The 2020 KCWW is Now an Online Conference — Here’s What to Know

Hi Kansas City Writing Workshop attendees,                  

Coordinator Kerrie Flanagan here with the Kansas City Writing Workshop on March 28, 2020.

I hope you are staying safe and healthy. I wanted to update on you on our plans for the 2020 KCWW. We are excited to announce that we are moving the event to an all-day Live Online Conference on March 28, 2020. There will be no in-person event this year.

We will spell out details below in terms of what that means, but the important and immediate things to know are 

1) this will be great and easy

2) this will not eliminate any aspect of the event. 

We will still have great classes teaching you how to get published, one-on-one video/phone pitches with agents, and helpful critiques. In fact, moving the event to a teleconference on the computer not only will keep attendees & faculty 100% safe, but it also adds some new awesome elements that we’re excited about. More on that below.

We understand that an Online Conference may be new to some attendees, but do not worry. It is quite easy to do, and we will have detailed steps on what to do and when. Essentially, all you need is access to a working computer, tablet, or phone with Internet, and then you watch the conference on your screen live. You’ll click links in emails and be able to watch live classes and ask questions. That’s it. Also, the day’s classes can be viewed again and again because it’s all recorded! Many writing conferences are switching to teleconferences during these months, and it’s going well. Lastly, we the KCWW coordinators are available all day long before and during March 28 to help and assist. You can always call on us. Write me at


What do attendees have to do right now: Nothing right now. All is well. Just read through this email whenever you like so you understand how the day will work. That’s it. We will continue to stay in touch all the way through March 28 with updates. As always, we are happy to answer any questions.

Are we still accepting new attendees for the online events? Yes. Thank you for any word-spreading you do. People who want to register can contact me (Kerrie) at

Timing of the day: We are still having the event on Saturday, March 28, from 9:30-5:00. The classes will be online live during that time for you to watch. Concerning your one-on-one meetings with agents & editors, you will have personal Skype or phone conversations for your agent pitches and critiques. Many of those may happen on March 28, or some in the days before/after the event.

How classes work: We send you an email, and on the morning of March 28, you open the email, click on a link, and log in to our “Classroom.” At that point, you are IN the conference with all other attendees—watching the classes on your screen. Then faculty members will be able to teach over the computer and speak directly to you. There is a Chat Box where you can type your questions at any time. For the KCWW, our policy is that no question goes unanswered. That means if you type in a question and the presenter runs out of time to address all questions, those questions get answered following the event and emailed out to everyone.

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 5 classes happening during March 28 are all recorded, which means we will send the whole day’s recording following the event. You can watch it as many times as you want during the next three 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 extra FREE classes as part of their attendance. In addition to getting the day’s 5 classes sent to you to watch over and over again, we will also send you extra classes, including:

  • 15 Tips on How to Write Like the Pros—a class on craft and voice, by Brian Klems
  • How to Write a Nonfiction Book Proposal—a class on selling nonfiction, by Brian Klems
  • 10 Query Letter Tips—a class to help your submission chances, by Chuck Sambuchino
  • An Overview of Your Publishing Options Today—a class on understanding the difference between self-publishing and traditional publishing, by Chuck Sambuchino
  • Improve Your Writing: The Basics of Self-Editing and Revision, by Kerrie Flanagan

How agent & editor pitches work: Agents and editors are blocking off their whole day on March 28 to take pitches via Skype (or a comparable video software) from attendees. So you will still get your individual 10-minute one-on-one pitches with agents and editors. If you’re not familiar with Skype, you can always do the pitches by phone—you can choose.

Query critiques: Those will be done before the event and emailed out to you. Nothing is changed. This is an add-on feature for people who opted for a query critique.

Manuscript critiques: This is also an add-on element. If you paid for a manuscript critique, your critique faculty member should be in touch with you directly with their notes, and to schedule a 10-minute phone call (or Skype call). Thanks.

First Pages Panel: The panel is still happening. We will collect your first pages in advance over email and pick them at random for the agents to critique during this midday centerpiece panel. Having this panel taped (so you can rewatch it) is an exciting opportunity!

Other notes: We considered rescheduling, but since there is no end date to the problem, it doesn’t work. We are excited about the online conference on March 28, and hope to have the conference as a live event again in 2021 and beyond.

Thanks for your patience and we get ready for this fantastic online event. As you can imagine, there is a lot of pieces to put in place. I am here to answer your questions, and will respond to them as soon as I can. Watch for more updates coming soon. 

I look forward to “seeing” you all on the 28th. Stay safe and have a wonderful day. 

Kerrie Flanagan, coordinator


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