The 2024 Toronto Writing Workshop: April 6, 2024

Screen Shot 2016-12-25 at 10.34.26 PM.pngAfter successful 2016, 2017, 2019, and 2020 events in Toronto, Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2024 Toronto Writing Workshop — a full-day in-person “How to Get Published” writing event in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on April 6, 2024.

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 (225 total). All questions about the event regarding schedule, details and registration are answered below. Thank you for your interest in the 2024 Toronto Writing Workshop! We are very proud of our many success stories where attendees sign with agents following events — see our growing list of success stories here.

(Please note that this is an in-person event. We at Writing Day Workshops plan both online/virtual as well as in-person events. This next TWW is an in-person event happening in Toronto on April 6, 2024. See you there.)


This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, April 6, 2024, at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel downtown. 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. Writers of all genres are welcome.

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 agent and editor faculty so far includes:

  • literary agent Ron Eckel (CookeMcDermid)
  • literary agent Bridgette Kam (Westwood Creative Artists)
  • literary agent Lindsay Leggett (The Rights Factory)
  • literary agent Eric Smith (P.S. Literary)
  • literary agent Marilyn Biderman (Transatlantic Agency)
  • editor Alethea Spiridon (Entangled Publishing)
  • literary agent Jes Trudel (The Rights Factory)
  • editor Claire Caldwell (Annick Press)
  • literary agent Ali McDonald (5 Otter Literary)
  • literary agent Kat Kerr (Donald Maass Literary Agency)
  • literary agent Stephanie Winter (P.S. Literary)
  • editor Amanda Ferreira (Random House Canada)
  • literary agent Tasneem Motala (The Rights Factory)
  • literary scout Tayler Hill (The Purcell Agency)
  • and likely more to come.

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 Chuck Sambuchino of Writing Day Workshops. E-mail Chuck to register for the event at Tell him you want to register for the Toronto event.


9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, April 6, 2024 — at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel downtown, 123 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5H 2M9, Canada.

(Please note that this is an in-person event. We at Writing Day Workshops plan both online/virtual as well as in-person events. This next TWW is an in-person event happening in Toronto on April 6, 2024. See you there.)


What you see below is a quick layout of the day’s events. The topics below are mostly set, but subject to change. You can see a more detailed layout of the day’s classes on the Schedule Page here.

Please Note: There will be 2-3 classes/workshops going at all times during the day, so you will have your choice of what class you attend at any time. The final schedule of topics is subject to change, but here is the current layout:

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

BLOCK ONE: 9:30 – 10:30

1. The Paths to Publishing. Understand the differences between traditional publishing and author-owned publishing (aka self-publishing). Be able to make a decision on which path is best for you and your book. Feel excited to take the next steps and move your project forward.

2.Beating Your Media Fears and Creating PR That Works. In this session, you’ll learn how to create attention for yourself and your work through publicity and PR that you can do yourself.

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 1.44.34 AMBLOCK TWO: 10:45 – 11:50

1. Overcoming Failure—How to Keep Striving for “Yes” in the Face of a Hundred “Nos.” In this talk, you’ll hear stories of accomplished people who have weathered terrible defeats, and you’ll come to see that “failure” is not the opposite of “success” but is actually the pathway to it.

2. The Agent-Author Relationship. Getting a literary agent to represent your work is a big step, but it’s only the beginning. What happens after an agent says yes?

(What you see here is a quick layout of the day’s events. See a full layout of the day’s sessions, with detailed descriptions, on the official Schedule Page here.)

LUNCH ON YOUR OWN: 11:50 – 1:15

Lunch is on your own during these 85 minutes.

BLOCK THREE: 1:15 – 2:30

1. “Writers Got Talent”—a Page 1 Critique Fest (room). 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.

2. How to Sell a Nonfiction Book. This session is completely devoted to nonfiction that is not memoir. So if you are trying to create an awesome nonfiction book proposal, this presentation is for you.

BLOCK FOUR: 2:45 – 3:45

1. Open Agent Q&A Panel. Several attending literary agents will open themselves up to open Q&A from TWW attendees. Bring your questions and get them answered in this popular session.

