WSP 122 — Developing Your Creative Nonfiction Book: From Idea to Proposal
Course Format: On-campus
Duration: 1 day
Date(s): Oct 12
Time: 10:00 am—4:00 pm
Drop Deadline: Oct 5
Grade Restriction: NGR only; no credit/letter grade
Instructor(s): Amy Ettinger
10:00 am—4:00 pm
NGR only; no credit/letter grade
Nonfiction books, unlike novels, can frequently be sold on the basis of a fifty-page proposal. This one-day workshop will give you the ins and outs of book-proposal writing. How do you know if your idea can be expanded into a book? What is a book proposal and how do you write one? How do you gain the attention of New York agents and editors? We will look at how to develop an idea into a strong proposal that stands out in a highly competitive marketplace, and study examples of proposals that led to book deals. We will look at the types of books you can sell before you write them—including memoirs, narrative journalism, histories, and biographies. We will also have an opportunity to share ideas with one another, refining and sharpening our concepts for the proposals. This workshop is designed for students who want to flesh out an idea and for writers who have already delved into their projects but need insight on structure, the inside scoop on the publishing industry, tips on finding an agent, and on the best way to pitch their book to a publisher.
Amy Ettinger, Author; Journalist; EssayistAmy Ettinger is the author of Sweet Spot: An Ice Cream Binge Across America. She has appeared on All Things Considered, Marketplace, Here & Now, Forum, and The California Report. She has written for The New York Times, McSweeney’s, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, New York, and Time.
Textbooks for this course:
There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.