The 2015 Indiana Writing Workshop: Oct. 24, 2015

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The Indiana Writing Workshop is now finished. Thank you to all who attended. If you are interested in attending the next area event, email us at writingdayworkshops [at] gmail.com and say you want to be alerted about the next Indy workshop when a date is finalized. (We hope to have another Indianapolis event in fall 2017.) Meanwhile, Writing Day Workshops is planning almost 20 different writing conferences in 2017 in cities all around the United States. See the full list of events here.

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After a successful launch in 2014, the Indiana Writing Workshop is back for 2015! The staff behind the organization and instruction of the Homeric Writers’ Retreat & Workshop are excited to announce The 2015 Indiana Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in Indianapolis, IN on October 24, 2015.

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 new venue (100 total). All questions about the event regarding schedule, details and registration are answered below. Thank you for your interest in the 2015 Indiana Writing Workshop!

WHAT IS IT?

This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015, at the downtown Embassy Suites in Indianapolis, IN. 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. The event’s faculty includes literary agent Kimiko Nakamura (Dee Mura Literary); literary agent Kaylee Davis (Dee Mura Literary); literary agent Alice Speilburg (Speilburg Literary), literary agent Victoria Lea (Aponte Literary), literary agent Laura Crockett of TriadaUS, and literary agent Amanda Luedeke (MacGregor Literary).

By the end of the day, you will have all the tools you need to move forward on your writing journey.

THIS YEAR’S PRESENTER/INSTRUCTOR

A new presenter will be named when the next workshop is set.

EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS

9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015, at the downtown Embassy Suites, 110 W Washington St, Indianapolis, IN 46204. (317)236-1800. Click on this image to see its location on a map:

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WORKSHOP SCHEDULE (OCT. 24, 2015)

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

9:30 – 10:30: “A Bird’s-eye View Publishing & Books in the Year 2015.” This workshop is quick & easy overview of the publishing industry today, and how it’s changing. The speech is designed to educate writers and help them understand what publishing options exist for them today and why it’s an exciting time to be a writer.

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 10.12.02 AM10:30 – 11:45: “15 Tips on How to Write Like the Pros.” This workshop is a thorough crash course concerning craft, style and voice. We’ll discuss nuts & bolts tips for sentence construction like how to avoid passive tense, how to use vivid language, how to self-edit your own work, how to make your characters memorable, the art of compelling dialogue, and much more.

11:45 – 1:15: Lunch on your own. There are several restaurants within quick driving distance on the block.

1:15 – 2:30: “Writers’ Got Talent: A Chapter One Critique-Fest.” 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 our 4 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.)

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 10.07.06 AM2:45 – 4:00: “25 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, how to find the best self-publishing service for your need, what social media channels you should be on already, how to launch your book right, how to draft a compelling query/pitch and synopsis, how to find other writers who can help you, and much more.

4:00 – 5:00: “25 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 keep your career going with multiple books, how you cross between the words of self-publishing and traditional publishing (i.e., use them both) to make the most money, how to build a readership, and much more.

All throughout the day: Agent & Editor Pitching.

PITCH A LITERARY AGENT!

17232682-20503311-thumbnailKimiko Nakamura is a literary agent with Dee Mura Literary. Kimiko represents fiction in young adult and adult within the genres of historical, contemporary, literary, and women’s fiction. She loves thought-provoking projects that re-imagine what’s possible, characters with something (or nothing) to lose, unique viewpoints, trailblazing heroines, and anything with elements of magical realism. For nonfiction she represents cookbooks and memoirs. On her bookshelf and in her inbox, she looks for cookbooks she can read like the Sunday morning paper and daring memoirs of people making their mark on the world. Learn more about Kimiko here.

screen-shot-2014-09-26-at-12-34-10-amAlice Speilburg [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is the founder of Speilburg Literary. In fiction, she’s currently looking for character-driven novels that fall under the following genres: historical fiction, mainstream, literary, mystery, science fiction, thriller/suspense, middle grade, and young adult. In nonfiction, she’s looking for authors with established platforms who are writing books in the following categories: biography, food, gender issues, health, history, literary journalism, music, pop culture, relationships, science, and travel. Learn more about Alice here.

