WRITERS: In-depth, editor or agent critique on your whole novel—or editor and agent critiques on your partial. Welcome, agent Sarah Landis! Concurrent teen workshop benefits youth and adults. Contact us now!
WHOLE NOVEL WORKSHOP
Envision and Edit Your Story with the Pros
Are you a skilled writer, published or aspiring, looking for something “different” in a fiction workshop? Our intensive seminar offers editor or agent feedback on selected whole-novel manuscripts, including two in-person consults with your mentor. Or maybe you’re ready for editor and agent critiques on your polished, opening chapters. Whichever stage you’re at, here’s how we assist goal-oriented writers like you:
Stacey Barney, Senior Editor at G.P. Putnam’s Books for Young Readers, has edited the #1 New York Times bestselling The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh (a lush, hypnotic re-imagining of the “Arabian Nights” framing story), and the 2015 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award-winning Firebird by American Ballet Theatre soloist Misty Copeland, illustrated by Christopher Myers.
Stacey has also edited Ellen’s Broom by Kelly Starling Lyons (a Coretta Scott King Honor Award winner); Golden Boy by Tara Sullivan (a YALSA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults); and Boys, Girls & Other Hazardous Materials by Rosalind Wiseman (the New York Times bestselling author of Queen Bees and Wannabes, the book that inspired Mean Girls).
Stacey’s other titles include Unlocking the Truth, the memoir of an African American, Brooklyn-bred, eighth-grade heavy metal band that signed a $1.7 million recording contract with Sony—and The Secret Hum of a Daisy by Tracy Holczer, our very own workshop alum. It’s the story of an orphan left with a grandmother she resents in a town that holds the secrets of her family’s past.
As our part-time faculty, Stacey is on the lookout for “rich and memorable stories with pacey plots and writing that sparkles and shines.” Stacey has helped bring many such books into the world. We’re pleased to have her on board!
Katherine Harrison, Editor at Knopf Books for Young Readers for nearly 10 years, acquires mainly character-driven middle-grade and YA, including graphic novels. Previously, she has worked on books by R.J. Palacio and Markus Zusak. Katherine’s own acquisitions include bestselling middle-grade novels, such as Liesl Shurtliff’s Rump (a fractured fairytale, it’s a new take on Rumplestiltskin in which 12-year-old Rump can weave straw into gold but finds it’s a curse)—and critically-acclaimed YA novels, such as Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo (a funny, heartbreaking romance that begins in a supermarket when a 15-year-old develops a crush on a 21-year-old college student), The Tyrant’s Daughter by J.C. Carleson (15-year-old Laila is exiled from an unnamed Middle Eastern country to the suburbs of Washington, D.C. when her father, the king, is killed in a coup), and Grendel’s Guide to Love and War by A.E. Kaplan (a teen misfit seeks to stop the wild parties next door that are disturbing his Iraq vet father who had PTSD, but he ends up falling for his enemy’s sister).
Katherine’s published and forthcoming novels also include A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig, Neptune and A Bandit’s Tale by Deborah Hopkinson, Two Girls Called Alice by Andrew S. Chilton, This Is the Part Where You Laugh by Peter Brown Hoffmeister, A Song to Take the World Apart by Zan Romanoff, Now That You’re Here by Amy K. Nichols, Placebo Junkies by J.C. Carleson, Too Shattered for Mending by Peter Brown Hoffmeister, and We Regret to Inform You by A.E. Kaplan. Enticing!
Editor wish list: In the middle-grade category, Katherine looks for humor (think Sachar or Dahl), but she’s also a sucker for a good tearjerker—provided there are moments of levity to balance out the sad bits. In YA novels, she is seeking smart, heartfelt contemporary tales, richly developed fantasy, and novels that grapple with feminist themes or characters learning to be their authentic selves.
Across the genres, Katherine is always delighted to see diverse voices, well-researched historical fiction, and nerdy characters obsessed with science, nature, politics, or the arts. She also likes to be taken by surprise, noting that sometimes it’s the books which don’t fit neatly into any of these categories that speak to her the loudest—“‘narrative voice’ pun intended.” Welcome, Katherine!
Brianne Johnson, Senior Agent at the prestigious Writers House since her internship in 2007, was recently chosen as a Publishers Weekly Star Watch honoree. She’s cultivating a largely omnivorous list in young readers’ books—everything from historical fiction to magical realism, and “fresh, beautiful, fun, thoughtful stories that make that first real step into adulthood seem brand-new, all over again.”
In older readers’ books, she’s seeking “exciting, high-concept, gobble-down-in-one-sitting novels that keep me up way past my bedtime (I love creepy/horror/suspense… and creative fantasy in general), as well as beautiful, literary works that explore the coming-of-age theme from a truly original angle and beg for multiple re-readings.”
Brianne has also sold Cheryl Klein’s The Magic Words, an outstanding guide to writing for children and teens.
We’re delighted to welcome Brianne Johnson to our 15th annual event; she, in turn is eager to connect with potential new clients. One of her memorable quotes for writers: “I want unforgettable characters that I’d follow anywhere, who burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow Roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.” — Jack Kerouac
Sarah Landis, Agent at Sterling Lord Literistic, represents middle-grade and YA authors. For the past 15 years she has worked as an editor at G.P. Putnam’s Sons, Hyperion Books, HarperCollins Children’s, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books For Young Readers. She has edited many award-winning authors and titles, such as Claudia Gray’s A Thousand Pieces of You, and Megan Shepherd’s Grim Lovelies.
In middle-grade novels, Sarah is seeking fantasy and contemporary with heart, humor, and magic. In the young adult space, she has an affinity for Southern voices, high-concept and speculative plots, sci-fi/fantasy, historical, mystery and thrillers, and contemporary stories set overseas. Sarah will be offsite faculty this year, offering additional opportunities for our enrollees!
Read more about Stacey Barney and Brianne Johnson, as well as our previous esteemed presenters, in our faculty interviews.
Opportunity Camaraderie Craft