The 2018 Indiana Writing Workshop: February 10, 2018

screen-shot-2014-07-23-at-12-58-51-pm.pngAfter successful events in 2014 and 2015, the Indiana Writing Workshop is back for 2018! Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2018 Indiana Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in Indianapolis, on February 10, 2018.

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 (150 total). All questions about the event regarding schedule, details and registration are answered below. Thank you for your interest in the 2018 Indiana Writing Workshop!


This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018, at the Sheraton Indianapolis Hotel at the Keystone Crossing. In other words, it’s one day full of classes and advice designed to give you the best instruction concerning how to get your writing & books published. We’ll discuss your publishing opportunities today, how to write queries & pitches, how to market yourself and your books, what makes an agent/editor stop reading your manuscript, and more. No matter what you’re writing — fiction or nonfiction — the day’s classes will help point you in the right direction. Writers of all genres are welcome.

This event is designed to squeeze as much into one day of learning as possible. You can ask any questions you like during the classes, and get your specific concerns addressed. We will have literary agents onsite to give feedback and take pitches from writers, as well. This year’s faculty so far includes:

  • [NEW ADDITION] literary agent Bethany Morehead (Hartline Literary)
  • literary agent Alice Speilburg (Speilburg Literary)
  • literary agent Laura Zats (Red Sofa Literary)
  • literary agent Amanda Luedeke (MacGregor Literary)
  • literary agent Marisa Corvisiero (Corvisiero Literary)
  • literary agent Cyle Young (Hartline Literary)
  • literary agent assistant Lesley Sabga (The Seymour Agency)
  • literary agent Kortney Price (Corvisiero Agency)
  • 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, with assistance from local Indiana writing groups.


9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, February 10, 2018, at the Sheraton Indianapolis Hotel at the Keystone Crossing [updated hotel venue], 8787 Keystone Crossing, Indianapolis, IN 46240, (317) 846-2700.

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

9:30 – 10:30: Your Publishing Options Today, taught by Marisa Corvisiero. 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 downsides, 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 2014-06-13 at 10.12.02 AM10:30 – 11:45: The Elusive Literary Agent: How to Find and Secure Your Publishing Representative, taught by Alice Speilburg. Authors looking to publish their work with large, commercial publishers often find that most of these publishers do not accept submissions without a literary agent. This session will discuss with attendees what services an agent can provide to an author, and how each person might find the perfect agent who will guide their career where they want it to go. As most encounters with a literary agent involve a query or pitch, this class will also cover the basic structure for a query letter, tips and tricks for improving an elevator pitch, and tactics to avoid.

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: Revising Your Manuscript, taught by Alice Speilburg. You wrote a book! Or at least, a first draft of a book. You’ve workshopped key chapters and rewritten important scenes dozens of times, but when you send it out to publishers and agents, no one is biting. It’s time to tackle a revision that encompasses the manuscript as a whole. This class will review key elements to consider when revising: pacing, structure, character development, and conflict, and will help attendees step back, to see the book as a whole, and develop a plan.

4:00 – 5:00: How to Market Yourself and Your Books: Author Platform & Social Media Explained, taught by Marisa Corvisiero. A writer’s platform is as important as ever now. Visibility and ability to self-market are mandatory these days for writers of nonfiction and self-published works. Furthermore, fiction writers want a platform to sell more books, meet readers, and increase their value. This speech teaches writers the basics of what a platform is and why it is necessary. Then we delve into the building blocks of what can constitute a platform, from media appearances and speaking engagements to blogs, Facebook, Twitter and more.

All throughout the day: Agent & Editor Pitching.


Screen shot 2014-09-26 at 12.34.10 AMAlice Speilburg [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is the founder of the Speilburg Literary Agency. She is currently building her client list and represents a wide range of fiction and nonfiction. 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. Learn more about Alice here.

Screen Shot 2017-12-02 at 12.43.52 AM.pngBethany Morehead is a jr. literary agent with Hartline Literary. She is seeking: children’s picture books, middle grade fiction, young adult fiction, women’s fiction, romantic fiction, and speculative fiction (science fiction and fantasy novels). She is actively building her client list. Learn more about Bethany here.

