The 2015 San Diego Writing Workshop: Oct. 9, 2015

screen-shot-2014-08-13-at-8-58-34-pmThe 2015 San Diego Writing Workshop is now over. It was a great event and we look forward to hosting another workshop in SD in the future. If you would like to be kept on an email list to be notified of future SD-area events, please simply contact us to say so: writingdayworkshops [at] gmail.com. Thanks!

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The staff behind the organization and instruction of the Homeric Writers’ Retreat & Workshop are excited to announce The San Diego Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in San Diego on Friday, October 9, 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 event (100 total). All questions about the event regarding schedule, details and registration are answered below. Thank you for your interest in the 2015 San Diego Writing Workshop!

(If you live closer to Los Angeles than San Diego, note that there is also a nearly identical workshop in LA the day after on Saturday, October 10, 2015.)

WHAT IS IT?

This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Friday, Oct. 9, 2015, at the Crowne Plaza in Mission Valley, San Diego. 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 ever-growing faculty so far includes literary agent Paul S. Levine (Paul S. Levine Literary); Ken Sherman (Ken Sherman Literary); Courtney Miller-Callihan (Sanford J. Greenberger Associates); Taylor Martindale (Full Circle Literary); Patricia Nelson (Marsal Lyon Literary); literary agent Jennifer Azantian (Azantian Literary); and Annie Bomke (Annie Bomke Literary Agency).

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

Screen Shot 2014-01-08 at 1.09.19 PMChuck Sambuchino (chucksambuchino.com, @chucksambuchino) of Writer’s Digest Books is the editor of Guide to Literary Agents as well as the Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market. His authored books include Formatting & Submitting Your Manuscript; Create Your Writer Platform, which was praised by Forbes.com; and How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack, which was optioned for film by Sony. He oversees one of the biggest blogs in publishing (the Guide to Literary Agents Blog) as well as one of the biggest Twitter accounts in publishing (@WritersDigest). He is a freelance editor who has seen dozens of his clients get agents and/or book deals, and he has presented at 120 writing conferences and events over the past ten years.

EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS

9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Friday, October 9, 2015, at the Crowne Plaza Mission Valley, 2270 Hotel Cir N, San Diego, CA 92108, (619)297-1101. Click on this image to see its location on a map:

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WORKSHOP SCHEDULE (OCT. 9, 2015)

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

9:30 – 10:30: “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 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.

10:30 – 11:45: “Everything You Need to Know About Agents, Queries & Pitching.” 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. There are several restaurants within quick driving distance. A map of places to eat will be passed out prior to the event.

Screen shot 2014-10-02 at 10.30.04 PM1:15 – 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 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.)

2:30 – 3:45: “How to Market Yourself and Your Books: Author Platform & Social Media Explained.” 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.

3:45 – 5:00: “How to Get Published: 10 Professional Writing Practices That You Need to Know NOW to Find Success as a Writer.” This final speech is a general presentation examining good writing practices that all editors appreciate—whether writing for books, magazines, newspapers or online. It discusses how to not put all your eggs in one writing basket, how to steal ideas from yourself to generate more stories and books, how to avoid the two most common reasons agents reject you, and much more.

All throughout the day: Agent & Editor Pitching.

PITCH AN AGENT!

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 9.45.56 AMKen Sherman [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent and the founder of Ken Sherman & Associates. The company was established in 1989, and handles film, television, and book writers, as well as selling film and television rights for books and life-rights. He represents many genres of fiction and categories of nonfiction. He is a generalist, and will listen to pitches for any type of book (except picture books) as long as the writing is exceptional and the writer has a platform if pitching nonfiction. Learn more about Ken here.

Screen shot 2015-05-26 at 9.23.50 PMPaul S. Levine is the founder of Paul S. Levine Literary and an attorney. His fiction areas of interest include adventure, children/juvenile, middle grade, young adult, mainstream, mystery, politics/law, romance, thrillers, and women’s fiction. His nonfiction areas of interest include business/commerce, children’s, contemporary, popular culture, how-to, self-help, politics/law, relationships, and sports. Learn more about Paul here.

cmcCourtney Miller-Callihan is a literary agent with Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. She is seeking women’s fiction, romance, and historical novels, as well as nonfiction projects on unusual topics, humor, pop culture, and lifestyle books. For nonfiction, a strong platform and excellent credentials are a must. She represents a limited number of children’s book authors, and is especially drawn to middle-grade and YA fiction with voices that jump off the page. She is not currently seeking new picture book manuscripts. Learn more about Courtney here.

