The 2019 New Orleans Writing Workshop: February 23, 2019

Screen shot 2014-07-23 at 12.58.51 PMWriting Day Workshops is excited to announce The New Orleans Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in New Orleans, Louisiana, on Saturday, February 23, 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 (125 total). All questions about the event regarding schedule, details and registration are answered below. Thank you for your interest in the 2019 New Orleans Writing Workshop!

WHAT IS IT?

This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, February 23, 2019 at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in the French Quarter. 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. So far, this year’s faculty includes:

  • literary agent Pamela Ahearn (The Ahearn Agency)
  • literary agent Amelia Appel (TriadaUS Literary)
  • literary agent Marisa Corvisiero (Corvisiero Literary)
  • literary agent Eric Smith (P.S. Literary)
  • literary agent Sharon Belcastro (Belcastro Agency)
  • literary agent Hannah Whatley (C.Y.L.E. Literary Elite)
  • 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.

THIS YEAR’S PRESENTER/INSTRUCTOR

Screen Shot 2018-11-09 at 8.16.11 PMChuck Sambuchino (@chucksambuchino) is a freelancer editor, bestselling book author, and former longtime staffer for Writer’s Digest Books. For many years he edited the GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS and the CHILDREN’S WRITER’S & ILLUSTRATOR’S MARKET. His Guide to Literary Agents Blog was one of the largest blogs in publishing, and he wrote the platform guidebook CREATE YOUR WRITER PLATFORM. His humor book, HOW TO SURVIVE A GARDEN GNOME ATTACK, was optioned by Sony Pictures. Chuck’s books have been mentioned in Reader’s Digest, USA Today, the New York Times, The Huffington Post, Variety, New York Magazine, Buzzfeed, Mental Floss, New York magazine, and many more media outlets. He is a successful freelance editor of queries, synopses, and manuscripts—seeing dozens of clients get agents or book deals following his consultations/edits. He loves meeting new writers.

EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS

9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, February 23, 2019, at the Royal Sonesta Hotel (French Quarter), 300 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130. (504)586-0300.

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WORKSHOP SCHEDULE (FEB. 23, 2019)

8:30 – 9:30: Check-in and registration at the event location. Check in and get comfortable.

9:30 – 10:30: An Overview of Your Publishing Options Today. This workshop examines the two largest routes any writer can take with their book: traditional publishing and self-publishing / e-publishing. We will examine the upsides of both routes, the challenges with both, and the next steps no matter what you decide. In today’s publishing world, a writer has to understand what they’re in for before they send their book out. This session is designed to prepare them for what’s to come and what options exist

Screen Shot 2018-11-09 at 8.28.18 PM10:30 – 11:45: Everything You Need to Know About Agents and Query Letters. This workshop is a thorough crash course in dealing with literary agents. 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.

11:45 – 1:15: Lunch on your own.

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. 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. All submissions should be novels or memoir—no prescriptive nonfiction or picture books, please. Do not send your pages in advance. You will bring printed copies with you, and instructions will be sent out approximately one week before the event.)

2:50 – 3:50: 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. This session includes easy-to-understand advice on social media (Twitter, Facebook, more), blogging, and other simple ways you can market your work online cheaply and easily.

4:00 – 5:00: Ten Keys to Writing Success. Learn 10 things you can be doing right now that will help get your book(s) published and have more control over your writing destiny. This is a general course that addresses commonsense things any writer can do to give their work the best shot at getting published, such as writing the best thing they can, stealing from themselves, and why writing for love and money is a good idea.

At 5 p.m., the day is done.

All throughout the day: Agent & Editor Pitching.

PITCH AN AGENT!

Screen Shot 2018-11-09 at 8.29.06 PMPamela Ahearn is a literary agent and the founder of The Ahearn Agency. Pamela handles general adult fiction, specializing solely in women’s fiction and suspense. She does not deal with any nonfiction, poetry, juvenile material or science fiction. She asks that writers have full, completed manuscripts before pitching her. Learn more about Pamela here.

