Schedule: 2023 Workshop

ONLINE: Writing Day Workshops plans both in-person and virtual/online conferences. The 2023 FWW is an Online Conference, on May 12-13. 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.)



FRIDAY, MAY 12, 2023:

9:30 – 10:30: Overcoming Failure—How to Strive for “Yes” in the Face of a Hundred “Nos,” taught by Julie Eshbaugh. We’ve all heard the publishing stories that read like fairy tales, about authors who receive multiple offers of representation before selling their manuscript to the highest bidder in a multi-house auction. So how do we cope with dozens of rejections to our own queries, or find a way to keep writing when our own books go out on submission and receive no offers? In this talk, you’ll hear stories of accomplished people who have weathered terrible defeats, and you’ll come to see that “failure” is not the opposite of “success” but is actually the pathway to it. As Julie Eshbaugh’s agent likes to remind her, it only takes one “Yes” for your manuscript to become a book. You’ll leave this talk with a renewed sense of enthusiasm for the process of getting to that Yes.

10:45 – 11:45: Find Your Writing Voice, taught by Eve Adler. You’ve probably heard from agents and editors that voice is the most important aspect of your writing. But what is voice? Voice establishes the tone of your story, tells the reader what kind of personality your narrator has, and gives a feeling of time and place. How does one find the right voice, and make it come across effectively? In this workshop, we will demystify the process by defining voice and analyzing mentor texts, and you will be supplied with a plethora of advice (and exercises!) to take on your voice-finding journey.

11:45 – 1:15: Break

1:15 – 2:30: How to Discover the Theme of Your Life and Apply it to Every Story You Write, taught by James Rubart. Everyone has an identity, a life-theme, that directs every choice they make—and every story they write. The problem? Most writers have no clue what their theme is, so they don’t understand the foundation they’re subconsciously writing from. (Which is why they often get stuck.) But when they do figure it out? Rocket ship. Their stories will flow like never before. During this workshop, writers will understand how to discover their theme by looking at your five favorite movies, then show you how to apply your theme to your writing, your marketing, and your life.

2:45 – 3:45: Understanding Platform and How to Market Yourself & Your Work, taught by Gordon Warnock. Whether you’re traditionally published or self-published, everyone could use some helpful guidance on how to effectively market themselves and sell more books. This session includes easy-to-understand advice on social media (Twitter, Facebook, more), blogging, and other simple ways you can market your work online cheaply and easily. This session will address all aspects of platform — what it is, how to get it, and how to show an agent that you have it

4:00 – 5:00: How to Write an Effective Query Letter. taught by Shannon Snow. In this class, a literary agent instruction will share the process of querying agents for representation. Learn the pitfalls or mistakes to avoid in your query letters so you aren’t giving agents obvious reasons to reject your submission. Then delve into some key components and elements that can make your query letter attention-grabbing.

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SATURDAY, MAY 13, 2023:

9:30 – 10:30: Standing Out in a Twitter/Online Pitch Event, taught by Jane Chun. This class will provide information on Twitter pitch events (both the popular events and growing ones) and general guidelines and unwritten etiquette, give advice on how to make a great Twitter pitch as well as what to avoid doing, and share examples of Twitter pitches that caught a literary agent’s eye for the class to analyze.

10:45 – 11:45: Publishing Paths: The Pros and Cons of Traditional, Small and Self-Publishing, taught by E.J. Wenstrom. Today’s authors have many different publishing paths to choose from! From the Big 5 publishers to going it alone with self publishing, and everything in between, this workshop will discuss the pros and cons of each option so that authors can make informed choices about how to build their author career. Learn the ins and outs and all options so  you can make the best decision for each of your books.

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

4:00 – 5:00: Identifying Genre and Age Category, taught by Anjanette Barr. This speech includes tips for how to accurately place your book in a genre and audience age category. She’ll talk about what to do when your book crosses genres, and how to choose the best language to convey your book’s message and get it into the hands of the people who actually want to read it.

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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 12-13, 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 10 more FREE classes on the side, for attending in 2023:

  1. “Traditional Publishing vs. Self-Publishing,” taught by literary agent Leonicka Valcius at the 2022 Philadelphia Writing Workshop.
  2. “Voice — and How to Hone Yours,” taught by literary agent Kaitlyn Katsoupis at the 2022 San Diego Writing Workshop.
  3. “Nail Your Opening — How to Fix First Chapter Mistakes,” taught by literary agent Lesley Sabga at the 2022 Writing Conference of Los Angeles.
  4. “Improve Your Fiction – How to Master Self-Editing and Revision,” taught by literary agent Elizabeth Kracht at the 2022 Philadelphia Writing Workshop.
  5. “From Castles to Condominiums: Building Immersive Worlds in Any Kind of Fiction,” taught by literary agent Laurel Symonds at the 2022 Florida Writing Workshop.
  6. “Writers Got Talent”—a Page 1 Critique Fest,” with literary agents at the 2022 Minnesota Writing Workshop. (If you enjoy this amazing agent panel, we sell a bundle of these First Pages agent panel recordings here.)
  7. “Ask an Agent Anything: Open Agent Q&A Panel,” with literary agents at the 2022 Writing Workshop of Chicago.
  8. “Extreme Research For Your Story (If You Dare!),” taught by literary agent Sera Rivers at the 2022 Writing Conference of Los Angeles.
  9. “Social Media Promotion Secrets for Authors,” taught by author Erik Deckers at the 2022 Writing Workshop of Chicago.
  10. “The Power in Choosing Your Dream of Writing,” taught by author Brittany Thurman at the 2022 Writing Conference of Los Angeles.