Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Dear Sir Or Madam, Will You Read My Book?

Photo from The Writing Workshop Of Chicago Facebook page.

For the past five years, The Writing Workshop Of Chicago has staged a Writing Day Workshop toward the end of June. With so many events canceled due to the coronavirus, I was pleasantly surprised to learn via email that a 2020 version will be coming our way. It’s all online, obviously, but aspiring writers will still have an opportunity to attend seminars and pitch their work to established literary agents.

I’ve found this event to be extremely helpful in the past. Aspiring writers tend to view literary agents more as roadblocks than doorways, but getting face-to-face feedback shines an entirely different light on the process. (Granted, the faces this year will be on screens via SKYPE.) I’m currently editing my most recent novel based on the advice of an agent who told me she liked the fun, twisty plot but had issues with the dialogue and voice.* I’m amazed at how much better it reads now.

So if you’ve been working on your long-delayed novel while sheltering in place, or have read enough books recently to inspire you to write one of your own, the Writing Day Workshop is a great opportunity. It takes place online Saturday, June 27, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. See the website for admission price; a list of participating literary agents (pitching costs extra), and the full schedule.

*I wasn’t sure exactly what ‘voice’ meant until I read Maureen Johnson’s Truly Devious trilogy. There’s a consistent and fun tone to these novels that moves the action along while keeping the reader entertained. It’s the best example of voice I've found.

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