The 2015 Portland Writing Workshop is now over, and it was a wonderful success. If you are interested in future PWW writing events, email coordinator Jessica Bell at writingdayworkshops [at] gmail.com and ask to be alerted when other events come together. Meanwhile, if you live elsewhere in the country, you can see other Writing Day Workshop dates and locations here.
The staff behind the organization and instruction of the Homeric Writers’ Retreat & Workshop are excited to announce The Portland Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event just outside Portland, OR on February 20, 2015.
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 (100 total). All questions about the event regarding schedule, details and registration are answered below. Thank you for your interest in the 2015 Portland Writing Workshop!
(If you live closer to Seattle than Portland, note that there is also a nearly identical workshop in Seattle in Feb. 2015.)
WHAT IS IT?
This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Friday, Feb. 20, 2015, at the Radisson Hotel Portland Airport. 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 ever-growing faculty so far includes literary agent Sandra Bishop (Transatlantic Agency), literary agent Mary C. Moore (Kimberley Cameron & Associates), literary agent Natasha Kern (Natasha Kern Literary Agency), editor Lisa Whipkey (REUTS Publishing), agency representative Jodi Dahlke (Fuse Literary), agency representative Cait Spivey (Corvisiero Literary), and editor Adam O’Connor Rodriguez (Hawthorne Books).
By the end of the day, you will have all the tools you need to move forward on your writing journey.
THIS YEAR’S PRESENTER/INSTRUCTOR
Chuck Sambuchino (chucksambuchino.com, @chucksambuchino) of Writer’s Digest Books is the editor of Guide to Literary Agents as well as the Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market. His authored books include Formatting & Submitting Your Manuscript; Create Your Writer Platform, which was praised by Forbes.com; and How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack, which was optioned for film by Sony. He oversees one of the biggest blogs in publishing (the Guide to Literary Agents Blog) as well as one of the biggest Twitter accounts in publishing (@WritersDigest). He is a freelance editor who has seen dozens of his clients get agents and/or book deals, and he has presented at 120 writing conferences and events over the past ten years.
EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS
9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Friday, Feb. 20, 2015, at the Radisson Hotel Portland Airport, 6233 North East 78th Court, Portland, OR 97218, (503) 251-2000.
WORKSHOP SCHEDULE (FEB. 20, 2015)
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: 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.
1 – 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.)
2:30 – 3:45: “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.
3:45 – 5:00: “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 AGENTS & EDITORS! (We will continue to add to the faculty)
Sandra Bishop is an agent at Transatlantic Literary. Sandra represents a broad spectrum of both fiction genres and nonfiction categories, and is happy to meet with writers of any kind of book. She will be giving feedback at the “Writers’ Got Talent” panel in the afternoon, as well. Learn more about Sandra here.
Mary C. Moore is a literary agent with Kimberley Cameron & Associates. She is seeking literary fiction and commercial fiction (unusual fantasy, grounded science-fiction, and atypical romance). Strong female characters and unique cultures especially catch her eye. Although she will not consider most non-fiction, stories about any kind of dance or native and pagan cultures may interest her. Learn more about Mary here.
Natasha Kern is a literary agent and the founder of Natasha Kern Literary Agency. She is seeking In fiction, she is seeking women’s fiction, inspirational fiction, contemporary single title novels, romantic suspense, contemporary and historical romances, and multicultural fiction. She seeks historical novels from any country or time period; contemporary fiction (literary / mainstream fiction), including novels with romance or suspense elements; and multicultural fiction. She also represents inspirational fiction in a broad range of genres including: suspense and mysteries, historicals, romance, and contemporary novels. “We do not represent horror, true crime, erotica, children’s books, short stories or novellas, poetry, screenplays.” In nonfiction, she is seeking: narrative nonfiction; memoirs; health and medicine; inspirational and religious books; psychology, relationship and self-help; parenting; as well as trade nonfiction written by prominent authorities in their fields. Learn more about Natasha here.
Kisa Whipkey is the editorial director of REUTS Publishing, a small publishing house. She is seeking fantasy (especially the dark variety or that contains a psychological element), brilliantly written contemporary fiction, new twists on old YA themes (i.e. male MC, innovative paranormal romance, non-sparkly vampires, etc.), sci-fi, dystopian, fairy tale retellings, and epic/high fantasy (a la Kristen Cashore’s Graceling and Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass). Learn more about Kisa here.
Jodi Dahlke is taking pitches on behalf of Fuse Literary. She will be taking pitches for women’s fiction, upmarket commercial fiction, historical fiction, and literary fiction — and she is interested in mystery, fantasy, and occasionally romance approaches to any of the genres listed so far. In addition, Jodi will be taking pitches for picture books, middle grade books and young adult novels. Jodi is an agency assistant with Fuse Literary and is taking pitches on behalf of full-time Fuse agents Jen Karsbeak and Sara Sciuto, who are both building their list.
Cait Spivey is taking pitches on behalf of Corvisiero Literary. She wants to hear pitches for picture books, middle grade, young adult, new adult fiction, romance, thrillers, paranormal, fantasy, science fiction, erotica, LGBTQ books, magical realism, historical romance, and graphic novels. For nonfiction, pitch her histories and out-of-the-box and high concept spiritual, self-improvement, parenting, science, and business books. Cait is an agency assistant with Corvisiero Literary and is taking pitches on behalf of the agency’s full-time acquiring agents; she is eager to find her agency some new clients.
Adam O’Connor Rodriguez is an editor with Hawthorne Books. Adam is interested in hearing pitches of anything book-length and narrative: novels, memoir, short story collections. In terms of novels, he is a generalist, but does not seek sci-fi/fantasy or romance; other genres are welcome. Learn more about Adam here.
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.)
$129 — base price for registration to the PWW and access to all workshops, all day.
Add $29 — to secure a 10-minute one-on-one meeting with any of our agents/editors in attendance. Between the members of the faculty, they take pitches for virtually all areas of fiction and nonfiction.
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.
Add $59 — for an in-depth, personal critique of your one-page query letter from instructor Chuck Sambuchino. (This rate is a special event value for Portland 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: firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 Portland workshop specifically.
Because of limited space at the venue of the Radisson Hotel Portland Airport, the workshop can only allow 100 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: email@example.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 PWW 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 Portland 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.)