The 2019 Brooklyn Writing Workshop: June 15, 2019

screen-shot-2014-07-23-at-12-58-51-pm.pngWriting Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2019 Brooklyn Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in Brooklyn, NY, on June 15, 2019.

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 2019 Brooklyn Writing Workshop!


This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, June 15, 2019, at the Sheraton Brooklyn. 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. This workshop is focused on getting an agent, with agents teaching most classes during the day. 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 June 15 event is special, because it is an AGENTS TEACHING DAY event, wherein almost all of the classes are taught by attending literary agents.

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 Amaryah Orenstein (GO Literary)
  • literary agent Reiko Davis (DeFiore & Company)
  • literary agent Stephanie Delman (Sanford J. Greenburger Associates)
  • literary agent Aimee Ashcraft (Brower Literary)
  • [SOLD OUT] literary agent Kate McKean (Howard Morhaim Literary)
  • [SOLD OUT] literary agent Tanusri Prasanna (Foundry Literary + Media)
  • [SOLD OUT] literary agent Jim McCarthy (Dystel, Goderich & Bourret)

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 coordinator Kerrie Flanagan of Writing Day Workshops, with help from SCBWI New York Metro.


9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Saturday, June 15, 2019, at the Sheraton Brooklyn New York Hotel, 228 Duffield St, Brooklyn, NY 11201. (718)855-1900.

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As a reminder, this is an AGENTS TEACHING DAY event where almost all of the day’s classes are taught by literary agents.

8:30 – 9:30: Check-in and registration at the event location.

9:30 – 10:30 AM:

Class choice #1: Understanding Social Media and Marketing Yourself (Tactic room), taught by agent Kate McKean. If you’re a writer, do you have to be on Twitter? What about Facebook and Instagram? What about a newsletter? The world of social media is confusing, time consuming, and ever-changing. But publishers agree that today’s authors need to have some foothold online. This workshop, taught by a veteran literary agent who specializes in authors with strong online platforms, will help you to understand the different facets of social media, so you will know what the different tools mean, how they work, and then how to use them effectively to market your writing and to participate in the online community of authors and publishing.

Class choice #2: First Impressions: How to Hook and Agent or Editor with Your Opening Pages (Metrotech A room), taught by agent Amaryah Orenstein. You only get one chance to make a first impression. When it comes to your written work, this means that your opening pages are critical! Why? Well, if an agent or editor isn’t hooked by your submission immediately he or she will put it down and move on. It’s as simple as that. This seminar will show you how to capture a reader’s attention with your opening pages and how to avoid the weak openings that lead to instant rejection. We will discuss the most common pitfalls found in first sentences and first pages, including overused beginnings and clichés that can drag down a work. We will also examine the pros and cons of using a prologue as the opening chapter of your novel.

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 10.12.02 AM10:30 – 11:45 AM

Class choice #1: An Agent’s Tips on Writing Amazing Young Adult Fiction Manuscripts and Young Adult First Pages (Tactic room), taught by agent Jim McCarthy. Young adult is one of the hottest and biggest categories in publishing. But with so many people trying to break in, what can you do to set your writing apart and make it excellent? Learn helpful tips from an agent in this class, which is specially designed for YA writers.

Class choice #2: Everything You Need to Know About Query Letter Writing (Metrotech A room), taught by agent Amaryah Orenstein. A query letter is your one chance to entice an agent or editor into reading your manuscript. Needless to say it must be excellent. But what does a perfect pitch entail? In this course, Amaryah will offer tips on how (and how not) to pitch your work to increase the chances of an agent or editor requesting your manuscript.

11:45 – 1:15: Lunch on your own.

1:15 – 2:30:

Class choice #1: “Writers’ Got Talent” — A First Pages Critique Fest (general/all fiction & memoir) (Metrotech A room) with some 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. (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. All submissions should be novels or memoir—no prescriptive nonfiction or picture books, please. Do not send your pages in advance. You will bring printed copies with you, and instructions will be sent out approximately one week before the event.) This class is for all adult fiction and memoir; note there is a second class at this time for just YA & MG.

