The 2021 Minnesota Writing Workshop is a two-day Live Online Conference on February 12-13, 2021. There will be no in-person event this year.
We will spell out details below in terms of what that means, but if you’ve never attended an online writers conference, the important and immediate things to know are 1) this will be great and easy, and 2) this will not eliminate any aspect of the event, so you will still get every part of the event that you would find in an in-person conference (and more). We will still have great classes teaching you how to get published, one-on-one video/phone pitches with agents, and helpful critiques. In fact, moving the event to a teleconference on the computer not only will keep attendees & faculty 100% safe, but it also adds some new awesome elements that we’re excited about, such as TONS of literary agents to pitch one-on-one virtually (we’re at 20+ and growing), and FREE additional bonus classes. More on that below.
We understand that an Online Conference may be new to some attendees, but do not worry. It is quite easy to do, and we will have detailed steps on what to do and when. (To hear feedback from attendees who have joined us through WDW online events from 2020 events, click here and see what other happy writers have to say.
Essentially, all you need is access to a working computer, tablet, or phone with Internet, and then you watch the conference on your computer screen live. You’ll click links in emails and be able to watch live classes and ask questions. That’s it. Also, the day’s classes can be viewed again and again because it’s all recorded! Many writing conferences are switching to teleconferences during these months, and it’s going well. Lastly, we the MWW coordinators are available all day long before and during February 12-13, 2021 help and assist. You can always call on us.
OUR NEW ONLINE CONFERENCE – WHAT TO UNDERSTAND FOR ATTENDEES
What do attendees have to do right now: Nothing right now. If you’ve signed up, that is the key step. Just read through this email whenever you like so you understand how the day will work. That’s it. We will continue to stay in touch all the way through February 12-13. As always, we are happy to answer any questions. Although we are switching the event from one day to two, do not worry. If you cannot attend any classes, they are all recorded and sent out to you afterward.
We have tons of new agents to pitch! Because the event is now virtual, agents from all over have joined the event (and many will continue to join). We expect 20-35 agents at the event, and you can pitch as many as you like. See all participating agents here.
Are we still accepting new attendees for the online events? Yes. Thank you for any word-spreading you do. People who want to register can contact me (Brian Klems, co-coordinator) at email@example.com. Payment is by check or credit card or PayPal.
Timing of the day: The event is from 9:30-5:00 Central time, both days. (All classes are recorded in case you miss them live.) The classes will be online live during that time for you to watch. Concerning your one-on-one meetings with agents & editors, you will have personal Zoom or Skype or phone conversations for your agent pitches and add-on critique meetings. Many of those may happen on February 13, or some in the days before/after the event.
How classes work: We send you an e-mail, and on February 12-13, you open the email, click on a link, and log in to our “Classroom.” At that point, you are IN the conference with all other attendees—watching speakers teach classes on your screen. Then faculty members will be able to teach over the computer and speak directly to you. There is a Chat Box where you can type your questions at any time. For the workshop, our policy is that no question goes unanswered. That means if you type in a question and the presenter runs out of time to address all questions, those questions get answered following the event and emailed out to everyone. Here is the current lineup of classes (note that times may change, but the classes are confirmed):
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. 12-13 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 10 more FREE classes on the side:
- “An Overview of Your Publishing Options Today”—a class on understanding the difference between self-publishing and traditional publishing, by Chuck Sambuchino
- “10 Query Letter Tips”—a class to help your submission chances, by Chuck Sambuchino
- “15 Tips on How to Write Like the Pros”—a class on craft and voice, by Brian Klems
- “The Ins and Outs of Perfecting Voice in Your Writing,” taught by author Christina Kaye
- “Ask an Agent Anything Panel (Michigan Writing Workshop)”—hear writers ask questions and agents give blunt feedback
- “How to Write a Nonfiction Book Proposal” by Brian Klems—a class specifically designed for writers of nonfiction who want to craft an awesome proposal
- “The Dos and Don’ts of Pitching Picture Books: What Agents and Editors Need to See,” taught by Kelly Andrews
- “How to Write Great Romance Novels,” taught by Xio Axelrod
- “How to Create Suspense in Your Mystery or Thriller,” taught by Lisa Regan
- “So You’ve Finished Writing and Revising Your Young Adult / Middle Grade Novel — Now What?” by Julie Eshbaugh
Practice sessions before the conference: The week before the event, we will hold 1-2 live practice/informational online sessions that all attendees are welcome to attend. We’ll walk you through the online platform we use (so you’ll be comfortable the day of the actual event), explain how everything will work, and answer your questions to make sure you know everything you need to know.
How agent & editor pitches work: Agents and editors are blocking off their whole day on Feb. 13, 2021 (Saturday) to take pitches via Zoom or Skype (or a comparable video software) from attendees. So you get your individual 10-minute one-on-one pitches with agents and editors. If you’re not familiar with Zoom or Skype, you can always do the pitches by phone—you can choose.
Query critiques: Those will be done before the event and emailed out to you. Nothing is changed. This is an add-on feature for people who opt for a query critique.
Manuscript critiques: This is also an add-on element. If you paid for a manuscript critique, your critique faculty member should be in touch with you directly with their notes, and to schedule a 10-minute phone call (or Zoom/Skype/phone call). Thanks.
First Pages Panel: The panel is still happening. We will collect your first pages in advance over email and pick them at random for the agents to critique during this midday centerpiece panel. Having this panel taped (so you can re-watch it) is an exciting opportunity!
Thanks for reading all this! Be in touch if you have any questions. We will “see” everyone on Feb. 12-13. More emails to come. Again, please check out attendee feedback for our new virtual events here.
firstname.lastname@example.org – email him to register