The 2020 San Diego Writing Workshop: May 9, 2020

screen-shot-2014-07-23-at-12-58-51-pm.pngAfter successful events in 2015, 2017, and 2019 the San Diego Writing Workshop is back for 2020! Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2020 San Diego Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in San Diego, CA, on May 9, 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 (175 total). All questions about the event regarding schedule, details and registration are answered below. Thank you for your interest in the 2020 San Diego Writing Workshop!

WHAT IS IT?

This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, May 9, 2020, at the Crowne Plaza 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 faculty so far includes:

  • literary agent Carlie Webber (Fuse Literary)
  • literary agent Rachel Beck (Holloway Literary)
  • literary agent Samantha Bagood (Samantha B Literary)
  • literary agent Annie Bomke (Annie Bomke Literary)
  • and many 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 Chuck Sambuchino of Writing Day Workshops, with assistance from a local writing organization, Go Be Write.

EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS

9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, May 9, 2020, at the Crowne Plaza San Diego, 2270 Hotel Circle North, San Diego, CA 92108.

Screen shot 2015-05-26 at 9.13.59 PM

THIS YEAR’S SESSIONS & WORKSHOPS (MAY 9, 2020):

What you see below is a quick layout of the day’s events. See a full layout of the day’s sessions, with detailed descriptions, on the official Schedule Page here.

Please Note: There will be 2-3 classes/workshops going at all times during the day, so you will have your choice of what class you attend at any time. The final schedule of topics is subject to change, but here is the current layout:

8:30 – 9:30: Check-in and registration at the event location.

BLOCK ONE: 9:30 – 10:30

COMING SOON

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 1.44.34 AMBLOCK TWO: 10:45 – 11:50

COMING SOON

(What you see below is a quick layout of the day’s events. See a full layout of the day’s sessions, with detailed descriptions, on the official Schedule Page here.)

LUNCH ON YOUR OWN: 11:50 – 1:15

Lunch is on your own during these 85 minutes.

BLOCK THREE: 1:15 – 2:30

1. “Writers Got Talent”—a Page 1 Critique Fest (Peacock 1 room). 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

COMING SOON

BLOCK FOUR: 2:45 – 3:45

COMING SOON

(What you see below is a quick layout of the day’s events. See a full layout of the day’s sessions, with detailed descriptions, on the official Schedule Page here.)

BLOCK FIVE: 4:00 – 5:00

COMING SOON

SESSIONS END: 5:00

At 5 p.m., the day is done. Speakers will make themselves available by the workshop’s bookstore for a short while to sign any books for attendees.

Agent & Editor Pitching: All throughout the day.

PITCH AN AGENT!

Screen Shot 2016-11-21 at 5.52.10 PM.pngAnnie 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 2019-10-12 at 1.45.33 AM.pngSamantha Bagood is a literary agent and founder of Samantha B. Literary. She specializes in books for all kinds of books for children — picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and young adult. (No adult fiction pitches of any kind please.) She enjoys out-of-the-box formats and styles done well, and would love to see more stories from an Asian-American perspective. Learn more about Samantha here.

Screen Shot 2019-10-12 at 1.43.00 AM.pngRachel Beck is a literary agent with Holloway Literary. Rachel is interested in representing: women’s fiction, contemporary romance with a humorous voice and subplots in addition to the romance, young adult (especially emotional/deep issue [even dark] stories [no historical, fantasy, paranormal, sci-fi or middle-grade please], psychological character-driven women’s suspense/thrillers, Southern fiction, and nonfiction (particularly memoir, true crime, and select health and self-help books [such as professional/career development]). Rachel is drawn to voice-driven fiction, particularly in young adult; quirky, three-dimensional, flawed characters, including and especially secondary characters; beautiful writing; dark themes; books that explore good people in morally complicated situations; and complex, detailed plots. Learn more about Rachel here.

Screen Shot 2017-11-06 at 1.17.01 AM.pngCarlie Webber is a literary agent with Fuse Literary. She represents fiction in the genres of: young adult, middle grade, new adult, women’s fiction, literary fiction, mainstream fiction, mystery, thriller, suspense, romance, science fiction, and fantasy. She does not want to rep picture books, easy readers, poetry, scripts or curriculum nonfiction. She no longer seeks nonfiction (or memoir) of any kind. Learn more about Carlie here.

 

          More 2020 agents may be added over time.

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

$189 — EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2019 SDWW and access to all workshops, all day, on May 11, 2019. As of November 2018, 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 2018-11-26 at 11.11.29 AM.png“I met my client, Alison Hammer, at the 2017 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 2017 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 2018 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 2017 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 2016 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 instructor Chuck Sambuchino, an instructor for a previous workshop in San Diego. (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?

Add $89 — for an in-depth personal critique of the first 10 double-spaced pages of your novel. Spaces with faculty for these critiques are very limited, and participating attendees get an in-person meeting at the workshop. Options:

  • Forthcoming.

How to pay/register — Registration is now open. Reach out to workshop organizer Chuck Sambuchino via email: Writingdayworkshops@gmail.com, and he 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 Chuck 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 175 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 Chuck Sambuchino via email: Writingdayworkshops@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 SDWW will send out periodic e-mail updates to all registered attendees with any & all news about the event. Because Chuck 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.)

