Saturday and Sunday, March 24–25, 2018, 11–5pm
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 get a book deal. With that said, what’s stopping you?
So it goes without saying: This is not your average writer’s retreat! 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, again, what’s stopping you?
Click the button below to enroll in The Shocking Real Life Writers Retreat with Hollis Gillespie on March 24–25, 2018 (Or to register by phone, call 678-661-7080)
Price: $474* 100% Safe and Secure – We are PayPal verified. (SRL Alumni, enter the coupon code WRITEATLANTA to receive your $40 discount!) Click now and you’ll get an immediate email confirming your seat. Instant confirmation only available online. (See the end of this post for Atlanta class location.)
Coming from out of town? Click here to see the lovely hotels and Bed & Breakfasts very near the SRL Learning Center!
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.
Fact: People who enroll in this workshop become bestsellers!
Christal Presley, author of 30 Days with my Father, became a best-seller after taking this workshop. She’s been featured on NPR, Atlanta Journal Constitution and others news outlets. Click here to see her on Fox News.
“[Hollis Gillespie’s] writing class is where my life was TOTALLY and COMPLETELY changed forever!”
Lisa Baron, author of Life of the Party; a Political Press Tart Tells All, became an Amazon best-seller after taking this class. Recently she sold her film rights to NBC! Click here to see her feature in Atlantamagazine.
“I had two things working for me that I believe made the difference: determination and Hollis Gillespie’s kick-ass work shop! The workshop gave me the confidence I needed to continue following my dream of becoming a published author. She was key to helping me fine tune my proposal and her personal involvement in my journey has been invaluable.” Lisa Baron
“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
In this workshop we will address and CONQUER:
The Voice-in-Your-Head Block, when the more you write, the more certain you are no one in the world will find your story interesting.
The This-is-Not-Fun Block, when each word you write is as pleasant as pulling out your own organs (practically) and you wonder if all this is really worth it, anyway.
The Too-Many Ideas Block, when your head is such a tornado of brilliant, imperative angles and stories that you can’t make up your mind which to pick to put on paper.
The Cinder Block, when it just seems impossible to put words on paper. This kind of block can come out of the blue, but often it’s a result of a major life change, such as loss of a loved one, pet, marriage, etc. None of us escape these kinds of experiences, the trick it learning how to circumvent it in order to stay creative.
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 Writer Retreats are active workshops spanning an entire weekend 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. 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.
(Check out the clip below to see what past participants have to say!)
Click the button below to enroll in The Shocking Real Life Atlanta Writers Conference with Hollis Gillespie on March 24–25, 2018 (Or to register by phone, call 678-661-7080)
(SRL Alumni, enter the coupon code WRITEATLANTA to receive your $40 discount!)
GIFT this class to someone you love! Enrollees will receive a gorgeous gift certificate attached to your confirmation email (if I do say so my own damn self). Printable, and ready to put under a bow! WOW, how great will THAT look ?
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.
Classes come with guaranteed inappropriate conversation and other basic essentials for unleashing creativity and unlocking buried memories. Classes fill up quickly, so sign-up now!
Coming from out of town? Check out the Highland Inn, a charming, inexpensive boutique hotel within walking distance of the SRL Learning Center. It’s in the center of the artsy Virginia Highlands neighborhood, near popular restaurants, artisan gift shops, coffee houses and bars.
The Shocking Real Life Writers Conference Itinerary:
11:00 a.m.–5 p.m.
- Morning One-Hour Workshop hosted by Hollis Gillespie or a renowned guest speaker. 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.
- 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.
- Initial individual assessment of attendees’ manuscripts and ideas for manuscripts. Here is your chance to work on the preliminary format, working title and points of an elevator pitch for your manuscript 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.)
11:00 a.m.–5 p.m.
- 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.