Screen Shot 2018-11-16 at 10.10.00 PM.pngEric Smith is a literary agent with P.S. Literary Agency. He seeks adult science fiction and fantasy. “I’m looking for accessible fantasy and sci-fi, especially books that do a bit of genre blending.” He likes adult literary & commercial/mainstream fiction: “Again, the sweet spot here, is work that does a bit of genre mashing. Think Station Eleven or The Last Policeman (one of my favorite books ever). I like literary novels with a splash of quirk.” Thrillers and mysteries are welcome, but no thrillers about terrorism, please. In young adult, he seeks contemporary, science fiction and fantasy — including diverse voices/books or genre blending. For nonfiction, he likes cookbooks (particularly ideas from bloggers), books that focus on pop culture and geekery, fun books that teach readers about the odd and the unique (a la Mary Roach), and essay collections & memoir from people who are writing and publishing pieces actively. Learn more about Eric here.

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Marisa Corvisiero is the founding agent of Corvisiero Literary. She is seeking contemporary romance, thriller, adventure, paranormal / urban fantasy, science fiction, combinations of the aforementioned genres, middle grade (fantasy, adventure, science fiction), picture books (special stories that deliver a subtle, non-didactic message; illustrations not needed). She especially enjoys Christmas, time travel, and space science fiction themed stories. Her nonfiction interests include science, self-help, and business books (including titles for kids). Learn more about Marisa here.

Screen Shot 2017-10-30 at 2.55.01 PM.pngSharon Belcastro is the founder of the Belcastro Agency. She is seeking cozy mysteries, thriller, suspense fiction, mystery with romantic elements, romance (both contemporary and suspenseful), and young adult fiction (fantasy, science fiction, and action/adventure). “We look for a unique voice and a strong protagonist full of attitude. We like dark and intense but we won’t turn away something that’s a little on the lighter side. We enjoy a touch of humor, and we would never turn away something sexy.” Learn more about Sharon here.

Screen Shot 2018-05-14 at 1.38.50 PMAmelia Appel is a literary agent with TriadaUS. For adult fiction, she is most interested in literary fiction, mystery, thriller, upmarket women’s fiction, science fiction and fantasy, and horror. Projects with a smart, distinct voice, a fantastic setting to jump into, and/or a witty protagonist are all up her alley. She is not looking for romance novels. For adult nonfiction, she is primarily looking for creative nonfiction, humor, sports, how-to, pop culture, and true crime. She is not looking to represent memoir. Learn more about Amelia here.

Screen Shot 2018-11-12 at 10.04.05 PM.pngHannah Whatley is a literary agent with C.Y.L.E. Literary Elite. She is seeking: young adult (all kinds), middle grade, children’s picture books, and poetry collections. Please do not send her individual poems. She is open to both secular/general and Christian submissions. Learn more about Hannah 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.)

PRICING

$169 — EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2019 NOWW and access to all workshops, all day, on November 17, 2019. As of November 2018, 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 some testimonials from 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, the day’s instructor. (This rate is a special event value for NOLA 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:

  • Screen Shot 2018-12-05 at 9.42.39 AM.pngLiterary, upmarket, historical and contemporary: Faculty member Laura Lane McNeal, a published author, will get your work in advance, edit the first 10 double-spaced pages of your story, meet with you for 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting. Laura is the author of the acclaimed novel Dollbaby (Pamela Dorman Books). Learn more about her at her website.
  • Screen Shot 2018-12-11 at 5.43.29 PM.pngWomen’s fiction, suspense, thriller, mystery, crime: Faculty member Jennifer Moorhead, an agented suspense author, will get your work in advance, edit the first 10 double-spaced pages of your story, meet with you for 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting. Jennifer lives in the swamps of Louisiana where she writes suspense novels, photographs landscapes, and futility attempts to remove dog hair from her furniture. Her other work in progress is raising two teenage daughters. Jennifer is represented by The Knight Agency. Learn more about her at her website.
  • Screen Shot 2018-12-12 at 1.48.40 PM.pngMemoir, young adult fiction, paranormal fiction (no high fantasy or sci-fi): Faculty member Kimiko Namakura, a literary agent and editorial expert, will get your work in advance and edit the first 10 double-spaced pages of your story. Kimiko is a literary agent for Dee Mura Literary and a coordinator for Writing Day Workshops. It is unclear whether Kimiko will be at the event to meet with writers for 10 minutes each. If she does not attend the Feb. 23 event, she will be available for 10-minute Skype meetings for each attendee critique. Learn more about Kimiko here.
  • Screen Shot 2018-12-12 at 1.51.59 PM.pngPicture books, middle grade: Denise McConduit, a published kidlit author, will get your work in advance, edit the first 10 double-spaced pages of your story (if it’s middle grade), meet with you for 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting. Picture books should be 1,000 words maximum. Denise has had several picture books published, and she currently writes a weekly column for the Times Picayune newspaper focusing on the recovery of her neighborhood after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Learn more about Denise at her website.

