June 30-July 1, 2012: Weekend “Novel Lab” Workshop in Ojai

“Novel Lab” – An Intense Writing Laboratory for would-be Novelists and for writers of Narrative Nonfiction

Literary Agent, Toni LopopoloDuring this 5-day “work-off-the-flab, kill-your-darlings” workshop, you’ll get line-by-line feedback on the first chapters of your novel in progress, with emphasis on how the first chapter fits the novel as a whole. Toni will focus on such vitals as Character, Backstory, Dialogue, Plot, Pacing, Rate of Revelation, and Reader Feeder, the stuff writers force-feed readers and shouldn’t, and other skills that must be mastered, i.e. self-editing. (This tough love writing instructor has witnessed enough stuff that didn’t sell to make her an expert.) Every writer attending will come away knowing how to block scenes and revise any manuscript.

Writers will gain a sense of what it’s like to work with an editor in a publishing house, and what to expect when the book finds a home with a publisher. In the bargain, you’ll get a realistic notion of what an agent does, and does not do, for instance, working magic on your novel when in fact it needs revision.

For most of this rare and remarkable workshop writers will find themselves between a rock and a hard place. Toni has vast experience with unpublished writers, did hands-on editing at three major publishing houses. Toni will line-edit your pages and discuss them and the rest of the novel with you, as well as lead you through the reefs and shoals of the necessary scenes toward completion.

WHEN: June 25-29

COST: $499

REGISTER for this workshop NOW!

View Entire Schedule of June Workshops and Events

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Wondering how to end your novel?

When writing a novel you have to figure out where the story begins, and just as important, how the story ends. Literary Agent Toni Lopopolo joins Shelly Lowenkopf, author of The Fiction Writer’s Companion, in a discussion about “Anticlimax”.

“I’ve read several novels I’ve just loved, ” Toni said. “I thought they ended then realized there’s another quarter of the story. Like they just can’t stop.”

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Workshop for First Novelists – March 31

The Ten Most Common Mistakes  First Novelists Make banner

The Ten Most Common Mistakes
First Novelists Make

A fiction and narrative nonfiction workshop lead by
literary agent, Toni Lopopolo

Saturday, March 31, 9 am-12 noon, $49

To be held at World University, Ojai
in conjunction with Ojai WordFest

Are you writing a novel or narrative nonfiction book or a first or second draft? Would you like to avoid the pitfalls that mark a new novelist?

Toni novel writing workshopLopopolo is a former Executive Editor at Macmillan and St. Martin’s Press who opened her literary agency in 1991. Toni got the idea for her list of “Ten Most Common Mistakes” after reading the mountain of unsolicited—and mostly unskilled—novels writers began sending her. She decided to show new novelists what skills they must master to write a publishable and commercial novel or narrative nonfiction book.

“So many people dive into fiction or narrative nonfiction without understanding that writing a novel, or a narrative nonfiction book, is not like writing a thesis for an English Lit class. To become published, writers must meet a high standard achievable IF they know where the bar is placed and why. With the Ten Most Common Mistakes workshop, budding writers learn what skills they need to master. These skills are not taught in schools or writing classes.” – Toni Lopopolo


The Ten Most Common Mistakes First Novelists Make is but one of three workshops presented by the Pacific Institute for Professional Writing during Ojai WordFest. All PIPW workshops are lead by published professionals with many years of experience and a proven track record.

Click here to learn more about the other workshops.

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Example of Narrative Voice in Novel Writing

Toni Lopopolo reads an excerpt from Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell as an example of good narrative voice in a novel. Book editor Shelly Lowenkopf talks about how narrative comes from the character, not the author. In other words, “Stay the f* out of your own novel.”

This is an excerpt from a Fiction Bootcamp Intensive.

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Toni Lopopolo on Literary Gumbo TV

Literary Agent and teacher, Toni Lopopolo, returns Literary Gumbo TV to update host Fred Klein about her ventures since relocating permanently to Santa Barbara. She is active seeking new clients as well as teaching fiction bootcamps with Shelly Lowenkopf and workshops for women writers she calls Tea with Toni.

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Tea With Toni: January & February Workshops

What: An interactive story conference workshop for writers of romance, mainstream fiction, and narrative nonfiction.
Who: With Toni Lopopolo, Literary Agent and writing instructor
When: January workshop will be held on four consecutive Saturdays – 7, 14, 21 and 28
February workshop will be held on four consecutive Saturdays – 11, 18, 25 and March 2
Where: Santa Barbara (carpooling from Ventura available)
Time: 1 to 5 pm (or when we’re done.)
Why: Focus of the sessions will stress story, character, point of view, dialogue, pacing, plot and creating scenes; most important of all — MARKETABILITY.
How Many: Limited to no more than eight (8) writers. Each writer will present ten (10) pages of their writing each session, plus a story summary. Each will receive feedback from a publishing professional with years of experience in the business both as editor and agent, writing instructor at Temple University, and from writers in their peer group.
BONUS: Each writer will received a thoroughly edited (red line) copy of their work from Toni.
Cost: $200.00 for four (4) sessions.
Contact: For further information please email:lopopolobooks@aol.com  or call Toni at (215) 353-1151

Don’t live near Santa Barbara?

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Toni Lopopolo at GLAWS Annual Agents Roundtable November 19

The Greater Los Angeles Writers Society is proud to presents its Annual Agents Roundtable. 

Paradigms for the publishing world are changing faster than ever. But the basic questions remain the same: Do you need an agent to get published and succeed? If so, what’s the best time to find one? What can an agent do for you? What can you do to find and establish a positive relationship with an agent? What is the state of the publishing industry and how can you still achieve success with a moving target?

These and many other issues of importance to you as an author will be discussed as GLAWS presents its Annual Literary Agents Roundtable. And you will have a chance to ask questions of this panel of industry professional and meet them, as well. If you are serious about pursuing a career as an author, you must attend this important event.

This roundtable is free and open to all writers. The Guest of Honor dinner afterwards is open only to GLAWS members in good standing.

Saturday, November 19th, 2:30 pm
Palms-Rancho Park Library, Ray Bradbury Room, Second Floor.
FREE. Come early for best seating.

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