Wordsmith Schedule

Wordsmith 2022 Schedule

More details will be coming soon, but this is the general schedule for the weekend.  

Tuesday, September 27

VIRTUAL AGENT PANEL

Wordsmith will kickoff on Tuesday evening with a virtual session. This session is designed to help prepare you for the weekend and be able to ask questions of visiting agents. All times listed are Central Time.

Virtual Attendee Kickoff and Agent Panel

When: Tuesday, September 27, 7–8:15 p.m. CT
Where: Crowdcast (you will receive an invitation link for this event closer to the event)

In this kickoff session, Loft staff will greet you with a brief orientation to the upcoming conference. Then we'll get into the heart of it with a Q&A session with visiting agents 

Before anyone meets with an agent, we're going to kickoff the conference with a Q&A session with visiting agents Erin Clyburn, Kayla Lightner, Monica Odom, and Sarah Fisk. We'll discuss agent/client info, how book deals happen, what agents are looking for in pitches and potential clients, and other insider publishing questions. Then we'll open up the conversation for audience questions as well.

Friday, September 30

GENERAL SESSIONS

The conference will kickoff in earnest on Friday afternoon. Settle in, get acquainted, and connect with your peers. There won't be any one-on-ones this afternoon, so come ready to connect and learn. All times listed are Central Time. 

Keynote with Jami Attenberg

When: Friday, September 30, 1–2:15 p.m. CT
Where: Performance Hall

Jami Attenberg has written about food, travel, books, relationships and urban life for The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, the Sunday Times, The Guardian, and others. She is a New York Times bestselling author of seven books of fiction, including The Middlesteins and All Grown Up, and, most recently, a memoir, I Came All This Way to Meet You: Writing Myself Home. Her work has been published in sixteen languages. In this session, she'll talk about her journey as a writer and what she recommends to her fellow writers.

The Paths to Publishing with Lindsey Smith

When: Friday, September 30, 2:30–3:30 p.m. CST
Where: Performance Hall

You want to write a book. Perhaps you’ve already finished writing the manuscript. Or, maybe you’re just getting started on the journey.

You’re probably wondering: should you try to get a book deal with a big-name publisher, like Penguin/Random House, Harper Collins, or Macmillan? Or, try to get the book published by a small independent press? Or, self-publish the book by yourself? 

Which path is right for you? What’s realistic? What are the pros and cons? What’s the best way to make this decision?

Especially if you’re a first-time author and don’t have much experience in the publishing industry, this can be a dizzying and overwhelming decision to make. 

Fortunately, help is here! Join Lindsey Smith—best-selling and award-winning author, literary agent, founder of One Idea Press, and co-founder of Get It Done—for a presentation on The Paths to Publishing.

Lindsey is a lifelong book lover who has helped more than 1,000 people to publish a book. 

Lindsey’s philosophy: Every book is unique. There’s no one “right way” to bring a book into the world. All paths are excellent paths. No path is “better” than another. They’re just different. It’s important to educate yourself so that you understand all the options. 

By the end of this presentation, you will:

  • Understand the differences between traditional publishing and author-owned publishing (aka self-publishing).
  • Be able to make a decision on which path is best for you and your first book (or, next book).
  • Feel excited to take the next steps and move your project forward.

Please bring pen to take notes, and feel free to ask a question during the presentation. Lindsey will save time for Q&A at the end. 

Networking

When: Friday, September 30, 3:45–4:45 p.m. CT
Where: 2nd Floor Commons

We'll gather together and get to know your fellow attendees. More details to come. 

Saturday, October 1

SESSIONS AND ONE-ON-ONES

The conference continues Saturday with more general, activity, and breakout sessions and two blocks of pitches and consultations. All times listed are Central Time. 

Ask the Editor

When: Saturday, October 1, 9–10 a.m. CT
Where: Performance Hall

What is the role of the editor? What kinds of things do they look for and what is the best way to approach the editor/author relationship? In this session, a panel of editors will share their perspectives. There will be lots of time for audience Q&A, so come prepared with questions!

Activity Session 1 and One-on-one Pitches and Consultations

When: Saturday, October 1, 10:15–11:45 a.m. CT
Where: Performance Hall and Loft Offices

Our first activity session will take place during this time slot. These sessions are designed to be drop-in in nature so that you can come and go if you have one-on-one appointments during the session. More information will be coming about these. 

Pitches and consultations will take place during this session in the Loft offices. Please arrive at your arrival time. We cannot accommodate late arrivals. Consultation materials must be submitted by September 9, 2022. You can still have a consultation without materials, but your agent or editor will not see your specific project in advance without the submitted materials. 