Class choice #2: “Writers’ Got Talent” — A Kidlit First Pages Critique Fest (young adult and middle grade) (Tactic room) with some 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. (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. All submissions should be novels or memoir—no prescriptive nonfiction or picture books, please. Do not send your pages in advance. You will bring printed copies with you, and instructions will be sent out approximately one week before the event.) This class is only for young adult and middle grade manuscripts; note there is a second class at this time just for adult fiction.

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 10.07.06 AM2:50 – 3:50:

Class choice #1: Improve Your Writing: The Basics of Self-Editing and Revision (Tactic room), taught by event coordinator and author Kerrie Flanagan. Writing your manuscript’s first draft is a huge step, but only a primary one. Now it’s time to look at your creation and slowly make it amazing through overhauls, self-editing, and revision. Remember that good writing is rewriting. In this class, you’ll learn to identify your writing’s flaws (and fix them) — such as tense and POV issues, when to cut and shorten your length, and what makes some writing crackle.

Class choice #2: How to Get a Literary Agent (Metrotech A room), taught by agent Kate McKean. In the path to publication, finishing your book is an essential first step, but finding the right literary agent is a close second, as it can make or break your chances of getting published. In this class, we’ll learn strategies and resources to cut through the voluminous information available about literary agents so you can figure out what—and who—is relevant to your work. Learn submission techniques and the standard practices of most literary agents, so you won’t be left in the dark. Armed with this information, you’ll be better prepared to find success on your publishing journey.

4:00 – 5:00:

Class choice #1: An Overview of Your Publishing Options Today (Tactic room), taught by event coordinator and author Kerrie Flanagan. 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 challenges with both, 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.

Class choice #2: Fiction Query Roundtable (Metrotech A room), with some agents as panelists. Bring your query letters! Writers of any kind of fiction (middle grade, young adult, adult fiction) can bring their query letters and submit them for consideration of agent feedback on this panel. the agents will get around to as many queries as they can before the session ends.

All throughout the day: Agent & Editor Pitching.


Screen Shot 2019-04-13 at 7.44.27 AMTanusri Prasanna [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent with Foundry Literary + Media. In the children’s space, Tanusri represents picture books, middle grade and young adult fiction. Her favorite middle grade novels blend literary voices with compelling and intricate plots, magical realism, mysteries, or light-hearted stories set in schools or interesting neighborhoods. In young adult, she looks for ambitious world-building fantasies, contemporary coming-of-age stories, charming and relatable romances, and voice-driven suspense. And in the picture book space, Tanusri gravitates towards wry humor and twisty endings, but also meaningful, concept-driven, texts. She also selectively represents children’s nonfiction featuring fascinating aspects of our world introduced in a manner that excites the imagination and curiosity of young readers. Tanusri looks for accessible and wide-reaching narrative nonfiction set against themes in social justice, rights, and representation, and her clients include thought leaders and activists in these fields. She also represents memoirs that speak to these issues with authenticity, humor and heart, and particularly those highlighting diverse viewpoints, experiences and even storytelling styles.

Tanusri began her career as an advocate for human rights and the whole range of un- or under-represented stories. Today, she translates this passion for voice into her client representation. Tanusri was born and raised in India and has strong roots in the sub-continent. She has a law degree from the National Law School of India, an LLM from Harvard Law School, and holds a PhD in jurisprudence and human rights law from Oxford University. She has worked in the World Bank’s legal department in Washington and as a fellow at Columbia Law School.

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Screen Shot 2019-05-23 at 12.32.43 AMJim McCarthy [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. He was an intern at the agency while studying urban design at New York University. Upon graduating, Jim realized he would much rather continue working with books than make the jump (as he had originally intended) to the field of city planning. Eighteen years later, he remains at DG&B as a VP and agent.

As an avid fiction reader, his interests encompass both literary and commercial works in the adult, young adult, and middle grade categories. He is particularly interested in literary fiction, underrepresented voices, fantasy, mysteries, romance, anything unusual or unexpected, and any book that makes him cry or laugh out loud. In addition to fiction he is also interested in narrative nonfiction whether it be memoir, historical, science, pop culture, or just a darn good polemic.