- 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.Hollis Gillespie is an award-winning humor and travel columnist, and her column appears every month on Atlanta magazine’s back page. She is also a best-selling author, NPR commentator, professional speaker, and guest on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno (“A very funny lady,” says Leno.) Her work has been optioned by Sony Pictures and Paramount, and she has collaborated with Hollywood hard hitters like Mitch Hurwitz, the creator of Arrested Development, Eric and Kim Tannenbaum, producers of Two and a Half Men, Amy Palladino, creator of Gilmore Girls, Bill Haber (Rizzoli and Isles) and Sheri Elwood (Call Me Fitz). (George Clooney has also kissed her twice. Twice!) Hollis herself has been featured on scores of TV shows and news programs and runs Shocking Real Life Learning Center, the largest writing school in Atlanta, which offers workshops on book writing, blogging and social media. Her next book, titled The Unaccompanied Minor, is due out in August 2013.These days she gets most of her exercise running to catch flights.Reserve Your Spot Now! Click the button below to enroll in The Shocking Real Life Atlanta Writers Retreat with Hollis Gillespie on March 24–25, 2018 (Or to register by phone, call 678-661-7080)
Price: $474 100% Safe and Secure – We are PayPal verified. Click now and you’ll get an immediate email confirming your seat. Instant confirmation only available online.LOCATION:
The Shocking Real Life Learning Center is located in the lively Ponce City Market in Atlanta, Georgia at 675 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30308
(Click HERE for directions from your location)
Free Parking — Ponce City Market is located at the corner of Glen Iris Dr. and Ponce de Leon Ave at 675 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE, ATlanta, GA 30308, directly across the street from the Whole Foods Market. On Glen Iris Dr. there is ample free street parking.
Ponce City Market has both underground and above-ground parking areas. Click HERE for information regarding paid parking at Ponce City Market.
Call 678-661-7080 if you’re running late or need more info!
HERE are samples of more Shocking Real Life Alumni Success Stories!
What past participants say about the Shocking Real-Life Writing Seminar
- “I made contact (totally used your letter) with a friend’s agent at Writer’s House. It worked! Now he wants to see the proposal. They loved the idea. Thanks again! The class was great.” — Stephanie Davis, Editor, skirt! Magazine
“Hollis, thanks for being in touch so quickly. Your seminar rocked!! I want to be one of your successes. I’ll start with [the agent you suggested] and if a rejection, will just keep going. I did not even realize I was so on fire about getting this book out there, until I felt the full Hollis Effect!!” — Susan Campbell
“Hollis Gillespie’s writing workshop was the best I’ve ever attended. Hollis was extremely encouraging and helpful in both creative and procedural modes. And the yellow theme with the mimosas worked at a deep level of community which added to the enjoyment of the whole experience.” — David Ryback
“Hollis is a rule-breaker who will teach you things you won’t hear anywhere else. If you don’t care about political correctness and want to learn a proven tactic to get an agent’s attention, Hollis can show you the way.” — Debbie Unterman
“Hollis and crew were positive and upbeat. ‘Can’t’ wasn’t spoken. The environment and food were ‘quirky and fun,’ one of the underlying themes of the workshop and Hollis’s principles: build a support system of writers, share your work and contacts, and hit the send, send, send button on your computer made sense. The agent list was an added bonus.” — Lynn Hesse
“The Hollis Gillespie workshop was money well spent and the day went by very quickly! Hollis took time with each person to help them clarify details of the story that they’d like to tell, develop a creative title, found similar books to use as examples in a pitch letter and provided a list with a recommendation of an agent (or agents) to contact. Hollis gave concise, realistic feedback to each person. As an added bonus, Michael Alvear spoke and each offered excellent advice. I came home and began work immediately on my story! I’m impressed by Hollis and Michael’s philosophy of helping other writers. Thank you for offering this wonderful seminar to AtlantaWriters Club members.” — Sharon LeMaster
“It was a great experience and nice to sit around a table with others who are dealing with the same obstacles I am. I liked the advice given to ignore conventions and rules when querying agents and publishers which I will paraphrase: as long as it’s well written, go for it regardless of the ‘supposed’ hurdles or rules. Receiving a rejection doesn’t necessarily mean you’re work isn’t any good or you didn’t follow the rules. I liked having published authors talk about their personal experiences and paths to success using somewhat unconventional means. I spent part of yesterday putting the advice in practice and sent out several queries with an entirely different attitude.” — Kathy Lewis
Questions? For more information contact Hollis.
- Reserve Your Spot Now! Click the button below to enroll in The Shocking Real-Life Atlanta Writers Retreat with Hollis Gillespie on March 24–25, 2018 (Or to register by phone, call 678-661-7080)
- Price: $474 100% Safe and Secure – We are PayPal verified.
- (SRL Alumni, enter the coupon code WRITEATLANTA to receive your $40 discount!)
- Click now and you’ll get an immediate email confirming your seat. Instant confirmation only available online. (GIFT this class to someone you love! Enrollees will receive a gorgeous gift certificate attached to your confirmation email) (if I do say so my own damn self). Printable, and ready to put under a bow! WOW, how great will THAT look ?