Pitches: Lucy Carson, Maeve MacLysaght, Rachel Ekstrom Courage, Melanie Figeuroa, Kayla Lightner, and Nora Gonzalez

Consults: Allison Cohen, Joey McGarvey, Lindsey Smith, Erin Clyburn

Working Lunch: All Conference Read with Jung Yun

When: Saturday, October 1, Noon–1:30 p.m. CT
Where: Performance Hall and 203

Boxed lunches will be served in 203. You are welcome to take them anywhere, but we encourage you to attend the All Conference Read session with Jung Yun. This session will start at 12:30. We encourage attendees to read Jung Yun's O Beautiful in advance and come ready to dig in on some of the key craft decisions that she made in writing this novel.  

Activity Session 2 and One-on-one Pitches and Consultations

When: Saturday, October 1, 1:45–3:15 p.m. CT
Where: Performance Hall and Loft Offices

Our next activity session will take place during this time slot. These sessions are designed to be drop-in in nature so that you can come and go if you have one-on-one appointments during the session. More information will be coming about these. 

Pitches and consultations will take place during this session in the Loft offices. Please arrive at your arrival time. We cannot accommodate late arrivals. Consultation materials must be submitted by September 9, 2022. You can still have a consultation without materials, but your agent or editor will not see your specific project in advance without the submitted materials. 

Pitches: Erin Clyburn, Saritza Hernandez, Sarah Fisk, Rachel Ekstrom Courage, Lindsey Smith, Monica Odom

Consults: Allison Cohen, Loan Le, Antoinette Van Sluytman, Jim McCarthy

Breakout Sessions 1

When: Saturday, October 1, 3:30-4:30 p.m. CT

More details coming soon. 

Sunday, October 2

SESSIONS AND ONE-ON-ONES

The conference continues Sunday with more general, activity, and breakout sessions and three blocks of pitches and consultations. All times listed are Central Time. 

Activity Session 3 and One-on-one Pitches and Consultations

When: Sunday, October 2, 9–10:30 p.m. CT
Where: Performance Hall and Loft Offices

Our next activity session will take place during this time slot. These sessions are designed to be drop-in in nature so that you can come and go if you have one-on-one appointments during the session. More information will be coming about these. 

Pitches and consultations will take place during this session in the Loft offices. Please arrive at your arrival time. We cannot accommodate late arrivals. Consultation materials must be submitted by September 9, 2022. You can still have a consultation without materials, but your agent or editor will not see your specific project in advance without the submitted materials. 

Pitches: Karly Dizon, Lucy Carson, Antoinette Van Sluytman, Lindsey Smith, Jim McCarthy

Consults: Loan Le, Rachel Ekstrom Courage, Melanie Figueroa, Kayla Lightner

Endnote Craft Session: Matt Bell

When: Sunday, October 2, 10:45–11:30 a.m. CT
Where: Performance Hall

Join us for a craft endnote session with Matt Bell, author of Refuse to Be Done—a guide to writing, rewriting, and revision from Soho Press. 

Working Lunch Activity Session 4 and One-on-one Pitches and Consultations

When: Sunday, October 2, 11:45 a.m.–1:15 p.m. CT
Where: Performance Hall, 203 and Loft Offices

Our next activity session will take place during this time slot. Boxed lunches will be available in 203, bring your lunch into the hall or enjoy it elsewhere. These sessions are designed to be drop-in in nature so that you can come and go if you have one-on-one appointments during the session. More information will be coming about these. 

Pitches and consultations will take place during this session in the Loft offices. Please arrive at your arrival time. We cannot accommodate late arrivals. Consultation materials must be submitted by September 9, 2022. You can still have a consultation without materials, but your agent or editor will not see your specific project in advance without the submitted materials. 

Pitches: Erin Clyburn, Saritza Hernandez, Nora Gonzalez, Antoinette Van Sluytman, Monica Odom, Jim McCarthy

Consults: Karly Dizon, Lucy Carson, Maeve MacLysaght, Sarah Fisk

Craft & Creativity Session: Brendan Slocumb

When: Sunday, October 2, 1:30–2:15 p.m. CT
Where: Performance Hall

Join debut novelist, educator, concert master, and violist Brendan Nicholaus Slocumb for a session on connecting with your art and finding the inspiration it can provide. 

Activity Session 5 and One-on-one Pitches and Consultations

When: Sunday, October 2, 2:30–4 p.m. CT
Where: Performance Hall and Loft Offices

Our next activity session will take place during this time slot. These sessions are designed to be drop-in in nature so that you can come and go if you have one-on-one appointments during the session. More information will be coming about these. 

Pitches and consultations will take place during this session in the Loft offices. Please arrive at your arrival time. We cannot accommodate late arrivals. Consultation materials must be submitted by September 9, 2022. You can still have a consultation without materials, but your agent or editor will not see your specific project in advance without the submitted materials. 

Pitches: Karly Dizon, Maeve MacLysaght, Sarah Fisk, Melanie Figueroa, Kayla Lightner

Consults: Joey McGarvey, Saritza Hernandez, Monica Odom, Nora Gonzalez

Breakout Sessions 2 & Evals

When: Sunday, October 2, 4:15-5:15 p.m. CT

More details coming soon.