Schedule: 2023 Workshop

ONLINE: Writing Day Workshops plans both in-person and virtual/online conferences. The Fall 2023 WWOC is an Online Conference, on December 8-9, 2023. Online events are easy and awesome, and the virtual events we’ve done thus far have received wonderful feedback. You do not have to be tech-savvy to do this, and understand we are keeping all aspects of a traditional in-person event, including one-on-one agent & editor pitching, which will now be done by Zoom or phone. Learn all details about what it means to have a writers conference online.)

The schedule here is on Central time.



Friday, December 8, 2023

9:30 – 10:30: 20 Query Letter Tips to Help You On Your Writing Journey, taught by Chuck Sambuchino. Before an agent even considers your work and reads your first chapter, they’ll read your all-important one-page query letter. Many writers never make it past this stage because their query isn’t compelling, or they make mistakes. In this class, we will review 20 easy-to-understand bits of query letter advice that help you make sure your work is getting read, and you’re presenting your story in an exciting and intriguing manner.

10:45 – 11:45: Can Your Book Be a Movie? Tips on Adapting Your Book to Film, taught by Jaimie Engle. If you daydream of seeing your book adapted to the silver screen screen or Netflix series, then get the ball rolling by understanding how to transform your work into a visual medium. This session, taught by a writer who’s both a publishing novelist and produced screenwriter, will explain the differences between writing a novel and crafting a script. Plus, we will discuss ways you can network from anywhere with real Hollywood producers for free.

11:45 – 1:15: Break

1:15 – 2:30: Finding and Working With a Literary Agent, taught by Anjanette Barr. This class, taught by a literary agent, will explain why not just any agent offer will do. You want to sign with an agent who is your super-fan and ideal mentor. Learn the best ways to research and investigate agents online, and tried-and-true ways to contact and submit your work. Understand what questions you should ask to make sure it’s a great fit. And lastly, once you’ve signed, understand what to expect and how you can be a good client that helps your agent do their job well.

2:45 – 3:45: How to Determine Both Your Book Genre and Word Count, taught by Leah Pierre. Before you submit your work or build a list of agents to contact, you need to understand what you’re pitching — which means understanding your genre, as well as what constitutes an appropriate word count. This class, taught by a literary agent, will help writers understand where their book falls in the genre spectrum, and suggested word counts to get their work considered. If you’re confused as to whether your work is mystery vs. thriller, or early reader vs. chapter book, or literary fiction vs. mainstream fiction, then this class can help.

4:00 – 5:00: Blending Fact with Fiction, taught by Diana Giovinazzo. Regardless of the genre, research is a large part of the writing experience. Whether you are using a specific location, events and people; there are many questions that arise about what is ethical and how much information is too much information. Through this class we’ll discuss the ethics of bringing the real world into our writing and how to avoid the dreaded “info dump.”

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Saturday, December 9, 2023

9:30 – 10:30: The Hybrid Author: How to Live a Double Life in the Publishing World, taught by Shelli Johannes. Self-published (indie) authors are becoming traditionally published and traditionally published authors are going indie. This hybrid author, with a foot in both worlds, is becoming more and more common. But can authors truly do it both? And if so, how? How does a hybrid author successfully navigate both worlds together?How can an author work with an agent to balance both sides of the industry, and see both sales and financial reward? What benefits does an agent bring? What is the future of hybrid publishing? All these questions will be answered.

10:45 – 11:45: Character Matters, taught by Jennifer Bardsley. This character development workshop will teach beginning through intermediate writers how to create fleshed-out characters that leave readers thinking “I think I know this person…” Learn how to craft background stories, identify goals versus flaws, and develop antagonist & ally characters that will up the drama of any book.

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 Fall 2023 Online WWOC attendees. Bring your questions and get them answered in this popular session.

4:00 – 5:00: The Five Senses: Using Sensory Detail to Enhance Your Writing, taught by Michelle McGill-Vargas. Understand how writers can use sensory details in their writing to enhance reader experience. Don’t think just with your eyes; including more than visuals will draw readers into the story, and immerse them in your world. This session will examine and evaluate examples of different sensory details in fiction and nonfiction.

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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 December 8-9, 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. Changes in the Publishing Industry — What Writers Need to Know to Succeed, taught by literary agent Rachel Beck at the 2023 Florida Writing Workshop.
  2. Improve Your Craft — How to Show, Not Tell, taught by author Shirin Leos at the 2022 San Diego Writing Workshop.
  3. Revise Like the Pros — How to Use Beta Readers in Your Life and Make Your Writing Better, taught by author Cherie Postill at the 2022 Minnesota Writing Workshop.
  4. So, What Exactly Does a Literary Agent Do?, taught by literary agent Leticia Gomez at the 2022 Writing Workshop of Chicago.
  5. An Agent’s Tips on Writing Thriller & Mystery, taught by literary agent Jill Marr at the 2022 San Diego Writing Workshop.
  6. Keys to Writing Great Young Adult & Middle Grade Fiction, taught by author and editor Madeline Smoot.
  7. How to Write a Stunning Nonfiction Book Proposal taught by literary agent Mary Demuth at the 2022 Writing Workshop of Chicago.
  8. “Writers Got Talent”—a Page 1 Critique Fest, with literary agents at the Florida Writing Workshop. (If you enjoy this amazing agent panel, we sell a bundle of these First Pages agent panel recordings here.)
  9. Ask an Agent Anything: Open Agent Q&A Panel, with literary agents at the 2022 Minnesota Writing Workshop.
  10. Copyright FAQs and Other Legal Topics, taught by literary agent Dana Newman at the 2022 Kansas City Writing Workshop.