The 2021 Colorado Writing Workshop: July 9-10, 2021

Screen Shot 2016-12-25 at 10.34.26 PM.pngAfter successful 2014, 2017, 2019 and 2020 events in Colorado, Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2021 Colorado Writing Workshop — an online “How to Get Published” writing event on July 9-10, 2021. (Writers are welcome to attend virtually from everywhere and anywhere.)

This writing event is a wonderful opportunity to get intense instruction over the course of two days, pitch a literary agent or editor (optional), get your questions answered, and more. Note that there are limited online “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 2021 Colorado Writing Workshop!

ONLINE: The 2021 CWW is now an Online Conference to keep everyone safe, on July 9-10, 2021. There is much more to say about this, but immediately you should understand 1) Online events are easy and awesome, and the online events we’ve done thus far have received wonderful feedback, 2) You do not have to be tech-savvy to do this, and 3) We are keeping all aspects of a traditional in-person event, including one-on-one agent & editor pitching, which will now be done by Skype or Zoom or phone. Learn all details about what it means to have a writers conference online.)

WHAT IS IT?

This is a special two-day “How to Get Published” online writing workshop on July 9-10, 2021. In other words, it’s two days 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. And even though this is the “Colorado” Writing Workshop, make no mistake — writers from everywhere are welcome to attend virtually.

This event is designed to squeeze as much into two days of learning as possible. You can ask any questions you like during the online 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 2021 CWW agent faculty so far includes:

  • literary agent Pam Gruber (Irene Goodman Literary)
  • editor Madison Moore (Albert Whitman Books)
  • literary agent James Mustelier (The Bent Agency)
  • literary agent Karly Dizon (Fuse Literary)
  • literary agent Leticia Gomez (Savvy Literary)
  • literary agent Jamie Vankirk (Rainbow Nerds Literary)
  • literary agent Sera Rivers (Martin Literary Management)
  • literary agent Erin Hosier (Dunow, Carlson and Lerner)
  • literary agent Kelly Peterson (Rees Literary)
  • editor Gwen Hawkes (St. Martin’s Press)
  • literary agent Kaitlyn Sanchez (Context Literary)
  • literary agent Chris Combemale (Sterling Lord Literistic)
  • literary agent Chelsea Eberly (Greenhouse Literary)
  • literary agent Leslie Varney (Prentis Literary)
  • literary agent Madison Scalera (Olswanger Literary)
  • literary agent Ella Marie Shupe (Belcastro Agency)
  • literary agent Paige Terlip (Andrea Brown Literary Agency)
  • literary agent Barb Roose (Books & Such Literary)
  • literary agent Em Lysaght (Ladderbird Literary)
  • literary agent Annie Bomke (Annie Bomke Literary)
  • literary agent Paul S. Levine (Paul S. Levine Literary)
  • literary agent Latoya C. Smith (Arthouse Literary)
  • literary agent Cecilia Lyra (P.S. Literary)
  • literary agent Laura Strachan (Strachan Literary)
  • literary agent Carlisle Webber (Fuse Literary)
  • literary agent Amy Guiffrida (Jennifer De Chiara Literary)
  • literary agent Kaitlyn Johnson (Belcastro Agency)
  • 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 coordinators Chuck Sambuchino and Brian Klems of Writing Day Workshops.

EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS:

ONLINE: The 2021 CWW is now an Online Conference to keep everyone safe, on July 9-10, 2021. There is much more to say about this, but immediately you should understand 1) Online events are easy and awesome, and the online events we’ve done thus far have received wonderful feedback, 2) You do not have to be tech-savvy to do this, and 3) We are keeping all aspects of a traditional in-person event, including one-on-one agent & editor pitching, which will now be done by Skype or Zoom or phone. Learn all details about what it means to have a writers conference online.)

THIS YEAR’S SESSIONS & WORKSHOPS (JULY 9-10, 2021):

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.

