The 2017 Alabama Writing Workshop: Feb. 24, 2017

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 12.43.29 PMAfter a successful even in 2016, Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2017 Alabama Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in Birmingham, AL on February 24, 2017.

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 2017 Alabama Writing Workshop!

WHAT IS IT?

This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Friday, February 24, 2017, at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Birmingham (near the Birmingham Zoo). 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 includes the following:

  • literary agent Marisa Corvisiero (Corvisiero Literary)
  • literary agent Mark Gottlieb (Trident Media Group)
  • literary agent Latoya C. Smith (L. Perkins Agency)
  • literary agent Eric Smith (P.S. Literary)
  • literary agent Cate Hart (Corvisiero Literary)
  • editor Elizabeth May (Kensington Publishing)
  • and possibly more agents & editors to be announced soon.

By the end of the day, you will have all the tools you need to move forward on your writing journey.

EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS

9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Friday, February 24, 2017: Embassy Suites by Hilton Birmingham, 2300 Woodcrest Pl, Birmingham, AL 35209. (205)879-7400.

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WORKSHOP SCHEDULE & INSTRUCTORS (FEB. 24, 2017)

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

9:30 – 10:30: “How to Get a Literary Agent: The Best Advice on Finding and Pitching Reps for Your Work.” This workshop, taught by Guide to Literary Agents editor Chuck Sambuchino of Writer’s Digest Books, 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, pitching tips, as well as the most important things to do and not to do when dealing with representatives.

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 10.12.02 AM10:30 – 11:45: “How to Be a Better Writer: What You Need to Do Before Submitting Work to Agents & Editors.” This class, taught by attending literary agent Cate Hart, will address what writers should be doing before they submit their work. The presentation will examine genres and genre expectations, things to do while writing your rough draft, plot and character-building tips, how to examine published works to help learn craft, the basics of self-editing and revision, and much more.

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 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 – 4:00: “Social Media 101: Understand the Basics of Getting Online, Building a Readership, and Marketing Your Books & Yourself.” This session, taught by attending literary agent (and published author) Eric Smith, will address the basics of author platform and how to use social media effectively. No matter if you seek to be traditionally published or self-published, whether you aim to write fiction or nonfiction — marketing yourself is a valuable and necessary skill. This speech will delve into the building blocks of what can constitute a writer platform, from media appearances and speaking engagements to blogs, Facebook, Twitter and more.

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 10.07.06 AM4:00 – 5:00: “You Got a Book Deal! — Now What?” This session, taught by literary agent and former editor Latoya C. Smith, examines what happens after you sign on the dotted line. Whether an author gets a book deal from a Big 5 Publisher or a regional press down the block, they oftentimes have no idea what to expect once a contract is in place. This session will examine how a publisher’s editorial process works, how you can be a valuable long-term client to your publisher, basic marketing steps you can do, how collaborating with a publicist actually works, the value of writing your next book during downtime, what is expected of you around your book’s release date, and more.

All throughout the day: Agent & Editor Pitching.

PITCH AN AGENT!

Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 9.39.26 AM.pngMarisa A. Corvisiero is the founder of Corvisiero Literary. She is seeking contemporary romance, thriller, adventure, paranormal / urban fantasy, science fiction, combinations of the genres listed, middle grade (fantasy, adventure, science fiction), picture books (special stories that deliver a subtle, non-didactic message; illustrations not needed), self-help, science nonfiction, and business books. She especially enjoys Christmas, time travel, and space science fiction themed stories. Learn more about Marisa here.

Screen Shot 2016-10-12 at 10.44.51 AM.pngLatoya C. Smith is a literary agent with L. Perkins Agency. Latoya is seeking romance, erotica, erotic fiction, women’s fiction, women’s thriller, LGBTQ romance and erotic fiction, along with advice/how-to/memoir submissions. Latoya tends to shy away from YA, sci-fi/fantasy, historical, steampunk, and urban fantasy, however if she happens to fall in with projects within those genres, she is happy to represent them. Learn more about Latoya here.

