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"The Business of Writing Toolbox" Online Class Package

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1/9/2021 to 1/30/2021

$196 for members 

$436 for nonmembers

Registration for this class package is closed.

This is the perfect package for any writer looking to jumpstart their career as a writer. From submitting to literary journals, applying to fellowships and residencies, to the agent search and beyond, writers will find themselves better equipped to take on the publishing world after these four classes. Everyone who purchases the package will get access to an exclusive Q&A session with the package instructors and they'll get the chance to meet their fellow cohort in a virtual meet-up. 

Before purchasing, be sure to check the dates. As always, there are no refunds on classes.

Each class can be purchased individually by clicking on the class title.

Can't make it every Saturday? No worries! All registrants will have access to the class recordings for the entire month of January, plus an additional week.


"The Straight-Up Skinny on How to Submit to Literary Journals" with M.M. Adjarian

     Saturday, January 9, 2021, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. CST

Getting work into journals is a great way to begin building your literary credentials. But writers new to the submissions game are often mystified – even needlessly daunted – by the process. Where do you go to find out which journals are accepting work in your genre? How do you present your work to editors? And what happens on the way to an acceptance?

In this class, you’ll learn about submissions best practices through a guided tour of the major online platforms to use when submitting and in-depth discussions of the submissions process that include details on:

  • locating markets
  • writing cover letters/bios
  • formatting documents
  • submission etiquette

The class will also offer tips on:

  • how to increase your chances of acceptance
  • what to expect after you’ve submitted
  • how to read editor responses
  • The class is intended for any writer who has material to submit…or just wants the straight-up, no-bull skinny on the journal submission process. 

M. M. (Maude) Adjarian has published her essays, short fiction and poetry in such journals as the Baltimore Review, Grub Street, Verdad, South 85, The Serving House Journal, Pif, Gravel, Glint and Crack the Spine, among others. A senior non-fiction book reviewer at Kirkus, her articles have also appeared in Arts+Culture Texas, Bitch Magazine, Tribeza-Austin and the Dallas Voice. Currently, she is at work on a family memoir provisionally titled This Life That Binds.


"Starting Your Publishing Journey" with Diane Zinna

     Saturday, January 16, 2021, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. CST

In this class we will talk about what a publishing journey could look like for you, with details about the pre- and post-publishing life meant to leave you excited for your next steps. We'll talk about query letters, the process of finding an agent, working with editors, what to expect when it comes to book contracts, and marketing strategies you might not have considered. We'll discuss ways to balance the art of writing with the business of publishing in ways that feel authentic and positive to you. We will end with an intention-setting autobiographical exercise that will help you imagine not only the books you seek to publish, but the kind of writer you want to be in the world. This class is most appropriate for writers interested learning more about traditional publication of a novel or memoir.


Diane Zinna is originally from Long Island, New York. She received her MFA from the University of Florida and has taught creative writing for more than ten years. She was formerly the executive co-director at AWP, the Association of Writers & Writing Programs, which hosts the largest literary conference in North America each year. In 2014, Diane created the Writer to Writer Mentorship Program, helping to match more than six hundred writers over twelve seasons. Her debut novel, The All-Night Sun, was longlisted for The Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize. Diane lives in Fairfax, Virginia, with her husband and daughter.


"Applying to Fellowships and Residencies with Confidence" with Faylita Hicks

     Saturday, January 23, 2021, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. CST

Every writer could benefit from a little space and some dedicated time to improve their craft. In this workshop, we’ll learn how you can get both!

Make this the year you get yours. Emerging and mid-career writers are encouraged to join this 3-hours class in which we will:

  • Identify and navigate free and paid resources that regularly update opportunities to apply to fellowships and residencies.
  • Learn several tips to improve your resume and CV for creative projects—even if you haven’t published yet!
  • Prepare for the five most commonly found sections on applications.
  • Learn how to develop a creative project proposal that will stand out from the crowd.
  • Discuss how to choose and edit a creative sample for the application.

We’ll look at well-known fellowships like the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, the Wallace Stegner Fellowship, the Logan Nonfiction Fellowship, the Writing for Justice Fellowship, Creative Capital, TED Fellows, Princeton’s Hodder Fellowship, the American Academy in Rome Prize, and more.

Some well-known residencies we’ll discuss include the MacDowell Residency, Yaddo, Vermont Studio Center, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, the Radcliffe Fellowship, Bellagio Residency Program, Sesame Street Writers Room, and others.

