Our past Kansas City Writing Workshop events were successes — thank you to all who attended! The KCWW conference has happened multiple times before, and we at Writing Day Workshops have loved connecting writers and literary agents,and seeing so many success stories from our events.
We are not certain exactly when the next Kansas City event will happen (and whether it will be online vs, in person). That said, if you’d like to attend a writers conference in 2023, we have both in-person conferences as well as online events coming up in 2023 to suit your needs. For our online writers conferences, anyone can attend from anywhere. Each event has great instructional classes and 30-40 attending literary agents! Don’t let your location stop you from connecting with publishing professionals and furthering your writing journey. Details:
If you have questions, or want to register for any 2023 writers conferences, either online events or in-person events, contact us (Brian Klems) at WritingDayWorkshops@gmail.com and we are happy to assist. Writers can sign up for more than one event. If you and several people from your writing group all want to register together, ask us about a group discount.
All online classes are recorded and sent out to attendees afterward, so you can study the instruction and enjoy the experience. All virtual pitches are one-on-one with literary agents seeking writers, and done over Zoom (though phone is also an option). Thanks, all, and we hope to see you in 2023 at an event!
After successful 2017, 2019, and 2020 events in Kansas City,Writing Day Workshopsis excited to announce The 2022 Kansas City Writing Workshop — an online “How to Get Published” writing event on August 5-6, 2022. (Writers are welcome to attend virtually from everywhere and anywhere.)
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 online “seats” at the event (200 total). All questions about the event regarding schedule, details and registration are answered below. Thank you for your interest in the 2022 Kansas City Writing Workshop!
This is a special two-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on August 5-6, 2022. In other words, it’s two days 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. And even though this is the “Kansas City” Writing Workshop, make no mistake — writers from everywhere are welcome to attend virtually. Our WDW writers conferences have helped dozens of writers find literary agent representation —see our growing list of success stories here.
literary agent Susan Nystoriak (Golden Wheat Literary)
and possibly more agents 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 coordinators Chuck Sambuchino and Brian Klems ofWriting Day Workshops.
THIS YEAR’S SESSIONS & WORKSHOPS (AUGUST 5-6, 2022):
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 theofficial Schedule Page here.
Agent pitches and critique consultations overlap with Saturday sessions. The schedule of presentation topics below is subject to change and updates:
FRIDAY, AUGUST 5, 2022
9:30 – 10:30: 15 Tips on How to Write Like the Pros. This workshop is a thorough crash course concerning craft, style and voice. We’ll discuss nuts & bolts tips for sentence construction, like how to avoid passive tense, how to use vivid language, how to self-edit your own work, how to make your characters memorable, the art of compelling dialogue, and much more.
10:45 – 11:45: “The End” — Now What? Everything You Need to Understand, From a Finished Draft to Your Whole Career. The session outlines in detail the steps needed after writers complete their first draft of a novel or other full-length book.
11:45 – 1:15:Break
1:15 – 2:30:From Editor to Agent: The Differences in Each Role and Benefits of Having an Editorially-Savvy Agent. This class will explain the key roles that both a literary agent and publishing house editor play in your writing journey.
2:45 – 3:45: Craft Amazing Opening Pages. In this workshop, you’ll learn the tips and tricks of editing your opening pages in order to catch your readers’ interests.
4:00 – 5:00: Legal and Copyright FAQ For Writers. This workshop provides an introduction for both self-publishing and traditionally published authors to basic legal issues they may confront when writing and marketing their work.
* * * * *
SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2022
9:30 – 10:30: Everything You Need to Know About Agents and Query Letters. This workshop is a thorough crash course in dealing with literary agents, and understanding how to write an amazing query letter.
10:45 – 11:45: How to Think like a Developmental Editor. In this seminar with Shirin Leos, we will discuss developmental vs. line- or copy-editing, what dev editors consider when editing, and exercises that can help you dev-edit yourself.
11:45 – 1:15:Break
1:15 – 2:30:“Writers Got Talent”—a Page 1 Critique Fest, with participating literary agents and editors. 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.
2:45 – 3:45:Open Agent Q&A Panel. Several attending literary agents will open themselves up to open Q&A from KCWW attendees. Bring your questions and get them answered in this popular session.
4:00 – 5:00: Be Brief, Bright, and BOLD! How to Create Epic Picture Books That Sell. In this workshop, you will learn how to create, pitch, and publish compelling picture books that will delight audiences for years to come.
