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Toni Lopopolo

How to Write a Novel that Sells

Insider tips for writing a marketable novel or book-length narrative nonfiction (memoir) 

1:00 - 3:30 PM
El Cabrillo

This interactive workshop will expand your knowledge on what’s required of current fiction and memoir. Discover how to wow today’s agents and editors.  Understand what it takes to get a contract with a publisher. 

This workshop will help you to avoid common mistakes.  Bring the first several pages of your novel or memoir (double-spaced, one side of the page, please) for feedback in the workshop. Toni emphasizes the importance of effective dialogue, how to get the author out of the way. Learn about creating intimacy between your characters and your reader. Develop your voice.

Appointments with Toni are also available though SBWC's Agents program.


Literary Agent, Toni Lopopolo, has a book-publishing resume that began in 1970 in the publicity department of Bantam Books, where she publicized authors Philip Roth, Barbara Cartland, Louis L'Amour, and others. 

When Macmillan offered Toni the title of executive editor, she published Judy Mazel's Beverly Hills Diet, Elvis 56 by Al Wertheimer, among other hits. Next, Toni became executive editor for St. Martin's Press: 1981 to 1990, published Hot Flashes, Barbara Raskin, Rich and Famous, Kate Coscarelli, plus Elsa Lanchester, Herself, by Elsa Lanchester, and many more. 

In 1991, Toni opened Literary Management, sold books for authors: Sol Stein, Robin Tiffney, and O’Donnell, Gloria Arenson, Shelly Lowenkopf, Lee Silber, Lillian Glass, Steve Duno, Nancy Baer, and others. 

She teaches Fiction Boot Camp, Memoir Writers Intensive, and an ongoing workshop, Tea with Toni, in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. Toni’s noted for her popular lecture, “The Ten Most Common Mistakes First Novelists Make.”

Suggested reading:

  •  Sol Stein On Writing by Sol Stein
  •  Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne & Dave King
  • Write Away by Elizabeth George
  •  Story Genius by Lisa Cron