The 2020 WWoC (and TWW) is Now an Online Conference — Here’s What to Know

Hi Writing Workshop of Chicago (WWoC) and Tennessee Writing Workshop attendees,

Brian Klems here with the Writing Workshop of Chicago on June 27, 2020.

I hope you are staying safe and healthy. I wanted to update on you on our plans for the 2020 WWoC. Because of faculty and attendee concern about health, we are excited to announce that we are combining the WWoC and the 2020 Tennessee Writing Workshop the event to an all-day Live Online Conference on June 27, 2020. There will be no in-person events this year. We are folding the two conferences into one (more agents!) and for simplicity’s sake, just calling it the 2020 Writing Workshop of Chicago.

We will spell out details below in terms of what that means, but the important and immediate things to know are 1) this will be great and easy, and 2) this will not eliminate any aspect of the event, so you will still get every part of the event that you want (and more!). We will still have great classes teaching you how to get published, one-on-one video/phone pitches with agents, and helpful critiques. In fact, moving the event to a teleconference on the computer not only will keep attendees & faculty 100% safe, but it also adds some new awesome elements that we’re excited about. More on that below.

We understand that an Online Conference may be new to some attendees, but do not worry. It is quite easy to do, and we will have detailed steps on what to do and when. (To hear feedback from attendees who have joined us through WDW online events from march-May 2020, click here and see what other writers have to say.)

Essentially, all you need is access to a working computer, tablet, or phone with Internet, and then you watch the conference on your computer screen live. You’ll click links in emails and be able to watch live classes and ask questions. That’s it. Also, the day’s classes can be viewed again and again because it’s all recorded! Many writing conferences are switching to teleconferences during these months, and it’s going well. Lastly, we the WWoC coordinators are available all day long before and during June 27 to help and assist. You can always call on us.

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A class like “Ask an Agent Anything” allows attendees to get their questions answered.


What do attendees have to do right now: Nothing right now. All is well. Just read through this email whenever you like so you understand how the day will work. That’s it. We will continue to stay in touch all the way through June 27. As always, we are happy to answer any questions.

Are we still accepting new attendees for the online events? Yes. Thank you for any word-spreading you do. People who want to register can contact me (Brian) at

Timing of the day: We are still having the event on Saturday, June 27, from 9:30-5:00. The classes will be online live during that time for you to watch. Concerning your one-on-one meetings with agents & editors, you will have personal Skype or phone conversations for your agent pitches and critiques. Many of those may happen on June 27, or some in the days before/after the event.

How classes work: We send you an email, and on the morning of June 27, you open the email, click on a link, and log in to our “Classroom.” At that point, you are IN the conference with all other attendees—watching speakers teach classes on your screen. Then faculty members will be able to teach over the computer and speak directly to you. There is a Chat Box where you can type your questions at any time. For the workshop, our policy is that no question goes unanswered. That means if you type in a question and the presenter runs out of time to address all questions, those questions get answered following the event and emailed out to everyone. Here is the current lineup of classes (note that times may change, but the classes are confirmed):

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The “Writers Got Talent” midday panel allows attendees to submit their unpublished first pages and get feedback from attending agents.

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 14 classes happening during June 27 are all recorded, which means we will send the whole day’s recording following the event. You can watch it as many times as you want during the next three 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 extra FREE classes as part of their attendance. In addition to getting the day’s 14 classes sent to you to watch over and over again, we will also send you:

  • “An Overview of Your Publishing Options Today”—a class on understanding the difference between self-publishing and traditional publishing, by Chuck Sambuchino
  • “10 Query Letter Tips”—a class to help your submission chances, by Chuck Sambuchino
  • “15 Tips on How to Write Like the Pros”—a class on craft and voice, by Brian Klems
  • “How to Write a Nonfiction Book Proposal”—a class on selling nonfiction, by Brian Klems
  • “Improve Your Writing: The Basics of Self-Editing and Revision,” by Kerrie Flanagan

Practice sessions before the conference: The week before the event we will hold 1-2 live practice/informational sessions that all attendees are welcome to attend. We’ll walk you through the platform we use (so you’ll be comfortable the day of the actual event), explain how everything will work, and answer your questions to make sure you know everything you need to know.

How agent & editor pitches work: Agents and editors are blocking off their whole day on June 27 to take pitches via Zoom or Skype (or a comparable video software) from attendees. So you will still get your individual 10-minute one-on-one pitches with agents and editors. If you’re not familiar with Zoom or Skype, you can always do the pitches by phone—you can choose.

Query critiques: Those will be done before the event and emailed out to you. Nothing is changed. This is an add-on feature for people who opted for a query critique.

Manuscript critiques: This is also an add-on element. If you paid for a manuscript critique, your critique faculty member should be in touch with you directly with their notes, and to schedule a 10-minute phone call (or Zoom/Skype call). Thanks.

First Pages Panel: The panel is still happening. We will collect your first pages in advance over email and pick them at random for the agents to critique during this midday centerpiece panel. Having this panel taped (so you can rewatch it) is an exciting opportunity!

Other notes: We considered rescheduling, but since there is no end date to the problem, it doesn’t work. We are excited about the online conference on June 27, and hope to have the conference as a live event again in 2021 and beyond. If you want your registration transferred to 2021 in full, just let me know.

Thanks for reading all this! Be in touch if you have any questions. We will “see” everyone on June 27. More emails to come. Again, please check out attendee feedback for our new virtual events here.

Brian Klems

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During each 60-minute session, attendees have the ability to submit their questions through a Chat Box. Teachers stop and answer questions throughout.