Earned International 3-Book Deal

Terence Harkin

      • Won agent over after reviewing first five pages and pitch with Annalisa
  • Earned three-book deal 
  • Books will have foreign translation rights and be distributed in the USA, Europe, and Asia

Terry met Annalisa at a writers conference in 2017, just hours before he was due to present his manuscript to a literary agent. With Annalisa’s help, he perfected  his pitch and fine-tuned his first five pages of his manuscript. With his newfound confidence, Terry blew the agent out of the water: he walked out with a 3-book deal that will be marketed internationally and translated into several languages. He was so grateful for the help, he took the whole Date with the Muse team out to dinner in New York that night! And when it was time for Terry to start work on his second book, he had no doubt about who to turn to. 

“I was having some doubts about how my second book was going to grab an audience. Working with Annalisa, she gave me a lot of valuable and positive feedback, which gave me a lot of incentive to go forward. This was instrumental in presenting myself to publishers, especially where Annalisa helped me sharpen up my pitch.”

Two Book Deals–in the Same Week!

Stephen Oliver

  • Completed 2 anthologies and started two more
  • Traditionally Published Author
  • Two  Full Manuscript Requests for Two different projects

Stephen has always been a prolific writer, capable of churning out original and promising manuscripts. The problem for Stephen was that he didn’t know how to revise his manuscripts to publishable. When Stephen began working with us, Annalisa helped him revise his short stories to meet publishing standards and compile them into a cohesive anthology.  After a few rounds of revision, she called an agent she knew, who immediately asked for Stephen’s full manuscript. Just a few days later, another agency requested another one of his manuscripts. Stephen is now not only on his way to publishing his first book traditionally, but to living the author lifestyle he longs for. 

Annalisa is a bloody marvel. Since starting with Annalisa I’ve completed two anthologies, written a third, and started two more–not to mention making major progress on my novel. She brought things out of me I hadn’t even realized I knew and made me think about my own writing in ways I’d never done before.”

Traditionally Published with Literary Wanderlust

  • Finished novel after years of frustration
  • Revised manuscript to publishable in Writing Gym’s Publishing Mastermind
  • Received full manuscript request within 20 minutes of query

Barbara is an MFA writer with incredible wit and talent, but when she came to us at the Writing Gym, she was feeling frustrated and defeated by the writing process. She was struggling to finish her manuscript and didn’t know how to make it “publishable.” Barbara and Annalisa  worked on revisions over the course of several months. When she finished revising, Annalisa sent her synopsis to an agent she works with frequently. Within 20 minutes of reading the synopsis, she asked for a full manuscript. 

My time with the Writing Gym has been nothing short of amazing. I have taken a story that has been in my brain for years and turned it into a humorous novel of which I am fiercely proud. Now that I’ve proven to myself I can finish writing a novel, I’m off to write my second while I query the first to agents. Look out, New York Times bestseller list. Here I come!”

Finished a Novel in 7 weeks

  • Finished a full-length novel in 7 weeks
  • Wrote 5 days a week in VIP program
  • Wrote 35,000 words in 2 weeks

Hannah had always dreamed of finishing a novel–a fantasy fiction novel, to be exact. She had tried time and time again, and had multiple novels started, but nothing finished. Finally, Hannah decided it was time to get help. In the Writing Gym VIP program, we gave her the steps, tools–and most importantly, the support– she needed to complete a novel.  In the end, Hannah did not finish her novel in eight weeks. She finished it in seven.

Two publications in 6 months

Short Story to be published in anthology
“Revolutionized” writing process
“Excited about writing again”

Before Lauren joined the Writing Gym, she was frustrated. She had been working on a novel for years, but was stuck spinning in endless circles of doubt, and frequently  avoided writing at all. Eventually, Lauren realized she needed to find help if she was going to continue writing. She needed to rethink her writing process and find a way to overcome her own inner critic. 

Since joining the Writing Gym, Lauren reports that her writing process has been revolutionized. Not to mention, one of her short stories was published in an anthology, an achievement which she says “I could NOT have without the techniques I’ve learned here.”

 “Do the Writing Gym. Jump now. If I could, I would go back and tell myself this years ago. I’d probably be so much further along than I am now, and would have saved myself so much frustration, so much wasted time and honestly wasted money too.  The Writing Gym has been by the most productive, most helpful writing program, I’ve used. I wish that I’d started it years ago.”


Landed a Literary Agent

Finished manuscript in Writing Gym 
Earned two manuscript requests from top agencies in one day
Successfully transitioned from screenwriting to novel writing 

Jeanne had been working for years as a screenwriter, when she decided to make a transition into writing novels. The problem was, Jeanne couldn’t find the right editor for this project. Nobody seemed to understand the crossover between writing for film and writing for the page, and failed at helping her make this jump. Finally,  she found Annalisa, who has experience in both screenwriting and fiction. It was a perfect fit. After just a few months of working together, Jeanne not only felt her writing skills were “light-years ahead” of where she started, but she had finished her manuscript. “Annalisa was the only person that I’d come across who was able to do that for me,” she says.

