Our calendar includes a wide range of literary events.
Have an event you’d like to see here? Submit it!

The Business and Craft of Writing @ La Quinta Inn & Suites
Apr 16 all-day
  • Who:  Mark Henry, Spencer Ellsworth, and agent Sara Megibow
  • When:  April 16, 2016
  • Where:  La Quinta Inn & Suites1425 E. 27th Street Tacoma, WA  98421 –  (253) 383-0146 (Ext. 6 for reservations) – La Quinta Tacoma.
  • What:  Expect anything!  Pitch to an agent — Sara Megibow will take pitches for both finished and unfinished manuscripts.  Her interests are: Young Adult, New Adult, Romance, Erotica, LGBT, Science Fiction, Fantasy, and mashups too!
  • Cost: $135
  • Details:  Registration is now closed.
  • Accessibility: ADA accessible.

About the venue: The hotel is 2 miles from downtown Tacoma where there is a haunted house, museums, several restaurants, and a Hollywood district. There is also a lightrail that runs every fifteen minutes between the hotel and downtown. It’s free of charge. The hotel offers free wifi in the rooms, and they have a bar and restaurant as well. We have a small room block under Cascade Writers that gives the room for $83 (plus tax) per night, but you’ll need to call to make these reservations and do so by March 28th. After that date the room prices go up to the going rate at that time.

Programming is available! Some time slots may shift in order for us to meet the restaurant opening at the hotel.  

  • 8:30 AM – Check in and introductions
  • 9:00 AM – Capturing your audience with Sara Megibow. How do you get that perfect first paragraph and keep that momentum going?
  • 10:00 AM – The proper query with Sara Megibow and Spencer Ellsworth. Includes format, style, what catches an agent’s eye, information to include, and proper etiquette when emailing your query.
  • 11:00 AM – Lunch Break (1 hour)
  • 12:00 PM – Be your own boss with Mark Henry. How to manage your time with writing, business aspects, and promotion.
  • 1:00 PM – Dialogue with Spencer Ellsworth. Dialogue is part storytelling, part character reveal, and part poetry! How do you write dialogue that can do several things at once?
  • 2:00 PM – One on one – Pitch your story or ask about your query letter with Sara Megibow. Sara has offered to take the first 50 pages of all attendees manuscripts! There are two stipulations to her accepting pages, first the manuscript must be completed (as in 100k words or whatever that genre’s norm is). Second, the novel needs to be a genre she represents. She will need the pages by June 1, 2016. Sara is AMAZING to offer this! Thank you, Sara!
  • 4:00 PM – Working in multiple genres with Mark Henry. Keeping your voice unique to each genre can be tricky when you write in such different areas. Learn how to shift your voice to fit the genre, how to promote befitting that genre, and more.
  • 5:00 PM – Dinner break (1-1/2 hours)
  • 6:30 PM – Pacing with Spencer Ellsworth. Learn to use dialogue and narrative to move characters in and out of their problems. How to throw your characters into the crucible and forge!
  • 7:30 PM to 8:00 PM – Closing and short Q&A with Mark, Spencer, and Sara.

Our Speakers!

Click the names for photo and bio

Mark Henry, Author
Sara Megibow, Agent
Spencer Ellsworth, Author



Editors and Agent – Critiques & Craft Workshop July 2016 @ La Quinta Inn and Suites
Jul 28 @ 6:00 pm – Jul 31 @ 2:00 pm

**Registration for the full workshop is now closed.

We have a special treat for this event: Senior Tor/Forge editors, Beth Meacham and Claire Eddy, are both joining us as group leaders! What this means is that they will be critiquing eight people each in the standard critique portion, AND you are guaranteed a flash fiction edit by one of these editors whether or not you make it into their group. A flash prompt will be given at the beginning of this event, then writing time allotted for, and upon deadline, each editor will take twenty attendees and edit on the fly. Flash will be limited to under 1k, and again, the prompt given during the event, but this is an amazing offer by our fearless leaders!

Agent Lucienne Diver will also be leading a critique group of eight people! That’s 24 attendees that will be critiqued by either an editor or agent! 

This will be a craft heavy event, working toward strengthening your novels or short stories, connecting with an agent, and learning the ins and outs of the industry from pros. Whether you’re just beginning your journey of the written word, are advanced and looking to polish, or even just network, we are a great community of authors and pros that support, nourish, and encourage one another. Hope you’ll join us this summer!

Submissions: This is a Milford-Style critique. You will be critiqued by your fellow group members and leader, and you’ll be critiquing their submissions as well. Word count of 4k max, submissions need to be in standard manuscript format, and if you submit a chapter that isn’t the first, please include a brief synopsis. Novel chapters or short stories welcome. Submissions due by June 30, 2016. Registration will be in touch with how to submit closer to the due date.

Workshop LeadersBeth Meacham (Senior Editor, Tor/Forge Books); Claire Eddy (Senior Editor, Tor/Forge Books); Lucienne Diver (Agent with The Knight Agency).