How to pay/register — Registration is now open. Reach out to workshop organizer Jessica Bell via email: writingdayworkshops@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 New Orleans workshop specifically.

REGISTRATION

Because of limited space at the venue of the Royal Sonesta Hotel, 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: writingdayworkshops@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 NOWW 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 New Orleans 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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Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Eric Smith of P.S. Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2018-11-16 at 10.10.00 PM.pngEric Smith is a literary agent with P.S. Literary Agency.

He seeks adult science fiction and fantasy. “I’m looking for accessible fantasy and sci-fi, especially books that do a bit of genre blending. John Scalzi is probably the perfect example. Redshirts (sci-fi collides with pop culture) and Lock In (sci-fi smashed up with noir and mystery) are great comparables for what I love.” That said, no adult epic fantasy or military sci-fi, please.

He likes adult literary & commercial/mainstream fiction: “Again, the sweet spot here, is work that does a bit of genre mashing. Think Station Eleven or The Last Policeman (one of my favorite books ever). I like literary novels with a splash of quirk.”

Thrillers and mysteries are welcome, but no thrillers about terrorism, please. In young adult, he seeks contemporary, science fiction and fantasy — including diverse voices/books or genre blending.

For nonfiction, he likes cookbooks (particularly ideas from bloggers), books that focus on pop culture and geekery, fun books that teach readers about the odd and the unique (a la Mary Roach), and essay collections & memoir from people who are writing and publishing pieces actively.

He is not seeking: middle grade, picture books, angel & demon love stories, heaven/hell stories, horror, or adult fiction about sports. (YA fiction about sports is fine.)

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Sharon Belcastro of the Belcastro Agency

Screen Shot 2017-10-30 at 2.54.56 PM.pngSharon Belcastro is the founder of The Belcastro Agency.

She is seeking cozy mysteries, thriller, suspense, mystery with romantic elements, romance (contemporary and suspenseful), and young adult fiction (fantasy, sci-fi, and action/adventure).

“We love fiction with superb writing with a voice that jumps off the page and a twisted or colorful plot that compels us to keep reading is a must. We look for a unique voice and a strong protagonist full of attitude. We like dark and intense but we won’t turn away something that’s a little on the lighter side. We enjoy a touch of humor, and we would never turn away something sexy. We seek rofound young adult with a strong male or female protagonist. A whacky, funny, crazy, or thought-provoking voice will draw attention. We look for entertaining story lines that deal with tough life issues. We look for big writing that remains fast-paced.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Hannah Whatley of CYLE Literary Elite

Screen Shot 2018-11-12 at 10.03.59 PM.pngHannah Whatley is a literary agent with C.Y.L.E. Literary Elite.

She is seeking: young adult (all kinds), middle grade, children’s picture books, and poetry collections. Please do not send her individual poems. She is open to both secular/general and Christian submissions.

Books have been Hannah’s most treasured possessions since she learned to read. She is incredibly grateful to be working with Hartline/CYLE, knowing that she is helping promote other authors’ work and gaining experience in the literary industry. When she is not working, she is listening to folksy music by The Gray Havens, The Oh Hellos, and Needtobreathe or the poetic lyrics of Owl City and Andrew Peterson; reading poetry by Mary Oliver or novels by Charles Martin; playing violin; doing household chores; or studying business books in preparation to start the bookstore and arts school she dreams of opening.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Marisa Corvisiero of Corvisiero Literary

Screen Shot 2017-11-22 at 10.30.32 AMMarisa A. Corvisiero is the founder of Corvisiero Literary.

Marisa seeks creative stories with developed plots and rich characters with unique voices.