Agent pitches and critique consultations overlap with Saturday sessions. The schedule of presentation topics below is subject to change and updates:
Maria Vicente is a Senior Literary Agent and Advisor at P.S. Literary representing bold and innovative books for kids, teens, and curious adults. “I welcome and encourage submissions from BIPOC and LGBTQ+ creators whether or not your story is considered #ownvoices.” She is seeking young adult fiction (contemporary, magical realism, horror, mystery, thriller, and light fantasy—just to name a few); middle grade fiction (all genres), chapter books with strong series potential, picture books by author-illustrators, kidlit nonfiction projects for readers of all ages (including smart essay collections and illustrated gift books); and kidlit Graphic Novels for all age categories.Learn more about Maria here.
Erica Bauman is a literary agent with Aevitas Creative Management. Erica is currently focused on representing a wide range of authors across middle grade, young adult, and adult fiction, as well as some select narrative nonfiction projects. She is most interested in novels that straddle the line between literary and commercial, imaginative tales with a speculative twist, fearless storytellers that tackle big ideas and contemporary issues, and working with and supporting marginalized authors and stories that represent the wide range of humanity. “In adult, I gravitate towards stories that have a commercial premise and beautiful writing. I love voice-driven, witty rom-coms, historical novels (especially mysteries), and light SFF and magical realism. I’m on the lookout for books starring nerds, and stories that make me laugh. Across all age ranges and genres, I’m eager to support and work with marginalized authors and stories that represent the wide range of humanity.”Learn more about Erica here.
Regina A. Bernard-Carreno is a literary agent with Martin Literary Management. Regina is a literary manager currently accepting queries for true crime, memoirs, picture books, middle grade, young adult, graphic novels, cookbooks, and lifestyle artisan books. The work she hopes to accomplish as a literary manager is to help writers, as well as author-illustrators, think through their projects, see multiple opportunities where perhaps they don’t readily exist and help shape their work into successful books. Ultimately, she looks forward to championing great ideas. Learn more about Regina here.
Lauren Scovel is a literary agent with Laura Gross Literary Agency. She is especially interested in fiction and nonfiction involving social justice, political issues, and other timely and underrepresented stories. “I’m specifically interested in fiction and nonfiction stories that effortlessly depict a diverse cast of characters and perspectives.” Her fiction specialties are: GLBT, literary fiction, and multicultural. She will also consider humor/satire. Her nonfiction specialties are cultural/social issues, current affairs, GLBT, investigative journalism, multicultural, narrative, politics, true crime, and women’s concerns. She will also consider: history, memoir, and pets. Learn more about Laura here.
Hannah Andrade is a literary agent with Bradford Literary. She is particularly wanting to acquire BIPOC/underrepresented voices. She is prioritizing stories of joy where identity isn’t the focus and is especially excited about stories rooted in history, mythology, and legends, particularly those that are lesser-known or underrepresented in traditional publishing. “I am currently looking to acquire middle grade, young adult, adult, and select nonfiction. As someone who’s spent a large portion of their life outside of America, I am very interested in stories that explore the intricacies of multicultural identities. As a Mexican-American, I would particularly love to see the stories that I grew up with showcased in new and creative ways—send me your Latinx folklore-inspired MG and YA! In nonfiction, I’m looking for something that takes the mystery out of everyday life/occurrences (a lá Malcolm Gladwell or Atul Gawande) and investigative journalism-esque stories with a strong narrative hook.” Learn more about Hannah here.
Dana Newman is a literary agent with Dana Newman Literary. “We are interested in practical nonfiction (business, health and wellness, psychology, parenting, technology) by authors with smart, unique perspectives and established platforms who are committed to actively marketing and promoting their books. We love compelling, inspiring narrative nonfiction in the areas of memoir, biography, history, pop culture, current affairs/women’s interest, social trends, and sports/fitness. A favorite genre is literary nonfiction: true stories, well told, that read like a novel you can’t put down. On the fiction side we consider a very selective amount of literary fiction and women’s upmarket fiction. We look for character-driven stories written in a distinctive voice that are emotionally truthful.” Learn more about Dana here.
Sam Farkas is a literary agent with Jill Grinberg Literary Management. In adult fiction, Sam is looking for upmarket fiction of all stripes, but especially historical; fast-paced, high-concept speculative thrillers that make her heart race; lyrical and immersive fantasy; and single-title romance that simmers. Sam is also open to Young Adult and Middle Grade of all genres, but she has a special fondness for thoughtful contemporary, often with a speculative twist; historical with modern sensibilities; fantasy with morally gray protagonists and complicated character dynamics; the very strange, and the very funny. In all categories and genres, she is looking for diverse and underrepresented voices. Above all, Sam is drawn to exemplary writing. “I will consider select Picture Books and Nonfiction, but my focus is primarily on novels at this time.”Learn more about Sam here.
