Agent Appointment Update


As January turns into February the excitement is building here at the desk of the Writers’ Institute director.  We are less than two months’ away from the beginning of this year’s conference and there’s a couple of announcements – first – The Writers’ Institute offers you direct access to accomplished literary agents who are looking for both fiction and nonfiction related materials. Pitch your ideas in 8-minute pitch sessions. You may sign up for 2 sessions before Feb 2. (If space is available after Feb 2, you may sign up for additional pitch sessions). You must be registered for at least 1 day of the conference to qualify for a pitch session. Sign up for your agent pitches when you register.
If there is a specific agent that you are interested in, please schedule your pitch now, as of Feb 2, the agent pitch times will fill up even faster than they already are.


Next, just as last year, we are offering an opportunity for attendees to sign and sell their books at the conference.  This event will happen mid-day on Saturday, March 28th.  You’ll be responsible for your own monetary transactions and you’ll need to attend your own books.  Details about this opportunity will be made available after you register for the conference. Just contact me, Laurie Scheer, the Writers’ Institute director at to arrange for a space at the event.


We look forward to celebrating our writers!





Some basic info about Writers’ Institute:

I hope you’re achieving your goals and that we’ll see you at this year’s conference.

The UW-Madison Writers’ Institute has established itself as the Midwest’s premiere writing event. It provides aspiring, emerging, and established writers with up-to-date information about their craft, the publishing industry, and current trends in writing—in addition to being a great place to network with fellow writers and nationally known agents and instructors.

Whether you are a beginner or an advanced writer of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry or short stories, you have three days to mingle with other writers, agents, instructors, and publishers to talk about what matters—your writing and the writing life.

We start our second quarter-century with all new visuals. We’ve included our lovely Madison skyline embraced by the colors of the spring season to embody a whole new writing energy for our writers.

This year’s conference will be filled with three days of writing inspiration, education, and entertainment to encourage you to write effortlessly; and we listened to your requests for more opportunities to network and get to know your fellow writers.


New this year: 

  • For the month of December, we are offering an exclusive Bring a Friend offer—$35 off the early bird registration price for you and a friend who has previously not attended a Writers’ Institute conference
  • The First Annual Writing Mixer event—meet your fellow writers, speakers, and agents in an informal setting
  • A Saturday lunch opportunity to meet writers writing in your genre
  • Writing Prompts: an artistic space designated for writers to explore their craft in both prose and poetry directed by talented instructors who will challenge your creativity
  • Advanced Manuscript Critiques—don’t miss this opportunity to work one-on-one with instructors specializing in fiction, nonfiction, memoir, and young adult
  • Advanced Poetry Critiques—former Poet Laureate of Wisconsin and Milwaukee Marilyn Taylor will offer one-on-one critiques
  • All winning Page and Poem Contest submissions will be included in the 2016 edition of The Midwest Prairie Review. So, not only will you receive accolades and prizes for this contest, you will also be published in our journal! Do not hesitate to submit your work!
  • A new category to the Page and Poem Contest this year—Flash Fiction
  • The third edition of The Midwest Prairie Review journal


Tried and True:

  • Agent pitches
  • Workshops
  • Book signing event
  • Networking
  • Practice pitch sessions
  • Critiques
  • Success panel luncheon


BONUS: Free (to those who sign up to attend all 3 days of the event) Thursday Night INTRO TO PITCHING session featuring a LOGLINES WORKSHOP with agent Lane Shefter Bishop, and HOW TO FIND AN AGENT with Red Sofa Literary’s Dawn Frederick.

We here at the Writing Department of Continuing Studies reach out to our community on a daily basis, and the Writers’ Institute is just one of many programs we offer to nearby, national, and international writers. We are not only celebrating 26 years of writing, but 26 years of being part of the best writing community in the Midwest.

We hope you’ll join us and be part of this community if you haven’t already.