Schedule: 2022 Workshop

ONLINE: The 2022 WWOC is an Online Conference to keep everyone safe, on June 10-11, 2022. There is much more to say about this, but immediately you should understand 1) Online events are easy and awesome, and the online events we’ve done thus far have received wonderful feedback, 2) You do not have to be tech-savvy to do this, and 3) We are keeping all aspects of a traditional in-person event, including one-on-one agent & editor pitching, which will now be done by Skype or Zoom or phone. Learn all details about what it means to have a writers conference online.)

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THIS YEAR’S SESSIONS & WORKSHOPS (JUNE 10-11, 2022):

Agent pitches and critique consultations overlap with the sessions below. The schedule of presentation topics below is subject to change and updates:

FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2022

9:30 – 10:30: Query Dos and Don’ts, taught by agent Eva Scalzo. The query letter is often the first point of contact between writers and agents. In this session, agent Eva Scalzo will present the query letter basics every writer should know. From what to include and the reasons those things are important to what not to include and why you shouldn’t include them, this workshop will help you hone in what will work best for you when crafting your query.

10:45 – 11:45: So, What Exactly Does a Literary Agent Do? taught by Leticia Gomez. Many people have the misconception that literary agents are merely parasites who get paid the big bucks for simply reading material and sweet-talking people. That is so not true! In this candid, humorous presentation, seasoned literary agent Leticia Gomez will give you an up close and personal view of what her daily work life is like and all that she does from A to Z to champion the works of the authors she represents. After this session, attendees are sure to have gained a better understanding and appreciation of what writers can expect when a literary agent is in their corner.

11:45 – 1:15: Break

1:15 – 2:30: Improve Your Writing And Deepen Your Characters With the Craft of Empathy, taught by Kate Hopper. Writing with empathy in mind can create texture in our work, deepen our characters, and be transformative for both writer and reader. In this session, we will discuss the ways that writing with empathy in mind can help us create complex and believable characters, and we will discuss the power of writing your younger self with empathy. The instructor will provide an exercise to help writers tap into empathy in their work. This session can help writers of fiction (any kind), memoir, and narrative/creative nonfiction.

2:45 – 3:45: Social Media Promotion Secrets for Authors, taught by Erik Deckers. Social media has become the standard method for promoting your professional and personal brand. But with so many social networks, how do you know which ones will work the best for you? Which ones should you ignore? And how do you even make it all work for you? This presentation will show you how to use social media and personal branding techniques as a way to promote your business, and establish your expertise with customers. You’ll learn which social networks will bring the best results, how to establish yourself as an industry expert, and how to avoid the One Big Marketing Sin many people commit.

4:00 – 5:00: First Pages: Hooking a Reader from the Start, taught by Nephele Tempest. Grab your reader from the beginning. It’s great advice, what what does it mean in practice? And even more important, what does it mean for your manuscript? While it might be easy to recognize a wonderful start to your favorite novel, it can be a challenge to decide what works for your own writing, especially after several drafts where nothing seems to pop. Join me to learn what elements make for a compelling opening, what I look for in the first pages of a manuscript to keep me reading, and how to avoid the mistakes that most typically negate a fabulous first paragraph.

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SATURDAY, JUNE 11, 2022

9:30 – 10:30: The Art of Voice: How to Make Your Writing Come to Life, taught by Ricki Cardenas. Voice — it’s one of the most important skills writers need in their arsenals—at every level. And it’s the most common remark editors make: “Show me. Don’t tell me.” In this interactive workshop, attendees will analyze and evaluate the quality and effectiveness of real writing samples and gain a clear sense of the differences between “showing” and “telling” writing. Through hands-on experience during the session, students will learn how to make the reader experience their writing—rather than be given a play-by-play—by transforming examples of “telling.” 

10:45 – 11:45: Perfect Your Pitch: A Professional Editor Breaks Down 5 Query Letters, taught by Mary Kole. In this session, a former literary agent turned freelance editor will examine five query letters up close, explaining what the writer has done well. When instructor Mary Kole was an agent, she received thousands of queries per month. For this class, she has selected five real query letters and will break down their strengths and opportunities for growth. Use this feedback and best practices to stand out in the slush pile.

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

4:00 – 5:00: How to Write a Stunning Nonfiction Book Proposal, taught by Mary DeMuth. This session will teach you how to wow and woo an agent with a nonfiction book proposal. If you want to stand out in the crowded author space, writing a thorough and graphically pleasing proposal will help you do just that. Based on years of proposal writing as an author, and new insight gained as a literary agent, Mary DeMuth will give you practical tips and insider knowledge on creating the best possible proposal for your project.

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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 10-11, 2022 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.

FREE ADDITIONAL CLASSES:

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 12 more FREE classes on the side, for attending in 2022:

  1. “How to Write a Damn Fine Query Letter,” taught by literary agent Carlisle Webber.
  2. “Word Wizardry: Crafting a Stand-Out Voice,” taught by literary agent Kelly Peterson.
  3. “The Business of How Authors Make Money,” taught by literary agent Carly Waters
  4. “3 Things You Must Do Before Contacting a Literary Agent,” taught by literary agent Barb Roose.
  5. “7 Marketing Tips for Authors,” taught by published author E.J. Wenstrom.
  6. “How to Get Past Writer’s Block,” taught by literary agent Devon Halliday.
  7. “Traditional vs. Independent/Self-publishing, taught by literary agent Leticia Gomez.
  8. “How to Write Great Romance Novels,” taught by published author Sarah Zettel.
  9. “How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy that Sells,” taught by published author Olivia Cole.
  10. “Ask an Agent Anything: A Q&A Panel” — a chance to see aspiring writers get expert answers and advice from literary agents.
  11. “So You’ve Finished Writing and Revising Your Young Adult/Middle Grade Novel,” taught by published author Julie Eshbaugh.
  12. “Writing and Selling Fiction vs. Nonfiction,” taught by literary agent Leticia Gomez.