Agent pitches and critique consultations overlap with Saturday sessions. The schedule of presentation topics below is subject to change and updates:

FRIDAY, JULY 9, 2021

9:30 – 10:30: “Three Things that You Must Do Before Contacting a Literary Agent.” In this workshop, Books & Such literary agent Barb Roose will talk about the three things that you need to do BEFORE you contact a literary agent.

10:45 – 11:45: “Common Publishing Myths — Debunked. In this session, literary agent Kaitlyn Johnson discusses the most common myths about publishing and what the reality for writers truly is.

11:45 – 1:15: Break

1:15 – 2:30: “Everything You Need to Know About Agents and Query Letters.” After quickly going over what an agent is and what they do for writers, we will discuss 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.

2:45 – 3:45: “How to Market Yourself and Your Books: Talking Author Social Media, Blogging, and Platform.” Whether you’re traditionally published or self-published, everyone could use some helpful guidance on how to effectively market themselves and sell more books.

4:00 – 5:00: “Word Wizardry: Crafting a Stand-Out Voice.” You’ll be guided through tips and tricks for finding your best voice in order to engage the agents and editors of your choice.

* * * * *

SATURDAY, JULY 10, 2021

9:30 – 10:30: “Improve Your Writing: The Basics of Self-Editing and Revision.” In this class, you’ll learn to identify your writing’s flaws (and fix them) — such as tense and POV issues, when to cut and shorten your length, and what makes some writing crackle.

10:45 – 11:45: “The Ins and Outs of the Editorial Process with Traditional Publishing.

11:45 – 1:15: Break

1:15 – 2:30: “Writers Got Talent”—a Page 1 Critique Fest, with participating literary agents and editors. 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 attending agents commenting on what was liked or not liked about the submission.

2:45 – 3:45: Open Agent Q&A Panel. Several attending literary agents will open themselves up to open Q&A from CWW attendees. Bring your questions and get them answered in this popular session.

4:00 – 5:00: “Getting Published in Today’s World: 10 Tips to Make You the Writer Agents and Publishers Want.” In this session, Brian Klems discusses the challenges writers face in publishing today and offers up 10 practical tips to help you break through the barriers and find success.

Agent pitches and critique consultations overlap with Saturday sessions. The schedule of presentation topics below is subject to change and updates:

(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.)

Agent & Editor Pitching: All throughout the day.

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PITCH AN AGENT OR EDITOR:

Pam Gruber is a literary agent with Irene Goodman Literary. Pam is looking for adult, young adult, and middle grade fiction with literary voices and commercial hooks. She is particularly interested in layered fantasy, speculative fiction, fantastical realism, rom-coms, and coming-of-age stories with a twist. She is also open to middle grade and YA graphic novels, as well as select narrative non-fiction on lesser-known subjects. Pam would not be the best fit for prescriptive nonfiction, anthologies, potty humor, paranormal, or erotica. Learn more about Pam here.

Madison Moore is an editor with Albert Whitman Books. She works by day as an Associate Editor at Albert Whitman & Company and loves working on thoughtful and emotional picture books that explore underrepresented voices.In her free time, you can find her swimming in Lake Michigan or playing professional ultimate frisbee. She is seeking pitches for picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, and young adult novels. She is open to most genres. Learn more about Madison here.

James Mustelier is a literary agent with The Bent Agency. “I’m looking for both literary and commercial adult fiction. In literary fiction, I’m specifically drawn to visceral honesty coupled with a dark sense of humor. In commercial fiction I’m looking for horror, mystery, and thrillers. My favorite books have distinct and memorable voices that grab the reader’s attention, and a narrative gravity that permeates every action in the story.” Pitch him literary fiction, crime, mystery, suspense, horror, humor, young adult, and short story collections. Learn more about James here.

Karly Dizon is a literary agent with Fuse Literary. Karly has a deep love for characters with a strong voice and seeks out stories she can get lost in. Diversity in genre fiction is a major bonus. She specializes in picture book, middle grade, and young adult genre fiction (fantasy, science fiction, and contemporary). Learn more about Karly here.

