The 2016 Houston Writing Workshop: February 6, 2016

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 4.54.04 PMThe Houston Writing Workshop is now finished. Thank you to all who attended. If you are interested in attending the next area event, email us at writingdayworkshops [at] gmail.com and say you want to be alerted about the next Houston workshop when a date is finalized. Meanwhile, Writing Day Workshops is planning almost 20 different writing conferences in 2017 in cities all around the United States. See the full list of events here.

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The staff behind the organization and instruction of the Homeric Writers’ Retreat & Workshop are excited to announce The Houston Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writers conference outside Houston, TX on February 6, 2016.

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 2016 Houston Writing Workshop!

WHAT IS IT?

This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016, at the Sheraton North Houston At George Bush Intercontinental. 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 Paul S. Levine (Paul S. Levine Literary); literary agent Patricia Nelson (Marsal Lyon Literary); literary agent Eve Porinchak (Jill Corcoran Literary); literary agent Rachel Brooks (L. Perkins Agency); and literary agent Tricia Skinner (Fuse Literary).

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

Screen Shot 2014-01-08 at 1.09.19 PMChuck 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 more than 120 writing conferences and events over the past ten years.

EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS

9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016 — Sheraton North Houston At George Bush Intercontinental, 15700 John F Kennedy Blvd, Houston, TX 77032. (281) 442-5100.

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WORKSHOP SCHEDULE (FEB. 6, 2016)

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.)

2:30 – 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 AN AGENT!

Screen shot 2015-05-26 at 9.23.50 PMPaul S. Levine [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is the founder of Paul S. Levine Literary and an attorney. His fiction areas of interest include adventure, children/juvenile, middle grade, young adult, mainstream, mystery, politics/law, romance, thrillers, and women’s fiction. His nonfiction areas of interest include business/commerce, children’s, contemporary, popular culture, how-to, self-help, politics/law, relationships, and sports. Learn more about Paul here.

Screen shot 2015-05-26 at 9.19.13 PMPatricia Nelson [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is actively building her client list at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. Patricia represents adult and young adult fiction, and is actively looking to build her list. She is a fiction generalist, and will take pitches on the whole gamut of literary and commercial adult fiction. On the adult side, she is particularly interested in literary fiction and commercial fiction in the new adult, women’s fiction, and romance genres. For young adult, she is looking for contemporary/realistic fiction as well YA mystery/thriller, horror, magical realism, science fiction and fantasy. She is also interested in finding exciting multicultural and LGBTQ fiction, both YA and adult. Learn more about Patricia here.

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 4.39.26 PMEve Porinchak [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent with Jill Corcoran Literary. She has eclectic literary tastes and is open to everything from picture books to adult novels. Specifically looking for edgy, psychological thrillers, gang-lit, realistic contemporary. Some of Eve’s favorite books are: True Notebooks by Mark Salzman, Monster by Walter Dean Myers, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, and You Shall Know Our Velocity by Dave Eggers. Eve is not a fan of high fantasy; however, she loves the Hunger Games series as well as science fiction. Also a huge fan of true crime, and loved NPR’s SERIAL. If your story reads like a Tuesday night episode of “Dateline,” then she wants to meet you at the conference. Learn more about Eve here.

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 3.00.55 PMTricia Skinner [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] 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, novels books by and about people from marginalized perspectives (such as LGBT people and/or racial minorities), and picture books (especially from author-illustrators). 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 2015-08-20 at 9.53.23 AMRachel Brooks is a literary agent with L. Perkins Agency. She seeks all kinds of young adult fiction as well as adult romance novels. Learn more about Rachel 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.)

PRICING

$129 — FINAL registration pricing! This is the complete base price for registration to the 2016 HWW 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 some testimonials from writers who have signed with literary agents after pitching them at prior Writing Day Workshops events:

Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 3.01.32 PM“I signed with my agent, Patricia Nelson, after
meeting her at the Arizona Writing Workshop.”
– writer Axie Oh

Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 3.05.52 PM“I officially signed with agent Renee Nyen of KT
Literary. I met her at the Colorado Writing
Workshop.” – writer Jessie Hilb Akos

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 Houston 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: 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 Houston workshop specifically.

