The 2020 Alabama Writing Workshop: March 6, 2020

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 12.43.29 PMAfter successful events in 2016, 2017, and 2019, Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2020 Alabama Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in Birmingham, AL on Friday, March 6, 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 Alabama Writing Workshop!

WHAT IS IT?

This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Friday, March 6, 2020, 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 Erin Clyburn (Corvisiero 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 the Alabama Writers Conclave.

EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS

9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Friday, March 6, 2020: Embassy Suites by Hilton Birmingham, 2300 Woodcrest Pl, Birmingham, AL 35209. (205)879-7400.

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WORKSHOP SCHEDULE & INSTRUCTORS (MARCH 6, 2020)

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

9:30 – 10:30: TBA

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

11:45 – 1:15: Lunch on your own. There are several restaurants within quick driving distance on the block.

1:15 – 2:30: TBA

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

4:00 – 5:00: TBA

All throughout the day: Agent & Editor Pitching.

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PITCH AN AGENT!

Screen Shot 2019-10-22 at 6.07.56 PMErin Clyburn is a literary agent with The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency. She is seeking nonfiction picture books, high-concept chapter book series, some middle grade, and some young adult. For adult fiction, she seeks character-driven literary fiction; plot-driven suspense / mysteries / thrillers, all horror from psychological to gothic to slasher, multigenerational family sagas. In nonfiction, she wants pop science, high-interest nonfiction, true crime, cookbooks, science- or culture-focused memoirs. Learn more about Erin here.

more forthcoming

         More 2020 agents will 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

$169 — EARLY BIRD registration pricing! This is the complete base price for registration to the 2020 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 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 Brian Klems, who previously taught at this Alabama workshop. (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?

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. Options:

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 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 Brian Klems via email: WDWconference@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 Brian 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 2020 Alabama Writing Workshop.

 

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Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Erin Clyburn of The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2019-10-22 at 6.07.56 PMErin Clyburn is a literary agent with The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency.

Erin joined The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency as Associate Agent after an internship and apprenticeship with Corvisiero Literary Agency. She has worked as a copy editor and recipe editor in the magazine industry and was general manager and director of collection development for Turtleback Books. She received her BA in English Literature from Mississippi State University and her MA in Children’s Literature from Hollins University. When not working, Erin loves hiking, cooking, traveling, painting, working on a manuscript or two, and trying to keep her three rabbits, Felix, Agnes, and Valentino, from chewing up every baseboard in the house.

She is seeking:

Children’s:

  • Picture books: Nonfiction picture books ONLY, particularly multicultural picture books and picture books about lesser-known individuals or historical events
  • Chapter books: High-concept chapter book series
  • Middle grade: Stories with big hearts and unforgettable voices, and especially mysteries (Did you write a novel like The Westing Game, Holes, or Greenglass House? Send it to her!)
  • Young adult: Dark contemporary, horror, thriller, mystery
  • All children’s: Graphic novels, high-interest nonfiction, magical realism, characters going on journeys

Adult:

  • Fiction: Character-driven literary fiction; plot-driven suspense, mysteries, and thrillers in the vein of Gillian Flynn or Tana French; laugh-out-loud novels about quirky, dysfunctional families; all horror from psychological to gothic to slasher; multigenerational family sagas like We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas

Nonfiction:

  • Pop science (Oliver Sacks, Mary Roach); high-interest nonfiction, particularly stories about fascinating people and issues that haven’t been told before (Radium Girls, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks); true crime; cookbooks; science- or culture-focused memoirs (My Brain on Fire, Educated, Full Body Burden)

Across the board:

  • Emotional, character-driven sci-fi (Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, Anderson’s Feed)
  • An Alabamian, Erin would love to see diverse Southern voices writing stories set in the South.
  • #ownvoices
  • Characters dealing with mental illness, neurodiverse representation

Not seeking:

  • ​Erin is not the right person for fiction picture books, romance, Westerns, epic fantasy, political or military thrillers, hard sci-fi, short stories, or stories with a strong focus on religion.