deciding to trade numbers for letters. When not reading or editing or writing stories of her own, Hilary likes to hike the Rockies with her family and dreams of one day owning her own horses.

Get to Know an Agency Assistant in Attendance: Angie Hodapp of Nelson Literary

Screen Shot 2019-02-07 at 9.34.42 PM.pngAngie Hodapp is the Director of Literary Development for Nelson Literary. She is director of editorial and literary development for current clients.

At the 2019 Colorado conference, she is taking pitches on behalf of agents at her agency (except Kristin Nelson, who is herself attending).

On behalf of co-agent Joanna Mackenzie, she seeks: “the epic read that, at its center, beats with a universal heart. In particular, I’m drawn to smart and timely women’s fiction, as well as absorbing, character-driven mysteries and thrillers – both, ideally, with a little edge. I have a weird obsession with, what I call, ‘child in jeopardy lit’ and can’t get enough kick-ass mom heroines. On the YA side, I’m interested in coming of age stories that possess a confident voice and characters I can’t stop thinking about.”

On behalf of co-agent Danielle Burby, she seeks: “YA and MG along along with very select women’s fiction. I look for a strong narrative voice and a cast of characters I want to spend time with (which doesn’t necessarily mean they need to be likeable!). Something all of my clients have in common is the ability to sweep me up in their writing and make me grateful for a chance to spend time in their worlds. When I finish a novel and immediately want to thank the person who wrote it, I know I will have the enthusiasm to fight tooth and nail for that author.”

On behalf of co-agent Quressa Robinson, she seeks: “A mix of middle grade, young adult, and adult fiction. I have very eclectic tastes and represent a wide range of genres. I am most drawn to literary voices in commercial packages, wonderfully realized characters, untold stories from underrepresented communities, immersive world building, and complex narrative approaches/plots. Also, I am most drawn to character-driven stories and love strong voice as well. I am a huge romantic and don’t mind romance subplots outside of the romance genre. Give me stories that will make me geek out. If you can make me have an epic fangirl squee—have stories featuring fairies and warrior princesses with afros and rainbow dreads or envision winter elves inspired by an Asian or Latinx culture—then we are definitely a match. I’m also looking for stories with best friends like Molly and Issa on Insecure, enemies to lovers, coming-of-age stories, The Breakfast Club with a twist, family drama, witches (!), and alpha heroes paired with witty heroines. If you have bold, fresh, or quirky stories, they will be right up my alley. I’m also looking for stories that feel timeless and timely, despite the current climate or when they were originally written. I’m a huge re-reader. Or give me something I didn’t know I desperately needed. Above all, give me stories I can become deeply passionate about.”

Get to Know a Publisher in Attendance: Liz Pelletier of Entangled Publishing

Screen Shot 2019-01-17 at 6.49.25 PM.pngLiz Pelletier is the publisher of Entangled Publishing.

She is taking pitches for adult romance, YA romance, and mainstream adult thrillers.

Coming out of the dot com era, serial entrepreneur Liz Pelletier has more than thirty years of experience in software engineering, systems analysis, and business management. In 2011, Liz channeled her love of romantic fiction and co-founded Entangled Publishing.

Her mission statement was simple: offer authors the highest royalties in the industry, combined with an agile publishing program, intense focus on quality, and market-driven analysis, in an effort to bridge the gap between traditional and self-publishing opportunities. Over the past five years, Entangled has gone from a small start-up to a powerhouse romance publisher, with more than 1200 titles released to date. Liz lives in Colorado, is supporting her twins through college, and has an unwavering love of “Game of Thrones.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Alex Barba of The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2019-01-13 at 4.32.20 PM.pngAlex Barba is a literary agent with The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency.

Alex joined The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency in 2018, where she is building her list, seeking submissions in young adult and middle grade.

Previously with Inklings Literary Agency, she has degrees in political science and public policy, and worked as a literary scout in New York and in story development in Los Angeles. A traveler at heart, she’s lived in Spain and studied in Southeast Asia and Germany, but her favorite journeys always seem to be into the pages of a good book.

What she is looking for:

“I am primarily looking for contemporary, but will also welcome light fantasy or sci-fi. A clever retelling or reimagining of an old classic – fairy tales, myths – is always thrilling, particularly with a magical, mystical storybook feel that is nonetheless tangible enough to imagine in today’s world (favorite book of all time: Ella Enchanted). I love escapist fantasy grounded in accessible characters. I’m craving feminist tales and diverse voices, particularly of the speak-truth-to-power persuasion/#resistance from young women characters.

“Young Adult: Contemporary and fantasy YA with a strong, unique voice is my first love. I enjoy compelling romance with an interesting hook, and anything set in a beach town (gotta love those summer reads). I love issue-driven stories, slightly dark/subversive story lines for upper YA, and friendships that go the distance. I love a gothic tone or a light fantasy. I’m also open to commercial fiction with YA crossover appeal – those bold, coming-of-age stories for both the adult and young adult audiences.

“Middle Grade: Positive stories with nerdy girl or boy characters, stories about that awkward tween phase, and historical fiction (I want the next American Girl series so badly). Mischievous MG characters are my fave.”

For more, follow me on Twitter @AlexandraBarba.

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Elizabeth Copps of Maria Carvainis Agency, Inc.

Screen Shot 2019-01-16 at 12.53.16 PM.pngElizabeth Copps is a literary agent with Maria Carvainis Agency, Inc.

“I migrated from Florida to start my career with Maria Carvainis Agency as an intern in 2010. In 2011 I signed on with the agency as a full-time assistant, and two years later I moved to Associate Agent.

“I represent a wide range of genres from middle grade and young adult, to adult contemporary + literary fiction, mystery, psychological thriller, women’s fiction, historical fiction, horror, and select nonfiction projects. I’m an equal fan of hilarious stories as well as dark, gritty and sinister reads.

“For me, the very best books are timeless, thought provoking, and discussion spurring. I want to see characters who burst off the page and elicit some sort of emotional response in their readers. There are only so many settings and themes to expound on, but every single person is different which means there are limitless combinations of character traits a writer can play with. That’s pretty amazing. The King said it best regarding what it means to create a complex character: “Bad writing usually arises from a stubborn refusal to tell stories about what people actually do―to face the fact, let us say, that murderers sometimes help old ladies cross the street.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Becky LeJeune of Bond Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2019-01-16 at 12.39.51 PM.pngBecky LeJeune is a literary agent with Bond Literary Agency.

Becky met founder Sandra Bond at the Denver Publishing Institute when she was a student there in 2007. After DPI, she spent 2 years working as the managing editor for a cookbook imprint, and then 5 years as an acquisitions editor at The History Press before joining Sandra at BLA in 2014.

Becky is interested in adult and teen general (mainstream) fiction — horror, mystery/thriller, historical fiction, science fiction, and fantasy.