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The Art of Querying Literary Agents and Publishers

($) CAD
  • ($) USD
WOOCS v.2.3.1


Instructor: Akin Akinwumi
Dates: Fridays, 7–9pm EST (4–6pm Pacific)
Feb. 24–March 31, 2023 

Whether pursuing a literary agent to represent your work to publishers or submitting directly to a publisher, mastering the art of querying will ensure that both you and your work stand out from the crowd. Through lectures, roundtable discussions, real-world examples, assignments, and personalized written feedback, literary agent Akin Akinwumi will demystify the querying process and show you how to get the attention of an agent or editor via a strong and compelling query letter. ​​In just six weeks, Akin will prepare you for the next stage of publishing by covering every part of the book queries, from honing your elevator pitch and overview, to identifying your audience and competition. (more details below)

FREE WEBINAR: Wondering if this course is the right fit for you? Join Akin on Friday, Feb. 3rd at  3pm ET (12pm Pacific) for his free one-hour webinar Demystifying Book Queries. Register for free here ≥≥

Payment plans can be arranged. Email to request.

29 in stock


Over the course, students will:

  • Learn how to query literary agents and publishers with guidance from a literary agent
  • Learn how to identify agents and publishers that are a perfect fit for book(s) of any genre
  • Learn how to craft outstanding elevator pitches
  • Create target audience profiles
  • Create competitive title analyses
  • Write a professional query letter (around 700 words) that incorporates all key elements from the course

This course is intended for intermediate and experienced writers of all genres seeking to gain the audience of literary agents and publishers. Students will learn what goes into an industry standard query letter and then write their own under the guidance of Akin Akinwumi. If you’re unsure whether this course is for you, ask us at info@pandemicuniversity.com

Fridays, 7–9pm EST (4–6pm Pacific)
Feb. 24–March 31, 2023 

  • Class 1 (Feb. 24): Introduction: The Querying Process and the Query Letter
  • Class 2 (March 3): The Elevator Pitch
  • Class 3 (March 10): The Overview
  • Class 4 (March 17): The Target Audience
  • Class 5 (March 24): The Competitive Title Analysis and Unique Proposition
  • Class 6 (March 31): The Author Bio + Conclusion and Q&A

After checkout, you’ll receive a receipt with a link to download your syllabus, which will include Zoom passcodes, pre-class homework, and additional course information. You will also receive an emailed reminder a few days before your first class.


Akin Akinwumi is the founder of , an international agency dedicated to representing writers working in contemporary literature. Akin started the agency in 2019 to offer a compelling alternative to the conventional literary agency model. His main areas of specialization are literary fiction, literary nonfiction, general nonfiction, visual narrative, and poetry. Akin is especially keen on themes of contemporary and cultural interest as well as fresh angles on the human experience and the world around us. His clients include writers who have won or have been nominated for the International Booker Prize, Fitzcarraldo Editions Novel Prize, Commonwealth Short Story Prize, and others. He has placed books with Graywolf Press, Abrams Press, Penguin Canada, Coach House Press, and other esteemed publishers.

In addition to working directly in publishing, Akin is interested in the educational side of things, teaching at Simon Fraser University and guest lecturing about creative writing and publishing at Stanford University, New York University, and University of Glasgow. He lives in the Edmonton area with his family. To learn more about Akin and the writers he represents, visit willenfield.com.


Pandemic University is committed to offering a fulfilling and inclusive education. Classes are held via Zoom with Closed Captioning features enabled through auto-transcription technology. A teaching assistant will be present to correct transcription mistakes and assist in other ways. The course includes workshops and class discussions, thus students are required to participate through audio; accommodations can be made for people with speaking or other disabilities if they inform us ahead of schedule. Video is encouraged of all students in order to optimize everyone’s virtual classroom experience.


The course is designed for live participation, however, if you can’t be present for a class, or must leave early, a recording will be provided in the student folder the morning after. Students are expected to be present and intellectually curious during class time. Please be ready to participate with working cameras and audio. If you’re ever stuck or may need accommodation, please reach out to your instructor or TA.


Space is limited to 30 students. Anyone wishing to cancel their registration will have until Feb. 17, 2023 to receive a guaranteed refund. If you cancel after Feb. 17 but before Feb. 23, 2023 we will only offer a refund if and after the vacated spot is filled. No refunds whatsoever will be offered after the course begins on Feb. 24. A minimum of approximately 10 enrolments is required for the course to proceed. In the event that we don’t reach this threshold, all enrolees will receive a full refund. Violations of the Code of Conduct may also result in your removal from the course without compensation.


Although PanU is technically a fake university, we’re committed to high standards of artistic integrity, quality education, and maintaining a safe virtual environment for students. Abusive behaviour toward classmates or instructors will not be tolerated at any point during the course, including in private messages, and will result in expulsion without refund.

Other violations that could have you expelled from this course include: refusing to participate in group workshops; plagiarism and misrepresentation of others’ ideas as your own; sharing recordings of classes; sharing classmates’ work without their consent; and racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia either in your notes feedback to classmates or in your written work.

The final say on whether or not you continue in class belongs to the instructor alone. If you have any questions, email info@pandemicuniversity.com.