2. Writing Under the Fantasy Umbrella. What’s different about writing in the fantasy genres? For that matter, how is writing fantasy not the same as writing science fiction, or even horror?

(What you see here is a quick layout of the day’s events. See a full layout of the day’s sessions, with detailed descriptions, on the official Schedule Page here.)

BLOCK FIVE: 4:00 – 5:00

1. Everything You Need to Know About Agents and Query Letters. In this class, attendees will understand the basics of query letters, synopses, the difference of pitching fiction vs. nonfiction, agent submission pet peeves, and more.

2. 10 Things I’ve Learned by Editing 1,000 Manuscripts (and What Writers Can Take Away from My Experience). Thinking like a developmental editor can help you mold your book for success even as you write; it can eventually help you edit yourself so that the book you submit is the book an editor is looking for. In this seminar, we will discuss developmental vs. line- or copy-editing, what dev editors consider when editing and exercises that can help you dev-edit yourself.


At 5 p.m., the day is done. Speakers will make themselves available by the workshop’s bookstore for a short while to sign any books for attendees.

Agent & Editor Pitching: All throughout the day.



Tasneem Motala is a literary agent with The Rights Factory.  She is seeking: fantasy, graphic novels, middle grade, new adult, science fiction, young adult contemporary YA, cyberpunk, fairytale retellings, low fantasy, magical realism, robots/A.I., steampunk, urban fantasy. Sometimes she doesn’t know what she’s looking for until it’s in her inbox, but some things are timeless, like retellings of well-known myths and classics, teenage romances, and mysteries with fascinating protagonists, just to name a few. In the realm of Middle Grade and YA, Tasneem is currently seeking stories (regardless whether fantasy, sci-fi, or contemporary) that are raw, emotional, heartfelt, and authentic. Learn more about Tasneem here.

Marilyn Biderman is a literary agent with Transatlantic Agency. Areas of Interest: Literary fiction; sweet-spot fiction, that is, accessible but literary in intent (often found at book clubs); literary crime fiction; and women’s commercial and historical fiction. I love memoir with an utterly unique story and brilliant writing; narrative nonfiction on compelling and newsworthy topics that anticipate trends; expert nonfiction of wide appeal from authors with established social media platforms; and biographies of fascinating lives. Learn more about Marilyn here.

Eric Smith is a literary agent at P.S. Literary Agency, with a love for young adult books, literary fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and nonfiction. Eric is eagerly acquiring fiction and nonfiction projects. He’s actively seeking out new, diverse voices in young adult (particularly sci-fi and fantasy), middle grade, and literary and commercial fiction (again, loves sci-fi and fantasy, but also thrillers and mysteries). In terms of non-fiction, he’s interested in cookbooks, pop culture, humor, middle grade, essay collections, and blog-to-book ideas. Learn more about Eric here.

Jes Trudel (she/her/mx) is a literary agent with The Rights Factory. At the moment, I’m accepting only children’s literature, including: Board books (BB); Picture books (PB); Chapter books (CB); Middle grade (MG); and Young adult (YA). In addition to traditional styles of storytelling, I also love graphic novels and novels in verse. I’m also open to short story and poetry collections for kids. I accept both illustrated and text-only manuscripts. If you are an illustrator only, I’m sorry, but I can’t represent you at this time (unless you create full-length wordless picture books). Learn more about Jes here.

Alethea Spiridon is an editor with Entangled Publishing. She focuses on romance — both print and digital. She enjoys a fresh, fun, flirty voice, and anything that can make her laugh and see the lighter side of life. That being said, she’s also drawn to contemporary alpha male stories and lush historical romances. Jane Porter, Sherryl Woods, Rachel Gibson, Carole Matthews, Julie James, Sheila O’Flanagan, and Sarah Mayberry are some authors she enjoys reading. Learn more about Alethea here.

