A Novel Writing Getaway to Jump Start Your Novel
This is not your average writer’s retreat! This writing seminar is a lively, active, results-oriented symposium of creative and accomplished authors, attendees and answers to the questions that have been dogging you for years regarding how to go about getting a book deal. At the end of this book-writing retreat you will have a surmountable format for mapping out your book, the components you need to pitch a literary agent, including the agent contact information and the sample pages you need to send the agent. So, with that said, what’s stopping you?
Okay, you have a fantastic idea for a book — but do you know how to begin, finish, and sell it? Or let’s say you’ve already finished a manuscript, but now you’re at an impasse trying to get the attention of agents and publishers.Whether you’re at the idea stage or in the home stretch, this weekend will show you how to navigate the competitive world of book publishing and get your project sold.
“I wanted to THANK YOU, Hollis, for your workshop. It played a crucial role in being able to complete and submit a successful book proposal.” Rachael Brownell, who became a best-selling author after taking the Shocking Real-Life “Develop and Sell Your Memoir” workshop. She’s since been featured on the Today Show, Good Morning America and NPR’s Weeken Edition as a result of her book, Mommy Doesn’t Drink Here Anymore (2009).
“Hollis’ workshop gave me the confidence I needed to continue following my dream of becoming a published author. [It] was key to helping me fine-tune my proposal, and her personal involvement in my journey has been invaluable.” Lisa Baron, Shocking Real Life graduate and award-winning columnist, who landed a book deal with Citadel for her memoir, My Burning Bush; How One Woman’s Career in Christian Politics Went Up in Flames. It’s a Chelsea Handler-meets-George Stephanopoulos exploration of the dismantling of the conservative movement — and why young (drinking, chain-smoking, and, well, you get it) political campaign staffers sometimes go rogue.
Warning: This is a retreat for people serious about publishing a book (which is not to say you have to take yourself too seriously) — that said, (seriously) we are not in the business of hyping pipe dreams. The last thing we want to put you through is a litany of anemic sessions in which people sit around and bloviate about the difficulties of getting a book deal. The Shocking Real-Life Atlanta Book-Writing Boot Camp is an active writing retreat spanning THREE days devoted to your book, your idea for your book, formatting your book, writing your book, getting an agent for your book, selling your book to a publisher PLUS a special side workshop on how to write, publish and sell a profitable eBook. If you have an idea for a book — and especially if you have been sitting on your idea for a book — you owe it to yourself to enroll in this Shocking Real life writers boot camp hosted by best selling humor writer Hollis Gillespie.
Reserve Your Spot Now!
The Shocking Real-Life Book Writing Boot Camp with Hollis Gillespie January 7–8
Whether you’re at the idea stage or in the home stretch, this weekend will show you how to navigate the competitive world of book publishing and get your project sold.
- In this workshop, you’ll learn:
- The marketability of your idea, and how to make it more so
- How to pitch an agent for representation and write the perfect query
- What publishers and agents are really looking for and what they hate
- How to avoid the most common rookie mistakes
- Which pages to send to a literary agent as a sample of your work (hint: It’s rarely the very first pages)
- How publishing houses and literary agencies benefit the author
- How to decipher the miasma of advances, royalties, subsidiary rights, foreign rights, and dramatic rights
Hollis Gillespie and a collective of other successful authors will share their secrets to unclogging your creative arteries so you can tell the world what you’ve been telling your friends all this time; that your book idea is a slam dunk, and now it’s time to cash it in. She and the other co-hosts will offer their candid critiques, suggestions for selling your work, and answer all your questions about breaking into book publishing.
Here’s some more things you will learn:
- How to pick an eye-grabbing title.
- Which genre best suits your idea (Memoir? Novel? Self-help? Humor?)
- When it’s permissible to embroider, improvise, and reorder real-life events.
- Exactly how to format your pitch letter.
- Exactly which agent to pitch (including contact info).
- How and when to contact agents.
- The difference between an illuminating essay and a journal entry.
And that’s not all, classes come with complimentary booze and fingerfood, as well as inappropriate conversation and other basic essentials for unleashing creativity and unlocking buried memories. Classes fill up quickly, so sign-up now!
