Schedule: 2022 Michigan Workshop

ONLINE: The 2022 MWW is an Online Conference to keep everyone safe, on Feb. 4-5, 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.)



Agent pitches and critique consultations overlap with the sessions below. The schedule of presentation topics below is subject to change and updates:

FRIDAY, FEB. 4, 2022

9:30 – 10:30: “Identify Your Voice and Write Like a Pro,” taught by literary agent Kat Kerr. This intensive class covers the age-old question “What do agents mean when they talk about voice?” and all the different ways voice is interpreted and how one can craft a unique perspective using it.

10:45 – 11:45: “Plotting Arcs and Compelling Narratives,” taught by Stephanie Winter. A great work of fiction requires excellent pacing to move the reader past those first pages and to propel them to the very end. This session will walk you through the key markers of exposition, climax, and denouement moments in novels, and will outline what these arcs look like across genres. If you’ve ever been told your story “does not start in the right place,” this session is for you.

11:45 – 1:15: Break

1:15 – 2:30: “Improve Your Writing: The Basics of Self-Editing and Revision,” taught by Eve Porinchak. Writing your manuscript’s first draft is a huge step, but only a primary one. Now it’s time to look at your creation and slowly make it amazing through overhauls, self-editing, and revision. Remember that good writing is rewriting. In this class, you’ll learn to identify your writing’s flaws (and fix them) — such as tense and POV issues, when to cut and shorten your length, and what makes some writing crackle.

2:45 – 3:45: “Four Ways Book Authors Make Money from Publishers: How Authors Go from Fingers on Keyboard to Dollars in Bank Account,” taught by Paul S. Levine, Esq. Examine the four major ways authors make money from traditional book publishing. This session, taught by a literary agent and attorney, will explain advances, royalties, subsidiary rights, and much more. If you’re curious how money works in the publishing process, this class is for you.

4:00 – 5:00: “From Query to Publication (and Everything in Between),” taught by Rachelle Gardner. The world of publishing can be confusing, and the fact that you receive that long-awaited book contract doesn’t seem to clear up any mysteries! This workshop will explain the entire process between the time you submit a query to an agent and the time your book is published. You’ll learn what the editorial, marketing, sales and art departments are doing about your book along the way—and most importantly, what will be expected of you. Includes the basics about contracts, deadlines, book covers, and marketing expectations. This workshop will shed light on the vast shadowy halls of the publishing house and help you navigate your way through your first experience as a published author.

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SATURDAY, FEB. 5, 2022

9:30 – 10:30: “Everything You Need to Know About Writing an Amazing Query Letter,” taught by agent Kelly Peterson. The query letter is often the first point of contact between writers and agents. In this session, agent Kelly Peterson will present the query letter basics every writer should know. From what to include and the reasons those things are important to what not to include and why you shouldn’t include them, this workshop will help you hone in what will work best for you when crafting your query.

10:45 – 11:45: “Authors & Agents: Inside this Important Partnership,” taught by literary agent Rachelle Gardner. Do all writers need agents? This workshop begins by discussing who needs an agent and why. You’ll learn how to decide whether you need an agent, how to research literary agents, and how to determine the right agent for you. We’ll discuss what to expect from an agent and what not to expect. Finally, we’ll talk about how to do your part in building and maintaining a successful long-term relationship with an agent. This workshop will dispel the mystique surrounding agents (no – we are not all sharks!) and help you make the best decision for your writing career.

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

4:00 – 5:00: The Power in Choosing Your Dream,” taught by Brittany J. Thurman. Understand fundamental steps every writer can take to cultivate the career they desire. This speech will provide key aspects and advice on how to lean into writing full time, especially through work, family and other demanding aspects of life.

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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. 4-5, 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.