Ali McDonald is a literary agent and partner with 5 Otter Literary. In fourteen years as an international literary agent, Ali McDonald has represented many award-winning and bestselling authors and illustrators. Specializing in children’s and young adult literature, she works on projects ranging from concept and novelty books, board books, picture books, early readers, chapter books, and graphic novels, to middle grade, young adult, and new adult fiction and nonfiction. Learn more about Ali here.

Kat Kerr is a literary agent with Donald Maass Literary Agency. Kat feels strongly about supporting programs like We Need Diverse Books and is passionate about creating space in this industry for those from historically marginalized communities. She is actively seeking to grow her client list and is particularly hungry for magical realism, literary leaning speculative (fantasy) and science fiction, women’s fiction, YA works with a lot of heart, and narrative nonfiction with something to say. In fiction, she seeks literary, upmarket, women’s, rom-coms, multicultural, speculative, magical realism, family saga, young adult, and select sci-fi and fantasy. In nonfiction, she seeks narrative nonfiction and journalistic nonfiction tackling current affairs and social justice issues, particularly covering topics of racism, immigration, LGBTQIA+ rights, gender equality, and poverty. She also represents select biographies and memoirs. Learn more about Kat here.

Ron Eckel is a proprietor and literary agent with CookeMcDermid. As an agent Ron is particularly drawn to dark fiction, both commercial and literary, in the areas of horror, science fiction, fantasy , suspense, and psychological thriller. On the nonfiction side, Ron loves story-driven narrative non-fiction in the areas of pop culture, music, sports, pop science, and current affairs. Learn more about Ron here.

Stephanie Winter is a literary agent with P.S. Literary. Stephanie is primarily acquiring across three pillars: adult fiction, nonfiction, and graphic novels. She’s actively seeking titles with diverse and inclusive representation that offer smart, culturally aware, and enriching narratives. In fiction, she particularly enjoys commercial and upmarket projects (rom-coms, thriller/suspense, etc.) that offer millennial and/or queer-affirming perspectives. In nonfiction, she’s on the hunt for pop culture, cultural criticism, millennial business and finance, narrative nonfiction, how-to, and lifestyle projects. Learn more about Stephanie here.

Bridgette Kam is a literary agent with Westwood Creative Artists. In fiction, I’d love to represent more literary fiction in the vein of Nancy Jooyoun Kim’s The Last Story of Mina Lee and Asha Lemmie’s Fifty Words for Rain. In children’s literature, I’m especially interested in fiction and nonfiction picture book texts, middle grade fiction, and illustration. In narrative nonfiction, I’m drawn to fresh, unique, diverse, and well-informed voices, especially pop culture, social issues, popular history, big ideas, current affairs, and popular science. I’m also interested in practical nonfiction: self-improvement, health, and lifestyle. Learn more about Bridgette here.

Lindsay Leggett is a literary agent with The Rights Factory. Lindsay grew up in the frozen wilds of Northern Ontario, and turned a love of reading and writing into a passion for editing. After working for a variety of authors and publishers, she found a home at The Rights Factory. Lindsay is focused on graphic novels, romance, and young adult & middle grade with bite. She enjoys horror, thriller, magical realism, fantasy, science fiction, LGBTQIA+, #ownvoices, and graphic stories. Learn more about Lindsay here.

Amanda Ferreira is an editor with Random House Canada. She primarily edits adult commercial fiction, and is drawn to books with an early hook and YA crossover appeal. She acquires in every genre (except horror) — including fantasy, romance, historical fiction, science fiction, historical fiction, mystery, and thriller. In particular, she loves retellings of ancient myths and history, accessible speculative fiction with happy endings, romance with a fresh twist on popular tropes, and diverse characters that feel true to the communities they’re a part of. Her deep loves are fantasy, romance, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+ stories. Learn more about Amanda here.

Claire Caldwell is a Toronto-based editor and writer with over ten years’ experience in the publishing industry. She is the Senior Editor at Annick Press, where she acquires books for young people, including the award-winning picture books Salma the Syrian Chef (written by Danny Ramadan, illustrated by Anna Bron) and Abuelita and Me (written by Leonarda Carranza, illustrated by Rafael Mayani). Claire is also the author of two poetry collections, Invasive Species (Wolsak and Wynn, 2014) and Gold Rush (Invisible Publishing, 2020). Learn more about Claire here.

