Instructor: Brian Kevin
Date & Time: Saturday, June 3 from 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM & September 16 from 10:30 AM to 2:30 PM
Location: Rockland Public Library
Level: Open
Maximum Attendees: 12
Fee: MWPA Member $85 | Nonmember $145

Concise. Thorough. Narratively compelling. Commercially savvy. To grab the attention of editors and agents, a writer’s nonfiction book proposal must be all these things and more. Constructing a strong proposal can be as challenging and many-faceted an undertaking as writing the book itself.

This two-part workshop is designed for writers with a well-developed nonfiction book concept ready to be refined for submission to an agent or publisher. The first session will outline the structure of a tight and comprehensive proposal, with special attention on the art of the synopsis and the format of a chapter outline. The session will also look at strategies for both the reading audience and publishing marketplace assessment, as well as examine how to employ this information in a none-too-wonky pitch. There will be opportunity to discuss the mechanics and etiquette of approaching agents and editors with a finished proposal.

In the weeks that follow the first session, participants will write and submit a draft proposal (minus sample chapters). The second session in September will be devoted to detailed instructor and peer feedback. *Please note this is a two-part workshop. Since the sessions are designed to provide an instructional arc, we are not able to accommodate attendees interested in just session one or just session two. 

+ IN ADVANCE In advance of the workshops, each attendee is asked to write a brief statement of up to 250-words about their nonfiction book concept, outlining any research/reporting completed or underway. Please send an email no later than 9:00 AM on May 24 to with the subject line: “SELLING TRUE STORIES.”

+ IN THE END Attendees will leave this workshop with a polished proposal, ready to pair with a completed sample segment of a manuscript and then submit.

Brian Kevin is the managing editor of Down East and has written for Outside, Travel + LeisureMen’s JournalAudubonMother Jones, and a number of other magazines. His work has been recognized or anthologized in Best Food Writing, Best American Essays, and Best American Sports Writing, and his book The Footloose American: Following the Hunter S. Thompson Trail Across South America received the MWPA’s Maine Literary Award for Nonfiction in 2015.

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.

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 May 22 at 9:00 a.m.

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