Workshop SpeakersRhiannon Held (author); Matt Youngmark (author); Manny Frishberg (editor/author); Anthea Sharp (author), John (J.A.) Pitts (author); Spencer Ellsworth (author); Randy Henderson (author); Tod McCoy (editor, author, publisher); Lee Moyer (Illustrator).

2016 Programming

Location: La Quinta Inn & Suites1425 E. 27th Street Tacoma, WA  98421 –  (253) 383-0146 (Ext. 6 for reservations) La Quinta Tacoma.

Hotel Information

Still have questions? See our July 2015 Workshop FAQs page


Click the names below for photos and information.

Beth Meacham, Editor
Claire Eddy, Editor
Lucienne Diver, Agent


Rhiannon Held, Author
Matt Youngmark, Author
Manny Frishberg, Editor/Author
Anthea Sharp, Author
John (J.A.) Pitts, Author
Spencer Ellsworth, Author
Randy Henderson, Author
Tod McCoy, Author
Lee Moyer, Illustrator
Remember, remember the 5th of November! @ La Quinta Inn & Suites
Nov 5 @ 10:00 am – 6:00 pm


Remember, remember the 5th of November! This seems like the perfect theme for a Mystery/Crime/Noir and all mix of cross genres event! Even if you’re writing Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Paranormal, or another genre, knowing how to twist a plot and create tension through crime can make the difference between a best-seller and humdrum novel. Or taking a romance and adding a noir flair gives a fresher voice to the genre. Whether you’re writing straight crime or a mix, join pros Kat Richardson, Brian Thornton, and Tom D. Wright for this mysterious event!

Registration is now full. 


KatRBWAug16Kat Richardson is the bestselling author of the Greywalker novels, featuring paranormal PI Harper Blaine, as well as numerous short SFF and Mystery stories. She’s taught writing workshops for Clarion West, Cascade Writers, PNWA, Mystery Writers of America, ArmadilloCon, and Foolscap, been a panelist and speaker at numerous genre and writing conventions, and helped design convention programming for Norwescon, PNWA, and Romantic Times. Kat has worked as a magazine and technical editor, gemology course writer, and actor. She’s been a theater brat, Ren Faire actor, whiffler, dancer, singer, sound and lighting technician, costumer, and game writer. Currently, she lives in the wilds of Western Washington, writing, and working as a freelance editor, in between flying kites, chasing her dogs, making paper automata, playing computer games, and working in her garden.

Brian Thornton Author Bio 2014 (1)Brian Thornton is the author of nine books, including THE BOOK OF BASTARDS and THE BOOK OF ANCIENT BASTARDS, in addition to serving as collection editor for the crime fiction anthology WEST COAST CRIME WAVE. His short fiction has appeared in such venues as ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S MYSTERY MAGAZINE and the Akashic Books anthology SEATTLE NOIR. A native Washingtonian, he lives in Seattle with his wife and son, and is currently serving his second tour as Northwest Chapter president for the Mystery Writers of America.

TomTom D Wright lives in the Puget Sound area with his wife. When he’s not writing, he works in IT for a prominent IT company in Seattle.

He graduated from Bowie State University with an M.A. in Psychology, so when people call him with an IT problem, he can ask them “And how does that make you feel?”

Tom is also privileged to serve on the board of the Cascade Writers, a writer’s conference dedicated to providing educational seminars and workshops for those interested in writing and publishing original works.



9:45-10 Check in/registration

10-10:45 Intro/Segment 1: What is Mystery? Expectations of various subgenres and cross genres and discussion of students’ favorite books and goals in their chosen subgenre. Workshop leaders will tailor/adjust focus of content to meet the needs of students based on this discussion.

11-11:45 Segment 2: Nefarious Plots! Structuring clues and conflict. Work segment: delineating student’s plot, structure, clues, and conflict points both a bullet list and chronological plot map. Developed material will be used again later in workshop—keep those worksheets! Outline styles discussed.

12-12:45 Segment 3: Like an Onion. Layering information context for plot and clue development and world building. Work segment developing context and compact information. Work to be used again later in workshop.

12:45 -1:45 Lunch break – attendees are responsible for their meals.

2-2:45 Segment 4: Character and conflict—the fuel of plot. Work segment on character development and conflict in protagonist/antagonist relationship. Special issues in cross-genre mysteries. Character trajectory and minor character development. Will be used again later.

3-3:45 Segment 5: POV and Character voice. Difference in POVs, developing character voice and POV expression, and utilizing it in creating mood and context as well as addressing plot development and character arc. Work segments on voice and POV. Will be used later.

4-4:45 Segment 6: Build a Scene. Use the information, worksheets, and lists developed in earlier segment to write a model scene for the students’ projects. Revise in differing POVs or Character voices.

5-5:45 Segment 7: Open discussion and questions about mystery and cross-genre, keeping your momentum, writer’s block, submissions, the business of publishing, traditional and indie publishing approaches.

5:45-6 and beyond (as available)—optional extended small group discussion.