Writing the Non-Fiction Book Proposal...
not just talking about it, July 14-16

led by Glenn Stout

You've already got the idea, but if you want to write a book, the next step is writing a book proposal that will attract the attention of an agent and publisher.  A hands-on workshop on the practice and purpose of a nonfiction trade book proposal, designed for both the experienced or emerging writer finally ready to write that book, and for published authors who simply want to write a better proposal.

Over the course of three days I’ll provide hands-on instruction and feedback supplemented by Skype interactions with other authors, agents and editors.  Mornings will unfold in a seminar setting as we discuss and analyze different aspects of the entire proposal writing process, from idea and query letter through a complete proposal, discuss samples and do brief exercises to illustrate proposal elements. The instructor will provide a basic descriptive proposal template, successful samples, discuss elements needed in a proposal, the goal of each element and provide a realistic hands-on guide to how to shape that rough idea into something that might make a reader turn the pages. Attendees will spend afternoons on working on drafts of proposal components and then receive supportive and instructive feedback, both from the instructor in private and in a workshop setting with other attendees. Evenings are open, but there will be plenty of opportunity to interact with the instructor and other attendees informally at the hotel in a supportive and respectful setting.

By the end of the workshop, attendees will have a clear notion of the steps required to create a successful proposal, and an outline and a plan going forward, beginning with a query letter to an agent.  All attendees should bring multiple book ideas and/or a draft proposal – or part of a proposal - to discuss. Subsequent to the workshop each attendee will have the opportunity for limited additional consultation and remote feedback from the instructor as part of the program at no extra cost.

For those who have a proposal already in process or are prepared to begin writing, an additional three-four day working residency is available immediately following the three-day workshop, with the instructor on hand to provide immediate feedback and further instruction as needed. For those planning to attend the Mayborn Narrative Nonfiction Conference the following weekend, agent consultations are available (registration through the Mayborn).

The workshop is designed for non-fiction proposals of narrative journalism, history and/or memoir – not “how to” or DIY titles.  Admission is open, authors should provide a brief paragraph loosely describing the idea they intend to pursue. Attendees may be required to sign a non-disclosure agreement to protect the confidentiality of book ideas discussed.

DATES:  Attendees should prepare to arrive in Archer City by noon on Friday, July 14.  Formal workshop to take place Friday 1:00 pm – 5pm, Saturday and Sunday, 9 am -12 and 1:30 -5 p.m. Coffee provided, access to refrigerator and microwave. Dining options include several small area restaurants, more options available 30-45 minutes distant in Wichita Falls.

COSTS, including accommodation at the Spur Hotel, home of the Archer City Story Center $595 by May 1, $695 thereafter.

APPLY: glennstout(at)fairpoint(dot)net

ADDITIONAL WORKING RESIDENCY, Monday July 17 through Wednesday July 19  $450

Instructor Glenn Stout is the author, editor or ghostwriter of more than ninety books for both the adult and juvenile audience, including biographies, current events and history, as-told-to third person narratives, and oral histories.  He has written dozens of (mostly successful!) book proposals for himself and consulted on many others. His books include “The Selling of the Babe,” “Nine Months at Ground Zero” and “Young Woman and the Sea: How Trudy Ederle Conquered the English Channel and Changed the World,” currently under development at Paramount Pictures. Glenn teaches at the narrative writing workshop at the Archer City Story Center and has given workshops on book proposals and other aspects of writing for the New Hampshire Writer’s Project, the Brattleboro Literary Festival, Midwest Literary Festival, the Get Lit Literary Festival and others.  In his 30-year career as a professional writer and author, Glenn has also worked as a narrative non-fiction editor, and has consulted privately with dozens of authors on longform narrative journalism, book proposals and book manuscripts.  For more see www.glennstout.net 

Here’s what others have said about working with Glenn

As a well-known and well-respected agent recently wrote a previously unpublished client after accepting a book proposal written under Glenn’s direction: “…You’ve written a first-rate proposal that needs very little work. This puts you in a notable minority among my stable, as I typically get closely involved in helping clients revise. You don’t need much, not at all.”

 “Glenn treats the words that make it into print like an inheritance, like objects that are being passed down. And I believe he wants, more than anything, for those words to be good—to be worthy—and for them to continue to be good. I don’t know anyone who’s done more to seek out and highlight bright new talent… - Chris Jones, National Magazine Award winner in Feature Writing

“Conversations with Glenn Stout rival any writing workshop in the country…I get LOTS of credit for my work on race, sport, society. Who have I conceptualized EVERY idea with for the past 20 years? Glenn Stout” – Howard Bryant, ESPN, author of The Last Hero: A Life of Henry Aaron, and 2016 finalist National Magazine Award in Commentary

“I’ve written 47 books and hundreds of articles. I’ve never – and I mean never – had an editor who challenged me in a more positive way than Glenn Stout did. – Thomas Hauser – Author of “Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times” and “Missing” (Academy-Award-winning film starring Jack Lemmon and Sissy Spacek)

“Glenn Stout is, hands down, the best editor I have worked with in my nearly 20 years as a reporter. When you work with Glenn, you work with an editor who cares more about the story you’re telling, and how you’re telling it, than anything else. He gives his reporters wide latitude to explore the possibilities, while also gently pulling you along a path that leads to great stories.”– Matt Tullis, assistant professor, Fairfield University author of the forthcoming “The Ghosts I Run With”