Instructor: Celia Johnson
Date & Time: Saturdays, April 21 & 28 | 1:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Location: Rockland Public Library
Level: Open
Maximum Attendees: 12 FULL/WAIT LIST ONLY
Fee: MWPA Member $95 | Nonmember $160
Registration Closes: April 13

A writer’s journey often feels like a choose-your-own-adventure novel, particularly once you venture beyond the manuscript. Crafting a query letter. Developing a proposal. Building a platform. Reaching out to agents and editors. There are all sorts of potential pitfalls at each step. But if you understand the agents’ and editors’ perspectives—or, in other words, the business side of buying a book—it’s much easier to navigate the publishing realm.

This two-part workshop is designed for both fiction and nonfiction writers who have a finished manuscript. It will give a basic overview of the industry and help attendees strategize outreach for their manuscripts. The workshop will pay special attention to drafting and redrafting query letters and zeroing in on the best agents and editors to reach out to in the industry.

+ IN ADVANCE In advance of the first session, each attendee is asked to write a brief statement of up to 250-words about their project and what stage they are in with it. Please email the statement as an attachment (Word files are preferred, but PDFs are acceptable) no later than 9:00am on April 12 to with the subject line: “JOHNSON WORKSHOP.”

+ IN THE END Attendees will leave this workshop with a polished query letter and a game plan for their own project, whether it’s a finished manuscript or one that’s well underway.

+ PLEASE NOTE Attendance at both sessions is required in order to register for this workshop.

CeliaCelia Johnson is the Creative Director of Slice Literary, a Brooklyn-based nonprofit organization dedicated to bridging the gap between emerging writers and the professional publishing realm. Among other endeavors, Slice Literary publishes Slice magazine and hosts the annual Slice Literary Writers’ Conference. Celia worked as an acquisitions editor at major publishing houses in New York for almost a decade before moving to Maine. Her projects included fiction and nonfiction by bestselling and award-winning authors. Johnson is also an author and her most recent book is Odd Type Writers: The Obsessive Habits and Quirky Techniques of Great Authors (Perigee/Penguin). Her articles have appeared in Poets & Writers, Writer’s Digest, Reader’s Digest, and the Huffington Post, among others.

All MWPA workshops require advanced registration. We accept registration by phone, mail, and online via PayPal. We cannot guarantee registration in the final 24-hours before a workshop, and can rarely accommodate day-of registration.

If you need to withdraw from a class after registering for any reason, please email or call the MWPA immediately. You may be eligible for a partial refund or credit, depending on how far in advance you cancel.

For any questions regarding this workshop, please contact Hannah Perry at

Call 207-228-8263 and register with your VISA or MasterCard.

If you prefer to pay by mail, please print this registration form (downloadable PDF) and mail it to the MWPA with a check or credit card information.



The MWPA is proud to offer one full scholarship to this workshop for members-only. Scholarships are awarded on a combination of need and merit. Application Due in the MWPA office on April 9 at 9:00 a.m.

Registration in any MWPA workshop, program, or event constitutes your agreement to our terms and conditions.