Screen Shot 2019-07-09 at 11.51.01 PM.pngLeticia Gomez is a literary agent and the founder of Savvy Literary. At the present time, Savvy Literary Agency is interested in reviewing compelling and commercially viable book proposals and manuscripts written in English or Spanish. Fiction areas of interest: adventure, chick lit, fantasy, historical, humor, multicultural, mystery, paranormal, romance, young adult, and middle grade. Nonfiction areas of interest: advice/relationships, biography, cooking, diet, health, history/politics/current affairs, how-to, humor, lifestyle, memoir, parenting, religion/spirituality and true crime. Learn more about Leticia here.

Sera Rivers is Senior Literary Manager at Martin Literary Management. Sera is currently accepting queries for middle grade and young adult fiction and graphic novels, as well as the occasional picture book. Sera is especially interested in inclusive narratives and #ownvoices representation. She welcomes queries by children’s authors and illustrators who identify as BIPOC, LQBTQIA+ and other underrepresented and marginalized identities and cultures. Learn more about Sera here.

Jamie Vankirk is a literary agent with Rainbow Nerds Literary. Jamie is looking for young adult novels. She is particularly interested in LGBT, POC, and other marginalized groups. #OwnVoices are encouraged. Within young adult, she seeks contemporary fiction, fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction & fantasy, thriller, and mystery. Learn more about Jamie here. “Founded in 2017, Rainbow Nerds Literary is an advocate for diversity. We work with first-time authors or long-time veterans to better hone their craft and reach broader audiences.” Learn more about Jamie here.

Gwen Hawkes is an editor at St. Martin’s Press / St. Martin’s Essentials. “I’m looking to acquire adult fiction, particularly book club fiction, historical/period fiction, and women’s fiction. I have particular soft spot for magical realism (even occasionally tiptoeing into fantasy). I’m also in search of narrative nonfiction that reveals stories and places every bit as engaging as fiction. Untold histories, environmental and nature writing, and memoir are all favorites. Within SMP Essentials, I’m looking for body, mind, spirit titles that are geared to a younger, millennial audience—how to build a life (relationally, financially, spiritually, vocationally, etc.) that you love. Books that are direct and practical in their approach are ideal. I’m also interested in narrative nonfiction that could fall into the body, mind, spirit category.” Learn more about Gwen here.

Barb Roose is a literary agent with Books & Such Literary. Barb represents nonfiction and adult fiction exclusively to Christian publishers. She loves partnering with authors to achieve their publishing career goals. With experience as an author, award-winning pharmaceutical sales representative and executive leader in the megachurch environment, Barb embraces the challenges and opportunities that agenting in Christian publishing offers. Her desire is to come alongside hopeful and established authors to create the most marketable, appealing manuscripts that will build lasting careers and influence readers. Learn more about Barb here.

Chris Combemale is a literary agent at Sterling Lord Literistic. In nonfiction, he looks for books that take an unexpected view of the familiar (in any subject), from food to economics to science. As a Singaporean/French/American born and raised in London, he is particularly open to international voices, translation, and South/East Asian writers.He seeks adult literary & upmarket commercial fiction, including sci-fi/fantasy, psychological suspense, thriller. In nonfiction, he wants literary memoir, narrative nonfiction from experts and journalists in any topic (special focus: technology, food, pop economics/pop science & psychology), cultural criticism/essay/pop-culture. Lastly, he also seeks tender middle grade fiction with lovable characters and a warm heart, and MG fantasy. Learn more about Chris here.