Barb Roose is a literary agent with Books & Such Literary. Barb represents nonfiction and adult fiction exclusively to Christian publishers. She loves partnering with authors to achieve their publishing career goals. With experience as an author, award-winning pharmaceutical sales representative and executive leader in the megachurch environment, Barb embraces the challenges and opportunities that agenting in Christian publishing offers. Her desire is to come alongside hopeful and established authors to create the most marketable, appealing manuscripts that will build lasting careers and influence readers. Learn more about Barb here. (Please note that Barb will be taking her KCWW pitches on Monday, August 8, rather than the event Saturday like other agents.)
Maeve MacLysaght is a literary agent with Copps Literary Services. Maeve seeks genre-blending commercial queer Fiction in YA/MG/Adult/Graphic Novels with a particular focus on BIPOC authors and authors of marginalized identities. She is NOT looking for nonfiction, genre fiction that perpetuates the racist, colonial, imperialistic, sexist, ableist tropes of the past, non-intersectional representation; no victories at the expense of another group, or low stakes, excessive realism. Learn more about Maeve here.
Ann Rose is a literary agent with Prospect Agency. She is seeking all kinds of young adult fiction; she loves stories with heart & humor, strong characters that stand up for their convictions, thrillers, and stories that deal with the issues kids face today. She seeks middle grade across all genres, especially ones that push the boundaries. For adult fiction, she wants swoony romances (any level but erotica), very light sci-fi or fantasy, fresh retellings, heartwarming contemporaries, unique voices, diverse perspectives, vivid settings, and stories that explore tough topics.Learn more about Ann here.
Susan Nystoriak is a literary agent with Golden Wheat Literary. As an agent with Golden Wheat, her main focus is on Adult Fiction. Susan is seeking: Susan is seeking authors who write for the Adult readership. RomCom’s, Women’s Fiction, and Mystery/Crime are high on her list! She is drawn to lighter themes, and humor is a plus. She represents authors who word-weave wonderful tales, and whose characters pursue their passions. She is not seeking children’s books of any kind.Learn more about Susan here.
Olga Filina is a Literary Agent and Partner at 5 Otter Literary. She is currently looking for narrative and prescriptive nonfiction projects across all categories: literary and book club fiction, historical fiction, crime, mystery, suspense, and memoir with exceptional writing, focusing on underrepresented voices. In the children’s space, she is looking for middle grade fiction with memorable characters, contemporary YA, and nonfiction across all categories. Learn more about Olga here.
Analieze Cervantes is a literary agent with The Harvey Klinger Literary Agency. “I’m especially open to BIPOC and LGBTQ voices.” She represents author-illustrators for picture books and graphic novels. She seeks middle grade and young adult fiction. For adult fiction, she seeks thriller and suspense, mystery, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, romantic comedies, paranormal, science fiction, and crime fiction.Learn more about Analieze here.
Pam Gruber is a literary agent with Irene Goodman Literary. Pam is looking for adult, young adult, and middle grade fiction with literary voices and commercial hooks. She is particularly interested in layered fantasy, speculative fiction, fantastical realism, rom-coms, and coming-of-age stories with a twist. She is also open to middle grade and YA graphic novels, as well as select narrative non-fiction on lesser-known subjects. Pam would not be the best fit for prescriptive nonfiction, anthologies, potty humor, paranormal, or erotica.Learn more about Pam here.
Eloy Bleifuss is a literary agent with Janklow & Nesbit. Eloy is drawn to genre-blurring novels that balance character and voice with tension and plot. He enjoys stories of regular people navigating relationships and work (Bryan Washington, Deesha Philyaw, Torrey Peters, Lauren Oyler, Andrew Martin) and character-driven speculative fiction (Jeff VanderMeer, Rivers Solomon, Stephen Graham Jones, Seth Dickinson, Yoon Ha Lee). He likes writing that is dark, uncanny, funny, and queer. When it comes to nonfiction, Eloy is interested in a broad range of categories from omnivorous cultural criticism and forgotten histories to big ideas books and relatable self-help.Learn more about Eloy here.
