How to craft effective queries and proposals

Event Details

  • Event Date:
    Wednesday, April 17, 2019 from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm

A Recording of this event is now available to purchase!

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  • Non-Members:

Event Description

Phone Seminar
How to craft effective queries and proposals

with Michelle Zeitlin and Jane Cowen Hamilton of More Zap Literary

Wednesday, April 17, 2019
7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

This phone seminar for writers occurred in place of the usual Saturday seminar.

In case you are not available to join us live, a recording is available for. This seminar and other select seminars, as well as most panels, are always available for purchase on our IWOSC Recordings page (always available in the menus).

Nearly all books are sold with a proposal that enlists the aid of a literary agent in convincing an acquisitions editor at a publishing entity to advance funds to a writer with an idea.

So grab paper and pen and your best idea for non-fiction or fiction and learn how to snag an agent with irresistible query letters and book proposals. Jane and Michelle will take you through the steps to a successful book proposal and query.

No matter where you are with your work-in-progress, authors and screenwriters will find this phone seminar invaluable because a successful query and proposal are vital to selling a book or a screenplay.

If you would like to send in your sample Query, time permitting, we will take a look at it during the seminar and suggest changes. You will remain anonymous.

Webinar Talking Points

  • Know Your Genre before you Query
  • Short and Sweet vs. Clever and Snarky
  • Fiction and Non-Fiction — Do’s and Don’ts for Query to Literary Agents
  • Agents and Managers — Same and Different
  • Know who you are pitching — Do your Homework

Questions before and during the Seminar

If you have any questions ahead of time, you may send them to us in the registration form.
You will still have opportunity for questions. In your registration confirmation, you will receive info on how to submit those questions.

About our presenters — Michelle Zeitlin and Jane Cowen Hamilton — More Zap

More Zap Literary represents top-selling authors in all genres and emerging voices. Clients include a world famous fashion designer, psycho therapist to the “super rich” and artists in dance, music, television, film, and Broadway. More Zap also has ghost writers who work to shape proposals and manuscripts for publication. They look at the total branding experience with their clients. They are accepting submissions from all genres — both fiction and non-fiction — for adults, Y/A, and children’s literature. 
More Zap also offers freelance consulting services — how to contact publishers and acquisitions editors, how to shape non-fiction proposals, and how to fully brand your projects for ancillary opportunities. 

Michelle Zeitlin

After an early dance career with the Joffrey Ballet Concert Group, NYC, and on Broadway and in TV/Film projects, Michelle Zeitlin started directing/producing and writing original content for live productions, TV/Film scripted and unscripted programs. Her platform Passion-to-Power  was just presented in the UK for Weston College (UC Weston) for dance, film studies and acting and writing for camera, and she was a keynote speaker at Move It 2019 at London Excel, speaking on Career Strategy for Arts & Literacy.

Her feature film treatment, Liberty Street earned her Story By credit with Screenplay credit going to Lisa Loomer, Academy-Award Winner, Bel-AIR Entertainment, Warner Bros.

After 20 years working in Talent Development & Management, following a two-year stint as head of Bobby Ball Agency’s Dance/Choreography and Equity Divisions as Agent, More Zap launched the Literary wing adding Authors and Artists. Books placed include a deal for Author Patrice Karst, with The Invisible String franchise, released in new original paperback, October, 2018, with three hardback children’s book sequels to be released in the coming months, with Little Brown Books for Young Readers /Hachette. Other deals include non-fiction memoirs, including I Wrote That One Too by Steve Dorff with Colette Freedman for BackBeat/Hal Leonard which has now been released as an Audio Book with BMG. She has pop culture narratives, upmarket women’s fiction, Y/A, middle grade, and chapter books in market and is open to considering all genres.

Jane Cowen Hamilton

Jane Cowen Hamilton, a native New Yorker, grew up in a family with prominent literary agents; Julian Bach, her grandfather and John Ware, her uncle. She is a graduate in Art History from Barnard College, and began her career at Rizzoli International in the editing department and later attended the Fashion Institute of Technology for Interior Design and as well as Bauman College of Nutrition in Boulder Colorado.

Jane has extensive expertise in writing and research in the decorative and arts fields and has owned her own Interior Design firm in Los Angeles and New York. Working alongside Michelle Zeitlin, More Zap Literary, Jane considers literary properties in the arts, design, history, health, culinary, and personal growth as well as fiction, memoir, adult and children’s books. Jane brings to More Zap a discerning eye for cultural trends. She has a passion for bringing sophisticated, stylish, new subjects to the public at large. Having lived in New York, London, Los Angeles and Boulder, Colorado, she has a feel for varied markets and audiences.

Properties she represents must be equally intellectual as well as innovative and entertaining. She invites projects that will educate and uplift the reader to aspire to lead a better life.

About our Moderator — Gary Young

Gary Young’s plays have been produced and performed at the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, the White House, the Smithsonian, and venues throughout the US and Europe.

He has worked with Jean Kennedy Smith as a coordinator for the National Very Special Arts Festival, and has produced festivals and written grant proposals to fund programs for, by, and with disabled populations and the underprivileged. Funding agencies include the former HEW, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, Mobil Oil, US Airlines, and several private foundations.

His play, Interruptions — A life, a death, pizza, dancing and Murphy’s Law, premiered at the Kennedy Center and enjoyed a West Coast premier in Los Angeles, June through September, 2000, at the Stella Adler Theatre in Hollywood. His new novel, Glimmer the Bright Moonlight and the sequel, Slingshot, will be released soonish.

Gary is the co-author, with his wife, Kathy, of Loss and Found: Surviving the Loss of a Young Partner, with its second edition coming out soon.

Gary serves as President of the Publishers Association of Los Angeles, President of the Independent Writers of Southern California, Vice-Chair of the Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights, and Executive Director of the Lifetime Achievement Foundation.


In case you are not available to join us live, a recording is available for. This seminar and other select seminars, as well as most panels, are always available for purchase on our IWOSC Recordings page (always available in the menus).


Buy a recording of this event