Saturday, 20 August 2016

The "How to Get Published" Writers Conference

Today I attended the How to Get Published writers conference, which was put on by Writing Day Workshops at the Marriott Hotel in Toronto.

It was a full house as over 100 people were in attendance.

This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop at the Marriott Toronto 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.

The 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.

By the end of the day, you will have all the tools you need to move forward on your writing journey.

There were 11 agents and editors on hand for writers to pitch too. I did not have anything ready to pitch so passed on this. The agents were:

  • Veronica Park (Corvisiero Literary) literary agent
  • Ali McDonald (The Rights Factory) literary agent
  • Marisa Corvisiero (Corvisiero Literary) literary agent
  • Stacey Donaghy (Donaghy Literary) literary agent
  • Ellie Sipila (Common Deer Press) acquiring editor
  • Moe Ferrara (BookEnds, Inc.) literary agent
  • Rachel Letofsky (The Cooke Agency) literary agent
  • Olga Filina (The Rights Factory) literary agent
  • Sue Miller (Donaghy Literary) literary agent
  • Chris Bucci (The McDermid Agency) literary agent
  • Cassandra Rodgers (The Rights Factory) literary agent

It was a full day with very few, short breaks except one for lunch.

The schedule was as follows:

  • 9:30 – 10:30: “Your Publishing Options Today”
    Traditional vs Self Publishing. Pros and Cons of both,
  • 10:30 – 11:45: “Everything You Need to Know About Agents, Queries & Pitching”
    What an agent does. How to find one and how to pitch one,
  • 11:45 – 1:15: Lunch
  • 1:15 – 2:30: “Writers’ Got Talent: A Chapter One Critique-Fest”
    This was fun. Writers submitted their first page of a piece they are writing (anonymously).  It was read out loud to the room until six of the agents raises their hand and the reading was stopped and the piece critiqued. I learned a lot from this, which complimented what I previously was taught about the importance of an authors first page during the Canadian Writers Summit earlier this summer.
  • 2:30 – 3:45: “How to Market Yourself and Your Books: Author Platform & Social Media Explained”
    How to approach and set up a platform to help promote your book.
  • 3:45 – 5:00: “How to Get Published: 10 Professional Writing Practices That You Need to Know NOW to Find Success as a Writer”
    It is what it says. The top 10 best tips for being a writer.

Chuck Sambuchino was the speaker for the entire day and was terrific. He not only really knows his stuff, he is entertaining and funny while doing it. I was never bored. Chuck  also readily answered any questions from the floor.  If there was one he could not answer, he was honest about it rather than talking his way around it.

I was quite impressed, learned a lot and bought his book Create Your Writer Platform. It was a good day and I would recommend that if you are a writer and have the chance, go and see one Chuck's seminars.

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