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 12.53.51 PMEric Smith is a literary agent with P.S. Literary. He is eagerly acquiring fiction and nonfiction projects. He’s actively seeking out new, diverse voices in young adult (particularly sci-fi and fantasy), new adult, and literary and commercial fiction (again, loves sci-fi and fantasy, but also thrillers and mysteries). In terms of nonfiction, he’s interested in cookbooks, pop culture, humor, essay collections, and blog-to-book ideas. Learn more about Eric here.

Screen Shot 2016-10-19 at 7.14.57 PM.pngElizabeth May is an editorial assistant at Kensington Publishing Corporation. She is seeking: Fiction areas of interest include action/adventure, commercial, fantasy, general, historical, horror, humorous, LGBTQ, literary, mystery, new adult, religious, romance, science fiction, women’s fiction. Nonfiction areas of interest: biography, crafts/DIY, history, humor, journalism, memoir, pop culture, travel, and true crime. Learn more about Elizabeth here.

Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 10.48.06 PM.pngCate Hart is a literary agent at Corvisiero Literary. Cate seeks unique stories with well-crafted plots and unforgettable characters with a strong voice. Her favorite genre is historical, whether it’s middle grade or YA, adult romance or something even spicier. The time periods she loves most are Elizabethan England, the American and French Revolutions, the Victorian Era and the Gilded Age. She loves Scottish and French History. If it’s steampunk, clockpunk, or candlepunk, she wants it. Her first love will always be young adult. She will consider any YA subgenre, but is looking especially for fantasy and magical realism. For middle grade, she is looking for fantasy, adventure and Mystery with a humorous or heart-warming voice and a unique concept. For adult fiction, she is only accepting historical romance. Cate will also consider select LGBTQ and erotica. For nonfiction, Cate will consider select histories and biographies. She is looking for secret histories and little known facts and events. She enjoys reading about the everyday heroes of the American and French Revolutions, something more beyond the tactics of war. Learn more about Cate here.

Screen Shot 2016-12-01 at 4.02.36 PM.pngMark Gottlieb is a literary agent with Trident Media Group. Mark represents all genres of fiction, nonfiction, middle grade, young adult, children’s picture books, and graphic novels. Learn more about Mark here.

More 2017 agents may be added.

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 — EARLY BIRD registration pricing! This is the complete base price for registration to the 2017 AWW 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. 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 2015-11-29 at 3.01.32 PM“I signed with my agent, Patricia Nelson, after
meeting her at the Arizona Writing Workshop.”
– writer Axie Oh

Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 3.05.52 PM“I officially signed with agent Renee Nyen of KT
Literary. I met her at the Colorado Writing
Workshop.” – writer Jessie Hilb Akos

Screen Shot 2016-02-27 at 1.31.47 PM.png“After taking pitches at the Michigan Writing
Workshop, I signed writer Kyle Prue as a new
client.” – literary agent Veronica Park

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 10.59.25 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. (This rate is a special event value for Alabama 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 Alabama workshop specifically.

REGISTRATION

Because of limited space at the venue of Embassy Suites by Hilton Birmingham, 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: 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 AWW 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 Alabama 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 2017 Alabama Writing Workshop.

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Mark Gottlieb of Trident Media Group

Screen Shot 2016-12-01 at 4.02.36 PM.pngMark Gottlieb is a literary agent with Trident Media Group.

Mark attended Emerson College and was president of its Publishing Club, establishing the Wilde Press. After graduating with a degree in writing, literature & publishing, he began his career with Penguin’s VP. Mark’s first position at Publishers Marketplace’s #1-ranked literary agency, Trident Media Group, was in foreign rights. Mark was EA to Trident’s chairman and ran the Audio Department. Mark is currently working with his own client list, helping to manage and grow author careers with the unique resources available to Trident. He has ranked #1 among literary agents on publishersmarketplace.com in overall deals and other categories.

Mark represents all genres of fiction, nonfiction, middle grade, young adult, children’s picture books, and graphic novels.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Latoya C. Smith of L. Perkins Agency

Screen Shot 2016-10-17 at 12.41.26 PM.pngLatoya C. Smith is a literary agent with L. Perkins Agency.

