Steve's Topics

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.

   -- Maya Angelou

TOUGH LOVE FOR WRITERS, an all-day workshop that includes the topics below, and more. See more, here.

The Quintessential Query. When you submit your work to an agent or publisher, you'll probably need to send a query; it's the most important letter that you will ever write. Learn the ten essential elements that will help you get to a "yes."


What NOT to Say to an Agent or Editor: No how matter how good your story, or how awesome your execution, it might not be enough. You still have to sell this thing. Learn what to say -- and, very importantly -- what NOT to say, when pitching your book.

Let’s Read That Publishing Contract.  So after years of struggle, you’ve finally landed an offer from a publisher. Great! Should you accept it? Do you even understand it? We will look over a typical contract, line by line. What’s good, what’s bad, and what’s worth fighting for.


So, You Want To Get Published? Many writers fail in their quest for publication, because they jumped into the restless waters without education or guidance. Publishing is a brutally competitive business, and you should look both ways before you cross this street.

Rejection-proof Submissions: Why You're Not Getting Published.  Have you sent off your manuscript to dozens of agents and editors, only to be rejected again and again? Learn the things they won't tell you; discover the most common problems, and how to avoid them. Hint:  It may have nothing to do with the quality of your writing or your story.

What does it mean to be a "Christian" writer? So you're a Christian, and you  feel called to write. Where do you start? Learn how to balance your craft and business with your ministry, and avoid the (very common!) unhealthy attitudes.

Do you need an agent?  With the rise of technology, you can do everything yourself. But should you? An experienced agent can do more for you than you might think.

Before You Jump Into Self-Publishing...  In the brave new world of publishing, you have more choices than ever before. Are you better off to bypass the "traditional" system? Self-pub offers many empowering advantages, but (apparent) empowerment is not always a good thing if you're not prepared to treat it like a business.


What Not to Say (WD Conf)Steven Hutson
Workshop from Writer's Digest Conference in Los Angeles, October 2016 "What not to say to an agent"