2023 Agents Symposium Package Schedule

February

“Before the Agent Search” with Maggie Cooper of Aevitas Creative Management

Saturday, February 25 from 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM CST

In this presentation, we’ll discuss what writers can do to set themselves up for a successful agent search. We’ll consider when to start querying, how to build your list of prospective agents, and what kind of materials you should plan to share. Throughout, we’ll share strategies for preparing to navigate the logistical, creative, and emotional aspects of the process, so that you can begin your agent search feeling grounded and informed.

The 30-minute presentation will be followed by a moderated conversation and an audience Q&A. 

March

Lunchtime Debrief

Wednesday, March 1 from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM CT

Led by WLT staff, these meet-ups are opportunities to come together to process and ask any lingering or follow-up questions after the agent presentations. 

“The Ins and Outs of Approaching Agents” with Eric Smith of P.S. Literary

Saturday, March 25 from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM CT

In this presentation, we’ll spend some time demystifying the querying process. We’ll unpack how to approach literary agents, including what you should do when querying, what you absolutely shouldn’t, and why putting yourself and your work out there doesn’t need to be as stressful or intimidating as you think. Because, at the end of the day, the agents you’ll be querying are in it to make books happen, they want to discover new writers, so we’ll also spend a bit of time talking about that.

The 30-minute presentation will be followed by a moderated conversation and an audience Q&A. 

Lunchtime Debrief

Thursday, March 30 from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM CT

Led by WLT staff, these meet-ups are opportunities to come together to process and ask any lingering or follow-up questions after the agent presentations.

April

2023 Agents Symposium: Meet-up

Thursday, April 13 from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm CT

Small group meet-ups to compare notes on the first two programs and make some writer connections.

“How to Set Yourself Apart in the Agent Search” with Carrie Howland of Howland Literary

Saturday, April 29 from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM CT

In this presentation, we’ll discuss tips for setting yourself apart when querying literary agents. Every agent receives countless queries daily. What are the things an agent looks for, that catches their eye or makes them say “yes, I want to read something?” From crafting a compeling hook to building an impressive bio, you’ll learn in this session what you can be doing today to distinguish yourself tomorrow.

The 30-minute presentation will be followed by a moderated conversation and an audience Q&A. 

May

Lunchtime Debrief

Monday, May 1 from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM CT

Led by WLT staff, these meet-ups are opportunities to come together to process and ask any lingering or follow-up questions after the agent presentations.

2023 Agents Symposium: “Practice Makes Pitch Perfect” Presentation

Thursday, May 4 from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm CT

This special presentation will give you practical guidance for honing your pitch.

2023 Agents Symposium: Pitch Lab

Thursday, May 11 from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm CT

Spend an evening with fellow registrants practicing your pitch.

“Between Signing & Submission: The Agent/Author Relationship” with Seth Fishman of The Gernert Company

Saturday, May 20 from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM CT

In this presentation, we’ll dive into what happens after you’ve signed with a literary agent. We’ll cover everything from what to expect after you’ve both said “yes!” to working together to what you can look forward to as you ready your work with an eye towards submitting to publishers, including the revision process and more.

The 30-minute presentation will be followed by a moderated conversation and an audience Q&A. 

Lunchtime Debrief

Tuesday, May 23 from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM CT

Led by WLT staff, these meet-ups are opportunities to come together to process and ask any lingering or follow-up questions after the agent presentations.

June

2023 Agents Symposium: Agent Consultations

June 20 – 24

15-minute consultation appointments will take place during this week in June, 10 AM – 5PM. Appointment times will be assigned in May.

“Comparison Titles: The Company You Will Keep” with Cherise Fisher of Wendy Sherman Associates

Saturday, June 24 from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM CT

In this presentation, we’ll discuss why it is vitally important for authors of both fiction and nonfiction to have a keen sense of how their book fits alongside other titles. We will review why you must never ever tell a publisher “No book like mine has ever been written!;” how to distinguish between comparative and competitive titles, and how to use comparison titles to position your book for success.

The 30-minute presentation will be followed by a moderated conversation and an audience Q&A. 

