The 2017 Kansas City Writing Workshop: March 25, 2017

screen-shot-2015-05-28-at-9-16-34-am.pngWriting Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2017 Kansas City Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in Kansas City, KS, on March 25, 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 (125 total). All questions about the event regarding schedule, details and registration are answered below. Thank you for your interest in the 2017 Kansas City Writing Workshop!

WHAT IS IT?

This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, March 25, 2017, at the Hampton Inn & Suites Kansas City Country Club Plaza. 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 Rebecca Bugger (Serendipity Literary Agency)
  • literary agent Reiko Davis (DeFiore & Company)
  • literary agent Stephanie Hansen (Metamorphosis Literary Agency)
  • literary agent Whitley Abell (Inklings Literary)
  • literary agent Tricia Skinner (Fuse Literary Agency)
  • literary agent Cheryl Ferguson (Ferguson Literary Agency)
  • literary agent Justin Wells (Corvisiero Literary Agency)
  • literary agent Jennifer Haskin (Metamorphosis Literary Agency)

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.

THIS YEAR’S PRESENTER/INSTRUCTOR

Screen Shot 2016-11-29 at 10.07.06 PM.pngMarisa A. Corvisiero is a literary agent and the founder of the Corvisiero Literary Agency. She is also a literary consultant, speaker, author, and attorney (The Corvisiero Law Practice, P.C) in New York City. Marisa began her publishing career as an agent at L. Perkins Associates, before founding her own agency, which now has eight agents. As an agent, she has attended more than 50 writing conferences and events, instructing on the craft and business of writing at many of those events. She represents a broad array of fiction and nonfiction — books for both children and adults, and instructs frequently on topics such as literary agents, getting published, e-publishing, successful writing techniques, selling & pitching your book, and more. Marisa loves teaching writers how to get published, and is excited about being the 2017 presenter for the Kansas City Writing Workshop. As an agent, she represents 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.

EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS

9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Saturday, March 25, 2017, at the Hampton Inn & Suites Kansas City Country Club Plaza, 4600 Summit St., Kansas City, MO 64112. (816)448-4600.

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WORKSHOP SCHEDULE (MARCH 25, 2017)

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.)

2:40 – 3:40: “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.

3:40 – 4:30: “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 2016-11-29 at 11.23.01 PM.pngReiko Davis [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent with DeFiore & Co. in New York City. Reiko’s interests are varied, but she is particularly drawn to adult literary and upmarket/mainstream fiction, narrative nonfiction, and young adult and middle grade fiction. Above all, she wants to discover books that surprise and move her with their irresistible characters and language. She loves a strong narrative voice; smart, funny heroines; narrowly located settings (especially towns in the South and Midwest); family sagas; darkly suspenseful novels; and stories of remarkable friendships or that explore the often perilous terrain of human relationships. Learn more about Reiko here.

Screen Shot 2016-11-28 at 11.54.49 PM.pngStephanie Hansen is a literary agent with Metamorphosis Literary Agency. She represents predominately young adult science fiction & fantasy but has a secret addiction for adult thrillers. While these are her favorite, she also handles children’s picture books, middle grade, young adult science fiction & fantasy (diversity = a plus), adult literary fiction, and women’s fiction. She is actively building her client list. Learn more about Stephanie here.

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 1.06.24 PM.pngTricia Skinner is a literary agent with Fuse Literary. She is representing the entire agency and taking pitches on behalf of both herself and all her co-agents. She is taking pitches for the following fiction genres: romance, fantasy, science fiction, mystery / thriller / suspense, horror, young adult, middle grade, literary fiction, new adult, graphic novels, women’s fiction, upmarket fiction, and novels/books by and about people from marginalized perspectives (such as LGBT people and/or racial minorities). She is taking pitches for the following nonfiction categories: memoir (including YA and graphic), cookbooks and food studies, political and current events, pop science, pop culture (also punk culture and geek culture), self-help, how-to, humor, pets, business / career, narrative nonfiction, history (particularly of the ancient world), history, theater / cinema / television, music, feminism and gender studies, LGBT, fashion, science / medicine, economics, sociology / social trends, craft, and design. Learn more about Tricia here.

Screen Shot 2016-12-01 at 2.58.36 PM.pngWhitley Abell [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent with Inklings Literary. Whitley is currently building her client list and is actively seeking young adult, middle grade, and select adult commercial fiction. Strong female voices are near and dear to her heart, and she is particularly drawn to fresh retellings, diverse voices, flawed but (usually) well-meaning characters, and parts of the world she’ll likely never see. In adult commercial fiction, she is drawn to female-centric stories, whether contemporary or historical. She’s looking for psychological thrillers, upmarket women fiction, lyrical historicals, and commercial chick-lit . She is also looking for immersive magical fantasies on par with The Magicians and A Darker Shade of Magic. She is not interested in angels, zombies, werewolves, vampires, dystopian societies, or steampunk. Please NO picture books, poetry, screenplays, nonfiction, or genre romance, crime, mysteries, sci-fi, or epic fantasy for the adult market. Learn more about Whitley here.

