Schedule: 2022 Workshop (May 6-7)

ONLINE: The 2022 PWW is an Online Conference to keep everyone safe, on May 6-7, 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.)



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

FRIDAY, MAY 6, 2022

9:30 – 10:30: Writing a NY Times Bestselling Novel, taught by Julie Gwinn. This session covers a list of things to do (like establish mood and create conflict) and things to avoid (like weasel words and purple prose) on your journey to becoming a bestselling author.

10:45 – 11:45: 20 Quick Tips on Getting a Literary Agent, taught by Chuck Sambuchino. This workshop is chock full of helpful advice and tips on finding literary agent representation for your work — such as how to ID the best agents for you, where to find good agents online, query letter mistakes, how queries are different for different types of books, how to bring your query pitch to life, how many agents you should query to start, and much more.

11:45 – 1:15: Break

1:15 – 2:30: How to Market Yourself and Your Books: Talking Author Social Media, Blogging, and Platform, taught by Lesley Sabga. Social media’s purpose is connecting you with the right people. It’s not a place to sell; it’s a place to connect. (Because once you connect, then you will sell without trying.) One of the main reasons social media doesn’t work for many authors is that they don’t understand how to best use social media. In his class, you will learn how to identify your readers and mingle with them on their social media channels of choice. We will talk about what to post online, how to engage new readers, and the differences between social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

2:45 – 3:45: Improve Your Fiction — How to Master Self-Editing and Revision, taught by Elizabeth Kracht. Over the course of her career as a literary agent, Elizabeth noticed that many manuscripts being rejected suffered similar, easy-to-solve problems. As a result, she began keeping a list of these problems, hoping to one day share this feedback with writers struggling to understand rejections. Based on her newly released The Author’s Checklist: An Agent’s Guide to Developing and Editing Your Manuscript, this workshop will cover more than 50 points for consideration before submitting to an agent, editor, or indie publisher, such as how to sharpen dialogue and prose, improving characterization, complicating plot, and much more.

4:00 – 5:00: Traditional Publishing vs. Self-Publishing, taught by Leonicka Valcius. Now more than ever, writers have options when it comes to publishing their work. And with imprints consolidating and advances trending down, self-publishing increasingly seems like an attractive path. In this introductory workshop, a literary agent instructor breaks down the basics of self-publishing, traditional publishing, and how writers can navigate each to maximize their opportunities for success.

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9:30 – 10:30: Seeking Representation: Next Level Querying, taught by Sera Rivers. Agents receive hundreds, sometimes thousands, of query letters each month. Why should your book get plucked out of an agent’s slush pile? Is your pitch compelling enough to make an agent want to read the full manuscript? In this workshop, you will learn how to make your query letter stand out from the rest, answering the question industry professionals ask with each submission they receive: Why THIS book?! This workshop will also cover the essential components of a successful query letter and accompanying materials.

10:45 – 11:45: Kinetic Dialogue: Creating Unforgettable Character Voice, taught by Cody Luff.  This class will explore the art of creating profound and dynamic character voices that deepen the reader’s experience and compliment the tone of your story. We will discuss differentiating individual character voices, natural conversational dialogue, and storytelling through spoken word. Writing prompts will be provided for future use.

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

4:00 – 5:00: Insider Secrets From an Agent Assistant, taught by Miranda Stinson. If you want to know what really goes on behind the scenes of publishing—from the slush pile to the sale and beyond—there’s no one better to ask than an assistant, who has seen it all. In this special class, a former assistant at multiple top agencies pulls back the curtain on the invisible labor that keeps the industry running, and what writers can do to win the favor of publishing’s most important hidden gatekeepers.

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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 May 6-7, 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.


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.