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Rejected But Not Dejected: Nonfiction Proposal Workshop

Friday, August 4, 2017
1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Garden B

Many submissions to publishers and agents go unanswered and probably many unread. Some writers even collect rejection letters (or e-mails more likely) and use the increasing number as motivation to find a home for their work.

But sometimes a change in tactics can mean a much different reply to their work. There are good and bad rejections. How do you know if the publishers, editor, or agent is leaving an opening, however slight, for you? What should you do to respond? And if you getting no feedback whatsoever – what are you doing wrong?

This workshop gives you tips and strategies of how to approach the gatekeepers in the publishing world. We will look at the right and wrong for sending out queries, what makes an effective pitch? what do successful proposals look like? and does it ever make sense to call editors or agents?

One variation in your method could make the difference between rejection and acceptance.

Robert Mackwood is a long-time non-fiction literary agent and owner of the Seventh Avenue Literary Agency. He is also a publishing consultant and publisher based in Vancouver, Canada.


Robert Mackwood

Robert Mackwood has spent over 30 years in the book publishing industry. As the owner and principal agent of the BC-based Seventh Avenue Literary Agency – one of Canada’s leading non-fiction agencies – he represents over 50 authors. The Agency has negotiated over 200 book contracts with sales to numerous English language publishers and translations rights sales to over 15 countries for some works. The agency launched a self-publishing imprint, Brilliant Idea Books, in 2012 for business titles and offer a publishing consultancy service. Robert’s background includes 6 years at Raincoast Books and 8 years as VP at Bantam/Doubleday in Toronto.

Looking for: Exclusively non-fiction so business, history, memoirs, sports, health, some social issues, some politics. Am keen to talk with self-published authors – either those contemplating or those who have taken the plunge.

Not looking for: Fiction, children’s poetry