Course Catalog

Publishing Intensive

Intermediate / Advanced | This daylong intensive seminar will provide a comprehensive overview of the publishing business and opportunities for writers of memoir, adult fiction, and young adult fiction.

Students will have the opportunity to pitch their books to small groups in a practice of their elevator pitch. All students are required to bring four printed copies of a brief synopsis of their book (a one to two paragraph “jacket copy“) in order to participate in this small group exercise.

In addition to hearing from the three instructors about their experiences finding literary agents and publishing with large and small presses, the class will feature three guests:

Michelle Brower, one of the top ranked literary agents for debut books in North America (according to Publishers Marketplace) will visit to describe what she looks for in manuscripts. Michelle has represented National Book Award finalist Erika L. Sánchez; Tara Conklin, author of NYT bestselling novels The House Girl and The Last Romantics; bestselling historical fiction author Hazel Gaynor; the Barnes & Noble Discover Pick The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler; and After Disasters by Viet Dinh, which was named a finalist for the 2017 PEN/Faulkner Prize.

Rachel Klayman is a VP and Executive Editor at Crown, an imprint of Penguin Random House, where she acquires nonfiction in the areas of popular history, narrative nonfiction, memoir, American culture, politics, psychology, and neuroscience. She has worked in book publishing for more than twenty years. In 2004, several months before his speech at the Democratic National Convention, she approached then-state senator Barack Obama about reviving his out-of-print memoir, Dreams from My Father. She subsequently edited Obama’s The Audacity of Hope. Among the other books she has edited are Waiting for Snow in Havana by Carlos Eire, winner of the 2003 National Book Award in nonfiction; The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot; Holy War, Inc. by Peter Bergen; Baghdad Without a Map by Tony Horwitz, and many others.

Kristen Millares Young is the author of Subduction, a novel forthcoming from Red Hen Press in 2020. A prize-winning investigative journalist, book critic and essayist, Kristen serves as Prose Writer-in-Residence at Hugo House. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, the Guardian, the New York Times, and the anthology Pie & Whiskey. Kristen was the researcher for the New York Times team that produced “Snow Fall,” which won a Pulitzer and a Peabody. Kristen is board chair of Investigate West, a nonprofit news studio she co-founded in the Pacific Northwest.

Beginning Fall 2021, we will be adding select in-person classes back to our course catalog. The majority of our classes will still be offered via Zoom.

If a class says IN-PERSON in its title, it will take place in person at our permanent home in Seattle.

If a class says ASYNCHRONOUS in its title, it will take place on Wet Ink, our asynchronous learning platform.

If a class does not have a marker after its title, it will take place via Zoom.

Instructor: Karen Finneyfrock & Peter Mountford & Theo Nestor

Class Type: 1 Session

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Start Date: 06/02/2019

Days of the Week: Sunday

Time: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm PDT

Maximum Class Size: 60

$180.00 Member Price:
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$200.00 General Price:

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Karen Finneyfrock & Peter Mountford & Theo Nestor

Karen Finneyfrock is the author of two young adult novels: The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door and Starbird Murphy and the World Outside, both published by Viking Children’s Books. She is a former Writer-in-Residence at Richard Hugo House.

Peter Mountford is the author of the award-winning novels A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism, and The Dismal Science. His work has appeared dozens of major magazines and newspapers. He teaches at Sierra Nevada College’s MFA program.

Theo Pauline Nestor is the author of Writing Is My Drink (Simon & Schuster, 2013) and How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed: A Memoir of Starting Over (Crown, 2008). Nestor has taught the memoir certificate course for the University of Washington’s Professional & Continuing Ed program since 2006.

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