Schedule: 2023 Workshop


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FRIDAY, JULY 7, 2023:

9:30 – 10:30: Self-Editing Your Manuscript, taught by Kelly Peterson. (TBD)

10:45 – 11:45: Tip 10 Querying Tips, taught by Lindsay Flanagan. Your manuscript is done! Next step: Querying! But — how do you query an agent? What should you include in your query letter? How do you even start writing a query? These questions and more will be answered in this class. The top ten tips have been collected from various interviews with literary agents.

11:45 – 1:15: Break

1:15 – 2:30: How to Sell Nonfiction: Demystifying the Nonfiction Book Proposal, taught by Eric Smith. In this talk, we’ll dig into what goes into creating a book proposal for a nonfiction project. Whether you’re working on a memoir, an essay collection, a wellness book, or even a cookbook, a lot of the elements are the same — demonstrating why you’re the one to write it, showcasing your writing, and digging into your platform. We’ll show the basics of what you’ll need inside, and why the word “platform” isn’t as scary as people sometimes think it is (spoiler: it has nothing to do with your Twitter following).

2:45 – 3:45: What A Writer Needs to Publish Their First Book, taught by Gabrielle Pendergrast. (TBD)

4:00 – 5:00: Graphic Novels: How to Write Them, and What Any Writer Can Learn From Them, taught by Claire Draper. A literary agent who represents graphic novels for a variety of ages will talk about what goes into making a graphic novel, how you can get started writing one yourself, why they’re so popular right now, and what any writer of any genre can learn from studying them.

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9:30 – 10:30: Traditional Publishing vs. Independent Publishing, taught by agent Leticia Gomez. The desire to be published is more prevalent than ever. A record-breaking number of CEOs, entrepreneurs, business professionals, and aspiring writers from all walks of life dream about becoming published authors but are stumped about which road to publication they would like to travel on. Filled with real-life stories, humor, and practical advice Leticia’s workshop will give aspiring and seasoned authors alike the good, bad, and ugly of these two methods of publication. By the end of the presentation, attendees will have gained the clarity needed to decide whether they have the stomach to take the traditional publishing route with the help of a literary agent or strike out on their on and publish their literary masterpiece on their own.

10:45 – 11:45: How to Find and Work With a Literary Agent, taught by Reiko Davis. In this talk, Reiko Davis seeks to demystify the process of finding and working with a literary agent. Her talk will explore the ins and outs of the relationship between author and agent, beginning with guidance and best practices on how to approach an agent about a book project. She’ll cover key topics such as how to: research literary agents, craft a successful query letter and navigate the querying process, vet and sign with an agent, develop a positive, enduring author/agent relationship, and ensure you feel heard and empowered as you move through your career as a writer. We will also discuss agency agreements, the editorial process, book deal negotiation, and what happens once a project is sold to a publisher.

11:45 – 1:15: Break

1:15 – 2:30: “Writers Got Talent”—a Page 1 Critique Fest, with participating literary agents and editors. In the vein of “American Idol” or “America’s Got Talent,” 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. Get expert feedback on your incredibly important first page, and know if your writing has what it needs to keep readers’ attention. (All attendees are welcome to bring pages to the event for this session, and we will choose pages at random for the workshop for as long as time lasts. All submissions should be novels or memoir—no prescriptive nonfiction or picture books, please. Do not send your pages in advance. You will bring printed copies with you, and instructions will be sent out approximately one week before the event.)

2:45 – 3:45: Open Agent Q&A Panel. Several attending literary agents will open themselves up to open Q&A from CWW attendees. Bring your questions and get them answered in this popular session.

4:00 – 5:00: You Have an Literary Agent, or Book Deal — Now What? taught by Carlie Webber. (TBD)

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Classes are recorded (and this is amazing news)! With an in-person conference, attendees would miss snippets of classes because they leave the classroom to pitch, or make a phone call, or anything else. But the 10 classes happening July 7-8, 2023 are all recorded, which means we will send the days’ recording following the event. You can watch classes as many times as you want during the next six months. This is an exciting new element that we couldn’t include before. Also, we will be sending out all handouts for all classes to attendees in advance.

Lastly, having this new technology allows us WDW faculty members to pre-record sessions, too—meaning we will actually send attendees many extra FREE classes as part of their attendance. In addition to getting the weekend’s 10 classes sent to you to watch over and over again, we will also send you at least 10 more FREE classes on the side:

  1. “Traditional Publishing vs. Self-Publishing,” taught by literary agent Leonicka Valcius at the 2022 Philadelphia Writing Workshop.
  2. “Voice — and How to Hone Yours,” taught by literary agent Kaitlyn Katsoupis at the 2022 San Diego Writing Workshop.
  3. “Nail Your Opening — How to Fix First Chapter Mistakes,” taught by literary agent Lesley Sabga at the 2022 Writing Conference of Los Angeles.
  4. “How to Think like a Developmental Editor,” taught by author Shirin Leos at the 2022 Kansas City Writing Workshop.
  5. “From Castles to Condominiums: Building Immersive Worlds in Any Kind of Fiction,” taught by literary agent Laurel Symonds at the 2022 Florida Writing Workshop.
  6. “Writers Got Talent”—a Page 1 Critique Fest,” with literary agents at the 2022 Minnesota Writing Workshop. (If you enjoy this amazing agent panel, we sell a bundle of these First Pages agent panel recordings here.)
  7. “Ask an Agent Anything: Open Agent Q&A Panel,” with literary agents at the 2022 Writing Workshop of Chicago.
  8. “Extreme Research For Your Story (If You Dare!),” taught by literary agent Sera Rivers at the 2022 Writing Conference of Los Angeles.
  9. “Social Media Promotion Secrets for Authors,” taught by author Erik Deckers at the 2022 Writing Workshop of Chicago.
  10. “The Power in Choosing Your Dream of Writing,” taught by author Brittany Thurman at the 2022 Writing Conference of Los Angeles.