For many, one of the most daunting aspects of writing a book is the book proposal. How do you get started? Do I need an agent? What goes in a proposal?

These questions and more were answered by a distinguished panel of experts on Feb. 13 at University House. Author Lynda Mapes, agent Anne Depue, and acquisitions editor Ranjit Arab shared their perspectives on the book proposal process.

  • Mapes is the author of Breaking Ground: The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe and the Unearthing of the Tse-Whit-Zen Village and the forthcoming Elwha: A River Reborn. She is reporter for the Seattle Times who specializes in natural history, environmental topics and issues related to Pacific Northwest indigenous cultures.
  • Depue is a Seattle-based literary agent specializing in the representation of nonfiction book projects to national and regional publishers. Recent projects include Shall We Play That One Together? The Life and Art of Piano Jazz Legend Marian McPartland by Paul de Barros (St. Martins Press) and Rowing Into the Son: Four Young Men and the North Atlanticby Jordan Hanssen (The Mountaineers Books).
  • Arab is a senior acquiring editor at the University of Washington Press, managing lists that focus on Native American history, Asian American and American studies, Western history, and regional topics. He has ten years of academic publishing experience, having worked on both the marketing and editorial sides. Trained as a journalist, he has written for newspapers and magazines, made documentary films, and served a science writer for the University of Kansas before eventually getting into academic publishing.

Thank you to Mapes, Depue and Arab for their participation in NSWA’s monthly event for February. Check out our calendar for more events for science writers.