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Screen Shot 2019-05-23 at 12.36.53 AMStephanie Delman is a literary agent with Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. She has been agenting since early 2012. After working closely with agency president Heide Lange for several years, handling foreign rights for Dan Brown, Brad Thor, and other bestselling authors while simultaneously building her own list, Stephanie transitioned to full-time agenting in January 2018.

Stephanie represents a spectrum of authors who write for the adult market, with a focus on fiction: literary/upmarket, psychologically propulsive suspense, near-historical fiction, and genre-bending, literary narratives that contain elements of surrealism, magic, or sci-fi (her favorite non-client books in this space include STATION ELEVEN by Emily St. John Mandel and HER BODY AND OTHER PARTIES by Carmen Maria Machado).

Stephanie also represents a limited selection of narrative nonfiction projects by authors with established platforms and unique perspectives. In nonfiction, she is looking for longform reportage that reads like fiction, true crime, and expert accounts of dark and far-flung corners of the world. In both fiction and nonfiction, Stephanie favors #ownvoices, diverse perspectives, and feminist narratives. A graduate of Johns Hopkins’ Writing Seminars program, Stephanie considers herself a “hands-on” agent and is eager to work with debut authors who are serious about their craft.

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Screen Shot 2019-04-13 at 7.47.33 AMAmaryah Orenstein is a literary agent and the founder of GO Literary.

Amaryah has always loved to read and provide (oftentimes unsolicited) editorial advice and, as a literary agent, she is thrilled to help writers bring their ideas to life. She is particularly drawn to narrative nonfiction and memoir but enjoys any book that connects the reader to its characters and evokes thought and feeling.

Amaryah began her career at the Laura Gross Literary Agency in 2009 and, prior to that, she worked as an Editorial Assistant at various academic research foundations, including the Tauber Institute, where she edited books for Brandeis University Press/University Press of New England. Originally from Montreal, Canada, Amaryah earned a BA at McGill University before coming to the United States to pursue graduate studies in American History. She completed an MA at Ohio University’s Contemporary History Institute and a PhD at Brandeis University.

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Screen Shot 2019-04-13 at 7.51.26 AMKate McKean [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent with Howard Morhaim Literary. Kate joined HMLA in 2006. She earned her master’s degree in fiction writing at the University of Southern Mississippi and began her publishing career at the University Press of Florida. She is proud to work with New York Times best selling authors in a wide variety of genres including Daniel Mallory Ortberg’s Texts From Jane Eyre, Madeleine Roux’s YA horror series Asylum, and Brittany Gibbons’ memoir Fat Girl Walking. In addition to working with clients, she is an adjunct professor at New York University.

For adults, she is primarily interested in contemporary women’s fiction, literary fiction, historical fiction set in the 20th Century, fantasy, magical realism, and science fiction. For children, she is looking for projects in middle grade and young adult in the areas of horror, romance, LGBTQ issues, contemporary fiction, sports, magical realism, fantasy, and science fiction, as well as picture books of all kinds, especially non-fiction picture books. In non-fiction, for adults or children/teens, she represents books by authors with demonstrable platforms in the areas of pop-culture, memoir, sports, food writing, humor, design, creativity, and craft. She is also interested in graphic novels and memoirs for all ages–adult and children. She is not actively looking for, among other areas not listed above, novellas, poetry, or screenplays.

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Screen Shot 2019-04-15 at 10.27.15 AM.pngReiko Davis is a literary agent with DeFiore & Company. Before joining DeFiore, Reiko was an associate agent at Miriam Altshuler Literary Agency for four years. She grew up in Kansas City, received her BA in Comparative Literature and Art History from Brown University, and is a graduate of the Columbia Publishing Course.

Reiko’s interests are varied, but she is particularly drawn to adult literary and upmarket fiction, narrative nonfiction, and young adult and middle grade fiction. Above all, she wants to discover books that surprise and move her with their irresistible characters and language.

