The Book Proposal Factory, Spring 2022

A workshop to help you do the work.

This eight-week workshop takes place virtually, via Zoom. The workshop is aimed at people who either have a book idea that needs more development or who have a defined book idea and are seeking support and accountability to get the work of drafting a book proposal done.

The group will be capped at 12 people and carefully curated to ensure a mix of attendees who will be a good fit for supporting one another. Each week will have two 90 minute sessions (Tuesdays and Thursdays). One weekly session will be an informal instruction seminar featuring discussions and Q&As with guest speakers. You will have an assignment for the other session of each week, during which you will discuss and workshop the homework. Depending on your objectives and where you’re starting from, you can either use each week’s assignment as an opportunity to hone your ideas or to actually complete a draft of that part of the proposal. The meetings will include discussion with the whole group, and you’ll also work in smaller breakout groups to share feedback and support on the assignments. 

In addition to the two 90 minute Zoom meetings each week, plan to spend at least 1 or 2 hours (but potentially much more) on the homework, depending on what stage you’re in with your idea. Each week we’ll go through a different section of the proposal. What you get out of the workshop and the discussion sessions will be highly dependent on the time and effort you put into the homework.


Amanda Cook, Vice President and Editorial Director at Crown, an imprint of Penguin Random House. She specializes in idea-driven and narrative nonfiction across a number of subject areas, including current affairs, science, history, psychology, politics, and economics. She has published many bestselling books, including Evicted, by Matthew Desmond, winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in Nonfiction, The Splendid and the Vile and Dead Wake, by Erik Larson, How Democracies Die, by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, Weapons of Math Destruction, by Cathy O’Neil, American Wolf, by Nate Blakeslee, and How Civil Wars Start, by Barbara F. Walter. Over the years, she’s worked with a wide range of writers and scholars, including Rebecca Skloot, Sheri Fink, Tom Reiss, Deborah Blum, Kate Manne, Jay Caspian Kang, Gal Beckerman, and Sarah Stewart Johnson. A graduate of Bowdoin College and Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Amanda began her publishing career in 1996 at Addison-Wesley, which became part of the Perseus Books Group, and then went on to work for Basic Books and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt before joining Crown in 2012. She lives and works in Boston with her husband, Gareth Cook, and their two sons.

Laurie Fox, a partner at the Linda Chester Literary Agency. A graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz (Writing and Theatre Arts), she is also a published author of fiction and poetry, including two novels, My Sister from the Black Lagoon and The Lost Girls (both from Simon & Schuster), and the interactive poetry book Sexy Hieroglyphics (Chronicle Books). A movie of The Lost Girls starring Vanessa Redgrave will debut this June. Laurie represents books in the areas of literary and quality fiction, including speculative and science fiction, memoir/biography, cultural history, popular culture and the arts, science and technology, social issues, history and current events, and quirky humor.

Alice Martell, the Martell Agency. Alice is agent to such writers as Gail Collins, David Haskell, Linda Marsa, Domingo Martinez, Gretchen Soren, Chelsea Wald and Christie Aschwanden.

Betsy Mason, freelance science journalist and 2022 Alicia Patterson Foundation fellow. Her work has appeared in publications including National Geographic, The New York Times, Science, Nature, WIRED, Science News, Scientific American, Outside, Discover, and Knowable. She is coauthor with Greg Miller of All Over the Map: A Cartographic Odyssey, an illustrated book about maps and cartography for National Geographic. Betsy was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT in 2015-2016. Previously she was senior editor at WIRED, and science reporter at the Contra Costa Times. She has a master’s degree in geology from Stanford University and is a graduate of the UC Santa Cruz Science Communication Program. She serves as secretary of the board of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

Annalee Newitz, author of multiple science fiction and nonfiction books. They are the author of Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age, and the novels The Future of Another Timeline, and Autonomous, which won the Lambda Literary Award. As a science journalist, they are a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times, and have a monthly column in New Scientist. They have published in The Washington Post, Slate, Popular Science, Ars Technica, The New Yorker, and The Atlantic, among others. They are also the co-host of the Hugo Award-winning podcast Our Opinions Are Correct. Previously, they were the founder of io9, and served as the editor-in-chief of Gizmodo. 

Matt Weiland, vice president and senior editor at W.W. Norton & Company. A former editor at Granta and The Paris Review, he is also the co-editor, with Sean Wilsey, of State by State: A Panoramic Portrait of America. 

Dates & Times:
The workshop begins May 17, 2022 and meets every Tuesday and Thursday for the first six weeks, and on Thursdays only for the last two weeks.

Time: 12pm Pacific/1pm MDT/2pmCDT/3pmEDT
Each session is 90 minutes

May 17, 19, 24, 26, 31
June 2, 7, 9, 14, 16, 21, 23, 30
July 7

Cost: $900 (payment plans available)

Application here:

***The workshop is now full. To inquire about the wait list, email**

Applications will be assessed and accepted on a rolling basis until the workshop is full. First notifications will begin no later than April 22.

Questions? email