Schedule: 2023 Workshop

ONLINE: Writing Day Workshops plans both in-person and virtual/online conferences. The Fall 2023 ATLWW is an Online Conference, on September 8-9. Online events are easy and awesome, and the virtual events we’ve done thus far have received wonderful feedback. You do not have to be tech-savvy to do this, and understand we are keeping all aspects of a traditional in-person event, including one-on-one agent & editor pitching, which will now be done by Zoom or phone. Learn all details about what it means to have a writers conference online.)

The schedule below is on Eastern time.



Friday, September 8, 2023

10:30 – 11:30: Everything You Need to Know About Agents and Query Letters, taught by Kat Kerr. 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.

11:45 – 12:45: What’s Up Readers? — Getting Started As a Book Influencer on Social Media, taught by Gabrielle Prendergast. The introduction of social media has transformed the way we learn about and discuss books. The workshop will introduce readers to the various online communities where they can share their love of books. With advice about setting up accounts, recording videos for “BookTube” or “Booktok,” taking attractive photographs for “Bookstagram,” and some information about “going live,” attendees will leave with a good understanding of the online book influencer world and some ideas about how to get started.

12:45 – 2:15: Break

2:15 – 3:30: 15 Reasons Your Book Keeps Getting Rejected, by Carlie Webber. Make an agent say yes to your book! Whether you’ve been querying for a while or are just about to start, you always want to put your best work in front of an agent. This workshop, taught by a literary agent, will show you some common yet easily fixable mistakes that cause agents to pass on your manuscript, from query letters to opening scenes to voice.

3:45 – 4:45: Writing an Effective Synopsis, taught by Shannon Snow. Who loves writing a synopsis? They’re confusing, difficult, and something to which most writers procrastinate. What do you put in? What do you leave out? How should it be structured? Join Shannon Snow of Creative Media Agency as she breaks down the key elements of a synopsis and details solutions to all of those questions. Learn how to crank out a synopsis like a pro.

5:00 – 6:00: Creating Strong Compelling Female Characters, taught by Diana Giovinazzo. Creating fleshed-out three-dimensional female characters can be tricky. What makes a character truly memorable and unique? What is “true strength” and what is an overused cliche in manuscripts? In this class, a published author will help all writers understand how to create well-rounded, interesting female characters. Explore the necessary elements such as fostering complex emotions, making them relatable, and what constitutes strength. Combining elements such as these, we can form believable, well-rounded characters that will inspire readers.

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Saturday, September 9, 2023

10:30 – 11:30: Publishing Options: Pros and Cons of Both Traditional and Indie Publishing, taught by Laura Benedict. What’s the best way to get your finished book into the hands of your soon-to-be fans? The instructor, award-winning novelist Laura Benedict, is traditionally published with major, mid-level, and small presses, and has also successfully published her own work and others’. Learn what your publishing options are, and find out the pros and cons of both traditional and non-traditional publishing (self-publishing). There is no single correct way to be published, and you’ll get information to help you make informed choices for you and your work.

11:45 – 12:45: Why Polishing Your Prose Matters, taught by Lindsay Flanagan. Writing beautiful prose to tell your story is one of the elements that can set you apart as an author. But sometimes, your prose can get out of hand, taking over so that readers are overwhelmed and lose themselves among the words rather than in your story. If you’re looking to sharpen your prose, ensure the correct use of figurative language, or even to cut your word count, then this class will help you understand how effectively and correctly executing your prose can beautify but not take away from your story.

12:45 – 2:15: Break

2:15 – 3:30: “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.)

3:45 – 4:45: Open Agent Q&A Panel. Several attending literary agents will open themselves up to open Q&A from ATLWW attendees. Bring your questions and get them answered in this popular session.

5:00 – 6:00: 10 Things I’ve Learned From Being an Editor, Author, and Now an Agent, taught by Kesia Lupo. This speech, taught by a new agent, examines her journey through the publishing industry, first as an editor, then as a published young adult author, and now finally as a literary agent seeking middle grade, young adult, and adult fiction. Learn from her journey through all sides of the writing world, as she offers up some insights on the industry and explores what she wishes she would have known at the beginning.

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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 September 8-9, 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. Changes in the Publishing Industry — What Writers Need to Know to Succeed, taught by literary agent Rachel Beck at the 2023 Florida Writing Workshop.
  2. Improve Your Craft — How to Show, Not Tell, taught by author Shirin Leos at the 2022 San Diego Writing Workshop.
  3. Revise Like the Pros — How to Use Beta Readers in Your Life and Make Your Writing Better, taught by author Cherie Postill at the 2022 Minnesota Writing Workshop.
  4. So, What Exactly Does a Literary Agent Do?, taught by literary agent Leticia Gomez at the 2022 Writing Workshop of Chicago.
  5. An Agent’s Tips on Writing Thriller & Mystery, taught by literary agent Jill Marr at the 2022 San Diego Writing Workshop.
  6. Keys to Writing Great Young Adult & Middle Grade Fiction, taught by author and editor Madeline Smoot.
  7. How to Write a Stunning Nonfiction Book Proposal taught by literary agent Mary Demuth at the 2022 Writing Workshop of Chicago.
  8. “Writers Got Talent”—a Page 1 Critique Fest, with literary agents at the Florida Writing Workshop. (If you enjoy this amazing agent panel, we sell a bundle of these First Pages agent panel recordings here.)
  9. Ask an Agent Anything: Open Agent Q&A Panel, with literary agents at the 2022 Minnesota Writing Workshop.
  10. Copyright FAQs and Other Legal Topics, taught by literary agent Dana Newman at the 2022 Kansas City Writing Workshop.