Wednesday, November 9th, 2022 @ 2:00 pm - 3:15 pm Eastern
Level All Levels
It’s one of the most despised documents of all time: the synopsis. Agents and editors sometimes ask for a synopsis because they need to know—from beginning to end—what happens in your novel or memoir.
The synopsis reassures publishing professionals (before they spend time on your manuscript) that your story has been well conceived, offers well-developed characters and tension, and closes with strength. It shows the scope of your work and how well it is paced. And it might reveal big problems in your story—e.g., random events without a compelling character arc, lack of continuity or theme, or an incomplete storyline. It can also reveal wonderfully complex characters and masterful storytelling.
In this class with publishing expert Jane Friedman, you’ll learn how to write a synopsis that’s lean, powerful, and engaging. And just as important, you’ll get examples of what to avoid.
By the end of the session, you will:
Whether you’re writing a novel or a memoir, writing a synopsis works in exactly the same way. Both fiction and nonfiction examples will be used. However, writers of personal essay collections are not a good fit for this class. (When pitching a book that doesn’t have a beginning-middle-end, a synopsis is not relevant or will not make much sense. Instead, write a chapter summary, not a synopsis.)
Feedback opportunity: If you’re open to having your synopsis used as part of the presentation for constructive critique (Jane will be kind), email [email protected] after you register and paste your synopsis right into the body of the email. (No attachments, please.) Your identity will be kept confidential, but of course, your story details will not. Keep in mind that feedback is not guaranteed, and it won’t be a formal or full critique. But it’ll still be fun and useful!
All registrants receive a recording.
Closed captioning will be available.
Out of stock
It is not uncommon for classes to fill up before the end of early registration, particularly in the last few days before the deadline. If you know for certain that you wish to take a particular class, we recommend registering early. If you'd like to be added to a waitlist for a sold-out class, please email our director of education, Sharla Yates, at [email protected].
Creative Nonfiction’s online writing classes have helped more than 3,000 writers tell their stories better.
I enjoyed reading other peoples work and getting feedback about my own work– the handouts/video links and class lessons were also very informative and relevantly paced to the give structural guidelines.Catherine O’Neill
I enjoyed reading other peoples work and getting feedback about my own work– the handouts/video links and class lessons were also very informative and relevantly paced to the give structural guidelines.
We usually open the webinar 3-5 minutes prior to start time (see webinar invite) so you can check your audio settings and make sure everything is working properly on your end. The host will welcome everyone and ask you to introduce yourself and share where you’re joining from in the text-based chat. Participation in the chat is optional.
The actual webinar program usually gets rolling five minutes after the start time. This is also when the recording starts if you watch the video afterward.
No one can hear you or see you during the webinar. The only people who are visible and can be heard during the webinar are the instructor and host.
Audio Settings: If you’re unable to hear any sound during the webinar, please look at the bottom left of your Zoom window for Audio Settings, and click the small arrow to check your settings.
Getting familiar with the Zoom software
There are several ways to interact with the presenter and other students during the webinar:
*Formal Q & A window
Live Chat: The live chat is where you can exchange messages in real time with other students attending the webinar, as well as the instructor and host. Usually your chat visibility defaults to just the presenter/panelists. If you want everyone attending to see your chat message (and most people do), then you need to select “everyone” or “all panelists and attendees” in the chat window.
How to banish the chat: We encourage you to make use of the live chat throughout the webinar because it’s one of the great benefits of joining the live event. However, some find the chat distracting and would like to turn it off. As of today, Zoom doesn’t allow students to disable the chat, but there is a way to effectively “banish” it if you do not want to see it:
Formal Q & A:
All webinars include time for Q & A with the presenter. This will be included in the recording.
In most cases, unless you see the download arrow under the recording window, you will not be able to download the recording. You will have ongoing access to the recording link to view at your leisure. You can download any supplemental materials provided by following the links in the webinar recording description. The recording will be sent to you three days after the live event.
Yes, we’re sorry this happened. These messages are sent from “[email protected]” and sometimes go missing. Please email us and we’ll respond with a link to the recording.
We ask for 3 days to send you the recording. If you do not receive it within that time frame, please contact us and we’ll assist you.
If the webinar is not marked “sold out,” you can still join.
Replays include ongoing access to the recording and downloadable supplemental materials.
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