Schedule: 2020 Workshop

THIS YEAR’S SESSION & WORKSHOPS (DEC. 5, 2020):

9:30 – 10:30: Everything You Need to Know About Agents and Query Letters, by Kelly Peterson. This workshop is a thorough crash course in dealing with literary agents. After quickly going over what an agent is and what they do for writers, we will discuss resources for finding agents, how to ID the best agents for you, query letter writing, as well as the most important things to do and not to do when dealing with representatives.

10:45 – 11:45: How to Work With a Literary Agent — What Happens After You Find Representation, taught by Latoya C. Smith. This session explains how to best work with a literary agent once you have found representation. Have do you deal with long wait times when your work is on submission? How to communicate effectively with an agent when you’re not on the same page? What happens when you want to write in a different genre, but the agent doesn’t rep that category? These questions, and more, will be addressed.

11:50 – 1:15: Break / Lunch

1:30 – 2:45: “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 submit 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.)

2:45 – 3:45: The Elusive Element of Voice, taught by Lori Steel. This session, taught by a literary agent, delves into voice — what it is, why it’s sought after, and how to create it. But what is voice and how is it crafted? This workshop will demonstrate how to create compelling character and narrative voices that hook readers and make your story stand out.

4:00 – 5:00: The 7 Touches of Marketing for Authors, taught by E.J. Wenstrom. In this session, a seasoned communications pro will explain a fundamental principle of marketing and sales, and explain how authors an apply it to their own efforts to build a readership and sell books, in the context of a modern, digital world.

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BONUS CLASSES:

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 5 classes sent to you to watch over and over again, we will also send you 12 more FREE CWW classes on the side:

  1. “An Overview of Your Publishing Options Today”—a class on understanding the difference between self-publishing and traditional publishing, by Chuck Sambuchino
  2. “10 Query Letter Tips”—a class to help your submission chances, by Chuck Sambuchino
  3. “15 Tips on How to Write Like the Pros”—a class on craft and voice, by Brian Klems
  4. “Working with a Literary Agent”—a class on having a great relationship, by agent Kortney Price
  5. “The Ins and Outs of Perfecting Voice in Your Writing,” taught by author Christina Kaye.
  6. “Ask an Agent Anything Panel (Michigan Writing Workshop)”—hear writers ask questions and agents give blunt feedback
  7. “How to Write a Nonfiction Book Proposal” by Brian Klems—a class specifically designed for writers of nonfiction who want to craft an awesome proposal
  8. “You Have an Agent Offer or Book Contract — Now What?”—a class explaining what happens after you sign with a rep, by agent Carlie Webber
  9. “Pitch, Please”—a class on pitching to agents successfully, by Ben Miller-Callihan and Courtney Miller-Callihan
  10. “Making Social Media Work For You”—a class on promoting yourself and your book via social media, by agent Kenzi Nevins
  11. “Talking Elevator Pitches, Twitter Pitches, and Query Letters”—a class on understanding the various ways to pitch your book to agents, by agent Heather Cashman
  12. “Elevating Your Work: How to Create Great Children’s Picture Books”—a class on writing picture books for kids, by author Gabrielle Pendergrast