The Shocking Real Life Book-Writing Boot Camp Itinerary:
- Morning Workshop: Tips to Follow (and Pitfalls to Avoid!) When Nabbing a New York Super Agent hosted by renowned magazine editor, author and agent-nabber Stephanie Davis. Learn the slew of rookie mistakes that keep your manuscript from the eyes of a literary agent, and the surprisingly simple insider tricks that put your pitch ahead of all the others. Stephanie Davis will recount, with insight and hilarity, her own journey through the process, including the mistakes and the unexpected, culminating in an exercise designed to help rocket your way to the publishing house. Stephanie Davis is the editor in Chief of The Atlantan, Contributing Editor to Jezebel and Men’s Book Atlanta and former National Web Editor for skirt.com. She launched Get Married Magazine, a new bridal magazine with a 300,000 circulation started by Get Married TV on Lifetime Television and GetMarried.com in 2009. She was also on staff at GQ and SELF magazines, and has written for Gourmet, Details, Allure and msn.com.
Continental Breakfast — coffee, tea, hot cocoa, etc. (doughnuts will definitely make a showing).
- Introductory discussion with Hollis Gillespie, topics to include finding an agent and publisher for your manuscript, determining the genre of your book, breaking down doors and ass-kicking writing techniques.
- Lunch is served with complimentary mimosas and inappropriate conversation (useful for dislodging buried creativity). Menu to include 5-cheese flatbread, mushroom-and-spinach flatbread, deli spirals, fresh fruit and POT LUCK!. Coffee, tea and snacks will also be available throughout the day during workdshops.
- Initial individual assessment of attendees’ manuscripts and ideas for manuscripts. Here is your chance to work on the preliminary format, working title and pointsof an elevator pitch for your manuscipt or manuscript idea. Anytime you pitch to an agent, you need to sum up your book in one sentence. It’s harder than it sounds, and believe it or not it often falls to this precise sentence to make or break an agent’s decision to take you on as a client.
- Writing exercises. Material assessment. Homework distribution. (Yep. Homework, though we don’t make you sit in a corner if you don’t turn it in the next day.) (It’s fun homework, though, so you will want to do it.)
- After 5 p.m. Happy hour at Elliott St. Pub, a true writer’s hangout just steps away. (Catch the pre-Super Bowl hullabaloo here.)
11:00 a.m.–5 p.m.
- Continental breakfast.
- Format your book, pitch an agent, learn to avoid rookie mistakes AS WELL AS learn the secrets that will put you ahead of 80 percent of the competition — it’s Hollis Gillespie’s sure-fire formula that has helped DOZENS of people get agent representation and/or book deals.
- Material assessment. Choosing the pages to present to the agent. (Hint: It’s almost never the very first pages.) How to treat, clean, edit and prepare your pages for presentation to an editor. Writing exercises.
- Lunch with complimentary mimosas and inappropriate conversation (marvelous for unblocking buried creativity)
Afternoon workshop: The Con Game: Keeping Confidence That Your Work Will Work, hosted by Pulitzer Prize nominee Charles McNair, whose first novel, Land O’Goshen (St. Martin’s Press) received a Pulitzer Prize nomination for fiction and critical acclaim from the New York Times Book Review, Washington Post, and other venerated publications . This workshop is a personal approach to helping writers who haven’t broken through to keep believing they will. Charles will discuss the little ways you can build and nourish confidence along the way, until the novel is ready to be born, or the big work. “This is a topic that really deeply matters to me, since I struggled 10 years before a first book was ready,” says Charles. His novel, Land O’ Goshen (St. Martin’s Press, 1994) received a Pulitzer Prize nomination for fiction and was critically acclaimed by The New York Times and Washington Post.
- Each attendee will be assigned the contact info of a literary agent who is in the market for their type of material, and by the end of the weekend they will have a pitch letter formulated to attract that agent, a workable format for their manuscript plus 10 sample pages to include with their agent pitch.
- Your goal, by the end of this book-writers boot camp, is to have completed a professionally written query package to pitch your book, which includes a surmountable and creative format for your manuscript or book idea, a researched, completed pitch letter to a literary agent, and 10 professionally edited and treated sample pages to include with your query. Just give us this one weekend! Your life will change.
Reserve Your Spot Now! to attend the Shocking Real-Life Book Writing Boot Camp with Hollis Gillespie on January 7–8
The Shocking Real Life Academy is located in the historic Castleberry Artist district in Atlanta! Click HERE for directions from your location to our space at 313 Nelson Ave., Atlanta, GA 30313. (It’s a large shopfront facing the street. Free covered parking is available, just turn into the covered parking garage next to J.R. Crickets.)