Nonfiction | Seminar

1-Day Nonfiction Seminar: Turning Short Pieces Into Book Proposals

In this one-day seminar, writers of pieces of humor, journalism, and other shorter online forms will learn the nuts and bolts of putting together a book proposal. In this viral age, you never know when a piece can take off – and all of a sudden opportunities are coming your way that you need to act on!

We’ll cover the pieces of a standard book proposal, talk about creating/maintaining a platform, discuss finding comparable titles and how to compare them to your own work, and create and refine shorter pieces you will need for any proposal, such as author bios and an idea of how to situate your writing and voice in the larger marketplace.

Students can expect to walk away with a clear understanding and outline of the pieces of a book proposal, an author bio that emphasizes their unique voice and area of expertise (rather than just a list of credits), and a series of actionable steps for going forward in terms of platform, contacting literary agents, and publishing as a business.

COURSE TAKEAWAYS:

- A firm understanding and breakdown of the shape and pieces required for a book proposal

- A unique, workshopped author bio that can be used at a moment’s notice

- Action steps related to creating and/or maintaining a platform that works for you, that publishers can refer to when they look at your work

- Advice on soliciting and looking for literary agents who are a good match for your project

Access to Catapult's list of writing opportunities and important submission deadlines, as well as a 10% discount on all future Catapult classes

Caitlin Kunkel

Caitlin Kunkel is a writer and satirist. Her work has been featured in The New Yorker, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Live Wire Radio, and other places. She’s the co-founder of the comedy and satire site for women and non-binary authors, The Belladonna, created the online satire writing program for The Second City, and co-founded the Satire and Humor Festival. Her book New Erotica for Feminists: Satirical Fantasies of Love, Lust, and Equal Pay, co-written by The Belladonna editors, has been published in the US and the UK and was named one of the 10 best comedy books of 2018 by Vulture.

Testimonials

"The Belladonna is the new Onion, a combination humor/fake news/lifestyle parody site from a sharp, female and/or feminist point of view that delivers precise, critical blows to toxic masculinity, the dumbass patriarchy, and dumbassery in general. In that spirit, Belladonna editors Caitlin Kunkel, Brooke Preston, Fiona Taylor, and Carrie Wittmer wrote a piece for MCSWEENEY'S that rightfully went viral for its relatability and hilarity: NEW EROTICA FOR FEMINISTS in which women’s constantly unfulfilled wish for equality and decency and to not be treated like sex objects is expressed via short erotic stories, like a paragraph from a romance novel, or a letter to Penthouse. Well, they turned the idea into a whole book of inspiring and vital “erotica.” For example, when Juliet dumps Romeo because their relationship is clearly toxic, or a fantasy about Tom Hardy filling one’s fridge with LaCroix and then playing with a rescue dog."

“This erotica made my loins enflamed with desire... to smash the patriarchy. I would gladly read a whole book of it and pay even a whole Man’s Salary to purchase said book. It deserves to be promoted as much as any high-performance woman in the workplace.”

Alexandra Petri WASHINGTON POST columnist

"NEW EROTICA FOR FEMINISTS accomplishes what the best satire always should: it's smart, funny, and, most importantly, necessary. I loved it. So will you. I could have kept reading forever."

Mike Sacks author of AND HERE'S THE KICKER and POKING A DEAD FROG

"I had tried my hand a few times in satire writing but never quite nailed it, until I took Caitlin's workshop. She helped me understand the importance of having a clear target and approach to my pieces, because I tend to be all over the place with my writing. Needless to say, the piece I wrote during Caitlin's class ended up being my first submission and published piece in McSweeney's! And that's not a reflection on my writing so much as Caitlin's awesomeness. Take her class, you won't regret it."

former student

"Caitlin is pretty great, you guys. She teaches with insight, offers notes with purpose and respect and pushes you farther than you think you can go - over and over again. Her enthusiasm for her students and their work puts Walmart Greeters to shame. And her sense of humor is as twisted as they come. For the record: that is a compliment."

former student

"Caitlin Kunkel was the teacher I needed to take my humor writing to the next level. She's a gifted writer, a knowledgeable instructor, and the most insightful editor I've ever worked with. Her feedback on my work was invaluable. I published nearly every piece I wrote in her classes and ended up recouping my tuition and then some."

former student