Schedule: 2021 Workshop

 All times listed below are
Central Time.



9:30 – 10:30: “Everything You Need to Know About Agents and Query Letters,” taught by agent Carlie Webber. 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: “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: “How to Write Like the Pros,” taught by Brian Klems. This workshop is a deep dive concerning craft, style and voice. We’ll discuss nuts & bolts tips for sentence construction like how to avoid passive tense, how to use vivid language, how to self-edit your own work, how to make your characters memorable, the art of compelling dialogue, and much more.

4:00 – 5:00: “Reframing Rejection,” taught by agent Devon Halliday. This session, taught by a literary agent, teaches how to keep hope and optimism throughout the difficult process of querying–and also: how to stay open to feedback and keep improving your craft along the way.