Screen shot 2015-06-01 at 6.55.16 PMTaylor Martindale is a literary agent with Full Circle Literary, actively acquiring fiction and nonfiction projects. She is looking for picture books, young adult fiction, literary middle grade fiction, women’s fiction, and select nonfiction projects. She is interested in finding unique and unforgettable voices in contemporary, historical and/or multicultural novels. When considering nonfiction projects, Taylor hopes to find authors with fresh ideas and perspectives, with writing that is accessible, entertaining, and compelling. Learn more about Taylor here.

Screen shot 2015-05-26 at 9.19.13 PMPatricia Nelson is actively building her client list at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. Patricia represents adult and young adult fiction, and is actively looking to build her list. She is a fiction generalist, and will take pitches on the whole gamut of literary and commercial adult fiction. On the adult side, she is particularly interested in literary fiction and commercial fiction in the new adult, women’s fiction, and romance genres. For young adult, she is looking for contemporary/realistic fiction as well YA mystery/thriller, horror, magical realism, science fiction and fantasy. She is also interested in finding exciting multicultural and LGBTQ fiction, both YA and adult. Learn more about Patricia here.

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 12.20.39 PMJennifer Azantian is a literary agent and the founder of Azantian Literary. Jennifer acquires only science fiction and fantasy (including all of their subgenres) as well as smart, psychological horror for middle grade, young adult, new adult, and adult readers. She is not seeking picture books at this time. She is based in Southern California. Learn more about Jennifer here.

AB1Annie Bomke is a literary agent and the founder of Annie Bomke Literary Agency. She has worked on a wide variety of genres including mainstream and literary fiction, self-help, business, health/diet, memoir, parenting, relationships, psychology, and humor, but she is most passionate about character-driven literary fiction, mysteries, thrillers, historical fiction, and psychology. Learn more about Annie here.

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 3.22.28 PMJill Marr [CANCELED] is a literary agent at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.

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

$149 — FINAL registration pricing! This is the complete base price for registration to the 2015 SDWW and access to all workshops, all day.

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.

Add $59 — for an in-depth, personal critique of your one-page query letter from instructor Chuck Sambuchino. (This rate is a special event value for San Diego 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: 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 San Diego workshop specifically.

REGISTRATION

Because of limited space at the venue of the Crowne Plaza, 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 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 SDWW 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 San Diego 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 San Diego Writing Workshop.

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Ken Sherman of Ken Sherman & Associates

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 9.45.56 AM[SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS]

Ken Sherman is President of Ken Sherman & Associates, a Los Angeles based literary agency. The company was established in 1989, and handles film, television, and book writers, as well as selling film and television rights for books and life-rights.

He represents many genres of fiction and categories of nonfiction (including memoir). He is a generalist, and will listen to pitches for any type of book (except picture books) as long as the writing is exceptional and the writer has a platform if pitching nonfiction.

An agent for more than twenty years, Ken is also a popular and accomplished speaker, having taught and lectured extensively at venues including UCLA, USC, Loyola Marymount University, both in New Orleans and Los Angeles, The Santa Barbara Writers’ conference, the American Film Institute, The San Francisco Writers Conference, The Maui Writers Conference, The University of Oklahoma, Sherwood Oaks Experiment College, The Santa Fe Writers Conference, The Novelists, Inc. Conference in San Diego, The Aspen Institute, the Aspen Summers Words Writers Conference and The Eugene International Film Festival where he just received a lifetime achievement award.

Since graduating from the University of California-Berkeley with a major in psychology, Ken has returned numerous times to the classroom to teach his course, “The Business of Writing for Screen, Television and the Publishing Worlds,” at both USC and UCLA. He also co-taught a screenwriting class for many years at the Eugene International Film Festival.