Madison Scalera is a literary agent with Olswanger Literary. Madison  is excited to represent a variety of fiction and nonfiction, including domestic fiction, historical fiction, romance, and memoirs. With years of editorial experience and a journalism background, she appreciates a writing style that teeters between the factual and the flowery, particularly something poetic without tortured metaphors. Madison is looking for fictional narratives that reflect postmodernism—books that have an awareness of realism and delight in being self-reflexive. She loves reading multilayered stories that challenge conventional ways of storytelling. She is interested in coming-of-age memoirs with quirky undertones as well as romance comprised of gothic, contemporary, and erotic fiction. Learn more about Madison here.

Erin Hosier is a literary agent with Dunow, Carlson and Lerner. Erin primarily works with nonfiction authors and has a special interest in popular culture, music biography, humor, women’s issues and memoir.  She has been a literary agent since 2001 (currently with Dunow Carlson & Lerner), and was an original co-host of the Literary Death Match. Learn more about Erin here.

Kelly Peterson is a literary agent with Rees Literary. Kelly seeks manuscripts in various genres within Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Adult age ranges. In Middle Grade, she loves fantasy, sci-fi, and contemporary that touches on tough issues for young readers. Her Young Adult preferences vary from contemporary to high fantasy, sci-fi (not the space kind) to paranormal (all the ghost stories, please!), and historical all the way back to rom-coms. Kelly is proud to continue to represent Adult manuscripts in romance, fantasy, and sci-fi. She is very interested in representing authors with marginalized own voices stories, witty and unique characters, pirates, witches, and dark fantasies. Learn more about Kelly here.

Kaitlyn Sanchez is a literary agent with Context Literary. “I mainly represent Kidlit authors and author-illustrators. That includes board books, picture books, chapter books, middle-grade novels, and young adult novels. Please do not pitch me adult books at this time. For middle-grade and young adult: “I enjoy character-driven coming of age stories, mysteries, historical fiction, and dramas, especially with great friendships, and of course I always love diversity. I would definitely consider books in verse as well in this category.” Learn more about Kaitlyn here.

Laura Strachan is a literary agent and principal of the Strachan Literary Agency, which she founded over 20 years ago. She is seeking literary fiction and upmarket commercial fiction. (In general no genre fiction unless it is highly literary.) In nonfiction, she also seeks some memoir and travel writing. Learn more about  Laura here.

Chelsea Eberly is a literary agent with Greenhouse Literary. She represents authors of middle grade, young adult, graphic novels, and women’s fiction, as well as illustrators who write picture books (no text-only pitches). “My taste is upmarket and both literary and commercial. Bring on multiple hooks and best-in-class storytelling! She seeks  high-concept, commercial and literary reads with unforgettable characters and a unique voice. Projects by BIPOC creators, as well as those marginalized identities that include sexuality, gender identity, and disability. Learn more about Chelsea here.

Kaitlyn Johnson is a literary agent with Belcastro Literary Agency. “As a Literary Agent with Belcastro Literary Agency, I am accepting submissions for Upper MG, as well as Young Adult and Adult. I’d love more LGBTQ+ storylines in all genres and ages (especially bi, ace, and trans voices!). I’m also very much looking for more main characters living with mental health issues or disability.” Kaitlyn also seeks graphic novels for all ages. She does not want picture books or nonfiction. Learn more about Kaitlyn here.

Annie Bomke is a literary agent with Annie Bomke Literary Agency. She represents a wide variety of adult and YA fiction and nonfiction, including commercial and literary fiction, upmarket fiction, mysteries (from hilarious cozies to gritty police procedurals and everything in between), historical fiction, women’s fiction, psychological thrillers, literary/psychological horror, self-help, business, health/diet, cookbooks, memoir, relationships, current events, psychology, and narrative nonfiction. Learn more about Annie here.

Em Lysaght is a literary agent with Ladderbird Literary. Em is a queer ex-classicist based in Oakland, CA. She is looking for queer fantasy, sci-fi, and graphic novels for all age ranges. Outside of agenting, she draws comics about queer monsters being friends and travels the globe scoping out stationary stores. She is looking for genre-blending commercial queer Fiction in YA/MG/Adult/Graphic Novels with a particular focus on BIPOC authors and authors of marginalized identities. Learn more about Em here.