She loves a strong narrative voice; smart, funny heroines; narrowly located settings (especially towns in the South and Midwest); family sagas; darkly suspenseful novels; and stories of remarkable friendships or that explore the often perilous terrain of human relationships. For children’s books, she is actively looking for young adult and middle grade fiction—whether it be contemporary, historical, light fantasy, or simply a story with a timeless quality and vibrant characters. She would love to see more #OwnVoices manuscripts from writers of color. For nonfiction, she is most interested in cultural, social, and literary history; fascinating tours through niche subjects; narrative science; psychology; guides on creativity; and memoir.

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Screen Shot 2019-04-24 at 11.35.05 PM.pngAimee Ashcraft is a literary agent with Brower Literary & Management. Aimee is looking for upmarket and literary fiction, specifically historical fiction, women’s fiction, and YA (all genres). She loves books that pull her in, immersing her in a world she can’t escape until the final sentence. She is looking for original voices and compelling, complex female characters. Aimee has loved books since the days of sneakily reading under her desk in elementary school. Thankfully, reading is no longer a punishable offense, and she is busy seeking out stories that feature all-encompassing worlds and compelling female characters. She loves books that are told from an original point of view and are more addictive than a good Netflix binge. Aimee received her BA from Transylvania University and her MA from NYU. She is now based in New York City and is thrilled to be joining Brower Literary and Management.

        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 2019 BWW and access to all workshops, all day, on Saturday, June 15, 2019. As of fall 2018, event registration is now OPEN.

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 four 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.)

Screen Shot 2018-11-26 at 11.11.29 AM.png“I met my client, Alison Hammer, at the 2017 Writing
Workshop of Chicago and just sold her book.”
– literary agent Joanna Mackenzie of Nelson Literary

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 11.47.54 PM.png“Good news! I signed a client [novelist Aliza Mann]
from the 2017 Michigan Writing Workshop!”
– literary agent Sara Mebigow of KT Literary

Screen Shot 2018-11-05 at 12.56.10 PM“I signed author Stephanie Wright from
the 2018 Seattle Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Kathleen Ortiz of New Leaf Literary

Screen Shot 2018-05-17 at 9.07.44 PM“I signed an author [Kate Thompson] that I
met at the 2017 Philadelphia Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Kimberly Brower of Brower Literary

Screen Shot 2016-10-16 at 2.54.50 PM.png“I signed novelist Kathleen McInnis after meeting her
at the 2016 Chesapeake Writing Workshop.”

– literary agent Adriann Ranta of Foundry Literary + Media

Add $69 — for an in-depth, personal critique of your one-page query letter from Chuck Sambuchino, former longtime editor of the GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS for Writer’s Digest Books. (This rate is a special event value for BWW 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:

  • Screen Shot 2019-05-22 at 4.54.08 PMScience fiction, fantasy, contemporary fiction, mysteries, psychological thrillers, literary fiction, historical fiction, and multi-generational family sagas, narrative nonfiction (all of these for adult, young adult, or middle grade): Faculty member Alexis Sattler, a former literary agent, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting. Alexis is a freelance editor who has worked her way across the U.S., from The Oxford American magazine in Arkansas to McSweeney’s and Chronicle Books in California. The Columbia Publishing Course brought her to New York and a job at Penguin Random convinced her to stay. Over the next four years, Alexis edited a dozen New York Times-bestselling titles, including Sue Grafton’s final book, Y is for Yesterday. She began the shift to freelancing two years ago with a contract at Medium, where she acted as a weekend Content Curator.

How to pay/register — Registration is now open. Reach out to workshop organizer Kerrie Flanagan via email:, 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 Kerrie plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Brooklyn workshop specifically.


Because of limited space at the venue of the Sheraton Brooklyn, this AGENTS TEACHING DAY 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 Kerrie Flanagan via email: 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 BWW will send out periodic e-mail updates to all registered attendees with any & all news about the event. Because Kerrie plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Brooklyn 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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