Screen shot 2016-05-16 at 5.47.13 PM.pngLaura Zats is a literary agent with Red Sofa Literary. Laura seeks young adult fiction (especially contemporary), middle grade contemporary / adventure, adult fantasy and science fiction (loves non-traditional settings, fast-paced storytelling, anthropological elements, and smart humor; no high fantasy), and romance & erotica (especially contemporary; please no vampires, werewolves, angels, demons, or mermaids). Learn more about Laura here.

Screen Shot 2017-11-22 at 10.30.32 AMMarisa A. Corvisiero [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is the founder 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 2017-11-28 at 9.28.51 AM.pngCyle Young [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent with Hartline Literary. Cyle is seeking: young adult, middle grade, chapter books, easy readers, picture books, board books, genre fiction (especially romance), love stories, speculative (science fiction and fantasy), nonfiction (parenting, leadership, ministry, and self-help), movie and screenplays. Learn more about Cyle here.

Screen Shot 2017-01-31 at 4.43.20 PM.pngLesley Sabga [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is an agent assistant at The Seymour Agency. She is taking pitches on behalf of all of the agency’s acquiring agents. She wants to hear pitches for happily-ever-after romance, mainstream suspense, thrillers, mysteries, young adult with a fresh voice (both contemporary and sci-fi/fantasy), science fiction, fantasy, action/adventure, picture books (especially author-illustrators), cookbooks, middle grade (all kinds), narrative nonfiction, literary fiction, Southern fiction, Christian and inspirational fiction & nonfiction, and memoir. Learn more about Lesley here.

Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 10.14.13 AMAmanda Luedeke is a literary agent with Macgregor Literary. With eight 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 and romance. Learn more about Amanda here.

Screen Shot 2017-11-28 at 11.42.21 AM.pngKortney Price is a literary agent with Corvisiero Literary Agency. In middle grade:, she loves adventure or survival stories, mysteries, science fiction, fantasy, contemporary, and light horror. For young adult, she seeks psychological thrillers, “geeky” or “artsy” romance, magical realism, fantasy of any kind, science fiction, and steampunk. For new adult and adult fiction, she is selectively looking for science fiction with a unique premise and high stakes and fantasy or paranormal featuring history are a favorite. She always enjoys old buildings, antiques with ghosts, time travel, ancient curses, and time travel. Learn more about Kortney 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.)


$149 — EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2018 IWW and access to all workshops, all day, on Feb. 10, 2018. As of November 2017, 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 four quick testimonials regarding writers who have signed with literary agents after pitching them at prior Writing Day Workshops events. (Our bigger, growing list of success stories can be seen here.)

Screen Shot 2016-12-13 at 12.20.11 AM.png“I signed with my agent, Patricia Nelson, after
meeting her at the Arizona Writing Workshop.”
– writer Axie Oh

Screen Shot 2016-12-13 at 12.07.56 AM.png“I officially signed with agent Renee Nyen of KT
Literary. I met her at the Colorado Writing
Workshop.” – writer Jessie Hilb Akos

Screen Shot 2016-12-13 at 12.08.00 AM.png“After taking pitches at the Michigan Writing
Workshop, I signed writer Kyle Prue as a new
client.” – literary agent Veronica Park

Screen Shot 2016-12-13 at 12.08.09 AM.png“After taking pitches at the Alabama Writing
Workshop, I met Erin Hollis at a pitch session, and
she is now my newest client.” – agent Julie Gwinn

Add $69 — for an in-depth, personal critique of your one-page query letter from instructor Chuck Sambuchino, instructor for a previous IWW workshop in 2014. (This rate is a special event value for Indiana 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?

How to pay/register — Registration is now open. Reach out to workshop organizer Jessica Bell via email:, 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.


Because of limited space at the venue of the Sheraton Indianapolis Hotel, the workshop can only allow 150 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: 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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