Gabriela Pereira



Going to a writing conference can be one of the biggest, most game-changing decisions you make in your writing career. I should know, because for every step toward success I’ve had in my writing career I can point to a moment that led to that success and all of these moments happened at a conference. It was at a writing conference where I first met my agent. And my editor. And more mentors and professional colleagues than I can count. Hands-down the conference that has had the biggest impact on my career as a writer has been the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference.

That said, going to a conference is a big investment and when you take that leap you want to make sure you get the most out of the experience. That’s where the DIY MFA Insiders Program comes in. This comprehensive package is something that I have personally crafted and designed with every detail in mind. It is the conference program that I would have wanted to have when I first stared navigating the conference circuit.

Meet Your Troop Leader

Hi, I’m Gabriela Pereira, instigator of DIY MFA and your personal guide at WDC. I have been attending this conference since 2011 and have seen it grow dramatically over the years. I have gone to this conference as an attendee, as a member of the press, and in most recent years as a speaker.

Most important, if you choose to join the DIY MFA Insiders Program, I’ll be your WDC “troop leader,” helping you get the most out of the event, sharing insider tips, and guiding you through all aspects of the conference: before, during and after.

What The Program Includes

Before the Conference:

From the moment you register until the week leading up to the main event, I’ll walk you through everything you need to prep so you get the most out of your conference experience.

  • Pre-Conference Prep Webinar: This exclusive webinar will give you an overview on how to prepare for the conference. I’ll share my conference strategies, and insider tips that can help you forge meaningful connections even before setting foot at the conference. My goal is for you to arrive in New York feeling confident and prepared.
  • Pre-Conference Prep Video Training: If you missed the live webinar or want to review the material, this training video will bring you up to speed. Plus I’ll address frequently-asked questions that may not come up during the live webinar itself.
  • Conference Prep Checklist: My handy-dandy “cheat sheet” will help you keep track of everything you need to prepare before heading to NYC, so you don’t forget a single detail.
  • DIY MFA Insiders Online Community: This private Facebook group (moderated by yours truly and my trusty team) will let you connect with other DIY MFA Insiders before the conference so when you arrive, you’ll already have a network and a supportive group of likeminded writers.
  • DIY MFA Insiders Newsletter: Leading up to the conference, you’ll get periodic updates from me with reminders, power tips, and any other logistical info I think you might need. Plus, as New Yorker (born, raised, and still living here) I’ll share my city tips, fav restaurants, and bookish haunts.

During the Conference:

I’ll be at WDC to guide and support you throughout the conference, plus you’ll get access to two exclusive events: one to help improve your writing craft, and one to help you with the business side of things.

  • “Storytelling Superpower” Master Class | Thursday 3:00 PM - 5:50 PM. This intensive workshop will help you discover your strengths as a writer and develop your skills so you can write the best book possible.
  • The “Hour with the Agents” Pre-Cocktail Social | Friday 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM Spend an hour networking and connecting with agents and editors in a relaxed, social context. This is an exclusive event, and not open to the conference at large. Afterwards, hang out and enjoy the DIY MFA book launch party from 6:30 – 8:30 PM. (You’ll also get a complimentary drink ticket!)

After the Conference:

All too often, writers come home all revved up after a conference, but between the whirlwind of getting back to “real life” they never get around to implementing what they learned. I want to give you the tools so this does not happen to you.

  • Continued Access to the Online Community: The DIY MFA Insiders Facebook group will continue to stay open for at least six months after the conference, so you can stay in touch with fellow writers, share post-conference updates, and ask questions. You will also continue to get occasional email updates from me after the conference with tips and techniques to help you implement what you learned.
  • Bonus Audio of DIY MFA Conference Sessions: DIY MFA policy is that we don’t allow any recordings of our signature conference sessions. But since you’re part of the special program, you will get exclusive access to the audio recordings of the two sessions I’m giving at the conference. You’ll receive links to these downloads after the event.
  • Put-It-Into-Action Workbook: This downloadable workbook will be available one week prior to the conference. Print it out, bring it with you, and take notes while sessions are still fresh in your mind. Use this this workbook when you get home to determine which steps to implement after the conference, and track your progress.

More Details

About the “Storytelling Superpower” Master Class

Before you study writing techniques and master the craft, before you pitch your book to agents and build your platform, you must write a phenomenal book. And before you can write this amazing, breakout book you need figure out if you’re writing the right book in the first place. How do you zero in on a topic or story and–more important–determine that it’s the one for you?

Most writers struggle not with a lack of ideas and interests, but with having too many and not knowing where to focus their energy. This is why understanding your Storytelling Superpower is crucial.

Every writer has a signature skill or flourish, something they are uniquely good at executing on the page. This might be gorgeous imagery and sensory details that bring your story’s world to life. Or it might be a knack for writing tight plots with unexpected twists that keep your readers guessing. Or maybe your strength lies in creating characters with whom your readers can’t help but empathize. This is your Storytelling Superpower and in order to write that breakout book, you need to play to that strength.

In this workshop, you will identify the story niche or subject matter that you are uniquely skilled at writing. Through short lectures and intensive writing exercises, you will learn how to build on the story elements you are already good at crafting, but also improve the areas where you still have a ways to go. At the end of the workshop, you’ll leave energized and inspired so that you can write your best book, and get it published.

About the “Hour with the Agents” Pre-Cocktail Social

I’ve attended hundreds of writing conferences, and often the most meaningful interactions and pivotal career moments have happened serendipitously and in a social setting. I want to facilitate these types of opportunities for you. As a DIY MFA Insider, you get a V.I.P. invite to my book launch cocktail one hour before the doors open to anyone else. The only other people at this exclusive event will be… (drumroll please) agents and editors!

That’s right, I am personally inviting my network of agents, editors, and other amazing publishing folks to this cocktail hour. My goal: to give you the opportunity to make meaningful connections with top publishing influencers in a relaxed, social setting. Plus, if you’re pitching on Saturday, this is a great opportunity to speak with some of those agents in a less pressured environment, so when you meet them again at the Pitch Slam you’ll be cool and collected, and ready pitch like a rock-star.

Don’t miss this opportunity to make the most of your time in New York and to make your trip as meaningful as possible. But hurry—seats for this exclusive opportunity will go quickly. Get yours now.

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