Monday, March 31, 2014

Regular Registration Ends Today for 2014 Missouri Writers' Guild Conference

Registration for the "Fifty Shades of Writing" Conference, organized by the Missouri Writers Guild, ends today at 9:00 CST. The 99th annual conference will take place Friday, April 11 through Saturday, April 13, 2014 at the Ramada Plaza St. Louis Convention Center in downtown St. Louis. 

The writing conference features 3 days packed with opportunities for writers to mingle with literary agents, editors and publishers along with fellow writers. Attendees, regardless of skill level, can expect to learn from expert writers, publishers and editors about the ins and outs of publishing during workshop sessions, panel discussions and master classes. 

It costs $165 for MWG members, $175 for Chapter members and $195 for General Public.  After today at 9 p.m. CST, late registration prices take effect. Registration information and payment through PayPal is available here.

Registration costs include access to the early-arrival seminar April 11 and two days of panel discussions, break-out workshops, and pitch sessions in addition to scheduled networking times and a Saturday luncheon with keynote speaker USA Today Bestselling Author Mary Buckham.
Attendees can also meet one-on-one with their choice of literary agents, magazine editors or book editors in an opportunity to pitch their completed manuscripts. 

Agents and editors planning to participate in the pitch sessions include: Literary and Film Agent Ken Sherman, of Ken Sherman & Associates; Literary Agent Laura Biagi, of Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency Inc.; Literary agent Sorche Fairbank, of Fairbank Literary Representation; Literary Agent Gina Panettieri, Talcott Notch Literary Services; Editor Danita Allen Wood, of Missouri Life Magazine; Editor Kristina Blank Makansi of Blank Slate Press; and Acquisitions Editor Claire Applewhite of Smoking Gun Publishing.

Tickets for the Saturday night Show Me Awards Banquet with keynote speaker Chuck Sambuchino, Writer’s Digest Book Editor, can be purchased for an additional $40 to conference attendees and $45 to the general public.  Also, 3-hour Master Writing Classes on Sunday morning are available for $50. Master classes offer writers opportunities to work closely with conference faculty in a classroom environment.

Additional information regarding speakers, classes or registration can be found on the Fifty Shades of Writing Conference website.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Literary Agent Gina Panettieri Answers Representation Questions for Authors

Panettieri will take pitches, present a workshop session and a master class during the Fifty Shades of Writing Conference 

Gina Panettieri is the president of Talcott Notch Literary Services, LLC, located in Milford, CT, with a satellite office outside Boston. She is a 25-year industry veteran who has worked as an agent, author, and freelance editor. Two of her more recognizable sales—BROKEN, and its sequel, TAINTED, by A.E. Rought—have been optioned by ABC Family for development as a series. Another DEAD JED by Scott Craven, was optioned by Nickelodeon for development as a movie.

Gina loves all genres of literature, from history to travel. To see the many other genres she and her agents are looking for, visit her website here.

While at the ‘Fifty Shades of Writing’ conference, Ms. Panettieri will take pitches on a first come, first serve basis throughout the day on Saturday. Also, she will be leading a breakout session entitled, “Dialogue: Using it to Your Advantage." Attendees at this session will learn how to enhance characterization, keep the pace crisp, add humor or suspense, among other things. For more details click on the link above.

Additionally, she’ll present a Sunday master class entitled, “Brilliant Beginnings.” This three-hour class will focus on the key elements you need to demonstrate in your opening pages, and the errors you absolutely must avoid.

Brian: Ms. Panettieri, thank you so much for joining our ‘Fifty Shades of Writing’ conference. When reading your bio, I see that you and I have a lot in common: books are a huge part of our lives. What was it that led you to a career as an agent, rather than taking the path like many of us book lovers, as a writer?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Nonfiction Writing According to Bestselling Author Matthew Frederick

The Missouri Writers' Guild is pleased to welcome Matthew Frederick as a speaker during the Fifty Shades of Writing Conference in St. Louis, April 11-13.

Matthew Frederick is an architect, urban designer, and bestselling author. He scouts nonfiction book projects for Fairbank Literary Representation and coaches authors on developing their nonfiction concepts. 

Mr. Frederick was an architecture columnist before authoring the bestselling 101 Things I Learned in Architecture School (MIT Press, 2007). Since then, he has developed the 101 Things I Learned book series for which he serves as editor, co-author, and illustrator. The series now has over 500,000 books in print, including titles in Business, Culinary, Fashion, Film, Law and Engineering School (Grand Central/ Hachette), and has been translated into fifteen languages. 

At the 2014 Missouri Writers’ Guild Fifty Shades of Writing’ Conference, Mr. Frederick will provide one-on-one Pitch-Practice at the Friday pre-conference and will lead two other sessions. On Saturday, his breakout session, “The Four Ps of Nonfiction—Platform, Prose, Proposal and Purpose,” will provide an overview of the unique needs of nonfiction and equip students with tools to tackle the genre. And on Sunday, his 3-hour Master Class, “What’s the Bigor LittleIdea?” will help attendees discover, broaden, narrow, heighten, and deepen their nonfiction concepts. Attendees should bring a project to the session a title/subtitle, a one-sentence “tagline,” and if possible, a 200-word synopsis.

Brian:  Mr. Frederick, thank you so much for joining us at our ‘Fifty Shades of Writing’ conference. Can you tell us a little about how you became an expert in a variety of disciplines? 

Monday, March 3, 2014

What Literary Agents Do to Help Authors

Laura Biagi, literary agent with Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency, previews her workshop session, “What an Agency Brings to the Table” for the Fifty Shades of Writing Conference

Laura Biagi is an agent with the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency. She specializes in adult literary fiction and young readers' books. She also handles the sale rights for Australia and New Zealand for the agency. In addition, she’s an author and the recipient of a Kentucky Emerging Artist Award for fiction writing.

Biagi will listen to individual pitches and will lead two breakout sessions.

In the workshop, “What an Agency Brings to the Table,” Biagi will present exactly what a literary agency does. Additional topics covered will be on agent negotiation and contracts, editing a manuscript before submitting, as well as communications between author and editor.

Attendees in her second workshop, “How to Write a Stand-Out Query”  will learn to shape their plot description and the elements for a stand-out query, so that their writing changes from “ho-hum” to “WOW!

For more on both workshops, check out the conference website here.

Throughout the day on Saturday, Biagi will also be available for one-on-one agent pitch sessions. These are on a first come, first serve basis, so sign up sooner rather than later!

Brian: Ms. Biagi, thank you so much for joining our faculty at our upcoming ‘Fifty Shades of Writing’ conference.

So I’ve got this great book, I know it’s going to be a best seller. I want to send it straight to a publisher. They’ll love it. So why should I bother with an agent? I mean, won’t you just take 15% of my royalties? What’s in it for me? What do agents do, exactly?