Nonfiction Book Proposal Workshop

nonfiction book proposalWriters in the Mountains (WIM) announces Selling Your Nonfiction Book: The Art of Proposal Writing, a Sunday seminar with Leslie T. Sharpe, June 7, 1 to 4 pm, at the Andes Public Library.  In three information-packed hours, Leslie will effectively detail what it takes to write a winning nonfiction book proposal, illustrated with several handouts. In the second half of the seminar, she will invite writers to present their projects for evaluation and input in order to best shape their own top-notch “winning” proposal.

In addition to its diversity of forms, nonfiction also offers writers (which literary fiction does not) the possibility of having an incomplete manuscript accepted by an agent or editor— accompanied by a strong proposal. The proposal—including elements such as an Overview of the book, Annotated Table of Contents, Author’s Platform and Market Analysis—is usually submitted with two or three chapters of text and is, first and foremost, a writing sample as well as a sales tool. What agents/editors look for in a proposal is strong writing with a clear and cogent presentation of the book’s subject and/or narrative arc, depending on the form, and a persuasive rationale forwhy the book should be published, and why the author is the best possible person to write it.

Leslie, author, editor and educator, was a regular contributor to New York Newsday’s “Urban ‘I’” column.  Her essays and articles have appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, International Herald Tribune, Newsday, New York Times, Psychology Today, and The Village Voice, among many othersLeslie recently finished her memoir, Our Fractured, Perfect Selves, and is currently at work on The Quarry Fox and Other Tales of a Catskill Summer. Wearing her editor hat, Leslie wrote Editing Fact and Fiction: A Concise Guide to Book Editing (Cambridge University Press, 1994), a “modern editing classic”and “On Writing Smart: Tips and Tidbits,” featured in The Business of Writing (Allworth, 2012).  Now an editorial consultant, Leslie specializes in literary nonfiction and fiction and poetry. At Columbia University, Leslie was Adjunct Assoc. Professor of Writing and taught in the MFA writing programs.  She taught in City College’s Publishing Certificate Program, and in NYU’s Certificate Program in Book Publishing. Now, Leslie teaches online courses for the cutting-edge all-media website,—The Nonfiction Book and Nonfiction Writing Master Class.

To register, call Jean Stone at (607) 326-4802, or e-mail her at To register online, visit, go to Register Online page, and fill in the registration form.Class fee is $35.

Writers in the Mountains is a 501 ( c ) (3) not-for-profit organization with a mission to provide to the general public a nurturing environment for the practice, appreciation and sharing of creative writing.