Allison Williams

Pitch, Publish and Get Paid

How to sell and share your essays, blog posts, and op-eds


Allison K Williams


Live on Sept. 14, 2022, or watch recording


Writers new or inexperienced at pitching short nonfiction


Closed captions by Otter; transcript provided with recording

One of the surest ways to sell your book and build your writing career is by sharing your “big idea” with the world. Publishing a strong, short piece in a major media outlet can get attention from agents and publishers as well as building your own audience—witness how many New York Times Modern Love columns have become books. Sharing regular content related to your work through a blog, newsletter or Substack gets your thoughts into the world and primes your audience to become your book-buyers.

Or maybe short form is the writing that thrills you, and you’d like to do a lot more of it—while getting paid! How can you build your portfolio so that editors welcome your pitches and even seek you out as the best person to write an article they have in mind?

In this 75-minute live webinar with Allison K Williams, we’ll learn how to sell essays and op-eds “on spec,” and the key components of a strong editorial pitch. You’ll learn how to write a blog in an hour (really!), tailor your essay to your ideal publishing venue, and construct a powerful, provoking op-ed.

This workshop will cover:

  • How to pull key ideas from your book and make them newsworthy now
  • A step-by-step process from idea to finished, posted blog in an hour (with a little practice!)
  • Repurposing your pitch to sell the same facts in 3 or more different stories
  • Dealing with internet criticism (should you ever read the comments?)
  • Targeting your work to your core audience—and making sure they see it!
  • How copying the structure and tone of already-published work makes your original content feel “right” for a media outlet (and how to get into McSweeney’s)
  • The three things that make a great pitch—and just how short that email can be
  • Finding who to send that pitch to, and the secret way to know exactly what they’re looking for
  • Sharing your work on and beyond social media, quickly and painlessly
  • How to write a piece once and publish it six times
  • Where to find out which publications pay—and how much

Who should take this class

  • Writers interested in freelancing who need help choosing/finding where to publish
  • Freelancers ready to level up with techniques for writing faster and publishing more widely
  • Nonfiction writers and memoirists getting query rejections for “not enough platform”
  • Writers who know their audience is out there, but aren’t sure how to find them
  • Bloggers and newsletter writers who want to write faster
  • Everyone mystified by what the heck a “pitch” is—and what makes one sellable
  • Writers who really want to publish in a particular place, but can’t figure out the secret sauce to get in

This class isn’t suited for

  • Wild, free creative spirits who will just feel like sell-outs if they write with audience or money in mind

What’s included in all of Jane’s classes

How do I attend the live class?

This class uses Zoom webinar technology (see system requirements). You will join through your Internet-connected computer or mobile device. When you register, you will receive information via email on how to join the class. If you don’t receive it within 1 hour of registering, please contact us.

  • When: Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022
  • Time: 1:00–2:15 p.m. Eastern / 10:00 a.m. Pacific
  • Fee: $25

The webinar is broadcasted via the internet with live audio delivered through your computer or mobile device speakers. The visual presentation is displayed directly from the presenter’s computer to your computer screen. The Q&A is managed through a chat-style submission system with questions read and answered by the presenter for the entire class to hear.

Closed captions are provided during the live class. We use Zoom’s automated closed caption service (powered by Otter), which is about 80%+ accurate. We also use Otter AI to generate an unedited transcript, provided with the recording.

Allison Williams

About the instructor

Allison K Williams is the author of Seven Drafts: Self-Edit Like a Pro From Blank Page to Book. She has edited and coached writers to publishing deals with Penguin Random House, Knopf, Mantle, Spencer Hill, and St. Martin’s Press as well as hybrid and independent presses. She’s guided essayists and humorists to publication in media including the New Yorker, Time, the Guardian, the New York Times, McSweeney’s, Refinery29, Hippocampus, the Belladonna and TED Talks. As Social Media Editor for Brevity, she inspires thousands of writers with weekly blogs on craft and the writing life.

As a memoirist, essayist, and travel journalist, Allison has written craft, culture and comedy for National Public Radio, CBC-Canada, the New York Times, the Christian Science MonitorCreative Nonfiction, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Kenyon Review Online, the Prairie Schooner blog, the Drum and Travelers’ Tales and Flash Nonfiction Funny. 

Allison holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University and spent 20 years as a circus aerialist and acrobat before writing and editing full-time. She leads the Rebirth Your Book writing retreats series.

I am so glad I attended Allison’s webinar. It is exactly what I needed. I don’t need a cheerleader to tell me my story is important, I need no-nonsense how-to. This was that! THANK YOU!!!!

Jamie Beth Cohen

You’re the best presenter I’ve seen in quite a while: efficient, clearly knowledgeable, pleasant to listen to, and provided great value.

Dawn Lybarger

Allison, working with you has totally transformed me as a writer. I wake up in the morning and I am ITCHING to write. I feel like I have to get all of this out of me, and I’m enjoying the process for the first time, really…at last, I know where I’m going with this book.

Amy Evrard Young

All students receive the following

  • Access to the live class. After roughly 60 minutes, Allison will take questions during class using in-class chat/text. The class will end after roughly 75 minutes.
  • A recording of the class—audio and video. This is especially helpful if you have a conflict with the class time or something comes up and you can’t make the session. Each registration comes with access to the archived version of the program and the materials for 30 days. You do not have to attend the live event to access the recordings.
  • Presentation slides. All participants receive a copy of the slide presentation in PDF form.
  • Rough transcript. We use Otter to create an automated transcript of the entire webinar, which we’ll share with you in addition to the audio and video recording.
  • Additional handouts: a workbook with essay, op-ed and pitch worksheets, and the How to Write a Blog in an Hour guide

Event Attendance & Anti-Harassment Policy

We strive to provide an environment where all present—whether attendee, presenter, or staff—can feel supported. In order to ensure a welcoming event, here is what we expect from all who participate.

  • That the presenter and the presenter’s work be treated with respect by attendees and that all attendees treat each other with respect and a generosity of spirit.
  • That attendees will refrain from harassment of any sort including (but not limited to) comments or questions of a racist, homophobic, sexist/sexual, or threatening nature. This includes actions that disrupt or interfere with anyone’s ability to participate. Offenders will be disconnected from the live event.