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  • Seminar
  • Online: Zoom
  • Adult (18+)

Provoking Thought: Jumpstarting Your Nonfiction Book of Ideas

No Longer Enrolling

  • $65.00 Non-Member
  • $55.00 Member

Class Description

Do you want to write a book about science, or culture, or politics, or architecture? You're in luck: there's a booming market for this kind of nonfiction! Writing a "book of ideas," however, requires a different approach than writing fiction or memoir. In this class, you'll learn everything you need to convert your idea into a commercial proposal that you can market to an agent or publisher. We'll pay special attention to the single most important factor in selling nonfiction: the framing. You'll learn about what editors want, what readers want, how to craft a winning proposal and find the best agent for your project, how the nonfiction industry has changed, and how to devise the most effective framing for your book. We'll also analyze successes and failures of the past few years, with special attention to the styles of Malcolm Gladwell and Steven Pinker. Though our focus will be on securing a deal for your book with a major publisher, we'll also discuss how ebooks create new opportunities for self-publishing, and how to approach smaller publishers who don't require an agent.

The class will consist of both lecture and highly interactive discussion, with plenty of opportunity to ask questions. We’ll also break down two or three proposals by recent debut authors whose books did well. By the end of the day you'll have a clear sense of what to do—and, just as important, what to avoid—when writing and selling your book of ideas.

Part of GrubStreet's Starter Courses, classes designed to introduce writers to new genres, topics, and writing practices. To explore more class offerings, click here.

Scholarships Format/Location

Thanks to the excellent literary citizenship of our donors, scholarships are available for all GrubStreet classes. To apply, click the gray "APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP" button. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your application at least one week before the start date of a class. Please await our scholarship committee's decision before registering for the class. We cannot hold spots in classes, so the sooner you apply, the better. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.

For more detailed information about GrubStreet scholarships, including how to contribute to scholarship funds for other students, click here.

This class will take place using Zoom videoconferencing. Please visit the Resources tab to access the video-conference link.

Zoom Participation:

Students are not required to turn their camera on, but are encouraged to participate any way they feel comfortable through functions such as the live chat, emoji reactions, and unmuting the microphone. Learn more about using Zoom here.

Zoom Accessibility:

We ask that instructors enable closed captioning and send a transcript of the session after class. You can also enable closed captioning at any time during the meeting. If your instructor forgets to send the transcript, just send ’em an email!