Latoya C. Smith is a literary agent with Arthouse Literary. In fiction, she seeks high-concept women’s fiction; high-concept mystery, thriller and horror, romance (contemporary, romantic suspense, cowboys, historical, LGBTQ, paranormal, sweet), comedy / romantic comedy, and young adult (no SF/F). In nonfiction, she is strictly seeking platform and market-based books in the areas of memoir, how to, advice, relationships, health, wellness, politics, current events, history, sports, pop culture, and business. Learn more about Latoya here.

Ella Marie Shupe is a literary agent with Belcastro Agency. In adult fiction, she is seeking: mystery, thriller, suspense, science fiction, fantasy, women’s fiction, and historical fiction. In young adult, she is seeking thriller, suspense, mystery, detective, and historical. “I am always looking for #OwnVoices authors. I love fast-paced stories that keep me on the edge of my seat.” Learn more about Ella Marie here.

Carlisle Webber is a literary agent at Fuse Literary. Carlisle is looking for: high-concept commercial fiction in middle grade, young adult, and adult. If your book is fresh and exciting, tackles difficult topics, reads like a Shonda Rhimes show, or makes readers stay up late turning pages, she’s the agent for you. Diverse authors are encouraged to submit their fiction. Within the genres she represents, Carlisle is especially interested in stories by and about people of color; with both visible and invisible disabilities and illnesses; who are economically disadvantaged; who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer; or who are members of religious minorities. Pitch her: Middle grade (any genre), Young adult (any genre), thriller, mystery, suspense, horror, women’s fiction, and popular/mainstream fiction. Learn more about Carlisle here.

Leslie Varney is a literary agent with Prentis Literary. She is seeking: “Prentis Literary is actively seeking new authors with fresh, intelligent voices. While we have historically focused on Science Fiction and Fantasy, our true passion is a well-crafted story that engages and captures the imagination, regardless of the genre. We have a focus on inclusion and providing representation for authors with diverse points of view. We support and help with career development on an individual basis, tailoring our approach to the unique needs of each author.” Learn more about Leslie here.

Screen Shot 2019-09-27 at 1.37.27 PMPaul S. Levine is a literary agent and the founder of Paul S. Levine Literary. He is also an attorney. His fiction interests include adventure novels, mainstream fiction, mysteries, romance, thrillers, and women’s fiction. His nonfiction interests include business/commerce, pop culture, how-to, self-help, politics/law, relationships, and sports. Learn more about Paul here.

Paige Terlip is a literary agent at Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Paige represents all categories of children’s books from picture books to young adult, as well as select adult fiction and nonfiction. She is also actively building her list of illustrators and is especially looking for author-illustrators and graphic novel illustrators. On the adult side she is open to thrillers/psychological suspense, fantasy/sci-fi, upmarket fiction, cozy mysteries, as well as narrative nonfiction and self-help that centers the mind, body, and spirit. She loves stories that make her feel a range of emotions, even if that means she ugly cries while reading. She wants a narrative that will stick with her long after reading. Learn more about Paige here.

Cecilia Lyra is an associate agent at P.S. Literary representing adult fiction and nonfiction. In terms of nonfiction, Cecilia is seeking Psychology, Pop Culture, Science, Business, and Lifestyle from experts in their fields with an original angle, as well as compelling memoirs—both long-form and memoir-in-essays. As for fiction, Cecilia is passionate about voice-y Literary Fiction and fast-paced Commercial Fiction. She adores reading about dysfunctional families from the point-of-view of a morally ambiguous protagonist. Books that are centered around feminist issues have a special place in her heart. Above all else, Cecilia is looking for a story she can’t put down. Learn more about Cecilia here.

