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How To Get Published Intensive

How To Get Published

How To Get Published

How to Get Published is a 4-week class, which includes a mixture of lectures and query letter assignments. It’s for beginners or anyone who wants a refresher. Farther down, you can view a syllabus for this course.

You’ve spent months, or years, sweating and swearing over a book and now you’re ready to draw the interest of agents and/or publishing houses. Or perhaps you’re in the midst of writing a book and you want to know the publishing challenges up ahead. The question looms: how do you get a book published?

Here you will learn how to navigate the ins-and-outs of the publishing business and you’ll write (and refine) the most important selling tool for your book—the query letter. All under the guidance of an established literary agent.

You won’t be told it’s impossible, or that it’s easy. You will, however, gain a realistic understanding of how the process works and how you can maximize your chances for success.

About How To Get Published
How To Get Published

I liked the instructor's ability to speak from the agent's perspective and to teach us what the business of publishing is all about. Invaluable!

Margaret Nitka

business owner/freelance writer


This course deals with all kinds of books—novels, children’s books, and all types of nonfiction books. If you’re working on a nonfiction book, then you may want to start with Nonfiction Book Proposal.

Though self-publishing is touched on, the focus is on getting published with a traditional publisher.

Upcoming Classes

Masks are not required, but we’ll provide masks for those who want them. We are no longer requesting proof of vaccination.

More Covid details


Registration fee $25, paid once per term



This course shows you the process of getting your book published, and helps you craft a winning query letter. Course components:
     Writing and receiving feedback on a query letter for your book (each student presenting work two times)

Week 1
A Book is a Product: Defining your book (product). Types of fiction, nonfiction, and children’s books. Hooks and angles. Titles. Nonfiction book proposals. The physical manuscript/proposal. Query letters. Novel synopsis. (Samples are provided for query letters, nonfiction book proposals, and novel synopses.)

Week 2
The Publishing World: Understanding publishing houses, editors, and agents. How readers are accessed. The promotional role of today's author. Self-publishing.

Week 3
Zeroing In, Sending Out: Should you approach agents or editors first? Criteria to consider for agents and editors. Number of targets to choose. Researching the right agents and editors for your book. What to send, how to send it.

Week 4
Acceptance and Rejection: The slush pile. Deciphering responses. Keeping track of submissions. Dealing with rejection. What to do when an agent or editor says yes. Contracts. The preparation process. The writing community. Other writing outlets. Sharpening skills. Attitude.

Note: Content may vary among individual classes.


J. L. Stermer
J. L. Stermer

J. L. Stermer is the owner and CEO of Next Level Lit. She's previously worked as a literary agent representing both fiction and nonfiction at New Leaf Literary & Media, UTA, and the Donald Maass Literary Agency. She holds a BA from Columbia University. 

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