Schedule of Activities

Note: due to COVID-19, no activities will take place at the Westin Atlanta Airport Hotel on May 7-9, 2021. The Pre-Conference Edits will be managed entirely via email (from December 2020 to February 2021), the query letter critiques, manuscript critiques, and pitches with the editors and agents will be conducted via phone calls on May 7-8, and the Sunday, May 9 Workshop Doubleheader will be presented online.

Due to COVID-19, no large-group activities can be offered at this edition of our conference, so we cannot offer the Q&A panels, educational talks, mixer, or award ceremony. Still, awards for Best Manuscript Sample and Best Pitch will be determined by each agent and editor, and award certificates will be emailed to these participants.

Note that all times given below are US Eastern.

Friday, May 7, 2021

1:00-4:00 p.m. Query Letter Critique: Participants registering for this will receive a phone call from one editor and one agent (assigned to participants at random, but no overlaps with any Saturday meetings), who will 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 thereafter. 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. More than 90% of Best Pitch awards at the October 2019 conference went to those who participated in the Query Letter Critique activity. Participants will send their query letter for critique to Atlanta Writers Conference Director George Weinstein at by April 26, 2021.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

10:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Manuscript critique meetings: Phone meetings for about 15 minutes each between the editors/agents and those who submitted their work for critique by the April 5, 2021 deadline. Participants will receive summary comments back a day or two before the conference.

2:15-5:35 p.m. Pitch meetings: Participants pitch an editor/agent one-on-one for about ten minutes each via phone calls and will send their query letter to Atlanta Writers Conference Director George Weinstein at by May 3, 2021. For those also doing the Friday query letter critique, thee will be placeholder files; participants can rewrite their query letters based on the critique feedback and submit them to George by 11:59 p.m. on May 7.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

1:45-6:00 p.m. Online workshop doubleheader with Peter Hildick-Smith presenting “Judging a Book by Its Title” from 1:45 to 3:45 p.m., which will include live critiques of participants’ proposed book title/subtitle, jacket copy, book cover (if available) and the target book category and audience they are trying to reach. From 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., New York Times #1 bestselling author Lisa Gardner will present “The Path to Bestsellerdom.” These live presentations will be recorded and links will be sent to all workshop registrants in case they are not able to participate or want to view the workshops again.


Please contact George Weinstein at

Ready to register?

View the Registration page for instructions.

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