(The 2019 Writers Conference of New Orleans is now over. Thank you to all who attended. If you are interested in future NOLA conferences, simply email us and tell us so — firstname.lastname@example.org — and we will add you to our Writing Day Workshops newsletter, which has info on all our events. See our current list of upcoming writers conferences by clicking here.)
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Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2019 Writers Conference of New Orleans — 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 Writers Conference of New Orleans!
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 possibly 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
Chuck Sambuchino (@chucksambuchino) is a freelance 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.
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
10:30 – 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!
Pamela 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.
Eric 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.
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.
Sharon Belcastro [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] 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.
Amelia Appel [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] 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.
Hannah Whatley is a literary agent with C.Y.L.E. Literary Elite. She is seeking: poetry collections, children’s (picture books, early readers, chapter books), young adult (fantasy, contemporary, romance), literary fiction, and nonfiction on wellness and self-development. Looking for diversity of characters in fiction. (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.)
$169 — EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2019 NOWW and access to all workshops, all day, on February 23, 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.)
“I met my client, Alison Hammer, at the Writing
Workshop of Chicago and just sold her book.”
– literary agent Joanna Mackenzie of Nelson Literary
“Good news! I signed a client [novelist Aliza Mann]
from the Michigan Writing Workshop!”
– literary agent Sara Mebigow of KT Literary
“I signed author Stephanie Wright from
the Seattle Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Kathleen Ortiz of New Leaf Literary
“I signed an author [Kate Thompson] that I
met at the Philadelphia Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Kimberly Brower of Brower Literary
“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 Chuck Sambuchino, the day’s instructor. (This rate is a special event value for Writers Conference of NOLA 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:
- Literary, upmarket, mainstream, 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.
- Women’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.
- Memoir, 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. Unlike some other critiquers listed here, Kimiko will not be at the NOLA event to meet with writers for 10 minutes each. Instead, she will be available for 10-minute Skype meetings for each attendee critique. Learn more about Kimiko here.
- Southern fiction: Faculty member Lorna Hollifield, a published Southern fiction author, will get your work in advance and edit the first 10 double-spaced pages of your story. Lorna is the author of the upmarket Southern fiction novel, Tobacco Sun, and is represented by Kimberly Whalen of Whalen Literary. She is a former officer with the South Carolina Writers Association. Unlike some other critiquers listed here, Lorna will not be at the NOLA event to meet with writers for 10 minutes each. Instead, she will be available for 10-minute Skype meetings for each attendee critique. Learn more about Lorna at her website.
- Picture 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: email@example.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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.)