If you are writing any kind of adult fiction (novel) or your own memoir/life story, this online conference will explain everything you need to know to get an agent and secure a book deal. You will learn about how to write compelling fiction, what makes agents and editors stop reading a submission, what makes up a good memoir, how to compose an awesome query for your work, and more. Plus, you’ll get access to exclusive agent & editor panels where anonymous first pages are read aloud and critiqued in real time. If you want to know what makes publishing professionals keep reading (or reject you), these panels provide behind-the-scenes access to how they judge first pages.
Classes and panels go live on November 26, 2016. Registrants can get access our Forum immediately. The price is $179 for base registration. You will have access to all our of the conference’s premium recorded content (classes, panels, etc.) for 30 days once it goes live on November 26.
Pitch Agents and Editors: To take you work to the next level, schedule a live meeting or critique with a faculty member for one-on-one feedback for your query or first ten pages. Pitches and critiques are add-on and optional. There is no limit to how many people you pitch.
The following panels and classes are included with your admission to our November 26 fiction and memoir conference.
First Pages Panel–Literary Agents:
First Pages Panel–Publishing House Editors:
Creating A Powerful Memoir – Regina Brooks, Serendipity Literary
If you’ve ever been told that “you should really write a book” and you’ve decide to give it a try then this class is for you! We will show you what it takes to write and sell a commercially viable memoir in today’s competitive marketplace. You will learn how to get editors to take your project seriously and be willing to take a chance even if you don’t happen to be famous or have a huge platform.
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN:
- How to determine where your books will fit in the marketplace
- How to craft a hook and or two line tag line for your memoir
- How to vary your format or develop a narrative that is creative and exciting such as graphic novel, illustrated storytelling, diary inclusion, and even poetry
- How to determine whether you have a classic memoir or are writing narrative nonfiction
- How to evaluate whether your book will better serve you and your audience if written as fiction
- The important elements to include in your query letter
- How to determine if you should self-publish, or go the traditional publishing route
- How to submit your work to agents and publishers
- Tips to get you past the emotionally dark places that you might endure while writing
Un-branding Yourself: Revealing the True You to the Book Community – Laura Bariea, Alloy Entertainment
For so many creative people, “branding” is a bad word. Many view it as a chore or as barrier to expressing your true self. This class will change how you perceive the online world, and expand your understanding of how to effectively represent yourself and your work! In it, we will discuss strategies for reaching the fans you already have and ways you can connect with other like-minded artists in the writing community.
A Beginner’s Guide to Publishing Law – Melissa Edwards, Stonesong Literary
Contracts, copyright, and intellectual property… oh my! Attorney and literary agent Melissa Edwards wants to help shine some light on the legalities involved in publishing a book. She will give a rundown on basic copyright protection, before and after registration, and introduce you to the most important terms in a publishing contract. While no class can replace hiring an attorney to protect your rights, this class will act as a publaw primer.
Writing Villains Readers Love to Hate — Stacey Graham, Red Sofa Literary
Who’s your favorite villain? Caroline Bingley? Mrs. Danvers? Evil queens? The bad guy (or girl) is necessary to promote conflict and move the story forward so why are they often one of the least-developed characters? We’ll explore wickedness in literature and if these characters are just misunderstood or really nasty. Learn why every hero needs a dark spot and how writers can move past stereotypical bullies in their manuscripts and flesh out what makes them diabolical in this fun and fast-paced workshop!
How to Find the Narrative in Your Nonfiction –Erik Hane, Red Sofa Literary
The serious nonfiction books we love most are of course full of facts, research, and insight. But the difference between a good topic and a great book lies in not just the information, but the writing. It’s one thing to present a bunch of worthwhile thoughts to a reader, and quite another to bring these thoughts and this research to life in way that resonates and engages. The key to this is narrative, the backbone of the story you’re trying to tell, and fostering it throughout your nonfiction writing is a crucial step in keeping a reader’s attention. In this course, we’ll discuss issues related to creating and sustaining narrative in nonfiction. How do you find where your story is, or where it starts? How do you decide when and how to disperse your research and information? When do tangents and asides distract from your story, and when do they provide critical layering to your argument? The course will aim to prove that narrative is not only the main thrust of great nonfiction writing, but is also the foundation from which all other elements in a book are built.
How to Edit a Bestselling Romance Novel — Lane Heymont, The Tobias Agency
In writing, they say “kill your darlings.” Well, learn how to edit your romance novel to death. You will learn how to turn you first draft into a finished product to submit to agents and editors. See what all the bestsellers have in common, and finally nail down your meet-cute!
The Art of the Break For Writers and Artists — Elizabeth Ross Holmstrom
For many people working in an office or business setting, writing or an art project would be considered a healthy and mindful break from the work day. So where does a writer or artist turn to create healthy breaks in their day? Most writers and artists that I work with are busier or as busy as anyone in an office setting. In fact, many are working double and triple time producing work, handling publishing, marketing, sales, and managing business finance; this on top of balancing their lives.
