Next Event: February 17 - 19, 2023 (Virtually)

Schedule

FRIDAY

6:00PM-6:30PM - Welcome + Registration

6:30-9:30PM - Introducing Yourself
This is a mini-workshop about introducing yourself and also learning how to be present and attentive during the very few minutes a writer has when talking with industry professionals and others during different types of opportunities to talk about your project such as a wedding, funeral, special event or networking meet up. Trainer: Jennifer S. Wilkov


SATURDAY

9:30–10:30AM - Mini-Workshop: Why Should They Listen to You?
Learn to speak about your project, your qualifications and yourself with clarity, authenticity and purpose. Connect with your audience so they listen to your message and feel the importance of it that you want them to feel. Find out how to use your posture, gestures, facial expressions and voice to enhance your message and hold your audience’s attention. Techniques for remembering what you want to say and managing nervousness will also be discussed. Trainer: Ben Pelteson

11:00AM-3:00PM - Practice Your Pitch With the Pros
Each participant will give the trainers a 1-minute dissertation about their project. You will be timed, and you will be cut off at 1 minute. The training industry panel will then provide feedback for each individual participant following their 1-minute presentation about their project — identifying what worked and what didn’t and tips to help the participant adjust it. We will work through all participants on Saturday with a 1-hour lunch break. Trainers: Lane Shefter Bishop, Kelly Thomas, Leann Garms, Jill Michelle Williams, and Jennifer S. Wilkov

3:15-4:15PM - The Secrets to a Successful Hollywood Pitch
Hob-nobbing with the Hollywood set? Discover how to make a fast impression with a well-developed pitch for producers and developers of film and television projects. Understand how to engage the short attention spans of these industry pros and set your project apart from the zillions they are bombarded with each day. Includes tips for how to sell your project in a single sentence. Trainer: Lane Shefter Bishop

4:20-5:15 PM - How to Catch a Literary Agent’s Eye
Learn literary do’s and don’ts when dialoging with a literary agent about your project. Techniques for having a conversation beyond the pitch will also be discussed. Trainer: Kelly Thomas

5:30-6:30PM - How to Make Your Story Tangible
During this workshop, you will learn how to use the worldbuilding process to ground your story's worlds and helps you articulate your creative vision through a replicable process. You will learn the techniques to world and relationship mapping that will deepen your understand of how your story wants and needs to be told based on what is in it. Trainer: Sarah Cogan

6:45-8:30PM - Best-Selling Author/Scriptwriter Roundtable Discussion
This evening event will be after a short dinner break (45 minutes) and will start around 7 pm for 90 minutes. It will include 3–4 best-selling authors, screenplay or scriptwriters from various genres with nonfiction, fiction and children’s books or projects. This will include a 10-minute interview with each writer about how they became a best-selling writer, how they maintain their bestseller status, and 2 tips they can share with the participants from their journeys of being a bestseller. The roundtable will then open for participants to have an open discussion with these writers where you will be able to ask questions and learn more about a best-selling writing career from these authors. Trainers: Vincent Zandri and Tom Avitabile


SUNDAY

9:30–10:30AM - Television: Pitches for Scripted & Unscripted Projects
Demystify the protocol for pitching scripted and unscripted projects for television. Gain insights into what a television producer/developer really wants to hear about your project and what materials you need to prepare in order to properly pitch it. Trainer: Lindsay Roth

10:45–11:45AM - Mini-Workshop: Online PR, Press Kits + Publicity: How to Create Buzz for Your Book or Project
Discover how to motivate the media to create buzz for your book and project! In this session filled with actionable tips and techniques, you’ll learn why PR is one of the quickest, most effective, and enduring tools for accelerating your visibility in the market. Find out how agencies and publicists work, when you need one – and when you don’t. Learn about the latest tools writers need to get the media’s attention, how to position yourself or your story for media coverage, and how to create your online Press Room, press releases and social media campaigns. A special guest trainer will be online for this session you won’t want to miss! Trainer: Leann Garms

11:50 –12:20 PM - Marketing 101 For Writers & Creators
Pitching your book or project to the professionals is just the beginning! Learn how your pitch informs the marketing and promotion of it online and offline through social media, events, and screenings. Demystify the marketing landscape and discover how to strategically plan your efforts and investments of time, money, and how/when to build your team. Trainer: Jennifer S. Wilkov

12:25–1:15PM - Peer-to-Peer Pitch Session/VIP Sessions/Lunch
After hearing the feedback from Saturday’s session with the trainers, having the discussion with the best-selling authors and writers on Saturday night, and going through the mini-workshops with Jennifer and the other trainers, this is the participants’ opportunity to revise and practice their 1-minute pitch with their peers. It gives participants a chance to coach each other and listen to how the pitches are changing based on what each of you has learned (core trainers will be in the room to assist participants).

1:15–2:00PM - Mini-Workshop: Search Engine Optimization: How to Make Google® Work For You
Master the art of visibility by understanding how to leverage search engine optimization techniques. Learn how to appear on the first page of Google®, how to breakthrough the clutter on Facebook, and why it pays for you as an author and writer to grasp the insights required for you to drive readers, Hollywood and the media to your books and projects. Special guest trainer Melanie Gorman, SVP of YourTango.com, who has worked on creative projects big and small, will reveal what you need to know to generate the visibility you need to become the next bestseller.

2:00-6:30PM - Industry Guest Session
This is a unique opportunity for participants to address a group of up to 20 professionals from the book publishing, film, television, Broadway, speaking and media industries including literary agents, publishers, publicists, editors, booksellers, speaker bureau reps, media interviewers, Hollywood film and television producers and others who will listen to each participant's 1-minute answer to the question “So what’s your book or project about?” and provide feedback for the participants (at least 5 or more will give feedback for each participant) about what worked and what didn’t. Each participant’s 1-minute presentation will be videotaped. At the end of all participants' 1-minute presentations and feedback, we will have a roundtable discussion with the industry professionals, with each one sharing their tips for how participants can best approach them with their projects and anything each professional would like to offer participants as a next step (based on what they’ve just heard from them). Participants will also have an opportunity to ask questions during this time.

6:30-7:00PM - Wrap Up