New Writers Workshop (Pre-Festival)

Thu 9:00am - 5:00pm

Venue: Workshop


The New Writers' Workshop will help early-stage writers understand the ins and outs of navigating the very difficult challenges of writing, getting published, and marketing your work. Workshop leaders Jessica Miller Kelley (Westminster John Knox Press) and Brian Allain (Writing for Your Life) will shed light on the often confusing and opaque world of books. It all starts with an idea, but writing a book takes a lot of hard work and some practical know-how. We’ll start with sorting and framing your ideas to find the book within—or beyond—the idea. Learn the difference between writing for yourself and writing for publication, and how to define and serve your intended audience. We’ll do some practical exercises for honing your message and understanding your reader, and discuss best practices for pitching your book to agents and publishers. Ask questions, and gain an understanding of the publishing process from your first outline and crafting a proposal to working with an editor and everything that comes after you press “send.” Changes in publishing and the greater world around us mean that authors now need to do more than just write. At least as much time needs to be spent on marketing. The second half of the workshop will show you why marketing is not a dirty word, but instead an essential element for reaching your audience with your helpful message. We will dive into details on how to optimize your strategy for entering the market, tactics for cultivating a community (aka building a platform), and considerations for publishing independently. There are many classes about writing; this is one of the few that focuses on the business aspects of being a writer.