(In addition to taking pitches at the event, Latoya is teaching the class “You Got a Book Deal! — Now What?”)

Before joining the L. Perkins Agency, Latoya was an editor for over thirteen years working at publishing houses such as Kensington Publishing, Hachette Book Group, and Samhain Publishing. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Latoya started her editorial career as an administrative assistant to New York Times bestselling author, Teri Woods, while pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree at Temple University. In 2006, Latoya joined Grand Central Publishing, an imprint at Hachette Book Group, where she acquired a variety of titles from Hardcover fiction and non-fiction, to digital romance and erotica. In 2014, Latoya was Executive Editor at Samhain Publishing where she acquired short and long form romance as well as erotic fiction. She was also the winner of the 2012 RWA Golden Apple for Editor of the Year.

She is seeking: Latoya is seeking romance, erotica, erotic fiction, women’s fiction, women’s thriller, LGBTQ romance and erotic fiction, along with advice/how-to/memoir submissions. Latoya tends to shy away from YA, sci-fi/fantasy, historical, steampunk, and urban fantasy, however if she happens to fall in with projects within those genres, she is happy to represent them.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Marisa Corvisiero of Corvisiero Literary

CorvisieroMarisa A. Corvisiero is the founder of Corvisiero Literary.

Marisa seeks creative stories with developed plots and rich characters with unique voices.

She is seeking:

  • contemporary romance
  • thriller
  • adventure
  • paranormal / urban fantasy
  • science fiction
  • combinations of the genres listed above
  • 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.
  • self-help
  • science nonfiction
  • business books (including titles for kids)

Marisa A. Corvisiero is the founder of the Corvisiero Literary Agency and our Senior Literary Agent. During the few years prior to starting her own agency, Marisa worked with the L. Perkins Agency, where she learned invaluable lessons and made a name for herself in the industry. She is also a Literary Consultant, Speaker, Author and an Attorney practicing law with a focus on Corporate Law and Estate Planning in New York City.

Ms. Corvisiero is also the founder of The Corvisiero Law Practice, P.C. Since the law firm’s inception, it has achieved incredible success and growth, and continues on its high-speed trajectory towards excellence. The firm now provides assistance in a number of practice areas as a comprehensive package of legal services for existing and new clients.

Ms. Corvisiero has held positions in several law firms and companies since 1995 in different capacities. In such positions, she has attained the knowledge and experience necessary to properly and dynamically represent her clients. These stellar firms and companies include Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker, LLP, a top global law firm; Windels, Marx, Lane & Mittendorf, LLP, a white shoe boutique law firm; and Avaya, Inc., a fortune 500 telecommunications company among several distinguished others.

Ms. Corvisiero received her Bachelors in Business Administration in International Business and Marketing from Hofstra University in 1995, where she was the President of the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity Chapter, and the President of the Pre Law Society during her last year. Ms. Corvisiero received her Juris Doctorate from Pace University School of Law in 2000, and earned Pace University School of Law’s prestigious International Law Certificate for her studies in International Law. During her legal studies, she held several Board positions on the Student Bar Association, where she was also the Treasurer of the Environmental Law Society, the Chair of the Social Committee, and the Co-Editor of the Pace University School of Law Year Book in 1999 and 2000.

Ms. Corvisiero is licensed to practice in New York State, and has been in good standing for the duration of her admission to the Bar. She belongs to the New York City Bar Association, New York State Bar Association and the American Bar Association.

She is fluent in Italian and Spanish, and has some working knowledge of Portuguese and Japanese.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Eric Smith of P.S. Literary

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 12.53.46 PMEric Smith is a literary agent with P.S. Literary.

(In addition to taking pitches at the event, Eric is teaching the class “Social Media 101: Understand the Basics of Getting Online, Building a Readership, and Marketing Your Books & Yourself.”)

