Schedule: 2021 Workshop


9:30 – 10:30: “Query Dos and Don’ts,” taught by agent Eva Scalzo. The query letter is often the first point of contact between writers and agents. In this session, agent Eva Scalzo will present the query letter basics every writer should know. From what to include and the reasons those things are important to what not to include and why you shouldn’t include them, this workshop will help you hone in what will work best for you when crafting your query.

10:45 – 11:45: “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.

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: “Voice: What Is It and How Do I Master It?” taught by agent Heather Cashman. Authorial voice, narrative voice, character voice … With so many voices in one novel and so many styles, punctuation, sounds, and words to choose from, how can a writer make their voice stand out in a crowded marketplace? In this class, we’ll discuss writing with intention, discerning which voice is which, and how to play with and create voices that will connect with readers, agents, and editors.

4:00 – 5:00: “You Have an Agent Offer or Book Contract — Now What?” taught by agent Carlie Webber. Many writers seek to get an agent and book deal. But what happens after these steps? Hear from literary agent Carlie Webber on how to effectively work with a literary agent, what to expect in the submission process, what it’s like to work with a publishing house editor, how to sell multiple books in your career, and much more.