Participants will leave with sample outlines, examples of winning proposals, an application plan, and a calendar of upcoming state and national opportunities, delineated by genre and level of experience.

Faylita Hicks (she/her/they/them) is an activist, poet, essayist, and interdisciplinary artist born in Gardena, CA, and raised in Central Texas. They are the former Editor-in-Chief of Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review and the author of HoodWitch (Acre Books, 2019), a finalist for the 2020 Lambda Literary Award for Bisexual Poetry, the 2019 Balcones Poetry Prize, and the 2019 Julie Suk Award. Their work has earned them awards, fellowships, and residencies from Broadway Advocacy, Catapult, Jack Jones Literary Arts, Lambda Literary, Palette Poetry, Tin House, and The Right of Return USA, the first and only fellowship exclusively for previously incarcerated artists, amongst others.

Their work is anthologized in The Long Devotion: Poets Writing Motherhood and has been featured in Adroit, American Poetry Review, the Cincinnati Review, HuffPost, Kenyon Review, Longreads, Poetry Magazine, The Rumpus, Slate, Texas Observer, VIDA Review, and others. Hicks received an MFA in Creative Writing from Sierra Nevada University.

The Agent Search: Tips, Tricks, and Timeless Advice" with Becka Oliver

     Saturday, January 30, 2021, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. CST

Join a former literary agent for an informative, candid, no-holds-barred class on finding the ideal agent for you—and how to navigate the relationship once you've found that perfect match. This class will cover everything from where to get your industry news, how to dentify the most promising agents to approach for representation, the pitfalls that lead to rejection, catching an agent's eye with your query, asking the right questions, and most everything in between.


Becka Oliver joined the Writers' League of Texas in 2013 as Executive Director after more than sixteen years of experience working in book publishing. She spent much of her publishing career inside two of the “big six” publishing leaders—Macmillan and Hachette Book Group—licensing domestic and foreign rights on behalf of countless notable authors, including Sandra Brown, Brad Meltzer, Nicholas Sparks, Jon Stewart and the Daily Show, and more. In 2007, she made the leap from Associate Director of Subsidiary Rights at Grand Central Publishing to Literary Agent, first at Endeavor and then at William Morris Endeavor (WME) after the two powerhouse talent agencies merged in 2009. As a literary agent, Becka represented clients working in both fiction and non-fiction, including Brunonia Barry, Sheryl Crow, Kamran Pasha, Joanna Philbin, Susan Rebecca White, and the popular blog Awkward Family Photos.






$196 members (sign in for member pricing)

$436 nonmembers

Before purchasing, please read all policies as noted below and on our Classes page.  

Online registration will close at 5 p.m. CST on Friday, January 8. If your browser has difficulty with our website store, or if you prefer to mail in a check, click here for a class registration form. The document provides instructions on where to mail it. If you prefer this option, please email with a copy of the form as well. We are working out of our office at this time.

Once a purchase has been made, tickets are not refundable and registration cannot be transferred to a different class or event. No exceptions will be made. If you purchase a ticket and then find you cannot attend, someone else can attend in your stead. Simply contact us at and let us know so that we can update the class roster.


Our classes offer a combination of lecture and practical exercises, determined by the individual instructor, on focused aspects of the craft and business of writing. Your fellow participants will come from a range of writing experience, from beginners to people with MFA degrees and published books. WLT instructors, participants, and administrators all work together to create a welcoming, supportive environment.

If you haven't taken a class with us in recent years, feel free to email WLT Program Director Sam Babiak at if you'd like to discuss whether our programming is the right fit for your needs.


Once you register for the class, you'll receive an email with detailed instructions. You should expect 2-2.5 hours of direct teaching and 30 minutes of Q&A (for three hours total). If you need to leave the class early or can't attend the class on that date, all registrants will have access to the recording for one week after the class date. No microphone or camera required, just an Internet connection capable of streaming video. All online classes are hosted on Zoom. To learn more about how Zoom works, click HERE.

A couple of days before the class, you will receive an email with login information. Plan to log in to the online platform several hours before the class so that you can update your computer's Flash or any other settings required to access the platform. (Updates usually take only a few minutes, but you don't want to wait until the beginning of class.) Questions? Email us at


This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department. Visit Austin at


Writers' League of Texas classes and workshops are also funded in part by the Texas Commission on the Arts - Investing in a Creative Texas. For more information, go to


This project is also supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit


This project is supported in part by the Mid-America Arts Alliance. For more information, go to