Shortly after finishing edits, Annalisa began calling agents on Jeanne’s behalf. Jeanne quickly received manuscript requests from both William Morris and Folio, two of the highest-profile agencies  in the industry, and two of her top picks. Jeanne is well on her way to publishing with a leading agency, and with all that she learned in the Writing Gym, feels both confident and excited about transitioning to writing novels. 

“If I was going to spend the money getting my MFA or spend the money on the Writing Gym, there is no question. Save the MFA money and put it into the Writing Gym  The MFA may or may not get you where you want to be, but work we do in the Writing Gym does.” 


Stopped Spinning in Revisions & On Path to Publication

Marlena has been writing for 15 years, but as she began reaching the end of her manuscripts, felt stumped about where to turn. She was struggling to get through the editing process and felt she was spending way too much time researching the querying process. She was feeling frustrated with how slow the final steps of publication are, and was beginning to worry that at the rate she was going, it would be years before her book got anywhere. Then she found the Writing Gym.

The Writing Gym has given her the tools and support to edit her manuscript according to industry standards, and with Annalisa’s help, she has already begun the querying process. Marlena says that her confidence has skyrocketed  since joining the Writing Gym, and after a decade and a half of writing, finally feels she’s found clarity on the process. 

While revising my documents to send to agents,  it hit me in an overwhelming way how my story, my manuscript, went through an evolution in the making. Recognizable, but yet, skillfully crafted. Describing my story in the query letter, synopsis, and elevator pitch is a huge step towards getting published. I am actually preparing to send my story to agents. Unbelievable”

Revised Full-Length Novel and Has Received Two Manuscript Requests

Revised manuscript to publishable
Has received two manuscript requests from two agencies
Feels more prepared to direct his own Marketing

Brendan has been passionate about writing ever since he can remember. Before he joined the Writing Gym, he had written and tried to publish a few of his fantasy novels. Although he was a skilled writer, none of his queries were ever answered. He knew he lacked knowledge about how to navigate the publishing industry, and realized that without professional help he was never going to professionally publish.

When Brendan grew close to finishing his newest manuscript, he decided this time he decided didn’t want to cut any corners. So he decided to join the Writing Gym and get the professional support and connections he knew he needed. Since then, he has completely revised and rewritten his manuscript to a publishable standard–without losing its essence–and has already received two manuscript requests in just his first round of submissions. 

“There is a reason why professional authors pair up with professional editors.”

International Publication

“I want to express my gratitude to you for helping me with my book, as my editor, my coach, my guide, and by being a powerful medium for me to share my story and send my message. You are a God send for me, I felt the soul connection from the very first day, and I really appreciate your kindness and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. What you are doing for me means the world to me, words do not even do justice to what I want to express. Souls like you, make it easier for us to speak and give us courage to share our stories. Thank you for holding my hand through this. Many blessings and higher consciousness to you.”

Dr. Priya Saklani

Publication and Book Signings

Wrote and published The Adventures of Hannah Claire
Invited to multiple book signings and speaking events as a result
Writing sequel
Short Story Published in Anthology

William Vanderbrook came to us with a rough draft of his first manuscript. He knew he had something good, but if he was going to succeed in getting published, he needed a quality editor. He enrolled in the Writing Gym, revised his manuscript, and successfully published. His book has become widely popular, and he has been invited to numerous book signings and speaking events as a result. He is now working on his second novel, and once again has elected our services to guide him through 



“August 8th was the first anniversary of the release of Adventures of Hannah Claire, time goes by quickly. Thank you Annalisa for the professional services that produced my first publication”

Finding Time to Write

Wrote 1,000 Words per Day in Writing Gym VIP with Three Month Old At Home
Developed craft to professional level 
Found confidence as a writer

Allie had a long list of reasons not to write–with a three month old at home, her life was already bursting at the seams with responsibilities. But writing was her passion, and she had dreams of publishing. Allie didn’t want to wait for her kid to grow and life to pass her by before working towards her dreams, but she knew if she was going to take this leap, she needed someone to hold her accountable and give her support. That’s why Allie joined the Writing Gym. With the support of her personal trainer and encouragement of the Writing Gym curriculum and community  she’s managed to write an average of 1,000 words a day. At this rate, Allie is well on her way to finishing and publishing her book. Yes, even with a newborn to take care of. 

“It’s hard finding time with a 3-month-old, but it’s been excuse after excuse for years now.  I need to sit down, say I’m going to write this book. I’m really glad I joined the Writing Gym VIP  because I finally have the accountability and support to get my book done.”

Wrote First Novel in 8 Week Bootcamp; Won Multiple Writing Contests

Seven years ago, Dana began making a transition  away from her career in accounting towards becoming a writer. She started out screenwriting, and found she was a natural–she’s won multiple writing competitions since starting her writing career. Realizing she was a natural-born writer, Dana  decided to take a swing at writing a novel. But this was a big endeavor, and Dana wanted support. That’s why she joined the Writing Gym. In the Writing Gym, Dana succeeded in writing an entire draft of her novel in just 8 weeks, and is well on her way to publication. 