Lunchtime Debrief

Wednesday, June 28 from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM CT

Led by WLT staff, these meet-ups are opportunities to come together to process and ask any lingering or follow-up questions after the agent presentations.

July

Query Letter & Synopsis Writing Presentations

Thursday, July 6 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

These two special presentations will cover the ins and outs of composing a compelling query letter and an effective synopsis.

“Understanding Publishing Contracts” with Lauren E. Abramo of Dystel, Goderich, & Bourret

Saturday, July 15 from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM CT

In this presentation we’ll review the most important document in the publishing journey (besides the book itself!): the author contract. From financial terms to legal obligations to the editorial process to the distribution of rights, it’s both a roadmap to the publishing experience and an outline of worst-case scenarios. While contracts vary from publisher to publisher and deal to deal, this presentation will walk you through the basics so you know what to expect when you sign on that dotted line.

The 30-minute presentation will be followed by a moderated conversation and an audience Q&A. 

Lunchtime Debrief

Thursday, July 20 from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM CT

Led by WLT staff, these meet-ups are opportunities to come together to process and ask any lingering or follow-up questions after the agent presentations.

August

“The Submission Process: Finding a Publishing Partner” with Saba Sulaiman of Talcott Notch Literary Services

Saturday, August 26 from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM CT

In this presentation, we’ll spend time discussing what happens when your book is ready to go on submission to editors inside publishing houses. We’ll walk you through the range of what happens after you hand over your completed manuscript to your agent, including how your agent works to ensure your manuscript finds the perfect home and what you can expect during this process.

The 30-minute presentation will be followed by a moderated conversation and an audience Q&A. 

Lunchtime Debrief

Monday, August 28 from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM CT

Led by WLT staff, these meet-ups are opportunities to come together to process and ask any lingering or follow-up questions after the agent presentations.

September

“From Acquisition to Publication” with Chad Luibl of Janklow & Nesbit

Saturday, September 30 from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM CT

In this presentation, we’ll look at all aspects of the publishing journey beginning with acquisition all the way to publication day. We’ll walk you through what you can expect once your manuscript has been acquired by an editor at a publishing house, including everything from editing to self-promotion, and all the key decisions in between that (hooray! pop the champagne!) lead to a successful book launch. (What’s a “successful book launch?” Great question! We’ll talk about that, too.)

The 30-minute presentation will be followed by a moderated conversation and an audience Q&A. 

October

Lunchtime Debrief

Tuesday, October 3 from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM CT

Led by WLT staff, these meet-ups are opportunities to come together to process and ask any lingering or follow-up questions after the agent presentations.

2023 Agents Symposium: Meet-up

Thursday, October 5 from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm CT

Small group meet-ups to compare notes on the recent programs and continue those writer connections.

“Publication Day and Beyond” with Mark Gottlieb of Trident Media Group

Saturday, October 28 from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM CT

In this presentation, we’ll dive into what happens after the big publication day. Your book is on the shelves, now what? We’ll talk about publicity & marketing, sales, and more. Plus, when is it time to start working on the next project (and talking about the next project with your agent and editor) and other ways to put your time and energy to best use once your book has officially launched.

The 30-minute presentation will be followed by a moderated conversation and an audience Q&A. 

November

Lunchtime Debrief

Wednesday, November 1 from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM CT

Led by WLT staff, these meet-ups are opportunities to come together to process and ask any lingering or follow-up questions after the agent presentations.

“Building a Writing Career” with Julie Stevenson of Massie & McQuilkin

Saturday, November 18 from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM CT

In this presentation, we’ll dive into what it means to build a sustainable and satisfying writing career. Of course, a successful career is not one-size fits all, it looks different for everyone. And building one that lasts takes time, dedication, fortitude, a clear understanding of the publishing world, and often some luck. This presentation will offer guidance and perspective on what it takes to go from publishing one book to building a career.

The 30-minute presentation will be followed by a moderated conversation and an audience Q&A. 

Lunchtime Debrief

Monday, November 20 from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM CT

Led by WLT staff, these meet-ups are opportunities to come together to process and ask any lingering or follow-up questions after the agent presentations.