The 2017 Alabama Writing Workshop: Feb. 24, 2017

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 12.43.29 PMAfter a successful event 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!


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)
  • editor Misty Williams (Fiery Seas Publishing)

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 Jessica Bell of Writing Day Workshops, with help from the Alabama Writers Conclave.


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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9 – 9:30: Check-in and registration at the event location, and official welcome from coordinator Jessica Bell.

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.


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 2016-12-13 at 12.12.13 AM.pngEric 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 [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] 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 2017-01-31 at 8.44.50 PM.pngMisty Williams, an editor, founded Fiery Seas Publishing in 2014. Misty is actively seeking for mysteries, thrillers, horror, science fiction, fantasy, young adult, middle grade, romance, and historical fiction. Misty accept manuscripts of the following lengths: novelette (10,000-35,000 words), novella (35,000-60,000 words), novel (60,000 words and up). Learn more about Misty here.

Screen Shot 2016-12-01 at 4.02.36 PM.pngMark Gottlieb [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] 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.)


$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 2016-12-13 at 12.20.11 AM.pngI signed with my agent, Patricia Nelson, after
meeting her at the Arizona Writing Workshop.”
– writer Axie Oh

Screen Shot 2016-12-13 at 12.07.56 AM.png“I officially signed with agent Renee Nyen of KT
Literary. I met her at the Colorado Writing
Workshop.” – writer Jessie Hilb Akos

Screen Shot 2016-12-13 at 12.08.00 AM.png“After taking pitches at the Michigan Writing
Workshop, I signed writer Kyle Prue as a new
client.” – literary agent Veronica Park

Screen Shot 2016-12-13 at 12.08.09 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:, 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.


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: 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.


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