Amy Giuffrida is a literary agent with Jennifer De Chiara Literary. “​I am always looking for #ownvvoices stories written by traditionally underrepresented authors that feature BIPOC and LGBTQ+ characters.” In middle grade and young adult, she seeks horror, romance, contemporary, and mystery. In adult fiction, she seeks horror, romance, romantic comedies, and psychological thrillers. In nonfiction (all ages from MG to adult), ” I am looking for powerful stories from diverse voices, including cookbooks that highlight family stories or ancestral anecdotes.” Learn more about Amy here.

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        More 2021 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.

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 2021 CWW and access to all workshops, all days. (You also get 10 additional free pre-recorded webinars on writing and publishing.) As of early 2021, 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. There is no limit. Here are 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 Brian Klems, one of the workshop’s former instructors. (This rate is a special event value for Colorado 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, general fiction, literary fiction, science fiction, fantasy, romance, women’s fiction: Faculty member Tara Bailey, a writing coach and author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting.
  • Thriller, suspense, mystery, crime fiction — all of these (and any subgenres) in either adult or young adult: Faculty member Heather Chavez, an author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting.
  • Young adult fiction (any kind or genre): Faculty member Julie Eshbaugh, an author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting.
  • Children’s picture books, middle grade, young adult, memoir, historical fiction, general fiction: Faculty member Eve Porinchak, a former agent turned publishing coach, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting. Children’s picture books should be 1,000 words maximum, and can or cannot have illustrations

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

REGISTRATION:

ONLINE: The 2021 CWW is now an Online Conference to keep everyone safe, on July 9-10, 2021. There is much more to say about this, but immediately you should understand 1) Online events are easy and awesome, and the online events we’ve done thus far have received wonderful feedback, 2) You do not have to be tech-savvy to do this, and 3) We are keeping all aspects of a traditional in-person event, including one-on-one agent & editor pitching, which will now be done by Skype or Zoom or phone. Learn all details about what it means to have a writers conference online.)

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 or credit card. 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 Brian 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 or CC refund]. 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 started edited your work.)

Screen Shot 2014-06-12 at 4.10.21 PM

Thank you for your interest in the 2021 Colorado Writing Workshop.

Get to Know an Editor in Attendance: Madison Moore of Albert Whitman Books

Madison Moore is an editor with Albert Whitman Books.

Madison is an artist, writer, and editor. She’s a graduate of the University of Chicago. Her first book, More Than Just a Game: The Black Origins of Basketball​, is publishing in 2021, followed by Bonnie’s New Old Outfit in 2022.

She works by day as an Associate Editor at Albert Whitman & Company and loves working on thoughtful and emotional picture books that explore underrepresented voices.In her free time, you can find her swimming in Lake Michigan or playing professional ultimate frisbee. Visit her online at thegirlandthelamb.com.

She is seeking pitches for picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, and young adult novels. We are open to most genres, and there are some more specific wishes here: https://www.albertwhitman.com/members-group/agents/

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Chris Combemale of Sterling Lord Literistic

Chris Combemale is an associate literary agent at Sterling Lord Literistic.

He represents primarily adult fiction and a broad range of nonfiction. In nonfiction, he looks for books that take an unexpected view of the familiar (in any subject), from food to economics to science. In fiction, he is drawn to intimate writing with a sense of rhythm, prose written by poets, and writing that makes the trivial feel urgent. As a Singaporean/French/American born and raised in London, he is particularly open to international voices, translation, and South/East Asian writers. He graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill as a Morehead-Cain scholar.

He is seeking:

  • Adult literary & upmarket commercial fiction, including sci-fi/fantasy, psychological suspense, thriller. I’m less likely to be a fit for war stories or historical fiction. I am not seeking horror.
  • Literary memoir, narrative non-fiction from experts and journalists in any topic (special focus: technology, food, pop economics/pop science & psychology), cultural criticism/essay/pop-culture. I’m less likely to be a fit for self-help/prescriptive.
  • Tender middle grade fiction with lovable characters and a warm heart. And MG fantasy.