Leticia Gomez is a literary agent and the founder of Savvy Literary. At the present time, Savvy Literary Agency is interested in reviewing compelling and commercially viable book proposals and manuscripts written in English or Spanish. Fiction areas of interest: adventure, chick lit, fantasy, historical, humor, multicultural, mystery, paranormal, romance, young adult, and middle grade. Nonfiction areas of interest: advice/relationships, biography, cooking, diet, health, history/politics/current affairs, how-to, humor, lifestyle, memoir, parenting, religion/spirituality and true crime.Learn more about Leticia here.
Zoe Howard is a literary agent with Howland Literary. Zoe represents adult fiction and nonfiction. Zoe is seeking adult literary and upmarket fiction, and would especially love to see underrepresented voices and places, LGBTQ+ narratives, magical realism, and characters breaking away from archetypes and conventions. In nonfiction, Zoe is seeking narrative nonfiction, memoir, and expert-driven nonfiction about internet culture, music, relationships, religion/spirituality, and true crime. “I am most interested in writing that seeks to break trends: the lyricists writing prose, the southerners writing about the convenience stores and coastal edges of their south, the non-traditional narrators of fiction, and so on.” Learn more about Zoe here.
Amy Levenson is the founding literary agent of Blue Heron Literary. She represents: mainstream literary and commercial fiction, and nonfiction in the areas of memoir, biography, narrative nonfiction, popular culture, and cookery. She is actively seeking nonfiction, especially with topics in heath and nutrition, cookbooks, lifestyle and popular culture. She is especially drawn to new trends or new takes on old favorites, strong voice and dynamic platforms, and is always susceptible to a good solid tug on the heart strings. Learn more about Amy here.
Kelly Peterson is a literary agent with Rees Literary. Kelly seeks manuscripts in various genres within Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Adult age ranges. In Middle Grade, she loves fantasy, sci-fi, and contemporary that touches on tough issues for young readers. Her Young Adult preferences vary from contemporary to high fantasy, sci-fi (not the space kind) to paranormal (all the ghost stories, please!), and historical all the way back to rom-coms. Kelly is proud to continue to represent Adult manuscripts in romance, fantasy, and sci-fi. She is very interested in representing authors with marginalized own voices stories, witty and unique characters, pirates, witches, and dark fantasies.Learn more about Kelly here.
Jon Michael Darga is a literary agent with Aevitas Creative Management. Jon represents titles across a diverse range of genres, and represents both nonfiction and fiction. He is most interested in voice-driven pop culture writing, nonfiction histories that re-cast the narrative by emphasizing unexpected or unheard voices, and both adult and young adult commercial fiction that features diverse casts and new stories. He is not looking for genre fiction. Learn more about Jon here.
Julie Stevenson is a literary agent with Massie McQuilkin Literary Agents. Julie represents literary and upmarket fiction, suspense, memoir, graphic novels, narrative nonfiction, young adult fiction, and children’s picture books. She is drawn to powerful storytelling in these categories and looks for unforgettable characters, an authorial command of voice, a strong sense of narrative tension, and stories that explore the depths of human experience, particularly the many facets of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, social class, social justice, and regional backgrounds. Julie specializes in editorial development of both fiction and nonfiction projects and values the creativity and collaboration of the agent-author relationship.Learn more about Julie here.
Paul S. Levine is a literary agent and the founder of Paul S. Levine Literary. He is also an attorney. His fiction interests include adventure novels, mainstream fiction, mysteries, romance, thrillers, and women’s fiction. His nonfiction interests include business/commerce, pop culture, how-to, self-help, politics/law, relationships, and sports.Learn more about Paul here.
Cortney Radocaj is a literary agent with Belcastro Agency. As a member and advocate of both the LGBT and neurodiverse communities, Cortney adores seeing works that celebrate and normalize these experiences, particularly in YA. She is seeking: young adult, new adult, and adult. She is looking for LGBT (particularly F/F), neurodiversity, fantasy, science fiction, steampunk, cyberpunk, mythology/fairytale retellings, gothic, paranormal, contemporary, horror, and magical realism.Learn more about Cortney here.
Daniel Cramer is a literary agent and founder of Page Turner Literary. “While I love all books, my heart beats for children’s literature for many reasons, but the main reason is children’s literature is fearless. These books and their authors are not afraid to tackle tough topics, to celebrate diversity, or bring awareness to issues that others would turn their backs on.” Daniel is seeking picture books (no rhyming please, anything goes for fiction, STEM nonfiction), middle grade (horror, contemporary, adventure, historical, nature guide nonfiction), young adult (horror, contemporary, retellings, historical, romance, nonfiction cookbooks/STEM), graphic novels (horror, contemporary, historical, retelling, mythology), chapter books and early readers (any fiction, nonfiction STEM and historical bios), and diverse voices.Learn more about Daniel here.