Ken maintains strong community involvement as well, serving as an Arts and Cultural Affairs Commissioner for the City of West Hollywood, is a founding member of the British Academy of Film and Television/Los Angeles (BAFTA), and is a member of both the Academy of Television Arts and Science and the International Advisory Board of the Christopher Isherwood Foundation.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Paul S. Levine of Paul S. Levine Literary

Screen shot 2015-05-26 at 9.23.50 PMPaul S. Levine is the founder of Paul S. Levine Literary. Open to virtually any genre or category, he will consider fiction, nonfiction, children’s, young adult manuscripts, and proposals for nonfiction books. Highly aware of market trends and editors’ preferences, Levine limits himself to projects which he believes in and feels certain he can sell. Some of his recent fiction sales include science fiction, fantasy, mystery, crime, thriller, women’s fiction, and romance. Some of his recent nonfiction sales include diet, how-to, business/finance, true crime, parenting, and advice/relationships.

When he opened The Paul S. Levine Literary Agency in 1996, Levine had less than 200 editors in his private database; in his database he now has over 1,600 editors, to whom he has sold over 150 fiction and non-fiction books.

As an entertainment lawyer, Levine has written the legal contracts for several books adapted as movies-for-television. With over a quarter of a century of experience in the entertainment and book industries, Levine is one of the few lawyers on the West coast who also understands the world of book publishing; as such, he is able to act as both literary agent and publishing attorney for his clients.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Courtney Miller-Callihan of Sanford J. Greenburger Associates

cmcCourtney Miller-Callihan is a literary agent with Sanford J. Greenburger Associates.

She is seeking women’s fiction, romance, and historical novels, as well as nonfiction projects on unusual topics, humor, pop culture, and lifestyle books. For nonfiction, a strong platform and excellent credentials are a must.

She represents a limited number of children’s book authors, and is especially drawn to middle-grade and YA fiction with voices that jump off the page. She is not currently seeking new picture book manuscripts.

Courtney began her career in publishing at Random House, where she spent a number of years in subsidiary rights sales and in contracts before joining Sanford J. Greenburger Associates in 2005. A member of the Romance Writers of America, she works closely with authors to help them reach their full creative and commercial potential. Courtney holds a B.A. in Literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz and a M.A. in English from The Johns Hopkins University.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Patricia Nelson of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency

Patricia-Nelson-296x300Patricia Nelson joined the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency as assistant to Kevan Lyon before becoming an acquiring agent at the agency. Previously, she interned at The Angela Rinaldi Literary Agency and in the children’s division at Running Press.

Patricia represents adult and young adult fiction, and is actively looking to build her list. She is a fiction generalist, and will take pitches on the whole gamut of literary and commercial adult fiction.

On the adult side, she is particularly interested in literary fiction and commercial fiction in the New Adult, women’s fiction, and romance genres. For YA, she is looking for contemporary/realistic fiction as well YA mystery/thriller, horror, magical realism, science fiction and fantasy. She is also interested in finding exciting multicultural and LGBTQ fiction, both YA and adult. In general, Patricia loves stories with complex characters that jump off the page and thoughtfully drawn, believable relationships – along with writing that makes her feel completely pulled into these characters’ lives and worlds.

Patricia received her bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary in 2008, and also holds a master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Southern California and a master’s degree in Gender Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. Before joining the world of publishing, she spent four years as a university-level instructor of literature and writing.

Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 10.40.59 AMFollow Patricia on Twitter at @patricianels.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Taylor Martindale of Full Circle Literary

Screen shot 2015-06-01 at 6.55.16 PMTaylor Martindale is a literary agent with Full Circle Literary, actively acquiring fiction and nonfiction projects.

She began agenting with the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency and is a graduate of The College of William and Mary, where she studied English and Hispanic Studies.

Taylor is looking for: picture books, young adult fiction, literary middle grade fiction, women’s fiction, and select nonfiction projects. She is interested in finding unique and unforgettable voices in contemporary, historical and/or multicultural novels. She is looking for books that demand to be read whether the stories are light-hearted or address important issues (she adores both). More than anything, Taylor is looking for character-driven stories that bring the world vividly to life and voices that refuse to be ignored. When considering non-fiction projects, Taylor uses much the same approach, and hopes to find authors with fresh ideas and perspectives, with writing that is accessible, entertaining, and compelling. Clients include: Debra Driza, Emery Lord, Annie Cardi, Aisha Saeed, Lois Miner Huey, Tim Bradley, and more.