This class was a live event in July 2017. To learn about my current courses, see my website.
Despite how tough it can be to break into big-house publishing, a lot of authors—even first-timers—do sell their memoirs as proposals. So how do they do it? What do these magical proposals look like? How do writers convince publishers to buy their memoirs before they’ve even been written?
In the How to Write a Memoir Book Proposal Webinar (July 9th 9am-11am Pacific), I will answer these questions from the perspective of an author who’s sold two memoirs on proposal (see instructor bio below) and walk you through the steps of creating a proposal’s major components. Guest speaker Anjali Singh will be sharing her insights into the business end of the process, speaking from her experience as both an editor who acquired memoir proposals as well as an agent who currently pitches proposals to Big Five publishers (see full bio below). Anjali will share with us the qualities of the memoir proposals that have made her say, “Yes!”
The How to Write a Memoir Book Proposal Webinar will cover the following:
- The content and format of each of the elements of the proposal: Overview, Market Analysis, Sample Chapters, and Outline for Completion:
- How to write an overview that both grabs attention and clearly describes the book
- How to generate a credible market analysis
- How to create an outline that gives a sense of the book’s voice and arc
- Platform-building steps to take before sending out your proposal that will increase your chances of success
- Writing an effective agent query letter
- Avoiding common pitfalls of proposal writing
Webinar participants will receive:
- A copy of a memoir proposal that sold to a big house publisher
- Examples of actual query letters
- A recording of the webinar
- a Power Point slideshow with detailed instructions for writing a memoir book proposal and querying agents
90 minutes of instruction and information plus 30 minutes Q &A, in which participants can ask questions of both Theo Nestor and Anjali Singh. Webinar begins 9am Pacific Time on Sunday July 9, 2017.
How to Write a Memoir Book Proposal Webinar Instructor: Theo Pauline Nestor is the author of Writing Is My Drink: A Writer’s Story of Finding Her Voice (And a Guide to How You Can Too) (Simon & Schuster, 2013) (sold as a proposal!) and How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed: A Memoir of Starting Over (Crown, 2008) (sold as a proposal in an auction!), which was selected by Kirkus Reviews as a 2008 Top Pick for Reading Groups and as a Target “Breakout Book.” An award-winning instructor, Nestor has taught the memoir certificate course for the University of Washington’s Professional & Continuing Education program since 2006 and also teaches at Hugo House in Seattle. Nestor has produced a number of writing retreats, such as the Wild Mountain Memoir Retreat, Bird by Bird & Beyond, and the Black Mesa Writers’ Intensive, featuring talks by writers such as Anne Lamott, Cheryl Strayed, Julia Cameron, and Natalie Goldberg. You can follow her on Facebook here and on Twitter @theopnestor.
Guest speaker: Literary Agent Anjali Singh started her career in publishing in 1996 as a literary scout. Most recently Editorial Director at Other Press, she has also worked as an editor at Simon & Schuster, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Vintage Books. She is best known for having championed Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis after stumbling across it on a visit to Paris. She has always been drawn to the thrill of discovering new writers, and among the literary novelists whose careers she helped launch are Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Samantha Hunt, and Saleem Haddad. Some of her editorial non-fiction projects include Baz Dreisinger’s Incarceration Nations, Diana Abu-Jaber’s The Language of Baklava, Kathy Rich’s Dreaming in Hindi, Minal Hajratwala’s Leaving India, Nuha al-Radi’s Baghdad Diaries, and Igort’s The Ukrainian and Russian Notebooks. She is currently a literary agent at Ayesha Pande Literary, where she recently sold the YA graphic novel, Jabs by Sherine Hamdy and Myra El-Mir, the coming-of-age story of a Muslim-American girl, to Dial Books for Young Readers. She is a member of the International Committee of the Brooklyn Book Festival.