Instructor: Kristin Owens
Maximum Enrollment: 10
Class Term: 08/03/2021 - 09/06/2021
SCN Member: $160
Class synopsisCongratulations - you’ve finished your novel! Now what? This intensive workshop is for writers with a completed manuscript ready for querying.
Ready to dive into the query trenches for literary agent representation but the query letter has you stumped? We’ll take it in easy steps. Each class session will focus on individual paragraphs (the hook, the book, and the cook) of the query letter. With weekly assignments and critiques amongst class members, we’ll polish your query letter until it sings! Students will also research online databases and find potential agents for a great match. This interactive class will offer ample time for Q&A while gaining a cohort of motivational colleagues. At the end, you’ll have zero excuses not to move towards your traditional publishing goals.
• learn why agents are necessary for traditional publishing • finalize your query letter • learn the importance of following agency guidelines • organize a tracking system • develop a personal database of 50 agents to query
Class communication methodOnline classes will meet via Zoom. Participants will engage and share their progress. The instructor will require completed weekly assignments to keep the class moving forward. Students will collaborate together outside of class on specific tasks.
Week 1 (Tuesday, August 3, 6:00-7:00 pm MST)
Student and instructor introductions. Discussion on goals and setting realistic expectations while querying. Lecture on why agents are necessary for traditional publishing. A look at successful query letters – what do they do well? We’ll examine the purpose of each paragraph. Assignment: Write ‘the hook’ and share with classmates for feedback.
Week 2 (Tuesday, August 10, 6:00-7:00 pm MST)
We’ll deep dive into the second paragraph of the query letter – the overview – without getting too plotty. Why does the character do what they do? What do they want? What happens if they don’t get it? Examples provided of what and what not to do. We’ll cover comp titles, genre expectations, word counts. Assignment: Write about ‘the book’ and share with classmates for feedback.
Week 3 (Tuesday, August 17, 6:00-7:00 pm MST)
It’s all about you! Why are you the best person to write this? We’ll discuss writing awards, previous publications, and experience levels in the bio section. Also, how much personal info to share. The importance of social media. Assignment: Write about ‘the cook’ and ask classmates for feedback.
Week 4 (Tuesday, August 24, 6:00-7:00 pm MST)
Research online tools and databases for potential agents. The importance of following agency guidelines and how to decipher industry-speak. Assignment: develop a tracking system using a provided template and find 50 agents based on your individual criteria.
Week 5 (Tuesday, August 31, 6:00-7:00 pm MST)
Is it ready? What’s missing? A discussion on the general rules for querying. How to eliminate embarrassing rookie mistakes. An overview of additional materials required to pitch and query. The roles of contests. How to make the most of your limited time. A wrap up with Q&A. Assignment: Query!
Class time commitment2-3 hours a week
Kristin Owens, Ph.D. is an award-winning educator and writer. She’s published over 100 articles and essays and is a frequent blog contributor on writing. Her high-energy presentations and classes motivate writers to stick with it. Her work is included in the 2020 Colorado Book of the Year, RISE! She is represented by literary agent Madelyn Burt at Stonesong and Peel Talent Agency in the UK.