1400255_10200197887830313_1109260645_o-150x150Victoria Lea [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent at Aponte Literary. She accepts submissions of any genre of mainstream fiction and nonfiction, but especially seeks women’s novels, historical novels, supernatural and paranormal fiction, fantasy novels, political and science thrillers. In nonfiction, she’ll look at any genre with commercial potential. What she consider most important, and certainly more important than genre, is that the writing be strong and fresh. Learn more about Victoria here.

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 2.07.00 PMKaylee Davis is a literary agent with Dee Mura Literary. Kaylee is actively acquiring middle grade, young adult, and adult fiction — particularly sci-fi, fantasy, contemporary, literary, and LGBTQ. She is drawn to exciting, thought-provoking stories with a fresh perspective that explores what it means to be human. She loves plot twists, genre-bending, unlikely allies, flawed heroes, and stories that are both literally and figuratively out of this world. Learn more about Kaylee here.

screen-shot-2015-05-05-at-10-14-13-amAmanda Luedeke [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent at MacGregor Literary. She represents general market and Christian market projects, and her areas of interest include nonfiction, literary fiction, women’s fiction, speculative fiction (fantasy and science fiction), young adult, and twenty-something/post college-aged hip lit (think Joe Meno, Brett McCracken, Brad Land, JD Salinger). Learn more about Amanda here.

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 1.36.40 PMLaura Crockett [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent representing TriadaUS Literary. She will be taking pitches on behalf of herself as well as other agents at the agency — in the following genres: young adult, adult historical fiction, middle grade, mystery/crime, women’s fiction, and nonfiction projects. She is actively building her list of clients and is looking forward to talking with and meeting debut writers. Learn more about Laura here.

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

$129 — FINAL base price for registration to the event and access to all workshops, all day.

Add $29 — to secure a 10-minute one-on-one meeting with a literary agent in attendance. You can sign up for as many pitch sessions as you like, and you can also book multiple meetings with the same faculty member. Use this special meeting as a chance to pitch your work and get professional feedback on your pitch. (Spaces limited.)

Add $59 — for an in-depth, personal critique of your one-page query letter. 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?

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 Indiana workshop specifically.

REGISTRATION

Because of limited space at the venue of the downtown Indy Embassy Suites, the workshop can only allow 100 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 100 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 IWW 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 Indiana 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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Thank you for your interest in the 2015 Indiana Writing Workshop.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Kaylee Davis of Dee Mura Literary

17232682-20503393-thumbnailKaylee Davis is a literary agent with Dee Mura Literary.

Growing up in The Middle of Nowhere, Ohio, Kaylee’s lifeline to sanity was the local library where she nurtured her love of all things literary. Kaylee received a B.A. in English Literature and a B.A. in Sociology from Miami University, and she is certified in Copyediting from Emerson College. Recognized for her obsessive-compulsive attention to detail and crazy-fast reading ability, Kaylee joined the Dee Mura team as a professional copyeditor, proofreader, and administrative assistant before being named an agent.

She represents: Kaylee is actively acquiring middle grade, young adult, and adult fiction — particularly sci-fi, fantasy, contemporary, literary, and LGBTQ. She is drawn to exciting, thought-provoking stories with a fresh perspective that explores what it means to be human. She loves plot twists, genre-bending, unlikely allies, flawed heroes, and stories that are both literally and figuratively out of this world.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Kimiko Nakamura of Dee Mura Literary

17232682-20503311-thumbnailKimiko Nakamura is a literary agent with Dee Mura Literary.

Kimiko’s career started in the publishing houses of Boston where she fostered her talent for sales. At Dee Mura Literary, she found another passion: helping writers build successful careers. Kimiko works with new and emerging writers. She looks for page-turning fiction and non-fiction that leaves people inspired and offers readers a full range of emotions—laughter that slips out while reading in public, tears that splash onto our e-readers, and an aha of connection on the page, reminding us that books are more than something we simply hold in our hands.

She represents: Kimiko represents fiction in young adult and adult within the genres of historical, contemporary, literary, and women’s fiction. She loves thought-provoking projects that re-imagine what’s possible, characters with something (or nothing) to lose, unique viewpoints, trailblazing heroines, and anything with elements of magical realism. For nonfiction she represents cookbooks and memoirs. On her bookshelf and in her inbox, she looks for cookbooks she can read like the Sunday morning paper and daring memoirs of people making their mark on the world.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Alice Speilburg of Speilburg Literary

Screen shot 2014-09-26 at 12.34.10 AM[SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS]

Alice Speilburg founded Speilburg Literary Agency in 2012, bringing with her the editorial and business expertise she had developed in previous publishing positions at John Wiley & Sons and Howard Morhaim Literary Agency. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, and Society of Children’s Book Authors and Illustrators, and she is a board member of Louisville Literary Arts. She is currently building her client list and represents a wide range of fiction and nonfiction.