“I am not seeking YA or picture books.”

Get to Know an Editor in Attendance: Gwen Hawkes of St. Martin’s Press

Gwen Hawkes is an editor at St. Martin’s Press / St. Martin’s Essentials.

“I’m looking to acquire adult fiction, particularly book club fiction, historical/period fiction, and women’s fiction. I have particular soft spot for magical realism (even occasionally tiptoeing into fantasy). I love stories that are transporting, that shake you loose from the everyday, whisk you into a different world, or offer a new angle on the familiar. If it can make the din of the subway fade away, I want to read it. I read for both strong characters and propulsive plotlines. Best of all, I like books and characters that are brave enough to tangle with big ideas.

“I’m also in search of narrative nonfiction that reveals stories and places every bit as engaging as fiction. Untold histories, environmental and nature writing, and memoir are all favorites. Within SMP Essentials, I’m looking for body, mind, spirit titles that are geared to a younger, millennial audience—how to build a life (relationally, financially, spiritually, vocationally, etc.) that you love. Books that are direct and practical in their approach are ideal. I’m also interested in narrative nonfiction that could fall into the body, mind, spirit category.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Madison Scalera of Olswanger Literary

Madison Scalera is a literary agent with Olswanger Literary.

Madison reviews general fiction, romance, and young adult books for Publishers Weekly and recently joined Olswanger Literary, where she is excited to represent a variety of fiction and nonfiction, including domestic fiction, historical fiction, romance, and memoirs.

With years of editorial experience and a journalism background, she appreciates a writing style that teeters between the factual and the flowery, particularly something poetic without tortured metaphors.

Madison is looking for fictional narratives that reflect postmodernism—books that have an awareness of realism and delight in being self-reflexive. She loves reading multilayered stories that challenge conventional ways of storytelling. She is interested in coming-of-age memoirs with quirky undertones like What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding: A Memoir or To Shake the Sleeping Self, as well as romance comprised of gothic, contemporary, and erotic fiction.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Ella Marie Shupe of Belcastro Agency

Ella Marie Shupe is a literary agent with Belcastro Agency.

Ella Marie has been a literary agent since 2008. She was drawn to helping authors achieve their dreams after she studied English at Youngstown State University. She realized her biggest joy was recommending new books to fellow college students. She turned her dream into a career when she became a junior agent with the Belcastro Agency. As an agent, Ella Marie has discovered many new authors and she soon became a senior agent. She continues her hunt for new manuscripts with a voice that jumps off the page and a colorful plot. Her main goal is nurturing a collaborative relationship that will lead to publication and long lasting writing careers.

In adult fiction, she is seeking:

Mysteries
Thrillers/Suspense
Science Fiction
Fantasy
Women’s Fiction
Historical

in young adult fiction, she is seeking:

Thriller/Suspense
Mystery/Detective
Historical

“I am always looking for #OwnVoices authors. I love fast-paced stories that keep me on the edge of my seat.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Pam Gruber of Irene Goodman Literary

Pam Gruber is a literary agent with Irene Goodman Literary.

Pam is looking for adult, young adult, and middle grade fiction with literary voices and commercial hooks. She is particularly interested in layered fantasy, speculative fiction, fantastical realism, rom-coms, and coming-of-age stories with a twist. She is also open to middle grade and YA graphic novels, as well as select narrative non-fiction on lesser-known subjects. Pam would not be the best fit for prescriptive non-fiction, anthologies, potty humor, paranormal, or erotica.

Pam began her career in publishing as an editor, working for over ten years at Hachette Book Group with a number of acclaimed authors and illustrators. From there, she went on to serve as the Editorial Director at children’s media startup Rebel Girls, where she saw first-hand how a great book can expand into other entertainment mediums.

