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Moving from Rejection to Publication

April 26, 2023 @ 2:00 pm - 3:15 pm EDT

Virtual Event Virtual Event


What’s wrong—and how to fix it, fast!

Your book or essay feels ready…but it keeps getting rejected. What’s wrong? Editors, agents and publishers often accept or reject your work based on the first page. Five key elements make the difference between rejection and reading on—and all of those elements are under your control.

In this webinar, you’ll learn what your first pages or first paragraph MUST have to catch the reader’s eye, and how to decide if you’re at the level of the venues you want to publish in. You’ll learn a fast, easy way to see if your memoir is starting in the right place; the fundamental element every humor piece needs; and how parallel structure can get your guest essay accepted at an A-list media outlet.

We’ll consider published examples, then live-edit participant work to show how to establish voice, intention, purpose, and story from the very first sentence—to get your essay or memoir out of the slush pile and into the world.

In this session, you will:
  • LEARN the five key elements of strong opening pages and how to express them in your own work
  • DISCOVER a three-step process for analyzing whether a media venue or literary journal is a “good fit” for your own work
  • UNDERSTAND how deliberately paralleling an existing structure can get your editorial or guest essay accepted
  • SEE participant work live-edited to increase the chances of acceptance, and learn to apply those edits to your own work
This webinar is for…
  • Writers getting rejections they don’t understand
  • Writers who’d like their work to immediately capture attention and engage agents, editors and readers.
  • Writers unsure if their work is “a match” for places they want to publish.
  • Writers with a piece that’s been widely submitted and rejected

Closed captioning is available. ✔
All registrants receive the recording. ✔


Allison K Williams Headshot

ALLISON K WILLIAMS is the author of Seven Drafts: Self-Edit Like a Pro From Blank Page to Book. She has edited and coached writers to publishing deals with Penguin Random House, Knopf, Mantle, Spencer Hill, and St. Martin’s as well as independent & literary presses. She’s guided essayists and humorists to publications including the New Yorker, Time, the Guardian, the New York Times, McSweeney’s, Refinery29, Hippocampus, the Belladonna and TED Talks. As Social Media Editor for Brevity, she inspires thousands of writers with weekly blogs on craft and the writing life.

As a memoirist, essayist, and travel journalist, Allison has written craft, culture and comedy for National Public Radio, CBC-Canada, the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, Creative Nonfiction, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Kenyon Review Online, Travelers’ Tales and Flash Nonfiction Funny.

Allison holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University and spent 20 years as a circus aerialist and acrobat before writing and editing full-time. She leads the Rebirth Your Book writing retreats series.


Questions? Please email


April 26, 2023
2:00 pm - 3:15 pm EDT
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Allison K Williams
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