Rachel Beck is a literary agent with Liza Dawson Associates. Specifically, she’s looking for: Upmarket/book club women’s fiction; Light-hearted millennial fiction or contemporary romance (a beach read, but with plenty of heart that might make you go from laughing to crying in an instant); Domestic suspense (character-driven, psychologically intense reads); Contemporary young adult (no fantasy, but she is primarily drawn to heavy, issue-driven YA that goes after topics such as mental health, sexual assault, eating disorders, abuse, trauma, suicide, LGBTQ issues, dealing with death/grief, etc.); Select nonfiction—feminist material; career/business/personal growth books with new focus points; extreme underdog, survival, accomplishment, or rising-from-poverty type stories; select health and wellness books (especially mental health, eating disorders, any rare or underrepresented conditions, Alzheimer’s/memory—she’s especially interested in the condition known as HSAM, Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory); books about football/the NFL; marathoner/triathlete memoirs; parenting books that bring something new to the conversation; books that explore cult life or extreme religion; 9/11 survival stories; anything about Anne Frank; Anything set in the South, particularly New Orleans/the Cajun region of southern Louisiana. Learn more about Rachel here.
Amy Stern is a literary agent with Sheldon Fogelman Agency. Amy works with clients who write and illustrate all kinds of children’s literature, from picture book through young adult, in poetry, prose, and graphic formats. “I enjoy a little bit of everything, and constantly surprise myself with what I want to take on; I don’t think of myself as someone who’s a big fan of romance or high fantasy or historical fiction, for example, but I can think of several examples of each that really worked for me that I wouldn’t want to rule out. That said, if you have a historical fantasy romance, I’m probably not your best bet. I got my masters degree in children’s literature and I’m passionate about the idea that even the funniest, most lighthearted stories deserve to be taken seriously. If you think of children’s books as something easy to write or illustrate, we probably won’t be a good match.”Learn more about Amy here.
Carlisle Webber is a literary agent at Fuse Literary. Carlisle is looking for: high-concept commercial fiction in middle grade, young adult, and adult. If your book is fresh and exciting, tackles difficult topics, reads like a Shonda Rhimes show, or makes readers stay up late turning pages, she’s the agent for you. Diverse authors are encouraged to submit their fiction. Within the genres she represents, Carlisle is especially interested in stories by and about people of color; with both visible and invisible disabilities and illnesses; who are economically disadvantaged; who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer; or who are members of religious minorities. Pitch her: Middle grade (any genre), Young adult (any genre), thriller, mystery, suspense, horror, women’s fiction, and popular/mainstream fiction.Learn more about Carlisle here.
Mary DeMuth is a literary agent with Books & Such Literary Management. Mary is looking for: Adult nonfiction Christian living titles, particularly those with a bent toward spiritual growth, Devotionals, Discipleship-oriented books, Accessible theological books (think N.T. Wright), Books about the US church as well as the global church, Health-related topics, Mental health issues, Trauma-related recovery, Habit research, Design books, and Leadership/business/productivity ideas. She is not acquiring any fiction, YA, or children’s books.Learn more about Mary here.
Denise Barone is a literary agent and the founder of Barone Literary Agency. She is seeking: horror, young adult, new adult, erotic romance, women’s fiction, and romance (single title, category, or historical). She does not want: No picture books, middle grade, sci-fi, fantasy, paranormal, or nonfiction. “I have been a member of RWA since 2000. I do not accept any previously published materials.”Learn more about Denise here.
More 2022 agents to be announced as they are confirmed. You can sign up for pitches at any time, or switch pitches at any time, so long as the agent in question still has appointments open.
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.)
$189 — EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2022 KCWW and access to all workshops, all days. (You also get 10+ additional free pre-recorded webinars on writing and publishing.) As of early 2022,registration is now OPEN.
Add $29 — to secure a 10-minute one-on-one meeting with any of our literary agents or editors 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. There is no limit. Here are 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.
“I met my client, Alison Hammer, at the Writing Workshop of Chicago and just sold her book.” – literary agentJoanna Mackenzieof Nelson Literary
“Good news! I signed a client [novelist Aliza Mann] from the Michigan Writing Workshop!” – literary agentSara Mebigowof KT Literary
“I signed author Stephanie Wright from the Seattle Writing Workshop.” – literary agentKathleen Ortizof New Leaf Literary
“I signed an author [Kate Thompson] that I met at the Philadelphia Writing Workshop.” – literary agentKimberly Browerof Brower Literary
“I signed novelist Kathleen McInnis after meeting her
at the Chesapeake Writing Workshop.” – literary agentAdriann Rantaof Foundry Literary + Media
Add $69 — for an in-depth, personal critique of your one-page query letter from Brian Klems, one of the workshop’s former instructors. (This rate is a special event value for Kansas City 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:
Mystery, thriller, general fiction, literary fiction, science fiction, fantasy, romance, women’s fiction: Faculty member Tara Yilmaz, a writing coach and author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting.
