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Hello and welcome!

Listen to the audio introduction from Sally Collins below, or download the PDF transcript.



Download the audio transcript by clicking here.


Most authors work incredibly hard to create a manuscript that is worthy of publication. But when it comes to securing a deal with a publisher, you need something more. You need a fantastic book proposal that will catch a publisher’s eye (or ear) and intrigue them so intensely that they can’t wait to read what you’ve written.

Over the next month we’ll be working together to create a pitch that you can make to a publisher, guided from afar by course creator, agent Sally Collins. As soon as you set out to get your manuscript published, you are crossing over to the business side of writing. That can be a daunting step. But like everyone involved in publishing – writers, illustrators, agents and editors – publishers WANT to create wonderful books. They truly want the work you submit to be something that will draw, catch and keep their attention, and become their next publishing success story.

But to get to this point, you need to grab the attention of a publisher or an agent. And to achieve that, you need to put together a proposal that will keep them reading beyond the first sentence.

Over the next few weeks you’ll be working with myself, your tutor Tiana Templeman, and I’ll support you to hone your pitch and your proposal so that you can show off your creative work to best advantage and take it to the next stage in the publishing process.


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COURSE PLAN: The Next Four Weeks


This course is made up of four weekly units with a combination of lessons, audios and exercises. Step by step, we’ll build up a clear understanding of what publishers are looking for, the dos and don’ts of pitching, and the elements that go into a successful book proposal.

Over the next four weeks we’ll cover these key topics:


  • What is a proposal? Cut through the jargon to find out what you should send to publishers.
  • Industry perspectives: Get a glimpse of the publisher’s perspective, and assess who your ideal publisher (or literary agent) might be.
  • Putting the elements together: Look beyond the plot summary and develop your marketing plan, author biography, and chapter outline.
  • Dealing with acceptance – and rejection: The next steps towards publication, and how to make something positive out of a rejection letter.


Week Topic Forums/Assignments
1 In Training – The Perfect Pitch Icebreaker ActivityElevator Pitch Activity
2 Industry Perspectives Publisher InvestigationWrite A Query Letter
3 Putting The Elements Together Draft Proposal ActivityTurning The Tables ActivitySubmit A Proposal
4 Dealing With Acceptance & Rejection Improved Proposals ActivityElevator Pitch Mark II


You will have the opportunity to read a number of proposal ideas, as well as drafts of proposals, during this course – mostly from your fellow writers – so you will be also able to hone your skills by reading them and offering constructive, supportive comment.



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These forums are set aside exclusively for the use of participants in the Year of the Novel workshop. The forums exist in a different part of the site from the main course, so we recommend bookmarking this page in your browser before heading over there, to ensure you can get back. You can quickly set up a bookmark using Ctrl D (for PC) or D (for Macs) in most browsers.

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Before we begin…


purple avatar 5Desired Learning Outcomes Forum


As you can see, we have a lot of activities and resources to share with you on this site, but there might be something quite specific that you want to know about. Let the tutor know here in the Desired Learning Outcomes Forum, what your learning outcome aims might be.



  • I want to understand how to write about the audience for my book in a way that will make sense to publishers.
  • At the end of the course I want to have a query letter ready to send out to agents for my YA novel.

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To contact the Australian Writer’s Marketplace e-mail us at [email protected]


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