“Late last night I finished the first draft of my novel. Still can’t quite believe I wrote it in eight weeks. That wouldn’t have been possible without Annalisa Parent and The Writing Gym. I’ve wanted to write this novel for some time. The Writing Gym helped me take those critical first steps toward making my dream a reality.”

Overcoming World Builder’s Disease

John & Annalisa met up for lunch (with Mia, of course) to celebrate his manuscript’s completion

When John first came to us, he was struggling with world builder’s disease–you know that never-ending rabbit hole of research and creation–which can be a lot of fun, but which also does not get your novel written. John talks about how the support in the Writing Gym was instrumental in discovering strategies for success, and shares those strategies with us. 

Published, Created Coaching Programs & Retreats based on book

Revised and published her book 111 Invitations
Created coaching programs based on the book that has led to multiple retreats

As a life coach with a blossoming career, Barb realized she needed to publish an expert book if she was going to take her business to the next level. Putting words on a page was no problem–Barb had plenty of wisdom to share with her readers. But Barb realized making that book publishable was a different story. So when she completed her first draft, she turned to Annalisa for editing. Annalisa worked with Barb to make her manuscript publishable. Sure enough, Barb quickly got published. As a result of this success, Barb has gone on to add  multiple coaching programs and retreats to her business, and continues to see the benefits of her expert book every day. 


“What I appreciated was Annalisa’s approach to editing and her commitment to be sure that my voice came through, above all else. She worked very quickly and met our agreed-upon deadline. Through our initial conversation about my book and my desires, Annalisa gained a solid understanding of who I was and what I was trying to express through my book. Her editing suggestions were respectful of this and allowed me to choose what felt right to me. I was completely satisfied with her work”

Finished, Pitched, Published–in under 12 months

When Jim first came to us, he had a concept for a book that had been on his heart for while. Trouble was: he wasn’t sure if it was a novel, a memoir, or non-fiction. We sorted through his ideas, settled on a topic, and outline, and Annalisa worked with Jim to hone his research, and organize his ideas. Jim’s was a timely topic that he wanted to get into the world quickly–and quickly he did. In less than 12 months from completing his writing and revision work in the Writing Gym, Jim had his traditionally published book in hand. 

Fulfilling a 20 Year old Dream of Finishing a Novel

  Steve had always dreamed of writing a novel. He began his writing      journey at the age of 22. But, like many writers, Steve found that he    just couldn’t finish a manuscript. 

  Over twenty years had passed, but his novel still had not been              completed. With a busy professional and personal life, he                couldn’t sit long enough to write. The novel sat neglected for a        good decade before he picked it up again in his 30s. 

  As he looked over his pages, Steve felt frustrated with how long it        was taking him to finish his novel. Steve told me that when he told      his friends about his writing, they said , “Please, you’re never going       to finish.”

His parents also knew that he had dreams of being an author, but thought “Okay, we’re going to die without seeing that happen.” 

When his parents shared their thoughts, Steve felt extra pressure to finish the novel. , He tried, time and time again, to set aside time in his life to dedicate to his writing. He even sought out an editor to help him with his work. It still wasn’t enough. 

After many years, he hadn’t finished his book and began to dread writing the story he had once loved so much.

Then, he and I got on the phone. 

What is Writing Success?

Writing Success means a lot of different things to a lot of different people: for some, it can be finding an idea, for others finishing a novel, and yet for another a 6-figure, multiple-book deal with a Big-5 publisher. We at Date With the Muse and The Writing Gym are here to help you live the author lifestyle–whatever that means for you. If you take the writing craft seriously without taking yourself too seriously, and want to be the very best writer you can be, so you can publish time & time again–you’re our kind of people. 

This is a highlight reel of celebrations of success coming out of the Writing Gym.

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testimonial Barb publishing
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Barb Klein Thanks Book
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Testimonial WTP, Lauren Barker, May 11, 2020
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me Eric Ruben
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Agent Colorado Sandra Bond
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Testimonial Mastermind Peter
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testimonial Marlena 1-1
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Portraits, Travel
Testimonial Writing GYm Brendan 6
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Portraits, Travel
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Peter Pub Bootcamp
Barb P 1-1 testimonial
Barb P 1-1 tetsimonial
Stephen Bootsmp Publication
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Barbara P WG general
Mikaela salon
Denise C Salon
VIP Testimonial Stephanie Scott Snyder Acceptance 1_10152018
VIP Testimonial Peter Wisniewski Instant Gratification 2_08212018
VIP Testimonial Peter Wisniewski Instant Gratification 1
VIP Testimonial Peter Wisniewski Indulgence 1_01042019
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VIP Testimonial Maya Ponce Acceptance 1_02112019
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VIP Testimonial Barbara Pattee Acceptance 1. 01112019
VIP Testimonial Barbara Pattee Acceptance 2_12122018
VIP Testimonial Barbara Zito Acceptance 1
VIP Testimonial Barbara Zito Instant Gratification 1_12192018
VIP Testimonial Dana Lemaster Significance 1
VIP Testimonial Dana Lemaster Simplicity 1
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