- Class Level: Beginner
- Age Requirements: 18 and older
- Average Class Size: 14
What you'll learn in this publishing course:
In two three-hour sessions, a literary agent will walk you through the strategies for getting a book published and also work with you on writing query letters. In the week between the two sessions, students will write a query letter to present for feedback. Students will have ample opportunity to ask questions of the instructor.
Learn the most effective steps and techniques for getting published from a publishing insider—a literary agent. You may have spent months, maybe years, sweating and swearing over a book project. Why not spend just a little time learning how to maximize your chance of getting published? There is no magic formula for publication, but there are definite Do’s and Don’t’s and time-tested steps to follow. We won’t tell you it’s impossible and we won’t tell you it’s easy. We will give you a realistic understanding of the publishing business and a wealth of things you can do to help get your work published.
Among the topics covered:
Defining your book, whether you need a complete book or a book proposal, manuscript/proposal presentation, how to write great query letters and synopses, the places and players of the publishing world, whether you need an agent, researching agents and editors, how to send your materials, deciphering responses, coping with rejection, what to do when an agent or editor is interested, contracts, strategies for improving your odds.
You will get hands-on practice crafting the all-important query letter, plus time for questions. Whatever your specialty, fiction or nonfiction, you will gain a realistic understanding of how to get published.
Each week a lecture is posted, and an agent fields questions on the content. The topics covered in this course include:
Note: Content may vary slightly among individual classes. Though self-publishing is touched on, the focus is on getting published with a traditional publisher. Each student will write and revise query letters with the assistance of the instructor.
- A Book is a Product - Defining your book (product). Types of fiction, nonfiction, and children’s books. Hooks and angles. Titles. Nonfiction book proposals. The physical manuscript/proposal. Query letters. Novel synopsis. (Samples are provided for query letters, nonfiction book proposals, and novel synopses.)
- The Publishing World – Understanding publishing houses, editors, and agents. How readers are accessed. The promotional role of today’s author. Self-publishing.
- Zeroing In, Sending Out – Should you approach agents or editors first? Criteria to consider for agents and editors. Number of targets to choose. Researching the right agents and editors for your book. What to send, how to send it.
- Acceptance and Rejection – The slush pile. Deciphering responses. Keeping track of submissions. Dealing with rejection. What to do when an agent or editor says yes. Contracts. The preparation process. The writing community. Other writing outlets. Sharpening skills. Attitude.
How to Choose a Level: Level 101
Level 101 courses are great starting points. They are best for you if:
- You’re not sure what kind of writing you want to do
- You’re brand new to writing or getting back into it after time away
- You seek a very low-pressure environment
In these courses, you’ll get:
- Weekly lectures on craft
- Writing exercises
You need no previous writing experience or education to take a Level 101 course. Perfect for beginners. Level ILevel I courses are entry-level courses in specific types of writing. They are best for you if:
- You know what kind of writing you want to do, but have not yet studied it with Gotham
- You’re eager to start on a project
In these courses, you’ll get an equal balance of:
- Weekly lectures on craft
- Writing exercises
- Group critique of student projects
You need no previous writing experience or education to take a Level I course. Perfect for beginners, but also the best entry point if this is your first Gotham course in a given type of writing.Level II (Advanced)
Level II courses build upon the knowledge acquired in Level I courses. They are best for you if:
- You have already taken a Level I course in a given type of writing
In these courses, the emphasis is weighted toward group critique of student projects, though many Level II courses also include lectures on craft and writing exercises. Many students take Level II courses repeatedly as they continue to develop their projects and their writing skill. To qualify for a Level II course, you must have taken a Level I course with Gotham in a given type of writing, or you must demonstrate to us that you have gained the equivalent knowledge elsewhere.
The vast majority of students who want to start in a Level II course would be better served by starting in a Level I course. Level I courses are the best place to get a grounding in the basics and to learn the Gotham method of critiquing. Level III (Master Classes)
Level III courses are Gotham’s highest level of study. They are best for you if:
- You have completed the designated prerequisites for the course
In these courses, the emphasis is on group critique of student projects, the goal being to help students bring their projects to a publishable or produce-able level. Some Level III courses allow for students to workshop long portions of books or complete scripts. Many students take Level III courses repeatedly as they continue to develop their projects. To qualify for a Level III course, you must have fulfilled the designated prerequisite for the course
Refund & Cancellation Policy
If you need to withdraw from class, here are your options:
For Everything (except one-session classes/events)
For a refund or credit, you need to send an email to [email protected]
two business days or more before your class starts. You can either choose to hold a full store credit with us good on other classes for a year or you can opt for a refund less a $25 administrative fee and your $25 registration fee ($50 total).
One-Session Classes and Events (Write-Ins/Take-Aways)
If you withdraw from any Write-In or Take-Away two hours or more before it begins, you're welcome to a full Gotham credit toward another Write-In or Take-Away. No refunds are available.
A few more things:
- Simply not attending class or notifying the instructor does not mean you've officially withdrawn.
- Credits are valid for one year and cannot be changed into refunds down the road.
- Some exceptions are made on a case-by-case basis for medical emergencies with a doctor's note.
- Refunds take up to six weeks to process.
Please understand, we can't issue a refund after classes have started, even if you miss your first class. Similarly, we can't offer you a store credit one day before your second class or after that. We understand that other obligations get in the way of attending class, but these policies allow us to get other interested writers into class early enough to have a good experience, and this allows us to offer our classes at a reasonable price.
We promise that our prices are the same (or less) than prices on the school's website
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