REGISTRATION

Because of limited space at the venue of the Sheraton North Houston At George Bush Intercontinental, 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: 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 HWW 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 Houston 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 Houston Writing Workshop.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Paul S. Levine of Paul S. Levine Literary

Screen shot 2015-05-26 at 9.23.50 PM[SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS]

Paul S. Levine is the founder of Paul S. Levine Literary. Open to virtually any genre or category, he will consider fiction, nonfiction, children’s, young adult manuscripts, and proposals for nonfiction books. Highly aware of market trends and editors’ preferences, Levine limits himself to projects which he believes in and feels certain he can sell. Some of his recent fiction sales include science fiction, fantasy, mystery, crime, thriller, women’s fiction, and romance. Some of his recent nonfiction sales include diet, how-to, business/finance, true crime, parenting, and advice/relationships.

When he opened The Paul S. Levine Literary Agency in 1996, Levine had less than 200 editors in his private database; in his database he now has over 1,600 editors, to whom he has sold over 150 fiction and non-fiction books.

As an entertainment lawyer, Levine has written the legal contracts for several books adapted as movies-for-television. With over a quarter of a century of experience in the entertainment and book industries, Levine is one of the few lawyers on the West coast who also understands the world of book publishing; as such, he is able to act as both literary agent and publishing attorney for his clients.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Patricia Nelson of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency

Patricia-Nelson-296x300[SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS]

Patricia Nelson joined the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency as assistant to Kevan Lyon before becoming an acquiring agent at the agency. Previously, she interned at The Angela Rinaldi Literary Agency and in the children’s division at Running Press.

Patricia represents adult and young adult fiction, and is actively looking to build her list. She is a fiction generalist, and will take pitches on the whole gamut of literary and commercial adult fiction.

On the adult side, she is particularly interested in literary fiction and commercial fiction in the New Adult, women’s fiction, and romance genres. For YA, she is looking for contemporary/realistic fiction as well YA mystery/thriller, horror, magical realism, science fiction and fantasy. She is also interested in finding exciting multicultural and LGBTQ fiction, both YA and adult. In general, Patricia loves stories with complex characters that jump off the page and thoughtfully drawn, believable relationships – along with writing that makes her feel completely pulled into these characters’ lives and worlds.

Patricia received her bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary in 2008, and also holds a master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Southern California and a master’s degree in Gender Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. Before joining the world of publishing, she spent four years as a university-level instructor of literature and writing.

Follow Patricia on Twitter at @patricianels.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Eve Porinchak of Jill Corcoran Literary

eve-porinchak-literary-agent[SOLD OUT OF PITCHING APPOINTMENTS]

Eve Porinchak is a literary agent with Jill Corcoran Literary.

Eve graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor’s degree in Psycho-Biology. She has a degree in Early Childhood Education from Colby-Sawyer College and attended medical school at the University of New England. Eve has always worked with children in some capacity. She has taught Pre-K through First Grade, with a specialty in reading, formerly worked as a state foster care case manager, currently teaches creative writing to incarcerated teens, and serves as an aid worker in Tijuana orphanages. An active member of SCBWI for 15 years, Eve interned at the Jill Corcoran Literary Agency before being promoted to agent.

She is seeking: Eve has eclectic literary tastes and is open to everything from picture books to adult novels. Specifically looking for edgy, psychological thrillers, gang-lit, realistic contemporary. Some of Eve’s favorite books are: True Notebooks by Mark Salzman, Monster by Walter Dean Myers, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, You Shall Know Our Velocity by Dave Eggers, The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson, This Is For The Mara Salvatrucha, Inside The MS-13 by Samuel Logan.

Eve is not a fan of high fantasy; however, she loves the Hunger Games series as well as science fiction. Also a huge fan of true crime, and loved NPR’s SERIAL. If your story reads like a Tuesday night episode of “Dateline,” then she wants to meet you at the conference.

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Rachel Brooks of L. Perkins Agency

Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 9.53.01 AMBefore joining the L. Perkins Agency, Rachel Brooks worked as an agent apprentice to Louise Fury. In addition to her industry training, Rachel has a business degree and graduated summa cum laude with a BA in English from Texas A&M University-CC.

She is excited about representing young adult fiction, as well as sexy adult romances. In YA, she’s looking for authentic voices and memorable characters. In romance, she loves swoon-worthy heroes and determined heroines.

She’s a fan of both print and ebooks and has a soft spot for marketing-savvy writers.

She does not want Picture books, Middle Grade, Women’s fiction, Non-fiction

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

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 3.00.52 PM[SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS]

Tri­cia 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 books by and about people from marginalized perspectives, such as LGBT people and/or racial minorities.
  • picture books (especially from author-illustrators)

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).