Benefits of the BEA/WD Conference, Plus a Note on Query Letters

Author:
Publish date:
Image placeholder title

Now in its seventh year, the program for the BookExpo America/Writer's Digest Books Conference is now posted!

I've been involved in the event for six years; my colleague Kelly Nickell (Twitter: @kmnickell) is the Wonder Woman behind this year's stellar program.

As part of the event (open to all attendees), Chuck Sambuchino is hosting what has now been called the Lawn & Garden Scotch Fest (aka the pitch slam with 66 agents and 4 editors). Bring your own scotch (or, in my case, bourbon). You can visit the program page for a full listing of agents and editors in attendance who you can pitch to from 3-5p on May 27.

We've had considerable success stories coming out of this event (see this post from agent Janet Reid), so if you have a completed novel manuscript or polished nonfiction book proposal, you could stand to benefit from quality face time with agents/editors, and get immediate feedback on your pitch.

I usually present a session at the conference each year; this year I'll talk about self-publishing and DIY options for the independent-minded author. In past years, I've spoken on changes in the industry, nonfiction book proposals, and query letters. The year I did query letters (in Chicago, for those who were there), the room was packed with 200+ people. I modeled it after the "Extreme Makeover" show that was popular at time, and "gutted" and transformed letters into more sound and savvy pieces.

While pitching is often the best way to get feedback on an idea, query letters are still the No. 1 way to approach an agent/editor, and there is a definite art to them. You can visit sites like QueryShark to learn how to craft a great one, and you can also get an interactive class on the topic with me. We're offering a session tomorrow afternoon focused on query letter makeovers, using query examples from writers attending. (Click here for more info and links to register.)

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Not Accepting Feedback on Your Writing

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Not Accepting Feedback on Your Writing

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so we started this series to help identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake is not accepting feedback on your writing.

Writer's Digest Best Creativity Websites 2021

Writer's Digest Best Creativity Websites 2021

Here are the top creativity websites as identified in the 23rd Annual 101 Best Websites from the May/June 2021 issue of Writer's Digest.

Poetic Forms

Englyn Proest Dalgron: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the englyn proest dalgron, a Welsh quatrain form.

What Is a Palindrome in Writing?

What Is a Palindrome in Writing?

In this post, we look at what a palindrome is when it comes to writing, including several examples of palindromes.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Set a Trap

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Set a Trap

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, it's time to set a trap.

5 Ways to Add a Refrain to Your Picture Books (and Why You Should)

5 Ways to Add a Refrain to Your Picture Books (and Why You Should)

Children's author Christine Evans shares how repetition is good for growing readers and gives you the tools to write your story's perfect refrain.

From Our Readers

Describe the First Time a Book Transported You to Another/Magical World: From Our Readers (Comment for a Chance at Publication)

This post announces our latest From Our Readers ask: Describe the First Time a Book Transported You to Another/Magical World. Comment for a chance at publication in a future issue of Writer's Digest.

About Us: How to Handle Your Story That Involves Other People

About Us: How to Handle Your Story That Involves Other People

Your story belongs to you but will involve other people. Where do your rights end and theirs begin?

Identifying Your Book's Target Audience

Identifying Your Book's Target Audience

Editor-in-chief Amy Jones navigates how to know your target audience, and how knowing will make your writing stronger.