The 2020 Indiana Writing Workshop: September 12, 2020

screen-shot-2014-07-23-at-12-58-51-pm.pngAfter 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, April 18, 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 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].

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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.

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 10.12.02 AM10:30 – 11:45: COMING SOON

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.)

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 10.07.06 AM2:50 – 4:00: COMING SOON

4:00 – 5:00: COMING SOON

All throughout the day: Agent & Editor Pitching.

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PITCH AN AGENT!

Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 8.14.05 PM.pngAlyssa 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.

Screen Shot 2019-11-15 at 4.23.30 PMKenzi 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.)

PRICING

$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.)

Screen Shot 2018-11-26 at 11.11.29 AM.png“I met my client, Alison Hammer, at the Writing
Workshop of Chicago and just sold her book.”
– literary agent Joanna Mackenzie of Nelson Literary

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 11.47.54 PM.png“Good news! I signed a client [novelist Aliza Mann]
from the Michigan Writing Workshop!”
– literary agent Sara Mebigow of KT Literary

Screen Shot 2018-11-05 at 12.56.10 PM“I signed author Stephanie Wright from
the Seattle Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Kathleen Ortiz of New Leaf Literary

Screen Shot 2018-05-17 at 9.07.44 PM“I signed an author [Kate Thompson] that I
met at the Philadelphia Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Kimberly Brower of Brower Literary

Screen Shot 2016-10-16 at 2.54.50 PM.png“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.

  • Critique options 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.

REGISTRATION

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.)

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Thank you for your interest in the 2020 Indiana Writing Workshop.

 

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Kenzi Nevins of CYLE Literary Elite

Screen Shot 2019-11-15 at 4.23.30 PMKenzi Nevins is a junior 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

“My personal interests lie in mythology and retold fairy tales, so I would say that fantasy and magic realism generally get me the most excited, but I will look at anything.”

Kenzi is an award-winning writer with a passion for magic realism and mythology. A graduate of Taylor University’s professional writing and theatre programs, she spent two semesters studying in the story-laden Wicklow Mountains of eastern Ireland. Previously, she won second place for theatre journalism and critique from the Kennedy Center for American College Theatre, and her short story, “The Last Freedom,” was published in eBook and paperback by StoryShares.

When she isn’t writing, Kenzi can be found watering her fairy garden, experimenting with little-known tea flavors, or wandering the aisles of her Kentucky library.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Alyssa Roat of CYLE Literary

Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 8.14.05 PM.pngAlyssa 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
  • children’s picture books (nonfiction or STEM elements are great)
  • some nonfiction (large platform only)
  • occasional Christian titles
  • a rare thriller/mystery/suspense

She does not want to receive Western, horror, or erotica.

“I’m especially interested in anything with these elements: Southwestern settings; non-western contemporary, fantasy, and historical settings; Amish fiction; lesser-known mythologies and mythological creatures; humor.”

Hailing from Tucson, Arizona, Alyssa’s love of words blossomed while she spent her days hiding from the scorching desert sun in dim rooms with thick books. She emerged from her dark, bookish cave to attend college, where her articles were featured in several publications. Now, she is often found writing and editing in the much cooler sunlight of the Midwest.

 

Get to Know a Faculty Member: Brian A. Klems

Screen Shot 2016-11-02 at 3.23.45 PM.pngBrian A. Klems (@BrianKlems) is the former online editor of WritersDigest.com.

He is the coordinator of the 2020 Indiana Writing Workshop. At the event, he is teaching a class and also offering query critiques as an add-on element for attendees.

His blog during his tenure there, The Writer’s Dig—which covered everything writing and publishing—was one of the largest blogs in the writing community.

Brian’s first book, Oh Boy, You’re Having a Girl: A Dad’s Guide to Raising Daughters (Adams Media) was released in 2013. It received high-level buzz and praise from some of the funniest writers alive, including Dave Barry and Bruce Cameron. Brian is also a proud graduate of the Ohio University E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, a husband, softball infielder, perennial fantasy sports underachiever, and father of three lovely little girls.

Tips For Pitching Your Book at the 2020 IWW

If you are coming to the 2020 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 a previous 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.