Eric began his publishing career at Quirk Books in Philadelphia, working social media and marketing on numerous books he absolutely adored. Eric completed his BA in English at Kean University, and his MA in English at Arcadia University. A frequent blogger, his ramblings about books appear on BookRiot, The Huffington Post, Barnes & Noble’s Teen Reads blog, Paste Magazine’s Books section, and more. A published author with Quirk Books and Bloomsbury, he seeks to give his authors the same amount of love his writing has received. Follow him on Twitter: @ericsmithrocks

Eric is seeking: Eric is eagerly acquiring fiction and nonfiction projects. He’s actively seeking out new, diverse voices in Young Adult (particularly sci-fi and fantasy), New Adult, and Literary and Commercial Fiction (again, loves sci-fi and fantasy, but also thrillers and mysteries). In terms of nonfiction, he’s interested in Cookbooks, Pop Culture, Humor, essay collections, and blog to book ideas.

Get to Know an Editor in Attendance: Elizabeth May of Kensington Publishing

Screen Shot 2016-10-18 at 4.51.30 PM.pngElizabeth May is an editorial assistant at Kensington Publishing Corporation where she works primarily with editorial director Gary Goldstein on genre fiction and select nonfiction.

She recently acquired Cynthia Tennent’s Truhart contemporary romance series for Lyrical Press. She is seeking many categories of genre fiction, and particularly enjoys books that walk the line between upmarket and commercial, as well as historical women’s fiction, and mysteries where the characters are as important as the crime, a la literary suspense. You can find her on Twitter: @LizMay05.

She is seeking: Fiction areas of interest include action/adventure, commercial, fantasy, general, historical, horror, humorous, LGBTQ, literary, mystery, new adult, religious, romance, science fiction, women’s fiction. Nonfiction areas of interest: biography, crafts/DIY, history, humor, journalism, memoir, pop culture, travel, and true crime.

In her own words: “I would love to find the next Outlander—or a romantic adventure story that is going to take me into another world and time period and introduce me to a new set of supernatural and/or historical elements. I love mysteries, the darker the better. Would love to find the next Ruth Ware or Laura McHugh. Atmospheric and character driven psychological thrillers, especially with a unique female voice. Would love to find the next Elizabeth Hoyt, or Kresley Cole, a romance author who can really blend humor, drama, and amazing character development and sexual tension to create an unputdownable romance. I’d like to find the next Seth Grahame Smith, supernatural thriller with the kind of quirky and unique hook that can’t be ignored, and demands a space in the cultural conscience. I also seek the next Marie Kondo—a self-help styled book that seems so simply innate that as soon as you hear about it you wonder why you haven’t already read it.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Cate Hart of Corvisiero Literary

Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 10.48.06 PM.pngCate Hart is a literary agent at Corvisiero Literary.

(In addition to taking pitches at the event, Cate is also teaching the class “How to Be a Better Writer: What You Need to Do Before Submitting Work to Agents & Editors.”)

Cate is all about guilty pleasures. She loves salted caramel mochas, Justin Timberlake, Fox’s Sleepy Hollow, and Steampunk. As a native Nashvillian, Cate’s biggest guilty pleasure is watching “Nashville.”

When she’s reading, Cate looks for character-driven stories, a distinguished voice, and intriguing plots.She loves characters that surprise her, like the pirate with a heart of gold, and plots that keep her guessing until the very last page.

When she’s not reading queries, Cate works with clients to build their platform, works on PR projects to help promote clients’ books, and reads manuscripts with an editorial eye.

She is seeking: Cate seeks unique stories with well-crafted plots and unforgettable characters with a strong voice. Her favorite genre is historical, whether it’s Middle Grade or YA, Adult Romance or something even spicier. The time periods she loves most are Elizabethan England, the American and French Revolutions, the Victorian Era and the Gilded Age. She loves Scottish and French History. If it’s steampunk, clockpunk, or candlepunk, she wants it.

Her first love will always be young adult. She will consider any YA subgenre, but is looking especially for Fantasy and Magical Realism.

For Middle Grade, she is looking for Fantasy, Adventure and Mystery with a humorous or heart-warming voice and a unique concept.

For Adult, she is only accepting Historical Romance.

Cate will also consider select LGBTQ and Erotica.

For Non-Fiction, Cate will consider select histories and biographies. She is looking for secret histories and little known facts and events. She enjoys reading about the everyday heroes of the American and French Revolutions, something more beyond the tactics of war.