Schedule: 2023 Workshop

 All times listed below are
Central Time.



FRIDAY, JUNE 2, 2023:

9:30 – 10:30: #Querytip, taught by Amaryah Orenstein. A query letter is your one chance to entice an agent or editor into reading your manuscript. Needless to say it must be just right. But what does a perfect pitch entail? In this course, an experienced literary agent will offer tips on how (and how not) to pitch your work to increase the chances of an agent or editor requesting your manuscript.

10:45 – 11:45: Reframing Rejection, taught by Devon Halliday. This class will show attendees how to keep hope and optimism throughout the difficult process of querying–annd also, how to stay open to feedback and keep improving your craft along the way. Rejection comes to us all, but we can learn ways to get past it and help it motivate us.

11:45 – 1:15: Break

1:15 – 2:30: Sentences that Pack a Punch, taught by Laura Lee Anderson. Strengthen your prose by avoiding the top five sentence-writing pitfalls. Nothing tanks a submission faster than bloated, awkward sentences. Through real-life examples, participants will learn to spot (and fix) filter verbs, structural ruts, on-the-nose dialogue, redundancy, and of course, telling instead of showing. 

2:45 – 3:45: Visual Thinking for Picture Book Writers, taught by Maria Vicente. The best picture books make equal use of words and art to tell a story. Even if you’re not an illustrator, it’s important to master the art of visual thinking if you want to be a successful picture book author. This session challenges us to think critically about the role of art in picture book manuscripts and gives writers tools to make a more successful submission to agents & editors. 

4:00 – 5:00: How to Work With a Literary Agent, taught by Kortney Price. (TBD)

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9:30 – 10:30: 10 Questions You Can Use to Bust Writers Block, taught by E.J. Wenstrom. Writer’s block happens, but with these questions, you can turn it into an opportunity instead of a setback, This presentation will prepare writers to knock out writers block and uncover fresh ideas for their stories. During this talk you will learn how creative thought functions and what causes writer’s block; insights into how to reduce and break through writer’s block; and specific examples of questions that can help a writer break through a block and tap into creative flow again.

10:45 – 11:45: Four Ways Book Authors Make Money from Publishers: How Authors Go from Fingers on Keyboard to Dollars in Bank Account, taught by Paul S. Levine, Esq. Examine the four major ways authors make money from traditional book publishing. This session, taught by a literary agent and attorney, will explain advances, royalties, subsidiary rights, and much more. If you’re curious how money works in the publishing process, this class is for you.

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 TWW attendees. Bring your questions and get them answered in this popular session.

4:00 – 5:00: The Perfect Plot, taught by Eve Porinchak. Crafting a strong plot is a science. And every effective story ever told – whether in the form of a children’s picture book, or a massive adult novel – must contain a handful of essential plot beats. In this workshop, writers will understand these essential plot beats that you will need to map out a cohesive and captivating story.

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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 June 2-3, 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.