Apply For a Free Pass to Select Conferences & Workshops I’m Attending


When I was in high school and college, I would have loved to go to the many writing workshops and bookish conferences that I’m attending these days as a literary agent. The networking and learning opportunities at these events are so valuable. I meet someone new at every conference I go to, and sometimes, I even discover a brilliant voice.

Like Lindsey Smith, who I found at a writing workshop in Philadelphia. Her new cookbook is off to St. Martin’s Press, thanks to making that connection.

But as a teen and college student in my 20′s… there was no way I would have been able to afford some of these events. Sometimes they can be really expensive, and that creates barriers for young writers who could truly grow in their careers from these events, but can’t due to financial reasons.

So, I’d like to shake things up a little.

Are you a writer eager to learn about the industry and connect with editors, agents, fellow authors? I’m offering up a free pass to any of the following events, to a marginalized writer (authors who are PoC, disabled, LGBTQ+, native voices) in those respective regions.

Philadelphia Writers Workshop (Philadelphia, PA)
April 8th, 2017

Midwest Writers Conference (Muncie, IN) *
July 20th – 22nd, 2017

* Note: This is for the Part II, $300 option, Thursday evening, Friday & Saturday. Details on the site.

Over the course of the conference, if you want, we’ll hang out. I’ll introduce you to industry folks. We’ll grab coffee. Or you can just wander around. You do you. These passes don’t include hotel stays or transportation though, sorry. It’s just a pass for the conference / workshop. So please, only email me if you’re from the area. I can’t stress that enough.

Interested in attending? Email me with the following:

  • Name: You know, your name.
  • Who Are You?: A bit about you. Why you write.
  • Your WIP: What are you currently writing?
  • Twitter: What’s your Twitter handle?

At ericsmithrocks at gmail dot com, with what conference you’d like to attend. I’ll pick someone one month before the day of the conference, so March 8th (Philly Writers Workshop) and June 20th (Midwest Writers Con).

Event organizers, take note. If you want me at a conference, I’m requesting passes like these from now on. I’m willing to pay for the passes out of any honorarium you might be offering me.

Huge thank you to the Philadelphia Writers Workshop and Midwest Writers Conference for agreeing to this!

SPINE OUT: January 19th, Reading in NYC with Samira Ahmed, Emmy Laybourne, & More


Oh. Oh my. Now this is exciting. In mid-January, I’ll be joining a number of awesome authors, including one I work with (I represent Samira Ahmed!), for a special reading in New York City.

Spine Out.

Emmy Laybourne, bestselling YA author of books like Monument 14 and Sweet (this was one of my favorite books last year, you guys), hosts this wonderful event in NYC every other month or so, inviting authors to come share personal essays on stage.

It’s been a long time since I read a personal essay at a reading. The last time… oh goodness, was First Person Arts in Philadelphia, maybe? Valentine’s Day like two years ago? I’m not even sure. Point is, it doesn’t happen often, I’m just so thrilled to be invited.

You can grab tickets off of Dixon Place’s website, and there’s a Facebook page where you can RSVP, if you want.

Events: Where to Find Me Through the Fall

leaves books

Oh. My. Goodness.

Summer is wrapping up, and Fall is looking to be a pretty hectic season when it comes to book-type-events. And I seriously can’t wait to be out and about, hearing about new books and meeting awesome authors. I feel like I’m traveling more in the next three months than I have in the past full year, and it is super exciting.

Here’s where you can find me, September through November. Book events galore. Read more

Events in May: Sabaa Tahir @ Doylestown Books, Book Expo America, & More!


Well, most of Spring was hella busy. Between starting a new job and heading to AWP, I was pretty all over the place. It was all kinds of fun, and it looks like May is shaping up to be just as fun.

Here’s where you can find me this month!

Sabaa Tahir @ the Doylestown Bookshop
Thursday, May 7th
It’ll be my great pleasure to host a conversation with Sabaa Tahir at the Doylestown Bookshop in early May!

She’ll be signing copies of her astonishing debut, An Ember in the Ashes, which is one incredible YA novel. I listed it as one of the most anticipated reads of 2015 over on The Huffington Post, and let me tell you, it did not disappoint. I’ll be re-reading it next week so I have good questions, promise.

If you’re in the area, come on out. I suspect a lot of fabulous local authors will be there, and it’ll be a really fun evening.

Chatting with the Brandywine Valley Writers Group
Tuesday, May 19th
My pal Jim Breslin is part of the Brandywine Valley Writers Group, a group of authors who meet every month at Ryan’s Pub in West Chester, PA. I’ll be hopping the SEPTA and swinging by to chat about publishing, agenting, writing… all that good stuff.

It’s open to anyone, as they are always looking for new members, so swing by and have a drink!

Tell Me a Story @ Shot Tower Coffee
Wednesday, May 20th
Two events in two days? EEK! I’m really excited to be returning to Hilary Rea’s wonderful Tell Me a Story storytelling event at Shot Tower Coffee. I participated in one last year, telling stories from my days of touring with bands, and this time around… well, I’m not quite sure what I’ll ramble about, but I’m psyched never the less.

Book Expo America
Thursday, May 28th – Saturday, May 30th
AH! It’s time for BEA! My favorite convention of the year. This is the first year I’ll be attending as a literary agent / press. I’ll be there looking for cool new books with BookRiot, and scouting out new authors when I can.

So personal author events scheduled just yet, but you’ll definitely see me wandering the floor and hanging out. Be sure to follow me on Twitter, and say hi!

Spring Events: Conferences & Readings in Philly and Minneapolis!


The weather is getting warmer and my calendar is getting fuller. At last, I can go outside again.

The Spring brings with it a lot of fun events. I’ll be flying out to Minneapolis for a few days for AWP and a book event, and doing some really exciting things around town in Philadelphia at the end of March.

Here’s a quick roundup! If you’re going to any of these events or conferences, give a shout!

Philadelphia Stories’ Writers at Work Conference
March 22nd, 2015
What the… Eric Smith, opening keynote? This is happening, at an awesome writers conference right outside Philadelphia. I’ll be dishing out advice for authors on using social media.

Should be a fun time, and I’m joined at the conference by the fantastic Colleen Reese. More info on the conference can be found here.

Live at the Kelly Writers’ House
March 30th, 2015
This is going to be one magical Monday. I’m joining E.C. Myers, Lauren Saft, Katherine Locke, and I.W.Gregorio at the Kelly Writers’ House for at YA night and discussion.

We’ll all be reading a little something and answering questions, and I’m just so excited to actually be reading something I wrote at the KWH. What an honor! And I get to hang with authors I admire! It’s open to the public, so come on out, Philly friends! 7pm!

Association of Writers & Writing Programs
April 8th – 11th, 2015
So I’m hopping on a plane to Minneapolis for the AWP conference. I’ll be on a panel Thursday night, April 9th, with Meredith Rich (my super editor at Bloomsbury Spark) and Dawn Frederick (my awesome literary agent).

We’ll be discussing the revision process, and how editors, agents, and authors best work together. More information on the panel can be found here.

Reading & Signing at SubText Books
April 11th, 2015
On my last day in Minneapolis, I’ll be reading and signing books with the one and only Steve Brezenoff, author of Guy In Real Life, my absolute favorite book of 2014. Needless to say, I am incredibly psyched about this. There’s a Facebook event page open for it, so if you’re in town, RSVP!