Adult fiction (all), memoir, young adult fiction, middle grade fiction, and children’s picture books: Faculty member Laura Biagi, a writing coach and author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 10 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting. For children’s picture books, projects should be 1,000 words maximum, and can or cannot include illustrations.
Fantasy, science fiction, and speculative fiction — in adult, young adult, or middle grade. Also adult thriller and YA & MG contemporary: Faculty member Sean Fletcher, a writing coach and author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss his thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting.
Literary fiction, mainstream fiction, romance, women’s fiction, memoir: Faculty member Ricki Cardenas, a published author, will get your work in advance, edit the first 10 double-spaced pages of your story, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
Historical fiction, romantic comedies, romance, and young adult: Faculty member Noelle Salazar, a writing coach and author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting.
Memoir, children’s picture books, adult fiction of any kind, young adult, middle grade: Faculty member Shirin Leos, a writing coach and author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting. If you submit a picture book, it must be 1,000 words or fewer (can have illustrations or not).
How to pay/register — Registration is now open. Reach out to workshop organizer Brian Klems via email: WDWconference@gmail.com, and he will provide specific instructions for payment and registration to get you a reserved seat at the event. Payment is by PayPal or check or credit card. Because Brian plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Kansas City workshop specifically.
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. He will pass along registration information to you, and give instructions on how to pay by PayPal or check or credit card. 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 Brian 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 at any time, you will receive 50% of your total payment back [sent by check or PayPal or CC refund]. 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 and manuscript editing payments are completely non-refundable if the instructor has already started edited your work.)
Thank you for your interest in the 2022 Kansas City Writing Workshop.
The 2022 Kansas City Writing Workshop is planned for August 5-6, 2022. We hope you can join us! The KCWW conference has happened multiple times before, and we at Writing Day Workshops have loved connecting writers and literary agents, and seeing so many success stories from our events.
If you’d like to attend a writers conference before then, we have online events coming up in 2021-2022 to keep everyone safe. Please note that even though the events below are for different cities around the country, since these events are online, anyone can attend from anywhere. Each event has 30-40 attending literary agents! Details:
If you have questions, or want to register for any 2021-2022 writers conferences, contact us (Brian) at WDWconference@gmail.com and we are happy to assist. Just let us know which event(s) you want to register for. You can attend from anywhere since the events are online. Writers can sign up for more than one event. If you and several people from your writing group all want to register together, ask us about a group discount.
All classes are recorded and sent out to attendees afterward, so you can study the instruction and enjoy the experience. All pitches are one-on-one with literary agents seeking writers, and done over Zoom (though phone is also an option). Thanks, all, and we hope to see you in 2021-2022 at an event!
Regina is a literary manager currently accepting queries for true crime, memoirs, picture books, middle grade, young adult, graphic novels, cookbooks, and lifestyle artisan books.
Regina joined Martin Literary Management in 2021. She holds a PhD in Education from the Graduate and University Center at the City University of New York, and graduate degrees in African American Studies from Columbia University and Philosophy from the Graduate Center (CUNY). She holds other degrees in Criminal Justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY). Alongside writing and teaching, Regina facilitates Reader Discussion Groups, Private Reading groups and has served as a reader and sometimes editor for both literary and academic journals. She has published widely in academia as well as in trade magazines. The work she hopes to accomplish as a literary manager is to help writers, as well as author-illustrators, think through their projects, see multiple opportunities where perhaps they don’t readily exist and help shape their work into successful books. Ultimately, she looks forward to championing great ideas.
Nonfiction: In non-fiction, she’s open to seeing true crime projects (No crimes against children or graphic gore against women/children) as well as memoir. Regina also loves cookbooks that help the reader travel to new places. She wants to see cookbooks that have personal narratives tied to them, whether that’s a personal story woven throughout, cultural traditions and practices, and/or dishes that tie together cultural memories. She is also accepting submissions for artisanal projects such as crafting (think knitting, sewing, crafting, home-gardening/homesteading, apothecary/healing, and alternative health practices).
