TUESDAYS, SEPT. 21st – OCT 12th | Talk to almost anyone about their dreams, and most will tell you they’d like to write a book. But it takes a savvy writer to make that dream happen. We can’t tell you in four days how to write a book, but we can tell you everything you need to know about publishing it and succeeding on your own terms.
This four-week class provides a complete overview of the book business from inside and out: what it takes to imagine and pull-off a long-form literary project—but also what it takes to land an agent, work with an editor, and let the world know about the finished book.
Classes will include discussions with guest speakers, lively exercises, and assigned readings. Connie and guest speakers from The Writers Grotto will address these questions:
- When should you start thinking “book”?
- What’s the difference between being a writer and being an author?
- Why do you need a narrative arc, no matter the genre?
- How do you think creatively about “platform”?
- What makes a book proposal like catnip?
- What are the pitfalls of self-, hybrid-, and trad-publishing?
- Why is finding the right agent as hard as finding the right spouse?
- What do you need to know about advances and royalties?
- Are there secrets to working well with editors?
- How can you think out-of-the-box when it comes to publicity?
- When is it time to move on?
This class is for serious writers in any genre who want a better understanding of how publishing works and where their own projects might fit in the literary landscape. Each session will include at least one other member of the Grotto to provide added perspective and wisdom. For students with a proposal or a manuscript, Connie will offer one-on-one feedback.
Scheduled class sessions will take place via Zoom. Registered students, please contact the instructor directly for Zoom details.
Constance Hale is a writer-editor who has transformed “writing reference” shelves with her irreverent books on language. She also wrote an eight-part series for the New York Times on how to craft a sentence. She is a journalist by vocation, an essayist by avocation, and a secret poet. Her articles have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, the Journal of Alta California, The Atlantic, and Smithsonian, among others, and her own books include five popular titles on writing, a biography of a hula master, and a children’s picture book. As an editor she has worked on staff at Wired, Health, and the San Francisco Examiner, and she is an independent “book doctor.” She covers writing and the writing life at sinandsyntax.com.
Number of sessions: 4
Dates: Tuesdays, September 21, 28; October 5, 12
Time: 7:00pm – 9:00pm Pacific Time
Course fee: $240