Getting Past the Gatekeepers: Queries, Pitches, and Proposals that Move the Velvet Rope Aside

Courtney Maum for Catapult by Colin Lane.jpg
Courtney Maum for Catapult by Colin Lane.jpg

Getting Past the Gatekeepers: Queries, Pitches, and Proposals that Move the Velvet Rope Aside

from 53.00

Between looking for literary agents, putting together magazine pitches, and writing artist statements for residencies and grants, writers are constantly in positions where they need to “sell themselves” to get ahead in their careers. Easier said than done! In this practical workshop, acclaimed author COURTNEY MAUM will help writers at all stages understand how to transition from being their work’s creator to its publicist in an empowering way. We’ll begin with an overview of the publishing industry: what are editors acquiring, and what are they turning down? (And do we need to pay attention to this sales stuff, anyway?) Then we’ll look at the way that you’ve been promoting your own work, with an eye to better practices. By the end of the workshop, you’ll better understand how to speak the language of publishing professionals and position yourself, sales-wise, so that you start getting responses from editors instead of total silence.

Participants are asked to bring a 1-2 page document that “pitches” their own work. Examples:

Artist statement

Agent query letter

A pitch to an editor

A project summary

A biography

  • Instructor: Courtney Maum

  • Length of workshop: One day

  • Date: Thursday, July 25

  • Time: 2 - 5 p.m.

  • Location: Porch HQ: 2811 Dogwood Place


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Courtney Maum for Catapult by Colin Lane.jpg

About the Instructor: 

COURTNEY MAUM is the author of the novels Costalegre (Tin House Books, 2019), Touch (Putnam, 2017), and I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You (Touchstone, 2014), the chapbook Notes From Mexico (Cupboard Pamphlet, 2012), and the handbook Before and After the Book Deal: A writer’s guide to finishing, publishing, promoting, and surviving your first book, forthcoming from Catapult. Her writing has been widely published in such outlets as BuzzFeed; the New York TimesO, the Oprah Magazine; and Modern Loss. She is the founder of the Cabins, a learning collaborative in Norfolk, Connecticut, and she also offers consultations to writers querying agents and—in unrelated business—names products for cosmetic companies from her home in Connecticut. Her website is courtneymaum.com. Photo credit: Colin Lane