ONLINE: The 2021 WWSF is now an Online Conference to keep everyone safe, on October 8-9, 2021. 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.)
THIS YEAR’S SESSIONS & WORKSHOPS (OCTOBER 8-9, 2021):
Friday, October 8, 2021
9:30 – 10:30: An Overview of Your Publishing Options Today, taught by Chuck Sambuchino. This workshop examines the two largest routes any writer can take with their book: traditional publishing and self-publishing / e-publishing. We will examine the upsides of both routes, the challenges with both, and the next steps no matter what you decide. In today’s publishing world, a writer has to understand what they’re in for before they send their book out. This session is designed to prepare them for what’s to come and what options exist
10:45 – 11:45: Building Your Brand as an Author, taught by agent Julie Gwinn.
11:45 – 1:15: Break
1:15 – 2:30: You Have an Agent Offer or Book Contract — Now What?, taught by agent Kimberly Brower. Many writers seek to get an agent and book deal. But what happens after these steps? Hear from literary agent Carlie Webber on how to effectively work with a literary agent, what to expect in the submission process, what it’s like to work with a publishing house editor, how to sell multiple books in your career, and much more.
2:45 – 3:45: Earning Emotional Investment — How to Get People to Care About Your Characters, taught by agent Kelly Van Sant.
4:00 – 5:00: So, What Exactly Does a Literary Agent Do? taught by agent Leticia Gomez. Many people have the misconception that literary agents 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 an agent brings to the table, and how they work with their clients.
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Saturday, October 9, 2021
9:30 – 10:30: #Querytip, taught by agent 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: Publishing 101, taught by agent Dara Hyde. This thorough course, taught by a literary agent, explains what happens between a writer having an idea and a finished book being in a bookstore.
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 submit 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. Instructions to participate 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 WWSF attendees. Bring your questions and get them answered in this popular session.
4:00 – 5:00: “Getting Published in Today’s World: 10 Tips to Make You the Writer Agents and Publishers Want,” taught by Brian Klems. If you want to land an agent and a book deal in today’s market, you’re going to have to do a lot more than just write a great book (though that’s a good start). In this session, former Writer’s Digest editor Brian Klems discusses the challenges writers face in publishing today and offers up 10 practical tips to help you break through the barriers and find success.
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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 Oct. 8-9, 2021 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:
- “This is Going to Be Harsh: 10 Things that Writers Need to Know About Writing and Publishing”–a class taught by agent Cecelia Lyra, with blunt tips and advice for aspiring writers.
- “An Overview of Your Publishing Options Today”—a class on understanding the difference between self-publishing and traditional publishing, taught by Chuck Sambuchino, former editor of the Guide to Literary Agents.
- “Self-Publishing: Top 10 Ways to Get it Right,” taught by author Marion Thomas. This class helps those interested in self-publishing books avoid potential pitfalls and mistakes.
- “Pursuing a Small Press Publisher for your Book,” taught by publisher Emily Victorson. If you don’t query agents but instead submit directly to publishers, know what you’re getting into.
- “How to Think Like a Developmental Editor (and Write Well),” taught by editor Shirin Leos. Good writing is rewriting. Learn how to effectively self-edit your own work.
- “7 Touchpoints of Marketing for Authors,” by author E.J. Wenstrom. Sell more copies of your books, and build your presence online.
- “Writer’s Got Talent” – a Page 1 Critique Fest (San Diego). In this class, watch writers submit their anonymous manuscript first pages to agents, and hear agent praise and criticism of the work.
- “The Dos and Don’ts in Science Fiction & Fantasy World Building,” taught by agent Eric Smith. If you’re writing speculative fiction, this class will help you immensely in creating your world.
- “Picture Books: From Opening Line to Published Manuscript,” taught by author Reem Faruqi. This session is a great overview on how to write picture books for children, taught by a published author.
- “How to Write Young Adult and Middle Grade that Sells,” taught by Jessica Burkhart. Writing novels for kids is so small feat. Get tips and advice with this class.
- “Romance 101,” taught by author Vicki Essex. This class is an intensive on writing romance novels, taught by a published author.
- “How to Write a Nonfiction Book Proposal” taught by Brian Klems—a class specifically designed for writers of nonfiction who want to craft an awesome proposal and entice an agent/editor.