Pam joined Irene Goodman in 2020 after she realized her favorite part of the publishing business was working directly with authors and artists, helping them to shape not only their stories, but also their careers. She looks for work that is gripping from page one, whether it makes her break out in a smile or gives her goosebumps (from excitement, not fear!). She loves complicated female protagonists, innovative twists on old tropes, and getting swept away by fully realized worlds—be they portraits of the next town over or an imagined universe unlike our own.

Originally from Philadelphia and raised by two artists, Pam knew she wanted to work in publishing from a young age. She brings an inscrutable eye for detail to every book she gets her hands on, and her experience at a publishing house gives her insight into how editors think, and what they’re looking for.

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Barb Roose of Books & Such Literary

Barb Roose is a literary agent with Books & Such Literary.

Barb represents nonfiction and adult fiction exclusively to Christian publishers. She loves partnering with authors to achieve their publishing career goals. With experience as an author, award-winning pharmaceutical sales representative and executive leader in the megachurch environment, Barb embraces the challenges and opportunities that agenting in Christian publishing offers.

Barb began writing books as a child because she fell in love with the characters and stories created by her favorite author, Beverly Cleary. Yet, as a little brown-skinned girl with pop-bottle glasses, Barb never dreamed that becoming an author was a real possibility for someone who looked like her.

After a multiple-award career in pharmaceutical sales and non-profit management, Barb spent 14 years on staff at her local church as part of the executive leadership and teaching teams. During that time, Barb attended her first writers conference and received her first writing contract. The dream she hadn’t dared entertain as a child became reality.

In 2016, Barb transitioned from her duties at church to full-time speaking and writing. Her goal is leading and teaching people to overcome their fears so they can live strong, courageous lives and experience God’s great adventure of faith for them. She speaks at conferences and events in the U.S. and abroad, including on multiple national platforms.

Barb became a part of Books & Such in 2014 as a client represented by Rachelle Gardner. Barb saw herself as an author who didn’t know anything about the publishing industry other than being thrilled someone wanted to publish her book. Fast forward several years and a growing library of books with her name on the cover. Barb now wants to help other writers achieve their publishing dreams. The thrill of partnering with authors compelled Barb to say “yes” to joining the Books & Such Literary Management agent team in 2020. Her desire is to come alongside hopeful and established authors to create the most marketable, appealing manuscripts that will build lasting careers and influence readers.

 

 

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Laura Strachan of Strachan Literary Agency

Laura Strachan is a literary agent and principal of the Strachan Literary Agency, which she founded over 20 years ago.

She specializes in literary fiction and narrative nonfiction, although she will consider anything that’s interesting and beautifully written.

She is especially looking for narrative nonfiction “single topic” history books (think SALT or COD or MAUVE).

She is seeking:

  • Fiction: Primarily literary fiction and upmarket commercial. In general no genre fiction unless it is highly literary.
  • Nonfiction: Narrative nonfiction, including memoirs and travel writing.

Laura isn’t interested in:

  • Genre fiction (romance, mystery, science fiction, fantasy, thrillers) that is not highly literary
  • Children’s picture books
  • Poetry
  • Screenplays

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Karly Dizon of Fuse Literary

Karly Dizon is a literary agent with Fuse Literary.

Karly has a deep love for characters with a strong voice and seeks out stories she can get lost in. Diversity in genre fiction is a major bonus. She specializes in picture book, middle grade, and young adult genre fiction (fantasy, science fiction, and contemporary).

Associate Agent Karly Dizon was born in the Philippines and immigrated to Northern California as a child. She obtained her Business Marketing degree and has been a Freelance Graphic Designer for over 10 years. In addition to designing a wide range of print and web promotional material for clients, Karly creates book covers for Short Fuse and promotional graphics for Fuse authors.

Professionally, Karly began her career in the publishing industry as a reader for Tricia Skinner at Fuse Literary. Her responsibilities quickly grew and she was promoted to Literary Assistant, a role that also included a spot on the production team of Short Fuse.

In her spare time, Karly is an Adobe Technical Trainer, freelance graphic designer, Young Adult author, video game geek, and art noob.