Schedule: 2023 Workshop

ONLINE: Writing Day Workshops plans both in-person and virtual/online conferences. The 2023 BWW is an Online Conference, on Feb. 3-4. 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.)

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FRIDAY, FEB. 3, 2023:

9:30 – 10:30: Literary Agents 101, taught by Maria Vicente. This session covers everything you need to know about literary agents: who they are, what they do, when and where to find one to represent your writing, and how they fit into the traditional book publishing model. You will learn why you do (or don’t) need a literary agent, the various paths you can take to getting your book published, how a literary agent is paid, and what exactly it is literary agents are looking for in potential clients.

10:45 – 11:45: Between the Covers: How to Write a Good Romance Novel, taught by Anna Harrington. Ever wanted to try writing happily-ever-afters but didn’t know where to start? This session will give you the inspiration you need to start, along with all the behind-the-scenes knowledge of what should go on between the covers of a well-written romance novel. (Hint: very little of it has to do with sex.) You’ll learn the difference between romance and plot, when alpha males and swooning heroines just won’t do, why tycoons and dukes rule the romance world, and how to create all the conflict and attraction necessary to keep your readers turning the pages and wondering how on earth your two main characters will ever end up together. You’ll also learn insider information about book titles, pen names, and the importance of pitching high-concept series ideas—everything you’ve always wanted to know about writing romance but were afraid to ask.

11:45 – 1:15: Break

1:15 – 2:30: Writing and Selling Fiction vs. Nonfiction, taught by Leticia Gomez. Selling a fiction or nonfiction book project to a traditional mainstream publisher requires different approaches. Whether you are a first-time unpublished author or a seasoned one who has been around the publishing block once, twice or more times, the industry rules and guidelines must be adhered to in order to be able to get your feet through the door. In this session, Literary Agent Leticia Gomez will explain in great detail what these established rules and guidelines are. She will also discuss precisely what sample material components are must haves and what is the best way to package them up in order to secure the publishing deal of your dreams.

2:45 – 3:45: Crafting a Dynamic Query Letter, taught by Jane Chun. This class will cover the basic elements of a query letter, the elements that separate a good query from an excellent one, and common query mistakes and misconceptions — e.g., information that people suggest putting in a query letter that doesn’t really help or hurt your case so you might as well not spend time worrying about how to include it, faux pas that will most likely put you in the “no” pile.

4:00 – 5:00: Creating an Authentic Kidlit Voice, taught by Kayla Cichello. What does it mean to have an authentic voice? How does one improve their “voice” in a manuscript? In this workshop, we will go over the different types of voice, use sample texts as case studies, and talk about the different elements that help create voices and characters you can’t stop thinking about for the children’s book market. 

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SATURDAY, FEB. 4, 2023:

9:30 – 10:30: The Basics of Publishing, taught by Amaryah Orenstein. In this seminar, you will sit down with an experienced literary agent who will offer an overview of the publishing process, spotlighting the different paths to publication for different types of writers, and demystify the role of the agent. In addition to other key tips on how to secure an agent, you will learn how (and how not) to pitch your work, and how to make a great first impression with your opening pages. You will also get an opportunity to ask any questions you may have about agents and the state of publishing.

10:45 – 11:45: Architects vs. Gardeners: To Outline or Not to Outline, taught by Lindsay Flanagan. To outline or not to outline…that is the (much-debated) question. As a writer, you may feel like you’re on team “Outliner” (or Architect) or on team “Pantser” (or Gardener). Maybe you haven’t decided which side to join. Or maybe you’ve joined one or the other but haven’t really had total success with either in your writing career—or with a particular book. This class will define both camps, discuss the pros and cons of each, and reveal the one element both must produce to be successful.

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

4:00 – 5:00: Understanding Your Market: Literary vs. Commercial Fiction, taught by Kat Kerr. This class helps define the difference between literary and commercial fiction, and what makes a work fit into either of these markets. This class also covers low-concept vs high-concept plots, and the definitions of each.

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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 Feb. 3-4, 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.