Screen Shot 2016-11-16 at 10.43.05 AM.png

Thank you for your interest in the 2019 San Diego Writing Workshop.

 

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Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Samantha Bagood of Samantha B. Literary

Screen Shot 2019-09-27 at 11.30.28 AMSamantha Bagood is a literary agent and founder of Samantha B. Literary.

She specializes in books for all kinds of books for children — picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and young adult. (No adult fiction pitches of any kind please.) She enjoys out-of-the-box formats and styles done well, and would love to see more stories from an Asian-American perspective.

Samantha believes in being an ardent business partner and creative advocate for visionary authors and artists. She is also personally passionate about growing the imagination of young readers everywhere and boosting the voices of marginalized creators. Her career began at Adams Literary in 2012. Before then, Samantha was a book reviewer and freelance writer and designer.

In 2017, after a cross country move to southern California, she left to start her own agency, Samantha B. Literary.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Rachel Beck of Holloway Literary

Screen Shot 2018-11-18 at 3.21.51 PM.pngRachel Beck is a literary agent with Holloway Literary.

Rachel is interested in representing:

  • Women’s fiction, especially upmarket/book club fiction, such as Emily Giffin, Liane Moriarty and Diane Chamberlain
  • Contemporary romance with a humorous voice and subplots in addition to the romance, such as Kristan Higgins
  • Young adult, especially emotional/deep issue (even dark) stories (no historical, fantasy, paranormal, sci-fi or middle-grade please), such as Jandy Nelson and Courtney Summers
  • Psychological, character-driven women’s suspense/thrillers, such as Gillian Flynn, Paula Hawkins and Mary Kubica
  • Southern fiction, such as Elaine Hussey
  • Nonfiction — particularly memoir, true crime, and select health and self-help books (such as professional/career development).

Rachel Beck has been in the publishing industry since 2009. After completing an internship with two literary agencies, reading mostly young adult and thrillers, she then worked as an editor for Harlequin, acquiring category romance, contemporary romance, multicultural romance and women’s fiction.

Rachel’s career highlights include helping her authors achieve prestigious romance book nominations and two selective awards, including the National Readers Choice Award, and several top reviews in Romantic Times magazine for her books.

In her free time, Rachel likes reading first and foremost–mostly women’s fiction, psychological suspense and young adult–as well as traveling with her husband, spoiling her cat, Ginnie, and watching football (go Steelers!).

Rachel is drawn to voice-driven fiction, particularly in young adult; quirky, three-dimensional, flawed characters, including and especially secondary characters; beautiful writing; dark themes; books that explore good people in morally complicated situations; and complex, detailed plots.

Rachel is NOT interested in:

no children’s/picture books
no middle grade
no science fiction/fantasy
no romantic suspense
no action-driven suspense (prefer character/psychological-driven)
no heavily faith-based/inspirational material

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Carlie Webber of Fuse Literary

Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 9.25.16 AM.pngCarlie Webber is a literary agent with Fuse Literary. Previously, she was the founding agent of CK Webber Associates Literary Management.

She represents fiction in the genres of: young adult, middle grade, new adult, women’s fiction, literary fiction, mainstream fiction, mystery, thriller, suspense, romance, science fiction, and fantasy.

She does not want to rep picture books, easy readers, poetry, scripts or curriculum nonfiction. She no longer seeks nonfiction (or memoir) of any kind.

Carlie refused to major in English in college because no one would let her read Stephen King or R.L. Stine for class. She took her love of YA and commercial fiction to the University of Pittsburgh, where she obtained a Master of Library and Information Science. For ten years, she worked as a public librarian serving teens and adults, served on book awards committees, and reviewed books professionally for journals including Kirkus Reviews and VOYA. Wishing to pursue her interest in the business side of books, she then enrolled in the Columbia Publishing Course. Her professional publishing experience includes an internship at Writers House and work with the Publish or Perish Agency/New England Publishing Associates and the Jane Rotrosen Agency.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Annie Bomke of Annie Bomke Literary Agency

AB1Annie Bomke is a literary agent and the founder of Annie Bomke Literary Agency. She has worked with internationally bestselling authors such as Ken Blanchard, Spencer Johnson, John Assaraf, John David Mann, and Bob Burg. She has edited a wide range of projects—from hard-nosed business books to otherworldly historical novels.

Annie has loved the publishing industry since her position as an Editorial Assistant at Zoetrope: All-Story, a literary magazine founded by Francis Ford Coppola. She explored her love of books managing Alcala Gallery, an art gallery and rare bookstore, and even had a brief stint as a technical writer for a Department of Defense contractor. Whether she was reading a 19th century treatise on medicine or a query letter for a high-tech thriller, she has always been fascinated by the way people think and express themselves in writing.

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.

Annie spends her free time reading, going for walks in the park, and dancing. Her favorite authors include Haruki Murakami, Margaret Atwood, Ray Bradbury, and Paul Auster.

Tips For Pitching Your Book at the 2020 SDWW

If you are coming to the 2020 San Diego Writing Workshop (May 9, 2020), 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 workshop 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.