Cheryl Ferguson is a literary agent and the founder of The Ferguson Literary Agency. She is seeking: commercial/mainstream fiction, women’s fiction, chick lit, romance (single-title only), romantic suspense, espionage/thriller, multicultural fiction, historical fiction, young adult, and fantasy. Learn more about Cheryl here.

Screen Shot 2016-11-26 at 8.31.16 PM.pngJustin Wells is a jr. literary agent with Corvisiero Literary Agency. He is seeking middle grade in the areas of fantasy, science fiction, paranormal, adventure, and historical fiction. He seeks young adult in the areas of fantasy, science fiction, paranormal, adventure, historical fiction, contemporary, and dystopian. He seeks new adult contemporary romance. And he also seeks adult fiction in the genres of fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction. Learn more about Justin here.

Screen Shot 2016-12-15 at 11.07.24 AM.pngJennifer Haskin is a literary agent with Metamorphosis Literary Agency. She is actively seeking new clients focusing on YA fantasy but has a crush on adult romance. Learn more about Jennifer here.

Rebecca Bugger is a literary agent with Serendipity Literary Agency. Unfortunately, she had to cancel on the event.

More 2017 agents/editors may be added in the coming weeks/months.

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 base price for registration to the 2017 KCWW and access to all workshops, all day, on March 25, 2017. As of November 2016, 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 2016-12-13 at 12.07.49 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 the day’s instructor, literary agent Marisa Corvisiero. 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 Kansas City workshop specifically.

REGISTRATION

Because of limited space at the venue of the Plaza hotel, the workshop can only allow 125 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 KCWW 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 Kansas City 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 Kansas Writing Workshop.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Reiko Davis of DeFiore & Company

Screen Shot 2016-11-29 at 3.25.12 PM.png[SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS]

Reiko Davis is a literary agent with DeFiore & Co. in New York City.

Previously, she was an associate agent at Miriam Altshuler Literary Agency for four years. She grew up in Kansas City, received her BA in Comparative Literature and Art History from Brown University, and is a graduate of the Columbia Publishing Course.

Reiko’s interests are varied, but she is particularly drawn to adult literary and upmarket/mainstream fiction, narrative nonfiction, and young adult and middle grade fiction. Above all, she wants to discover books that surprise and move her with their irresistible characters and language.

She loves a strong narrative voice; smart, funny heroines; narrowly located settings (especially towns in the South and Midwest); family sagas; darkly suspenseful novels; and stories of remarkable friendships or that explore the often perilous terrain of human relationships.

For children’s books, she is actively looking for young adult and middle grade fiction—whether it be contemporary, historical, fantasy, or simply a story with a timeless quality and vibrant characters.

For nonfiction, she is most interested in cultural, social, and literary history; fascinating tours through niche subjects; narrative science; psychology; guides on creativity; and memoir.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Stephanie Hansen of Metamorphosis Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2016-11-28 at 11.54.49 PM.pngStephanie Hansen is a literary agent with Metamorphosis Literary Agency.

She represents predominately young adult science fiction & fantasy but has a secret addiction for adult thrillers. While these are her favorite, she handles everything fiction from children’s picture books, middle grade, young adult science fiction & fantasy (diversity = a plus), adult literary fiction, and women’s fiction.

Stephanie received her Master’s in 2008, and she’s currently beefing it up with a Creative Writing Specialization. Previously an editor for Mind’s Eye Literary Magazine, she is actively looking for new authors. Twitter: @hansenwriter.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Whitley Abell of Inklings Literary

Screen Shot 2016-12-01 at 2.58.36 PM.png[SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS]

Whitley Abell is a literary agent with Inklings Literary.

Whitley is an editorial agent, supporting her authors through all stages of the writing and publication process. Her publishing career began as an intern with Carol Mann Agency and P.S. Literary Agency, and she also interned at Inklings Literary Agency before working her way up to agent. She holds a BA in English Literature, and a MAT in Secondary English Education, which means she can tell you everything there is to know about feminist literary theory and the Common Core Standards. When she’s not agenting or daylighting as a content manager, she can typically be found slipping down rabbit holes of the literary and fandom varieties.

Whitley is currently building her client list and is actively seeking young adult, middle grade, and select adult commercial fiction. Strong female voices are near and dear to her heart, and she is particularly drawn to fresh retellings, diverse voices, flawed but (usually) well-meaning characters, and parts of the world she’ll likely never see.

