Schedule: 2022 Workshop

ONLINE: The 2022 KCWW is an Online Conference to keep everyone safe, on August 5-6, 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.)



9:30 – 10:30: 15 Tips on How to Write Like the Pros, taught by Brian Klems. This workshop is a thorough crash course concerning craft, style and voice. We’ll discuss nuts & bolts tips for sentence construction, like how to avoid passive tense, how to use vivid language, how to self-edit your own work, how to make your characters memorable, the art of compelling dialogue, and much more.

10:45 – 11:45: “The End” — Now What? Everything You Need to Understand, From a Finished Draft to Your Whole Career, taught by Gabrielle Prendergast. The session outlines in detail the steps needed after writers complete their first draft of a novel or other full-length book. Topics covered include getting feedback, doing revisions and working with editors and beta readers, as well as how to proceed to the marketing phase of your journey with queries, synopses, loglines, and Twitter pitches. We will cover the differences between traditional and indie publishing and discuss the pros and cons of working with agents. Attendees will leave with insider knowledge of the publishing business and ideas about how to plan their next steps.

11:45 – 1:15: Break

1:15 – 2:30: From Editor to Agent: The Differences in Each Role and Benefits of Having an Editorially-Savvy Agent, taught by Rachel Beck. This class will explain the key roles that both a literary agent and publishing house editor play. (Rachel was an editor for almost 6 years, and has now been an agent now for 6 years.)

2:45 – 3:45: Craft Amazing Opening Pages, taught by Kelly Peterson. In this workshop, you’ll learn the tips and tricks of editing your opening pages in order to catch your readers’ interests. We’ll go over starting points, character drive, diving into the action, and even voice and word choice, as well as learning how to mix it all together for your best success.

4:00 – 5:00: Legal and Copyright FAQ For Writers, taught by Dana Newman. Can you quote song lyrics in your novel? Are you allowed to write about real people? How do you prevent someone from stealing your story idea? Can you re-use a title someone else has used for his or her book? What’s the difference between copyright infringement and plagiarism, and what is fair use? Are there ways to protect yourself from legal claims? What are the most important clauses in a publishing agreement? Legal issues are becoming increasingly important for authors, particularly those who self-publish without the benefit of an agent or attorney. The most common legal issues that impact authors and the publishing industry are copyright, contract, and, to some extent, defamation and privacy law. This workshop provides an introduction for both self-publishing and traditionally published authors to basic legal issues they may confront when writing and marketing their work.

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9:30 – 10:30: Everything You Need to Know About Agents and Query Letters, taught by Chuck Sambuchino. This workshop is a thorough crash course in dealing with literary agents. After quickly going over what an agent is and what they do for writers, we will discuss resources for finding agents, how to ID the best agents for you, query letter writing, as well as the most important things to do and not to do when dealing with representatives.

10:45 – 11:45: How to Think like a Developmental Editor, taught by Shirin Leos. A professional writer is a professional rewriter, so the adage goes. In the publishing industry, the first edit—long before line- or copy-editing come into play—is called the developmental or “dev” edit. It aims to shape the book; to challenge and thus cement its structure; and ultimately to deliver a more competitive product. Thinking like a developmental editor can help you mold your book for success even as you write; it can eventually help you edit yourself so that the book you submit is the book an editor is looking for. In this seminar with Shirin Leos, we will discuss developmental vs. line- or copy-editing, what dev editors consider when editing, and exercises that can help you dev-edit yourself.

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

4:00 – 5:00: Be Brief, Bright, and BOLD! How to Create Epic Picture Books That Sell, taught by Eve Porinchak. Have you dreamed of writing a children’s book, but don’t know where to begin? Or, have you written a book and need guidance on how to get it published? In this workshop, you will learn how to create, pitch, and publish compelling picture books that will delight audiences for years to come. Author and former literary agent Eve Porinchak will guide you in taking your story from concept to print and arm you with all the tips you need to create winning picture books that sell.

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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 August 5-6, 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.