Schedule of Activities

Note: all activities take place at the Westin Atlanta Airport Hotel on May 3-4, 2019, with the exception of the Prep Critiques, which will be managed online from December 2018 to the end of February 2019.

Friday, May 3, 2019

11:30-4:00 p.m. Check in outside the College Park Ballroom on the second floor of the Westin Atlanta Airport Hotel conference area.

12:30-1:30 p.m. Editors Q&A Panel with all eight editors from publishing firms in the College Park Ballroom.

1:45-4:00 p.m. Query Letter Critique: In the second-floor meeting rooms, panels of one editor and one agent (assigned to participants at random, but no overlaps with any Saturday meetings) offer critiques and suggestions during sessions of about ten minutes to improve participants’ query letters so they’ll shine when they pitch their chosen agent(s)/editor(s) one-on-one on Saturday and/or have a sterling query letter to use ever after. Past guest agents and editors have called this a “must do” activity, and often cite it as the most helpful and informative educational session offered by any conference anywhere. 63% of Best Pitch award winners at the May 2018 conference participated in the Query Letter Critique activity. Meanwhile, Jenny Milchman gives two free, interactive talks with Q&A in the College Park Ballroom: “The 4 S’s of Suspense: Getting Readers to Turn the Page” and “Getting Published Is as Easy as 1, 2, 3: Ways to Publish Today.”

4:00-6:00 p.m. Developing Your Author Brand Workshop: Best-selling, award-winning author Jenny Milchman presents her two-hour workshop “Staying Alive in this Business: Developing Your Author Brand,” during which you will learn about the often-surprising components that can add to your brand as an author and identify the elements that differentiate you from other writers.

6:00-8:30 p.m. Free time to improve your query letter for Saturday–if you did the query letter critique–and to dine in the hotel or elsewhere.

8:30-11:30 p.m. Free social mixer in a private meeting room for Conference participants only. No RSVP necessary. Join our guests for casual chats about books and the people who write them, sell them, publish them, and buy them. As part of their conference obligations, the sixteen editors and agents are compelled to participate.


Saturday, May 4, 2019

8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Check in outside the College Park Ballroom on the second floor of the Westin Atlanta Airport Hotel conference area.

9:00-10:00 a.m. Agents Q&A Panel with all eight literary agents in the College Park Ballroom.

10:15 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Manuscript critique meetings: One-on-one meetings for about 15 minutes each between the editors/agents and those who submitted their work for critique by the April 3 deadline, in the second-floor meeting rooms. Meanwhile, award-winning, best-selling author and professor Christopher Swann will provide two 75-minute talks in the College Park Ballroom: “The Road to Publication” and “Write What You Know, and Make Up the Rest.”

1:00-2:15 p.m. Lunch on your own.

2:30-5:30 p.m. Pitch meetings: Participants pitch an editor/agent one-on-one for about ten minutes each, in the second-floor meeting rooms. In parallel, author and teacher Jennifer Springsteen will do two 75-minute presentations in the College Park Ballroom: “Unearthing the Skeleton: Structures that Create Books You Can’t Put Down” and “Take a Page from the Poet’s Notebook: Creating Tight and Succinct Prose.”

5:30-6:30 p.m. Award ceremony and prize giveaways in the College Park Ballroom with each editor/agent presenting certificates to participants for the best manuscript sample submitted for critique and for the best pitch, and giveaway drawings for prizes such as a free manuscript critique at the next Atlanta Writers Conference.



Please contact George Weinstein at

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