In adult commercial fiction, she is drawn to female-centric stories, whether contemporary or historical. She’s looking for psychological thrillers à la Megan Abbott; upmarket women fiction à la Maria Semple and Emma Straub; lyrical historicals à la Kate Morton and Hannah Kent; and commercial chick-lit à la Sophie Kinsella, Rainbow Rowell, and Taylor Jenkins Reid. She is also looking for immersive magical fantasies on par with The Magicians and A Darker Shade of Magic.

In young adult and middle grade, her interests are quite broad. She welcomes queries for speculative/sci-fi, fantasy, contemporary, romance, historical, thrillers, and horror, and is particularly interested in light-hearted and high-concept contemporary, magical realism that borders on psychological thriller, and dark historical fantasies set at the dawn of the modern age. Number one on her wish list is a best friend break-up story—specifically, a contemporary YA told in the style of The Last 5 Years, or a humorous, heart-filled MG spin on Forgetting Sarah Marshall. She has a soft spot for trips abroad, mischief, boy humor, and the goofy guys and devout fangirls of the world.

She is not interested in angels, zombies, werewolves, vampires, dystopian societies, or steampunk.

Please NO picture books, poetry, screenplays, nonfiction, or genre romance, crime, mysteries, sci-fi, or epic fantasy for the adult market.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Justin Wells of Corvisiero Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2016-11-26 at 8.31.16 PM.pngJustin Wells is a jr. literary agent with Corvisiero Literary Agency.

He is seeking:

  • Middle grade: fantasy, science fiction, paranormal, adventure, and historical fiction.
  • Young adult: fantasy, science fiction, paranormal, adventure, historical fiction, contemporary, and dystopian.
  • New adult: contemporary romance.
  • Adult fiction: fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction.

From a young adult book blogger, to an aspiring publishing professional. Justin started his journey five years ago when he started his blog which grew far beyond what he had originally thought it ever would. If you had asked him then, he would have never imagined just how much his journey would impact his future.

Outside of reading and work, Justin enjoys to be outside. Growing up in rural southeast Missouri hiking, climbing around on cliffs, and finding amazing places out in the middle of nowhere to explore and escape the world and just be able to enjoy the world around him has always been a big part of his life. Although it is usually pretty rare that he gets a lot of time to do those things anymore, but for someone that loves to stay busy he is completely okay with that.

When it comes to reading, he is very open. His main focus is young adult, middle grade, and new adult, though he has been known to branch out and explore other books that catch his eye.

If Justin finds a great fantasy book, you can expect him to be lost in the book for hours. Fantasy is by far his favorite genre, with science fiction and contemporary pulling up a close second. There is something about being caught up in a world that has been created from the ground up with an epic journey, magic, dangerous creatures, and all of the other amazing things that often come up in the world of fantasy that keeps Justin always coming back for more.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Tricia Skinner of Fuse Literary

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 1.06.24 PM.pngTri­cia Skin­ner is a literary agent with Fuse Literary.

She is representing the entire agency and taking pitches on behalf of both herself and all her co-agents.

She is taking pitches for the following fiction genres:

  • genre romance (subgenres of science fiction, futuristic, fantasy, suspense, military/special ops, firefighters, cowboys, paranormal, and medieval historical)
  • fantasy
  • science fiction
  • mystery / thriller / suspense
  • horror
  • young adult
  • middle grade
  • literary fiction
  • new adult
  • graphic novels
  • women’s fiction
  • upmarket fiction
  • novels and books by and about people from marginalized perspectives, such as LGBT people and/or racial minorities.

She is taking pitches for the following nonfiction categories:

  • memoir (including YA and graphic)
  • cookbooks and food studies
  • political and current events
  • pop science
  • pop culture (also punk culture and geek culture)
  • self-help
  • how-to
  • humor
  • pets
  • business / career
  • narrative nonfiction
  • history (particularly of the ancient world)
  • history
  • theater / cinema / television
  • music
  • feminism and gender studies
  • LGBT
  • fashion
  • science / medicine
  • economics
  • sociology / social trends
  • craft
  • design

Tricia herself is an author of passionate dark fantasy (represented by Agency co-founder Laurie McLean), Assistant Agent working with Laurie McLean, and a project manager for Short Fuse Publishing. She began her writing career as a business reporter at The Detroit News, Investor’s Business Daily, MSN, and The Houston Chronicle. Eventually she transitioned into public relations for Belo Corp. and CBS television, and then game industry relations for The Guildhall at Southern Methodist University.

Diversity in genre fiction is dear to Tricia’s heart.

When not writ­ing, Tricia can be found reading, lifting weights, or geeking out over games, movies, and music. She has a Tom Hiddleston obsession, and she is definitely Team Vader. Her fam­ily includes three Great Danes (so far).