Chicago Writing Workshop: come and meet the pros!

Professionals in Publishing to be in Chicago in May

To be successful as an author, learn all you can about the industry by attending writers’ conferences and meeting professionals in the publishing world. For anyone in the Milwaukee and Chicago area, the 2016 Chicago Writing Workshop on May 14 is a great opportunity. A one-day, “how to get published” workshop, last year’s inaugural event was excellent. Both myself and an aspiring novelist friend pitched our book ideas and found agents who expressed interest.

Chuck, Laurel and Mary, Chicago 2015

Chuck Sambuchino, author/editor of the annual Writer’s Digest Guide to Literary Agents and co-organizer of the event, kindly posed for a selfie with yours truly, Laurel Kashinn, Certified Ghostwriter, and Mary Kachoyeanos, aspiring novelist from Milwaukee, at the 2015 Chicago Writing Workshop.







If you’re wondering if your book could it really make it into the big leagues, find an agent in your genre and sign up for a pitch session. But don’t delay! Pitch sessions are filling up fast!

What exactly is a literary agent?

A literary agent closely with authors to help them grow their business as successful writers. Literary agents representing authors, providing a variety of coaching, mentoring, and support. Most importantly, they represent the author in negotiating deals with publishers and others to promote the author’s work. They are experts in publishing contracts, how the industry works, and they have spent many years cultivating professional relationships with acquisitions editors in all kinds of publishing companies. Most specialize in specific genres or subject matter areas.

In a nutshell, literary agents help authors go from amateur to pro. Having a literary agent is much like having a lawyer, an accountant, or a banker. They are professionals that wise authors who want to be successful make sure to add to their team.

Here are some literary agents who still have openings at the Chicago event, as of this post:

That’s just a smattering — there will be nearly two dozen literary agents there, taking pitches.

While it is ideal if your manuscript is fully editing and ready to be sent off, ASAP, in the event you meet an agent who says “Yes, I’d like to read your manuscript” — you don’t have to that far along to be able to gain great insight and helpful information. Even if your book is still just a twinkle in your mind’s eye, signing up with a literary agent in your genre and telling them about your idea can provide an invaluable education–and inspiration to continue on or modify your idea. Does your book idea have merit? Is it something a publisher might be interested in buying? What advice would this agent give you at the very beginning of writing?

Other Workshop Benefits

Pitch sessions are the best way to learn, face to face, and they are optional extras at the Conference. Besides the pitch sessions, the basic fee to attend covers these workshop choices:

  • Overview of Publishing Options Today
  • Keys to Writing Great Young Adult and Middle Grade Fiction
  • How to Write, Sell, and Market Your Memoir
  • Get Rid of Negative Talk and Naysayers
  • Everything You Need to Know About Agents and Query Letters
  • Fourteen Tips for Writing Great Mysteries, Thrillers and Crime Fiction
  • “Writers’ Got Talent: Page 1 Critique Fest” 
  • Nonfiction Intense: Book Proposal Tips
  • Picture Book Intensive: Advice on Selling Your Children’s Book
  • How to Self-Publish Your Book and Do It Right
  • Talking Craft and Revision

Hope to see you in Chicago!