Picture Books: Regina is looking for picture books that deal with a little magical realism, immigrant stories, bilingual picture books, and stories that deal with children and their relationship to animals, earth, and the environment. She’d love to see folktales from a wide variety of places reimagined, especially from authors-illustrators.
Middle Grade: Regina is seeking chapter books and middle-grade novels dealing especially with adventures, solving mysteries, and facing/overcoming hardships and developing friendships.
Graphic Novels: Regina is looking for Middle Grade, Young Adult, and adult graphic novels. She’d love to see more writers of color telling stories of MG & YA and has her eye out for BIPOC creators in this genre. For adult graphic novels, Regina is interested in projects in the vein of Marjane Satrapi’s work and projects in that spirit telling of immigrant stories.
Young Adult: Regina would love to receive rom-coms of all kinds. Think Hallmark cards and movies geared towards young adults, complete with heartbreak, friendships, and triumph.
Jon represents titles across a diverse range of genres, including, most recently, the biography Vivian Maier Developed by Ann Marks, the cookbook Cookies: The New Classics by Jesse Szewczyk (named a Best Cookbook of 2021 by the New York Times), the photography book Portrait of an Artist by Hugo Huerta Marin, and the New York Times bestselling oral history of “Grey’s Anatomy” How to Save a Life by Lynette Rice.
Darga graduated from the University of Michigan with Honors with a BA in English and Creative Writing, and later attended the Columbia University publishing program. Before coming to Aevitas, he was an editor at Crown, a division within Penguin Random House, where he worked on several bestsellers and award winners.
Darga represents both non-fiction and fiction as an Aevitas agent based in Michigan. He is most interested in voice-driven pop culture writing, non-fiction histories that re-cast the narrative by emphasizing unexpected or unheard voices, and both adult and young adult commercial fiction that features diverse casts and new stories. He is not looking for genre fiction like political/crime thrillers, fantasy/sci-fi, or non-fiction in the self-help/how-to/business categories.
Hannah started as an agency assistant before moving on to acquire her own clients. She’s been with Bradford Literary Agency since 2017 and has had the privilege to work with a number of bestselling authors across a variety of genres. She likes to think of herself as an editorial-focused agent and is particularly wanting to acquire BIPOC/underrepresented voices. She is prioritizing stories of joy where identity isn’t the focus and is especially excited about stories rooted in history, mythology, and legends, particularly those that are lesser-known or underrepresented in traditional publishing.
She is seeking:
“I am currently looking to acquire middle grade, young adult, adult, and select nonfiction. As someone who’s spent a large portion of their life outside of America, I am very interested in stories that explore the intricacies of multicultural identities. I love stories of immigration (not relegated to America) and of first/second generation Americans who struggle balancing the values of their country with the culture and heritage of their parents (as in the tv show Ramy or Julie Tieu’s THE DONUT TRAP). As a Mexican-American, I would particularly love to see the stories that I grew up with showcased in new and creative ways—send me your Latinx folklore-inspired MG and YA!
“I love strong characters and voice-driven stories that break out of the typical tropes of their genres. I’m a huge fan of expansive world building and atmospheric settings, dark and transporting fantasy in my YAs, and MGs with macabre elements and dark humor. If you’ve got a MG version of The Addams Family, I would absolutely love to read it!
“One of my favorite tropes is the “found family”—especially if the family is found through crime. I have a soft spot for any kind of retelling or spin off of “classic lit” or fairy tales (like Lauren Blackwood’s WITHIN THESE WICKED WALLS or Lilliam Rivera’s NEVER LOOK BACK). I’m looking for stories with quirky characters/voices and love ones that feature dysfunctional families (like SAFFY’S ANGEL by Hilary McKay). If your story involves ghosts, riddles/puzzles, and/or whimsy, send it my way!
“I am particularly drawn to mysteries with unique hooks and compelling twists in both young adult and adult—if you have an Only Murders in the Building-esque story, I would love to see it!
“I’d like to see stories that aren’t afraid to tackle darkness as long as there’s the light of hope at the end. I appreciate a bittersweet ending—because sometimes the best endings are the ones that leave a few unanswered questions.
“In nonfiction, I’m looking for something that takes the mystery out of everyday life/occurrences (a lá Malcolm Gladwell or Atul Gawande) and investigative journalism-esque stories with a strong narrative hook.
“Please note that I am not the best fit for works centered on suicide, eating disorders, and/or drug addiction.”
