Publishing Polish and Pitch

At a 5:1 student-teacher ratio, this workshop is similar to last year’s awesome Publication Polish, but redesigned and expanded for 2019! If you have a manuscript you want to submit to agents but aren’t sure if your submission skills are up to par, our highly skilled instructors will help you polish your first few pages, query, and synopsis to agent-wowing levels as well as help master contest-worthy elevator pitches!



(Please note that due to the volume of emails we send and receive, we are no longer emailing initial instructions for this workshop. All the information you need for this workshop is listed below!

*You must be registered for the Publishing Polish and Pitch Workshop before you proceed.)


Dear Publishing Polish and Pitch 2019 Participants,

Congratulations on nabbing a spot in the highly coveted Publishing Polish and Pitch Workshop! You’ll be spending your session (either first 12:00-2:45 or second 3:15-6:00) in a group with one highly qualified instructor and four fellow attendees. In order to ensure a successful workshop experience, please follow all instructions carefully. (NOTE: Please fill out a survey for EVERY workshop session you signed up for per their respective Welcome Letter link.)


March 7th, 2019 Last day to receive a refund for workshop cancellation.

March 14th, 2019: General information and Sample Pages due using the link HERE

April 4th, 2019: Instructor/Group assignments will be emailed.

April 11th, 2019: Workshop material due to your mentor and group members. (See below.)

May 9th, 2019 Day of Workshop.


*Please attach a file of your material as one singular word document and email to your instructor and group members (you’ll receive this list on April 4th.) You are not required to submit all of the following beyond the first chapter and query, but here is a list of all options for submission:

  • Your first chapter (required). Instructor will critique your first 5 pages. (Some may choose to read the entire chapter to give their advice better context.)
  • A query letter (required)
  • A 1-2 page synopsis
  • 1-2 one or two sentence pitches

*Note: Group members are expected to thoughtfully review each other’s materials. While actual critiques are not required, some instructors will give an opportunity to offer (brief) verbal feedback.


WORKSHOP DAY INSTRUCTIONS: When you arrive, check in at registration. From there, proceed to the room marked PUBLISHING POLISH AND PITCH where you’ll find a table with your instructor’s name. If you’ve forgotten your instructor’s name, don’t worry, we’ll have that information for you. *All workshops will be located on same floor as registration.


During the workshop, you will give input on your fellow attendees’ stories as your instructor requests. Please do participate, but remember to be respectful of time. When the instructor moves to the next participant, the discussion of your own story will be closed, and all focus will move to the next attendee.

While having the spotlight on your work can be nerve-wracking, workshops are many people’s favorite day of the conference! If you’ve never been, prepare to have a great time, meet new friends, and get expert advice from one of our fantastic instructors.

For those attending two workshops, a snack will be provided between sessions.


PLEASE  NOTE: We will reply within three business days to confirm that we’ve received your workshop material. If you do not receive a reply, or if you do not receive further information by our specified dates, please check your spam and other folders. If you haven’t heard from us, please email, allowing up to 3 business days for a response. Sometimes there can be a problem with an email server, and we don’t want you to miss your instructions! Last day to receive a refund for workshop cancellation is March 7th. If you find you must cancel after this day, kindly let us know so we can give your spot to someone on our waiting list, but note, we aren’t able to give refunds after March 7th, 2019.

The conference is going to be so wonderful, and we can’t wait to share it with you!


Crystal Liechty and Natalee Cooper

Thursday Workshop Co-Chairs


Publishing Polish and Pitch Instructors

*Instructors will be assigned, though we do match attendees with instructors as best we can!

Emily Bleeker, Julie Daines, Rosalyn Eves, Josi Kilpack, Annette Lyon, Lisa Mangum, Jamie McHenry, Leisl Shurtliff, 

Kelsy Thompson, Kimberly Vanderhorst