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“The Business of Writing Toolbox” Online Class Package

January 9, 2021 - January 30, 2021

$196.00 – $436.00


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$196 for members
$436 for nonmembers

This is the perfect package for any writer looking to jump-start their career as a writer. From submitting to literary journals, applying to fellowships and residencies, to the agent search and beyond, writers will find themselves better equipped to take on the publishing world after these four classes. Everyone who purchases the package will get access to an exclusive Q&A session with the package instructors and they’ll get the chance to meet their fellow cohort in a virtual meet-up.

Before purchasing, be sure to check the dates. As always, there are no refunds on classes.

Each class can be purchased individually by clicking on the class title.

Can’t make it every Saturday?
No worries! All registrants will have access to the class recordings for the entire month of January, plus an additional week.

“The Straight-Up Skinny on How to Submit to Literary Journals” with M.M. Adjarian
Saturday, January 9, 2021, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. CST

Getting work into journals is a great way to begin building your literary credentials. But writers new to the submissions game are often mystified – even needlessly daunted – by the process. Where do you go to find out which journals are accepting work in your genre? How do you present your work to editors? And what happens on the way to an acceptance?

In this class, you’ll learn about submissions best practices through a guided tour of the major online platforms to use when submitting and in-depth discussions of the submissions process that include details on:

  • locating markets
  • writing cover letters/bios
  • formatting documents
  • submission etiquette

The class will also offer tips on:

  • how to increase your chances of acceptance
  • what to expect after you’ve submitted
  • how to read editor responses
  • The class is intended for any writer who has material to submit…or just wants the straight-up, no-bull skinny on the journal submission process.


“Starting Your Publishing Journey” with Diane Zinna
Saturday, January 16, 2021, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. CST

In this class we will talk about what a publishing journey could look like for you, with details about the pre- and post-publishing life meant to leave you excited for your next steps. We’ll talk about query letters, the process of finding an agent, working with editors, what to expect when it comes to book contracts, and marketing strategies you might not have considered. We’ll discuss ways to balance the art of writing with the business of publishing in ways that feel authentic and positive to you. We will end with an intention-setting autobiographical exercise that will help you imagine not only the books you seek to publish, but the kind of writer you want to be in the world. This class is most appropriate for writers interested learning more about traditional publication of a novel or memoir.

“Applying to Fellowships and Residencies with Confidence” with Faylita Hicks
Saturday, January 23, 2021, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. CST

Every writer could benefit from a little space and some dedicated time to improve their craft. In this workshop, we’ll learn how you can get both!

Make this the year you get yours. Emerging and mid-career writers are encouraged to join this 3-hours class in which we will:

  • Identify and navigate free and paid resources that regularly update opportunities to apply to fellowships and residencies.
  • Learn several tips to improve your resume and CV for creative projects—even if you haven’t published yet!
  • Prepare for the five most commonly found sections on applications.
  • Learn how to develop a creative project proposal that will stand out from the crowd.
  • Discuss how to choose and edit a creative sample for the application.

We’ll look at well-known fellowships like the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, the Wallace Stegner Fellowship, the Logan Nonfiction Fellowship, the Writing for Justice Fellowship, Creative Capital, TED Fellows, Princeton’s Hodder Fellowship, the American Academy in Rome Prize, and more.

Some well-known residencies we’ll discuss include the MacDowell Residency, Yaddo, Vermont Studio Center, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, the Radcliffe Fellowship, Bellagio Residency Program, Sesame Street Writers Room, and others.

Participants will leave with sample outlines, examples of winning proposals, an application plan, and a calendar of upcoming state and national opportunities, delineated by genre and level of experience.


“The Agent Search: Tips, Tricks, and Timeless Advice” with Becka Oliver
Saturday, January 30, 2021, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. CST

Join a former literary agent for an informative, candid, no-holds-barred class on finding the ideal agent for you—and how to navigate the relationship once you’ve found that perfect match. This class will cover everything from where to get your industry news, how to dentify the most promising agents to approach for representation, the pitfalls that lead to rejection, catching an agent’s eye with your query, asking the right questions, and most everything in between.