In the summer of 2015, an intern showed up on the doorstep of a boutique literary agency and talked Elizabeth Copps into letting her stay. Several years later, having worked across the publishing industry and several coasts in foreign rights, sales, production, and most recently as an agent at Ladderbird Literary, Maeve MacLysaght has once again landed on the doorstep–this time at Elizabeth’s persuading.
Maeve is a queer ex-classicist based in Oakland, CA. As an agent at Ladderbird Literary and now at CLS, her list is dedicated to increasing the amount of queer and BIPOC joy in the world.
What Maeve is looking for: Maeve seeks genre-blending commercial queer Fiction in YA/MG/Adult/Graphic Novels with a particular focus on BIPOC authors and authors of marginalized identities.
She is NOT looking for nonfiction, genre fiction that perpetuates the racist, colonial, imperialistic, sexist, ableist tropes of the past, non-intersectional representation; no victories at the expense of another group, or low stakes, excessive realism.
Sam grew up in South Jersey and attended the College of William & Mary, where she received her B.A. in History and English. Post college, she moved to New York City to intern with Maria B. Campbell Associates, and it was there she discovered her love for collaborating with agents and publishers around the world. She worked in the rights division at Penguin where she was involved in major international publishing events for authors such as John Green, Anna Dewdney, and more before she joined the JGLM team in 2018. An avid traveler, Sam has been to 14 countries spanning 4 continents, and dreams of visiting them all.
In Adult, Sam is looking for upmarket fiction of all stripes, but especially historical; fast-paced, high-concept speculative thrillers that make her heart race; lyrical and immersive fantasy; and single-title romance that simmers.
Sam is also open to Young Adult and Middle Grade of all genres, but she has a special fondness for thoughtful contemporary, often with a speculative twist; historical with modern sensibilities; fantasy with morally gray protagonists and complicated character dynamics; the very strange, and the very funny.
In all categories and genres, she is looking for diverse and underrepresented voices. Above all, Sam is drawn to exemplary writing.
“I am open to most categories and genres as I actively build my list.
“In Adult, I am looking for historical fiction, and I am especially interested in biographical fiction that explores the lives of lesser-known figures. I have a soft spot for scientists and rebels. If I received a manuscript from the point-of-view of Marie-Anne Lavoisier or Augustina de Aragón, I would bump it to the top of my reading pile. In addition, I’m always eager to learn new things, and I love stories that introduce me to historical events I’ve never heard of.
“I am also open to fantasy—and while I am open to contemporary fantasy, I prefer historical or second world. I love stories that are grounded in history or folklore and I’m intrigued by magic systems that draw from science.
“In romance, I am looking for single title contemporary romance. I will happily read fake-dating, enemies-to-lovers, and my favorite, there-is-only-one-bed. While I will consider historical, I’m really only looking for high-concept romance that straddles the line between romance and women’s fiction (think Evie Dunmore’s BRINGING DOWN THE DUKE).
“Finally, I love thrillers and suspense, especially when they are female-centric (i.e. Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen) or have a light speculative element (i.e. Blake Crouch, Michael Crichton). Twisty, edge-of-your-seat stories that are impossible to put down.
“In Young Adult, my favorites are always bold, out-of-the-box books with strong hooks and irresistible writing. In this category, especially, I like to be surprised.
“In Middle Grade, my tastes tend to skew contemporary. I love books in which kids must come to terms with the fact that the adults in their lives are flawed. But while I’ll happily read Middle Grade set in school or summer camp, I also crave fast-paced adventure stories set in the past, present, or in another world. Bonus points for whimsy and humor!
“I will consider select Picture Books and Nonfiction, but my focus is primarily on novels at this time.
“I am not the right agent for: erotica, series romance, political or legal thrillers, police procedurals, cozy mysteries, Christian fiction, satire.”
“I grew up outside of Seattle and graduated summa cum laude from Emerson College with a degree in Writing, Literature, and Publishing as well as Theatre Studies. I began my publishing career as an editorial intern at Aevitas Creative Management (formerly Zachary Shuster Harmsworth). My editorial work can be seen at The Millions. I also worked as an indie bookseller for several years.”
She is especially interested in fiction and nonfiction involving social justice, political issues, and other timely and underrepresented stories. “I’m specifically interested in fiction and nonfiction stories that effortlessly depict a diverse cast of characters and perspectives.”
Her fiction specialties are: GLBT, literary fiction, and multicultural. She will also consider humor/satire. Her nonfiction specialties are cultural/social issues, current affairs, GLBT, investigative journalism, multicultural, narrative, politics, true crime, and women’s concerns. She will also consider: history, memoir, and pets.