Logline Mastery: How to Nail the Pitch

They say you only get one chance to make a first impression. For most writers the logline is that first impression. It is often their only chance when trying to grab and hold an agent’s, editor’s, or lit manager’s interest in their book. The logline is not your query, but it is part of your query and thus is essential for any pitch. This workshop demystifies the logline and gives every writer a clear and repeatable process for finding the right, true, and most effective logline for their story, be it fiction, memoir, or screenplay. We will begin with a clear definition of what a logline is and what a logline isn’t; then we will move to the logline machine, the structure of every good logline regardless of genre; then we will learn the “logline strategy,” the methodology used to guide the logline development process; and lastly we will finish with live pitches to get real-time feedback on your story idea and your logline by using the logline machine. At the end of this workshop, you will know what a logline is, why you need one, how to build one, and how to use a logline to sell yourself and your story to a potential editor, agent, or producer.


Jeff Lyons is a traditionally published fiction/nonfiction author, screenwriter, and story development consultant in the film, television, and publishing industries. He has worked with major studios like NBCU and Columbia Pictures, and leading independent producers and film and television production companies. He is an instructor through Stanford University's Online Certificate Program in Novel Writing and guest lectures through the UCLA Extension Writers Program.

Jeff is a regular contributor and advisor to leading entertainment industry screenwriting and producing fellowship programs, such as the Producers Guild of America's "Power of Diversity Master Producers Workshop," and the Film Independent Screenwriting Lab, and is a regular workshop presenter at leading writing industry conferences such as the Dallas-Ft. Worth Writers Conference, Romance Writers of America, StoryExpo, Great American Pitchfest among many others.

His clients have won major literary prizes like the “William Faulkner Gold Medal,” and include New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors. Jeff has written on the craft of storytelling for Writer’s Digest Magazine, Script Magazine, The Writer Magazine, and Writing Magazine (UK).

His book, Anatomy of a Premise Line: How to Master Premise and Story Development for Writing Success was published by Focal Press in 2015 and is currently going through a revised 2nd edition rewrite. His book Rapid Story Development: How to Use the Enneagram-Story Connection to Become a Master Storyteller was published by Focal Press in October 2020, and his third book with Focal Press will be published in 2024, The Story-Subplot Connection: How to Develop Subplots for Screenwriters and Novelists.

His feature film, American Thunderbolt, is currently being produced by Content Kings Films (UK), along with several other of Jeff’s TV and feature projects that have been optioned for development.

Other classes at Story Expo by Jeff:

Anatomy of a Premise Line: How to Master Premise & Story Development

The Moral Premise: How To Find, Build & Execute The Narrative Engine...

Firm Up The Mushy Middle of Any Story