This course is focused on helping you find precious moments for healthy breaks in the day. We all need time to unplug in a world filled with opportunities to connect. While it may be counter-intuitive, mindful breaks not only boost your productivity, they reduce stress and improve your health. http://www.breaktogether.net
OwnVoices–How to Write What You Know for a Commercial Audience – Quressa Robinson
In OwnVoices–How to Write What You Know for a Commercial Audience, we will briefly discuss the changing landscape of creative media overall–Insecure, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Pitch, Queen Sugar, the upcoming adaptation of In the Country We Love, and Jane the Virgin on the TV side of things. But will specifically focus on trade publishing, which can often feel slow to adapt to developing demographics. A closer look at some select titles from ownvoices authors–The Sympathizer, Everything I Never Told You, The Mothers, Behold the Dreamers, Everything, Everything, The Hate You Give, American Street, Homegoing, Awkward Black Girl, Don’t Touch My Hair, In the Country We Love–will help us further evaluate what an ownvoices author needs to successfully reach a wide commercial audience and breakout of niche categories based on race or sexual orientation. Some questions to consider:
- What do these stories have in common?
- What sets them apart?
- How has each author developed their platform?
- How did the publisher/agent/editor position the title for librarians, booksellers, and readers?
- Were all the titles successful? In what ways?
- How were they able to find their audience?
- What can you do to maintain the authenticity of your story and voice, while striving to reach a wide audience?
- How can you position yourself to agents/editors to overcome unconscious biases?
Trendsetter not Trendy—How to Find Your Niche and Build a Lasting Career in Romance or Commercial Women’s Fiction — Quressa Robinson
Patience is definitely a virtue where publishing is concerned. In this class we will discuss the emerging trends in women’s fiction and romance, as well as the tried-and-true staples of the genre. We will also discuss what to do if you find yourself with a novel that is on the downward end of a trend, how to fight the urge to jump into a trend because it seems a faster way to publication, and how to make what you know/are passionate about into a career-building niche and platform. Some genres to consider: fantasy romance, psychological suspense, family/domestic stories, urban fantasy, and paranormal romance. Some authors to consider: Amanda Bouchet, Jeannie Lin, Sonali Dev, Lianne Moriarty, Alice Clayton, Brenda Jenkins, and Ruth Ware.
From Pitch to Page – Katharine Sands, The Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency
Literary agents are always on a treasure hunt. But few writers know what it takes to make agents yell at first glance: “Eureka, I’ve struck gold!” And a first glance is all that most writers will get before the agent moves on without ever reading further. This presentation cuts through the mystery of getting an agent to want YOU, to read YOU and to say YES to YOU. In this presentation, literary agent Katharine Sands shows you the best ways to showcase your writing as a bold, new entry into its category—and yourself as a potential author with an intriguing book poised to spring forth. We look at hooks, selling points, and engines; and how to avoid Querial Killers: the easy-to-fix mistakes writers make when querying agents and on All-Important Page One.
Nonfiction Basics — Amanda Shih
Do you have an amazing personal story, expert knowledge, or creative talents you want to share with the world? With so much information out there for fiction authors, it can be tough to get detailed advice on what it takes to make a nonfiction project stand out. This class will walk you through the basics: What qualifies as nonfiction? (It’s not all memoirs and big-issue books!) How does a nonfiction proposal differ from a fiction submission? And platform, platform, platform: Why does it matter, and how can you build yours? We’ll demystify this wide-ranging genre, and give you the tools you need to create the kind of nonfiction project agents and editors will be excited to pursue.
Internet Stalking Without Being Creepy: Research, Networking, and Becoming a Priority – Jessica Sinsheimer, The Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency
Everyone knows that social media can build your platform, expand your network, and make you look more appealing to a potential agent. But for the introverts among us, blasting content can feel unnatural, intimidating, and borderline creepy. This course will show you how to think of this now-essential task as a way to build authentic connections and find real friendships—while also locating the people most likely to move your career forward. In this course, you’ll learn how to build your list of potential agents, how to do targeted research that helps you personalize your pitch, and how to become a known factor—to present yourself as someone great to work with—so your name leaps out, and the agent already likes you, when you finally do submit your work.
Worldbuilding 101 – Roseanne Wells, Jennifer Di Chiara Literary Agency
Ever received feedback that said “didn’t connect with the world”? Not sure if your fantasy story is believable?World building–for fantasy, magical realism, and even contemporary–can be hard to define, but it’s essential to support any narrative. We will discuss what is world-building, how character and world-building help each other, and my breakdown of the elements of world-building.
Character, POV, and The All-Important Voice — Laura Zats, Red Sofa Literary
In fiction, a solid, engaging voice is the hardest thing to nail down. The reason why a book’s voice might fail is very often linked to one issue: a lack of connectivity between a character and the space they occupy (both their body and the world around them). The good news is that there’s a fairly simple solution to this problem: deepening POV. This class will focus on some simple self-editing techniques you can use to deepen your book’s POV without rewriting entire chapters.