She is seeking:

  • contemporary romance
  • thriller
  • adventure
  • paranormal / urban fantasy
  • science fiction
  • combinations of the genres listed above
  • middle grade (fantasy, adventure, science fiction)
  • picture books (special stories that deliver a subtle, non-didactic message; illustrations not needed)
  • She especially enjoys Christmas, time travel, and space science fiction themed stories.
  • self-help
  • science nonfiction
  • business books (including titles for kids)

*    *   *

Marisa A. Corvisiero is the founder of the Corvisiero Literary Agency and our Senior Literary Agent. During the few years prior to starting her own agency, Marisa worked with the L. Perkins Agency, where she learned invaluable lessons and made a name for herself in the industry. She is also a Literary Consultant, Speaker, Author and an Attorney practicing law with a focus on Corporate Law and Estate Planning in New York City.

Ms. Corvisiero is also the founder of The Corvisiero Law Practice, P.C. Since the law firm’s inception, it has achieved incredible success and growth, and continues on its high-speed trajectory towards excellence. The firm now provides assistance in a number of practice areas as a comprehensive package of legal services for existing and new clients.

Ms. Corvisiero has held positions in several law firms and companies since 1995 in different capacities. In such positions, she has attained the knowledge and experience necessary to properly and dynamically represent her clients. These stellar firms and companies include Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker, LLP, a top global law firm; Windels, Marx, Lane & Mittendorf, LLP, a white shoe boutique law firm; and Avaya, Inc., a fortune 500 telecommunications company among several distinguished others.

Ms. Corvisiero received her Bachelors in Business Administration in International Business and Marketing from Hofstra University in 1995, where she was the President of the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity Chapter, and the President of the Pre Law Society during her last year. Ms. Corvisiero received her Juris Doctorate from Pace University School of Law in 2000, and earned Pace University School of Law’s prestigious International Law Certificate for her studies in International Law. During her legal studies, she held several Board positions on the Student Bar Association, where she was also the Treasurer of the Environmental Law Society, the Chair of the Social Committee, and the Co-Editor of the Pace University School of Law Year Book in 1999 and 2000.

Ms. Corvisiero is licensed to practice in New York State, and has been in good standing for the duration of her admission to the Bar. She belongs to the New York City Bar Association, New York State Bar Association and the American Bar Association.

She is fluent in Italian and Spanish, and has some working knowledge of Portuguese and Japanese.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Pamela Ahearn of The Ahearn Agency

Screen Shot 2018-11-09 at 8.29.06 PMPamela Ahearn is a literary agent and founder of The Ahearn Agency. The agency was founded in 1992 and currently represents more than thirty authors.

The agency handles general adult fiction, specializing only in women’s fiction and suspense. Pamela only wants to get pitches for these genres. She asks that writers who pitch her have full, completed manuscripts.

“We do not deal with any nonfiction, poetry, juvenile material or science fiction.”

Agency clients are several New York Times, USA Today and Walden’s Bestselling authors as well as RITA, Anthony and Agatha Award winners / nominees. Authors represented have included Rexanne Becnel, Steve Berry, Grant Blackwood, Carla Buckley, Julia Heaberlin, S.W. Hubbard, Sabrina Jeffries, Meagan McKinney, Kate Moore, Laura Joh Rowland, Carlene Thompson, Allan Topol and Carter Wilson.

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Amelia Appel of TriadaUS

Screen Shot 2018-05-14 at 1.38.50 PMLiterary Agent Amelia Appel joined TriadaUS after previously assisting at McIntosh & Otis, Inc. and Writers House. She is seeking adult fiction, nonfiction, and occasional YA.

For adult fiction, she is most interested in literary fiction, mystery, thriller, upmarket women’s fiction, science fiction and fantasy, and horror. Projects with a smart, distinct voice, a fantastic setting to jump into, and/or a witty protagonist are all up her alley. She is not looking for romance novels.

​For adult nonfiction, she is primarily looking for creative nonfiction, humor, sports, how-to, pop culture, and true crime. She is not looking to represent memoir.

​For YA, she is particularly interested in stories with a savvy protagonist and a slightly dark tone that deal with serious coming-of-age issues well.