How to Write a Book Proposal for Your Memoir

If you want to land a publishing deal for your memoir, there is one thing you need: a standout book proposal to submit to literary agents and editors.

Daunting, right?

You might be wondering:

  • How can I find a publisher for my memoir?

  • What even IS a book proposal?

  • Can’t I just send in my manuscript?

  • What are agents and editors looking for?

  • How can I make my book idea stand out?

All of these questions—and so much more—will be answered in this 2-hour webinar. Hosted by two acclaimed writers and editors, it cuts through the confusion so that you can write a memoir that brings your unique story to life—and convince agents and editors to fall in love with your book idea.

This micro-retreat is your chance to step away from the daily grind and benefit from valuable industry insights that will bring you closer to landing the publishing deal of your dreams.


Who should attend?

  • Writers with a partial memoir manuscript completed, wondering if they should write a book proposal

  • Memoirists who have a first draft completed, but are not sure what to do next

  • Writers who have started to create a memoir book proposal but need advice

In this live Zoom event, you will be able to chat with Joanne and Sally and ask the questions that are on your mind.
How does it work?

The micro-retreat is accessed using Zoom on your computer or mobile device. The Q&A is managed through a chat-style submission system, with questions being read and answered by Joanne and Sally for the group to hear.


All you need is a computer or iOS device, and an internet connection.


The micro-retreat will be recorded, and you will receive a copy of the presentation via email in the week following the event.


Joanne Spataro is a writer, ghostwriter and writing teacher living in New York City. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Forbes, Vice, and The Huffington Post. Her essay, “Rallying for Regular Lives in North Carolina,” appeared in We Are Not This, a book featuring 12 writers with ties to North Carolina. Sales of the book were donated to LGBTQ charities in Charlotte and North Carolina as a response to the NC General Assembly’s passage of HB2. Joanne is currently working on her memoir.

With 20+ years’ experience in book publishing, Sally Collings knows what makes a great book proposal—and how to write them. Former non-fiction publisher for HarperCollins and editorial director for Amber Books, Sally now works as a ghostwriter and developmental editor, specializing in nonfiction book proposals and manuscripts. Her author clients have published with HarperBusiness, St. Martin’s Press, Simon & Schuster, and Chronicle Books, or have successfully published independently. Born in Australia, Sally now call Northern California home, and gets her kicks running through the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Sally Collings

Where: Zoom (on signup we will send you an invitation to join the meeting)


When: We run our micro-retreats 2-3 times each year. 

Register interest in our next event below.

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Are you ready to write your book proposal?



“Sally’s ability to organize, structure, perfect and polish my stories with ease was astonishing. I ended up as a fan of her incredible talent.”

—Shane Jacobson, actor & bestselling author


How many people attend each micro-retreat?


We deliberately keep the group small, capping it at 20 people. That way, you get all the attention and interaction you need.

I've started drafting my memoir proposal. Can I send it to you to review?


Absolutely. We invite attendees to send us their full or partial proposals, and we will give feedback on as many of them as we can during the micro-retreat.

When will the next micro-retreat be held?

We run our micro-retreats 2-3 times each year. Register your interest above, and we will let you know when the next one is scheduled.