She is seeking: In nonfiction, she’s looking for authors with established platforms who are writing books in the following categories: biography, food, gender issues, health, history, literary journalism, music, pop culture, relationships, science, travel. in fiction, she’s currently looking for character-driven novels that fall under the following genres: historical fiction, mainstream, literary, mystery, science fiction, thriller/suspense, middle grade, young adult.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Victoria Lea of Aponte Literary

1400255_10200197887830313_1109260645_o-150x150[SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS]

Agent Victoria Lea comes to Aponte Literary with a degree in psychology, a  background in social work and a life-long passion for reading – especially long, classic novels. As an Associate Agent Victoria seeks to establish her own list of authors and is also responsible for digital content and social media marketing at the agency.

She is seeking: “We accept submissions of any genre of mainstream fiction and nonfiction, but we especially seek women’s novels, historical novels, supernatural and paranormal fiction, fantasy novels, political and science thrillers. In nonfiction, we’ll look at any category with commercial potential. What we consider most important, and certainly more important than genre, is that the writing be strong and fresh.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Amanda Luedeke of MacGregor Literary

Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 10.14.13 AM[SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS]

Literary agent Amanda Luedeke (LEE-duh-key) works for the MacGregor Literary Agency.

Amanda was a 2006 graduate of the acclaimed Professional Writing program at Taylor University Fort Wayne. Since college, she’s made her living as a writer, working as a freelancer for local newspapers and marketing companies, while operating her own writing business.

With five years experience as an agent, Amanda brings unique interests to the MacGregor Literary team. She represents general market and CBA (Christian market) projects, and her areas of interest include nonfiction, literary fiction, women’s fiction, speculative fiction (fantasy and science fiction), young adult, and twenty-something/post college-aged hip lit (think Joe Meno, Brett McCracken, Brad Land, JD Salinger).

Utilizing her marketing background, Amanda blogs every Thursday on ChipMacGregor.com, and she also released a marketing book, The Extroverted Writer.

Amanda loves big cities, great music, snuggly dogs, and taking online quizzes. Though she considers the Chicagoland area to be home, she currently lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana, with her husband and Great Dane.

Tips For Pitching Your Book at the 2015 IWW

If you are coming to the 2015 Indiana Writing Workshop, you may be thinking about pitching our agent-in-attendance or editor-in-attendance. An in-person pitch is an excellent way to get an agent excited about both you and your work. Here are some tips (from last year’s instructor, Chuck Sambuchino) that will help you pitch your work effectively at the event during a 10-minute consultation. Chuck advises that you should:

  • Try to keep your pitch to 90 seconds. Keeping your pitch concise and short is beneficial because 1) it shows you are in command of the story and what your book is about; and 2) it allows plenty of time for back-and-forth discussion between you and the agent. Note: If you’re writing nonfiction, and therefore have to speak plenty about yourself and your platform, then your pitch can certainly run longer.
  • Practice before you get to the event. Say your pitch out loud, and even try it out on fellow writers. Feedback from peers will help you figure out if your pitch is confusing, or missing critical elements. Remember to focus on what makes your story unique. Mystery novels, for example, all follow a similar formula — so the elements that make yours unique and interesting will need to shine during the pitch to make your book stand out.
  • Do not give away the ending. If you pick up a DVD for Die Hard, does it say “John McClane wins at the end”? No. Because if it did, you wouldn’t buy the movie. Pitches are designed to leave the ending unanswered, much like the back of any DVD box you read.
  • Have some questions ready. 10 minutes is plenty of time to pitch and discuss your book, so there is a good chance you will be done pitching early. At that point, you are free to ask the agent questions about writing, publishing or craft. The meeting is both a pitch session and a consultation, so feel free to ask whatever you like as long as it pertains to writing.
  • Remember to hit the big beats of a pitch. Everyone’s pitch will be different, but the main elements to hit are 1) introducing the main character(s) and telling us about them, 2) saying what goes wrong that sets the story into motion, 3) explaining how the main character sets off to make things right and solve the problem, 4) explaining the stakes — i.e., what happens if the main character fails, and 5) ending with an unclear wrap-up.