After successful conferences in 2015 and 2018, Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2020 Indiana Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in Indianapolis, IN, on September 12, 2020.
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 2020 Indiana Writing Workshop!
WHAT IS IT?
This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, September 12, 2020, at the [venue forthcoming]. 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:
- literary agent Alyssa Roat (CYLE Literary)
- literary agent Kat Kerr (Donald Maass Literary)
- literary agent Kenzi Nevins (CYLE Literary)
- 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 Brian Klems of Writing Day Workshops, with help from local writing groups.
EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS
9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Saturday, September 12, 2020, at the [venue forthcoming].
WORKSHOP SCHEDULE & INSTRUCTORS (SEPTEMBER 12, 2020)
9 – 9:30: Check-in and registration at the event location.
9:30 – 10:30: Getting Published in Today’s World: 10 Tips to Make You the Writer Agents and Publishers Want, taught by Brian Klems. If you want to land an agent and a book deal in today’s market, you’re going to have to do a lot more than just write a great book (though that’s a good start). In this session, former Writer’s Digest editor Brian A. 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.
10:45 – 11:45: Making Social Media Work For You, taught by Kenzi Nevins. As authors, most of us wish we could spend more time writing and leave marketing to the experts, but in today’s world, social media is a necessary part of our job. Fortunately, with a little work, you can turn it in to a vehicle for reaching the world with your words, rather than a frustrating time-waster.
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 Page 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.)
2:45 – 3:45: How to Write Fiction That Sells, taught by Jessica Burkhart. This session will take writers through creating a novel that sells and give practical tips on brainstorming a concept and idea, outlining (and what kind of outline to use), creating relatable characters, constructing an interesting setting, crafting realistic voice, and realizing the importance of a strong chapter ending. All of the tips and tricks will be applicable no matter the intended readership age. Burkhart will also share her favorite list of resources, too, that will be helpful to both new and veteran writers. The remaining workshop time will be dedicated to Q&A.
4:00 – 5:00: The Book’s Journey: From First Draft to Bookshelf, taught by Alyssa Roat. How does a first draft become the shiny book we see sitting on the table at the bookstore? Why does the publishing process take so long? Where do you find these agent people? How do you get a contract? Who edits? Where do covers come from? How are books distributed? This class takes the journey from first draft to bookshelf.
All throughout the day: Agent & Editor Pitching.
* * *
PITCH AN AGENT!
Alyssa Roat is a literary agent with CYLE Literary Elite. She is seeking: any kind of young adult (but especially fantasy and speculative), middle grade fiction (any kind), fantasy, women’s fiction, contemporary fiction, unique historical fiction, all kinds of children’s picture books (nonfiction or STEM elements are great), some nonfiction (large platform only), occasional Christian titles, and a rare thriller/mystery/suspense. Learn more about Alyssa here.
Kat Kerr is a literary agent with Donald Maass Literary Agency. She is seeking: For literary and upmarket fiction, Kat is drawn to strong, character-driven works with rich, literary prose. She loves books that make her think and have a strong emotional pull. She enjoys adult contemporary, women’s fiction, adult & YA multicultural, adult historical works featuring family sagas. For the commercial market, Kat likes science fiction — specifically space operas or something dark and twisty similar to an episode of “Black Mirror”; low, epic fantasies and dark urban fantasies where the worldbuilding reflects a non-Europe based setting; quirky and fun women’s fiction and rom-coms like Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding. For nonfiction, she seeks religion and spirituality that focus on a universal, humanitarian message; narrative nonfiction and journalistic nonfiction tackling current affairs and social justice issues, particularly covering topics of racism, immigration, LGBTQIA+ rights, gender equality, and poverty; cookbooks that are edgy and fresh, or anything that spotlights authentic, regional cuisine from across the globe; and select biographies and memoirs. Learn more about Kat here.
Kenzi Nevins is a literary agent with CYLE Literary Elite. Kenzi personally seeks picture books (text only is fine, but author-illustrators are her favorite), middle grade (all kinds), young adult (all kinds, including graphic novels with images), and adult fantasy. She is also happy to take pitches on behalf of her many co-agents, and pass on great submissions to them after the event. That means she will take pitches for romance (all kinds), literary fiction, mainstream fiction, science fiction, high & low fantasy, historical, mystery, thriller, suspense, women’s, and Christian/inspirational. For nonfiction, she will take pitches for parenting, leadership, ministry, devotionals, and self-help. She will also take pitches for board books and chapter books. Learn more about Kenzi here.
More 2020 agents coming.
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 2020 IWW and access to all workshops, all day, on September 12, 2020. As of October 2019, event registration for 2020 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.)
“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 former instructor Brian Klems. (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?
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.
- Commercial Fiction, literary fiction, suspense, mystery, crime, thriller, science fiction, fantasy, women’s fiction, young adult, middle grade: Faculty member Jessica Burkhart, a published writer, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your story, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
- More critique options possibly coming soon.
How to pay/register — Registration is now open. Reach out to workshop organizer Brian Klems via email: WDWconference@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 Brian 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 [venue forthcoming], 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 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. 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 Brian 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.)