Tayler Hill is an intern and literary scout at The Purcell Agency. She is open to taking pitches on behalf of The Purcell Agency for the following genres: middle grade, young adult, new adult, women’s fiction, book club fiction, speculative fiction (fantasy & sci-fi), romantasy, children’s picture books, memoir, mystery, crime, thriller, contemporary/realistic fiction, dystopian, suspense, horror, romance, #ownvoices, and LGBTQIA+. Learn more about Tayler here.

* * * * *

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ADDED ONLINE PITCHING: To ensure that writers have a robust and diverse lineup of agents & editors to pitch, 2024 Toronto Writing Workshop attendees will have the ability to also pitch literary agents at the Writing Day Workshops *online* event that follows the 2024 TWW on our calendar.

That event is the Ohio Writing Workshop, May 10-11, 2024, which will have 30-40 agents taking one-on-one Zoom virtual pitches.

This means that 2024 TWW attendees can have access to pitching all those online OWW agents — pitches still at $29 each — without being a formal registrant for the online May 2024 event. (That said, if you want to formally register for the Ohio conference and have access to all classes and panels, let us know, as there is a discount for confirmed Toronto attendees.)

If you are interested in this added pitching opportunity, the first step is to get formally registered for Toronto. Following the TWW conference on April 6, 2024, we will be in touch with all Toronto attendees and ask them if they want to partake in pitching online agents at the 2024 OWW (May 10-11). At that time, you can communicate your pitch requests and purchase meeting time.

* * * * *

        More 2024 agents to be announced as they are confirmed. You can sign up for pitches at any time, or switch pitches at any time, so long as the agent in question still has appointments open.

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.)



$273 CAD / $199 USD — EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2024 TWW and access to all workshops, all day. As of fall 2023, registration is now OPEN.

$40 CAD / $29 USD — to secure a 10-minute one-on-one meeting with any of our literary agents or editors 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 an be seen here.)

Screen Shot 2018-11-26 at 11.11.29 AM.png“I met my client, Alison Hammer, at the 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 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 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 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 Chesapeake Writing Workshop.”

– literary agent Adriann Ranta of Foundry Literary + Media

Add $95 CAD / $69 USD — for an in-depth, personal critique of your one-page query letter from Chuck Sambuchino, one of the day’s instructors. (This rate is a special event value for Toronto Writing Workshop 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 $122 CAD / $89 USD — 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 will either 1) get an in-person meeting at the workshop, if the faculty member is attending the live event, or 2) get a 10-minute phone call with the faculty member, and have notes passed along via email, if the critiquer is not attending the live event. Options:

  • Options forthcoming.
  • More possibly forthcoming

How to pay/register — Registration is now open. Reach out to workshop organizer Chuck Sambuchino via email:, and he will provide specific instructions for payment and registration to get you a reserved seat at the event. Payment is by credit card, PayPal, or check. Because Chuck plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Toronto workshop specifically.


Because of limited space at the venue (Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel downtown), the workshop can only allow 225 registrants, unless spacing issues change. For this reason, we encourage you to book sooner rather than later.

(Please note that this is an in-person event. We at Writing Day Workshops plan both online/virtual as well as in-person events. This next TWW is an in-person event happening in Toronto on April 6, 2024. See you there.)

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 Chuck Sambuchino via email: Chuck will pass along registration information to you, and give instructions on how to pay by credit card, PayPal, or check. Once payment is complete, you will have a reserved seat at the event. The TWW will send out periodic e-mail updates to all registered attendees with any & all news about the event. Because Chuck plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Toronto workshop specifically.

Refunds: If you sign up for the event and have to cancel for any reason at any time, 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 and manuscript editing payments are completely non-refundable if the instructor has already edited your work.)

Thank you for your interest in the Toronto Writing Workshop.


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