M. M. AdjarianM. M. (Maude) Adjarian has published her essays, short fiction and poetry in such journals as the Baltimore ReviewGrub StreetVerdadSouth 85, The Serving House JournalPifGravelGlint and Crack the Spine, among others. A senior non-fiction book reviewer at Kirkus, her articles have also appeared in Arts+Culture TexasBitch MagazineTribeza-Austin and the Dallas Voice. Currently, she is at work on a family memoir provisionally titled This Life That Binds.
Diane ZinnaDiane Zinna is the author of THE ALL-NIGHT SUN (Random House, 2020) which was longlisted for The Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize and the Cabell First Novelist Award. Her craft book, LETTING GRIEF SPEAK, is forthcoming from Columbia University Press. She received her MFA from the University of Florida and was the longtime membership director for AWP, The Association of Writers & Writing Programs. There, she created the Writer to Writer Mentorship Program, helping to match more than six hundred writers over twelve seasons. She was most recently the Darden Professor of Creative Writing at Old Dominion University, and she is the creator of Grief Writing Sundays, a popular writing class on telling difficult stories that has met every week since the start of the pandemic. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming at Electric Literature, LiteraryHub, Brevity, Monkeybicycle, and Eat, Darling, Eat. She lives in Fairfax, Virginia, with her husband, daughter, and doodle.
Faylita HicksFaylita Hicks (she/her/they) is a poet, essayist, and interdisciplinary artist. The former Editor-in-Chief of Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review and a 2020-2022 Texas Touring Artist, they are the author of HoodWitch (Acre Books, 2019), a finalist for the 2020 Lambda Literary Award for Bisexual Poetry, the 2019 Balcones Poetry Prize, and the 2019 Julie Suk Award. Hicks is the 2009 Grand Slam Champion of the Austin Poetry Slam and a member of the 2007 and 2008 Neo Soul Poetry Slam team. Since 2013, she has been an artist on the roster for hip-hop collective Grid Squid Entertainment, releasing her first Hip Hop EP, Collision City in 2015, and her third spoken word album ONYX in June 2019. She has toured nationally and internationally as a solo act since 2007, performing in venues such as Chicago's The Green Mill Cocktail Lounge, Busboys and Poets, and the Nuyorican Poets Café, across 30+ states, as well as in Jamaica and Canada. The founder and creative director of event production company Arrondi Creative Productions, Hicks was awarded the San Marcos Arts Commission Grant for her monthly showcase and pop-up art event series, SMTX Ripple Market, in 2017 and 2019. Hicks's photography and short-films have been exhibited in Texas State University's Common Experience Gallery, Houston's Insomnia Gallery, the San Marcos 72-Hour Film Festival, and the 2018 BLERD Festival in New Orleans, LA. They have been awarded fellowships and residencies from Tin House, Lambda Literary, Jack Jones Literary Arts, Vermont Studio Center, and the Right of Return USA, the first fellowship designed exclusively for previously incarcerated artists. Their poetry, essays, interviews, performances, and photography have been featured in or are forthcoming in AdroitAmerican Poetry ReviewBrave New Filmsthe Cincinnati ReviewThe CutElectric LitF(r)ictionFrontier PoetryHuffPostKenyon ReviewLonestar LitLongreadsPalette PoetryPBS Independent LensPoetry MagazinePoetry DailyPoets and WritersPrairie SchoonerThe RumpusSlateTexas Observer, Texas MonthlyViceVIDA Review, and others. Hicks received an MFA in Creative Writing from Sierra Nevada University and is currently working on a multi-media project about pretrial criminal policy reform in the Southwest. www.FaylitaHicks.com
Becka Oliver joined the WLT in September 2013 as Executive Director after more than two decades of experience working in newspaper and book publishing. She spent much of her publishing career inside two of the “big five” publishing leaders – Macmillan and Hachette Book Group — licensing domestic and foreign rights on behalf of countless notable authors, including Sandra Brown, Brad Meltzer, Nicholas Sparks, Jon Stewart and the Daily Show, and more. In 2007, she made the leap from Associate Director of Subsidiary Rights at Grand Central Publishing to Literary Agent, first at Endeavor and then at William Morris Endeavor (WME) after the two powerhouse talent agencies merged. As a literary agent, Becka represented clients working in both fiction and nonfiction, including Brunonia Barry, Sheryl Crow, Kamran Pasha, Joanna Philbin, Susan Rebecca White, and the popular blog Awkward Family Photos.

Before purchasing, please read all policies as noted below and on our Classes page.

If your browser has difficulty with our website store, or if you prefer to mail in a check, click here for a class registration form. The document provides instructions on where to mail it. If you prefer this option, please email wlt@writersleague.org with a copy of the form as well to ensure we add you to the class roster as soon as possible.

Expecting to see the member price, but it’s not appearing?

Confirm you are logged into your account first and foremost. The member price will only appear when you are logged into your account and have an active membership on file. If you are having trouble accessing your account, please email member@writersleague.org and explain the situation.

Class & Event Registration Policy

Once a purchase has been made, registrations are not refundable and cannot be transferred to a different class or event. No exceptions will be made. If you purchase a registration and then find you cannot attend the class or event, someone else can attend in your stead. Simply contact us at wlt@writersleague.org and let us know the name and contact information for the person who will be using the registration so that we can update the class or event roster.

Credit Card Transaction Handling Fee Policy

All credit card transactions will incur a 4% handling fee. If you’d prefer to pay by check for membership, a class, or an event, you can use the provided forms on the membership or event pages and mail to: WLT, P.O. Box 14355, Austin, TX, 78704.


Our classes offer a combination of lecture and practical exercises, determined by the individual instructor, on focused aspects of the craft and business of writing. Your fellow participants will come from a range of writing experience, from beginners to people with MFA degrees and published books. WLT instructors, participants, and administrators all work together to create a welcoming, supportive environment.

If you haven’t taken a class with us in recent years, feel free to email the WLT staff at wlt@writersleague.org if you’d like to discuss whether our programming is the right fit for your needs.


Once you register for the class, you’ll receive an email with detailed instructions no later than 48 hours before the class date. You should expect 2-2.5 hours of direct teaching and 30 minutes of Q&A (for three hours total). If you need to leave the class early or can’t attend the class on that date, all registrants will have access to the recording for one month after the class date. No microphone or camera required, just an Internet connection capable of streaming video. All online classes are hosted on Zoom. To learn more about how Zoom works, click HERE. 

Plan to log in to the online platform an hour before the class so that you can update your software or any other settings required to access the platform. (Updates usually only take a few minutes, but you don’t want to wait until the beginning of class.) Questions? Email us at wlt@writersleague.org.

Cultural Arts City of Austin

This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department. Visit Austin at NowPlayingAustin.com.

Texas Commission on the Arts

Writers’ League of Texas classes and workshops are also funded in part by the Texas Commission on the Arts – Investing in a Creative Texas. For more information, go to www.arts.texas.gov.

National Endowment for the Arts

This project is also supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.

Mid-America Arts Alliance

This project is supported in part by the Mid-America Arts Alliance. For more information, go to www.maaa.org.


January 9, 2021
January 30, 2021
$196.00 – $436.00
Event Categories:
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Online via Zoom